Lab members

aileen-espinal Aileen Espinal

Aileen is a research coordinator, working on the IMAGene (Individualized Medicine through the Application of Genetic Information) study. She recruits patients for this study.

bianca Bianca Haser

Bianca is a clinical research coordinator. She aids in the recruitment and retention of participants for the IMAGene (Individualized Medicine through Application of Genomics) study and in recruiting patients in the postpartum units for a newborn screening test for Spinal Muscular Atrophy.

emily-griffinEmily Griffin

Emily is a board certified genetic counselor and clinical research coordinator. She sees patients within the Columbia Cardiogenetics Program, specializing in patients with congenital heart disease. Her research focus is the Congenital Heart Disease Genetic Network Study (CHD-GENES) within the Pediatric Cardiac Genomics Consortium (PCGC).


Jiangyuan HuJiangyuan Hu

Jiangyuan Hu, PhD, is an Associate Research Scientist with over 20 years of research experience in neuroscience including addiction, depression, epilepsy, pain, synaptogenesis and synaptic plasticity underlying learning and memory. Currently, he is working on the molecular genetic pathogenesis of several human genetic disorders. His research interest focuses on neurodevelopmental genetic disorders. He uses genetic animal models and cellular systems to study synapses to the complex neural circuits and behavior levels to elucidate the mechanisms of neurodevelopmental disorders.

jiayao-wang Jiayao Wang

Jiayao is a bioinformatics analyst in Chung lab and Shen lab. He is currently working on sequencing data curation, developing and using bioinformatics tools to analyze NGS data and diving deep into bioinformatics.

joyJoy Tanaka

Joy is the program manager for the DISCOVER for Undiagnosed Diseases ( She is dedicated to integrating excellent clinical care with cutting-edge medical research for patients with rare and undiagnosed disorders and is focused on pursuing questions at the interface between genetics and human disease with the goal of developing novel therapies and treatments.

juliaJulia Wynn

Julia is a Senior Genetic Counselor and Clinical Research Coordinator. She practices as a clinical genetic counselor in the Columbia Cardiogenetics Program where she sees patients for a variety of cardiac indications including cardiomyopathy, arrhythmia conditions, sudden death, aortopathies and congenital heart disease. She is the research coordinator for DHREAMS (Diaphragmatic Hernia Research & Exploration; Advancing Molecular Science, She is co-chair of the NIH clinical sequencing exploratory research (CSER) genetic counseling working group in which she participates in research examining the ethic, legal and social implications of diagnostic and predictive genomic testing.

liyongLiyong Deng

Dr. Deng is a research officer. His primary interest is developing and using bioinformatics tools to analyze next-generation sequencing data.

na-zhu Na Zhu

Na Zhu, PhD in bioinformatics, is a postdoctoral research scientist. She works on developing and applying statistics models on the NGS data. Currently she is focusing on the projects of pulmonary arterial hypertension and breast cancers.

trishPatricia Lanzano

Patricia is a research program coordinator with 25 years’ experience in clinical molecular biology. She is the study coordinator for human studies in obesity, diabetes, breast cancer, and spinal muscular atrophy. She has a strong practical and theoretical foundation in molecular biology, with emphasis on DNA, RNA, protein extraction, and primary cell tissue culture from human derived samples.

priyanka-ahimazPriyanka Ahimaz

Priyanka is a clinical research coordinator for the Congenital Anomalies Research Exploration (CARE) study and a board certified genetic counselor. Clinically, she specializes in counseling patients with inherited skeletal dysplasias and cardiac conditions. She is a member of the National Society of Genetic Counselors and is a guest lecturer for the Long Island University Genetic Counseling program.

teresaTeresa Lee

Dr. Teresa Lee is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics in the Division of Pediatric Cardiology. She is board certified in pediatrics, pediatric cardiology (with advanced training in heart failure/transplantation), and clinical genetics. Her fellowship training in pediatric cardiology and heart failure/transplantation was supported by the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award. Her research experience includes genetic research studying both monogenic and complex genetic diseases. She has studied the genetics of atherosclerosis using a mouse model, identified single nucleotide polymorphisms as part of the Human Genome Project, and used gene expression microarrays to identify genes related to conotruncal lesions in mice.

In Dr. Wendy Chung’s lab, she is studying the genetics of cardiomyopathy and congenital heart disease using methods of genetic characterization that include next-generation sequencing techniques such as whole exome sequencing and RNA-Seq. Her main research focus under the CTSA/Irving Institute TRANSFORM K12 Award involves the identification of novel genetic causes of infantile cardiomyopathy. Additionally, her research has been supported by The John M. Driscoll, Jr., MD, Children’s Fund, Colin’s Kids, Inc. (The Andrew King Research Award and The Colin Molloy Research Award), and the Babies Heart Fund.

Volkan Okurvolkan

Dr. Volkan Okur is a medical geneticist and is currently a postdoctoral research scientist. He is working on unraveling the genetic etiologies of various neurodevelopmental disorders.

Xinwei HanXinwei Han

Dr. Xinwei Han is an Associate Research Scientist in the Department of Pediatrics. His research centers on computational analysis of next generation sequencing data to identify disease risk genes. Currently, He is working on the bioinformatic analysis of whole exome sequencing data from the SPARK autism project. His research work also include the integrative analysis of DNA-seq and RNA-seq data to pinpoint risk genes with altered expression profile and the development of machine learning approaches to predict haploinsufficient genes based on epigenetic profiles.

 lab group 2017 photo


Shen group in Systems Biology