Andreas Pfenning- Principal Investigator
Andreas Pfenning is a tenure track Assistant Professor in the Computational Biology Department in the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU). Additionally, he has a courtesy appointment in the Department of Biological Sciences and is a member of Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition, a joint venture between CMU and the University of Pittsburgh, and the Neuroscience Institute, a CMU program drawing from diverse group of scientists investigating the brain in health and disease.
Amanda Kowalczyk- PhD Student
Amanda Kowalczyk (she/her) is a Neuroscience Institute Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellow studying evolutionary genomics in the Computational Biology Department. She builds computational tools and uses them to analyze genomic data spanning many distantly related species to understand how phenotypes evolve.
Ziheng (Calvin) Chen- PhD Student
Ziheng (Calvin) Chen is a PhD student in Biological Sciences program. His research focuses on combining high-throughput experimental methods and machine learning models to understand the impacts of Alzheimer's disease associated genetic variations on enhancer functions.
Mike Leone- PhD Student
Mike Leone (he/him) is an MD/PhD student through the PhD program in Computational Biology at Carnegie Mellon and medical school at the University of Pittsburgh. He is broadly interested in integrating scientific advances in regulatory genomics into medical practice, with a current focus on the genetic and cell-type specific basis of chronic pain disorders.
BaDoi Phan- PhD Student
BaDoi Phan (he/him) is an MD/PhD candidate in the Computational Biology PhD program working at the intersection of human genetics of addiction, molecular neuroscience, and computational genomics. He applies these approaches to investigates the mechanisms underlying genetic risk for substance use disorder and affect on gene regulatory processes in the reward neural circuit.
Chaitanya Srinivasan- PhD Student
Chaitanya Srinivasan is a PhD student in Computational Biology interested in developing integrative computational and experimental approaches to study cell type-specific epigenomic mechanisms underlying complex neural traits.
Yixiao (Amy) Zhu- Master's Student
Yixiao (Amy) Zhu is a Master's student and research assistant in the Pfenning lab. Her research involves investigating the cellular, transcriptomic, and epigenomic bases for transgenerational stimulant use predisposition using single nucleus multiomics.
Ruby Redlich- Undergraduate Researcher
Ruby Redlich is an undergraduate student majoring in Biology and Computational Biology. She is working with her mentor Dr. Amanda Kowalczyk on developing computational tools to study the convergent evolution of categorical traits.
Andrew Wang- Undergraduate Researcher
Andrew Wang (he/him) is an undergraduate researcher in the Pfenning lab. His research involves examining cross-species regulatory mechanisms of neuropsychiatric disorders at the cell-type level.
Lahari Gadey- Laboratory Technician
Lahari Gadey is a laboratory technician with a master’s degree in biology from the University of Colorado, Denver. She plays a vital role in assisting in all projects in the lab, focusing on molecular biology and cell culture.
Heather Harper Sestili- Research Programmer
Heather Harper Sestili (she/her) is a research programmer in the Pfenning lab. She creates computational resources that the lab uses to train and interpret machine learning models.
Vijay Cherupally- Research Associate
Vijay Cherupally graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in April 2022 and is now a Research Associate in the Computational Biology Department. His work involves analyzing single cell epigenomics data as part of a collective effort to use knowledge of enhancers to create cell-type specific effects.