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Current Fellows in the Laboratory of Translational Genomics

Meet current fellows in the Laboratory of Translational Genomics and learn more about our research training opportunities.

Fellows are organized by their PI mentors, with postdoctoral followed by postbaccalaureate.

CHANOCK LAB

Leandro Colli, M.D., Ph.D. – Postdoctoral Fellow

Leandro ColliDr. Leandro Colli joined the Laboratory of Translational Genomics (LTG) as a postdoctoral fellow in November 2013. In the laboratory of Stephen J. Chanock, M.D., Director and Senior Investigator, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, Dr. Colli will focus on post-GWAS and functional studies on kidney cancer. His interests are in translating genomics to clinical practice. He earned his M.D. in 2007 from the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, and completed an Internal Medicine and Clinical Oncology residency in the same University in 2012. Prior to joining LTG, Dr. Colli’s doctoral research involved studying mechanisms of pituitary tumorigenesis, at the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil. 

Roelof Koster, M.Sc., Ph.D. - Postdoctoral Fellow

Roelof KosterDr. Roelof Koster joined the Laboratory of Translational Genomics (LTG) as a visiting postdoctoral fellow in December 2013. In 2004, he received his M.Sc. in Medical Biology from the University of Groningen, the Netherlands.  He then earned his Ph.D. in 2010 from the faculty of Medical Sciences, University Medical Center Groningen and University of Groningen. Dr. Koster did his doctoral work in the department of Medical Oncology under the guidance of Professors Steven de Jong, Ph.D., and Jourik A. Gietema, M.D., Ph.D., focusing on elucidating the mechanisms of cisplatin sensitivity and resistance in testicular cancer through functional studies. Prior to joining LTG, he worked as a postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Katherine L. Nathanson, M.D., Associate Professor of Medicine, Translational Medicine and Human Genetics, University of Pennsylvania, focusing on identifying genetic risk factors for testicular cancer.  Currently, in the laboratory of Stephen J. Chanock, M.D., Director and Senior Investigator, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, Dr. Koster will conduct follow-up studies on important findings from GWAS and sequencing studies. 

Mitchell Machiela, Sc.D. - Postdoctoral Fellow

Mitchell Machiela Dr. Mitchell Machiela joined the Laboratory of Translational Genomics (LTG) as a postdoctoral Cancer Research Training Award (CRTA) fellow in August 2012. In the laboratory of Dr. Stephen J. Chanock, Dr. Machiela is investigating the prevalence, location, and molecular characteristics of human clonal mosaic events. His interests include prostate cancer genetics, statistical genetics, and fine mapping disease susceptibility loci. Dr. Machiela earned his Sc.D. in epidemiology from the Harvard School of Public Health in May 2012 under the mentorship of Dr. David J. Hunter. His doctoral work focused on germline genetic variation and prostate cancer risk. Prior degrees include an M.P.H. in epidemiology from the University of Michigan and a B.S. in biology and B.A. in Spanish from Calvin College. 

DCEG Publications (text and abstracts from our publications database)

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AMUNDADOTTIR LAB

Marta Dzyadyk, B.S. - Postbaccalaureate Fellow

Ms. Marta Dzyadyk joined the Laboratory of Translational Genomics (LTG) as a postbaccalaureate Cancer Research Training Award (CRTA) fellow in the lab of Laufey Amundadottir, Ph.D.,Investigator, LTG, as of July 2012. She received her B.S. in biology from Syracuse University in May 2012. Prior to arriving, she spent two years in the lab of Dr. Melissa Pepling at Syracuse University, studying the role of progesterone receptors in neonatal oocyte development and characterizing the expression of these receptors. Ms. Dzyadyk is working on the genomic and functional characterization of the NR5A2 gene, identified by PanScan, a genome-wide association study of pancreatic cancer conducted within the NCI Cohort Consortium and the PanC4 Consortium.

DCEG Publications (text and abstracts from our publications database)

Mickey Emmanuel, B.S. - Postbaccalaureate Fellow

Mickey EmmanuelMs. Mickey Emmanuel joined the Laboratory of Translational Genomics (LTG) in the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics as a postbaccalaureate fellow in July 2013. Under the guidance of Laufey Amundadottir, Ph.D.,Investigator, LTG, Ms. Emmanuel is studying how common susceptibility variants on chromosome ch13q22 identified through genome-wide association studies contribute to pancreatic cancer development and risk. Ms. Emmanuel received her B.S. in biology in May 2013 from the University of Florida. There she investigated cytoskeletal dynamics, specifically protein-protein interactions involved in actin depolymerization, in the lab of Dr. David Oppenheimer.

Jason Hoskins, Ph.D. - Postdoctoral Fellow

In February 2011, Dr. Hoskins joined the lab of Laufey Amundadottir, Ph.D., Investigator, LTG, as a Cancer Research Training Award (CRTA) fellow, where he is studying the molecular mechanism by which common risk variants on chromosome 13q22 confer susceptibility to pancreatic cancer. Dr. Hoskins received his Ph.D. in biochemistry (2007) and his B.S. in biochemistry (2002) at the University of Rochester. His thesis work in the lab of Dr. Scott Butler, explored the RNA-based mechanism of toxicity caused by the chemotherapeutic drug 5-fluorouracil (5FU) in S. cerevisiae. Dr. Hoskins went on to conduct postdoctoral research in the lab of Dr. Charles Thornton, where he collaborated with the National Chemical Genomics Center to screen for small molecules able to disrupt the binding of the splicing factor MBNL1 from CUG repeat RNA, which is a key interaction causing type I myotonic dystrophy (DM1). He also explored the endogenous decay pathways potentially involved in the destruction of the toxic CUG repeat expansion RNA.

DCEG Publications (text and abstracts from our publications database)

Jinping Jia, Ph.D. - Research Fellow

Jinping Jia Dr. Jinping Jia joined the Laboratory of Translational Genomics (LTG) as a visiting postdoctoral fellow, where she progressed to become a research fellow, in January 2009. Under the guidance of Laufey Amundadottir, Ph.D.,Investigator, LTG, Dr. Jia focuses on the molecular phenotypes of association findings and functional characterization of plausible causal variants in order to understand how common sequence variation plays a role in the development of cancer. In 2006, Dr. Jia earned her Ph.D. from the Department of Biology at the China Agriculture University in China, working on cDNA sequencing and microarray analysis. Prior to that, she earned her M.S. in genetics from the Shanxi Agriculture University in China.

DCEG Publications (text and abstracts from our publications database)

Mingfeng Zhang, M.D., Ph.D. – Postdoctoral Fellow

Mingfeng ZhangDr. Mingfeng Zhang joined the Laboratory of Translation Genomics (LTG) as a postdoctoral fellow in December 2013. Dr. Zhang conducts her research in the laboratory of  Laufey Amundadottir, Ph.D.,Investigator, LTG, where she studies the genetic susceptibility of pancreatic cancer by analyzing GWAS, RNA-seq, DNA-seq and methylation data. She received her Ph.D. in molecular and genetic epidemiology from Nanjing Medical University in June 2012, and a M.D. in pediatrics from Nanjing Medical University in 2007. Her doctoral research involved the study of genetic variation in relation to lung cancer risk and prognosis. Prior to joining LTG, Dr. Zhang worked as a research fellow at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, where she investigated the genetic and environmental risk factors for melanoma.

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BROWN LAB

Jiyeon Choi, Ph.D. - Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr. Jiyeon Choi joined the Laboratory of Translational Genomics (LTG) in October 2011 as a postdoctoral Cancer Research Training Award (CRTA) fellow in the lab of Kevin M. Brown, Ph.D., Investigator, LTG. In the lab, Dr. Choi is currently working on the functional characterization of common and rare genetic variants contributing to melanoma susceptibility by following up recent genome-wide association studies and family re-sequencing work. Dr. Choi has a Ph.D. in cell and developmental biology from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, where she pursued functional studies of autism-associated common genetic variants with Dr. James Millonig, Ph.D. She also has an M.S. in molecular biology from Korea University and a B.S. in biological sciences from Ewha Womans University, South Korea.

DCEG Publications (text and abstracts from our publications database)

Tongwu Zhang, Ph.D. - Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr. Tongwu Zhang joined the Laboratory of Translational Genomics (LTG) in July 2012 as a visiting postdoctoral fellow under the mentorship of Kevin M. Brown, Ph.D., Investigator, LTG. In DCEG, Dr. Zhang will focus on the analysis the GWAS data for identifying the functional characterization of common and rare genetic variants contributing to melanoma. He received his Ph.D. in bioinformatics from Zhejiang University, China in June 2012. During his Ph.D. research, he joined the Beijing Institute of Genomics, Chinese Academy of Science as a visiting graduate in 2007, where he worked on whole genome assembly and RNA-sequencing analysis. In 2011, he joined the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as visiting scholar for the Date Palm Genome project.

DCEG Publications (text and abstracts from our publications database)

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PROKUNINA-OLSSON LAB

Abdul R. Banday, M.Sc., Ph.D. – Postdoctoral Fellow

Abdul Banday, Ph.D., joined the Laboratory of Translational Genomics (LTG) as a postdoctoral fellow in February 2014. Dr. Banday received his bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from University of Kashmir, India, in 2006. He received his M.Sc. (2008) and Ph.D. (2012) in biochemistry from A.M. University, Aligarh, India, under the mentorship of Mohammad Tabish, Ph.D., Associate Professor. For his Ph.D. he used public databases and computational tools to identify novel isoforms of kinases and neurotransmitter genes in the mouse genome and performed their functional subcellular annotation. He received training in bioinformatics at the University of Nottingham, UK, in 2009. He was awarded the Council of Scientific Industrial Research Junior Research Fellowship, a highly competitive research fellowship for Ph.D. students in India. In 2012, Dr. Banday joined the laboratory of Rahul Kanadia, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, in the Department of Physiology and Neurobiology at the University of Connecticut as a postdoctoral fellow, where he worked on elucidating the role of alternative splicing in mouse retinal development using both next-generation sequencing and cell biology approaches.

In LTG, Dr. Banday is working with Ludmila Prokunina-Olsson, Ph.D., Investigator, on genomic regions that have been associated in GWAS with increased risk of several cancers.  He will be involved in computational analysis of next generation data from public databases (HapMap, 1000 Genomes, Encode, TCGA, etc) and analysis of genetic and functional data generated in the laboratory. Specifically, he will focus on exploring resources relevant for bladder cancer and for IFNL4, a novel human interferon discovered by the lab, in relation to several cancers and infectious diseases.

Candace Middlebrooks, Ph.D. - Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr. Candace Middlebrooks joined the Laboratory of Translational Genomics (LTG) as a Cancer Research Training Award (CRTA) postdoctoral fellow in November 2013.  Dr. Middlebrooks received an M.S. in natural sciences from the University at Buffalo where she worked under the mentorship of Gillian Howell, Ph.D.  For her M.S. thesis, she studied the effects of histone deacetylase inhibitors on the colon carcinoma cell line FET and the breast cancer cell line MCF-7L. Dr. Middlebrooks then received her Ph.D. in genetics and molecular biology from Emory University, where her research focused on genetic epidemiology studies of Trisomy 21. Specifically, she worked under the mentorship of Stephanie Sherman, Ph.D., where she used using computer programming and statistical analyses to identify recombination patterns associated with Trisomy 21/Down Syndrome. Her postdoctoral research in the LTG is under the mentorship of  Ludmila Prokunina-Olsson, Ph.D., Investigator, LTG. Her project involves genetic and functional analysis of association signals identified through bladder cancer GWAS.

Olusegun Onabajo, Ph.D. - Postdoctoral Fellow

Olusegun Onabajo Dr. Olusegun (Segun) Onabajo joined the Laboratory of Translational Genomics (LTG) as a postdoctoral fellow in April 2013. He will be working with Ludmila Prokunina-Olsson, Ph.D., Investigator, LTG. He will conduct functional studies on the novel human interferon, IFNL4, recently discovered in the Prokunina-Olsson group, in relation to cancers induced by infectious pathogens. Dr. Onabajo will also work on functional evaluation of regions identified by genome-wide association studies (GWAS) for bladder cancer. Dr. Onabajo received his bachelor’s degree in pharmacy at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria, in 1998, where he graduated with distinction. He received a Ph.D. (2008) in cell biology and molecular genetics under the mentorship of Dr. Wenxia Song, associate professor at the University of Maryland College Park, where he functionally characterized the role of mammalian actin binding protein 1 (mAbp1) in B cell endocytosis and antigen presentation. He later conducted postdoctoral research at the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the Uniformed Services University for the Health Sciences under the mentorship of Dr. Joseph Mattapallil, associate professor. There, Dr. Onabajo studied the molecular mechanisms of B cell dysfunction during HIV infection. Dr. Onabajo is interested in defining cancer-related molecular mechanisms of genetic associations identified by GWAS.

Ashley Paquin, B.A. - Postbaccalaureate Fellow

Ashley PaquinMs. Ashley Paquin joined the Laboratory of Translational Genomics (LTG) in July 2013 as a postbaccalaureate fellow in the lab of  Ludmila Prokunina-Olsson, Ph.D., Investigator, LTG. She graduated in June 2013 from Carleton College where she earned a B.A. in biology. Before coming to the NIH, she worked with Dr. Scott McGinnis, at Brigham and Women’s Hospitals studying early onset Alzheimer’s Disease and with Dr. Navin Pinto and Dr. Susan Cohn at Comer Children’s Hospital at the University of Chicago, studying genetic variants involved in neuroblastoma. Ms. Paquin is currently working on functional analyses of bladder cancer susceptibility loci indentified in prior genome-wide association studies.  

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Learn about research training opportunities in the Laboratory of Translational Genomics.