Shi Laboratory - Lab Members

Instructor in Pediatrics - Research Lab Chief


Ashwini Jambhekar, PhD

Ashwini Jambhekar, PhD
AB, Harvard College
PhD, University of California, San Francisco
Dr. Jambhekar has studied cell division and noncoding functions for RNA, both in a variety of contexts. She is working on projects focused on the roles of RNA in epigenetically-regulated processes, including cell proliferation and differentiation.


Post-Doctoral Fellows


Jamie Anastas, PhD

BS, Cornell University
PhD, University of Washington
Dr. Anastas is studying how mutations in chromatin-associated factors affect heterochromatin organization in pediatric cancer.



Andres Blanco, PhD

Andres Blanco, PhD

BA, Cornell University

PhD, Princeton University
Dr. Blanco is currently studying epigenetic control of cellular differentiation in myeloid lineage cancers  such as AML.  He is also interested in DNA damage and repair in tumorigenesis, with a current focus on mechanisms of DNA dealkylation in varying chromatin contexts.


Hao Chen, PhD

BS, National Base of Biology, Wuhan University, China 
PhD, Molecular Biology & Disease Proteomics, IBS, Fudan University, China
Dr. Chen is interested in how environmental signals translated into epigenetic codes and the regulatory mechanisms towards the pivotal epigenetic players involved in epigenetic profiles establishment and maintenance.

Abhinav Dhall, PhDAbhinav Dhall, PhD
BS, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, India
PhD, University of Washington, Seattle
Dr. Dhall is investigating the epigenetic states that preclude differentiation of myeloid progenitor cells in various human leukemias. He is also interested in understanding the role played by epigenetic modulators in mounting an effective innate immune response.


Lei Gu, PhD

BS, Biotechnology, Zhejiang Normal University, China
PhD, Computational Cancer Epigenomics, German Cancer Research Center and Heidelberg University, Germany
Dr. Gu's research is focused on long range epigenetic regulations in cancer, transgenerational epigenetic inheritance in mammals, and developing tools for the integration of epigenomic and genomic data.


Chih-Hung Hsu, PhD

BS, Chinese Culture University, Taiwan
PhD, Tsing Hua University, Taiwan
Dr. Hsu is working on discovering novel histone modifications and investigating their biological functions.



Alan Jiao, PhD

Alan Jiao, PhD
BSc in Immunology, University of Toronto
PhD in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology, Yale University
Alan's main research interest lies in the basic mechanisms of epigenetic gene regulation, and how such mechanisms are disrupted in disease states. Outside of the lab, Alan enjoys playing cello, board games, and basketball.


Violetta Karwacki-Neisius, MD, PhD

MD, Medical School Hannover, Germany
PhD, MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine, University of Edinburgh, UK
Dr. Karwacki-Neisius is studying X linked intellectual disability. She will use iPS cells containing mutations in the histone demethylase KDM5C together with isogenic control cell lines to define mechanisms underlying intellectual disability.


Adam Fiseha Kebede, PhDAdam Fiseha Kebede, PhD
Adam is mainly interested in the pathways that place, interpret and erase histone modifications with a focus on how defects in such pathways contribute to tumorigenesis.

After joining the Shi lab, Adam has also grown interested in novel covalent modifications of DNA and RNA whose function remains relatively unknown.


Benoit Laurent, PhD
BS, Poitiers University, France
MSc, Paris Diderot University, France 
PhD, Paris Descartes University, France
Alternative splicing (AS) contributes to the proteomic diversity. In the brain, it emerges as a potent and pervasive mechanism that plays a crucial role in the regulation of synaptic maturation, maintenance or activity. Benoit is interested in shedding light on how AS regulates the brain development and functions, and how its dysfunctions impact human health.
Robert Liefke, PhD
BS, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Germany
PhD, Max-Planck-Institute of Immunobiology, Freiburg, Germany
Dr. Liefke investigates the role of the novel PRC2 interacting protein C17orf96. His main interest is to better understand the chromatin regulatory role of C17orf96 that is dependent and independent of PRC2. Further, he studies the potential implication of this protein in stem cell biology, embryogenesis and cancer.
Jurnej Murn, PhDJernej Murn, PhD
BS, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
PhD, Laboratory for Functional Genomics, CEA, France, and University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) control essentially all aspects of gene expression and are commonly compromised in devastating human diseases ranging from neurodegeneration to cancer. Dr. Murn investigates the mechanistic bases of RBPs in regulating cell homeostasis in health and disease. His particular focus is on the chromatin-dependent roles of RBPs and their associated non-coding RNAs.

Erdem Sendinc, PhDErdem Sendinc, PhD
BS, Molecular Biology and Genetics at Middle East Technical University, Turkey
PhD, Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, University of Virginia
Dr. Sendinc is interested in identifying mechanisms by which epigenetic information is inherited over the generations in C. elegans.


Wanqiang Sheng, PhDWanqiang Sheng, PhD

BS, Ocean University of China
PhD, University of Singapore
Dr. Sheng is currently studying RNA modifications and relevant responses to various cellular stress.

David Valle-Garcia, PhD

David Valle-Garcia, PhD
BS, National Autonomous University of Mexico
PhD, National Autonomous University of Mexico
Dr. Valle-Garcia investigates how histone variants and RNA modifications contribute to normal cell function and go awry in cancer using a combination of bioinformatic, molecular biology, and biochemistry approaches.


Lab Manager


William Jacobus
BS Biology, Boston College