Mete Civelek, Principal Investigator

  • Ph.D., Bioengineering, University of Pennsylvania
  • M.S., Chemical Engineering, Pennsylvania State University
  • B.S., Chemical Engineering and Molecular Biology and Genetics, Bogazici University

Mete joined the University of Virginia after a postdoctoral fellowship in cardiovascular genetics in the laboratory of Jake Lusis at the University of California, Los Angeles. He studied the genetic regulation of gene expression in vascular cells and adipose tissue in human and mouse populations. He identified novel candidate genes that can play causal roles in the development of atherosclerosis, obesity and insulin resistance. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering and is also a resident faculty at the Center for Public Health Genomics. He is a member of the Robert M Berne Cardiovascular Research Center and has a secondary appointment in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics. He is the co-chair of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee of the Department of Biomedical Engineering, a member of the Program Committees of the American Heart Association Vascular Biology Conference and the Annual Meeting of the American Society of Human Genetics.

Rédouane Aherrahrou, Postdoctoral Fellow

  • Ph.D., Animal Biotechnology, Moulay Ismail University and University of Lübeck
  • M.S., Engineering and Biotechnology of Microorganisms, Moulay Ismail University and University of Lübeck
  • B.S., Molecular life science, Moulay Ismail University

Rédouane Aherrahrou completed his Ph.D. in the research group of Prof. Jeanette Erdmann at the University of Lübeck. He joined the Center for Public Health Genomics at the University of Virginia as a postdoctoral fellow in 2016. He is interested in understanding how genetic factors regulate the development of coronary artery disease. His focus is on genetic factors regulating smooth muscle cell function. Redouane was an American Heart Association Postdoctoral Fellow between 2018 and 2020.

Warren Anderson, Postdoctoral Fellow

  • Ph.D., Neuroscience, Thomas Jefferson University
  • M.S., Neuroscience, University of Pittsburgh
  • B.A., Psychology, Temple University

Warren has worked in neurophysiology and cardiac electrophysiology with a focus on understanding how ion channels regulate synaptic integration and arrhythmogenesis. During his Ph.D. studies, he implemented computational studies that revealed novel insights into the mechanisms of neuroinflammation and the autonomic nervous systems’ integrated contributions to the development of hypertension. His current work is focused on understanding the genetic basis of sex differences in adipose tissue. Warren was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Cardiovascular Training Grant between 2017 and 2018 and an American Heart Association Postdoctoral Fellow between 2018 and 2020. He is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Neuroendocrinology Training Grant.

Qianyi_Yang1

Qianyi Yang, Postdoctoral Fellow

  • Ph.D., Biochemistry, Purdue University
  • B.S., Biotechnology, Northwest A&F University

Qianyi Yang is trained as a biochemist and molecular biologist. She completed her Ph.D. with Dr. Jim Forney, studying the function of SUMOylation in Tetrahymena using biochemical and proteomics approaches. Following that she joined the lab of Humaira Gowher at Purdue University where she studied the role of transcription factor Vezf1 during angiogenesis. She then moved to St. Louis and joined Zhou-Feng Chen lab at Washington University in St. Louis. There she focused on understanding the mechanism of circadian-regulated mouse itch behavior. She joined Civelek lab in November 2018 as a postdoctoral research associate.  She is interested in investigating the role of transcription factor KLF14 in adipocyte function.

Nicolas Barbera

Nicolas Barbera, Postdoctoral Fellow

  • Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, University of Illinois at Chicago
  • M.S.E, Chemical Engineering, Johns Hopkins University
  • B.S., Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Johns Hopkins University

Nik Barbera completed his PhD in the laboratories of Drs. Belinda Akpa and Irena Levitan at the University of Illinois at Chicago. During his PhD studies, he studied interactions between lipids, sterols, and membrane proteins in a dynamic membrane environment using molecular dynamic simulations. His current work is focused on identifying causal genetic variants in loci associated with coronary artery disease susceptibility. He is a postdoctoral fellow in the Cardiovascular Training Grant.

Jordan Reed

Jordan Reed, PhD Student

  • B.S., Bioengineering, University of Pennsylvania

Jordan received a B.S. in Bioengineering from the University of Pennsylvania and did undergraduate research in bacteriology, studying antibiotic resistance at the University of Rochester. Her current focus is understanding the flow of genetic information in adipose tissue gene expression networks using causal inference modeling. Jordan was a Predoctoral Fellow in the Cardiovascular Training Grant between 2018 and 2020.

Noah Perry1

Noah Perry, PhD Student

  • B.S., Biomedical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology

Noah received a BS in Biomedical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and did undergraduate research in biomechanics and imaging, creating computational eye models to study the impact of glaucoma conditions on the biomechanics of the eye at Georgia Tech and Emory University. His current focus is understanding the flow of genetic information in vascular smooth muscle cell gene expression networks using causal inference modeling. He is a Predoctoral Fellow in the Cardiovascular Training Grant

YoniAberra

Yonathan Aberra, PhD Student

  • B.S., Biomedical Engineering, University of California, Irvine

Yonathan received a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from the University of California, Irvine. He studied systems neurobiology and microscopy, designing miniaturized fluorescence microscopy cameras to study regulatory circuitry in the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus in awake mice with the support of the National Institute of Mental Health. His current focus is identifying the causal genes in genomic regions associated with body fat distribution with a focus on the CPEB4 locus. He is a Fellow of the The Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP) program.

Jameson Hinkle, Lab Manager

  • M.S., Environmental Studies, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • B.S., Biology, Roanoke College

Jameson received a BS in Biology from Roanoke College. He then worked at US Geological Survey and completed an MS in environmental studies at Virginia Commonwealth University. Now, he is the manager of the Civelek Lab. 

Rita_Anane_Wae

Rita Anane-Wae, Biomedical Engineering Fourth Year Undergraduate

2019 Harrison Undergraduate Research Award

DillonLue

Dillon Lue, Biomedical Engineering Third Year Undergraduate

2020 Harrison Undergraduate Research Award

Zhiwen Xu

Zhiwen Xue, Biochemistry Second Year Undergraduate

2020 Harrison Undergraduate Research Award

Visiting Students and Scholars

Diana Albarracin

Diana Albarracin

NSF REU Multi-Scale Systems Bioengineering Program Participant

Department of Biomedical Engineering

University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA

June – August 2020

AlfredoLeBron

Alfredo LeBron

NIH Summer Research Internship Program Participant

Department of Natural Sciences

University of Puerto Rico, Aguadilla, PR

May – August 2018

May – August 2019

CarolynGraham

Carolyn Graham

NIH Summer Diabetes Research Internship Program Participant

Department of Biomedical Engineering

University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA

May – August 2018

NickGarza

Nicholas Garza

NSF REU Multi-Scale Systems Bioengineering Program Participant

Departments of Biomedical Engineering and Computer Science

Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD

May – August 2018

AnthonyBoivin

Anthony Boivin

Department of Physiology and Integrative Biology

Université Pierre et Marie Curie- Sorbonne Universités

April – August 2018

SonavineChang

Sonavine Nget Chan

Department of Physiology and Integrative Biology

Université Pierre et Marie Curie- Sorbonne Universités

April – July 2018

Florent Bouchon

Florent Bouchon

M.S. in Cellular and Molecular Biology

Agrocampus Ouest, Rennes, France

September 2017 – January 2018

Rebecca Habisch

Department of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology

Biberach University of Applied Sciences, Biberach an der Riss, Germany

March – November 2017

Simon Perrin

Department of Physiology and Integrative Biology

Université Pierre et Marie Curie- Sorbonne Universités

March – June 2017

Shayna Holness

NSF REU Multi-Scale Systems Bioengineering Program Participant

Department of Chemistry, Biochemistry, and Physics

Rider University,  Lawrenceville, NJ

May – August 2017

Cameron Raglin

NIH Summer Research Internship Program Participant

Departments of Chemistry and History

Amherst College, Amherst, MA

May – August 2017

Lab Alumni

Joon Yuh Sohl, B.S. in Biomedical Engineering

2016-2018 Undergraduate Research Assistant

2018-2020 Bioinformatics Technician

Life after Lab: Master of Science in Data Science at the University of Virginia

Ngozi Akingbesote

Ngozi Akingbesote, B.S. in Biology with Distinction

2017-2020 Undergraduate Student Opportunities in Academic Research (USOAR) Program

2018 Harrison Undergraduate Research Award

2019 Caltech Wave Fellow

2019-2020 Department of Biology Distinguished Majors Program

Life after Lab: Ph.D. Program in Molecular Medicine, Pharmacology, and Physiology at the Yale School of Medicine

Lisa Chen, B.S. in Biomedical Engineering

2015-2019 Undergraduate Research Assistant

2018 Harrison Undergraduate Research Award

2018-2019 Capstone Design Project

Life after Lab: Master of Engineering in BME at the University of Virginia

Jewel White

Jewel White, B.S. in Biology 

2017-2019 Undergraduate Research Assistant

Life after Lab: Ph.D. Program in Neuroscience at the University of Maryland

Aaron Aguhob, B.S. in Biomedical Engineering

2015-2018 Undergraduate Research Assistant

2017-2018 Capstone Design Project

Life after Lab: Bioinformatics Software Developer at Cyrus Biotechnology

Ryan Cheng, B.S. in Biomedical Engineering

2015-2017 Undergraduate Research Assistant

Life after Lab: Senior Data Scientist 2nd Order Solutions

Nicholas Asby, B.S. in Biomedical Engineering

2015-2017 Undergraduate Research Assistant

Life after Lab: Ph.D. Program in Molecular Engineering at the University of Chicago