People

Principal Investigator
Raul Rabadan
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Raul Rabadan is the Gerald and Janet Carrus Professor in the Departments of Systems Biology, Biomedical Informatics and Surgery at Columbia University. He is the director of the Program for Mathematical Genomics at Columbia University and the NCI Center for Topology of Cancer Evolution and Heterogeneity. From 2001 to 2003, Dr. Rabadan was a fellow at the Theoretical Physics Division at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, in Geneva, Switzerland. In 2003 he joined the Physics Group of the School of Natural Sciences at the Institute for Advanced Study. Previously, Dr. Rabadan was the Martin A. and Helen Chooljian Member at The Simons Center for Systems Biology at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. He has been named one of Popular Science's Brilliant 10 (2010), a Stewart Trust Fellow (2013), and he received the Harold and Golden Lamport Award at Columbia University (2014) and the Diz Pintado award (2018). Dr. Rabadan’s current interest focuses on uncovering patterns of evolution in biological systems through the lens of genomics. His recent interests include the development of mathematical approaches to uncover the evolution of cancer and infectious diseases, including topological data analysis and Random Matrix Theory, among others.

Assistant Professors
Junfei Zhao
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Junfei Zhao is an Assistant Professor of Mathematical Genomics in Pathology and Cell Biology at the Columbia University Medical Center in the Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University. His current research is focusing on developing computational methods to study biological problems in cancer genomics. His work has shed light on the genomic markers for predicting patients’ response to therapy and its underlying mechanism. He received his Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics from University of Chinese Academy of Sciences. Junfei joined Dr. Rabadan's group in September 2016.
jz2835[at]cumc.columbia.edu

Collaborators
Robyn Gartrell
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Dr. Robyn Gartrell, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, is a Pediatric Oncologist who specializes in evaluation of tumor immunology in childhood solid tumors and brain tumors. The Rabadán laboratory works closely with Dr. Gartrell collaborating on projects using immunogenomics as well as her work evaluating the tumor immune microenvironment and spatial relationships of immune cells in multiple tumor types. This collaboration has led to multiple manuscripts and ongoing projects.
rdg2129[at]cumc.columbia.edu

Doctoral Students
Mick Aitken
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Mick is a PhD student at Columbia University in the Department of Physics. He grew up in northern Florida and graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Science in Physics. At the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and at Columbia, Mick has worked on precision measurement experiments in both gravitational astrophysics and atomic, molecular, and optical physics. Now in the Rabadan lab, Mick is developing methods to analyze the dynamics of cell interactions in order to characterize viruses and immunotherapies.
mpa2143[at]columbia.edu

Xi Fu
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Xi received his B.S. in Cell and Molecular Biology and M.Phil in Computer Science from The Chinese University of Hong Kong in 2016 and 2019, respectively. During his M.Phil study in Dr. Kevin Yip's group, he developed a framework for analyzing noncoding regulatory variants using whole-genome sequencing data and applied it to study the etiology of Hirschsrpung's disease. His research interest is about the system biology and genomics problems in human diseases. Xi is currently a PhD student at Department of Biomedical Informatics in Columbia University. In the Rabadan Lab, he works on methods and analysis of the noncoding regulatory variants in B cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia and glioma.
xf2217[at]cumc.columbia.edu

Karen Gomez
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Karen Gomez is an MD/PhD student at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. She graduated from Temple University with a B.S. in Biochemistry in 2017. Her undergraduate research focused on studying cancer evolution through tumor phylogenetics. Currently, she is investigating associations between genetic data and phenotype as well as clinical outcomes in cancer. She is interested in cancer genomics.
kg2726[at]cumc.columbia.edu

Naomi Klickstein
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Naomi Klickstein is a PhD student at Columbia University in the Department of Biological Sciences. She is co-mentored by Raul Rabadan and Jellert Gaublomme. After graduating from Brandeis University with a B.Sc. in Biology and Neuroscience, she worked at Mass General Hospital researching Alzheimer’s Disease. In the Rabadan and Gaublomme labs, she is using and developing multiplexed imaging methods and analyses to interrogate spatial organization in tissue physiology and pathology.
naomi.k[at]columbia.edu

Jean-Baptiste Reynier
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Jean-Baptiste received a B.S. in biology and an M.S. in computer science at the University of Chicago. He then worked as a data analyst in the Olopade Lab, studying the tumor microenvironment in breast cancer patients of African ancestry. Jean-Baptiste is currently a PhD student in the Department of Biomedical Informatics. He is interested in developing new computational tools in genomics, especially in the fields of cancer research and immunology.
jbreynier[at]uchicago.edu

Jiayu Su
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Jiayu Su is a PhD student in the Department of Systems Biology at Columbia University. He graduated with honors from Peking University in 2020 with a B.S. in Biological Sciences and a B.S. in Applied Mathematics. Before attending Columbia, he worked on developing computational and statistical methods for single-cell genomics in Dr. Cheng Li Lab at Peking University, where he also helped analyze multi-omics data to address various biological questions. Currently he is interested in exploring new mathematical techniques and its application in genomics.
js5756[at]cumc.columbia.edu

Visiting Doctoral Students
Maria del Mar Álvarez-Torres
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María del Mar Álvarez-Torres is a PhD student at Universitat Politècnica de València (Spain) and her work focuses on the search for dynamic imaging biomarkers to improve prognosis and therapy selection in patients with high-grade glioma. She is graduated in Biology from the University of Granada (2016) and completed a Master in Biotechnology (2017), specializing in the field of Molecular Biology.Currently, she is collaborating with the Rabadán Laboratory for the improvement of immunotherapy response prediction models in patients with high-grade gliomas, combining specific genomic and immune profiles with imaging markers.
maaltor4[at]upvnet.upv.es

Associate Research Scientists
Luis Aparicio
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Luis Aparicio is an Associate Reserach Scientist in Columbia University's Systems Biology department. He did his graduate degree in Physics combined with studies in Mathematics at Universidad Autonoma in Madrid and Music at the Madrid Conservatory specializing in ancient music. He received his M.Sc. and PhD in Theoretical Physics at the Institute for Theoretical Physics in Madrid. He did his first postdoctoral research at the International Centre for Theoretical Physics working at the interface between String Theory, Particle Physics and Cosmology. His current research interest is focused on developing mathematical methods to address problems in Systems Biology, in particular the role that Random Matrix Theory plays in the context of single-cell and cancer genomics.
la2666[at]cumc.columbia.edu

Postdoctoral Researchers
Seung-won Choi
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Seung-won Choi is a postdoctoral research scientist in the Rabadan Lab and an MD/PhD with a specialty in Neurosurgery. She received her MD from the Ewha Womans University College of Medicine, her MS in Medicine from Ulsan University College of Medicine, and her PhD in Health Science and Technology from Sungkyunkwan University. Her research interests are data-driven precision oncology and neuro-oncology clinical trials. Her current project involves unraveling genome-phenotype association in glioma patients using multi-omics data including genomics and radiomics.
sc5006[at]cumc.columbia.edu

Jun Hou Fung
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Jun Hou Fung is a postdoctoral research scientist in the Department of Systems Biology. He obtained his PhD in Mathematics from Harvard University, where he specialized in algebraic topology and stable homotopy theory. Currently, he is interested in studying the nervous system of the nematode C. elegans using tools from topological data analysis, as well as researching methods for integrating multiomic information in single-cell data.
jf3380[at]cumc.columbia.edu

Oleksandr Kravets
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Oleksandr Kravets is a Postdoctoral Research Scientist in the Department of Systems Biology. He received his Ph.D. in Mathematics from Columbia University in 2020. His current research interest is focused on developing and implementing mathematical methods of analyzing the role of the immune system in cancer development.
ok2241[at]cumc.columbia.edu

Juan Angel Patiño-Galindo
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Juan Angel Patiño-Galindo is a postdoctoral research scientist, working on virus evolution in the Department of Systems Biology. His PhD focused on studying different aspects of the mid- and long-term evolution of RNA viruses, with special interest in molecular epidemiology of HIV and HCV. His current research involves the application of topological and phylogenetic methods to the analysis of viral evolution.
jp3770[at]cumc.columbia.edu

Anqi Wang
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Anqi Wang is a Postdoctoral Research Scientist in the department of Systems Biology. He received his PhD degree at the Academy of Mathematics and Systems Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences. He has experience in various areas of computational biology research, including sequence alignment, genome assembly for short sequencing reads (Illumina), error correction, isoform identification and modification detection for long sequencing reads (PacBio and ONT). Anqi is focusing on data analysis and method development for high-throughput sequencing data.
aw3291[at]cumc.columbia.edu

Master's Students
Renwei Li
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Renwei received his B.S. of Biological Science from Huazhong University of Science and Technology in 2019. During his undergraduate, his research focused on the genomics and mechanism of pediatric leukemia with the whole genome sequencing data. His research interest is about the system biology and genomics problems in human diseases. Renwei is currently a master student at Department of Biomedical Informatics in Columbia University. In the Rabadan Lab, he is working on the analysis single cell sequencing data of B cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia to discover how the disease develops in different stages of treatment.
rl3088[at]cumc.columbia.edu

Nour Moustafa-Fahmy
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Nour is a Masters student at Columbia University in the Department of Statistics. She graduated from Queen's University with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics where she took a particular interest in the intersection of geometry, topology and algebra. Upon graduation she has been working as a data scientist on recommender systems that leverage textual and image data. She will be applying her experiences and skillset to cancer genomics at Rabadan Labs, and is interested in applying topological methods in the field.
nm3284[at]columbia.edu

Liangyu Zhao
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Liangyu (Ilyia) received her B.S. of Bioengineering-Bioinformatics from University of California, San Diego in 2019. During her undergraduate, her research focused on the application of machine learning algorithms for diagnosing relapses of CLL patients through Flow Cytometry Single Cell data. Her research interest is about the system biology and genomics problems in human diseases. Ilyia is currently a master student at Department of Biomedical Informatics in Columbia University. In the Rabadan Lab, she is working on the analysis of the effects of VAV1 alterations in T-cell lymphomas development and transformation.
lz2716[at]cumc.columbia.edu

Staff
Paula Ralph-Birkett
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Paula Ralph-Birkett is the Assistant Director for the Rabadan Lab and Program for Mathematical Genomic group within the Department of Systems Biology. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Communications at St. John’s University. Paula joined Dr. Rabadan’s group in January 2019.
pr2470[at]cumc.columbia.edu

Tomin Perea-Chamblee
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Tomin received his Bachelor of Science in Engineering from Columbia University where he studied Computer Engineering. Since he joined the Rabadan Lab as a Data Analyst in August 2019, he has largely worked on allocating and administering the cloud computing resources of the lab, as well as containerizing and adapting bioinformatics pipelines to be run in the cloud.
tep2116[at]cumc.columbia.edu