• Folake Adegboye

    Folake Adegboye received her biology degree with a minor in French and Francophone studies from Kennesaw State University. She is currently a master's student at Columbia University studying human nutrition.

  • Xinlei Chen

    Xinlei is a second-year biostatistics (theory and method track) student at Columbia University working on single-cell RNA sequencing data analysis. Xinlei's abstract, "Is obesity associated with the FTO locus driven by structural changes in the feeding neurocircuitry?" (Xinlei Chen, Vidhu Thaker, Maria De Rosa, Charles LeDuc, Rudy Leibel, Claudia Doege, George Stratigopoulos, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY) was accepted for the 8th Human Genetics in NYC Conference.


  • Grazia Iannello

    Grazia Iannello is a biologist with experience in genetics of rare diseases. She completed her BC and masters degree in molecular biology at the University of Calabria (UNICAL) and PhD in biomarkers of chronic and complex diseases at the Magna Graecia University of Catanzaro (Italy) in the neurogenetics laboratory (IBFM-CNR). Her thesis project focused on the identification of genetic determinants linked to Parkinsonism. During her PhD she visited the Luxembourg Center for System Biology where she was trained in the differentiation of neurons and astrocytes from patient-derived iPSC. She then moved as postdoc at the Institut du Cerveau et de la Moelle Epiniere (Paris) where she aimed to investigate the role of genetic modifiers in Parkinson’s disease-associated LRRK2-G2019S. She has joined Dr. Thaker’s team where she is investigating the molecular genetic basis of severe early onset obesity.

  • Wendy Ji

    Yingxi (Wendy) Ji is currently a first-year biostatistics (theory and methods track) student at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. She has a BS in mathematical economics and statistics from Wake Forest University. She is passionate about health economics, data modeling, and factor analysis. She wishes to pursue a career related to health-care data analysis.She is currently focused on single cell data analysis.

  • Presley Nichols, MD

    Presley is a pediatrics resident at Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital of NY. She received her MD from Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University and BS in biochemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is planning to enter an endocrinology fellowship following her residency training.

    Portrait of Dr. Presley Nichols
  • Cecilia Sena

    Cecilia received her BA in evolutionary biology of the human species from Columbia University. She works as a full-time team member of Thaker Lab to provide research and laboratory support and coordinate clinical research. She is always excited to learn new lab protocols and data analysis tools. In her free time, Cecilia enjoys hiking, crocheting, and playing with her eight younger siblings.

  • Shu

    Shu received his BS in clinical nutrition from UC Davis. He worked in Silicon Valley and developed an FDA-approved smartphone-based urinalysis device. He is studying biostatistics at CUIMC.

  • Hongyao (Mia) Xie

    Hongyao (Mia) Xie is a first-year MS student in biostatistics and is currently working on single-cell RNA sequencing data.

  • Chuhan Zhou

    Chu received her BS degree in dietetics from the University of Delaware in 2018, and became a registered dietitian in 2019. She is currently an MS student at Columbia University studying human nutrition. In Dr. Thaker’s lab, she is developing a multicenter network to recruit children in GECO study and analysis of sequencing data.

Past Students

  • Michael Ohene-Adjei

    Michael worked on the Genetics of Early Childhood Obesity project in Dr. Thaker’s Lab.

  • Nia Ebrahim

    Nia Ebrahim worked on the Genetics of Early Childhood Obesity project in Dr. Thaker's lab.

  • Wendy Zhu

    Wendy Zhu, a second-year biostatistics student, is interested in longitudinal data analysis, latent class analysis, survival analysis, machine learning, deep learning.

  • Yue (Lynette) Pan

    Yue (Lynette) Pan is studying in biostatistics (theory and methods track) at Columbia University Mailman School of Public health. Her main methodological interest lies in data mining, data modeling, longitudinal data, and functional data analysis.

  • Junhao Wang 

  • Manqi Cai

    Manqi Cai is a second-year graduate student majoring in biostatistics (theory and methods track) at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. Her main research interest lies in clinical methodology and observational methodology.

  • Augusta Nelson Holmquist

    Augusta Nelson Holmquist is studying behavioral neuroscience along with a minor in business administration. She is from Sweden, but has moved around to different countries and cultures throughout her life. This has triggered herstrong interest towards human behavior, both in direct and indirect aspects and is why she wishes to pursue a career in the future related to psychological and physical aspects of human actions. 

  • Sohum Gala

    Sohum worked on data analysis in the Thaker Lab and plans to study biomedical engineering and computer science.

  • Apurva Khedagi

    Apurva Khedagi is a medical student at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. She has a BA in Human Biology from Stanford University and MS in Narrative Medicine from Columbia University. She is passionate about the care of underserved and marginalized communities.