Our laboratory is multidisciplinary, integrating cutting-edge computational and experimental approaches to develop a single to collective cell understanding of gene regulation and chromatin organization in immune cells.

Team Members

Maryam is a postdoctoral fellow in Vahedi Lab. She received her PhD in Medical Genetics from Isfahan University of Medical Sciences. During her PhD, she employed a combination of experimental and computational approaches to construct a multi-layer network in diabetic kidney disease and introduced some potential drug targets for this complex disease. As a postdoc, she is interested in exploring the role of T-cells in type 1 diabetes pathogenesis using single-cell multiome ATAC + gene expression. Her goal is to gain a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying the development of type 1 diabetes by applying a holistic and systematic approach.

Maryam Abedi, PhD

Postdoctoral fellow

Bereketab is a Research Specialist in the Vahedi Lab. He graduated from Swarthmore College in 2023 with a BA in Biology. As an undergraduate, he worked in the Carone lab and studied the satellite sequence HSATII and the functional consequences of its aberrant expression in multiple human cancers. He plans to pursue graduate studies in Genetics or Cell Biology. He enjoys cooking, walking, and playing guitar in his free time.

Bereketab Abeje

Research Specialist A

Aditi is a postdoctoral fellow in Vahedi Lab. Aditi received her PhD degree in Biochemistry, from University of Calcutta, India. During her PhD work at Indian Statistical Institute (Supervisor: Dr. Raghunath Chatterjee, PhD), she studied the effect of genetic variations and DNA methylation changes in Psoriasis, an autoimmune skin disease. Her research interests include understanding the genomic factors regulating immune cells in human diseases. As a postdoc in Vahedi Lab, her work focuses on studying 3D chromatin conformation and gene regulation in Type1 Diabetes.

Aditi Chandra, PhD

Postdoctoral fellow

Naomi is a student in the Immunology Graduate Group. Naomi received a B.S. in Biology from Rider University in 2014. During her undergraduate, she did research on the tumor micro-environments suppressive effects on T and B cell activation. Her ongoing graduate research in the Vahedi Lab seeks to understand the mechanisms through which T cell specific transcription factors establish the enhancer landscape during development.

Naomi Goldman

PhD candidate

Emily is a student in the Bioengineering Graduate Group. Emily received a B.S. in Molecular Engineering with a minor in Immunoengineering from the University of Chicago in 2023. During her undergraduate degree, she conducted research on the lung epithelial immune response to fungal infections in a stem cell-derived iLung organoid system. Emily hopes to further investigate the immune system in her graduate research, specifically through the examination of T cell epigenetic and transcriptomic states, and their link to altered T cell development and differentiation.

Emily Jacobs

PhD student

Atishay is a student in the Bioengineering Graduate Group. Atishay received a BASc in Biomedical Engineering with a specialization in cellular bioengineering from the University of British Columbia in 2022. During his undergraduate co-op terms, he developed custom, high-throughput automation platforms for biomolecular imaging protocols including Fluorescent in-situ Hybridization and Fluorescent in-situ Sequencing on pluripotent stem cell samples. His graduate research in the Vahedi Lab will focus on inferring the epigenetic regulation of gene expression from primary DNA structure using in-situ sequencing/hybridization and machine learning approaches to identify the emergence of immune cells under diseased states in the body.

Atishay Jay

PhD candidate

Izzy is a research specialist in the Vahedi lab. Izzy received a B.A in biology with a biochemistry concentration from Haverford College in 2022. During her undergraduate degree, she conducted research on the RNA binding protein, YBX3, and investigated the molecular mechanism behind its regulatory abilities. She plans to pursue a PhD in biochemistry and continue to expand her knowledge of biochemical processes in the human body. In her free time, Izzy enjoys playing squash and taking care of her aquarium.

Izzy Johnson

Research Specialist A

Hamid is a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Vahedi’s Lab. Hamid received his PhD degree in Immunology, from Tehran University of Medical Sciences (TUMS) Iran. During his PhD work at both TUMS and Fred Hutchison Cancer Research Center, he constructed and functionally analyzed fully human anti-CD19 CAR T cells for targeting B-cell Lymphomas. His research interests include uncovering novel transcriptional and epigenetic networks as well as their spatiotemporal regulatory impacts on the gene-expression programs involved in function and differentiation fate of immune cells in various human diseases. Hamid hopes to understand how these networks and their regulatory mechanisms might be manipulated to promote better clinical responses to immunotherapy.

Hamid Mirzaei, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow

Carlos is a student in the Bioengineering Graduate Group. Carlos received a B.S. in Bioengineering: Biotechnology from the University of California, San Diego in 2023. During his undergraduate, he conducted research using stable isotope tracing and mass spectrometry to systematically study how metabolic alterations drive aging and diseases such as cancer. His graduate research interests involve deciphering the link between immune cell epigenomic programs and the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases, along with investigating if common autoimmune-associated genetic variants favorably alter epigenetic events for disease progression. 

Carlos Pondevida

PhD student

Priyadarshini is a postdoctoral researcher at Vahedi Lab. She completed her doctoral work at the Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology Delhi (IIIT-D), India, under the direction of Dr. Debarka Sengupta and Dr. Angshul Majumdar. Her doctoral works bring feature engineering approaches to bear in representing biological entities in low-dimensional space. As a postdoctoral scholar, her research focuses on the extraction of distinctive features from multi-omics data in order to get insightful knowledge about immune cells.

Priyadarshini Rai, PhD

Postdoctoral fellow

Golnaz Vahedi, a native of Iran, is currently an Associate Professor of Genetics (with tenure) at the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania. Golnaz, whose first name is pronounced as gol’naaz, studied Electrical Engineering at Sharif University of Technology in Iran. Sharif University is known for its large number of elite alumni who join the academic world, including the late Maryam Mirzakhani, the first female mathematician to be awarded a Fields Medal. Golnaz received her Ph.D. with Drs. Edward Dougherty and Jean-Francois Chamberland in Electrical Engineering at Texas A&M University. She then joined the laboratory of Dr. John O’Shea at the NIH as a postdoctoral fellow to study the epigenomic regulation of T cells. It was in the O’Shea lab that she found studying the epigenome is similar to dissecting electrical circuits. As an independent investigator, she uses systems-based approaches to understand molecular details of gene regulation in the immune system. She is the recipient of a number of awards including the NIH Director’s Award (twice), NIAID K22 Career Transition Award (perfect score), Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Award, W. W. Smith Charitable Trust, Burroughs Wellcome Fund, and Michael S. Brown New Investigator Research Award. She serves on the advisory boards of Cell Press journal Immunity and Science Immunology and is a standing member of GCAT study section.

Golnaz Vahedi, PhD

Principle Investigator

Sora is a postdoctoral fellow in Vahedi Lab. She received her Ph.D in biological sciences from UNIST in South Korea (Advisor: Dougu Nam, Ph.D). During her Ph.D, she focused on developing tools for pathway and/or network analysis of genomic and transcriptomic data. She joined Vahedi lab to extend her sight to epigenetic regulation of gene expression. As a postdoc, she is working on developing tools finding architectural stripes in cells from various 3D genomic data. In addition, she is interested in unveiling the secret of stripes. What does it look like? How is it formed? What are the characteristics of it? and what are the roles of it in our cells? Her goal is to solve these problems one by one and discover the cause of diseases in the perspective of 3D structure of the genome.

Sora Yoon, PhD

Postdoctoral fellow

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Funding Sources

Bethesda, MD

San Francisco, CA

Bethesda, MD

Bethesda, MD

Research Triangle Park, NC


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