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

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

Maria is a postdoctoral fellow in the Vahedi laboratory. She received her BA in Molecular Biology, from Princeton University and PhD in Neuroscience from University of Pennsylvania. Her research employs genetics, epigenetics, and single-cell genomics to gain a deeper understanding of molecular pathogenesis in autoimmunity.

Maria Fasolino, 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 student

John received his Bsc in Physics from the Universidad del Valle (Cali, Colombia) where he studied different extensions of the standard model of particle physics in the context of dark matter. During his master studies he joined the Medical Physics and Radiology group at the Unicamp (Campinas, Brazil) doing research in computational radiobiology, specifically, on the influence of the DNA conformation in the induction of damage due to ionizing radiation. Then, he did a jointly supervised PhD at the Universidade Estadual de Campinas (Brazil) and the Università degli Studi di Pavia (Italy). His PhD research focused on the development of computational models aimed at describing the mechanisms of chromosome aberration formation, from physical events up to measurable biological endpoints integrating HiC and radiobiology datasets. Currently, his main interests are: Chromatin 3D structure and function, computational models of the DNA, scRNA-seq and scHiC analysis and everything related to chromatin organization. His goal as a postdoc fellow is to contribute to the understanding of the role of chromatin conformation in the immune response.

John J. Tello Cajiao, PhD

Postdoctoral fellow

Golnaz Vahedi, a native of Iran, is currently an Assistant Professor of Genetics 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 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, and Burroughs Wellcome Fund. She serves on the advisory boards of Cell Press journal Immunity and Science Immunology.

Golnaz Vahedi, PhD

Principle Investigator

Wenliang is a postdoc researcher in the lab. He received his PhD degree from Wuhan University and spent most of his time in BGI during his PhD, where he did a lot of work on plant and animal genomics, as well as single cell genomics. Now Wenliang’s work focused on the epigenetic regulations in T cell in both 1D and 3D, which matches his interest perfectly.

Wenliang Wang, PhD

Postdoctoral fellow

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

Abhijeet completed his bachelor’s in Computer Science & Engineering and master’s in Bioinformatics from India. He received his Ph.D. training with Drs. Ming-Ying Leung, Sourav Roy, and Dr. Sangjin Kim in Computational Science at UTEP. His Ph.D. research focused on development and application of machine learning algorithms to analyze high-throughput biological data including microarray, DNA methylation, and RNA-seq data. His current research interests include the application of statistical machine learning methods and computational models on single-cell genomics. His goal as a Postdoc is to gain biological insights from multi-omics and 3D genomic data through computational techniques.

Abhijeet Patil

Postdoctoral fellow

Emily is a research specialist and lab manager in the labs of Dr. Golnaz Vahedi and Dr. Robert Babak Faryabi. Emily received a B.A. in Biology from Swarthmore College in 2019. During her undergraduate study, she conducted research on long non-coding RNAs in human cells and their role in cancer progression. After graduating, she worked in the lab of Dr. Veronique Lefebvre at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia on modeling Lamb-Shaffer Syndrome in mice. She plans to pursue a Master’s degree in Human Genetics sit for certification to become a Genetic Counselor.

Emily Ferrari

Lab manager

Ijeoma Meremikwu is a 2021 DAPPG undergraduate researcher in the Vahedi lab. She is completing her undergraduate education at Brown University in Computational Biology. She has worked in Dr. William Fairbrother’s laboratory with post-doc mentor Dr. Christopher Neil on understanding de novo splicing variants in autism and learned more about the regulation of transposable elements. She currently researches in host immune recognition to Plasmodium falciparum proteins in Dr. Jeffrey Bailey Laboratory. Her current project within Vahedi Lab focuses on understanding the role of transposable elements on gene regulation both in 1D and 3D organization. Her research interests include DNA regulation, understanding and predicting host response to infectious agents, science communication to science and non-science audiences, building equity and access to healthcare.

Ijeoma Meremikwu

Undergraduate researcher


Funding Sources

Bethesda, MD

San Francisco, CA

Bethesda, MD

Bethesda, MD

Research Triangle Park, NC


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