Meet the Postdocs

Working on an individual personalized project under the guidance of a qualified faculty mentor, VAI’s exceptional postdoctoral fellows make great contributions to the science conducted in the Institute’s laboratories. They play a crucial role in the intellectual development and management of research projects and contribute to a considerable share of the hands-on research activities in the laboratory.

Center for Epigenetics

Epigenetic alterations that contribute to human disease

Wei Cui, Ph.D.
Pfeifer Laboratory
Anne Drougard, Ph.D.
Pospisilik Laboratory

Subtyping of ovarian cancer, with a focus on clear cell subtype, and comprehensive mapping of imprinting genes

Screening nanobodies for histone PTMs

Investigating the relationship between H2A.Z deposition and DNA methylation

DNA methylation and the role of 5-hydroxymethylcytosine in cancer

Epigenetics of pediatric and reproductive cancers

Epigenetics of colorectal cancer

The role of UHRF1 in both normal and diseased states using mouse and colorectal cancer models

Genome-wide localization of multivalent chromatin modifiers

Identifying novel epigenetic readers and their inhibitors

Investigating chromatin conformational changes in leukemia

Xiaoyan Xie, Ph.D.
Jones Laboratory

Investigating novel histone readers and their function in cancer

Histone reader and epigenetic modifications in cancer

Histone readers and epigenomics

Identifying and characterizing novel readers of histone modifications

Identifying and characterizing novel readers and epigenetic modifications

Center for Neurodegenerative Science

Viral and bacterial infections as triggers for Parkinson’s disease

Jonas Bacelis, Ph.D.
Lena Brundin Laboratory

Re-purposing anti-diabetic drugs for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease

Investigating potential pathogen triggers for Parkinson’s disease

Parkinson’s disease, basal ganglion, brain circuitry and dopamine depletion

Exploring the mechanisms by which ArfGAP1 contributes to LRRK2-induced neuronal toxicity

Functional interactions of genes that cause Parkinson’s disease

The role of lysosomal protein ATP13A2 in alpha-synuclein propagation

Computational analysis of epigenomics in neurodegenerative diseases

Immune therapy against prion disease

Dr. Lee Marshall

Epigenetic and transcriptional dysregulation in Parkinson’s disease

Computational methods to identify genetic predispositions to breast cancer or Parkinson’s

Immunotherapy for minimizing alpha-synuclein propagation

Exploring the mechanisms implicating VPS35 in the neuropathology of Parkinson’s disease

Lucas Stetzik, Ph.D.
Patrik Brundin Laboratory

How environmental pollutants facilitate cerebral synucleinopathies

Role of transcription factor Nato3 on the survival of dopaminergic neurons in Parkinson’s disease

Aoji Xie, Ph.D.
Labrie Laboratory


Investigating the relationships between epigenetic controls and metabolic diseases

Michael Dahabieh, Ph.D.
Russell Jones Laboratory

Molecular mechanisms of DNA replication

Structural and functional studies of membrane proteins using single particle electron cyro-microscopy.

Epigenetic mechanisms and ion channels

Sumoylation and epigenetic silencing in the skeleton

Desumoylation pathways in joint aging and osteoarthritis pathogenesis

Deciphering the pancreatic cancer glycome

Wnt signaling in craniofacial bone development

Katarzyna Müller Luda, Ph.D.
Russell Jones Laboratory

Nutritional impact on immunity

Epigenetic origins of phenotypic variation in complex metabolic diseases

Mechanistic dissection of epigenetic inheritance

Ion channels, single-particle cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM), electrophysiology

Catherine Scullion, Ph.D.
Krawczyk Laboratory
Payton Stevens

Wnt/Frizzled receptor signaling during pancreatic cancer progression

Shang Su, Ph.D.
Xiaohong Li Laboratory
Nguyen Truong, Ph.D.
Krawczyk Laboratory
Tyler Walter, Ph.D.
Lü Laboratory

DNMT-nucleosome complexes and PRC2-nucleosome complex

Structures and mechanistic studies of AMP-activated protein kinase

Structural basis of DNA replication and the bacterial proteasome system using cryo-EM

Epigenetic mechanisms in DNA damage point

Histone H3 lysine 4 demethylase KDM5C/D functions in dendritic cells

Yawei Zhao, Ph.D.
Xiaohong Li Laboratory

The molecular mechanisms of DNA replication in bacteria