PhD, Neuroscience

Albert Einstein College of Medicine 2019

MS, Neuroscience

Albert Einstein College of Medicine 2019

MS, Applied Microbiology

University of Notre Dame 2012

BS, Biological Sciences

University of Notre Dame 2009

Nachiket Kamatkar

Postdoctoral Fellow

Nachi received his BS and MS from the University of Notre Dame. His master’s thesis was on swarming motility of Pseudomonas aeruginosa in the laboratory of Joshua Shrout. For his PhD, Nachi moved to Albert Einstein College of Medicine, where he studied FGF signaling in the central nervous system in the laboratory of Jean Hebert and developed RNA aptamers specific for FGFR3, in collaboration with Dr. Matthew Levy. In the Nectow lab, Nachi is interested in studying circuit dynamics of the dorsal raphe nucleus and its role in circadian rhythm and hunger. He is also interested in developing novel viral and chemogenetic strategies to identify and dissect neural circuits required for energy homeostasis.

Nachi was recently awarded a position on an NIH T32 Postdoctoral Training Grant for metabolism research.

In his free time, Nachi enjoys exploring NYC, playing chess, and visiting breweries.

PhD, Neuroscience

Nagoya University 2018

MS, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

University of Chittagong 2011

BS, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

University of Chittagong 2010

Srikanth Chowdhury

Postdoctoral Fellow

Srikanth received his BS and MS from the University of Chittagong in Bangladesh. Shortly after graduation, he joined the University of Chittagong as a lecturer and started working with Abu Shadat M Noman to study the pattern of TLR expression in arsenic-exposed hPBMCs. For his PhD, Srikanth moved to Nagoya University in Japan where he worked with Akihiro Yamanaka, studying the interactions between neural circuits regulating sleep and wakefulness. Shortly after completing his PhD, Srikanth moved back to the University of Chittagong where he started working at the intersection of neuroscience and oncology. In the Nectow lab, Srikanth is interested in dissecting the physiological roles of subpopulations in the DRN.

Srikanth was recently awarded the Russell Berrie Foundation's Berrie Fellowship in Diabetes Research.

In his free time, Srikanth enjoys reading fiction and watching a game of cricket.

BS, Neuroscience

University of Michigan 2021

BS, Health and Fitness

University of Michigan 2021

Brianna Mariotti

Master's Student

Brianna is a Master's student studying Human Nutrition at Columbia University. She is originally from California and attended the University of Michigan as an undergraduate student, where she obtained a dual degree in Neuroscience and Health and Fitness. Brianna is interested in integrating her passions for nutrition and neuroscience in the Nectow Lab by further characterizing extended DRN circuits and their role in regulating energy homeostasis.

Outside of the lab, Brianna enjoys recreational lifting, reading, drawing, and testing new recipes.

BA, Economics

USC 2020

Patrick Citrano

Master's Student

Patrick is an MS candidate in Human Nutrition at the Institute of Human Nutrition at Columbia University. He grew up in New Jersey but left the East Coast to attend the University of Southern California for his undergraduate studies. He graduated from USC as an economics major, but also completed his pre-med requirements. Patrick is looking forward to exploring the neurobiology of energy balance, and its possible human applications, through his work in the Nectow Lab.

In his free time, Patrick enjoys traveling and learning about new cultures.

BS, Neuroscience

UCLA 2021

Tasneem Sadok

Research Technician

Tasneem received her BS in Neuroscience with a minor in Biomedical Research from UCLA in 2021. In previous research, Tasneem worked on characterizing the role of the extended amygdala in social interaction and anxiety in the Halladay lab, and studied the morphology of microglia in relation to different mitochondrial metabolism parameters in the De Biase Lab. In the Nectow Lab, she is excited to characterize the behavioral parameters regulated by different dorsal raphe nuclei subpopulations.

In her spare time, Tasneem enjoys writing poetry and spending time outdoors.

BS Candidate, Neuroscience

Columbia University, Expected: 2025

Christa Akerele

Undergraduate Student

Christa is an undergraduate at Columbia University in the Science Research Fellows program, planning to major in Neuroscience and Behavior. In previous research, Christa worked with Dr. Dolores Malaspina investigating the impact of gut microbiota on symptoms in various mental illnesses; she also studied the impact of beta endorphins released during intense exercise on colon cancer cell proliferation. In the Nectow Lab, she is excited to explore the role of the dorsal raphe nucleus in energy balance, while also exploring other brainstem loci that may play important roles in driving diverse innate behaviors.

In her free time, Christa enjoys running and volunteer tutoring.

BS Candidate, Biology

Columbia University, Expected: 2022

Julian Aurelio Maldonado

Undergraduate Student

Julian is an undergraduate in the lab, pursuing a major in Biological Sciences at Columbia University. He previously did clinical research focused on HbA1c prediabetes blood screens in the emergency department setting. Julian is now coming off a leave of absence from Columbia where he performed humanitarian aid work on the Arizona-Mexico border, while working as an EMT in Tucson, Arizona. In the Nectow Lab, he is interested in understanding thermoregulation through the lens of brainstem neurons communicating with peripheral end-effector organs.

This past summer, Julian was awarded Columbia University's SPURS fellowship to pursue this line of research in the lab.

Outside of the lab, Julian competes on Columbia's fencing team and likes to go hiking.

BS Candidate, Electrical Engineering

Columbia University, Expected: 2022

BS, Physics

Muhlenberg College 2020

Ji Ku

Undergraduate Student

Ji received her BS in physics from Muhlenberg College and AA from Montgomery County Community College. She is currently pursuing a BS in Electrical Engineering from Columbia University. Her past experience involved studying alternative energy sources and micro-biotechnology, during summers spent in the REU program and Temple University research internship. Ji is currently working on personal projects related to her field. In the Nectow Lab, she is currently working on animal pose estimation using deep neural networks.

Outside of the lab, Ji spends time with her family, playing video games, and working on side projects.

BS Candidate, Electrical Engineering

Columbia University, Expected: 2022

Mingyuan Zhang

Undergraduate Student

Mingyuan is pursuing his BS in Electrical Engineering from Columbia University. He is specializing in circuits and electronics. He is also experienced in mechanical design and computational neuroscience. He previously worked as an assistant engineer at Tuman Technology Co., Ltd (Beijing, CHN), where he worked on fabrication of alloyed material and mechanical design. Shortly after, he initiated multiple independent projects on logical and analog circuitry design. In the Nectow Lab, Mingyuan is interested in leveraging his electrical engineering background to model neural circuit function by integrating single-cell and polysynaptic tracing studies.

In his free time, Mingyuan enjoys reading about history and historical analysis. You can also find him traveling around the world to explore local foods.


Marc Schneeberger, Postdoctoral Fellow – Collaborator, 2016 – 2021
Next position: Assistant Professor at Yale University, Department of Cellular and Molecular Physiology

Varun Bhave, Undergraduate and Research Technician, 2016 – 2021
Next position: Medical Student at Harvard Medical School

Michael Hill-Oliva, Research Technician, 2020 – 2021
Next position: Medical Student at Icahn School of of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Tania Das Banerjee, Research Scientist, 2017 – 2019
Next position: Research Commercialization at Rutgers University

Bindiben Patel, Research Technician, 2016 – 2017
Next position: Analysis and Formulation Scientist at Thermo Fisher

Weimen Li, Undergraduate Student, 2016 – 2017
Next position: Instrumentation Engineer at ExxonMobil

Pratik Chheda, Undergraduate Student, 2016 – 2017
Next position: Data Scientist at CKM Analytics

Chitra Kumar, Undergraduate Student, 2016 – 2017
Next position: Clinical Research Coordinator at University of Chicago

Alicia Lai, Undergraduate Student, 2016 – 2017
Next position: J.D. Candidate at UPenn Law School