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. For her Master's thesis, Brianna is working on mapping the long-range interactions between peripheral organs and brainstem cell types regulating energy balance.

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 now conducting his Master's thesis on the molecular composition of brainstem cell types regulating energy balance.

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

BA, Biological Sciences

Cornell University 2022

Sheri Cheng

Research Technician

Sheri received her BA in Biological Sciences, with a concentration in Neurobiology and Behavior, from Cornell University in 2022. She has previously worked in Dr. Robert Raguso's lab studying the effects of the chemical composition of Datura flowers' nectar on Manduca hawkmoths' foraging behavior. She completed her honors thesis studying the specific effects of putrescine present in the nectar. Sheri looks forward to using molecular profiling strategies to characterize diverse brainstem cell types in the regulation of energy balance.

She enjoys jogging and drawing in her free time.

BA, Biology

New York University 2022

Darlene Cheong

Research Technician

Darlene received her BA in Biology from New York University in 2022. She grew up in Malaysia and Vietnam and came to the United States for her undergraduate studies. During her time at NYU, Darlene worked in the Eichenberger Lab to complete an honors thesis where she uncovered candidate phosphorylation substrates of PrkA, a poorly characterized protein kinase found in Bacillus subtilis. In the Nectow Lab, she is excited to learn more about how dorsal raphe nuclei subpopulations regulate hunger and energy expenditure.

In her free time, Darlene enjoys playing the guitar and snowboarding.

BA, Mathematics

New York University 2022

Nikki Tai

Research Technician

Nikki received her BA in Mathematics from New York University in 2022. After growing up in the Philippines and Korea, she moved to New York to complete her undergraduate degree at NYU. In previous research in the Vogel Lab at NYU, Nikki explored the intersection between math and biology, and applied bioinformatic analyses to study various genetic pathways regulating cachexia. In the Nectow Lab, she is looking forward to applying these skill sets to characterizing brainstem populations regulating various aspects of organismal homeostasis.

In her free time, Nikki enjoys fencing, sailing, and playing the bass.

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.

Christa was recently awarded a summer fellowship from Columbia's Summer Program for Underrepresented Students (SPURS) to continue her work on the DRN.

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

MD Candidate

Columbia P&S, Expected: 2026

BS, Biology

Columbia University, 2022

Julian Aurelio Maldonado

Medical Student

Julian is a rising medical student in the lab, pursuing an MD at Columbia University's College of Physicians and Surgeons. As an undergraduate, he focused on neuroanamtomic and functional studies of brainstem monoaminergic cell types regulating thermogenesis. As a medical student, he is continuing this work, focusing on understanding thermoregulation through the lens of brainstem neurons communicating with peripheral end-effector organs.

Last summer, Julian was awarded Columbia University's Summer Program for Underrepresented Students (SPURS) fellowship to pursue these lines of research in the lab.

Outside of the lab, fences and likes to go hiking.

BS, Electrical Engineering

Columbia University, 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.

BS Candidate, Neuroscience

Columbia University, Expected: 2024

Sevilla Duran

Undergraduate Student

Sevilla is an undergraduate student in the lab planning to major in Neuroscience and Behavior at Columbia University. Her previous experience involves clinical work, involving peri-operative rehabilitation. In the Nectow Lab, she is interested in focusing her efforts on mapping neurons that help regulate different parameters key for maintaining proper energy stores.

Outside of the lab, Sevilla competes on Columbia's Track and Field team, and loves to be outdoors, exploring the amazing restaurants in New York City.

BS Candidate, Biology

Columbia University, Expected: 2025

Ethan Kushnerik

Undergraduate Student

Ethan is an undergraduate student in the lab who is planning to major in Biological Sciences at Columbia University. He has previously worked worked as a medical volunteer, helping physicians. In the Nectow lab, Ethan is interested in characterizing differential expression patterns across the brain in response to various metabolic stimuli.

Outside of the lab, Ethan is a fencer, and is part of the senior fencing national team, the junior fencing national team, and the Columbia fencing team.

Alumni

Marc Schneeberger, Postdoctoral Fellow – Collaborator, 2016 – 2022
Next position: Assistant Professor at Yale University, Department of Cellular and Molecular Physiology

Tasneem Sadok, Research Technician, 2021 – 2022
Next position: MD/PhD Candidate (MSTP Student) at UCLA

Ji Ku, Undergraduate Student, 2021 – 2022
Next position: Engineer, Samsung Electronics

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