Institute for Systems Genetics Faculty & Staff | NYU Langone Health

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Institute for Systems Genetics Institute for Systems Genetics Faculty & Staff

Institute for Systems Genetics Faculty & Staff

The Institute for Systems Genetics comprises faculty and staff across multiple departments.


Our administrators lead a team of faculty, students, and investigators that collaborates with other research and clinical programs at NYU Langone Health and around the world.

Jef Boeke, PhD, Founding Director

Dr. Boeke is best known for his fundamental genetic and biochemical work on mechanisms of transposition in higher cells. He coined the term “retrotransposon.” He is a professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology and a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Learn more about Dr. Boeke.

Debbie Bemis, PhD, Executive Director

Dr. Bemis works with our director to set and operationalize the strategic plan for the institute, as well as oversees its administration. She has more than 20 years of experience in basic and translational research, scientific communications, and research administration.

Nakisha Davis, MPA, Senior Program Coordinator

Ms. Davis oversees and coordinates administrative procedures, including special events, communications, the wellness initiative, and the faculty recruitment program. She holds a master's degree in public administration and joined us in November 2013.

Julie Oaks, Administrative Manager

Ms. Oaks supports administrative procedures including human resources and compliance. She also oversees the grant application process and serves as a liaison between the institute and Sponsored Program Administration.

Meghan O’Keefe, MS, Executive Assistant

Ms. O’Keefe primarily supports Dr. Boeke in his role as director of the institute and works closely with our administrative leadership on daily operations and special initiatives. She earned her MS in nonprofit management from the New School and an undergraduate degree from Muhlenberg College.

Teddy Shin, Senior Financial Analyst

Mr. Shin manages our financial ledgers, procurement, and reporting. Prior to joining the institute, he monitored and reported on postaward grant activities for the NYU Langone research finance department. He is a lifelong New Yorker and business professional who earned his bachelor’s degree in finance from Baruch College.

Core Faculty

Jef Boeke, PhD
Institute Founder and Director
Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology
Research interests: mechanism of retrotransposition in eukaryotes and redesigning and synthesizing entire eukaryotic chromosomes

Aravinda Chakravarti, PhD
Director, Center for Human Genetics and Genomics
Professor, Departments of Medicine and Neuroscience and Physiology
Research interests: molecular basis of human disease, gene regulatory networks, and human population genomics

Teresa Davoli, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology
Research interests: understanding the causes and consequences of genomic instability (with a focus on aneuploidy) in cancer and cell physiology

Gilad Evrony, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Department of Neuroscience and Physiology, and the Center for Human Genetics and Genomics
Research interests: genetics of brain development, function, and disease; technology development for neuroscience; precision medicine

David Fenyö, PhD
Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology
Research interests: proteomic data analysis and developing methods and databases for protein identification, characterization, and quantitation using mass spectrometry–based technologies

Liam Holt, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology
Research interests: how cell cycle control networks rewire during evolution and disease

Timothee Lionnet, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Cell biology
Research interests: understanding how gene expression works, focusing mainly on its first step, transcription—the synthesis of mRNA from a gene encoded in DNA

Matthew Maurano, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Pathology
Research interests: genomics of gene expression and genetics of human disease

Marcus Noyes, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology
Research interests: characterization and manipulation of protein–ligand interactions

Affiliated Faculty

Thales Papagiannakopoulos, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Pathology

Kelly V. Ruggles, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine

Neville Sanjana, PhD
Assistant Professor, NYU Department of Biology

Rahul Satija, DPhil
Assistant Professor, NYU Department of Biology

Beatrix Ueberheide, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology

Christine Vogel, PhD
Professor, NYU Department of Biology

Postdoctoral Fellows

Neta Agmon, PhD—Boeke Lab
Research interests: yeast and human genetics and engineering neochromosomes using budding yeast as a model system for human disease

Joy Bianchi, PhD—Davoli Lab
Research interests: understanding the control of genome stability in health and disease and the impact of copy number alterations on cancer immune evasion

Gregory Goldberg, PhD—Noyes Lab
Research interests: engineering CRISPR-Cas systems to facilitate the remodeling of genomes and gene regulatory circuits

Hala Iqbal, PhD—Boeke Lab
Research interests: biosynthetic engineering of antibiotics in yeast

Benjamin King, PhD—Lionnet Lab
Research interests: 3D transcriptional heterogeneity and cancer resistance

Stephanie Lauer, PhD—Boeke Lab
Research interests: using synthetic genomes to understand evolutionary processes

Jon Laurent, PhD—Boeke Lab
Research interests: building and engineering genomes

Luciana Lazar Stefanita, PhD—Boeke Lab
Research interests: structural plasticity of eukaryotic genomes

Zhi Li, PhD—Fenyö Lab
Research interests: improving the quality of peptide identification using bioinformatics tools and modeling

Wilson McKerrow, PhD—Fenyö Lab
Research interests: bioinformatic analysis of transposable elements broadly and LINE-1 specifically

Paolo Mita, PhD—Boeke Lab
Research interests: decoding the transregulation of and the interactions between the LINE-1 retrotransposon and the host cell

Leslie Mitchell, PhD—Boeke Lab
Research interests: eukaryotic chromosome and genome engineering

Dipankar Mondal, PhD—Lionnet Lab
Research interests: improving fluorescence microscope spatiotemporal resolution to elucidate gene expression

Dajun Sang, PhD—Holt Lab
Research interests: using ancestral resurrection to understand kinase regulation and decode cancer mutations

Jeffrey Spencer, PhD—Noyes Lab
Research interests: transcription regulation and protein engineering

Tamas Szoradi, PhD—Holt Lab
Research interests: characterizing the biophysical properties of the nucleus with a particular emphasis on molecular crowding

David Truong, PhD—Boeke Lab
Research interests: humanization of yeast chromatin and the development of technologies for chromatin macromolecular structure determination

Weimin Zhang, PhD—Boeke Lab
Research interests: stabilizing and engineering the genome in haploid mouse embryonic stem cells

Xin Zhao, PhD
Research interests: somatic mutation and copy number alterations in cancer genomics

Scientific Staff

Vandana Apte—Boeke Lab
Assistant Research Technician

Henri Berger—Boeke Lab
Assistant Research Technician

Nazario Bosco—Davoli Lab
Senior Research Scientist

Ran Brosh—Maurano Lab
Senior Research Scientist

John Cadley—Maurano Lab
Bioinformatics Programmer

Sergei German
Senior Architect, Solution Development

David Giganti—Noyes Lab
Senior Research Scientist

Mark Grivainis—Fenyö Lab
Scientific Programmer

Megan Hogan—Maurano Lab
Senior Research Scientist

Emily Huang—Maurano Lab
Assistant Research Technician

Sarah Keegan—Fenyö Lab
Scientific Programmer

Wenke Liu—Fenyö Lab
Research Scientist

Andrew Martin
Scientific Technologist

Jasmine Temple—Boeke Lab
Assistant Research Technician

Nicholas Vulpescu—Maurano Lab
Scientific Programmer

Shuoshuo Wang—Lionnet Lab
Associate Research Scientist

Aleksandra Wudzinska—Boeke Lab
Lab Supervisor