Team

Img

Erica Korb, Ph.D.

Principal Investigator

Erica Korb runs a lab in the Department of Genetics and is a member of the Penn Epigenetics Institute. Erica received her B.S. from Yale University in Molecular Biology and worked as a research assistant at both Yale and the NIH. She received her PhD from the University of California, San Francisco in neuroscience where she worked with Dr. Steve Finkbeiner. She then went on to the Rockefeller University for her postdoctoral training under Dr. C. David Allis. She has won several awards for her work over the years including the Alfred P. Sloan fellowship, the Klingenstein-Simons young investigator award, the NARSAD young investigator award, the NIH Pathway to Independence Award, and the F32 and F31 Fellowship Awards. Outside of the lab, Erica enjoys playing an eclectic mix of sports including cycling, ultimate Frisbee, and fencing.

Img

Rili Ahmad

Research Specialist

Rili Ahmad received her B.S. in Biology and B.A. in Psychology from George Washington University, and worked with Dr. Hu on molecular mechanism of Atherosclerosis. She then worked in the Laboratory of Neurogenetics at NIA/NIH to study the effects of mutations associated with Parkinson’s disease on protein function. From there she went on to the University of Miami where she studied snRNA biomarkers for early detection of Parkinson’s disease. In the Korb lab she serves as lab manager and does research on chromatin mutations that affect autism. On her free time, Rili has a passion for community service and is an active member of the UPENN community outreach program PENN CARES. She loves to read, hike and has a general love for the outdoors.

Img

Alekh Paranjapye, Ph.D.

Postdoc

Alekh Paranjapye received his B.S. in microbiology with a minor in philosophy from the University of Washington. He then worked at the Institute for Systems Biology in Seattle as a research assistant before going on to receive his Ph.D. in Genetics and Genome Sciences from Case Western Reserve University under the mentorship of Dr. Ann Harris. There, he applied both bench and computational techniques to study chromatin dynamics and gene regulation in human lung epithelial cells, with additional focus placed on the epigenetics of cystic fibrosis.

Brad Lukasak, Ph.D.

Postdoc

Brad received his B.S. in chemistry in 2016 from the University of Pittsburgh. While there, he worked in the lab of Alex Deiters where he studied conditional activation of small molecules. He was named a Beckman Scholar for this work. He obtained his PhD from Princeton University in the lab of Tom Muir. Over his six years in Princeton, he studied histone serotonylation, characterizing the enzymatic activity of TGM2 using a suite of biochemical methods. In the Korb lab, Brad’s interest in epigenetics continues, shifting his focus to the field of neuroepigenetics. He is particularly interested in using these technologies to understand the molecular basis of behavior and memory. Outside of the lab, Brad’s interest includes watching sports, playing videogames, running, grilling, and spending time with his nieces/nephews.

Img

Sean Louzon, B.S.

Graduate Student

Sean received his B.S. in Neuroscience from the University of Michigan. In the lab, he is interested in aging-related disorders including neurodegeneration and how they relate to the field of epigenetics. Outside of lab, he enjoys going out for all-you-can-eat sushi and playing sports including soccer and volleyball.

Img

Emily Feierman, B.A.

Graduate Student

Emily is a PhD student in the Neuroscience Graduate Group. She received her B.A. in Neuroscience from Barnard College in 2015. After graduating, she went to the Rockefeller University where she worked as a research assistant in the lab of Dr. Sidney Strickland. In the Korb lab, her work looks at how histone variants in the brain affect everything from cells to behavior. Outside of lab, Emily likes to spend time with her two dogs, Toby and Milky, and is on a quest to master the NYTimes crossword puzzle.

Img

Marissa Maroni, B.S.

Graduate Student

Marissa received her B.S. in Biology from Bridgewater State University. She is currently a PhD student in the Neuroscience Graduate Group at Penn. Her research interests are in understanding how epigenetic modifications in the brain impact neuronal function and when altered can lead to disease. Outside of the lab, she enjoys traveling, walking with her dog Linus, and caring for her plants.

Img

Éloïse L'Her, B.S.

Research Assistant

Éloïse studied Biochemistry at Penn. She was part of the Roy and Diana Vagelos Scholars Program in the Molecular Life Sciences, an integrated science program designed to provide undergraduates with deep engagement in scientific and research experiences. Éloïse joined the Korb Lab as an undergraduate and stayed with the lab after graduating as a research specialist. Outside of the lab, Éloïse enjoys dancing, cooking, and playing guitar.

Img

Shreya Mehtra

Undergraduate

Shreya is an undergraduate at Penn currently studying Biology and Health Care Management. She is part of the Roy and Diana Vagelos Program in Life Sciences and Management, a program for students interested in connecting the biosciences and business. Outside of the lab, she enjoys baking, puzzles, and spending time with her puppy, Cocoa.

Img

Katherine Lynch

Undergraduate

Katie is currently studying Biochemistry at Penn in the Roy and Diana Vagelos Scholars Program in the Molecular Life Sciences. Outside of lab, Katie enjoys baking, eating said baked goods, and traveling.

Img

Camille Quaye

Undergraduate

Camille is currently studying Biochemistry, Neurobiology, and Fine Arts at Penn as part of the Roy and Diana Vagelos Scholars Program in Molecular Life Sciences, which fosters academic studies and research in biochemistry and physics. Outside of the lab, Camille enjoys watching horror movies, drawing, and playing the piano.

Alumni

Img

Sam Thudium, B.S.

Research Assistant

Sam received his B.S. from the University of California, San Diego in Biochemistry and Cell Biology and worked in the neurobiology department of The Scripps Research Institute as an undergrad. In the Korb lab, he explored the mechanisms behind neurological disorders. After completing his work in the lab, Sam went on to graduate school in Data Science at Penn.

Img

John Kee, B.S.

Research Assistant

John received his B.A. in Neuroscience and Behavior from Vassar College (‘19). In his undergraduate research, he conducted research in Fragile X Syndrome, social behavior, and maternal programming. He is interested in the neurobiological underpinnings of intellectual and developmental disability and pursuing a career in pediatric neurology. After his time in the Korb lab, John went on to medical school at Jefferson University.

Img

Ellie Gabriel

Undergraduate

Ellie is an undergraduate at Yale University, majoring in Biomedical Engineering. During her summer with the lab, Ellie designed a graphical schematic to illustrate the lab’s findings. She is interested in applying technology to autism research in the form of medical devices. She enjoys finding creative ways to include art and design with her science research.

Img

Kate Palozola, Ph.D.

Postdoc

Kate Palozola received her B.S. in Biology from Denison University and then worked as a research specialist at the University of Pennsylvania. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania where she worked with Dr. Ken Zaret. Kate was awarded the 2018 Tom Kadesch Prize from the Genetics Department for excellence in research and leadership during her graduate studies. She then went on to do a postdoc with Dr. Jean Bennett at the Center for Advanced Retinal and Ocular Therapeutics. She then did a second postdoc in the Korb lab after which she became a Senior Investigator at Aro Biotherapeutics.

Img

Melissa Barton, M.S.

Masters Student

Melissa received her B.S. in Biotechnology and Molecular Bioscience from Rochester Institute of Technology. She received her masters degree in the Korb lab, examining epigenetic modifications and how they relate to neurodevelopmental disorders. She is now a Research Associate with Spark Therapeutics.

Img

Kiara Rodriguez

Undergraduate

Kiara was an undergraduate at the University of Puerto Rico - Humacao, majoring in Microbiology and minoring in Chemistry. During her summer internship in the lab, Kiara studied how mutations in epigenetic proteins affect neuronal structure and helped develop computational pipelines to analyze and visualize next-generation sequencing datasets. Kiara now attends graduate school at Penn in the Epigenetics and Genetics PhD program.