Principal Investigators


Aliza P. Wingo, M.D., M.S.


Dr. Wingo is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Emory University and board-certified psychiatrist. She received her medical degree and residency training at Emory University School of Medicine. Subsequently, she completed a research fellowship, Master of Science in Clinical Research, and career development award under the mentorship of Kerry Ressler, MD, Ph.D. Dr. Wingo studies the genetic and molecular basis of depression, PTSD, as well as of psychological resilience and well-being. Additionally, Dr. Wingo investigates molecular mechanisms underlying the detrimental and protective effects of psychological factors on dementia risk. As an early-stage investigator, Dr. Wingo has received an American Psychiatric Association/Lilly Resident Research award, American Psychiatric Association Research Fellowship award, a NARSAD Young Investigator award, a VA Career Development Award, and recently three federal grants (R01, U01, Merit) to pursue her lines of research inquiries.


Thomas S. Wingo, M.D.

[NCBI Bibliography] [PubMed] [Google Scholar] [GitHub]

Dr. Wingo is an Associate Professor of Neurology and Human Genetics at Emory University. His primary lab is at the Center for Neurodegenerative Disease in the Whitehead building on Emory’s main campus. He has post-doctoral training in statistical genetics, next-generation sequencing, and bioinformatics. He is a board certified neurologist with fellowship training in cognitive neurology. Dr. Wingo is a member of the Population Biology Evolution and Ecology Graduate Program at Emory University.

Research Staff


Adriana Lori, Ph.D.

Dr. Lori received her Ph.D. in Genetic Sciences at the University of Pisa (Italy). Her dissertation focused on identifying chromosomal damages in children exposed to Chernobyl fallout to estimate long-term effects of radiation to the genome. Dr. Lori’s current research involves the role of genetic and epigenetic mechanisms in the development of stress-related disorders and social behaviors. Dr. Lori has been one of the primary genetic investigators of the Grady Trauma Project involved in molecular and bioinformatics analyses of sequence variants, GWAS and whole genome sequencing. Dr. Lori joined the Wingo lab in 2018 as a Research Associate.


Ekaterina Gerasimov, Ph.D.

Dr. Gerasimov earned her doctoral degree in computer science at Georgia State University. She has comprehensive experience in bioinformatics and computational genomics and algorithms. Her general research interest at GSU was designing and applying advanced algorithms and statistical tools for analysis of next-generation sequencing data related to cancer and infection diseases. Dr. Gerasimov joined the Wingo lab in 2018 as an Assistant Bioinformatics Scientist.


Jacob Meigs, B.E.

Jacob Meigs received his B.E. in Computer Engineering from the University of South Carolina. His diverse experience extends into web development, software development, and independent web consulting. He joined the Wingo lab in March 2019 and assists in developing and maintaining the lab’s web applications and contributing to the development of tools for general analysis.


Leo Zhao, B.S.

Leo Zhao received his B.S. in Biology and Music from Emory University. As an undergraduate student, he studied the role of PTPN21 in cell mechanical properties of hematopoietic stem cells, its role in HSCs niche retention and function, as well as its role in leukemogenesis. Leo joined the Wingo lab in 2019 as a Research Specialist.


Se Min (Minnie) Canon, B.S.

Se Min (Minnie) Canon is the Wingo Lab Manager and Senior Research Specialist. She first joined the Wingo Lab as an Undergraduate Research Assistant in Fall of 2012 while attending Emory College. During this time, she did a Senior Research Project on identifying genetic causes of an early-onset Alzheimer’s disease case in a family cohort from Colombia. After graduating with a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology from Emory University, she joined the lab full-time in 2014. Her work primarily involves nucleic acid extraction and quantification, DNA and miRNA library preparation for sequencing, and DNA genotyping and gene expressions. She manages and oversees research experiments and quality control.


Yue Liu, Ph.D.

Dr. Yue Liu obtained his Ph.D from Structural and Computational Biology and Molecular Biophysics program at Baylor College of Medicine (BCM). His thesis work was in assembling whole genome sequencing data for complex genomes at the Human Genome Sequencing Center (HGSC) at BCM. He has since worked at HGSC for various projects in next generation sequencing data analysis. His current interest and focus at Wingo’s lab is to combine proteomics and sequencing data for better understanding of the abundance profile of the proteins and its association to diseases.

Post-Doctoral Fellows


Chloe Robins, Ph.D.

Dr. Robins received her Ph.D. from the Population Biology, Ecology, and Evolution Graduate Program at Emory University. Her doctoral work used statistical genetic methods to investigate the evolutionary basis of human aging. She joined the Wingo Lab after graduation, and is now working on identifying epigenetic and proteomic changes associated with Alzheimer’s Disease.

Graduate Students


Felicia Obialo, B.S.

Felicia Obialo is from Atlanta, GA. She obtained her undergraduate degree in psychology from Xavier University of Louisiana, her master’s degree in neuroscience from Tulane University, and is currently a 4th year medical student at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with plans to practice holistic psychiatry.

Huige Jiang, B.S.

Huige Jiang graduated from Georgia Tech with a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering and is currently pursuing a MSPH degree in Biostatistics. She started working in the Wingo lab in May 2019. Her current project is to simulate TMT proteomics data and test the performance of 2 quality control pipelines.


Nadia Harerimana

Nadia Harerimana is from Kigali, Rwanda and received her B.A degree in Human Ecology from College of the Atlantic. She is a current graduate student in Genetics and Molecular Biology program at Emory University. Her predoctoral training in the Wingo lab focuses on integrating different types of omics data and using statistical tools to illuminate the shared genetic and molecular risk factors that contribute to depression and AD dementia


Mei Zhen

Mei Zhen is a graduate student in 8-year Clinical Medicine program from Xiangya School of Medicine, Central South University. Her work is mainly focused on the association between miRNAs and cognitive trajectory.

Undergraduate Students


Mikolaj Figurski

Mikolaj Figurski is an undergraduate student at Emory University, aiming to graduate in 2022 with a Computer Science B.S and an Economics B.A. He joined the Wingo Lab in October 2018 as a Data Science / Software Development intern, and now actively supports the lab’s web application development team.


David Bennett, M.D.

[NCBI Bibliography] Dr. Bennett is the Director of the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Core Center and Principal Investigator of the Rush Memory and Aging Project. Dr. Bennett is an internationally known Alzheimer’s disease researcher.

Patricia Boyle, Ph.D.

[NCBI Bibliography] Dr. Boyle is a neuropsychologist with the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center and professor in the Department of Behavioral Sciences. Her primary interest is the prevention of age-related cognitive and functional decline and dementia.

David Cutler, Ph.D.

[NCBI Bibliography] Dr. Cutler is a population and statistical geneticist, talented programmer, and collaborates with us on family- and population-based studies of Alzheimer’s disease. His own work focuses on mapping, base-calling, and deep thinking about the problems of next-generation sequencing and statistical genetics.

Greg Gibson, Ph.D.

[NCBI Bibliography] Dr. Gibson is a Professor in the School of Biology at Georgia Tech. He obtained his Ph.D. in genetics at the University of Basel and completed a Post-Doc training at Stanford. Dr. Gibson’s research focuses on how transcriptome profiling can be used to understand more about the genetic basis of complex traits and disease susceptibility.

Chadwick Hales, M.D., Ph.D.

[NCBI Bibliography] Dr. Hales is a neurocognitive neurologist, neuroscientist, molecular biologist, and electrophysiologist. His major focus is to understand pathological accumulation of proteins in traumatic brain injury and neurodegenerative disease.

Peng Jin, Ph.D.

[NCBI Bibliography] Dr. Jin is a geneticist interested in trinucleotide repeat disorders, microRNA, and methylation and epigenetic changes as they related to neurodegenerative illnesses. He is particularly interested in Fragile-X associated tremor-ataxia syndrome and G4C2 expanded repeats in C9Orf72 implicated in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal dementia.

James Lah, M.D., Ph.D.

[NCBI Bibliography] Dr. Lah is a cognitive neurologist, Clinical Director of the Emory Alzheimer’s disease Research Center, and the vice-chair for the Emory University Department of Neurology. His interests include in RNA splicing and using proteomics to understand the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease.

Allan I. Levey, M.D., Ph.D.

[NCBI Bibliography] Dr. Levey is a Chair of the Emory University Department of Neurology, Director of the Emory Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, cognitive neurologist, and neuroscientist/neuroanatomist.

Benjamin Logsdon, Ph.D.

[NCBI Bibliography] Dr. Logsdon received his Ph.D. in Computational Biology at Cornell University and post-doctoral training in statistical genetics and genome sciences at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and University of Washington. Dr. Logsdon is a senior scientist at Sage Bionetworks.

Kerry Ressler, M.D., Ph.D.

[NCBI Bibliography] Dr. Ressler is chief scientific officer and James and Patricia Poitras Chair in Psychiatry at McLean Hospital. Dr. Ressler’s lab focuses on translational research bridging molecular neurobiology in animal models with human genetic research on emotion, particularly fear and anxiety disorders. Dr. Ressler has been mentor for Dr. Aliza Wingo on her career development award and continues to collaborate with her on different projects.

Nicholas Seyfried, DPhil.

[NCBI Bibliography] Dr. Seyfried is a biochemist and proteomics expert. He and Dr. Thomas Wingo lead a project that focuses on understanding genes identified in Alzheimer’s Disease genome-wide association studies may contribute to pathologic accumulation of aggregated proteins (NIH Reporter).


Melissa Armendariz, B.S.

Ms. Armendariz Ms. Armendariz graduated from Virginia Tech with a B.S. in Biochemistry and a minor in Chemistry and Psychology. She was a research coordinator for the Wingo lab from 2016-2019. She left to work for a private company in Georgia.

Alex Kotlar, Ph.D.

Dr. Kotlar received his Ph.D. in Genetics at Emory University in 2018 where he was guided by Dr. Wingo in the development of online services (e.g., that assisted researchers in analyzing terabytes of genomic data, decreasing analysis times by an order of magnitude. He briefly joined the Wingo Lab as a postdoctoral fellow working on next-generation online proteomics services. He is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT.

Brittney Innocente, B.A.

Ms. Innocente was a research coordinator in 2015-2016 who led Dr. Aliza Wingo’s Genome-wide Association Study of Resilience until its completion in 2016.

Eleanor A. Sharp, M.D., M.S.

As an undergraduate student at University of Georgia, Ms. Sharp examined patterns of Inheritance among families with Early-onset Alzheimer’s Disease with Dr. Wingo as a student in the 2012 SURE program. She went on to obtain her medical and masters degree from Virginia School of Medicine and is now a pediatric resident at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.

Stephanie Stennett, M.A.

Ms. Stennett was a research coordinator from 2012-2013 who led Dr. Aliza Wingo’s Genome-wide Association Study of Resilience before she moved to Texas to work for a private company.

Zoe White, B.S.

Ms. White was a senior research technician from 2012-2017. She performed targeted capture and next-generation sequencing experiments to identify new genetic causes of Alzheimer’s Disease.

Maohua Xie, Ph.D.

Dr. Xie was a Bioinformatic Scientist from 2018-2019. He received his Master Degree in Analytics at Georgia State University and Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Wuhan University, China. His work focused on proteogenomic approaches to identifing novel genetic variants related to AD.

Ha Eun Kong, B.S.

Ms. Kong was an M.D./Ph.D. student in Genetics and Molecular Biology Graduate Program co-mentored by Drs. Peng Jin and Thomas Wingo. The focus of her work was to identify new genetic modifiers of Fragile X Tremor Ataxia Syndrome and causes of Alzheimer’s disease. Ms. Kong is currently completing her medical degree at Emory University.

Wen Fan, MS.

Ms. Fan was a biostatistician from 2018-2019 who led the quality control efforts of brain proteomics data and analysis of large omics datasets generated by the Wingo Lab and our collaborators. She left the lab in 2019 to work for a private company in North Carolina.