Principal Investigators


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

[PubMed] [NCBI Bibliography]

Dr. Wingo is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Emory University and board-certified psychiatrist. She is also a Graduate Faculty of the Genetics and Molecular Biology Graduate Program at Emory. 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. 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 six federal grants (R01, U01, Merit) to pursue her lines of research inquiries.


Thomas S. Wingo, M.D.

[PubMed] [NCBI Bibliography] [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


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.


Dennis Lin, B.S.

Dennis Lin received his B.S. in Computer Science from Kennesaw State University. He joined the Wingo lab in April 2022 and assists in developing and maintaining the lab’s web applications and contributing to the development of tools for general analysis.


Jiaqi Liu, M.S.

Jiaqi Liu received her master’s degree in Biostatistics from George Washington University. She joined the Wingo Lab in 2019 as a Biostatistician and contribute to the quality control of proteomics data and analysis of large omics datasets.


Se Min (Minnie) Canon, M.S.

Se Min (Minnie) Canon is the Wingo Lab Manager and Research Specialist Supervisor. She first joined the Wingo Lab as an Undergraduate Research Assistant in the 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 B.S. in Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology from Emory University, she joined the lab full-time in 2014. She later received her M.S. in Biotechnology with a concentration in Bioinformatics from Johns Hopkins University in 2021. Her work primarily involves managing various wet lab experiments and projects while supporting dry lab components of research.


Selina Vattathil, Ph.D.

Dr. Vattathil received her Ph.D. in Human and Molecular Genetics from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center UTHealth Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences in Houston, Texas. Her graduate and postdoctoral work focused on development and application of sensitive and robust pipelines to characterize somatic mutations in healthy individuals. Selina has used her computational genetics background to support various projects in the Wingo Lab since spring 2020.


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.

Graduate Students


Tsaone Charlotte Chalumbila, M.S.

Tsaone Chalumbila is from Botswana. She obtained her B.S. Human Neuroscience degree from the University of Birmingham (UK) and her M.S. Molecular Neuroscience degree from the University of Bristol (UK). She is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of Cape Town, and her Ph.D. is in collaboration with Emory University (The Wingo Lab). Her Ph.D. focuses on investigating the transgenerational effects of prenatal maternal psychological distress through child gene expression profiles.


Mei Zhen, M.D.

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.


Taha Rana B.S.

Taha Rana is currently an MPH student, studying Genetic and Molecular Epidemiology at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University. He obtained his B.S. in Neuroscience from George Washington University. As an undergraduate student, he conducted community-based participatory research to elucidate rates of infectious disease, health promotion, and health equity to influence health policy for social determinants of health. Taha joined the Wingo Lab in the fall of 2021 and is currently studying how genetic liability for depression is associated with the incidence of cognitive impairment for his Master’s Thesis.

Undergraduate Students


Rishab Bhatt

Rishab Bhatt is an undergraduate student majoring in Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology and minoring in Computer Science. Joining the Wingo Lab in the fall of 2019, he uses machine learning to study Purpose-in-Life in both African and European Americans using the Health and Retirement Study (HRS). Rishab has strong interests in health equity, computational, and psychiatry research.

Former Post-Doctoral Fellows


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. After completing a second postdoctoral fellowship at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT he now works for a Biotechnology start-up in Boston, MA.


Chloe Robins, Ph.D.

Dr. Robins was a Post Doc from 2018-2020. She 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 she worked on identifying epigenetic and proteomic changes associated with Alzheimer’s Disease.

Former Graduate Students


Felicia Obialo, M.D.

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.


Ha Eun Kong, M.D., Ph.D.

Dr. 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. She is currently a dermatology resident at Emory University School of Medicine aiming to pursue a career in academic pediatric dermatology.


Huige Jiang, M.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, M.S.

Nadia Harerimana is from Kigali, Rwanda and she was a graduate student in the Genetics and Molecular Biology program at Emory University while at Wingo Lab. Her Master’s Thesis focused on investigating the shared genetic and molecular risk factors that contribute to depression and AD dementia.

Former Undergraduate Students


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

As an undergraduate student at University of Georgia, Dr. Sharp examined patterns of Inheritance among families with Early-onset Alzheimer’s Disease with Dr. Thomas Wingo 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.


Mikolaj Figurski

Mikolaj Figurski was a Data Science / Software Development intern in the lab from 2018-2019 who supported the application development team while he was an undergraduate student at Emory University. He anticipates graduating in 2022 with a Computer Science B.S and an Economics B.A.


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 will join the joint Biostatistics Ph.D. program of South Methodist University and University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in the Fall of 2022.

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.