Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

Heller Lab
Laboratory of Neuroepigenetics

Team


CURRENT

Elizabeth A Heller, PhD

Elizabeth A Heller, PhD
Principal Investigator
 eheller@mail.med.upenn.edu

Curriculum Vitae

Liz received her PhD in molecular biology from The Rockefeller University under the mentorship of Dr. Nathaniel Heintz. She then studied the epigenetics of drug addiction and depression at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, in the laboratory of Dr. Eric Nestler. In 2016 she returned to her undergraduate alma mater, The University of Pennsylvania, as an Assistant Professor. Although Liz is a native New Yorker, she is thrilled to settle down in Philadelphia with her husband, Adriel, and son, Elias.


Ajinkya S Sase

Ajinkya S Sase
Postdoctoral Researcher

Ajinkya received his Masters of Science degree, in microbiology from India in 2007. He then shifted his academic focus towards neuroscience and began his Ph.D. work in neuroproteomics at the Medical University of Vienna, Austria. Ajinkya has expertise in rodent behavioral paradigms and protein biochemistry. His thesis was focused on identifying the effect of novel Dopamine Transporter (DAT) inhibitors on cognitive performance and investigating related GPCR’s. Ajinkya was awarded his Ph.D. in 2015 and joined the Heller Lab in early-2016. His current research focuses on the epigenetic remodeling in the memory and addiction behavior. He enjoys hiking and swimming in his free time.


Qiwen Hu

Qiwen Hu
Postdoctoral Researcher

Qiwen finished her PhD training in Bioinformatics at North Carolina State University where she worked on identifying translated regions in Arabidopsis genome using machine learning and statistical approaches. Before came to U.S., she received her M.S. in Biochemical and Molecular biology at Shanghai University. Her research interests are data mining, machine learning and computational biology. In her free time, Qiwen enjoys reading and hiking.


Songjun Xu

Songjun Xu
Postdoctoral Researcher

Song received her Ph.D in Epigenetics from Drexel University under the mentorship of Dr. Felice Elefant. During her Ph.D, her work was focused on understanding nervous system development and function in the context of cognitive neuroscience. She is excited to continuing to pursue research on epigenetic-based mechanisms that contribute to the pathophysiology of neurophychiatric disease as a postdoctoral researcher. During her spare time, she enjoys strolling around the city, traveling and trying out new restaurants.


Marco Carpenter

Marco Carpenter
Graduate Student, Pharmacology

Marco was raised in Littleton, CO and attended Clark University where he majored in Psychology/Biology. He has a particular interest in using engineered genetic tools to delineate the molecular underpinnings of neuropsychiatric disease. Outside of the lab he enjoys frolicking around the city, cooking and actively practices yoga.


Sonia Lombroso

Sonia Lombroso
Research Assistant

Sonia was born and raised in Connecticut where she attended high school and later obtained her undergraduate degree at Wesleyan University. She graduated with a double major in Biology and French studies. As an undergraduate she studied abroad in Paris, France where she learned a great deal about French culture, people, and cuisine (she even occasionally went to classes!) She hopes to advance in the field of neuroscience and is particularly interested in addiction research.


Carissa J Lim

Carissa J Lim
Graphic Designer
 carissaj.lim@gmail.com

Carissa is a graduate student studying Integrated Product Design at the University of Pennsylvania. Carissa was born in Torrance, California and is interested in pursuing a career in healthcare design and innovation. In her spare time, she is interested in studying historic buildings, spending time outdoors, and trying new food.



ALUMNI

Natalia A Quijano Carde

Natalia A Quijano Carde
Former Rotation Student, Pharmacology

Natalia is Puerto Rican and obtained her baccalaureate in Industrial Biotechnology from the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez. Natalia spent two summers as an undergraduate research trainee at UPenn, and is now part of Dr. De Biasi's laboratory, where she hopes to contribute to the understanding of alcohol addiction. In her spare time, she enjoys reading poems, listening to spoken-word poetry and learning about make-up artistry.