Molecular Genetics

Trainees

Maria Caterina De Rosa, PhD

Postdoctoral Research Scientist 

Contact Information:

Phone: (212) 851-5315

Email: md3291@cumc.columbia.edu

Educational Background:

  • University of Salerno (Italy), B.S. in Pharmacy, 2011
  • University of Salerno (Italy), Ph.D. in Nutritional Biochemistry (Department of Pharmacy), 2015

Postgraduate Training:

  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Pediatrics, Division of Molecular Genetics, Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center, Columbia University Medical Center, 2015-Present

Awards and Honors:

  • Russell Berrie Foundation Scholar in Diabetes Research

Interests/Specialties:

  • Diabetes
  • Molecular genetics
  • Liver lipid metabolism

Learn more about Dr. De Rosa.

Dr. De Rosa is a Postdoctoral Research Scientist in the Division of Molecular Genetics. Her research is focused on delineating the molecular mechanism of Ildr2 in beta cell survival and hepatic steatosis.

Click here to review Dr. De Rosa's publications.

Rim Hassouna, PhD

Postdoctoral Research Scientist 

Contact Information:

Phone: (212) 851-5307

Email: rh2668@cumc.columbia.edu

Educational Background:

  • Paris 6-Pierre and Marie Curie University, B.S., 2007
  • Paris 6-Pierre and Marie Curie University, M.S., 2009
  • Paris 5-Paris Descartes University, Ph.D., 2012

Postgraduate Training:

  • Postdoctoral Research Scientist, Pediatrics, Division of Molecular Genetics, Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center, Columbia University Medical Center, 2013-Present

Awards and Honors:

  • Russell Berrie Foundation Scholar in Diabetes Research, 2014-2015

Interests/Specialties:

  • Eating disorders
  • Regulation of growth
  • Regulation of food intake

Learn more about Dr. Hassouna.

As a Ph.D. student, Dr. Hassouna studied the influence of preproghrelin-derived peptides on brain circuits regulating food intake and growth. For the post doctorate, Dr. Hassouna is applying the expertise developed in assessing neuronal, neuroendocrine, and feeding-related endpoints to study interactions between genetic and environmental factors that influence susceptibility to eating disorders as well as early drivers of childhood obesity.

Click here to review Dr. Hassouna's publications.

Volkan Okur, MD

Postdoctoral Research Scientist

Contact Information:

Phone: (212) 305-5890

Email: vo2160@cumc.columbia.edu

Educational Background:

  • Akdeniz University, M.D., 2008

Postgraduate Training:

  • Resident, Medical Geneticist, Pamukkale University School of Medicine, 2009-2013

Interests/Specialties:

  • Clinical Genetics
  • Dysmorphology
  • Gene Therapy
  • Orphan Diseases

Lina Sui, PhD

Postdoctoral Research Scientist

Contact Information:

Email: ls3178@cumc.columbia.edu

Educational Background:

  • Northwest A&F University, B.S., 2004
  • Northwest A&F University, M.S., 2007
  • Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Ph.D., 2012

Interests/Specialties:

  • Differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells towards beta cells
  • The mechanism of beta cell failure in type 1 diabetes and monogenic form of diabetes

Liheng Wang, PhD

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Contact Information:

Phone: (212) 851-5315

Email: lw2381@cumc.columbia.edu

Educational Background:

  • China Agricultural University, B.S., 2007
  • Columbia University, M.A., 2010
  • Columbia University, M.Ph., 2011
  • Columbia University, Ph.D., 2015

Postgraduate Training:

  • Postdoctoral research fellow, New York Obesity Center, Columbia University Medical Center, 2015-Present

Interests/Specialties:

  • Pluripotent stem cells
  • Hypothalamic neuron differentiation
  • Bardet-Biedl Syndrome
  • PC1/3 deficiency

Learn more about Dr. Wang.

Dr. Wang’s research focus is on the disease modeling of monogenic forms of obesities using human stem cell-derived hypothalamic neurons. In her work, Dr. Wang intends to make hypothalamic neurons from human iPSCs generated from obese subjects or engineered ESCs and to further investigate the neurogenesis, neuropeptide production, signaling pathways and electrical physiological properties in these cells. Her goal is to decipher molecular mechanisms by which the hypothalamus controls energy homeostasis in humans, and to use stem cell-related techniques to discover novel genes and mechanisms underlying these processes.

Click here to review Dr. Wang's publications.