Members

  • Wen Liu, PhD

    Lab Manager

    Education and Training
    MB, 1993, Shanghai Medical College of JiaoTong University, Shanghai, China
    PhD, 2001, Tohoku University School of Medicine, Sendai, Japan

    I received a PhD in medical science from Tohoku University School of Medicine in Japan and worked as a postdoctoral fellow and then associate research scientist in Mount Sinai Medical Center. My research mainly focused on biomechanical regulation of ion transport in distal nephron in health and disease (polycystic kidney disease), as well as pathogenesis of glomerulosclerosis in diabetic nephropathy group. I came to Columbia University Medical Center in 2012 and worked in the Pathology and Pulmonary group as a research worker, where I was in charge of processing samples for frozen section diagnosis and receptor analysis. I also participated in the study to identify the ligands bound to sRAGE in plasma in adults with clinical and subclinical ILD using co-IP to isolate sRAGE/ligand complexes followed by MS to distinguish the ligands. I have extensive experience in cell biology, protein chemistry assay, and molecular biology. Since joining in Dr. Reilly’s group, I’m acquiring skills in iPS and SGBS culturing and CRISPR technology under the direct supervision of Dr. Hanrui Zhang and Dr. Xuan Zhang. Additionally, I am the lab manager for our group and oversee purchasing and other items.

    Wen Liu
  • Huize Pan, PhD

    Postdoctoral Scientist

    Education and Training
    BS, 2011, Anhui University, Hefei, China
    PhD, 2016, Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China

    I am interested in the mechanistic and translational study of GWAS loci related to cardio-metabolic disease by utilizing both human iPSC models and transgenic murine models. My PhD training focused on the mechanism study of human stem cell function regulation using gene editing and stem cell differentiation technologies. My postdoctoral training is using CRISPR/Cas9-mediated gene editing and iPSC-VSMC differentiation technology, as well as murine models to study the mechanism of cardiovascular disease-related genetic loci identified in GWAS. My current projects include: 1) Function and mechanism of some GWAS loci in atherogenesis; 2) Identifying transcriptional regulators of ADAMTS7 expression and potential genetic loci related to the human smooth muscle cell function regulation by utilizing CRISPR/Cas9 screening; 3) Defining the landscape of human monocyte subpopulations via single cell RNA-seq, and examining their relation to cardiovascular risk states, e.g., smoke, hyperlipidemia, Type 2 Diabetes by comparing the monocyte subpopulations’ compositions between normal cohort and people with cardiovascular risk states.

    Huize Pan, PhD
  • Chenyi Xue, MS

    Staff Associate, Bioinformatics

    Education and Training
    BS, 2010, Fudan University, Shanghai, China
    MS, 2012, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

    I am the bioinformatician of the lab, managing data storage, quality control and analysis. I work closely with research scientists in the lab on different projects. I have extensive experience on RNA-seq data analysis and long intergenic noncoding RNA (lincRNA) identification using deep sequencing data.

    Chenyl Xue
  • Jian Cui, MB, MSc

    Research Specialist

    Education and Training
    MB, 2003, Hebei Medical University
    MSc, 2006, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine

    I joined Dr. Reilly’s group in 2012 as a research specialist. I have extensive experience in cell and tissue culture, molecular biology, immunology, mouse colony management, small rodent surgeries, and laboratory management.

    Jian Cui
  • Esther Cynn, BA, MS

    Graduate Student

    Education and Training

    Esther received her Bachelor of Arts at Cornell University, where she majored in biology and chemistry. After undergrad, Esther received her Master of Science at Columbia University, Institute of Human Nutrition, and completed her thesis work on the discovery of exosomal biomarkers for prostate cancer.

    She is currently a predoctoral student at Columbia University in the Nutritional and Metabolic Biology program. Esther joined the Reilly lab in 2018, and her research focuses on understanding the role of human long intergenic non-coding RNAs (lincRNAs) in macrophage and atherosclerosis.

  • Marcella O’Reilly, BSc, PhD

    Postdoctoral Scientist

    Marcella trained in cardiometabolic research during her PhD at University College Dublin. Her project focused on investigating the effects of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids in an obesogenic diet on reverse cholesterol transport, HDL functionality and adipose tissue function and inflammation. Her work led to two first author papers; High Density Lipoprotein Composition and not Efflux Capacity, Reflects Differential Modulation of Reverse Cholesterol Transport by Saturated and Monounsaturated Fat Diets Circulation. 2016;133:1838-1850 and Nutritionally Derived Metabolic Cues Typical of the Obese Microenvironment Increase Cholesterol Efflux Capacity of Adipose Tissue Macrophages Mol Nutr Food Res. 2019 Jan;63(2):e1800713. Her key research skills include HDL Proteomics (Mass Spectrometry), Fast protein liquid chromatography (FPLC), HDL function assays, Murine Handling and Breeding, Glucose Tolerance Tests (GTT) and Insulin Tolerance Tests (ITT), SPSS statistics, Perseus software and Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA) software's and Teaching.

    Marcella joined the Reilly lab in 2019 as a Postdoctoral Researcher. Her research focus is understanding the role of long intergenic non-coding RNAs (lincRNAs) in adipose and macrophage biology within obesity associated adipose tissue inflammation and cardiometabolic disease.

    Marcella O’Reilly, BSc, PhD
  • Alex Bashore, B.S., PhD

    Postdoctoral Research Scientist

    I studied lipoprotein metabolism during my PhD training at Wake Forest University. My project focused on investigating the role of hepatocyte ATP-binding cassette transporter A1 (ABCA1) in high density lipoprotein metabolism. The key research skills I acquired during my training were fast protein liquid chromatography (FPLC), high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), incorporating radiolabels into lipoproteins for metabolic studies, in vitro and in vivo HDL functional assays, and murine handling and breeding.

    I joined the Reilly lab in 2019 as a Postdoctoral Researcher. My research focuses on identifying common and rare monocyte subpopulations using single cell RNAseq, and how these subpopulations differ between healthy individuals and individuals with different cardiovascular disease risk states (e.g., cigarette smoking, diabetes, hyperlipidemia).

    Alex Bashore
  • Chinyere Ihuegbu

    Graduate Student

    Education and Training

    BSc Biochemistry, 2014, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria
    MRes Biosciences, 2016, University College London, London, UK

    Chinyere Ihuegbu, Graduate Student
  • Leila Ross, Ph.D.

    Program Manager

    Education and Training: 

    B.A., Biochemistry, University of California at Berkeley

    Ph.D., Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, Harvard University 

     

    Research Summary (<200 words): 

    Leila completed her doctoral studies in immunology and infectious disease at Harvard University in the lab of Dr. Dyann Wirth, focusing on biochemical and structural characterization of enzymes in the Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasite’s pyrimidine biosynthetic pathway. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the lab of Dr. David Fidock at Columbia University, undertaking training in malaria parasite genetic manipulation and genomic analysis to identify drug resistance mechanisms. In Dr. Reilly’s group, Leila switched out of the lab and became a program manager. Her role includes helping to support and shape research, grants, and manuscripts. 

    Leila Ross Ph.D. Program Manager
  • Eunyoung Kim, BS, MPS

    Data analyst

    Education and Training:

    BS, 2018, Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA

    MPS, 2019, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

    Research Summary:

    I received Master of Professional Studies degree in Applied statistics and Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics/System Analysis. I joined the Reilly lab in 2020 as a data analyst. I have broad experience in statistical computing, probability models and inference, big data management and analysis, and data mining and machine learning. I work with the scientists in the lab as well as distinct collaborators on diverse projects. My work with the Reilly lab especially focuses on scRNA-seq analysis in atherosclerosis and statistical analysis of observational clinical studies.

    eunyoung_kim Data Analyst
  • Lucie Zhu

    Graduate Student

    Lucie received her B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Biochemistry at the University of Toronto, with a thesis on the regulation of cellular beta and gamma actin. She is currently a predoctoral student at Columbia University in the Pathobiology and Molecular Medicine program and joined the Reilly lab in 2020. Her research focuses on the role of adipocyte ER stress and translational regulation in adipose tissue expansion during obesity.

    Lucie Zhu headshot
  • Delfy Velasquez

    Executive Assistant

    Education and Training

    BA in Sociology with a minor in Economics 

    City College of New York

     

    Role:

    Delfy A. Velazquez is the Executive Assistant to Dr. Muredach Reilly at the Irving Institute for Clinical and Translational Research at Columbia University Irving Medical Center. Delfy has 16 years of higher education administrative experience. Prior to working with Dr. Reilly Delfy, worked as a Student Account Representative and Assistant Manager at the Cashiers Office for 12 years. She continued her professional growth within CUIMC as an Administrative Assistant to Dr. Donna L. Farber for 4 years. Delfy is a graduate of the City College of New York where she obtained a Bachelors of Art in Sociology with a minor in Economics. Besides working at CUIMC for 16 years, Delfy is very familiar with the neighborhood of Washington Heights, where she was born and raised. In her free time, Delfy enjoys spending time with family and friends, reading, DIY home projects and aiding in party decorating/planning for family and friends.  

    delfy_velasquez Profile Picture
  • Heidi Lumish

    Cardiology Fellow

    Education and Training

    BS, Biology and Community Health, 2010, Tufts University, 

    MD, 2016, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons 

     

    Research:

    Heidi completed her residency training in Internal Medicine at Columbia University and joined Dr. Reilly’s group during this time. She is currently a second-year cardiology fellow at Columbia, and her research focuses on the use of human genetics and epidemiology to better understand the intersection between adipose distribution, biological sex, and the risk for and progression of complex cardiovascular diseases. Her work focuses additionally on the use of proteomics in risk stratifying patients with hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy.  

    Heidi Lumish Headshot
  • Moises Martinez

    Clinical Research Coordinator

    Education and Training: 

    BA Health and Exercise Science, 2013, Messiah University, Grantham, PA  

    Research:

    Since joining Columbia University Medical Center in 2014, Moises has contributed to recruitment efforts, patient-study screening processes, and data collection for more than 20+ study clinical endpoints. Moises brings a multidisciplinary clinical research approach from having previously worked for the department of Neurosurgery and the department of medicine - cardiology via Center of Interventional Vascular Therapy (CIVT). Now in Dr. Reilly's lab, Moises continues to promote good clinical practices for current and onboarding clinical research studies. 

    Moises Martinez Headshot
  • Sebastian Ho

    Technician B

    Education and Training: 

    BS Biochemistry, 2017, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA    

    Research:

    Sebastian is a technician in the Reilly lab with a focus on mouse models of atherosclerosis, including single cell RNA-seq and imaging. His prior research investigated the genetics of heart development using a congenital heart disease screen with randomly mutated mice (via ENU mutagenesis). In this screen, Sebastian’s role was to make 3D imaging reconstructions of mouse embryonic hearts. 

    Sebastian Ho Headshot