Lab Team

Lab Members

Headshot of Emelie  Beattie
Emelie Beattie
  • Research Technician I
Research Focus:

Metabolic alterations associated with OXPHOS deficiency in mitochondrial diseases 

Favorite breakfast food: My favorite thing to eat for breakfast is eggs on toast.

Hobbies: I also play on a soccer team called the Lambs (baa!)  

  • B.A., Macalester College
Marilena D'Aurelio
Marilena D'Aurelio , Ph.D.
  • Assistant Professor
Research Focus:

Pathogenic mechanisms of mitochondrial diseases focusing on tissue-specific metabolic consequences associated with OXPHOS deficiency with the goal of developing novel evidence-based strategies that oppose disease progression (PubMed Profile)

  • Favorite breakfast food: cappuccino con cornetto al cioccolato
  • Hobbies: yoga
  • Ph.D., University of Bologna, Italy
Headshot of Alexander Galkin
Alexander Galkin
  • Associate Professor
Research Focus:

Major areas of research in our lab include mitochondrial biochemistry, regulation of respiratory chain enzymes including Complex I, tissue ischemia/reperfusion injury, and mechanism of reactive oxygen species production.

Hobbies: Music

  •  Ph.D, Moscow State University (Russia)
Headshot of Shreya  Kadam
Shreya Kadam
  • Research Technician
Research Focus:

Neurodegeneration in Friedrich's Ataxia. 

Hibiki Kawamata Fujita
Hibiki Kawamata Fujita , Ph.D.
  • Assistant Professor
Research Focus:

Astrocytic calcium dynamics involvement in ALS pathogenesis

  • Favorite Breakfast Food: coffee and bacon
  • Hobbies: Driving the kids to baseball games and watching them play, latte art, taking kids' photos
  • Ph.D., Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences
Csaba Konrad
Csaba Konrad , Pharm.D., Ph.D.
  • Assistant Professor
Research Focus:

I investigate ALS patient derived fibroblast and induced motor neuron models using bioenergetic, molecular biology and imaging techniques. (PubMed Profile)

  • Favorite breakfast food: Macaroni and Cheese Pizza, but I don't eat breakfast.
  • Interesting Quirk: I have exceptional balance on a bicycle.
  • Ph.D., Semmelweis University, Hungary
Jordi Magrane , Ph.D.
  • Associate Professor
Research Focus:

Peripheral neuropathy in Friedreich's ataxia (PubMed Profile)


  • Favorite breakfast food: Pa amb tomàquet! (bread with tomato spread, salt and olive oil).
  • Hobbies: Burning kilocalories while doing very little
  • Ph.D., University of Barcelona (Catalonia)
Giovanni Manfredi
Giovanni Manfredi , M.D., Ph.D.
  • Finbar and Marianne Kenny Professor in Clinical and Research Neurology
Research Focus:

My research program studies the complex disease scenario of neurodegenerative diseases, focusing particularly on amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)

Favorite breakfast food: caffe latte

Hobbies: Tennis & Netflix

Kevin McAvoy , Ph.D.
  • Postdoctoral Associate
Research Focus:

Cellular and molecular mechanisms of neurodegenerative disease (PubMed Profile)

  • Favorite breakfast food: toasted sesame bagel
  • Hobbies: backcountry camping, playing guitar, taking photographs
  • Ph.D., Thomas Jefferson University
Headshot of Emily  Nyugen
Emily Nyugen
  • Research Technician I
Research Focus:

Gene mutation and regulation in mitochondrial disease

Favorite breakfast food: Sunny side up egg, sausage, and cheese sandwich on an english muffin

  • BS in Neuroscience
Nicole Sayles
Nicole Sayles , B.A.
  • Graduate Student
Research Focus:

Metabolic alterations underlying disease progression in primary mitochondrial cardiomyopathies (PubMed Profile)

  • Favorite breakfast food: White grapefruit
  • Hobbies: Painting, interior design, collecting insects, visiting galleries
  • B.A., Clark University
Headshot of Max  Siragusa
Max Siragusa
  • Research Technician
Research Focus:

Research Focus: Studying the differences in flavin loss across isoforms of Complex I during Reverse Electron Transfer.

An Interesting Quirk: I play Ultimate Frisbee

  • B.S
Headshot of Nneka Southwell
Nneka Southwell
  • Neuroscience Graduate Student
Research Focus:

Elucidating metabolic alterations in mitochondrial diseases which may lead to therapeutic intervention

  • B.s., Rochester Institute of Technology
Headshot of Anna  Stepanova
Anna Stepanova
  • Research Associate in Neuroscience
Research Focus:

Dr. Stepanova's research focuses on uncovering the elusive link between mitochondria, calcium communication, and heart cells' well-being in patients with Friedreich's Ataxia (FA) to identify novel therapies for cardiomyopathy in FA.

Research grants: Calcium communication among intracellular compartments in FA patient-derived cells. Friedreich's Ataxia Research Alliance (FARA) Grant (PI, Stepanova) 09/01/2022-08/31/2024

Hobbies: Anna has been a Toastmaster since Feb 2021. Now she is the Club President of Columbia University Toastmasters and Division B Director in District 46. When Anna isn't at the bench or busy with Toastmasters, you can spot her in a dance studio or Central Park, where she prepares for bike rides like the Bike-A-Thon or rideATAXIA.

  • Ph.D. in Physiology
Headshot of Belem Yoval Sánchez
Belem Yoval Sánchez , Ph.D.
  • Postdoctoral Researcher
Research Focus:

Mitochondrial function during transient metabolic changes of hypoxia-ischemia 

Hobbies: Listening to music 

Favorite breakfast food: I don't eat breakfast

  • Ph.D.
Dazhi Zhao
Dazhi Zhao , M.S.
  • Laboratory Technician
  • M.S., Northern Jiaotong University, China
  • Favorite breakfast food: dim sum
  • Hobbies: eating and remodeling house