Department of Biochemistry

Dongdong Cao, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow

Dongdong is originally from China. He received his B.A. in Biotechnology and Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Science and Technology of China, USTC. His graduate research focused on exploring the structure and function of enzymes and immune-related proteins by x-ray crystallography. Dr. Cao joined the Liang Lab as a postdoctoral fellow to work on the structure and regulation of RNA synthesis machinery of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) using x-ray crystallography and cryo-EM.

Member since June 2017

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Dongdong Cao, PhD

Yunrong Gao, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow

Yunrong is originally from China. He received his B.S. degree from the Huazhong Agricultural University and his Ph.D. degree from the Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academic of Sciences. His graduate research focused on the mechanism of PAS (Para-Aminosalicylic Acid) resistance and structural analysis of the MarR family proteins in Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Dr. Gao joined the Liang Lab to work on the mechanism and structures of the RSV-specific nucleocapsids and the regulatory role of the RSV M2-1 using integrated x-ray crystallography and cryo-EM.

Member since June 2017

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Dr. Yunrong Gao

Brandon Franklin Young, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow

Brandon is originally from Raleigh, NC. He received his B.S. in Biological Sciences from the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) as a Meyerhoff Scholar and Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC). His graduate research focused on using structural biology techniques such as x-ray crystallography and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) to learn more about the molecular mechanisms of resistance in cephalosporin-resistant strains of Neisseria gonorrhoeae. Dr. Young joined the Liang Lab as an Emory FIRST (Fellowships in Research and Science Teaching) postdoctoral scholar.

Member since September 2020

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Brandon Young PhD

Brianna Hammond
Research Assistant

Brianna is originally from Seattle, WA. She received her B.A. in Biochemistry from Southern Virginia University in 2019, where she researched enzymatic activities of β-galactosidase. Brianna joined the Liang lab to focus on protein purification and EM specimen preparation for structural analysis by x-ray crystallography and cryo-EM.

Member since January 2020

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Brianna Hammond

Maurice Terrell Royal
Laboratory Assistant

Maurice is originally from Cleveland, OH. He obtained his B.S. from Youngstown State University. He has previously worked as a blood bank med technician, research technician, and microbiologist. He also has research experience from Nationwide Children’s Hospital, focusing on Neisseria gonorrheae’s interactions with cervical cells. Maurice joined the Liang lab to focus on the insect and mammalian cell culture to support various projects.

Member since September 2020

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Maurice Terrell Royal

Max Ahn
Undergraduate Student

Max is originally from South Korea. He attended and graduated high school in Georgia. He double-majors in Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology and Chemistry at Emory. Max joined the Liang lab to work on multiple projects involving protein purification, protein crystallization, and RNA transcription. He also worked on developing an effective way of solubilizing membrane protein and characterizing its structure through cryo-EM.

Member since October 2017

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Max Ahn

Anna Antonova
Undergraduate Student

Anna is from Fair Lawn, NJ. She majors in Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology at Emory. As a Pre-med student, she has a passion for medicine, and she likes to play tennis.  Along with her study, she joined Challah for Hunger, Women in STEM, and ChEmory at Emory University. Anna joined the Liang lab to work on the insect and mammalian cell culture.

Member since September 2017

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Anna Antonova

Athena Cohen
Undergraduate Student

Athena is from Frederick, MD. She majors in Chemistry at Emory. She is passionate about chemistry and mentoring. Athena’s interest in analytical chemistry compels her to pursue chemistry research. She is drawn to the Liang Lab by the ground-breaking technology, cryo-EM. Athena joined the Liang lab to work on protein biochemistry and expand her knowledge of biochemistry.

Member since October 2019

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Athena Cohen

Bowei Deng
Undergraduate student

Bowei is originally from China, but he moved to Irvine, California, at the age of 14. He studies Chemistry & Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology, and he is a member of Emory Concert Choir. In his High School, he was the president of the international student association, the student acappella group, and the communication club. Bowei joined the Liang lab to work on the sample preparations of the RSV polymerase.

Member since January 2020

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Bowei Deng

Dario Fucich
Undergraduate student

Dario is from Queens, NY. He majors in Biology and Computer Science at Emory. He is also a campus tour guide and communications center team member of undergraduate admissions office. During his junior and senior years of high school, he volunteered as a research assistant in a lab studying the cell cycle control system with fission yeast. Dario joined the Liang lab to work on the computation analysis of the cryo-EM data.

Member since September 2018

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Dario Fucich

Inesh Gooneratne
Undergraduate student

Inesh is originally from Sri Lanka. Inesh majors in Chemistry and Biology at Emory and volunteers at the Winship Cancer Institute. Inesh has a passion for both research and medicine, and he is motivated to contribute to a better future. Inesh joined the Liang lab to work on the sample preparations of the RSV polymerase.

Member since January 2020

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Inesh Gooneratne

Nicholas Keung
Undergraduate student

Nicholas Keung is originally from Irvine, California. He studies a double major in Biology and Psychology & Linguistics at Emory University. He previously graduated from Northwood High School where he was an active member of the Make-a-Wish and Red Cross clubs. In addition, he was a part of the California Scholarship Federation honor society and received the Charter Oak award for his academic achievement. Nicholas joined the Liang Lab to work on Ebola polymerase project.

Member since January 2021

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keung-nicholas

Jae Lee
Undergraduate student

Jae is originally from South Korea. He majors in Biology at Emory. He is also a volunteer at Winship Cancer Institute and Emory SHINE organization. In his High School, he participated in the regional Science Olympiad competition, Mu Alpha Theta club (math club), and biotechnology club. Jae joined the Liang lab to work on protein preparation for RSV polymerase and protein biochemistry.

Member since February 2020

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Jae Lee

Cristopher Mera
Undergraduate student

Cris is from New York, NY. He majors in Biology on the pre-med track at Emory. He is a part of Emory’s Quest Scholars Network, serving in the Scholarship Committee, as well as participating as a Family Head Mentor for first-generation low-income students in the QuestFAM program. He graduated with Principal’s List and Honors with Distinction from his High School. Cris joined the Liang lab to work on the sample preparation of the RSV polymerase.

Member since January 2020

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C Mera

Alexa Mohsenzadeh
Undergraduate student

Alexa is from Barrington, IL. She majors in Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology and minoring in Ethics at Emory. She works as an undergraduate contributor for the Neuroethics Blog hosted by the Center for Ethics. She has conducted research on the integration of mindfulness and neural training in the mainstream workforce with the Institute for Organizational Mindfulness. Alexa joined the Liang lab to work on the sample preparation and protein enzymology.

Member since November 2019

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Alexa Mohsenzadeh 

Claire Ogilvie
Undergraduate Student

Claire is from Houston, TX. She is currently undecided in major, but she is heading towards either Chemistry or Physics. Claire was a High School Aerospace Scholar through NASA, which has helped lead her on the path she is on today. Claire joined the Liang lab to work on the protein preparation and crystallization of the RSV proteins.

Member since February 2019

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Claire Ogilvie

Anirudh Raghavan
Undergraduate Student

Anirudh is originally from Morganville, NJ. He is on the Pre-med track, majoring in Chemistry and Biology. Throughout his High School, he was deeply involved with supporting and participating in his school’s first competitive research club, the ExploraVision Research Organization. He also earned the Excellence in Science Award, a recognition of academic distinction in the fields of Chemistry, Biology, and Physics. Anirudh joined the Liang lab to work on the molecular cloning and protein preparations of multiple projects.

Member since March 2019

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raghavan

Julia Slack
Nursing student

Julia is from Overland Park, KS. She studies nursing at the Emory University Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing. She is a part of Emory’s nursing prestigious honors program and her thesis is analyzing Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and its effect on fatigue. She joined the Liang lab to analyze the structure and function of the RSV polymerase.

Member since September 2018

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Julia Slack

Chloe Von Hoffman
Undergraduate Student

Chloe is from Marietta, GA. She majors in Biology and Economics. She is also the Community Outreach Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Chair for Atlanta Pediatric Cancer Outreach Organization on Emory’s campus. In her senior year of High School, she interned in a lab, working towards finding a gene therapy treatment for hemophagocytic lymphohistocytosis (HLH). Chloe joined the Liang lab to work on the protein preparation of the RSV proteins.

Member since September 2019

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Chloe Von Hoffman

Lisa Zhuang
Undergraduate Student

Lisa is from Columbia, MO. She studies Creative writing at Emory. Lisa graduated with the highest honors from Rock Bridge High School, MO. Outside the lab, she writes for various school publications, tutors reading to local elementary school students, and volunteers as an emergency medical technician. Lisa joined the Liang lab to work on the cell culture and sample preparation of the RSV polymerase complex.

Member since September 2017

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Lisa Zhuang