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

Zhenhang Chen, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow

Zhenhang is originally from China. He received his PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from China Agriculture University. His doctoral thesis project is focused on human Fragile Mental Retardation Protein FMRP, he solved the X-ray crystal structure of the N terminal of FMRP and measured binding affinity between this protein and different post-translationally modified histone peptides. Before joining the Liang Lab, he used Baculovirus Expression System and cryo-EM method to study membrane proteins including human V-ATPase. He also studied enzyme activity and structure biology of structure-specific endonucleases that are essential for a DNA repair pathway named nucleotide excision repair in human and archaea.

Member since September 2021

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Z Chen

Joan Adebowale
Laboratory Manager

Joan Adebowale is a Nigerian American from Stone Mountain, GA who completed her bachelor's in Biological Engineering at the University of Georgia. She is currently getting her master's in Biotechnology from Morehouse School of Medicine. Her earlier research experience involved coding projects with R, Python, and MATLAB, microfluidic structures, and variations in cytokine production under the influence of nanoparticles. 

Member since September 2021

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Joan Adebowale

Natalie Horgan
Research Specialist

Natalie Horgan is originally from Saratoga Springs, New York and received her BA in Chemistry and Biochemistry from Lawrence University in Appleton Wisconsin. In 2019 she presented her research regarding transforming time series data into a form that could be recognized when using topological data analysis (TDA) to investigate a new and innovative way to find patterns in large data sets, with specific applicability to atmospheric chemistry. Her senior capstone research was a computational astrochemistry project where she looked at four different reactions that could form glycine in the interstellar medium. She determined which of the four reactions were thermodynamically favorable and simulated the reactants’ spectra.

Member since September 2021

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Natalie Horgan

Dylan Blohm
Laboratory Assistant

Dylan is originally from Williamson, Georgia. He received his B.S. in Biology from Georgia Tech, while also working in a biomedical engineering machine shop. His past research involves cardiovascular fluid mechanics, phylogenetics, and cellular biophysics. Dylan joined the Liang lab to work on protein purification, protein crystallization, and structural analysis using cryo-EM.

Member since September 2021

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Dylan Blohm

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

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

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

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

Jenny Vy          
Undergraduate student
 

Jenny is from Lawrenceville, Georgia. She is studying Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology at Emory University. During high school, she tutored at her local library, was captain of her soccer team, and graduated as salutatorian. Her passion for service has led her to become a community advisor for her sorority, mentors high school students in underserved high schools in Atlanta, and volunteers with Emory’s Autism Center. Her previous research regarded the study of mechanistic interaction between MCl-1 and Noxa-B where she became interested in biochemistry and plans to pursue a career in medicine. 

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Jenny Vy