Principal Investigator


My background is in combining experimentation and modeling to study complex biological phenomena. I completed my PhD (bioinformatics and proteomics) in 2008 at the University of Toronto, Canada. After a 4 year postdoc at Harvard/MIT under the tutelage of Drs. Kevin Haigis and Douglas Lauffenburger, I started my own lab at Vanderbilt in the spring of 2013. I am interested in technologies that can interrogate signaling networks at high dimensional and high resolution (single cell) levels. In my spare time, I like to do home improvement projects.

Lab Manager


I graduated with a B.S. from Western Kentucky University in 2009 where I studied biology and chemistry while carrying out phylogenetic research. I spent the following year working with In-Situ Hybridization for cancer screening before returning to academic research in 2011. From 2011 to 2013 I investigated bacterial manipulation of drosophila reproduction for the Bordenstein Lab. I joined the Lau Lab in July of 2013 and I'm currently helping to optimize a procedure for the quantitative analysis of in vivo cellular signaling responses. I believe that a diverse interdisciplinary background is a valuable asset in the creation of novel ideas in the laboratory.

Postdoctoral Fellow


I received my B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Florida International University and I graduated from the Virginia Tech-Wake Forest University School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences with a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering. My doctoral research focused on studying the biophysical properties of cells and tissues to advance the use of pulsed electric fields as a cancer treatment modality. I am interested in utilizing organoids to study the role of tumor initiating cells (TICs) in the progression and metastasis of colorectal cancer, and to probe signaling networks involved in these processes at the single cell level. In my free time, I enjoy reading, watching movies and documentaries, and have recently taken up cooking. I look forward to enjoying the live music scene in Nashville and exploring this great city and surrounding areas. Funded by T32CA119925.

Graduate Student


I graduated from University of California, Irvine in 2014 with a B.S. in Biological Sciences. My undergraduate research focused on studying whether pre- or post-synaptic serotonin 1A receptors mediate alterations in adolescent rat dopamine signaling following nicotine and/or fluoxetine (Prozac) exposure. During this time, I also had the opportunity at Stanford University to investigate Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Giloma, a rare brain tumor that affects kids. Specifically I studied the proliferative effects of neuronal activity in the ventral pons on pontine oligodendroglial precursor cells. As of now, I am broadly interested in the immune microenvironment of colon cancer on a single cell level. In my free time I enjoy cooking, working out, and exploring the outdoors. Funded by T32AI007281 and R01DK103831 supplement.

Graduate Student


I earned my B.S. in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana in 2015. There, my start in research was with synthetic biology. I then studied gene regulatory networks and zinc finger transcription factors under the mentorship of Dr. Lisa Stubbs. Afterwards, I moved to Nashville to do research at Vanderbilt with Dr. Emily Hodges. Here, I developed functional genomic experimental methods for the investigation of non-coding gene regulatory sequences. Now, having joined Dr. Ken Lau's group, I am developing computational methods to leverage machine learning in the exploration of single-cell multiomics. My current hobbies involve computer hardware, DIY electronics, decentralized computing, and Nashville's music scene. Funded by T32LM012412.

Graduate Student


I graduated from Tennessee Technological University in 2015 with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering. As an undergraduate, my research project focused on engineered phage display systems for the discovery of affinity reagents. Before joining the graduate program, I worked at Vanderbilt with Dr. Borden Lacy to screen for receptors that mediate Clostridium difficile toxin A binding and entry. Additionally, we used phage display panning to identify antibody fragments that target various toxin epitopes. In the Lau lab, I am largely interested in using experimental and computational approaches to investigate the complex interactions among intestinal epithelial cells, immune cells, and microbes in the context of inflammatory bowel disease. Outside of the lab, I enjoy spending time with my family and being outdoors. Funded by T32HD007502.

Graduate Student


I received my B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin in 2016. As an undergraduate, I worked in the lab of Aaron Baker, investigating shear-stress mediated signal transduction in vascular remodeling of mesenchymal and endothelial cells. Following graduation, I worked as a research and development scientist for Asuragen in Austin, Texas. Here, I was part of a team developing and validating in vitro diagnostic sequencing assays and companion software tools to detect risk alleles for genetic disease and somatic mutations in cancer. As a member of the Lau Lab, I hope to apply machine learning and graph theoretic approaches to multimodal, single cell datasets to learn how cell identity and signaling contribute to disease. In my free time, I play ice hockey and golf, and enjoy all the live music in Nashville.

Graduate Student


I graduated from University of Dhaka in 2014 with a B.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Then I received my M.S. in Medical Science from University of Malaya in 2016. During this time, I received research training from a few institutes including Academia Sinica, Children Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA), Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ). After my M.S. degree, I joined Adam Bass' Lab at the Broad Institute and DFCI to work for The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) project until 2018. I am interested in developmental disorders like cancers. In addition, I am fascinated by the plasticity and the clonal dynamics as well as cells-of-origin of intestinal epithelium. Outside of the lab, I play badminton, cricket, and soccer, and I am passionate about quality science education development.

Graduate Student


I graduated from Pitzer College in 2019 with a B.A in Biology. My undergraduate research primarily focused on the effects of Doxorubicin (an anthracycline chemotherapy drug) on mitochondrial remodeling and metabolic programming in Non- Hodgkin's Lymphoma at Keck Graduate Institute. During my undergraduate degree, I also had the opportunity to travel abroad and conduct research at the University of Botswana's Vaccine Institute developing a Rabies vaccine. Currently, in Dr. Lau's lab, I am interested in researching colitis, specifically infectious colitis either from an immunological and/or microbiota lens. In my free time, I enjoy roller skating, social gatherings, shopping, and adrenaline-pumping adventures.

Graduate Student


I graduated from the University of Tennessee - Knoxville with a Bachelor's in Chemistry and then went on to get my Master's in Biochemistry. My interest in research began during my senior undergraduate project in computational chemistry and continued onto my master's dissertation in organometallic synthesis. I continued my research goals at the Hamilton Eye Institute at UTHSC under Dr. Vanessa Morales-Tirado working on Uveal Melanoma. Eventually, that lead me to Vanderbilt in Dr. Ann Richmond's lab on cutaneous melanoma and breast cancer mouse models. Currently, in the Ken Lau lab, I work to utilize FACS and single-cell RNA-seq of colonic epithelium. Outside of the lab, I play video games, try to shrink my Rubik's cube solve times, and a general nerd. Funded by T32HD007502.

Research Assistant


I earned my B.S. degree in China. I came to the United States in 1999. I moved to Nashville after three years of working at the American Red Cross. I have worked as a Research Assistant at Vanderbilt University for seventeen years. I joined Dr. Lau's lab in November of 2019. I have extensive experience in performing molecular biology experiments and mouse colony maintenance. Currently, I assist on performing single-cell RNA-seq experiments. In my spare time, I enjoy cooking, and playing ping pong and tennis.

Undergraduate Students

James Ro
Victoria Wang
Vishal Shah

Undergraduate Students

Molly Bingham
Janney Wang

Trainees and Staff (Alumni)

Amrita Banerjee T32AI138932

Austin Southard-Smith

Mary Kate Macedonia

Trainees and Staff (Alumni)

Sun Wook Kim

Chuck Herring T32HD007502 F31GM120940
Chang Qing Zhang

Trainees and Staff (Alumni)

Cherie' Scurrah T32AI007281 R01DK103831S1

Undergraduate Students (Alumni)

Andres Guillen
Chehronai Fozil
Tarun Mallipeddi

Undergraduate Students(Alumni)

Susie Shin
Hanjune Kim
Catherine Swarts

Undergraduate Students (Alumni)

Andrea M. Lopez
Joshua Stokes
Hyeyon Kim

Undergraduate Students (Alumni)

Swati Baskiyar

High School Students (Alumni)

Yingshyan Ku
Sumaya Muhamed
Kyra Thomas