Principal Investigator

Iwijn De Vlaminck
Associate Professor, Biomedical Engineering

Iwijn grew up in Belgium. He joined the Meinig School of Biomedical Engineering at Cornell University as an assistant professor in 2015. His research focuses on the development of precision medicine technologies for the monitoring of infectious diseases and immune mediated complications. Outside of work, Iwijn loves biking and spending time with his two kids, Benjamin and Emma.

Research Staff

Joan Sesing Lenz
Research Scientist

Joan has worked on numerous projects at multiple research institutions over the expanse of her career. Her specific interests include development of assays and application of protocols to cell free DNA and RNA for genomic based technologies.

Rohit Agarwal
KIC Postdoctoral Fellow

Rohit grew up in northern India. He moved to Germany for his higher education and completed his PhD in Biophysics from the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry in Munich. Currently, he is using spatial transcriptomics to study the development of vertebrate hearts. His interests include (but are not limited to): 1) backpacking and traveling 2) playing soccer and chess 3) roller coasters and petting zoos 4) reading about history and languages.

Emma Belcher
Research Technician

Emma grew up locally in central New York. She received a B.S. in Forensic Science and spent the first part of her career in an environmental and food micro testing lab. She is excited to transition into the field of Biomedical Engineering. In her free time, Emma enjoys caring for houseplants, thrifting and antique shopping, and reading.

Lena Takayasu
Research Associate

Lena grew up in Japan, and finished PhD in the University of Tokyo. Now her interest is in applying spatial imaging techniques to understand the interactions and dynamics of microbiomes. In her free time, she plays the piano, violin, and also biwa, a Japanese traditional instrument.

Peter Schweitzer
Research Scientist

Peter grew up in Southern Illinois and received his undergraduate degree from Washington University in St. Louis and Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. After being the director of the Cornell Genomics shared scientific resource facility for 20 years, Peter retired and joined the De Vlaminck lab, part-time, to apply his experience with genomics to new, cutting-edge technologies. Outside the lab, he enjoys bicycling, curling, and walking his dogs.

Andrew Bliss
Post-baccalaureate Researcher

Andrew grew up in Lancaster, Pennsylvania and earned his B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Cornell University in 2024. He has been a part of the De Vlaminck Lab since 2021 with a focus on utilizing cell-free nucleic acids for liquid biopsy of immune and infectious disease. In his free time, he enjoys practicing and competing in Taekwondo.

PhD Students

Benjamin Grodner
Biomedical Engineering, 2018

Ben grew up in Salt Lake City, UT and studied Biological Engineering at Montana State University in Bozeman, MT. As a Cornell PhD student in Biomedical Engineering, he is developing multiplexed imaging tools to spatially map complex bacterial communities. In his free time, Ben runs on the Finger Lakes Trail, plays bass, windsurfs on Cayuga Lake, and skis at Greek Peak, though rarely all at once.

Omary Mzava
Biomedical Engineering, 2019

Omary Mzava grew up in Kilimanjaro Province of Tanzania and studied Electrical and Electronics Engineering for his bachelors degree. He is interested in developing genomics technologies to study diseases. In his free time he enjoys watching and playing soccer.

Conor Loy
Genetics Genomics and Development, 2019

Conor grew up in Arlington Heights, Illinois and studied Biology and Data Anaytics at Denison University. He studies cell-free nucleic acids in complex immune and infectious diseases. He is developing minimally invasive diagnostic tools for point of care treatment. In his free time, he enjoys fly fishing, playing with his dog and going on hikes.

Liz-Audrey K. Djomnang
Biomedical Engineering, 2020

Liz grew up in the western French speaking region of Cameroon. She earned her B.S. in Biomedical Engineering at the University at Buffalo, NY. She currently works with human biofluids, cell-free nucleic acids and metagenomic sequencing. She develops diagnostics and studies the human microbiome using cell-free DNA.

Yannis Ntekas
Biomedical Engineering, 2020

Yannis grew up in Piraeus, Greece and got his Master's in Chemical Engineering at the National Technical University of Athens. He is developing new transcriptomic technologies to study microbiomes and explore the complex host-microbe interactions that tune immunity. Outside the lab, Yannis enjoys going to the cinema and discovering new beers.

Shaowen Jiang
Computational Biology, 2022

Shaowen grew up in Guangzhou, China and finished his Master’s in Bioinformatics from New York University and worked at the NYU School of Medicine as a bioinformatics analyst on cancer-related research. Currently, he is interested in using or developing computational tools on spatial and single-cell transcriptomics to study the disease-related research. Outside the lab, he likes traveling to historical places for city sightseeing and museums; hiking to nearby trails; enjoying “WuTiao Ren” music.

Annie Gardella
Biochemistry Molecular and Cell Biology, 2022

Annie grew up just outside of Boston, MA and earned her B.S. in Biochemistry from UMass Amherst in 2020. Before coming to Cornell, she worked for two years in early drug discovery at a biotech company in MA. Currently, she is interested in cell-free RNA sequencing and analysis to develop noninvasive liquid biopsies. Outside of the lab, she loves hiking Ithaca's falls, cycling, and cooking.

Daniel Eweis-LaBolle
Biochemistry Molecular and Cell Biology, 2022

Daniel grew up in Davis California and earned his B.S in Animal Biology and Genetics in 2020 from the University of California Davis. He is interested in developing new technologies to advance minimally-invasive diagnostics for infectious and immune related diseases. Outside of the lab, Daniel loves adventuring in nature, cooking, and playing the trumpet with any band that will take him.

Chase Holdener
Computational Biology, 2023

Chase grew up in Gambier, Ohio and did his undergraduate studies at Grinnell College in Biology and Computer Science. He is interested in applying and developing computational tools to find gene expression patterns in spatial data. Currently, he is applying spatial transcriptomics technologies to study infection spread and how host cells respond to infections. Outside of research, Chase likes printmaking, hiking, and spending time with friends.

Andreas Stephanou
Molecular Genetics, 2024

Andreas is from Nicosia, Cyprus and did his bachelors degree at the Ohio State University in Molecular Genetics. He is interested in applying spatial and single cell technologies to study various diseases. In his free time, he enjoys playing the drums, producing music, and spending time with his friends.

Glory F. Agun
Gentics Genomics and Development, 2024

Glory grew up in Northern Nigeria, and got a dual bachelor’s degree in Molecular Bioscience from Duke University, Durham and Duke Kunshan University, Jiangsu. She is interested in the use of cell-free nucleic acids as biomarkers for non-invasive diagnosis. She is currently working to understand cell-free nucleic acid stability and the impact on feature detection. Outside of the lab, she enjoys reading, volunteering and listening to music.

Undergraduate Students

Soleil Su
Class of 2025

Adam Yang
Class of 2027

Sally Scofield
Class of 2027

Angelina Chan
Class of 2026

Eujin Lee
Class of 2027

Richard Lin
Class of 2026


NameDegreeDatesCurrent Position
Manny SpanosUndergraduate Student2021-2024PhD Student, Weill Cornell Medicine
Maya SauthoffUndergraduate Student2021-2024EMT Training
Tinyi ChuPostdoc2023Damon Runyon Postdoctoral Fellow
Madhav MantriPhD Student2018-2023Postdoc, Stanford University
Adrienne Chang PhD Student2018-2023Biotechnology Intellectual Property Specialist, Wolf Greenfield
David McKellarPhD Student2018-2023Research Scientist, NY Genome Center
Owen FarchioneUndergraduate Student2020-2023PhD Student, MIT
Shaun CrossPostdoc2020-2022Assistant Professor, University of Nebraska
Michael WangPhD Student2017-2022Computational Genomics Scientist, Altos Labs
Charby Ortega De MaioMasters Student2020-2022Analyst, ClearView Healthcare Partners
Leo SongUndergraduate Student2019-2022Research Specialist, University of Pennsylvania
Alexandre ChengPhD Student 2016-2021Postdoc, NY Genome Center
Sami SmallingMasters Student 2020-2021Data Scientist, Booz Allen Hamilton
Peter KaplinskyUndergraduate Student2019-2021Software Engineer, PathAI
Jonathan HanUndergraduate Student2018-2021MD student, University of British Columbia
Hao ShiPhD Student 2015-2020CTO, Kanvas Biosciences
Mridu Saikia Postdoc2017-2019Lecturer in Biomedical Engineering, Cornell University
Deepan Thiruppathy Research Assistant2018-2019Graduate Student, UC San Diego
Tiffany HoResearch Assistant2017-2018Bioinformatician, Embark
Philip BurnhamPhD Student 2015-2019CSO, Kanvas Biosciences
Michael HeyangUndergraduate Student2016-2019Medical school, Yale University
Sara KeshavjeeUndergraduate Student2016-2019 Medical school, Columbia University
Fanny Chen Masters Student2015-2019Medical school, SUNY Upstate Medical University
Roozbeh Abedini Nassab Postdoc2017-2018Assistant Professor, Neyshaboor University, Iran