Molecular Genetics Core Facility
Irene Simkin – Lab Manager
Irene Simkina, MS, has been with the Core Laboratory since 2001 and manages the group as an operational unit. Irene is responsible for accomplishing the Core Laboratory goals and targets, quality and productivity, and ensuring customer satisfaction. She also develops the Standard Operation Procedures (SOP), adapts new technologies, protocols and software, while improving the lab and working to reduce costs. Irene works closely with the investigators and scientists to consult and provide advice.
Anna Berberoglu – Lab Technician
As a laboratory technician at the Genetics CORE lab in the Boston University School of Medicine, Anna extracts DNA/RNA from various samples including blood, saliva, placenta, and brain tissues and store them for genetic analysis. Anna logs and maps samples using network databases, perform genotyping reactions, optimize PCR-based assays, and operate automated DNA genotyping equipment.
Caroline Banfi – Lab Technician
As a laboratory technician at the Genetics CORE lab in the Boston University School of Medicine, Caroline extracts DNA/RNA from various samples including blood, saliva, placenta, and brain tissues and store them for genetic analysis. Caroline logs and maps samples using network databases, perform genotyping reactions, optimize PCR-based assays, and operate automated DNA genotyping equipment.
Visit our Molecular Genetics Core Facility website!
John Farrell – IT Manager
The IT Manager of the Biomedical Genetics Program leads a team of talented information technology specialists to support the complex computational and data management needs of the Genetics Epidemiology Center and the Molecular Genetics Core Lab. Since arriving at Boston University Medical School in 1981, he has developed software systems and tools for the computerized data collection, data management, quality control and analysis of epidemiological research studies. His efforts have been instrumental in the use of web technologies, optical scanning technologies and laptop computers for the data collection and patient tracking in numerous large scale epidemiological research projects. His recent efforts have included meeting the computational requirements of the Genetics Program research with the installation of a 48-processor Linux Cluster.
Data Analysts and Programmers
CongCong Zhu– Research Data Analyst II
As a Data Analyst II, CongCong works closely with investigators to perform multiple statistical analyses. Her work deals with developing bioinformatics pipelines for NIH funded projects, studying the genetics of Alzheimer’s disease and addiction to alcohol, cocaine, and opioids. CongCong also harmonizes and cleans phenotype and genotype data.
• Zhang X, Zhu C, Beecham G, Vardarajan BN, Ma Y, Lancour D, Farrell JJ, Chung J; Alzheimer’s Disease Sequencing Project, Mayeux R, Haines JL, Schellenberg GD, Pericak-Vance MA, Lunetta KL, Farrer LA. A rare missense variant of CASP7 is associated with familial late-onset Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimers Dement. 2019 Jan 3.
Jenny Empawi – Research Data Analyst
Ankit Mishra – Research Data Analyst II
As a Research Data Analyst II, Ankit implements and develops various computational frameworks and analysis strategies for multiple ongoing and emerging genetics/genomics and multiple omics projects in Alzheimer’s disease using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) tools; develops and maintains analytic tools for AI and ML approaches; implements and evaluates analysis pipelines using multi-omics data from blood and brain, e.g., transcriptome, epigenome, proteome, and metabolome data; develops and maintains genetic/genomics data analysis pipelines using genome-wide association and whole genome/exome sequencing data; and keeps track of datasets and documents related to analysis.
Ryan Dacey – Statistical Programmer
As a Statistical Programmer, Ryan works with multiple investigators in the Biomedical Genetics Section of the Boston University School of Medicine. His current work focuses on studies of risk and resilience factors for Alzheimer’s Disease through various analysis techniques including genome-wide association studies (GWAS), gene-environment interactions, epigenetic aging, and Mendelian randomization.
Hau Nguyen– Section Administrative Director
Hau has been with Boston University for over 9 years. As Administrative Director, she is responsible for the day-to-day operations and management of budget, finance, personnel, strategic plan, and the administrative services of the Section to meet the research and education missions at the Department of Medicine.
Vidriana Catanzaro – Administrative Research Assistant
Vidriana is currently pursuing her MS in Applied Biostatistics at Boston University. As a Research and Administrative Assistant, Vidriana is responsible for scheduling appointments and meetings, ordering supplies for the department, updating the section website, as well as other miscellaneous research assignments in order to assist department faculty, staff, and students.
Maria Dudek – Program Manager, FHS-BAP
As Program Manager her main responsibilities are the daily administrative operations and project management of the the Framingham Heart Study – Brain Aging Program. In addition, she assists two PI’s with grant reports, conferences and other program related duties.