People

Bo Liang, PhD

Bo Liang, PhD

I am broadly interested in the structural basis and physiological function of biologically important complexes in space and time. I am particularly interested in human disease associated ribonucleoprotein complexes, and membrane protein complexes. My research interests focus on hybrid approaches of cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM), X-ray crystallography and fluorescence light microscopy to uncover the mechanisms of macromolecular machineries. I am also interested in sampling and deciphering the structural and dynamic aspects of molecules that are critical for their biological function in real time at single molecule level.

Click here to read Dr. Liang's faculty profile.

Samantha Rice

My name is Samantha Rice, I am from Tuscaloosa AL where I spent most of my life. After high school, I attended Auburn University where I received a Bachelor’s of Science in Laboratory and Medical Technology in 2012. Immediately after graduating college, I began working at Southern Research in Birmingham AL as a laboratory manager for a HIV laboratory. There I focused on maintaining the lab’s day to day functions while working on vaccinia virus related experiments studying the membrane fusion and viral entry of HIV-1 into human T-cells. Specifically our work studied a CCR5 delta 32 base pair deletion mutation found in a small population of Europeans which rendered them resistant to HIV-1 viral entry. The height of these studies revolved around trying to express and purify the coreceptor CCR5 so that we could analyze its crystal structure and compare this structure to the CCR5 crystal structure of patients with the CCR5 delta 32 mutation.

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Dongdong Cao, PhD

Dongdong Cao received a B.A. in Biotechnology in 2011 and a Ph.D.in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in 2017 from University of Science and Technology of China. During his time at USTC, he mainly focused on exploring the structure and function of enzymes and immune related proteins by X-ray crystallography.

In June 2017, Dongdong joined Liang laboratory as a research scholar, where his research continued to focus on the structure and function of the RNA synthesis machinery of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) using X-ray crystallography and Cryo-EM.

Reese Antwine

My name is Reese Antwine, and I am from Jackson, TN where I graduated high school from the University School of Jackson. I am currently a senior at the University of Georgia and am studying biology with a concentration in neuroscience. I hope to attend medical school in the future and have interests in plastics, radiology, and oncology. At UGA, I am lab assistant in a behavioral sciences research lab in the Psychology Department, a Classic Scholars Scholarship recipient, an undergraduate assistant in the ASPIRE STEM Outreach Program, a UGA Miracle participant, a member of The Arch Society, and a student worker in the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Department.

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Yunrong Gao, PhD

Yunrong received his Bachelor’s of Science degree from the Huazhong Agricultural University in 2008. He completed his Ph.D. degree under the supervision of Prof. Bi lijun and Prof. Zhang xian’en at the Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academic of Sciences. His Ph.D. thesis focused on the new mechanism of PAS (Para-Aminosalicylic Acid) resistance of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, and structural analysis of the regulatory mechanism of MarR family proteins in Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

Yunrong joined in the Liang’s group in June of 2017, in his current project, he will apply cyo-EM or X-ray crystallography to study the function of some important proteins in HRSV.

Hyunjun Max Ahn

My name is Hyunjun Max Ahn, a freshman majoring in chemistry at Emory University. Although I am originally from Korea, I attended and graduated from high school in Georgia. In high school, I was very involved in tutoring activities – I mainly tutored math, chemistry, reading and ESOL. In fact, I was the president of the tutoring program in my high school and a manager of the math tutoring program in Ocee public library. In addition, I was also very involved in fundraising organizations – I was Historian and Vice President of Make A Wish Foundation in my high school. I seek to continue my tutoring career in Emory through Project Shine – a project dedicated to mentor elementary students. 

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Anna Antonova

My name is Anna Antonova and I am from Fair Lawn, New Jersey. I graduated from Fair Lawn High School and am now studying Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology at Emory University. Throughout high school, I volunteered in The Valley Hospital’s pharmacy department. There, I prepared intra-pharmacy non-hazardous medication and was responsible for restocking drugs and other supplies. In the summer of my sophomore year, I was the assistant recreation manager at Alaris Health Nursing Home. I was in charge of organizing activities and interactive games, like Karaoke Night, Bingo, and board games that helped patients with their mental well-being. 

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Anjiya Aswani

I am Anjiya Aswani and I grew up in Karachi, Pakistan. I graduated from Foundation Public School (high school) in Karachi & then came to Atlanta, USA to pursue my bachelors in Biology at Agnes Scott College. Coming to Agnes provided me with a large number of leadership opportunities as I served as the Commuter Student Senator (2017-18) on the Student Government Association and also was a part of the Exec team for the Muslim Student Association on campus.

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Amber Bell

My name is Amber Bell and I am a sophomore undergraduate here at Emory University double majoring in Biology and Mathematics. I am from a small town named Cleveland in Southeast TN. I attended Walker Valley High School where I was the Student Body President, Science Olympiad team member, and Anchor Club service member. Graduating from high school, I was a Rotary Youth Leader, a Tennessee Scholar, a Questbridge National College Match finalist, an Air Liquide America Foundation scholar, and a member of the Georgetown Scholarship Program.

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Paul D'Cunha

My name is Paul D’Cunha and I am a Junior at Emory University. I am from Lubbock, Texas but I have lived in several places ranging from Montana to New York. I am currently majoring in Chemistry (B.S.) and Mathematics (B.A.). Previously, I worked in an inorganic chemistry lab here at Emory under the mentorship of Dr. Hill in the department of chemistry studying new synthetic methods for adding Zirconium to polyoxometalates. 

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Ju Mi Ha

Ju Mi Ha

Ju Mi is a sophomore majoring in Biology and Japanese at Emory University. She began research in high school doing DNA analysis of grass shrimp in local river to create phylogenetic relationships of the species as a part of High School Research Program of Brookhaven National Lab. Throughout high school, Ju Mi has also worked on collecting samples of the local water in Long Island to observe activities of phytoplanktons that may cause harmful algal blooms. She joined the lab in spring of 2017.

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Sherica Hamilton

My name is Sherica Hamilton and I am from Montego Bay, Jamaica. I received my high school education and an IB diploma from Stoneleigh-Burnham School in Greenfield, Massachusetts. I am currently pursuing my Bachelor of Science in Biology with a minor in Public Health at Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia. I am a member of the Agnes Scott’s chapter of the Tri-Beta Biological Honor Society and a Goizueta Foundation STEM scholar where  I have been given the opportunity to complete 3 semesters of independent research under an advisor's mentorship.

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Shaylan Hill

My name is Shaylan Hill, I grew up in West Palm Beach, Florida, and I am a freshman here at Emory University. I attended Park Vista Community High School in Lake Worth, FL where I was a student in the school’s medical academy. In this academy, I took several medical laboratory classes and became a Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA), and Certified Phlebotomy Technician (CPT). I plan to double major in Biology and Spanish on the pre-health track at Emory with plans to study abroad as well.

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Shayon Keating

Hello! My name is Shayon Keating and I am from Cumming, GA. I graduated from South Forsyth High School and am currently pursuing my degree in Microbiology from the University of Georgia and am set to graduate in December 2018. In the past, I have worked with numerous volunteer organizations, businesses, and hospitals in Athens, GA in order to bring awareness to certain issues or topics that are occurring in the local community. I am actively involved in trying to a create a more sustainable and beneficial future in my local community and this has been accomplished through working alongside or leading different organizations and teams.

 

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Wesley Lemons

My name is Wesley Lemons. I was born and raised in Johns Creek Georgia. I attended Northview Highschool and then continued on to pursue a bachelor’s degree in biology and a minor in public health from the University of Georgia. This upcoming year, I will be attending medical school at the University of West Virginia with hopes of pursuing Emergency Medicine. 

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Taha Rahmatullah

My name is Taha Rahmatullah and I am currently studying at the University of Georgia. I am a rising fourth-year majoring in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology with a minor in Spanish. I am a recipient of the Zell Miller Scholarship and part of Alpha Epsilon Delta Pre-Medical Honor Society.  At UGA I play clarinet in the Redcoat Marching Band, lead international student orientation every semester, and I am a TA for introductory biology.  I also am a Site Leader for IMPACT UGA, a service-learning organization where I plan and lead one of over twenty community service trips during spring and winter break. This spring break I led a trip to Jackson, MS, where 20 students and I volunteered to with nonprofits that help the disability community.

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Anita Ramanathan

My name is Anita Ramanathan and I am a 2ndyear at the University of Georgia apart of the Honors Program where I am majoring in biology with a neuroscience emphasis. I am from Alpharetta, Georgia, but originally from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. My career goals include going to medical school and becoming a physician specializing in either cardiology or neurology. In high school, I was president of National English Honors Society and a Director of Business Outreach for FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America). Graduating from high school, I was also a recipient of the Georgia Pacific National Merit Scholarship and the Zell Miller Scholarship.

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Claire Roesler

Claire Roesler is from Western Springs, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, where she graduated from Lyons Township High School in the top one percent of her class and was awarded with the senior orchestra award. Claire hopes to attend medical school and go into emergency medicine. Claire is a sophomore at Emory College of Arts and Sciences. She is on the pre-medical track and double majoring in chemistry and music. In addition to working in the Liang Lab, Claire tutors chemistry and mathematics at the local high school and is an active member of Phi Delta Epsilon. Her other involvements include being the assistant principle violinist in the Emory Symphony Orchestra and performing in a chamber quartet.

Sarah Romanelli

My name is Sarah Romanelli and I'm a freshman at Emory University studying biology on a pre-med track. I'm from Oceanside, New York and I'm a proud student from Oceanside High School! During my time in high school, I was heavily involved in science research and a proud member of my high school's college research program. I interned for the past two years at Columbia University's Center for Cancer Genetics, where I studied the effect of hyperactive NT5C2 genes on relapsed leukemia and nucleoside analogue resistance. For my research, I was awarded "Best In Fair" at the New York State Science and Engineering Fair (NYSSEF) as well as second place in translational medicine at the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF).

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Julianne Toms

My name is Julianne Toms, I am from Johns Creek GA. I am currently a Junior at the University of Georgia working on a Bachelor’s of Science in Cellular Biology and a minor in Public Health with a pre-med intent. Throughout high school I regularly volunteered at the Children’s Health Care of Atlanta. I was Vice President of the Science National Honors Society at my school and involved in many other honors societies. Outside of academics, I was my school’s cheerleading captain.  

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Amy Yang

My name is Amy Yang and I am currently a 4th year undergraduate pre-med student at the University of Georgia studying Biology and Psychology (neuroscience emphasis). I am from a small city south of Atlanta, known as McDonough where I graduated in the top 5 percent of my class from Eagles Landing Christian Academy.

 

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Yuelin Zhong

My name is Yuelin Zhong and I’m currently a rising second year in University of Virginia. I finished my high school in Shanghai, China. I was into science since I was a little kid. I took IB chemistry and biology in high school, and my intended majors in college are biology and psychology.           

Before joining Liang Lab, most of my research experience was completed individually. In high school, I designed and completed several small science projects, such as finding the relationship between the lipid content in milk and the quality of yogurt (defined by viscosity, color and pH). I also did a literature review on the “food properties” of Chinese dietary therapy under the guidance of a graduate mentor. Liang Lab is my first opportunity to work in a science project with a team.

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Lisa Zhuang

Hi, my name is Lisa Zhuang, a student lab assistant for the Liang Laboratory. I hail from college town Columbia, MO, where I graduated with highest honors from Rock Bridge High School. Currently, I attend Emory College of Arts and Sciences (class of 2021,) where I plan to major in neuroscience. In high school, I participated in a multitude of service projects independently and through community service clubs. I volunteered at the local food bank weekly for two years, an assisted living home for a year and a half, and helped set up and run the local Alzheimer’s Walk for four years. I worked as both vice president and treasurer for HOSA for four years, planning service projects including cancer research fundraisers and blood drives. I was also president of Environmental Coalition, where I enacted plans to make the school more sustainable. 

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