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Xianjun Dong, PhD

Xianjun Dong is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Neurology at Harvard Medical School, a Faculty member of the HMS Initiative for RNA Medicine, and an Associate Member of the Broad Institute. Since 2020, Dr. Dong has been appointed to direct this Genomics and Bioinformatics Hub at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) and also run his own research lab as an independent PI. Before taking this position, Dr. Dong has been serving as the Director of the Computational Neuroscience Unit of the Precision Neurology Program at BWH and an Instructor at Harvard Medical School for 6 years. He specialized in developing and applying computational methods to understand the transcriptional regulation of the human genome, by integrating genomic, transcriptomic, epigenetic, and clinical data from both healthy subjects and patients with neurological diseases. He is particularly interested in the non-coding RNAs (eRNA, circRNA, miRNA, etc.) in the human brain. He has expertise in analyzing various NGS data, incl. ChIPseq, ATACseq, RNAseq, RNA-PET, CAGE, and WGS data.

Dr. Dong received his PhD degree in Bioinformatics at the University of Bergen (supervisor: Dr. Boris Lenhard) and a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Bioinformatics and Integrative Biology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School (supervisor: Dr. Zhiping Weng). He was an active member of the ENCODE consortium. He has 40+ publications with 21,000+ citations and an H-index of 27. He is recently funded by the American Parkinson’s Disease Association (APDA)Aligning Science Across Parkinson’s (ASAP), and NIH (two R01, U19, U01, R41, R24). In his spare time, he raises three kids and 15 chickens.

[Biosketch] | [Github] | [Pubmed]

Jie Yuan, PhD

Jie Yuan is currently a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Dong’s lab at the Department of Neurology at BWH and Harvard Medical School, studying risk factors and biomarkers for Parkinson’s disease. Jie completed his PhD in computer science at Columbia University working on statistical tools for GWAS analysis, including methods to identify disease subtypes with unique SNP associations (Yuan et al. Nature Genetics, 2018; Yuan et al. PLoS Genetics, 2020). He is broadly interested in deep learning and other topics in machine learning and their applications to genomics and epigenetics. He is an avid (though amateur) chess player and puzzle solver in his free time.

Ruifeng Hu, PhD

Ruifeng Hu is currently a research fellow in Dr. Dong’s lab at the Department of Neurology at BWH and Harvard Medical School. Ruifeng received his Ph.D. degree in the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences (CAMS) & Peking Union Medical College (PUMC), China. Before joining Harvard, Ruifeng did his postdoctoral fellow at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. His research is focused on but not limited to develop computational methods to unveil the hidden biological circuitries underlying the data, from understanding sequence-based regulations to the genomes or epigenomes and their impacts on diseases. Ruifeng is proficient in Python, C++, and C. He likes hiking/traveling/hand-writing/watching movies/reading in his spare time.

Daianna González

Daianna González is a Genomic Sciences undergraduate student at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (NAUM). She is currently a research student in the Hub. She is interested in applying bioinformatics to understand the underlying gene regulation mechanisms of brain disease through omics data analysis in order to ultimately design effective therapies and drugs. In 2019 Daianna won the first place in the National Carma Women’s Mathematics Olympiad.

Ziqin Wang

Ziqin is a graduated Master’s student who majored in Biostatistics at the University of California, Davis, and he got his Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics at the University of California, San Diego, During his study at both undergraduate and graduate school, he got proficient skills in Survival Analysis and constructing various kinds of statistical models on analyzing clinical data, also he got rich experience in coding with R. Currently he is a research assistant for the lab, with profound interests in analyzing genomics data. He is also a good Ping Pong player and Sudoku lover.

Ruoxuan "Rosan" Wang

Rosan is a research student in the Hub. She is currently a third-year undergraduate student studying Biochemistry and Data Science at Northeastern University and has previously worked as a Bioinformatics Analyst at a small molecule RNA splicing startup company. Rosan is interested in studying omics data to better understand disease progression and gene expression in neurological diseases. In her spare time, she enjoys knitting and crocheting.

Ewa Grassin, PhD

Ewa is currently a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Dr. Luke Lee’s group and jointly in Dr. Dong’s group at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Ewa is awarded the Swiss National Science Foundation Fellowship to investigate the role of extracellular vesicles in the development and progression of human brain disorders using patient-derived iPSC-based organoids on a novel multiplexed microfluidic platform. Ewa received her PhD in Chemistry at the University of Geneva, Switzerland, discovering the novel phenomenon of synergy between human antimicrobial peptides. In her spare time, she enjoys riding a motorcycle, scuba diving, and dancing classical ballet.

Miles Waits

Miles Waits

Miles is doing a remote, part-time internship in the hub. He graduated from Yale University in 2021 with a degree in physics and a data science certificate. Miles is interested in applying his data science skillsets to perform the pharmacome data in the PPMI study.

Matthew G. Torre, M.D.

Matthew G. Torre, MD

Matthew is an affiliated member of the hub and an Instructor in Pathology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He is interested in using bioinformatics to uncover novel mechanisms underlying chemotherapy-related cognitive impairment.

Xiaohe "Lucy" Tian

Lucy is a Research Assistant and Master student in the lab. She is currently a first-year Master’s student in the Computational Biology and Quantitative Genetics program at Harvard T.H. Chan. Her major interest lies in employing machine learning and multi-dimensional data analysis to detect patterns across integrated omics data in chronic disease development. She graduated with honors from UC Berkeley in 2022 with a dual degree in Microbial Biology and Data Science. She enjoys both the outdoors and alone time at home watching anime.

Anthony Cicalo

Anthony Cicalo IV received his Master’s in Computational Medicine and Bioinformatics at the University of Michigan in 2022 and completed his Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and Cell Biology in 2019 from Wayne State University. Prior to joining the Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), Anthony worked at the Allen Institute in Seattle, Washington where he worked with single cell RNA-Seq and Single Cell ATAC-Seq to try and establish the immune-landscape of induced memory-like NK cells in newly diagnosed multiple myeloma patients. He has overall interested lies in the applications of genomics and computational techniques in translational discoveries. In his spare time, he enjoys CrossFit and watching football.

Maoxuan Lin

Maoxuan Lin, PhD

Maoxuan is currently a postdoctoral fellow in Dong Lab at the Department of Neurology at BWH and Harvard Medical School. Maoxuan was a former radiologist, and he earned his medical degree from China Medical University, Shenyang, China. He switched his career from radiology to bioinformatics impressed by the great translational capability of bioinformatics and its significant benefits for human health. He received his Master and Doctorate degrees in Bioinformatics and Genomics from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and had worked on human cardiovascular genomics at the University of Michigan, on the human oral microbiome at the Forsyth Institute, and on human cancer genomics and epigenomics at MGH Cancer Center. Maoxuan’s work in Dong Lab will focus on integrating single-cell multi-omics data (e.g. single-cell RNAseq, ATAC-seq) to characterize human neurological diseases. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his family, reading, hiking, running, skiing, and watching NBA.

Yiyong Zhao

Yiyong "Rambo" Zhao, PhD

Yiyong is currently a post-doctoral research fellow in Dr. Dong’s lab at the Department of Neurology at BWH and Harvard Medical School. His current research interests focus on revealing the unknown functions of the human genome and their roles in neurological diseases by applying and developing computational methods to integrate multi-dimensional multi-source data. Yiyong received his Ph.D. in bioinformatics from Fudan University China (2016-2021 and completed the Ph.D. joint program at Pennsylvania State University in the United States (2019-2020). His main work was related to evolutionary genomics and comparative genomics during his Ph.D. training (Nature 2020, Mol. Plant 2021.). Before joining Harvard, Yiyong worked as a bioinformatics and artificial intelligence scientist at Drug Farm, a pioneer company to utilize genetics and AI technologies to discover and develop innovative, immune-modulating therapies in Shanghai (2020-2021). Afterward, he worked as a professor in crop genetics and breeding at Guizhou University, China, in 2022. He likes hiking and playing soccer in his spare time.

Aaron Brown

Aaron is the Administrative Assistant for the Brigham and Women’s (BWH) Program for Interdisciplinary Neuroscience (PIN). Aaron Provides support for all aspects of the PIN mission. Prior to joining BWH, Aaron spent five years providing technical assistance as an ABO certified Optician Apprentice. During this time, he developed a passion for community outreach, serving as the Social Engagement Lead in his store. Aaron Graduated from The School of the Museum of Fine Arts, via TUFTS University, with a BFA in 2014. As a multidisciplinary artist, he is not bound to any specific medium, but enjoys printmaking and sound design. Outside of BWH, Aaron is currently composing music for DUKE University’s MFA Dance program.

Sherri Schwaninger, MBA

Sherri Schwaninger, MBA is Program Manager supporting the Scherzer/Dong/Lemere Labs. Sherri has been a healthcare manager for 35 years spending the first 17 years of her career with Partners’ Neurology at MGH and BWH, where she had responsibility for research finance and clinical operations. Shifting to the pharmaceutical industry, Sherri spent 16+ years as Head of Operations, Biologics and Imaging, at Novartis. Her focus was on lab operations and operating and capital budget management. Sherri has returned to the BWH after a short retirement. She earned her MBA from Simmons University and her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from UMASS Boston.


  • Qinyun Lin, research assistant, 2022-2022
  • Grace Reed, co-op student, 2021-2022
  • Tingting Zhao, PhD, research scientist, 2021-2022
  • Ariela Buxbaum Grice, research trainee, 2020-2021
  • Mrinal Subash, co-op student, 2019-2020
  • Xiaoqi “Ava” Li, research assistant, 2020-2021
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