Lab Members

Principal Investigator - Graduate Students - Undergraduates - High School Students - Research Assistants - Visiting Scientists - Former Lab Members

Li Lab Photo

Li Lab - left to right, front to back: Dan Raps, Zi Huang, Chris Li, Ruby Cheng, Collin Ewald, Vishal Shah, Ingrid Buntschuh, Aneela Gillani, Ivor Joseph. Missing: Lana Tolen, Mahmoud Salem.

Principal Investigator:

Doctor Li Christine Li, Ph.D. - Professor

Graduate Students:

Collin Ewald

Collin Ewald - Ph. D Candidate

Why do only “old” people develop Alzheimer’s disease? In 5% of the cases a mutation is found that causes Alzheimer’s disease. Such mutations run in families. So if you think about it, children in those families with an “Alzheimer-causing-mutation” never show any symptoms, but then later in life, after the 4th or 5th decade, the disease rapidly deteriorates their brain. So what is it that keeps the Alzheimer’s disease in check until late in life? Is there a mechanism? To find out, we are using the model organism C. elegans, which has a short lifespan and mutations are easily introduced. Assuming such a mechanism is conserved, we can use C. elegans to pinpoint it down. Collin's Bio - Collin on WormBase



Adanna Alexander - Ph. D Candidate

My project is geared towards understanding the cellular function of apl-1 and identifying components of the APL-1 pathway. APL-1 is the C. elegans homologue of APP, which is found in humans. APP is cleaved to produce beta amyloid peptide, which forms dense plaques--a key characteristic of the brains of Alzheimer's Disease patients. An understanding of the processing of APL-1, including its upstream and downstream targets in C. elegans, will eventually give us insight to AD and possible remedies.



Ingrid Buntschuh - Masters Candidate

In the lab I work on the flp project, helping to determine the effect that the flp genes have on behavior. I take worms that are missing certain flp genes and then watch and record their behavior to see how they differ. In addition to working in the lab, I am the head of the science department at A. Philip Randolph Campus High School in the building right next door to the lab. I am continually amazed by how the body works and by how much we have in common with other organisms, including C. elegans. In the future I hope to develop a research program for students at Randolph and to continue to study learning and memory.

Undergraduate Students:

Ruby Cheng Ruby Cheng

Ivor Joseph Ivor Joseph


Aysha Islam

Mahmoud Mahmoud Salem

Vishal Shah

Vishal Shah

I work on the apl-1 project, using several techniques to gain insight on the function, pathways, and related genes of apl-1. Outside of the lab, I am a senior at Macaulay Honors College at City College pusuing a Bachelors of Science in Biology while minoring in Public Policy. I am currently applying to medical school, working towards a career in primary care as well as public health. My favorite aspect of working in the lab is learning something new everyday, as well as the conversations that turn into debates. In my spare time, I like to keep up with new tech gadgets, specifically mobile devices.

Lana Tolen Lana Tolen

High School Students:


Aneela Gillani

Aneela Gillani is a senior at Manhattan Center for Science and Mathematics. She is passionate about biology and is working towards a career in medicine. Her extracurricular activities include Model United Nations, National Honors Society, Desi Club, and she’s also in the Advanced Science Research program. When she’s not hard at work in class or in the lab, she can be found listening to music, playing volleyball, dancing or spending time with her friends and family.

Research Assistants:

Dan Raps Dan Raps

danny xu Danny Xu

Visiting Scientists:

Former Lab Members:

Maureen Gannon Maureen Gannon



Casey Brander

Casey worked as the lab's web and graphic designer in the summer of 2009. She worked on this website, a brochure for the biology department, and the graphics for a paper authored by Collin Ewald. She also poured lots of plates, autoclaved lots of trash, and filled lots of tip boxes. She studies Art with a concentration in electronic and time based media at Carnegie Mellon University.

tina Tina Burton

jenny chang 2 Jenny Chang

MB Mboutidem Etokakpan

lawrence ha Lawrence Ha

zi scarf Zi Huang

wale Wale Olajubelo


Karishma Rahman

Karishma was a high school student working in the Li Lab. Guang Yu Lee, her partner, and she won the New York City Science and Engineering Fair Team competition and went on to compete in the International Science and Engineering Fair in 2007. She is currently an undergraduate student at Massachusetts Institute of Technology working on her Bachelors degree in Biology.