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Our team

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Dmitry Velmeshev, PhD

Dmitry received his PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Miami for his work on analysis of transcriptomic changes in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Upon joining the lab of Arnold Kriegstein at UCSF, he adopted and applied single-nucleus RNA sequencing methods to study how specific brain cell types change in ASD and other CNS disorders, as well as during normal development.

Dmitry started his lab at Duke in 2022 to focus on studying and modelling brain development and disease using single-cell genomics, organoid cultures and bioengineering approaches. 

Zijian (Zack) Zhang
Postdoctoral scholar

Zijian grew up in Rock Hometown (SJZ), China. He received his B.A. and his Ph.D. in molecular medicine from Sun Yat-sen University. During his Ph.D., Zijian focused on cell organelle regulation in cancer. In the lab, Zijian is exploring circuit formation during human brain development and in disease on the single-cell level.

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Zihan Yan
Graduate student

Zihan is a first year PhD student from Duke developmental and stem cell biology program. She did her undergraduate study at UC Berkeley. She is interested in studying the role of epigenetic signaling during brain development and in diseases, such as autism spectrum disorder, using single cell genomics. 


Brittany Gilbert
MS student

Brittany is a second-year Biomedical Engineering master student. She has a passion for understanding how the human brain functions and why certain neurodevelopmental disorders occur. She began her career as an undergraduate researcher in Dr. Joshua Morgan’s Tissue Injury & Mortality Engineering (TIME) lab at the University of California, Riverside, where she worked on computationally modeling the human circadian rhythm and cell cycle to better understand how the signaling of senescent cells drives tissue dysfunction. In the lab, Brittany uses 3D bioprinting to create novel models of the developing human brain. 

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