top of page

Principal Investigator



christophermaher at

My primary research interests focus on translating genome-based discoveries into the clinic. This can be exemplified by the development of novel software tools that have enabled the discovery of novel recurrent RNA chimeras and non-coding alterations in solid tumors using high-throughput sequencing. Further, the lab is dedicated to the discovery and characterization of novel non-coding RNAs, elucidating their functionality, and assessing their clinical applicability. I received my PhD in Biomedical Engineering from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and completed my postdoctoral research at the University of Michigan. 

Faculty and Staff


nmmaher at


The goal of my research is to understand how long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) contribute to the progression of lung cancer. Specifically, to understand the biology, we prioritized evolutionarily conserved lncRNAs according to sequence homology and synteny from humans to zebrafish. We hypothesized that the 450-million-year evolutionary distance between these species provided stringent criteria to identify the most essential lncRNAs. One of the few lncRNAs meeting this criterion is onco-lncRNA-17, which we have shown is co-regulated with FOXA2 expression, its neighboring protein-coding gene. FOXA2 is a winged-helix transcription factor that plays an important role in the formation of the endoderm and is critical in tissues such as lung, liver, and pancreas. Deregulation of FOXA2 is implicated in diseases such as lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and asthma. Ongoing studies are aimed at understanding how onco-lncRNA-17 is regulating FOXA2. I received my PhD in Pharmacology from Case Western Reserve University.


erozycki at


Research Lab Supervisor

I am the research lab supervisor in charge of the general daily lab operations. I am also involved in all of the research projects in the lab. I am currently starting our translational projects to look at lncRNAs in blood, urine, and stool as potential biomarkers. Over the years we have carefully characterized these lncRNAs to determine their expression pattern in solid tumors.  I am working with our collaborators to collect human samples, and I am responsible for processing them to prepare for sequencing. I received my Bachelor of Science in Microbiology, Cellular and Molecular Biology, and Biotechnology from Southeast Missouri State University. 


awilliam at

Senior Research Technician


I will be leveraging my extensive experience in research and development to bring new technologies to the Maher lab. My goal is to optimize new methods and streamline lab procedures, thereby allowing me to contribute to several different projects. My current projects include high throughput assays to identify under-represented classes of noncoding RNAs and dissect their epigenetic functions. Additionally, I am focused on translating biomarkers recently discovered  in the Maher lab as non-invasive assays for improving patient care. I received my BA from Cornell College. 


devana at

Research Technician


I graduated from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biological Sciences, emphasis in Medical Sciences, with minors in Forensic Science and Chemistry. I am a Research Technician II working with Dr. Maher and Dr. White. I am assisting on projects studying possible diagnostic biomarkers in both gastrointestinal and breast cancer. Currently, our research is being further studied in early stages of a clinical trial. I also help maintain the lab.


netra at

Bioinformatics Research Analyst


I received my M-Tech degree from IIIT Hyderabad, India and received a Dean's list award for academic excellence. I have four years of experience as a Sr. Bioinformatics Engineer in the NGS domain. I've led a team of 3 and have been exposed to varieties of NGS data analysis which include RNA-seq, WGS, WES, TCR, and Single-cell (10X) with a combination of genomes. Additionally, I gained experience in analyzing clinical samples (somatic, germ-line, and liquid biopsy), and I also worked on creating an analysis pipeline using the Make framework, Python, and Perl.  I've joined the Maher lab as a Bioinformatics Research Analyst; I will be working on the cancer data to understand bone metastasis in breast cancer and develop a non-invasive assay using 5hmC in colon cancer patients. I love to play video games for leisure.


lil1 at

Bioinformatics Research Analyst


I'm interested in advancing science by applying bioinformatics analysis. My skill set encompasses both wet lab and dry lab techniques. Prior to joining the Maher lab, I conducted wet lab research into the mechanisms of diabetes pathogenesis, and also worked with multi-omics datasets to identify potential biomarkers for Alzheimer's disease at Indiana Biosciences Research Institute. My educational background includes a Master's degree in Public Health with a focus on infectious diseases and microbiology from the University of Pittsburgh. I also hold a Bachelor's degree in Nursing from Wuhan University in China. During my free time, I enjoy playing with my cat, baking, and playing badminton and table tennis.

Postdoctoral Scholars  


gothoum at


Postdoctoral Research Associate

My overall research interest is to utilize computational and mathematical methods towards the study of biological systems. My PhD is in Biological Engineering from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology. Previously, I have focused on reconstructing and modeling microbial systems, leveraging whole-genome sequencing data and metabolomics. In my current postdoctoral research, I am applying similar systems biology methods to multi-omics datasets of various cancer types. Specifically, I am interested in interrogating the effects of variants in non-coding regions, such as somatic copy-number alterations and mutations, on the expression of cancer genes. Mostly, I am focusing on variants leading to rearrangement of cis-regulatory elements by integrating copy-number variation data, gene expression data and supporting datasets with focus on chromatin interactions.


     yesol at


Postdoctoral Research Associate

My research interest is to identify and understand non-coding RNA related to cancer progression. I obtained my PhD in molecular biology at Sookmyung Women’s University in Seoul, Korea. My previous research focused on epigenetic molecular mechanisms in breast cancer through genome-wide screening. Specifically, I studied dysregulated miRNAs and methylated genes that led to tumor progression and resistance to anti-cancer drugs in triple-negative breast cancer. In addition, I investigated novel long non-coding RNAs for early detection of relapse in triple-negative breast cancer. Currently, I am interested in finding novel non-coding RNAs to understand cancer progression mechanisms using various next generation sequencing data analyses.


     hebbar at


Postdoctoral Research Associate

As an RNA biologist, I’m interested in exploring the roles of less studied non-coding RNAs in development and in diseases. I received my PhD from Kansas State University, where I studied regulatory mechanisms underlying miRNA mediated developmental processes in Caenorhabditis elegans. In the Maher lab, I’m working on identifying novel mechanisms through which lncRNAs drive colorectal cancer progression and developing means to therapeutically target them. In addition to unravelling RNAs, I’m interested in exploring creative ways to disseminate science to a broad range of audiences. My hobbies also include making to-do lists and testing new ways to procrastinate effectively. 

Graduate Students


coonrod.e at

PhD Student

Human and Statistical Genetics

Division of Biology and Biomedical Sciences


My research focuses on the discovery and characterization of small functional peptides encoded by lncRNA. Emphasis is placed on peptides that could have implications in colon and prostate cancer development and outcomes. This involves computational analysis and experimental validation. Broadly, I am interested in increasing understanding of human genetics to improve disease treatment. I am in the Human and Statistical Genetics graduate program, received my undergraduate degree from Mizzou, and am from St. Louis, Missouri.


sidizhao at


PhD Student

Computational and Systems Biology

Division of Biology and Biomedical Sciences

I am from Xiamen, a beautiful island city on the coastline of China. I attained my Bachelor of Science degree in Biomedical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. I am focusing my graduate research on personalizing treatment for cancer types that still lack promising targeted therapies. My thesis project focuses on the discovery of circular RNAs in metastatic colorectal cancer with potential as metastasis progression indicators and/or stable noninvasive biomarkers. In my free time, I enjoy distance running and hanging out with my two pet bunnies Berg and Shroom.


jace.webster at

PhD Student

Human and Statistical Genetics

Division of Biology and Biomedical Sciences


I am from Arizona and received my undergraduate training at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, where I majored in both Molecular Biology and Bioinformatics. I am now a graduate student in the Human and Statistical Genetics program in St. Louis and am broadly interested in how computational approaches can improve our understanding of genetics and disease. As a graduate student in the Maher Lab, I am broadly interested in the identification of biomarkers that can provide additional diagnostic and prognostic information relevant to colorectal cancer.

IMG_8600 (1)_edited.jpg

gjeffers at

PhD Student

Molecular Genetics and Genomics

Division of Biology and Biomedical Sciences


I graduated with a Bachelors of Science from University of the Virgin Islands where I studied Computer Science with a focus on Biology and Mathematics.  Following a post baccalaureate research experience in the Maher lab, I joined the Molecular Genetics and Genomics program at Washington University to pursue a doctorate.


h.mai at

PhD Student

Cancer Biology

Division of Biology and Biomedical Sciences


My overall research interest is studying genetic aberrants in cancers and translating these understandings into novel clinical strategies. I received my PharmD from the University of Debrecen, Hungary and Master of Biotechnology from the University of Pennsylvania. My previous works focused on understanding the tumor suppressor roles of p53 in different contexts of lung tumors. I was also involved in a few bioinformatics projects to elucidate the transcriptome profiles in brain and kidney. Currently, I’m interested in investigating the roles of circular RNAs in the formation and progression of colorectal cancers. I’m planning to combine molecular and computational approaches to answer my research question. I enjoy cooking in my free time, and I can cook good Vietnamese foods.


l.muheng at

Research Assistant/MS Student

Master of Science in Biostatistics and Data Science

Division of Biostatistics


I am from China and finished my undergraduate learning at Tianjin University, where I majored in Material Science and Engineering. I also received a masters degree in Biomedical Engineering from South China University of Technology with a focus on biomaterials for bone regeneration that were illustrated by gene regulation. This sparked my interest in genomics analysis and prompted me to join MSBDS program at WashU. As a research assistant in Maher lab, currently, I am working in the role of BCAR4 gene in the treatment of various breast cancer subtypes. Beyond the courses and research, hiking, FPS video games, and sci-fi movies are my favorites.


getian at

MS Student

Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering

Department of Biomedical Engineering


I am from Suzhou, a beautiful city in China with a history spanning over 2,500 years. I got my bachelor’s degree in bioinformatics at Xi’an Jiaotong- Liverpool University. My undergraduate study raised my interest in genomics. During my final year, I focused on using machine learning methods to find mitochondrial biosynthesis-associated gene signatures which helped to find potential mitochondrial therapies for hepatocellular carcinoma. Now, I am a master's student majoring in biomedical engineering at WUSTL. In the Maher Lab, I use bioinformatic tools to elucidate the involvement of RNA methylation in metastasis of colorectal cancer (CRC). In my free time, I like reading and traveling. As an old Chinese saying goes: “Read ten thousand books, and walk ten thousand miles.”

Undergraduate Students


carol.p at

Carol Peng

Undergraduate Student

I’m a freshman at Washington University in St. Louis from Beijing, China, majoring Genomics and Computational Biology. I am interested in exploring the roles of RNA binding proteins and RNA methylation in cancer therapeutics using computational methods. Upon the advancement of big data analysis as well as the completion of the Pangenome project, I am excited to see how the field of genomics will advance. 

IMG_2577_edited.jpg at

Ethan Li

Undergraduate Student

I'm a sophomore at WashU from Charlotte, North Carolina, majoring in Genomics and Computational Biology with a minor in Computer Science. I'm analyzing long non-coding RNAs to identify and potentially treat cancers, specifically breast cancer. My research involves comparing lncRNAs known to promote metastasis in mice and identifying their impact on human cancers. Outside of academics, I play tennis and tutor children at a nearby school.


a.a.agarwal at


Undergraduate Student

I’m a sophomore at Washington University in St. Louis majoring in Genomics and Computational Biology with a minor in Global Health and Environment. I am interested in finding novel cancer therapeutics by using computational approaches to more clearly understand the role of genetics in the progression of the disease. In the Maher Lab, I am working in the identification and analysis of m6A modification in circular RNA for colorectal cancer.




​Now: Principle Scientist, Bristol Myers Squibb



​Now: Instructor in Department of Medicine, Division of Oncology, Washington University School of Medicine


​Now: Senior Scientist, Dr. Oscar Harari Lab, Washington University School of Medicine


​Now: Senior Scientist, MilliporeSigma


Now: Assistant Professor in Radiation Oncology, Division of Cancer Biology, Washington University School of Medicine


​Now: Senior Biostatistician, The Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy

Graduate Students


Now: MSTP Student, Washington University


Now: MSTP Student, Washington University



​Now: Research Assistant, Vanderbilt University 


​Now: MD/PhD Student, University of Missouri School of Medicine


​Now: Chemist, MilliporeSigma



​Now: PhD Student, Biological and Biomedical Sciences, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


​Now: Undergraduate Student, Indiana University Bloomington


​Now: Resident Physician, OhioHealth



​Now: MD/PhD Student, Emory University



​Now: PhD Student in Bioinformatics & Integrative Genomics program at Harvard Medical School

bottom of page