Test Tubes

Our team

A lab is only as good as its members. Introducing our team of dedicated individuals and their interests.

The Team


Shirley Zhang

Assistant Professor

She received her BA in Biochemistry at NYU and PhD in Immunology at University of Pennsylvania. She then was a postdoc with Amita Sehgal and discovered that circadian rhythms at the blood-brain barrier affected a key function. Her goal now is to study rhythms, sleep-wake behavior, and the blood-brain barrier.

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Ashley Avila

Research Specialist

Ashley received her BS in Biology from Georgia Southern University. As an undergrad, she worked with the model organism Drosophila melanogaster as part of her Honors Thesis. During this time, she developed an interest in genetics and signaling pathways in relation to human disease. Ashley thinks fruit flies are cute.


Ava Lewandowski

Undergraduate Student

Ava is a chemistry and philosophy major on the pre-med track. She is interested in studying Drosophila behavior and thinks flies are cute.


Cathy Zhuang

Undergraduate Student

Cathy is a quantitative sciences major concentrating in biology. She is also minoring in philosophy. In the Zhang lab, Cathy is using a vitro cell culture model for examining the flux of proteins and metabolites at the blood-brain barrier. Cathy enjoys weightlifting and fencing in her free time.

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Kaeun (Annie) Lee

Undergraduate Student

Annie is majoring in Biology and is interested in studying how cells work in the body and the brain. She enjoys binge-watching good Netflix shows and thinks fruit flies are cute.



Prospective Student/Postdoc/Tech

Eager emerging scientist who has a background in biology and is interested in circadian rhythms, sleep-wake behavior, cellular neurobiology, and/or brain vasculature.