Fenna Krienen, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Princeton Neuroscience Institute
Affiliate faculty mentor: QCB graduate program
Fenna received her BA at UC Berkeley and her Ph.D. from Harvard, where she studied the topography of cortico-cortical and cortico-cerebellar networks in human brains. In her postdoc with Steve McCarroll (Genetics @ Harvard Medical School and the Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research @ The Broad Institute), she used single cell sequencing approaches to study how brain cell types diverge across mammalian species. Unapologetic Celtics fan. Simply not that good at latte art.
Jessica graduated from Rutgers University with a B.A. in Neuroscience and Behavior with a minor in Chemistry. She previously worked for Princeton University in the COVID-19 CLIA Laboratory and is excited to bring her production skills to our research. Outside of the lab, Jessica loves to read and is trying to get through a long reading list.
Siting He, Ph.D.
Siting obtained her PhD in Neurobiology from the Institute of Neuroscience, Chinese Academy of Sciences. During her graduate study, she mainly focused on the molecular and cellular mechanisms of brain development as well as the pathogenesis of neurodevelopmental disorders. Her current research interest is uncovering the genetic evolution that characterizes primate cortical development. She enjoys reading, running and climbing in her spare time.
Mike DeBerardine, Ph.D.
Research Software Engineer
Mike is a Research Software Engineer shared between the Krienen and Peña labs here at PNI. In both labs, Mike works on the computational analysis and integration of single-cell genomics data. He has a BS in Biochemistry from Brown University and a PhD in Genetics and Genomics from Cornell University, where, under mentor John Lis, he used functional genomics methods to study the mechanisms through which gene transcription is regulated. In his free time, Mike enjoys cooking, music, hiking, and shredding guitar.
PNI Ph.D. student
Yongqi received his B.S. from University of Chinese Academy of Sciences. In his undergraduate he spent one and half years at MIT studying autism in mouse models and identifying specific enhancers for striatal neuron types. He is interested in using bioinformatic and molecular tools to understand cognitive functions and how they are affected under disease conditions. Outside the lab, he is a passionate badminton player and enjoys many outdoor activities.
Shu Dan (Daisy)
PNI Ph.D. rotation student
Daisy graduated from Colby College majoring in neuroscience with minors in physics and computer science. After college, she worked at the Klengel lab and the Berretta lab at McLean Hospital studying the transcriptomics and epigenetics of stress-related psychiatric disorders. Currently, she is interested in using multi-omics to understand the molecular composition and cell type development in the brain across species. Outside the lab, she enjoys cooking, bouldering, and spending time with her cats.
Lakme received her Bachelor’s of Science in human biology from UC San Diego. Her studies were primarily focused on physiology and microbial genomics. Throughout her undergraduate studies she worked in research labs investigating the ants of Arizona’s mountains, diatoms off of San Diego’s coast, and the bacterial landscape of California’s nearshore microbial community. She hopes to pursue a career in clinical or anatomic pathology where she can continue exploring the mechanisms of human disease. In her free time, Lakme enjoys weightlifting, playing video games, and watching psychological thrillers.
Reilly graduated from Rutgers University with a B.A. in Biological Sciences. He previously worked for both Rutgers and the University of Pennsylvania. At Rutgers, he researched the pleiotropic response from different soil conditions in various crops. At Penn, he led a project studying the zoonotic potential of SARS-CoV-2 using 2D/3D organoid culture models. Outside of lab, Reilly enjoys gaming, literature, art, and a cold beer with friends.
Minal is Princeton NEU '25 major. Her curiosity of the mechanisms behind memory and learning led her to this exciting new field, but she hopes to learn even more about the level of cellular diversity and evolution in the lab. Outside of classes, she loves to spend time in nature, go on adventures, and travel.
Ruqaya '25 is neuroscience major at Princeton University. She is interested in the development of the brain and how neurodevelopmental disorders impact the regions of the
brain and behavior. Outside of the lab and classes, Ruqaya enjoys reading, playing and watching soccer.
Olivia '26 is a Neuroscience concentrator at Princeton University. She is interested in researching neurogenetics and developing genetically driven treatments for neurodegenerative diseases that do not currently have an effective treatment. Outside of the lab and classes, Olivia enjoys dancing, playing tennis, and baking.
Aomi ’26 is a prospective neuroscience major on the pre-med track at Princeton University. She is interested in learning about neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease and Huntington's disease, and understanding their impact on the brain from a molecular perspective. Outside of the lab, Aomi enjoys going to the beach and hiking.
Sunny Mudhar (Research Specialist, now M.D. student at Albert Einstein