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Assistant professor, Princeton Neuroscience Institute 


fkrienen[at]princeton [dot] edu

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Yongqi Wang

PNI PhD rotation 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.


Siting He, PhD


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.

sh2136 [at ] princeton [dot ] edu


Reilly Nakamoto

Research Specialist

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.

Reilly Nakamoto.jpeg


Lab Manager

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 innovative research. Outside of the lab, Jessica loves to read and is trying to get through a long reading list.

jf8693 [ at ] princeton [.] edu

Team: Our Team

Lakme Caceres

Research Specialist

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.

Lakme Caceres.jpg



Minal is a sophomore at Princeton University as a prospective Neuroscience concentrator.  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 Kareem


Ruqaya is a sophomore and a prospective neuroscience concentrator 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.

Ruqaya Kareem - Lab Photo.heic

Olivia Taylor


Olivia Taylor is a freshman and a prospective 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.

Mike DeBerardine, PhD

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.



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Lab Alumni

Sunny Mudhar (now M.D. student at Albert Einstein)

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