Team

Principal Investigator

Jerelle A Joseph, PhD
she/her
Assistant Professor

Jerelle completed a BSc in Chemistry and Mathematics and an MPhil in Chemistry (Computational) at the University of the West Indies (Cave Hill Campus) in Barbados. Jerelle then moved to the UK, where she read for a PhD in Chemistry (Computational) at the University of Cambridge, in the Wales Group and as a Gates Cambridge Scholar. After her PhD, Jerelle completed postdoctoral work in the Collepardo Lab and as a Junior Research Fellow in King's College Cambridge. Her research is largely focused on biomolecular self-assembly and organization; probing these questions from a computational standpoint.

Jerelle was born and raised on the island of Dominica. Beyond the lab, she is passionate about mentorship and enjoys portrait photography. 

Postdoctoral Researchers

Dilimulati Aierken, PhD
he/him

Dilimulati is a postdoctoral research associate in the group. He completed a BSc in Applied Physics at the University of Science and Technology of China in June 2018. Then he earned his PhD degree in physics from the Center for Simulational Physics at the University of Georgia in May 2023, under the guidance of Prof. Michael Bachmann. His dissertation work mainly focused on extensive generalized-ensemble Monte Carlo simulations and microcanonical inflection-point analysis of phases for semiflexible polymers. He is currently interested in coarse-grained modeling studies of RNAs and proteins.

Dilimulati is from China. Outside of the lab, He likes hiking, and he also enjoys playing soccer and tennis.

Alina Emelianova, PhD
she/her

Alina is a postdoctoral research associate in the group. She completed her engineering physics diploma at MEPhI in Moscow, focusing on molecular physics. She obtained her PhD degree in Chemical Engineering at NJIT, where she worked in the Computational Lab for Porous Materials, under the guidance of Prof Gennady Gor. During her time at NJIT, Alina's research interests included computational methods for problems related to adsorption in nanoporous materials. Currently, she is interested in computational approaches to study phase separations in cells and treatment against condensate-linked diseases. 

Alina is from Tula, Russia. In her free time, she enjoys reading, attending music shows, and painting.

Graduate Students

Ananya Chakravarti
she/her
G2 (CBE)

Ananya Chakravarti is a PhD candidate in Chemical and Biological Engineering. She completed her undergraduate degree in molecular engineering and linguistics at The University of Chicago in March 2022, where she worked on computational simulations of polymers and solid-state defects. She is currently interested in understanding the mechanisms of biomolecular condensates and designing modifications to control phase separation with applications in disease and aging.

Ananya is from Buffalo, NY. Besides research, she is super passionate about educational outreach in STEM as well as diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives. Outside of the lab, her hobbies are music (singing, violin, composing), running, yoga, and baking.

Nate Hess
he/him
G2 (CBE)

Nate is a PhD candidate in Chemical and Biological Engineering. He received his Bachelors of Science in Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania in May of 2022. He is interested in protein liquid-liquid phase separation, specifically the molecular determinants of the phase behavior and transport properties of biomolecular condensates

Nate is from Kennett Square, PA. In his time outside of the lab, he enjoys lifting and competing in Ultimate Frisbee as a member of Princeton’s Men’s Club Ultimate team.

Pablo Garcia
he/him
G1 (CBE)

Pablo is a PhD student in Chemical and Biological Engineering. He received his Bachelors of Science in Chemical Engineering from Yale University in May 2023, where he worked on theoretical models that simulated the intermolecular interactions of polyelectrolyte biomaterials and their influence on the structural stability of proteins. He is interested in the assembly and disassembly of biomolecular condensates modulated by conformational ensemble changes of condensate scaffolding due to post-translational modifications of proteins.

Pablo is from West New York, NJ. In his free time, he enjoys drawing, going to the gym, and growing Princeton’s Caribbean Graduate Student Association, where is Treasurer.

Virginia Jiang
she/they
G1 (CBE): Co-advised with José Avalos

Virginia is a PhD candidate in Chemical and Biological Engineering who received an undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering at Columbia University in 2021. Prior to starting at Princeton, Virginia worked as a scientific associate in drug discovery at D.E. Shaw Research. They are interested in modeling biomolecular condensates to modulate reaction rates for metabolic engineering. Virginia is co-advised by José Avalos.

Virginia is from West Windsor, New Jersey and enjoys hiking, trying new food, and crafting toys for cats.

Undergraduate Students

Ian Grimm
he/him

Ian is a senior in the Chemical and Biological Engineering Department pursuing minors in computer science and mathematics. He’s excited to explore new algorithms and delve into the rich world that simulations present, while contributing to the lab as much as he can. 

 

Ian is from Orange County, California, if he hasn’t already told you that. Multiple times. Outside of his zest for all things California, he loves long mountain bike rides and getting to cook delicious food in his co-op. 

 

Kelih Henyo
he/him

Kelih is a junior in Chemistry at Princeton. His current interests include the use of computation and molecular dynamics to probe proteins of pathological significance, especially in the context of biomolecular condensates, and the design of condensate modifying therapeutics. 

Kelih is from Accra, Ghana, and when he’s not helping with Africa Summit Princeton, he (inconsistently) plays piano in his free time, reads, watches the Premier League and plays FIFA.

 

Paul Nguyen
he/him

Paul conducted research with us in summer 2023, as an REU student at the Princeton Center for Complex Materials (PCCM). He is currently working with us as an REU in the BE-SURE program, organized by the Omenn-Darling Bioengineering Institute. 

He is a junior in Chemical Engineering at the University of South Alabama. 

Paul is from Portland, Oregon. Outside the lab, Paul plays the piano and regularly participates in competitions.

Mihir Rao
he/him

Mihir is an undergraduate in the Chemical and Biological Engineering department. He is focused on engineering human longevity through therapeutics and fundamental technologies that will enable the moonshot to be actualized rapidly and at scale. Quantitative high-resolution modeling of biophysical processes will be critical for progressing the domain, and Mihir is excited to contribute to it through his work in the lab. Previously, Mihir has worked on deep learning and multiomics for fundamental biology and clinical applications.

Mihir is from Chatham, New Jersey. Outside the lab, he enjoys jazz drumming and hybrid training.

 

Ethan Sample
he/him

Ethan is a junior in the Chemical and Biological Engineering department. He is passionate about computational modeling of protein behavior in order to develop new therapeutics. Along these lines, Ethan is interested in studying how small molecules impact biomolecular condensate formation and properties.

Ethan hails from Alexandria, Virginia. On campus you might find him in the gym, running, reading, or studying Japanese. 

Hareton Song
he/him

Hareton (Harry) is a member of the Class of 2026 majoring in Operations Research and Financial Engineering, with minors in Quantitative and Computational Biology and Gender and Sexuality Studies. He is interested in the application of machine learning and mathematical concepts in biology. 

Harry is from New York, NY. He bakes cookies at the Murray-Dodge café and is a member of the Princeton Latine dance group, Más Flow.

Olivia Taiwo
she/her

Olivia is a member of the class of 2026 majoring in the Chemical and Biological Engineering department, with a certificate in Quantitative and Computational Biology. She is interested in the use of models and simulations to understand the thermodynamics of biomolecular condensates and learning about the engineering applications of their properties. 

Olivia is from both Kennett Square, PA and Asheville, NC. Outside of the lab she is involved in the Outdoor Action program on campus and the Community Service Interclub Council, representing Princeton Tower Club. 

Daniel Tan
he/him

Daniel is a senior in the Chemical and Biological Engineering department. He is deeply curious about methods to cheaply and efficiently simulate the complex biophysical principles underlying protein folding and interaction. His current interest in machine learning prompts an eagerness to leverage machine learning techniques for the modeling and optimization of physical systems. His peripheral interests in experimental molecular biology and information theory follow from these.

Daniel, whom you can also call Dan, is from Redwood City, CA. Outside of the ‘student’ mode of living, he co-leads Alimtas, a biotech-focused undergraduate entrepreneurship club, and loves playing tennis, DJing, designing clothes, cooking, and reading on semiotics and media theory.

Caroline Zhao
she/her

Caroline is a senior in the Chemical and Biological Engineering department pursuing minors in computer science and finance. Previously, she conducted research on adsorption into nanoporous media under Gennady Gor in the NJIT Computational Lab for Porous Materials. She is passionate about the potential of molecular simulations to change the face of scientific innovation.

 

Caroline is from Westfield, New Jersey. Outside of lab, she enjoys music, contract bridge, and skiing. She is also president of the Princeton Engineering Council and a coxswain for the Princeton Lightweight Men’s Rowing Team.

 

Group Alumni

Nicole Ayala
she/her

Nicole conducted research with us in summer 2023, as an REU student at the Princeton Center for Complex Materials (PCCM). 

Paul Boyd
he/him

Paul conducted research with us in summer 2023, as an REU student in Computational Biology.

Safaa Merghoub
she/her

Safaa is a member of the class of 2024 in the Chemical and Biological Engineering Department at Princeton. Safaa completed her senior thesis in the lab, focused on modulating aggregation of disordered proteins.