Current Lab Members

Andrew Leifer, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

220 Jadwin Hall | 250 PNI
(609) 258-8779
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Andrew Leifer, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Physics and Neuroscience at Princeton University. He obtained a B.S. in Physics and B.A. in Political Science at Stanford University in 2007 and earned his Ph.D. in Biophysics from Harvard University in 2012 under the guidance of Professor Aravinthan Samuel. He then received a Lewis-Sigler Fellowship to form his own independent research group at Princeton University, where he subsequently joined the faculty in 2016. He is an Investigator in the Simons Collaboration on the Global Brain and a recipient of the National Institutes of Health Director's New Innovator Award and the National Science Foundation's CAREER Award.

Anuj Sharma, Ph.D.

Associate Professional Specialist and Lab Manager
(609) 258-8635

Anuj Sharma is an Associate Professional Specialist and Lab Manager in the Department of Physics. Previously, he had been a Postdoctoral Associate at University of Maryland, College Park and Cornell University, Ithaca. He received his Doctorate in Biotechnology from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Other than science, he is interested in Nature Photography and Sketching.

Francesco Randi, Ph.D.

Swartz Fellow for Theoretical Neuroscience

Francesco is a postdoc in the Department of Physics. Before joining the lab to study the dynamics of the nervous system in C. elegans, back in Europe he was doing research on out-of-equilibrium condensed matter, shooting laser pulses on solids in Trieste and doing theory in Hamburg.

Kelsey Hallinen, Ph.D.


Also with Zemer Gitai

Kelsey is a Fellow in the Center for the Physics of Biological Function working on whole brain imaging and neural dynamics in C. elegans. She received her BS in Physics from Carnegie Mellon University before heading to the University of Michigan for her PhD in Biophysics in the Wood Lab, where she studied antibiotic resistance and bacterial population dynamics. Beyond lab work, she enjoys running, rock climbing, and hanging out with her 20 year old cat named Gabrielle.

Matthew Creamer, Ph.D.

CV Starr Fellow

Joint with Jonathan Pillow
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Matt is a C. V. Starr Fellow at the Princeton Neuroscience Institute and is jointly advised by Andrew Leifer and Jonathan Pillow. He is currently working on modeling whole-brain calcium dynamics and characterizing functional changes between neurons during learning in C. elegans. Matt received his PhD from Yale, working with Damon Clark studying how animals detect visual motion cues and use these cues to regulate their walking speed. When not in lab, he enjoys rock climbing, running, board games, dungeons and dragons, and video games.

Kevin Sean Chen

Graduate Student

Jointly advised with Jonathan Pillow.
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Kevin is a graduate student in the Princeton Neuroscience Institute, interested in systems/computational neuroscience and biophysics. He attended National Taiwan University for undergraduate studies, where his research focused on the neural code in retina. After coming to Princeton, he was fascinated by worms and wants to study neural dynamics and behavior. Outside of lab, Kevin enjoys jogging in the woods, jazz, sketching, and sweet, colorful American snacks.


Sandeep Kumar

Graduate Student

Sandeep is a graduate student in Neuroscience. He wants to understand how sensory cues (such as touch) are processed by the brain. He has a B.S-M.S. in Physics from University of Hyderabad and an M. Eng. in Biomedical Engineering from Cornell University. Coming from a first-generation low-income background, he is passionate about teaching and mentoring opportunities. When not in the lab, he enjoys playing tennis, hiking, trying new food, and exploring New York city.


Sophie Dvali

Graduate Student

Sophie is a graduate student in the Physics program and is interested in studying the dynamics of the C. elegans nervous system. She grew up in Munich Germany, before heading to New York University where she graduated with a B.A. in Physics. It was there that she became interested in studying biophysics and computational neuroscience while working on navigational decision making in Drosophila larvae. Beyond research, she enjoys rock climbing, skiing, playing music, and being outdoors.


Emily Osborne

Graduate Student

Emily is a graduate student in the Physics department. She attended The Ohio State University for undergraduate studies, focusing on the physics of motion in magnetic bacteria. After arriving at Princeton, she became interested in neuroscience, with a focus on understanding the neural dynamics of learning in C. elegans. Alongside research, she enjoys hiking, playing tennis, music, and exploring new restaurants.


Tori Edington

Senior Thesis Student

Tori is a fourth-year undergraduate in the Physics Department pursuing certificates in Biophysics and Dance. She is doing her senior thesis under the guidance of Dr. Francesco Randi and Xinwei Yu to study nonlinearity in C. elegans neural dynamics. She hopes to continue exploring the intersection of neuroscience and physics as she pursues a career in research. Along with science, Tori is passionate about STEM activism and dance, and enjoys doodling, being outdoors, and pretending to play ukulele.


Lab Alumni

Xinwei Yu

Graduate Student


Last seen: starting a position at Jump Trading

Mochi Liu, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Scholar; Graduate Student


Last seen: starting a Data Scientist position at Aquabyte

Sarah Srour

Research Specialist


Last seen: headed to a research position at UT Southwestern


Milena Chakraverti-Wuerthwein

Senior thesis student


Last seen: headed to University of Chicago Biophysics PhD program.


Monika Scholz, Ph.D.

Dicke Fellow


Currently group leader at the CAESAR / Max Planck Institute .

Alicia Castillo Bahena

Senior Thesis Student


Currently Research Assistant at Helen DeVos Children's Hospital.


Xiaoting (Tingting) Sun



Last seen heading for an industry job.


Ashley Linder

Graduate Student


Last seen in industry.

Jeffrey Nguyen, Ph.D.

Post-doctoral Fellow


Currently Data Scientist at Gartner Inc.

Sherif Gerges

Research Specialist


Currently a Ph.D. candidate in the Biological Biomedical Sciences program at Harvard Medical School.

David Mazumder

Undergraduate Student


Currently an MD-PhD candidate at Harvard University.

Kevin Mizes

Undergraduate Student

2013 - 2016

Currently a Ph.D. candidate in Biophysics at Harvard University.

Fred Shipley

Research Specialist

2013 - 2015

Last seen defending Ph.D. in Biophysics at Harvard University.

George Plummer

Research Specialist

2013 - 2015

Completed MD at Tufts. Last seen in neurology residency at University of Washington.