Lab Members

Graduate Students:

Ezen Choo

Ezen is currently a 2nd year PhD in the field of Pharmacology under the College of Veterinary Medicine. She was born in Australia and raised in California where she earned a B.S. in Environmental Toxicology at the University of California, Davis. As a President’s Undergraduate Fellow, she used yeast as a model organism to study disulfide bond formation in proteins due to oxidative stress. Before starting at Cornell University, she also worked for a biotech start-up in Silicon Valley and a non-profit focused on science education research and development. She is currently working on a project into hormonal modulation of the peripheral taste system and its effects on flavor perception.

Corinna Noel

Corinna is a first year M.S. student at Cornell.  She is particularly interested in merging the fields of food science, nutrition, and culinary arts.  Corinna received a B.S in Mathematics from Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, PA but is originally from New Paltz, NY.  She hopes to use her quantitative background to bring a different point of view when analyzing research findings in sensory science.  In her free time, she loves to cook and bake, spend time outdoors, and travel.

Ana Chang

Ana is a second year M.S. student in Food Science at Cornell. She was born and raised in Ecuador, where she received a Food Engineering degree from Escuela Superior Politécnica del Litoral. Her Master’s thesis focuses on the effects of different types of light in the flavor of milk and strategies to mitigate milk oxidation. Her research interests include sensory evaluation, product development and nutrition. In her free time, Ana enjoys singing, watching movies and hiking. She also loves to travel, especially to natural areas.


Jason Goodman


Jason was born and raised in Philadelphia, PA, and graduated from Penn State University, majoring in Microbiology.  After graduation, he remained in Philadelphia for the next 6 years working in the pharmaceutical industry and exploring the burgeoning Philly food scene.  While working, he de-orphaned feline taste receptors for a pet food company, mapped antibodies against HIV, and evaluated diagnostic drugs for Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. Jason is a PhD student at Cornell where he studies the interaction between taste, obesity, and the microbiome. Outside of work, he enjoys building things, listening to podcasts, eating new foods, and cycling.

Fiona Harnischfeger

Fiona is a PhD student born in Heidelberg, Germany and was raised in the US and Germany. She received her undergraduate degree in Biochemistry and Cell Biology from Jacobs University in Bremen, Germany in 2016. During her undergraduate degree, she completed internships at the National Institutes of Health in the USA, Tsinghua University in China and at the University of Cambridge in the UK as part of the Amgen scholars program. During her undergraduate she studied various topics in immunology and neurobiology including chronic lymphocytic leukemia, MHC class I molecules and neural circuits involved in satiety signaling. Currently she is working on a project to restore taste function to combat obesity. In her free time, she loves to read and spend time outdoors.

Wen Lv

Wen is currently an MPS student at Cornell University. She was born and raised in the middle part of China, and graduated from Purdue University with BS in Food Science. After completing her college degree, she took a gap year and worked in a molecular microbiology lab as research assistant studying Listeria monocytogenes. However, after dealing with bacteria every day, she realized she preferred to work with people. Her current project is investigating the impact of sleep duration and quality on human taste via sensory evaluation. Outside of work, she likes to travel, cook, eat, and watch movies.


Undergraduate Associates:



Former Lab Members:

Andrew Kaufman

Andrew’s previous research experience has been focused mainly in the field of Biology. He graduated with a BA in Biochemistry from Columbia University in 2008, having researched mutations in protein transport mechanisms involved in Cystic Fibrosis. After graduating college, he went on to work as a research technician at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center where his research focused on characterizing novel tumor suppressor genes associated with Brain and Colon Cancers. A very picky eater as a child, Andrew has always been interested in understanding the sense of taste and how it can change in various settings. He was awarded his PhD in Food Science in 2016, studying the effects of diet-induced-obesity on the morphology and function of taste cells and its influence on taste preferences.

Kimberly Yan

Kimberly was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area and graduated from UC Merced receiving a BS in Cell and Developmental Biology with a Psychology emphasis.  She always had a love for science and health, and when she decided not to pursue a medical degree, found a great interest in food science.  With her background in biology and psychology, Kimberly wanted to learn more about how we interact with food mentally, biologically and  physically.
For fun, Kimberly loves watching movies, drinking wine, any outdoor activity and also enjoys working out.  Before coming to Cornell, she worked at the SFVAMC for 5 years as a Clinical Research Coordinator for the Surgical Service as well as an instructor at The Dailey Method, a ballet barre based work out studio.

Terrence De Jesus

Terrence joined the Dando Lab in January 2014 to pursue a MPS in Food Science and Technology. His research interests include the psychological factors that effect the sensory perception of food and the sensory aspects of complex flavor systems. Currently he is studying the impact of light oxidation in the flavor of milk. Before arriving at Cornell, Terrence received a B.A. in Behavioral Biology from Johns Hopkins University and worked for several years at Chromocell Corporation within their food and flavor applications laboratory. An avid foodie, he enjoys dining out, barbequing and traveling – for the food of course.

Mengying (Monica) Sun

Monica was an MPS student at Cornell University. Her research in Dr Dando’s lab was on studying the correlation between processing parameters and sensory properties of milk powder.  She received her BS in Food Science from California State University, Fresno in 2012. Before arriving at Cornell, Monica worked for Chinese Academy Agricultural Science, Beijing, and studied the flavor of Maillard Reactions of wheat proteins. She hopes to pursue a career in sensory and consumer science in the future.

In her spare time, she loves cooking and traveling. She is also enthusiastic about charity; she worked for Friendship Ambassadors foundation of United Nation and visited several countries in Africa and the Middle East.

Hanna Mielke-Maday

Hanna is originally from Hinsdale, Illinois and was part of Cornell’s Class of 2015.  Her majors were Food Science and Nutritional Science, but she is also interested in the neurological and biological interaction between humans and food.

Bryan Merte

Bryan was an undergrad in the College of Arts and Sciences at Cornell University, majoring in Biology and minoring in Spanish, with a concentration of Neurobiology and Behavior.

Jae Bang

Jae was awarded his MPS in Food Science with a focus on Sensory Science at the end of 2013. He is now with International Flavors and Fragrances.  His background includes a Bachelors Degree in Food Science and Technology from the University of Georgia and an Associate’s Degree in Culinary Arts from the Culinary Institute of America. Some of his interests include how our five senses interact with different food systems and how we can utilize sensory analysis techniques to evaluate taste stimuli. One personal goal he would like to accomplish for the future is to develop a healthier version of instant ramen noodles which is still his all time favorite food.

Jakob Dobrowolski

Jakob, an international student from Germany, graduated from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences in May of 2014, where he studied biology with a concentration in molecular and cellular biology. Before joining the Dando lab in 2012, he studied the impact ecological factors have on a mosquito’s ability to transmit disease causing agents such as the Dengue virus at the University of Florida, and investigated the impact circulating peptides have on taste perception. Whenever the time permits, he enjoys every possible outdoor activity with a particular passion for golf, swimming, and sailing.  He is now at the Rockefeller University, in the lab of Vanessa Ruta.

Mary Xia

Mary is a Biology and Computer Science major at the University of Pennsylvania (Class of 2014). She worked with bitter taste receptors and a fat taste receptor as an undergraduate at the Monell Chemical Senses Center. As part of the Feeding Tomorrow Summer Scholars Program at Cornell University, Mary researched in the Dando lab and studied how diet restriction affects mRNA expression in mice taste buds.
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