Lab Members

Andy Clark

Department of Molecular Biology & Genetics
227 Biotechnology Bldg, 526 Campus Rd, Ithaca NY 14853-2703
Contact Andy at:  ac347(at)
Phone:  607-255-0527          Fax:  607-255-6249

Andy’s PubMed Listing  

Andy’s publications in Google Scholars

Research Associates/Sr. Research Associates

photo of Elissa Cosgrove
Elissa Cosgrove

Elissa joined the Clark Lab in September 2014 as a Research Associate.  Before joining the Clark Lab, she completed her PhD in Biomedical Engineering at Boston University, and then worked at Amgen as a Bioinformatics Scientist in Oncology Lead Discovery.  She conducts computational analysis for several ongoing projects in the lab, and provides general computational support for group members.  She is an enthusiastic R user.
Contact Elissa at:  ejc87(at)

Photo of Yassi Hafezi
Yassi Hafezi

Yassi joined the Clark lab in April, 2016. She is broadly interested in the reproductive biology and fitness of insects that are genetically engineered for pest management. She earned her PhD in Molecular and Cellular Biology from U.C. Berkeley in 2011. Her past research was on mechanisms that regulate tissue and cellular growth and cell competition in the Drosophila ovary and larval imaginal discs.
Contact Yassi at: yhafezi(at)

Post Docs

photo of Jackson Champer
Jackson Champer

Jackson is designing and modeling gene drive systems, which enable a genetic payload to spread through a population even when imposing a fitness cost on its host organism. He is interested in novel methods to control vector borne disease and hopes that gene drive will become a cost-effective approach to address this problem. Jackson received a M.S. in physics from UCLA and a Ph.D. from the City of Hope Graduate School of Biological Sciences. He joined the Clark lab at Cornell in May 2016.
Contact Jackson at:  jc3248(at)     Jackson’s website

photo of Chih-chun Lin
Chih-chun Janet Lin

Chih-chun joined the Clark Lab in February 2018 after her PhD training with Meng C. Wang at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX. During her PhD, she used the wormCaenorhabditis elegans as a model system to investigate the mechanism by which environmental factors shape bacteria-host communication. Following her interest in inter-species interaction, she is currently exploring the interplay between bacteria and viruses in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster.
Contact Chih-chun at:  cl2439(at)          Chih-chun’s website

Click here to view a Cornell Research Article about Chih-Chun’s research as the Cornell inaugural Presidential Postdoc Fellow

photo of Sri Raj
Srilakshmi Raj

Sri joined the Clark lab in November 2011 after completing a PhD with Dr. Toomas Kivisild at the University of Cambridge.  During her PhD, she worked on the genetics of Indian populations, as well as understanding climate- and diet-mediated selection in Asian populations.  Currently, Sri is interested in understanding the genetics of complex traits, particularly metabolic and heart diseases.  Ultimately, Sri is interested in using quantitative, evolutionary and population genetic approaches towards solving medical problems.
Contact Sri at:  smr46(at)              Sri’s website

Graduate Students

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Nora Brown

Nora is a PhD student in the field of Genetics, Genomics, and Development and is co-advised by Mariana Wolfner. She graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2014 with a BA in Molecular, Cellular, Developmental Biology and Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. She is interested in the genetic basis of sperm competition in Drosophila, and how selective forces such as sexual conflict can shape the rapid evolutionary dynamics of male seminal fluid proteins.
Contact Nora at:  nb579(at)

photo of Ian Caldas
Ian Caldas

Ian is a Ph.D. in the field of Computational Biology.  Before coming to Cornell, he was at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, where he earned a B.Sc. and a M.Sc. in Genetics.  He is interested in how novel methods of computation, data analysis and machine learning can help discover insights about evolutionary patterns and the history of populations and species.
Contact Ian at:  ivc2(at)

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Shengxi Dawn Chen

Dawn is a Ph.D. student in the field of Genetics, Genomics and Development.  She graduated from Rutgers University in 2015 with B.A. in Genetics.  Dawn did undergraduate research in Dr. Andy Kern’s lab, studying genomic signatures of endothermy evolution in vertebrates.  After graduation, she joined Dr. Andy Singson’s lab to study spermiogenesis in C. elegans.  Dawn is broadly interested in the interplay between evolutionary forces and development processes, and how it manifests in reproduction.  Her research focuses on the effect of octopaminergic signaling on sperm competition in D. melanogaster.
Contact Dawn at:  sc2756(at)

photo of Sofie Delbare
Sofie Delbare

Sofie is a Ph.D. student in the field of Genetics, Genomics & Development. She earned her B.Sc. in Biology in 2012 and M.Sc. in Biology in 2014 from Ghent University, Belgium. Sofie is interested in how interactions between female and male influence reproductive success. One of her projects focuses on whether female-expressed genes involved in sperm competition within D. melanogaster also play a role in reproductive isolation between fruit fly species.
Contact Sofie at:  syd5(at)

photo of Andy Ding
Qiliang Andy Ding

Andy joined the Clark lab in August 2015 as a Ph.D. student in the Genetics, Genomics, and Development graduate program.  Before joining Cornell, he completed a M.S. in Bioinformatics at Fudan University, China with Professor Felix Li Jin, studying archaic hominin introgressions in modern humans.  He is broadly interested in human population and evolutionary genetics, and is currently using SNP array and exome sequencing data to identify fitness-related epistasis in humans.
Contact Andy at:  adnyding13(at)     Google Scholar Link

photo of Jullien Flynn
Jullien Flynn

Jullien is a Ph.D. student in the field of Genetics, Genomics and Devlopment.  She completed her undergraduate and Masters degree in Biology at McGill University.  She did her undergraduate and Masters research in the lab of Melania Cristescu, where she worked on metabarcoding approaches and investigated mutation rates in Daphnia pulex.  During her first year at Cornell, she was awarded the Presidential Life Science Fellowship (PLSF) to pursue multi-disciplinary studies in evolutionary genomics.  In May 2017 she joined the Clark lab and will study the evolution of repeated DNA in the genome.     Contact Jullien at:  jmf422(at)

Konnor La
Konnor La

Konnor is a student in the Tri-Institutional Ph.D. program in Computational Biology and Medicine. He earned his B.A. in Integrative Biology in 2013 from the University of California, Berkeley. After graduating from Berkeley, he joined the Clark Lab in 2019 and is co-advised by Kıvanç Birsoy at the Rockefeller University in NYC. Konnor’s research focuses on using computational and experimental techniques in order to understand the role of mitochondrial DNA mutations on tumorigenesis and metabolism. Contact Konnor at: kcl78(at)

photo of Mitch Lokey
Mitchell Lokey

Mitch has a great interest in all things evolutionary. During his undergraduate at the University of Utah he worked in an anthropological population genetics lab estimating timing and rate of archaic admixture, graduated 2016. After undergraduate he steered more molecular and studied gene regulatory effects and selection of transposable elements at the Eccles Institute of Human Genetics. Fall 2018 Mitch joined the Genetics, Genomics, & Development field at Cornell and entered the labs of Profs Andy Clark and Philipp Messer Summer 2019. His current research interests lie at the interface of evolution and disease. By studying how segregating variants in the human population affect the interactome and modeling the evolutionary dynamics of such variants he hopes to help strengthen our understanding of the effects of  deleterious variants.     Contact Mitch at:  mitch.lok3(at)

photo of Iskander Said
Iskander Said

Iskander is a PhD student in the labs of Andy Clark, and Dan Barbash. He did his undergraduate at University of California, Santa Cruz where he got his B.S. in Molecular Biology, Genetics, and Developmental Biology with a minor in Bioinformatics. After graduating he worked in the lab of Russell Corbett-Detig at UCSC focusing on the population and evolutionary genomics of chromosomal inversions. At Cornell Iskander received the NSF GRFP and is now focusing on developing methods to study segregation distorters in populations, and the population genomics of transposable elements.     Contact Iskander at is372(at)

photo of Andrew Marderstein
Andrew Marderstein

Andrew graduated from Cornell University in May 2017.  While a Biometry & Statistics major, he worked with Philipp Messer to develop computational methods for inferring selective sweeps in population genetic data and interned for two summers at the Regeneron Genetics Center in the statistical genetics group.  After undergraduate, Andrew entered the Tri-Institutional Ph.D. program in Computational Biology & Medicine and joined the Clark Lab in August 2018, co-advised with Olivier Elemento at the Weill Cornell Medicine campus in NYC.  Andrew’s research focuses on the analysis of genomic data to better understand complex biological systems and human disease.     Contact Andrew at: arm286(at)

photo of Manisha Munashinghe
Manisha Munashinghe

Manisha is a Ph.D. student in the field of Computational Biology.  She earned her B.Sc. in Mathematics in 2015 from Michigan State University.  After graduating from Michigan State, she came to Cornell University and joined the Clark Lab in May 2016.  Manisha is primarily interested in constructing models to examine the underlying population genetics of genetic conflict, particularly as it applies to mitochondrial-nuclear interactions, sexual antagonism, and the evolution of sex chromosomes.     Contact Manisha at:  mam737(at)

photo of Tram Nguyen
Tram Nguyen

Tram joined the Clark lab as a Ph.D. student in August 2016.  She is co-advised by Andy and Dr. John Fitzpatrick of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.  Tram received her B.S. focused in Conservation Biology from the University of California, Berkeley, where she applied genetics to research the demographic histories of two black rail populations undergoing different effects of land use change.  After Berkeley, Tram worked as a Research Assistant in the Genetics Division at the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research under Dr. Oliver Ryder.  She is broadly interested in conservation genomics and evolutionary biology, and hopes to further study the genetic basis of fitness in natural populations.  She is also interested in understanding how regions of the genome change or evolve through time in rapidly declining populations.     Contact  Tram at:  tn337(at)

Technician & Lab Manager

photo of Asha Jain
Asha Jain

Asha joined the Clark lab in August 2018 as a research technician.  She is former member of Cornell’s Genomics Facility at the Institute of biotechnology and is experienced in a variety of Next-generation sequencing platforms and technologies, protocol development, and high-throughput genomics projects. She received her Bachelor’s from Tulane University as a dual major in Cell and molecular biology and Psychology with a focus on Neural sciences. Having worked with proteins, DNA, and RNA in a variety of applications, she is interested in experimental design and down-stream analysis of genomic data.     Contact Asha at:  amj77(at)

Administrative Assistant

photo of Lori Beyea-Powers
Lori Beyea-Powers

Lori joined the Clark lab in September 2009 as an Administrative Assistant to Dr. Clark and his research team.  Lori’s background in financial management and experience with Cornell policies and processes, both in research and administration, helps to keep the lab running smoothly.

Lori is available Mon, Wed & Fri
Contact Lori at:  ljb2(at)   or   607-255-0533