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Lab Members

Principal Investigator

Dr. Paul Cullen, PI


B.S. University of Illinois

PhD, Washington University

Postdoc, University of Oregon

Training Philosophy

I am currently training four PhD students in my laboratory. The students are learning to become independent scientists. They each have an independent project or projects, which correspond to the aims of the active research grant proposals. Depending on their projects, students learn a variety of techniques in the areas of cell and molecular biology, genetics, biochemistry, and genome-wide data analysis. The development of new techniques is highly encouraged. Through regular meetings, group meetings, and informal chats, I help keep students focused on their projects, and help them to make the best decisions going forward. We use question-based approaches infused with logical assumptions and try to incorporate cost-benefit analyses. We also have an exploratory bent that leaves us open to discoveries we do not expect. Students attend regional, national, and in some cases international meetings to present their work. Students also attend journal clubs and are encouraged to read the literature and interact with other students in our department and other departments. Students write their own papers with my help. Through this dynamic, open, and interactive training environment, students become highly trained in preparation towards independence. I have previously trained 6 PhD students in the lab who have gone on to careers in academic and industrial settings. I have also trained 3 postdoctoral students, 4 Master’s students, and more than 30 undergraduate students.

We encourage qualified postdocs, PhD, MS, MA and undergraduate students who are interested in our research to contact me about learning more about our work.

The Cullen Lab supports and upholds equal opportunity practices and inclusion. In line with UB's policies and the laws of New York State, we support and promote diversity in all forms including race, gender, age and religion.

Current Members

Jacky Chow


PhD Student

Hails from  San Francisco California

Sukanya Basu


PhD Student

M.S. Boston University

Aditi Prabhakar

PhD Student

M.S. Leeds University

Amit Mehrotra


Undergraduate Student


Jeff Wicks and Ludia Pack


Undergraduate students from the University of Rochester

Previous Laboratory Members

Post-doctoral Students

  • Darpan Saraswat (2016)

  • Barbara Birkaya (2009-2010)

  • Rufeng Xu-Friedman (2007)

PhD Students

  • Hema Adhikari                        PhD 9/2015

    • Postdoctoral Fellow Duke University

  • Lauren Caccamise                   PhD 7/2015

    • M L Caccamise Electric Corp

  • Colin Chavel                           PhD 9/2014

    • Postdoctoral Fellow Roswell Park

  • Sheelarani Karunanithi            PhD 5/2012

    • Postdoctoral Fellow Case Western Reserve

  • Andy Pitoniak                                    PhD 5/2011

    • Faculty at Jamestown Community College

  • Nadia Vadaie                           PhD 2/2011

    • Postdoctoral Fellow UCLA

M.S. Students

  • Marysa Notaro                                   MS 2017 (co-PI with Steve Free)

  • Boyang Li                                            MS 2015

  • Tanaya Pande                                     MS 2015

  • Mahbuba Meem                                 MS 2011

  • Jyoti Joshi                                           MS 5/2010

  • Nicole Grassi                                      MA 5/2010


Undergraduate Students

  • Jeff Wicks                                           5/17-Present

    • visiting student from the University of Rochester

  • Ludia Pack                                          5/17-Present

    • visiting student from the University of Rochester

  • Shally Lin                                            9/16-Present

  • Jenn Somboonthum                            6/2015-9/2016

  • Lauren Hartley                                    9/2015-12/2015

  • Hussain Odeh                                     9/2015-6/2016

  • Amit Mehrotra                         1/23/16-Present

    • McCroskey Fellow

  • Afhreen Siquiqqi                                 9/2014-12/2015

  • Matthew Fenigstein                            9/2014-1/2015

  • Morgan Dressler                                 1/2014-6/2014

  • Cynthia Mgbeojirikwe                        6/2013-1/2014

  • Javier (Omar) Muniz                          6/2014-9/2014

    • iSEED program

  • Ummi Abdullah                                  1/2006-8/2009

    • CURCA  2008

  • Emmojaffe Ajajagbor                          1/2009-8/2009

    • NSF Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation 2009

  • Parth Prikash                                      1/2009-6/2009

  • Diawoye Camara                                9/2009-6/2013

  • Mike Shanellenberger                          1/2010-6/2010

  • Lila Bilallai                                          1/2010-6/2010

  • Allison Connelly                                 9/2012-5/2013

  • Kiran Garg                                          7/2013-8/2013

  • High School Student

  • Ahmed Elbaneth                                 9/2012-1/2013

  • Brandon Zawacki                                1/2013-6/2013

  • Allen Zhou                                          1/2013-5/2013

  • Suzy Boulet                                        5/2013 – 12/2013

  • Unnati Dev                                         1/2010-8/2012

  • CURCA Award for Unnati Dev 2011

  • Rachel Glock                                       9/2011-1/2012

  • Justin Shiner                                       9/2011-1/2012

  • Kaitlin Verni                                       9/2011-1/2012

  • Amanda Ruby                                     9/2011-1/2012

  • Michael Bemtley                                9/2011-4/2012

  • Jeremy Smith                                      7/2010-6/2011

  • Rachel Weigand                                   6/2011-9/2011

  • Visiting from Xaiver University

  • James Shunk                                       1/2010-6/2010

  • Seth Nickerson (Honors)                    7/2005-6/2007

  • Phil Miles Undergraduate Research Fund 2005 Seth Nickerson

  • Julia Eron                                            1/2007-6/2007

  • Megan Noyes                                     1/2007-6/2007

  • Michelle Im                                         8/2007-12/2007

  • Elizabeth Kish                                                1/2007-8/2007

  • Minkyung Park                                   9/2005-6/2006

  • Darowan Akajagbor                            9/2004-1/2006

  • NSF Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation 2004-2005

  • Alice Yu                                              10/2004-1/2005

  • Rena  Malik                                        9/2004-1/2005

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