Columbia University in the City of New York

Our Team

Columbia’s Zuckerman Institute has assembled a highly skilled team of individuals who provide essential administrative and scientific support to all members of the Institute.

Senior Leadership

  • Daphna Shohamy

    Kavli Professor of Brain Science; Director and CEO of the Mortimer B. Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute

    Daphna Shohamy is Director and CEO of the Mortimer B. Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute. In this role, she works with Co-director Richard Axel, on the scientific, financial and administrative management of the Institute. She is also working to establish and direct a new cognitive neuroscience center. In 2021, Columbia University named Dr. Shohamy to lead its Kavli Institute for Brain Science and appointed her Kavli Professor of Brain Science. She is a principal investigator at the Institute, a valued teacher and mentor in the Department of Psychology and a member of the training faculty for the Columbia Doctoral Program in Neurobiology and Behavior. She is also an important contributor to undergraduate education at Columbia, teaching the science of the brain and mind to the entire incoming class of college students as part of Columbia’s Core Frontiers of Science course.

  • Jennifer L. Farris

    Chief Operating Officer

    As Chief Operating Officer, Jennifer Farris directs the Zuckerman Institute’s administrative operation, working closely with the Institute's scientific leadership to reinforce strategic goals and long-term success. In this role, Farris is the senior administrative officer representing the Institute within Columbia’s administrative organization.

    Farris has deep expertise in customer service, project management and operational effectiveness. She also has an abiding commitment to scientific discovery and research. Before joining Columbia’s Zuckerman Institute, Farris held multiple leadership roles at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI). After 15 years in the hospitality industry, Farris joined HHMI to launch the campus services operation at the Janelia Research Campus. Over the course of 12 years, Farris’ role continually expanded. Most recently, she served as HHMI’s Chief Administrative Officer where her role included administrative oversight of 15 remote science operations offices that supported activities for over 300 principal investigators and their research laboratories across the country.

    Farris is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she holds a BA in English and History.

  • Administrative Leadership

  • Jennifer Adams

    Executive Director of Administrative Services

  • Barbara Han

    Executive Director of Building Operations

    Barbara Han is responsible for delivering a comprehensive facility service model to all faculty and staff at the Zuckerman Institute. She and her team serve as direct liaisons between researchers and departments across Columbia University to support a smooth and proficiently operated scientific research facility.

    Prior to joining the Institute, Han spent 29 years as the laboratory manager at Columbia University Irving Medical Center. She has also spent nearly 20 years supervising the construction and renovation of lab spaces within Columbia University Medical Center. She received her bachelor’s in medical laboratory sciences from Hunter College School of Health Sciences and possesses two masters degrees; an MBA from Fordham University’s School of Business and an MPH from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.

  • Photo of Abhishek Joshi

    Abhishek Joshi

    Executive Director of Infrastructure, Technology and Support

  • Paige Lyne

    Executive Director of Finance

    Paige Lyne and her team are financially responsible for the Institute and associated faculty members and laboratories. This includes management of the Institute’s annual budget and review of accounts. Her team assists Institute researchers with all grant-related activities, including budget development and administrative requirements, as well as pre- and post-award activities.

    Before joining the Zuckerman Institute, Paige served in the finance departments at Columbia University Irving Medical Center’s Mailman School for Public Health, Columbia’s Center for the Study of Science & Religion and the Earth Institute. Prior to Columbia, she was a volunteer teacher in South Africa and worked at America’s Promise, a youth & community development nonprofit in Washington, DC. Paige received her bachelor’s in History from Georgetown University and an MBA from the New York University Stern School of Business.

  • Melinda M. Miller, PhD

    Senior Director, Institute Programs and Outreach

  • Darcy S. Peterka, PhD

    Director of Team Science; Scientific Director of Cellular Imaging

    As Director of Team Science and Scientific Director of Cellular Imaging at Columbia's Zuckerman Institute, Darcy Peterka offers a combination of both commercial systems and creates collaborative, custom-designed advanced imaging platforms to spur innovative research.

    Prior to joining the Zuckerman Institute, Dr. Peterka was Director of Technologies at Columbia’s NeuroTechnology Center, and a research scientist with Rafael Yuste. He spent many years at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, received a PhD in chemistry from the University of California at Berkeley, and holds a BA in Mathematics from Cornell University.

  • David Silver

    Director of Development

    (212) 851-7893
  • Lorraine Smith

    Executive Director for Human Resources and Academic Affairs

    Lorraine Smith directs all Human Resources and Academic Appointments at the Zuckerman Institute.

    In her role, Lorraine partners with University colleagues and Zuckerman Institute scientific and administrative leadership to implement strategies and streamline operations to meet the professional needs of the Institute’s research labs, scientists and administrative staff.

    Lorraine has worked at Columbia University for 15 years, most recently serving as Senior Executive Director of Human Resources and Academic Affairs at Columbia Business School. Prior to her role at the Business School, she led human resources at the Neurological Institute, Columbia University Irving Medical Center, and before that, worked on marketing initiatives at New York Hospital. Lorraine holds a Master's degree in Social Work from NYU, a Bachelor's in Management from Pace University, and earned a Certificate in Business Excellence from Columbia Business School.

  • Tanya Tabachnik

    Senior Director, Scientific Platforms, Shared Resources and Advanced Instrumentation

    Tanya Tabachnik’s department creates new technologies that marry imagination and engineering in order to empower scientists to answer fundamental questions about living systems and how the brain works. Her hand-picked team designs and develops solutions that are elegant, efficient and cost-effective. She and her team have built everything from a device that maps the steps of a fruit fly to materials that function inside the brain without harming it. Bringing to life new tools that drive cutting-edge research requires more than clever engineering. Her team's innovations start with the close relationships being built with clients. They have experience translating the needs of researchers and shaping their dreams into workable plans for success.

    Tanya comes to the Zuckerman Institute from Janelia Farm Research Campus of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, where she led and managed the Mechanical Engineering and Fabrication Department. In that capacity, she and her team designed and customized scientific instruments and tools for neuroscience research. She earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Engineering from Moscow State Technological University.

  • Arthur Uhimov

    Executive Director, Pre-Award and Strategic Research Development

  • Amy Weil

    Senior Director Communications

    The Zuckerman Institute Communications team is dedicated to sharing the extraordinary research and discoveries at the Institute with broad audiences. Amy Weil manages the creation of tailored communications strategies that explore and explain the Institute’s groundbreaking science. Amy and her team work closely with Institute scientists and staff to create written content and multimedia, including videos and infographics, to convey the urgency and excitement of the brain science research at the Institute.

    Amy joined Columbia’s Zuckerman Institute from George Soros’s global philanthropy, where she partnered with people and non-profits around the world to promote human rights and social justice. Prior to this, Amy worked at the national headquarters of the American Civil Liberties Union and helped implement national news campaigns to promote racial justice, LGBTQ rights, drug policy reform and other civil liberties issues.


Team Members

Administrative Operations & Strategy

Jennifer L. Farris, Chief Operating Officer

Melody Brumfield, Chief of Staff

Jasmine Brown, Senior Director of Strategic Initiatives

Vanessa Lecorps, Senior Director, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging

Administrative Services

Jennifer Adams, Executive Director of Administrative Services

Erin Peterman, Director of Internal Communications


Photo of Dylan Glickel

Dylan Glickel, Director of Events and Administrative Services

Christian Garbutt, Administrative Services Manager


Alvaro Martinez, Internal Communications Specialist

Marjorie Perez-Richardson, Assistant Director, Institute Events and Initiatives, Administrative Services


Building Operations

Barbara Han, Executive Director of Building Operations


Brandon Lieff, Manager of Operations


Aneudy Tapia, Senior Operations Coordinator


Martin Charles Cross II, Operations Coordinator


Amy Weil, Senior Director Communications


Ivan Amato, Science Communications Manager

Matteo Farinella, PhD, Scientific Multimedia Producer

Devin Powell, Digital Content Manager


David Silver, Director of Development

(212) 851-7893

Cassandra Ziegler, Associate Director of Strategic Development

(212) 851-2977

Kelechi Onuoha, Development Program Coordinator

(212) 853-7266


Paige Lyne, Executive Director of Finance


Samantha Adkins, Senior Financial Services Officer


Christopher Angelosanto, Senior Grants Manager

Pui Yen Cheung, Finance and Accounting Associate

Joseph Fuentes, Associate Director, Post Award and Finance


Anita Ramasami Henriquez, Director, Budget and Financial Analysis


Ed Johnson, Director, Procurement and Accounts Payable


Marika Lewis, Senior Director, Post Award Finance


Wanda Noriega, Financial Services Officer


Rosa Rule, Financial Services Officer


Poonam Sherpa, Finance and Accounting Associate

Minwoo Son, Senior Grants Manager

Joanna Xu, Senior Financial Service Officer


Human Resources

Lorraine Smith, Executive Director for Human Resources and Academic Affairs


Katherine Lewis, Director, Human Resources Operations


Yesenia Ozoria-Urena, Senior Human Resources Generalist


Gabriel Saravalli-Burchfield, Senior Associate Director, ZI HR International Research and Scholars

Ann Marie Goldsman, Assistant Director, Human Resources


Dominique Young, Senior Associate Director, Academic Affairs

Patricia K McKelvin, HR Administrative Manager


Kimberly Villalobos, Human Resources Coordinator

Infrastructure Technology and Support

Photo of Abhishek Joshi

Abhishek Joshi, Executive Director of Infrastructure, Technology and Support


Tina Foley, Associate Director of Infrastructure, Technology and Support

George Garrett, Director of Infrastructure Technology and Support

Guy Liotto, Senior IT Application Analyst

Tim Lumley, Senior Associate Director of Business Applications


Hector Armando Rodriguez Acosta, Senior AV/IT Support Specialist

Rimel Smith, Associate Systems Engineer

Yichao Zhang, Senior Research Systems Engineer

Pre-award and Research Development

Arthur Uhimov, Executive Director, Pre-Award and Strategic Research Development


Tijana Bzenic, Assistant Director, Pre-Award Grant Management

Maria Gabriele, Associate Director, Pre-Award Grant Management


Tori Zhuravleva, Associate Director, Strategic Research Development


Melinda M. Miller, PhD, Senior Director, Institute Programs and Outreach

Ivy Elkins, Assistant Director of Institute Programs & Initiatives


Maia Gumnit, PhD, Public Programs Manager


Kent Katner, Public Programs Manager


Diana Li, PhD, Associate Director of Education & Training Initiatives


Alissa Mayers, Director of Public Programs


Scientific Platforms: Advanced Instrumentation

Tanya Tabachnik, Senior Director, Scientific Platforms, Shared Resources and Advanced Instrumentation


Tayyaba Shakeel, Administrative Manager for Scientific Platforms


Richard Hormigo, Electrical Engineer


Chaim Sallah, Scientific Machinist


Scientific Platforms: Cellular Imaging

Darcy S. Peterka, PhD, Director of Team Science; Scientific Director of Cellular Imaging


Humberto Ibarra, Cellular Imaging Associate

Scientific Platforms: Custom Antibody Services

Susan Brenner-Morton, Director of Custom Antibody Services and Senior Science Officer

Scientific Platforms: Flow Cytometry

Ira Schieren, Senior Science Officer, Director of Flow Cytometry


Scientific Platforms: Genetic Access Tools

David Ng, PhD, Director of Genetic Access Tools and Associate Research Scientist

Scientific Platforms: Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Kathleen Durkin, Director, MR Platform Administration


Raphael T. Gerraty, PhD, Managing Director, MR Platform


Scientific Platforms: Virology

Katherine Balaguer, Research Staff Assistant


Vivarium Operations

Marlon W. Lowe, Senior Director

Rebecca Tierce, Senior Clinical Veterinarian

Keely Wharton, Clinical Veterinarian

Gieun Im, Veterinary Technician Supervisor

Sonia Thomas, Supervisor

Steven Young, Supervisor

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