Principal Investigator

image of Zhang Huaiying

Huaiying Zhang

Assistant Professor

Department of Biological Sciences, Carnegie Mellon University

Department of Chemical Engineering (courtesy), Carnegie Mellon University

Molecular Biophysics and Structural Biology (MBSB) graduate program, Carnegie Mellon University & University of Pittsburgh 


Education and Training

Postdoctoral fellow

Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, McGill University, lab of Dr. Reghan Hill
M.S., Chemical Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, lab of Dr. Jianming Xing and Dr. Huizhou Liu
B.E., Applied Chemistry, China University of Mining and Technology (Beijing)

Postdoctoral Fellows

Xiaoyang Yu

Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology at University of Pittsburgh, School of Medicine


I’m from Beijing, China, and I conducted my PhD research on the HBV at University of Pittsburgh.
Immediately after completing my PhD in 2023, I joined the Zhang lab. In my leisure time, I enjoy painting and cuddling with my dog.


Biplab KC

Ph.D. in Bioengineering at Kyushu University, Japan


I completed my Ph.D. at Katayama Lab, from Kyushu University, Japan under the supervision of Prof. Akihiro Kishimura. During my Ph.D., I worked on liquid-liquid phase separation in poly-ionic material and got fascinated with the self-assembly process for condensate formation. Now, I want to work on intracellular condensate which led me to the Zhang lab where I am studying photo-sensitive chemical-induced dimerization systems for modulating condensate inside the cells. My research will focus on understanding the SUMOylation process on condensate-forming proteins in understanding the ALT phenotype in cancer cells. During my free time, I like watching anime, playing badminton and table tennis, and hanging out with my friends.

Research Technician

image of Jason Tones with glasses

Jason Tones

Bachelor in Microbiology


After 20 years in the restaurant industry and 3 years as a stay home dad I earned my microbiology degree in 2018 and began working in the Zhang lab in 2019. In my free time I like to make pasta, try my hand at home fermentation, and occasionally golf.


Graduate Students

Tafadzwa Chigumura

Ph.D. Candidate in Chemical Engineering

I completed my master’s in Chemical Engineering at Howard University and moved right into the PhD program at CMU. I’m looking forward to delving into the world of cell biology and discovering extended applications of chemical engineering principles. My hobbies include listening to audible books, watching C, K and Thai dramas and hunting down good (and cheap) food.

image of Rongwei Zhao

Rongwei Zhao

Ph.D. Candidate in Biological Sciences


I am from Beijing, China. Among the various fields in biology, molecular and cell biology intrigues me most because it not only allows us to elucidate the unknown mechanism of cell regulation, but is also essential for discovery and development of therapeutics and pharmaceuticals in the long run. In my free time I like hiking, traveling and appreciating sweeties.


image of a young man

Jasper Jeffrey

Ph.D. student in Molecular Biophysics and Structural Biology (MBSB)


After receiving my B.Sc. from Lehigh University, I worked on performing single molecule experiments with the Kinesin 1 motor KIF1A and general anesthetic propofol. At the Zhang lab I am currently elucidating structural features that drive liquid-liquid phase separation of proteins involved in cell division. When outside the lab space I enjoy scale modeling, visiting submarines and being an amateur green thumb.


image of Ruwani Dalath

Ruwani Madushika Dalath

Ph.D. Candidate in Biological Sciences

Ever since I got to know that the biochemical and molecular changes at the cellular level lead to physiological alterations in living creatures , my desire to dive more into this regard grew up day by day! With my eyes focused on my passion, I pursued my bachelor’s degree in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry at the University of Colombo and moved right into my PhD in Biological Sciences at CMU! I joined Zhang lab in May 2023 and here I am exploring more in the world of science and doing What I’ve always wanted to do!!!


William Wu

M.S student in Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Engineering



Undergraduate students

image of man with backpack climbing mountains

Chris Bi

Major in Biological Sciences


I am an undergraduate student currently majoring in Biological Sciences. I joined Zhang lab in 2023 and am thrilled to contribute to researches in protein condensates. In my free time I enjoy practicing with my bandmates and going to concerts.


Stephen Wu

Major in Biological Sciences



Lab Alumni

Meng Xu, Postdoctoral FellowCurrently at NIH

Josiah Kratz, Ph.D. Student – Currently at Shiladitya Banerjee lab, Carnegie Mellon University.

Lu Qiao,  Master’s Student

Will O’Connell, Master’s Student – Currently at FlexTrade Systems Inc.

Sabrina Tsai, Master’s Student – Currently at Altius Institute for Biomedical Sciences.

Astha Tripathi, Undergraduate Researcher – Currently at Massachussetts General Hospital.