Postdoctoral Fellows

2021-2023

Faith anderson, phd

Faith received her PhD in Molecular and Systems Biology from Dartmouth College. Her thesis work centered on the characterization of inflammatory and cellular death mechanisms in Parkinson’s disease. She is continuing her training in the identification and characterization of environmentally-triggered neurodegenerative disease processes in the laboratory of Dr. Gary Miller.

Meghan Bucher, phd

Meghan received her PhD in Neuroscience from the University of Pittsburgh in 2019 upon completion of her dissertation research titled “Vesicular sequestration of dopamine modulates neuronal health in Parkinson's disease models.” In January 2020, she joined Dr. Gary Miller’s laboratory in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences to research environmental drivers of health, with a focus on diseases and disorders of dopamine systems. In support of this work, she recently received an NIH Loan Repayment Program grant for a project investigating the interplay between developmental environmental toxicant exposure and psychostimulant-induced neurotoxicity.

Ilan Cerna-Turoff, phd

Ilan received a PhD in Epidemiology and Public Health from London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in 2020. He has over a decade of experience in child protection and health, with a focus on low- and middle-income countries, marginalized groups, and humanitarian settings. Ilan received a Fulbright Research Grant and Haruv Student Research Award for his past work. His doctoral research applied quantitative methods in analyzing violence in low resource settings and causal approaches in measuring the relationship between natural hazards and violence against children. Ilan's current research at Columbia investigates longitudinal exposure to natural hazards, subjective wellbeing, and violence in childhood. His work combines traditional statistical methods and machine learning. He has an interest in ecological exposures, health, and applied statistical methods.

Mariah DeSerisy, phd

Mariah completed her PhD in clinical psychology at Fordham University in 2021. She graduated from Trinity University in Texas in 2014 where she double majored in neuroscience and psychology. After graduation, she joined the Mental Health Interventions and Technology (MINT) Team in Miami, Florida at Florida International University as the research coordinator. In graduate school, Mariah focused on understanding behavioral, cognitive, and neurobiological risk and resilience factors for emotion dysregulation (irritability and anxiety) in children and adolescents. Clinically, Mariah specializes in providing evidence-based treatments for children and families struggling with severe emotion dysregulation, trauma, and high-risk behaviors (e.g., suicidality, substance use, non-suicidal self-injury). Mariah’s current research interests include intelligence in typical development, the impact of environmental and social exposures on risk for childhood psychopathology, and neurobiological correlates of irritability and anxiety.

Christian Dye, PhD

Born and raised on the island of Hawa’i, Christian Ka’ikekūponoaloha Dye is a kanaka maoli, or Native Hawaiian, epigenetics researcher with an interest in cardiometabolic diseases in underrepresented populations, such as Indigenous Peoples. Christian attended the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa where he obtained a bachelor’s degree in biology. Soon after, he would start his graduate education at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa in the Department of Molecular Biosciences and Bioengineering. Here, Christian's doctoral research focused on identifying epigenetic signatures in leukocyte subpopulations across a spectrum of diseases, including insulin resistance, diabetes, and dementia, and various populations, including Native Hawaiians, Japanese Americans, and HIV infected communities. At Columbia, under the direction of Dr. Bacarreli, Christian's research focuses on utilizing epigenetic information, such as DNA methylation and non-coding RNAs, to identify potentialy mechanistic biomarkers that may explain the relationship between environmental exposures and cardiometabolic disease risk in underrepresented communities, including American Indians. Christian hopes his research will be instrumental in developing novel strategies for disease diagnosis, prevention, community interventions and targeted therapeutics.  As a kanaka maoli, Christian has been a first-hand witness to the chronic diseases that plague his people. By bridging his previous and current research training, Christian plans to develop inclusive community-based research that utilizes epigenetic information to examine the relationship between community-level health and individual cardiometabolic health in underrepresented communities, such as Native Hawaiians and other indigenous peoples, with the hopes that his research will be translatable to other underrepresented, and often at-risk communities.

Katlyn McGraw, phd

Katlyn graduated from the University of Louisville with a PhD in Environmental Health Science in 2021. Katlyn’s research focuses on exposure to underregulated pollutants and their contribution to heart disease, in particular metals, volatile organic compounds, and benzene. Before beginning her graduate career, she worked as a bench chemist in hazardous waste recycling and radiopharmaceuticals; and as a clinical research associate at Norton Healthcare. In 2018, Katlyn was invited to intern with the Environmental Defense Fund in Houston, Texas to study benzene pollution after Hurricane Harvey, and last year she was awarded the KC Donnelly award to collaborate with the Columbia University Superfund Program to assess mixtures of environmental pollutants. Her award led to her current postdoctoral fellowship. Katlyn is a proponent of actionable research to impact policy. In her free time, she is an avid reader, cyclist, and active member of the LGBTQ+ community.

Miranda Spratlen, phd

Miranda is an environmental epidemiologist interested in using metabolomics analyses in infants and children as both biomarkers of exposure and disease and to provide insight on potential pathophysiological mechanisms between early life environmental exposures and subsequent health outcomes. Miranda received her BA in Public Health from Johns Hopkins University. She received her Masters in Health Science, a certificate in Risk Assessment and Public Policy and her PhD in Environmental Health and Engineering from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Her doctoral dissertation evaluated the intricate relationships between arsenic exposure and arsenic metabolism, one carbon metabolism and diabetes related outcomes in American Indians. Her postdoctoral work has focused on effects of prenatal environmental exposures resulting from the World Trade Center disaster. She recently helped submit a grant designed to evaluate the link between prenatal WTC exposure and both metabolomic and chemical signatures, and in turn, evaluate their association with child health outcomes. She also submitted a grant designed to understand the relationship between perinatal rice intake and arsenic exposure under current as well as projected climactic conditions. Prior to her doctoral and postdoctoral research, she worked for a combined six years in both the government (NYC Department of Environmental Protection) and one of the largest health systems in the country (Northwell Health), providing her with a unique and multidimensional perspective on environmental health research. Miranda was also a 2018 Advancing Green Chemistry Science Communication Fellow. Currently, Miranda is working with Dr. Julie Herbstman on the overarching goal of identifying links between perinatal environmental exposures and early markers of disease.