The Team

Meet the research technicians and students that have worked with Dr. Marlin during her tenure in the Axel Laboratory at Columbia University.

Research Technician

Eliza Jaeger, 2017-

Eliza graduated from Middlebury College in 2017 with a major in neuroscience and a minor in anthropology. She first discovered her love of the brain by reading about the origins of Homo sapiens, and has since been intrigued by how evolutionary pressures could create such a complex and nuanced organism. At Middlebury, her honors thesis explored the effects of testosterone replacement on improvements in spatial memory in male rats. At Columbia University, working with Dr. Marlin, she now studies how traumatic experiences in one generation may have behavioral and anatomical effects on their offspring. In 2019, she plans to pursue a PhD in neuroscience, which will combine her passion for evolution, neurogenetics, and development. When not in lab, Eliza might be found translating texts about medieval monasticism, taking a ballet class, re-reading Vonnegut’s Galápagos for the twelfth time, or traveling to her hometown of Bonn, Germany.


Undergraduate Researchers


Yasmine Ayman, 2018-

Yasmine is currently a sophomore from Luxembourg at the Columbia College of Columbia University. She is double majoring in Neuroscience and Philosophy, eager to use methods of introspection and subjective experience, as well as the underlying biological mechanisms,  to effect change on the individual and collective level. As she was raised speaking 6 languages in a multicultural country and household, she is particularly interested in how environments shape our individual realities. Having worked in cognitive neuroscience labs at Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine, and Columbia Medical Centre, and now working in the Axel Lab at the Zuckerman Institute, she wishes to reconcile different steeds of knowledge in order to ask (and answer) the big questions of life. Among her extracurriculars, she is the Vice President of the Columbia Neuroscience Society and an active member of Columbia University Scientists and Engineers for a Better Society. In her free time, she is a passionate blogger, mentor, tennis player and mint chocolate connoisseur.


Jeremy Perna, 2018

Jeremy is in the Class of 2020 in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Columbia University. Planning to major in Biomedical Engineering, he found his way into the world of neuroscience through his passion for Buddhist meditation techniques, including but not limited to the vipassanā (mindfulness) and mettā (lovingkindness) Theravada traditions. Jeremy hopes to use the technical skills from his engineering training to fuel scientific insights with a particular interest in computational neuroscience and imaging techniques. He is currently working on building an automated and precise behavioral assay for the transgenerational epigenetic inheritance research in the Marlin group. He also loves teaching and is currently working as a tutor for the introductory biology course at Columbia. Jeremy is currently reading through the Columbia Core literature and philosophy syllabus, regularly journals and maintains a consistent vinyasa yoga practice. 


Emily Sherman, 2017-

Emily is currently a student at Barnard College at Columbia University majoring in Cognitive Science (a major she petitioned to create that combines the neuroscience and computer science majors). She is studying abroad at the University of Cambridge during the fall of 2018. Emily loves neuroscience because she has always been deeply interested in understanding the fabric of reality, and neuroscience is the gateway. When she isn't doing research or crying over projects from her computer science classes, you can find her hanging out with friends around NYC, scheming free food from her food Instagram account, advocating for gun control legislation, or melting in the Arizona desert.  


Brendan ryu, 2016

Brendan hails from Pittsburgh, PA and has just graduated in the Class of 2017 at Duke University, pursuing a Neuroscience major along with Biology and Chemistry minors. He was a summer student in the Axel Lab under the guidance of Dr. Marlin and helped with the initial stages of the transgenerational epigenetics project. Currently, he is a research technician and lab manager for the Franks Lab in Duke Neurobiology and studies the kindling model of epilepsy in mice by utilizing optogenetic tools. Brendan is also applying to medical school in the 2018-2019 cycle and aspires a career in neurology and clinical research.