Current Lab Members

Shihoko Kojima Ph.D.
Principle Investigator

Studied a bacterial toxin as an undergrad, then became fascinated by the circadian clock and “clock” genes, especially by their names. 

Love research + science no doubt, but even more passionate about soccer, as I have been playing ever since I was eight. 

Ben Unruh
​Graduate Student

From Kansas and Fairfax

Evan Littleton
Graduate Student

Grew up in Virginia and studied at Virginia Tech as an undergraduate, graduated in 2018. I knew I loved molecular biology and the amazing complexity of cells, so I wanted to keep learning more about them through research. To me, studying the molecular circadian rhythm and how cells are able to tell time in such a precise way is a perfect mixture of what I find most fascinating about biology. Outside of the lab I love to watch sports, especially basketball and football!

Lin Miao
Graduate Student

​Hi, I’m Lin. I am from China, and I am a PhD student in Shihoko’s lab. I got my Bachelor’s degree in Tianjin University, and my Master’s degree in University of Southern California. In the lab, I am working on the question of how is the rhythmic and tissue-specific Per2AS expression regulated. Outside the lab, I enjoy traveling, doing sports and playing some music.

Max Rivers
Lab Tech/Manager

I graduated from the University of Lynchburg in 2021 where I studied chemistry and biomedical science. After graduating, I joined the Kojima Lab where I was introduced to the wonderful world of circadian rhythm genetics. Outside of work, I love teaching, watching horror movies, and playing with cats.

Darrell Storholt
Lab Tech

Maisy Rhoades
Undergraduate Research Assistant 
(Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise: HNFE)

Naya Nerikar
Undergraduate Research Assistant
(Biological Sciences)

Heather Pieno
Undergraduate Research Assistant
(Clinical Neuroscience)

Kyle Batty
Undergraduate Research Assistant (Systems Biology)


High School Researchers

  • Lily Zhu (2016-2017)
  • Aarati Pokharel (2016-2017)
  • Norah Griggs (2021 Summer internship)

Undergraduate Researchers

  • Veronica Taylor (2014-2015, Current: Pharm.D. program, VCU ) 
  • Landon Frazier (2015-2017, Current: M.D. program, Georgetown University) 
  • Allie Castaneda (2016-2017, Current: Ph.D. program, Virginia Tech) 
  • Jake Deslauriers (2016-2017, Current: Ph.D. program, NC State) 
  • Naseem Maghzian (2017) 
  • Thomas Salazar (2017)
  • Connie Magarelli (2017-2018, Current: D.O. program. Liberty University)
  • Camille Schrier (2017-2018, Current: Pharm.D. program, VCU, Miss Virginia 2019, Miss America 2020)
  • Deigo Flores (2018)
  • Pooja Shethna (2018)
  • ​Melinda Rieck (2018)
  • Kevin He (2017-2019, Current: Ph.D. program, UCLA)
  • ​Michaela Gosting (2018-2019, Current: Genetic Counseling program, Univ. Maryland)
  • Maddie Childress (2019-2020)
  • Sophia Sobrado (2021 Summer MAOP)
  • Ayana Jackson (2019-2021)

Technical Staff

Zachary Erwin (2015-2016)
Kerry Gendreau (2015-2017, Current: Ph.D. program, Virginia Tech)
Kaysha Perrin (2019-2020)


Chuanli (Julie) Zhou (2016-2017, Current: Postdoc at UT Southwestern Medical Center)
Rebecca Mosig (2019-2020)