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. 

Evan Littleton
Ph.D. 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
Ph.D. Student

​I am from China. 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.

Juan Hernandez
Lab Specialist

I’m a former wahoo, receiving my biochemistry degree in 2019. During my undergrad, I became fascinated by molecular biology. I find the circadian clock particularly interesting due to its conservation between organisms and the broad effects it has on other cellular processes. Besides being great at extractions, I’m also an avid snowboarder and an okay-ish skier. When it’s not below freezing outside, you can usually find me hiking or roller-skating with my dog.

Douglas Weidemann
Lab Specialist

I’m a molecular biologist interested in gene expression regulation. I love doing experiments and data analysis. I also enjoy living in the mountains of southwest Virginia.

Katherine Ngo
Undergraduate Research Assistant (Biological Sciences)

Claire Wildermann
Undergraduate Research Assistant (Clinical Neuroscience)

Luke Stanley
Undergraduate Research Assistant (Biological Sciences)


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, Current: M.D. program, VCU)
  • Sophia Sobrado (2021 Summer MAOP)
  • Ayana Jackson (2019-2021)
  • Naya Nerikar (2021-2022)
  • Maisy Rhoades (2021-2022)
  • Kyle Batty (2021-2022)
  • Brady Stipancic (2021-2022)
  • Logan Peters (2022)
  • Ashlee Pieno (2021 – 2023)

Technical Staff

Zachary Erwin (2015-2016)
Kerry Gendreau (2015-2017, Current: postdoc, ZMBH Heidelberg)
Kaysha Perrin (2019-2020)
Max Rivers (2021)
Ayati Konar (2021)
Darrell Storholt (2021)

Graduate Students
Benjamin Unruh (2017 -2023, Current: Scientific Information Analyst, DSFederal.

I graduated from George Mason in 2015 and joined Kojima lab in August of 2017. My interest in how the world works led me to want to study molecular biology. My project in Kojima lab primarily focuses on the rhythmic degradation and synthesis of RNA and how this contributes to rhythmic gene expression. Outside of the lab I am interested in politics, history, and world news and I am always up for a good conversation.


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