Christoph Rau, Principal Investigator
  • Ph.D, Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics, UCLA
  • B.S., Mathematical Biology, Harvey Mudd College

Christoph joined the faculty of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill one week before the campus shut down due to COVID-19.  Prior to his time at UNC, he completed his PhD at UCLA under Jake Lusis followed by a postdoctoral fellowship in the laboratory of Yibin Wang.  There, he studied the genetic regulation of heart failure in mouse models, with a focus on DNA methylation, GWAS, and gene co-expression networks.  He is currently an Assistant Professor in the Computational Medicine Program and the Department of Genetics.  He is a member of the McAllister Heart Insitute at UNC, and a faculty member in the GMB and BCB Graduate Programs.


Caiti Lahue, Research Technician
  • B.S.,  Cellular and Molecular Biology, UNC Asheville

Caiti joined the lab in January 2021 and has been working on in vitro analyses of suspected heart failure genes using primary isolated cardiomyocytes.  Prior to joining the lab, she was a technician at NC State, where she worked on a project characterizing new yeast isolates for how well they could be used to bake bread – a very topical project for the pandemic!

Postdoctoral Fellows

Sriram Ravindran 

Ph.D. Myocardial revascularization injury, Mitochondrial Biochemistry and Pharmacology

M.Pharm. Pharmacology

B.Pharm. Pharmaceutical Sciences

Sriram is here to figure out the complex etiology of heart failure by studying the genetic codes that are miscued to progress the diseases. His interest lies in identifying the genetic interactions (cross-talk) between the nucleus and mitochondria, which have a code of their own and multiple copies. Prior to his time at UNC, he trained at the Vascular Biology Lab at SASTRA University under Prof. Gino A. Kurian. There he studied the effects of myocardial revascularization injury on the outcome of cognition, with a focus on mitochondrial function and its relation with cognition. He has translated his research from animal models to patients undergoing CABG surgery to explain the mitochondrial damage associated molecular patterns (mtDAMP’s) associated with the incidence of mild cognitive impairment. Beyond research, he loves teaching and motivating young students.

Graduate Students

Brian Gural

Brian is interested in investigating the functional mechanisms of genes we have found to be implicated in heart failure. After completing his B.S. in Biochemistry/Toxicology at Rutgers, he utilized CRISPR/Cas9 to generate and characterize zebrafish models of rare muscular dystrophies. Outside of the lab, Brian loves cycling, bouldering, trying new recipes, and caring for his 57 plants

Rotation Students 2022-2023

   Madeline Gillman

 Sam Ardery

 Isabela Gerdes Gyuricza

Undergraduate Students

Aryan Dalal

  • Sophmore, Major: Biostatistics
Aryan joined the lab in August 2021. He is interested in in vitro analyses of genes associated with heart failure within primary isolated cardiomyocytes and fibroblasts as well as the regulation of heart failure in mouse models.   Aryan enjoys playing basketball and cheering on his favorite NBA team, the Toronto Raptors.



Sarah Albert


Nina Nishiyama – Rotation Student – Winter 2020

Will Lee – Rotation Student – Spring 2021

Abdalla Alkhawaja – Rotation Student – Fall 2021

Kwame Forbes – Rotation Student – Fall 2021

Teresa McGee – Rotation Student – Winter 2021

Chia Hsuan Chou – Undergraduate Student – 2022