Joe Pickrell [CV] [email] [twitter]


Joe is a Junior Group Leader and Core Member at the New York Genome Center, and an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Columbia University. He has a PhD in human genetics from the University of Chicago and a BS in biology from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

Joe is a co-founder of Haldane’s Sieve, a site dedicated to discussion of preprints in population and evolutionary genetics, and is a contributor to the genomics blog Genomes Unzipped. See also profiles of Joe in GenomeWeb and ScienceNews.

Tomaz Berisa [email]

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Tomaz is the Data Scientist in the Pickrell lab. His role encompasses developing novel methods for analysis of sequencing data and web applications for distributing, visualizing, and interacting with genomic data.

Tomaz received his Dipl. Ing. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Zagreb, where he worked as a senior research assistant. He completed his postdoctoral fellowship with the Optical Zeitgeist Lab at Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique in Montreal. In parallel to his academic work, he regularly served as an advisor to operators and local regulators in the telecom sector.

Tomaz enjoys diving into research, programming, and sports. He is very excited to join the NY Genome Center and be part of the team in this defining time!

Erica Bertisch [email]


Erica Bertisch is the Executive Assistant for Faculty at the New York Genome Center, working for the Pickrell, Lappalainen, and Erlich labs. Previously, she was Executive Assistant to the President and Chief Executive Officer of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and assistant to the Executive Vice President, Founders Affiliate of the American Heart Association. Erica is a graduate of Russell Sage College in Troy, New York, and makes her home in Brooklyn Heights.

Claude Bhérer [email]

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Claude Bhérer is a postdoctoral research fellow in Pickrell’s lab. She is interested in developing novel computational approaches applied to large population samples to address questions about human evolutionary history and phenotypic diversity. She joins us from a postdoc with Adam Auton at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. During her PhD at Université de Montréal, Québec, Claude studied the French Canadian founder effect using population genealogies. Claude loves science, art, and rock and roll.

Chen Chen [email]


Chen has an undergraduate degree in Biological Sciences from Tsinghua University, China (2012). She is a graduate student in the Biological Sciences program at Columbia University. She is currently studying variation in the germline mutation rate as a joint student with Molly Przeworski at Columbia and Joe Pickrell at the New York Genome Center.

Fernando Racimo [email]


Fernando is a postdoctoral fellow in the lab. He is working on methods to detect polygenic adaptation on human phenotypes, using data from GWAS as well as present-day and ancient genomes from across the world. Fernando obtained his BA in Organismic and Evolutionary Biology with a minor in Statistics at Harvard University. He then spent a year at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, working on the sequencing and analysis of the first high-coverage Neanderthal and Denisovan genomes. Afterwards, Fernando received his PhD in Integrative Biology at UC Berkeley, with a designated emphasis in Computational Biology. He was jointly advised by Montgomery Slatkin and Rasmus Nielsen, and developed methods to infer demographic and selective processes using ancient DNA.

Kaja Wasik [email]

Kaja is a postdoctoral fellow in the lab. She is developing a cheap and robust genome sequencing technology to collect population-scale data. Kaja received an M.S. in Biology and an M.A. in Journalism from Warsaw University and completed her education at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, where she received her Ph.D. At CSHL, Kaja worked on genome composition and assembly, genetic element regulation, and regeneration in Greg Hannon’s lab. After completing her studies Kaja worked as a consultant for a number of New York and San Francisco Bay Area startup companies. Kaja is passionate about nature conservation and has been involved in a number of animal conservation-related initiatives like studying gorilla behavior etc.


Jimmy Liu (Postdoc, May 2015-May 2016). Now Bioinformatics Scientist, New York Genome Center