Laboratory of Robert Burk

Team Members

Robert Burk, MD - Principal Investigator

Robert Burk, MDRobbie is a physician-scientist with extensive expertise in molecular biology, clinical medicine, epidemiology, and medical genetics. He has devoted his career to understanding and studying the causal factors of cancer.


Mykhaylo Usyk, MS - Bioinformatics Analyst

Mike_ProfilePicMykhaylo graduated with a BS and MS from NYU Tandon School of Engineering in 2016. While studying at NYU he conducted research on developing polyaniline functionalized electrodes and non-specific protein binding with industry professor Kalle Levon. Once he was accepted into the joint BS/MS program and working on his thesis, Mykhaylo started working at NYU's college of dentistry as a Bioinformatics analyst. There he designed high throughput metagenomic analysis pipelines. Most of his work focused on microbial community variation in pancreatic cancer. Mykhaylo started working in the Burk lab at the beginning of 2016 and is currently working on NGS HPV studies. He is interested in building a wide skill set in the field of bioinformatics which can then be incorporated into a career in medicine.



Noha Elgendy, PhD - Post-doctoral Research Fellow

Noha ElgendyNoha graduated from pharmacy school at Ain shams university in Egypt with MSc and Ph.D. degrees in microbiology. She studied the production of biodegradable polymers especially polyhydroxybutyrate from soil bacteria to replace the plastics in the market. She moved to the US and started working on gut microbiome analysis of multiple sclerosis patients at Marshfield clinic research institute through a one-year fellowship in precision medicine. Through this fellowship, she earned bioinformatic skills to analyze the microbiome and metabolome interactions. As a step forward for specialization in microbiome studies and its analysis, she joined Burk’s lab in 2022 to work on the role of the microbiome in HIV patients and its interaction with metabolome.


Aditi Jangid - Post-doctoral Research Fellow

Aditi JangidAditi was born and raised in India. She earned her bachelor's degree in Bioinformatics from IASE University and her master's degree in Bioinformatics from Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology, both located in India. Aditi then went on to complete her PhD in computational biology at the Indian Institute of Technology Mandi, working under Dr. Tulika Prakash Srivastava. As a postdoctoral fellow at Einstein, she focuses on exploring the role of the microbiome in HIV-infected individuals in a large human cohort. Outside of work, Aditi enjoys traveling to new destinations, dancing, and reading.


Christopher Sollecito, BS - Research Technician

Chris Sollecito #2Chris graduated with a BS in Biological Sciences from Fordham University in 2015. Before joining the Burk Lab in 2016, Chris worked in the laboratory of Qize Wei, MD, PhD, studying how MyoGEF, a guanine nucleotide exchange factor, regulates cytokinesis and breast cancer cell invasion. His professional interests include the Microbiome and its relation to human health, translational medicine, and improving laboratory methods. Outside of the lab Chris enjoys reading, going to Yankee games, and playing the occasional game of tennis.  


Evan Grassi, BS - Research Technician

evanEvan joined the lab in October of 2018. He received his B.S. in Chemistry with a minor in Mathematics from Fordham University. During his time at Fordham, Evan worked with Edward Dubrovsky, PhD. studying the function of Juvenile Hormone induced genes in Drosophila as well as Donald Clarke, PhD studying intramolecular forces in small molecules via NMR spectroscopy. In his free time he enjoys biking, reading, and running 


Fanua Wiek, BA - Research Technician

Fanua Wiek

Fanua  is interested in health equity and improving women’s lives through translational research. Fanua received a B.A. in Human Evolutionary Biology with a minor in Global Health and Health Policy from Harvard University. She has worked in the Culture, Cognition and Coevolution Lab at Harvard, studying the cognitive development and decline in populations across the world, specifically looking at individuals’ access to education and healthcare. Separately, she has also worked with Professor E. Yarden on music as a cognitive adaptation for memory in the aging brain. Fanua joined the Burk Lab in 2019 as a research technician. After honing her pipetting skills to perfection, Fanua wants to pursue an education in medicine and ultimately return to her hometown in Fiji, to work in the Women’s Health sector there. 


Natalie Bachman, BS - Research Technician

Natalie BachmanNatalie graduated from Bates College in 2022 with a BS in Biology and a minor in French. Prior to joining the Burk Lab, Natalie worked in a biomechanics lab with Andrew Mountcastle, PhD. studying the impact of collision speed in rates of bumblebee wing wear. In her free time, Natalie enjoys playing squash, watching soccer, and spending time outdoors.


Michael D’Angelo, BS - Research Technician

Michael D’AngeloMichael graduated from the University of Chicago in 2023 with a B.S. in Biological Chemistry. While pursuing his degree, he was a research assistant for Humacyte, a biotech company that is pioneering the development of artificial human blood vessels. During his time at Humacyte, he researched international treatment types and prevalence rates of blood vessel related diseases such as critical limb ischemia. He was also a member of the Clinical Excellence Scholars track in which he engaged in discussions with University of Chicago Medicine physicians about the ethics and clinical aspects of medicine. In his free time, he likes to watch Formula 1, go to concerts, and spend time with his family.


Avery Karlin, BS - Bioinformatics Analyst

Avery KarlinAvery graduated with his B.A. in Computational Physics from the University of Pennsylvania in 2022. While studying at Penn, he conducted research into the cross-section of a neutron beam in a liquid argon chamber to calculate the cross-section as part of the mini-CAPTAIN experiment in preparation for the DUNE experiment, working on both the experiment and subsequent data analysis under Dr. Christopher Mauger. Avery started working in the Burk Lab in 2023 and is interested in building a strong skill set in medicine, genetics, biology, and bioinformatics, as well as further develop his data science skills.


Jonathon Vilatoro - Student Research Assistant

Jonathon VilatoroJonathon is currently a Junior at Fordham College Rose Hill. He is pursuing a bachelors in Biological Science with a minor in English. He’s previously completed an internship at the internist department via Mount Sinai’s FlexMed Program. His hobbies include, exploring New York City, creating art, and writing.


Alexis Henry - Student Research Assistant

Alexis HenryAlexis is a second-year undergraduate student at Fordham University. She is majoring in Biological Sciences and minoring in Music. On campus, she is a part of Fordham University’s Emergency Medical Services, the women’s rugby team, and Pep Band. Alexis joined the lab in September of 2022 as a Microbiome kit maker. After completion of her degree, Alexis plans to apply to medical school and become a part of the health field.