Cassie is a second year Ph.D. student in the Cell Biology and Physiology Curriculum at UNC. She completed her undergraduate studies double majoring in Biology and Psychology at Providence College before joining UNC and the Snider Lab in 2021. Cassie's primary research interest is working with induced pluripotent stem cells to elucidate intermediate filament aggregation in rare neurodegenerative diseases like GAN.


Fun Fact: She's got a lab drawer full of mixed fruit snacks

Natasha Snider, Ph.D.

Principal Investigator

Nicholas LaPlant

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Gloria Jung

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Morgan Rouse, B.S.

Research Assistant

Nicholas is a junior at UNC Chapel Hill majoring in Biomedical and Health Sciences Engineering with a minor in Neurosciences. He joined the lab in June 2021 with a strong interest in identifying altered global post-translational modifications in human hepatocellular carcinoma tumors using in silico and in vitro approaches.


Fun Fact: Programming whiz

Cassandra Phillips, B.S.

Graduate Student

Maryam Faridounnia, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellow

Gloria (Seyoung) is a senior at UNC Chapel Hill majoring in Clinical Laboratory Science. She joined the lab in 2017 and has been assisting with molecular and biochemical experiments, general lab tasks, and genotyping. She received a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship in 2020 to study the effect of estrogen on mitochondria properties in mouse hepatocytes. Upon completion of her undergraduate degree, Seyoung plans to go to medical school.


Fun Fact: Learned to knit hats during the pandemic

Alex started his undergraduate studies at UNC Chapel Hill in August 2020. He joined the Snider Lab as a high school student, shadowing and helping graduate students during his summer breaks. Alex continues to be interested in research, particularly on neurodegenerative diseases. 


Fun Fact: Best swimmer among the lab members

After earning her bachelor's degree from UNC Chapel Hill, Morgan continues to work in the Snider lab as a research assistant during her gap year. She joined the lab in 2017 and has been working primarily on examining how CD73 promotes liver homeostasis using molecular, biochemical, and histological approaches. Morgan is attending medical school in the fall of 2021.


Fun Fact: Best singer in the Snider lab

Rachel completed her undergraduate studies in Genetics in the honors program at Rutgers University, where she received a Presidential scholarship. She is a sixth year Ph.D. student in the Cell Biology and Physiology Curriculum and her thesis project in the Snider Lab is focused on the function and regulation of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) aggregates in Alexander Disease. Rachel's work is supported by a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship and a Thermo Fisher Scientific Data Applications grant.


Rachel received a F99/K00 transition award from NIA to study the function of reactive astrocytes in aging and neurodegenerative disease under the tutelage of Dr. Mel Feany at Harvard University.


Fun Fact: Training for a full-marathon



Karel (Kaye) received her Ph.D. degree on April 2021 working with Dr. Snider at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. Her project focused on elucidating the role of ecto-5'-nucleotidase (CD73) in hepatocyte homeostasis and disease.  Kaye's work was supported by the T32 Cancer Cell Biology Training Program Fellowship and the UNC Dissertation Completion Fellowship. 


Her postdoctoral work aims to investigate how CD73 mediates sex differences in the development and progression of liver cancer using in vivo mouse models, primary hepatocyte sandwich cultures, and molecular and biochemical approaches.


Fun Fact: Has been boxing for 2+ years

Alex Prakken

Undergraduate Student

Natasha completed her undergraduate studies in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Michigan State University, supported by the Loyse W. and Gordon H. Hueschen Science Scholarship. As a graduate student with Paul Hollenberg in the Pharmacology department at the University of Michigan (2004 - 2009), she studied cytochrome P450-mediated pathways of endocannabinoid metabolism. She was an NIDDK-funded post-doctoral fellow (2009 - 2011) and research investigator (2011 - 2014) with Bishr Omary in the Department of Molecular & Integrative Physiology at the University of Michigan, studying keratin intermediate filaments and mechanisms of liver injury. Natasha started her independent research program as Assistant Professor of Cell Biology and Physiology at UNC-CH in January 2015. She is also a full member of the Center for Gastrointestinal Biology and Disease (CGIBD) and the Lineberger Cancer Center.


Natasha received the 2020-21 Award for Excellence in Basic Science Mentoring from the Office of Graduate Education at UNC.

Karel Alcedo, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellow

Maryam joined the Snider lab on April 2019 as a Postdoctoral Fellow. She obtained her Ph.D. degree at Utrecht University in Utrecht, Netherlands working on the structure, stability, and function of human ERCC1-XPF proteins in DNA damage response and in rare genetic diseases. 


Her postdoctoral work involves developing in vitro models using induced-pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived motor neurons to study intermediate filament dynamics in a rare genetic disease called Giant Axonal Neuropathy (GAN). 


Fun Fact: Avid rock climber

Rachel Battaglia, Ph.D.

Graduate Student

Welcome to the snider lab


in the Cell Biology and Physiology Department at UNC-Chapel Hill