People

Heather McCauley, Ph.D.
Principal Investigator

Heather completed her undergraduate training at the University of Southern California. She was a lab aide in Dr. Lorraine Turcotte’s lab, and fell in love with research the first time she developed a Western blot (even though it did not show anything useful). Heather moved to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center for her graduate and postdoctoral training. She obtained her PhD in Molecular and Developmental Biology in the lab of Dr. Geraldine Guasch. For her postdoc, Heather joined the lab of Dr. Jim Wells, where she developed her interest in enteroendocrine cells as the center of intestinal physiology and metabolism. She chose to study the gut and metabolism because of her love of food.
Heather_McCauley@med.unc.edu

Anne Marie Riedman, B.S.
Lab Manager

Anne Marie completed her undergraduate degree in Biology with minors in Chemistry and Forensics at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio. After getting her scientific start by volunteering at a pig breeding center, she knew that biology was the path for her. During her sophomore year at Xavier, she began working in Jim Wells’ lab as a lab aide at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital with Heather as her mentor. From her years at the lab, she has developed an interest in enteroendocrine cells and broader intestinal research. Anne Marie moved to North Carolina and is the Lab Manager for the McCauley Lab.
Anne_Riedman@med.unc.edu

Jennifer Nwako, B.S.
Ph.D. student, Cell Biology and Physiology

Jennifer completed her undergraduate training at Wellesley College where she took a developmental biology class as a junior and immediately knew she needed to do research. She was an undergraduate researcher in Adam Martin’s lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) studying embryonic shape change and morphogenesis in Drosophila and completed an honors thesis. She was a research technician at MIT and Boston College before starting her PhD at UNC-CH. Her thesis research in the McCauley lab studies how enteroendocrine cells regulate intestinal functions within organoid and mouse models. In her free time, she is a passionate advocate and volunteer for scientific outreach to minority communities. She is interested in a career in translational science and has been a research intern at companies such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Medical Research Institute.
jnwako@unc.edu

Taevon Roach
Undergraduate student, Nutrition, Health, and Society; minor in Spanish

Taevon is an aspiring physician who strives to make an impact on society by using his knowledge and experience to enact change and help those who need it the most. tjoroach@unc.edu

Meghan Anderman, M.S.
Ph.D. student, Cell Biology and Physiology

Meghan completed her undergraduate degree in Biology at Nothern Michigan University and spent her post-grad years as a postbaccalaureate cancer research fellow at the NIH and a research assistant at Georgetown University. She went on to earn her master’s degree in Molecular & Integrative Physiology from the University of Michigan, later spending time there as a research assistant studying how intestinal villi develop and can be recapitulated in human intestinal organoids, which led her to the McCauley Lab upon entering UNC-CH. Outside of lab, she loves escaping the stress of graduate school through reading sci-fi/fantasy novels and exploring the food scene around North Carolina. manderma@email.unc.edu

Shubhi Singh
Undergraduate student, Biology and Spanish; minor in Chemistry

Shubhi aspires to become a pediatric anesthesiologist and loves anything that will get her asking good questions. She joined the McCauley Lab to become a better scientist and pursue her interests in nutrient metabolism and stem cell pathways. Her passions include live music and driving with the windows down. 
shubhi@unc.edu

Samara Williams
Undergraduate student, Biology

Samara is an aspiring physician hoping to one day inspire more minority students to pursue STEM. She joined the McCauley lab to improve her critical thinking skills, become familiar with various lab techniques, and learn more about the implications enteroendocrine cells can have on human health. Outside the lab, she enjoys traveling, reading mystery novels, and attending sporting events. sgwill@unc.edu

Sparsh Patel, B.S.
Postbacc technician

Sparsh graduated from North Carolina State University in 2023 with a degree in Human Biology. During his undergraduate studies, he developed a profound interest in disorders of the gut and decided to continue seeking answers after graduation, which led him to the McCauley lab. Sparsh aspires to be a physician-scientist who can provide compassionate and effective care to his patients as well as contribute to the understanding of human disease and therapies. Outside of the lab, he enjoys being a volunteer swim coach, traveling, watching sci-fi movies, and playing pickleball. 
Sparsh_Patel@med.unc.edu

Lab Alumni

Zachary Azevedo
B.S. Biomedical Engineering, 2024

Next stop: Masters in Biomedical Engineering, Columbia University

Yunan Hu, M.S.
BBSP rotation student, Spring 2024

Hailey Dodson
B.S. Biology, 2023

Next stop: postbacc technician