Colonna, Max

Postdoctoral Associate

Colonna, Max

Dr. Colonna joined the laboratory of Dr. Richard Steet at GGC in 2023. He received his B.S. in Biology from The University of Texas at Austin in 2011. Afterward, he worked as a teaching assistant and tutor while pursuing a musical career. In 2015, he relocated to Athens, GA, and joined the lab of Art Edison at the University of Georgia. Eventually, he entered the PhD program in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. During his PhD work, he collaborated with the Steet lab, leading to a publication and a job offer.

Max’s graduate work was comprised of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR)-based metabolomics studies in cell systems. Metabolomics studies all the small molecule metabolites of a biological system and reflects the sum of all genetic and environmental factors in an organism. Max used metabolomics to make discoveries in cancer and a novel pathogenic variant of the ALDH18A1 gene. He also developed frameworks to predict the quality and function of cell-based therapies, such as CAR-T cells and mesenchymal stromal cells.

In the Steet lab at GGC, Dr. Colonna utilizes his expertise in metabolomics and metabolism to augment ongoing and future functional studies of metabolic genes using patient-derived cells. By analyzing broad sets of metabolite measurements, he identifies affected metabolic pathways that can be targeted for potential treatment. Dr. Colonna aims to develop platforms leveraging patient-derived cells to understand an individual’s metabolic phenotype in conjunction with genetics, providing true precision medicine.

Contact Information

Office: (864) 388-1807


  • B.S., Cell and Molecular Biology, University of Texas, Austin TX, 2011
  • Ph.D., Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA, 2022

Selected Publications

  • T. Logun, M. B. Colonna; K. P. Mueller; D. Ventarapragada; R. Rodier; C. Tondepu; J. Piscopo; A. Das; S. Chvatal; H.B. Hayes; C. M. Capitini; D. J. Brat; T. Kotanchek; S. Edison; K. Saha, L. Karumbaiah, Label-free in vitro assays predict the potency of anti-GD2 CAR T cell products. Cytotherapy (2023)
  • M. B. Colonna, T. Moss, S. Mokashi, S. Srikanth, J. R. Jones, J. R. Foley, C. Skinner, A. Lichty, A. Kocur, T. Wood, T. M. Stewart, R. A. Casero, H. Flanagan-Steet, A. S. Edison, J. Lyons, R. Steet, Functional Assessment of Homozygous ALDH18A1 Variants Reveals Alterations in Amino Acid and Antioxidant Metabolism. Hum Mol Genet (2022)
  • Y. Odeh-Couvertier*, N. J. Dwarshuis*, M. B. Colonna*, B. L. Levine, A. S. Edison, T. Kotanchek, K. Roy, W. Torres-Garcia, Predicting T Cell Quality During Manufacturing Through an Artificial Intelligence-based Integrative Multi-Omics Analytical Platform. Bioeng Transl Medicine (2021) (* authors contributed equally)

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