Meet Our Students

AlyciaAlycia

My project focuses on the role of intratumoral dendritic cells in the anti-tumor immune response to solid tumors treated with immune checkpoint inhibitors. 

Major Professor: Brian Ruffell, PhD

 


No image availableAmanda

Major Professor: 1st year rotations

 

 

 


AnuraagAnuraag 

Mathematically, my interests lie in algebraic topology, specifically quiver theory and persistent homology. Biologically, my primary interests are in using ecological and evolutionary theory (broadly construed) to understand intratumoral dynamics and in using control theory to create optimal treatment protocols for cancer patients. I maintain strong secondary interests in theoretical ecology (particularly animal behavior and foraging theory) and in the use of ideas from string theory and surgery theory to gain insight into DNA folding.

Major Professor: Joel Brown, PhD


AvaniAvani

Major Professor: 1st year rotations

 

 


Bina

Emerging evidence shows that cancer associated fibroblasts can provide a strong protection against targeted therapies. However, how this protection impacts the ultimate clinical relapse remains unclear. My thesis work aims at resolving this puzzle! 

Major Professor:  Andriy Marusyk, PhD

 


Bruna

Given the large mutational burden of skin cancers and the increased infiltration of immune suppressive cells in the tumor microenvironment, combinatorial approaches may be needed to achieve optimal control of tumor growth. Repurposing existing non-cancer agents as cancer treatments offers a cost-efficient way to explore novel targetable molecular drivers and sensitize tumors to combinatorial and synergistic therapies. My thesis pioneer an investigation of the underappreciated immunomodulatory effect of an anti-diabetic drug as a tool to target MDSC accumulation and impair tumor progression in the context of non-melanoma skin malignancies.

Major ProfessorKenneth Tsai, PhD


Bryce

Our wet lab's research falls under the broad umbrella of acidosis in cancer. My main focus is on better understanding how cells regulate glycolysis when faced with extracellular acidosis, how cancer cells adapt to the harsh selection pressure of acidosis, and how these may present a vulnerability to be exploited in the treatment of solid tumors.

Major ProfessorRobert Gillies, PhD


Carl PhD Student

Carly

My research focuses on the epigenetic regulation of B-cell/T-cell malignancies by chromatin modifier Special AT-Rich Sequence Binding Protein 1. I focus on chromatin confirmation, histone modification, mouse models, and epigenetic inhibitors.

Major Professor: José Conejo-Garcia, MD, PhD

 


ChaseChase

Major Professor: Eric Lau, PhD

 

 

 


Chris

The Padron lab studies Chronic Myelomonocytic Leukemia (CMML). My project focuses on finding novel drug combinations that could help treat CMML and determining the mechanism that drives synergy in these combinations.

Major Professor: Eric Padron, MD

 


No image availableDaniel

Major Professor:  1st year rotations

 

 


Daniel

Our lab investigates how post-translational modification of proteins with the plant sugar L-fucose (a.k.a., fucosylation) affects cancer biology.  My research focuses on how fucosylation in melanomas affects their interactions with immune cells.

Major Professor:  Eric Lau, PhD

 


No image availableDevesh 

Major Professor:  1st year rotations

 

 

 


No image availableDylan Smith

Major Professor:  2nd year rotations

 

 


ElenaElena 

Research Interests: Immuno-oncology, T Cell Biology and CAR T-Cell Therapy

Major Professor: 1st year rotations

 

 


No image availableElliot 

Major Professor: 1st year rotations

 

 

 


EmmaEmma 

My research focuses on bringing a novel strategy to target breast cancer brain metastasis by dissecting the role of fucosylated proteins secreted by brain met-associated fibroblasts.

Major Professor: Eric Lau, PhD

 


Grace

I am currently studying the role of autophagy and mitochondrial function in Myelodysplastic Syndromes (MDS). I am specifically focused on mitochondria originating danger associated molecular patterns that activate innate immune signaling and contribute to MDS pathogenesis.

Major Professor: Ken Wright, PhD


(Chen) HaoHao

I am interested in understanding how metastatic malignancies thrive in the bone marrow microenvironment. My dissertation projects use interdisciplinary approaches to understand and therapeutically target molecular and cellular crosstalk within the bone-metastatic niche in models of multiple myeloma and prostate cancer.

Major Professor: Conor Lynch, PhD


HindHind

Research interests: Immunochemistry, drug discovery, molecular medicine, structural biology

Major Professor: 1st year rotations

 


IlahIlah

My research focuses on investigating oncogenic signaling pathways in melanoma and melanomagenesis using the ESC-GEMM platform

Major Professor:  Florian Karreth, PhD


JanineJanine

Our lab studies how the transcription factor NRF2 impacts tumorigenesis and metabolic deregulation in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and pancreatic cancer. My research uses genetically engineered mouse models to understand how NRF2’s negative regulator, KEAP1, affects NSCLC progression when mutated.

Major Professor: Gina DeNicola, PhD


January

My research focus involves investigating the role of  HDAC8 in the survival of B-Cell Lymphomas and to determine the mechanism of how HDAC8 regulates Natural Killer Cell antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity.

Major Professor:  Ken Wright, PhD

 


Jessica

Research Interests:  Immuno-oncology, PI3K/Akt/NrP2 ARE, CAR T cells

Major Professor:  Paulo Rodriguez, PhD


 


Jie - RET studentJie 

Major Professor: Brian Ruffell, PhD

 

 

 


No image available

Jinyong

Major Professor: Liang Wang, PhD

 

 

 


Julia

My research aims to discover mechanisms underlying disease progression and resistance in Flt3-driven AML using Sleeping Beauty.

Major Professor:  Karen Mann, PhD

 


KaizhenKaizhen

Research Interests: Molecular oncology, Gene regulation

Major Professor:  Florian Karreth, PhD

 

 


 

MacLean HallMacLean

My interests are in T cell immunotherapy for solid malignancies. In particular, I’m focused on improving adoptive cell transfer (ACT) of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) through manipulation of basic T cell biology.

Major Professor:  Shari Pilon-Thomas, PhD

 


No image availableMalgorzata

Major Professor:1st year rotations

 

 

 


Max

Research Interests:  Mathematical Oncology

Major Professor: David Basanta Gutierrez, PhD

 

 


MostafaMostafa 

My research focuses on skeletal cancer dormancy and possible mechanisms that regulate the switch from dormancy to cancer activation.

Major Professor: Conor Lynch, PhD

 

 


No image availableNada

Major Professor: 1st year rotations

 

 

 


NeelNeel

I am interested in understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying melanoma development and metastasis. I focus on signal transduction and development of mouse models to understand melanomagenesis.

Major Professor:  Florian Karreth, PhD

 


Nina ObertoppNina

My research aims to improve adoptive cell therapy using tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) for head and neck cancer patients by using individualized radiotherapy in combination with immune-checkpoint inhibition.

Major Professor: Shari Pilon-Thomas, PhD

 


Niveditha

My research focus lies in unraveling the mechanism of HDAC inhibitors in preventing Osteosarcoma. Also, understanding molecular interactions involved in bone metastatic cancers. I focus on epigenetics, signal transduction, mouse models of cancer metastasis and cancer therapeutics. 

Major Professor: Conor Lynch, PhD


Nolan 

Recently, Follicle Stimulating Hormone Receptor (FSHR) was found to be expressed exclusively in almost all ovarian cancer subtypes. Targeting FSHR+ tumors with a newly developed Chimeric Endocrine Receptor (CER) T cell decreased tumor volume and extended life of mice in both PDX and solid tumor models. My project focuses on engineering and developing a new FSH-CER T cell that can withstand the harsh tumor microenvironment and outperform previous designs. My central hypothesis is that the TME is outcompeting FSH-CER T cells for nutrients resulting in T cell quiescence. I’m engineering CERs to outcompete cancer cells for nutrients or alternatively consume other nutrients within the tumor microenvironment.

Major Professor: Marco Davila, MD, PhD 


No image availableOlabisi

Major Professor: 1st year rotations

 

 

 


PatrickPat

My research focuses on the role of immunosuppressive myeloid cells in the context of adoptive T cell therapy (ACT) in patients with solid tumors. The goal of this research is to define novel strategies that augment and target these suppressor cells to enhance the efficacy of ACT.

Major Professor:  Shari Pilon-Thomas, PhD

 


PayalPayal

My research focuses on the role of long non-coding RNAs in tumor progression, specifically in Non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC). We are trying to determine the effect of these lncRNAs before and after modulation of TAP63 (tumor suppressive isoform of P63 gene), in presence of KRAS mutation, on immune regulation.

Major Professor:  Elsa Flores, PhD


No image availablePragya

Major Professor: 1st year rotations

 

 

 


QianQian

Research Interests: cellular signaling pathways and post-translational modifications in cancer biology

Major Professor: Eric Lau, PhD

 

 


Qianqian

Research Interests: Drug Discovery

Major ProfessorUwe Rix, PhD

 

 

 


Rafael

Research Interests: Mathematical Oncology

Major Professor:  Alexander Anderson, PhD

 

 

 


RebeccaRebecca

My research focuses on the immunological consequences of radiation, with the use of calibrated mathematical models of tumor growth and tumor - immune dynamics. Utilizing various theoretical analysis techniques and computational methods I will investigate whether harnessing these consequences could improve patient response to radiotherapy and immunotherapy.

Major Professor: Heiko Enderling, PhD


Sae Bom

My research focuses on exploring chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T- cell therapy to treat cancers. I focus on understanding of signal transduction triggered by CAR to ultimately design the efficient receptors with increased persistence and decreased exhaustion in in vivo models of cancer.

Major Professor: Marco Davila, MD, PhD

 


No image availableSarah

Major Professor: 1st year rotations

 

 

 


No image availableSean

Major Professor: 1st year rotations

 

 

 


Shiun

Research Interests:  Immunology

Major Professor: Paulo Rodriguez, PhD

 

 


SrishtiSrishti

Research Interests: Main focus is in drug discovery, protein engineering and structural biology in the field of cancer.

Major Professor: Vince Luca, PhD

 

 


Sweta

My research focuses on understanding the effects of stress hormones in ovarian cancer initiation. 

Major Professor:  Alvaro Monteiro, PhD

 

 


ThomasThomas

Major Professor: 1st year rotations

 

 

 


No image availableXiomar

Major Professor: 1st year rotations