Meet Our Students

Carl PhD StudentCarly

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


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

Major Professor:  Florian Karreth, PhD


My research focuses on understanding mechanisms of Natural Killer (NK) cell dysregulation in Myelodysplastic Syndromes (MDS), and the development of novel immunotherapeutic modalities aimed at improving hematopoiesis.

Major Professor: Ken Wright, PhD


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


My research is to understand IFN gamma and TNF alpha mediated immune surveillance in lung cancer, and their signaling cross talking with RAS-RAF-MEK pathway. I am also interested in developing novel immune therapeutics based on mechanisms discovered in our lab. 

Major Professor: Amer Beg, PhD



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


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.


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


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


My research focus involves utilizing biostatistics and informatics to drive wet lab experiments with translational impact.  My current project involves understanding the crossroad between metabolism and immune surveillance and how personalized medicine in lung cancer could improve the efficacy of immunotherapy. 

Major Professor: Doug Cress, PhD


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

Major Professor:  Alvaro Monteiro, PhD


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


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


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


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


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

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


My research focuses on understanding the role of E3 ubiquitous liagse substrate recruiters in hematopoiesis in the bone marrow using both mouse models and small-molecules drugs. Targeting such proteins have high therapeutic outcomes in hematological malignancies but have been poring characterized. Fully understanding such molecular mechanisms will lead to the identification of better therapeutic approaches and contribute to our knowledge of factors that govern hematopoietic cell fate.


I focus on understanding the regulation of p53 by its N terminus domains. Using a newly developed proteolytic fragment release assay, I study the interactions between N terminus and DNA binding domain of p53. The ultimate goal is to manipulate the interactions for cancer therapeutic applications.

Major Professor: Jiandong Chen, PhD


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


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


Research Interests:  Cancer Biology, Immunology, Translational Research

Major Professor:  1st Year Rotations


Research Interests:  TIL’S, CD19, CAR T-CELL therapy, CTLA-4 Immunotherapy

Major Professor:  1st Year Rotations 


Research Interests:  cancer research in cellular and structural biology

Major Professor:  1st Year Rotations


Research Interests: Immunology, T Cell Biology, MPN’s

Major Professor:  1st Year Rotations


Research Interests:  Mathematical Oncology

Major Professor:  1st Year Rotations


Research Interests:  Immunology

Major Professor:  1st Year Rotations


Research Interests:  Drug Discovery

Major Professor:  1st Year Rotations


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

Major Professor:  1st Year Rotations


Research Interests: Mathematical Oncology

Major Professor:  1st Year Rotations