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Students

Current Students

Bharat K. Chaganty

Bharat K. ChagantyEmail: brchaganty@mdanderson.org
Advisor: Zhen Fan, M.D.
GSBS Start Date: Fall 2011

Research Focus: Antibody engineering and mechanism of action of multi-targeted antibodies.

Education:

  • M.S. in Biotechnology from The University of Texas, San Antonio, 2009

Lu Chen

Lu ChenEmail: lu.chen@uth.tmc.edu
Advisor: Shuxing Zhang, Ph.D.
GSBS Start Date: Fall 2009

Research Focus: Computer-aided drug design against various molecular targets, QSAR modeling and molecular dynamics simulation.

Education:

  •  B.S. in Biological Sciences from Fudan University, Shanghai, China, 2005

Pooja Dhupkar

Pooja DhupkarEmail: pooja.m.dhupkar@uth.tmc.edu
Advisor: Eugenie S. Kleinerman, M.D.
GSBS Start Date: Fall 2010

Research Focus: Osteosarcoma lung metastasis and immunotherapy.

Education:

  • B.S. in Pharmaceutical Sciences from University of Mumbai, 2005
  • M.S. in Pharmacology and Toxicology from University of Sciences in Philadelphia, PA, 2008

Rebecca Dunbar Schroeder

Rebecca Dunbar SchroederEmail: rldunbar@mdanderson.org
Advisor: David J. McConkey, Ph.D.
GSBS Start Date: Fall 2011

Research Focus: Rebecca's research focus is looking at the effects of a novel selective HDAC6 inhibitor on cellular motility, migration and invasion as a potential anti-metastic cancer agent.

Education:

  • B.S. in Biomedical Science from Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, 2008

Kshipra M. Gharpure

Kshipra M. GharpureEmail: kmgharpure@mdanderson.org
Advisor: Anil K. Sood, M.D.
GSBS Start Date: Fall 2011

Research Focus: The amount of residual cancer after a primary debulking surgery in ovarian cancer patients is highly related to the patients' outcome. Kshipra's project focuses on identifying key molecules that are related to the development of residual disease in cancer patients.

Education:

  • B.S. in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai, India, 2009
  • M.S. in Biotechnology from the University of Buffalo, New York, 2011

Geoffrey Grandjean

Geoffrey GrandjeanEmail: gvgrandj@mdanderson.org
Advisor: Garth Powis, D.Phil.
GSBS Start Date: Fall 2011

Research Focus: In oncology, the Warburg effect is the observation that most cancer cell energy production is achieved by employing a high rate of glycolysis followed by lactic acid fermentation in the cytoplasm rather than the mechanism of oxidative phosphorylation observed in normal cells' mitochondria. Geoffrey is interested in identifying novel pharmacological probes targeting this energy production as a means of blocking cancer cell metabolism.

Education:

  • B.S. in Biomedical Laboratory Operations from Michigan State University, 2007

Michelle Martinez-Rivera

Michelle Martinez-RiveraEmail: mmartinez7@mdanderson.org
Advisor: Zahid H. Siddik, Ph.D.
GSBS Start Date: Fall 2010

Research Focus: Ovarian cancer is the most lethal gynecological malignancy in the United States. Since it is diagnosed late into its development, the five-year survival rate after diagnosis is less than 30%. The current therapeutic regimen for advanced ovarian carcinoma consists of cytoreductive surgery followed by platinum-based chemotherapy in combination with Taxol. Despite initial therapeutic response to platinum-based compounds, clinical resistance to these drugs emerges leading to disease progression. Platinum-resistant phenotypes have been associated with dysfunction of the p53 signaling pathway. This protein normally facilitates favorable antitumoral drug response through a variety of key cellular functions, such as cell cycle arrest, senescence and apoptosis. In order to contribute to a better understanding of platinum resistance, Michelle's research project focuses on the determination of the molecular mechanisms driving cisplatin resistance in ovarian cancers harboring wild-type p53 and in the synthesis of non-cross resistant platinum analogs to circumvent such resistance.

Education: 

  • B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras, 2010

Madonna McManus

Madonna McManusEmail: madonna.mcmanus@mdanderson.org
Advisor: Dennis P.M. Hughes, M.D., Ph.D.
GSBS Start Date: Fall 2010

Research Focus: Understanding the role of Notch signaling in osteosarcoma.

Education:

  • B.S. in Biochemistry from Trinity University, San Antonio, Texas, 2009


Paloma Del Carmen Monroig

Paloma Del Carmen MonroigEmail:  pmonroig@mdanderson.org
Advisor: George A. Calin, M.D., Ph.D.
GSBS Start Date: Fall 2012

Research Focus: The focus of my project is targeting oncogenic micro RNAs with small molecule inhibitors as a novel approach for breast cancer treatment.

In the project we are performing in silico high throughput screening to find small molecules that target the miRNA transcripts for two specific oncogenic miRNAs, that are overexpressed in breast cancer.  We are also using inhibitor screening libraries in the aims of targeting them with previously known drugs that are also considered small molecules.  Since overexpressed miRNAs have been proven to contribute to tumorigenesis and metastasis, we hypothesize that the targeted inhibition will have biological consequences culminating with the death of breast cancer cells.

Education:  

  • B.S. in Microbiology at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez, 2009
  • M.D. at the University of Puerto Rico, Medical Science Campus at San Juan, 2012

John Morrow

John MorrowEmail: jkmorrow@mdanderson.org
Advisor: Shuxing Zhang, Ph.D.
GSBS Start Date: Fall 2009

Research Focus: Rational/computational design of cancer therapeutics, which includes druggability evaluation, molecular docking and ADME-Toxicology in silico predictions. John also is interested in polypharmacology and molecular networks.

Education:

  • B.S. in Molecular Toxicology from the University of California at Berkeley, 2005
  • M.S. in Experimental Therapeutics from The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston, 2013

Seema Mukherjee

Seema MukherjeeEmail: seema.mukherjee@uth.tmc.edu
Advisor: Lauren Byers, M.D.
GSBS Start Date: 2010

Research Focus: Seema's current research focuses on studying the function of PARP in small cell lung cancer and how PARP is regulated in SCLC.  Her interest also includes developing predictive markers for identifying which patients are likely to respond or develop resistance to targeted agents.

Education:

  • B.S. in Life Sciences from University of Delhi, India, 2005
  • M.S. in Biochemistry from Rajasthan University, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India, 2007
  • M.D. in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry from Clarkson University, Postdam, New York, 2008

Andrea E. Ochoa

Ochoa, AndreaEmail: aeochoa@mdanderson.org
Advisor: David J. McConkey, Ph.D.
GSBS Start Date: Fall 2011

Research Focus: Andrea is interested in understanding the transcriptional regulation of bladder cancer subtypes.  She is currently focused on identifying and establishing a role for non-coding RNAs that may facilitate transcriptional regulation of these subtypes.

Education: 

  • B.S. in Bioinformatics from St. Edward's University, Austin, Texas, 2011

Shubhchintan Randhawa

Shubhchintan RandhawaEmail: srandhawa@mdanderson.org
Advisor: Jan Burger, M.D. 
GSBS Start Date: Summer 2010

Research Focus: Targeting microenvironment mediated drug resistance in acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Education:

 

  • B.Sc. (Honors) in Biotechnology from the University of Hertfordshire, UK, 2008
  • M.Sc. in Cancer Cell and Molecular Biology from the University of Liecester, UK, 2009

Kausar Begam Riaz Ahmed

Kausar Begam Riaz AhmedEmail: kriaz@mdanderson.org
Advisor: Peng Huang, M.D., Ph.D.
GSBS Start Date: Fall 2008

Research Focus: Malignant metastatic melanoma is the leading cause of skin cancer death in the U.S. Kausar is primarily interested in characterizing the drivers of melanoma progression and developing therapies against them. She is working to identify the mechanism of action of a naturally occurring anticancer agent, OSW-1, in melanoma. Her main focus is to identify the molecular targets of OSW-1 and use this information to further enhance the current understanding of melanoma biology.

Education:

  • B.Tech. in Industrial Biotechnology from Anna University, 2006
  • M.S. in Biotechnology from the University of Utah, 2008

Maitri Shah

Maitri ShahEmail: maitri.y.shah@uth.tmc.edu
Advisor: George A. Calin, M.D., Ph.D.
GSBS Start Date: Fall 2010

Research Focus: MicroRNAs and other non-coding RNAs play an important role in cancer initiation and progression. Maitri is interested in elucidating the role of long, non-coding RNAs in cancer initiation and identifying novel approaches to target these RNAs.

Education:

  • B.Pharm. from Mumbai University Institute of Chemical Technology, India, 2008
  • M.S. in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology from East Carolina University, NC, 2010

Prexy A. Shah

Prexy A. ShahEmail: pashah@uth.tmc.edu
Advisor: Varsha Gandhi, Ph.D.
GSBS Start Date: Fall 2012

Research Focus: Prexy is focused on the therapeutic role of P13K delta inhibitor in chronic lymphocytic leukemia.  She is interested in looking at mechanism based combination therapy to provide a new modality of treatment for patients with hematologic malignancies.

Education:

  • B.Sc. in Microbiology from The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, 2009

Maryam Shariati

Shariati, MaryamEmail: mshariati@mdanderson.org
Advisor: Sean Post, Ph.D.
GSBS Start Date: Fall 2013

Research Focus: Maryam is focused in investigating the role of hnRNP K in regulating hematopoiesis.

Education:

  • B.S. in Cell and Developmental Biology from the University of California Irvine, 2009
  • M.S.in Cancer Biology from The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston, 2012

Anitha Somanchi

Anitha SomanchiEmail: agsomanchi@mdanderson.org
Advisor: Michael Andreeff, M.D., Ph.D.
GSBS Start Date: Fall 2012

Research Focus:  Understanding the role of CXCR4-SDF1α axis between acute myeloid leukemia and mesenchymal stem/stromal cells in the bone marrow microenvironment to improve therapeutic efficiency in AML patients.

Education:

  • M.S. in Biochemistry from the University of Madras, India, 2003

Sheng Sun

Sheng SunEmail: ssun1@mdanderson.org
Advisor: Jian Kuang, Ph.D.
GSBS Start Date: Fall 2010

Research Focus: Sheng is focused on understanding the functions and regulations of a multifunctional scaffold protein called Alix, which is critically involved in endosomal sorting, retroviral budding, cytokinesis, apoptosis, actin cytoskeleton assembly, cell adhesion and extracellular matrix assembly.  We also study the functions and regulations of Alix-related protein HD-PTP for its malignancy-inhibitory role.

Education: 

  • B.S. in Biology from Anhui Normal University, Wuhu, China, 2007
  • M.S. in Cell Biology from Beijing Normal University, Beijing, China, 2010

Zhi Tan

Zhi TanEmail: ztan@mdanderson.org
Advisor: Shuxing Zhang, Ph.D.
GSBS Start Date: Fall 2012 

Research Focus:  Computer aided drug design; molecular modeling

Education:

  • M.B.B.S from Wuhan University School of Medicine, 2012

Hima V. Vangapandu

Venkata Hima Bindu VangapanduEmail: vvangapandu@mdanderson.org
Advisor: Varsha Gandhi, Ph.D.
GSBS Start Date: Fall 2012

Research Focus:  Hima is focused on the effect of stromal interaction and 8-Cl-Ado on chronic lymphocytic leukemia cellular metabolism.

Education:

  • B.Tech in Biotechnology, Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, India, 2008
  • M.S. in Biomedical Sciences, The University of South Carolina School of Medicine, Columbia, SC, 2010

Thuy Vu

Thuy VuEmail: ttvu@mdanderson.org; thuy.t.vu@uth.tmc.edu
Advisor: Francois-Xavier Claret, Ph.D.
GSBS Start Date: Fall 2009

Research Focus: The c-Jun coactivator JAB1 is a novel oncogene which has been found to aberrantly express in the progression of human breast cancer and contribute to trastuzumab resistance in Her2 positive cancer patients. Thuy's focus is on the mechanism of JAB1 gene expression and its deregulation in cancer cells to develop a new approach for targeted cancer therapy.

Education:

  • B.S. in Biotechnology from Vietnam National University at Ho Chi Minh City, 2008

Program Graduates

Han, Amy (M.S.), 2011

Plummer, Joshue (M.S.), 2011

Ai, Midan (Ph.D.), 2013

Ihle, Nathan (Ph.D.), 2013

Morrow, John K. (M.S.), 2013

Rivera Del Valle, Nilsa (Ph.D.), 2013

Tsao, Ning (Ph.D.), 2013

White, Matthew (Ph.D.), 2013

Yang, Qingshan (Ph.D.), 2013

Lu, Haiquan (Ph.D.), 2013

Patel, Viralkumer (Ph.D.), 2013

Cheng, Tiewei 'Leo' (Ph.D.), 2014

 


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