Krishna Bhat, Ph.D., Principal Investigator
Dr. Bhat obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Chicago followed by a post-doctoral training at the MD Anderson Cancer Center. Dr. Bhat has broad expertise in cellular and molecular biology, stem cell biology, pre-clinical models of cancer, and bioinformatics.
He is a recipient of the adult basic science research award from the Society of Neuro-oncology and is credited to have discovered proneural to mesenchymal transition in GBM. He is a curious scientist and an avid collaborator with a primary interest in brain tumors. When not writing grants, Dr. Bhat is a home chef, likes to play basketball with his boys, or catches up on sleep.
Cynthia Garcia, Sr. Administrative assistant
Cynthia Garcia is the Sr. Administrative Assistant for Dr. Bhat
Lab with MD Anderson in the Department of Translational Molecular
Pathology. She has over 20 years of administrative experience. In this
position, Cindy works closely with Dr. Bhat team, providing
administrative assistance. She serves as the primary contact for
Nancy Milam, Lab Manager
Nancy is a biochemist and the lab manager for the Bhat lab. In
previous positions, she has done work with NMR, IR spectrometry,
GC-MS, X-ray crystallography, and flow cytometry. In the Bhat lab,
Nancy is studying immune cell recruitment to tumor sites in CX3CR1
knock-out mice. In her free time, Nancy has adventures around the city
with her boyfriend and children, and wrangles their 2 cats, 5 lizards,
4 snakes, and numerous insect colonies at home.
Hiroshi Katayama, Ph.D., Associate Professor
Hiroshi received his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from Hiroshima
University, Japan. He was then trained as a postdoctoral fellow at MD
Anderson Cancer Center where he studied the functional interactions of
Aurora kinase family. He then joined at the Okayama University School
of Medicine, Japan, where he headed the Molecular Oncology Laboratory.
In 2021 he returned MD Anderson Cancer Center as an Associate Research
Professor. His research interests include studies of breast,
pancreatic and brain cancers, with a particular focus on elucidating
the molecular mechanisms involved in oncogenic signaling pathways. He
is joint appointment in both Drs. Bhat and Sen laboratory.
Pravesh Gupta, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow
Pravesh is an entrepreneurial myeloid cell immunologist currently navigating the immune universe in neuro-oncology. He characterized the fascinating complexity of antigen presenting cells (macrophages and dendritic cells) and their functional elucidation in malaria for his Ph.D. at the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. This was followed by a short post-doctoral training in understanding immune contexture of transcriptionally stratified hepatocellular carcinoma patients at the Translational Immunology Institute Duke-NUS SingHealth, Singapore. Currently he is exploring the phenotypic and functional diversity of myeloid cells (in particular macrophages) and underlying mechanisms that define immune altering milieu in the GBM tumor microenvironment. Beyond research, Pravesh enjoys travelling, sports, yoga, social work, networking and playing with kids keeps him energetic.
Rakesh Trivedi, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow
Rakesh is a computational biologist currently investigating the
underlying regulatory mechanisms of disease progression in different
cancer types. His research interest lies in understanding the cancer
progression from genomics, transcriptomics, epigenomics and proteomics
perspectives by implementing state-of-the-art computational
approaches. During his Ph.D. at Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and
Diagnostics (India), he had developed an amino acid substitution
matrix appropriate for homologs search of eukaryotic proteins enriched
with intrinsically disordered regions. In addition to research, he is
fond of traveling, photography, musical concerts, writing poems,
organizing group events, and long chats with friends over
Mekenzie Peshoff, Graduate Student
Mekenzie graduated magna cum laude from Centenary College of Louisiana with a B.A. in Philosophy and B.S. in Neuroscience and Biology. She worked as an undergraduate research assistant at LSU Health Sciences Center studying protein-peptide interactions between adenoviral capsid peptides and alpha-synuclein, which sparked her interest in neuroimmunology. She now is pursuing a Ph.D. in Neuroscience and Cancer Biology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center UTHealth Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. In the Bhat Lab, Mekenzie studies the role of TREM2+ microglia in the glioblastoma immune microenvironment. She loves to spoil her cat, Citrus, and is a peer mentor for socioeconomically underrepresented students in STEM
Tiffany Tang, Undergraduate Student
Tiffany is an undergraduate at Rice University studying
biosciences with a concentration in cell biology and genetics. In
the Bhat Lab, she is currently investigating underlying molecular
mechanisms that promote GBM radioresistance.
Shivangi Oberai, Research Assistant
Shivangi is a postgraduate from Madurai Kamaraj University in Genomics from India. After her masters, she served as a Development Scientist at Beckman Coulter, India, where she was a part of Research and Development team focused on building reagents that are used in immune cell identification and characterization using multi-parametric flow cytometry.
In Bhat Lab, her focus is to explore the tumor microenvironment diversity in Glioblastoma. Apart from research, Shivangi enjoys capturing nature and illustrating through observations. She enjoys psychology and draws her perceptions into writing.
Aml Ahmed, Research Asst I
Aml's background includes patient-sided experience. After graduation from the Faculty of Pharmacy, she practiced oncology pharmacy, then joined the research department through the Institutional Biobank of South Egypt Cancer Institute, Assiut University, Egypt. She is also studying for her M.Sc., investigating the role of PI3K oncogene addiction in non-small cell lung cancer.
Her focus in the Bhat Lab is exploring the role of myeloid cells in glioblastoma. She is currently responsible for receiving, processing and storing serum, PBMCs and cells from tissue at the best quality for immunophenotyping and immunogenetics studies.
Qing Tang, Assistant Professor, Department of Neurosurgery, Qilu Hospital, Cheeloo College of Medicine, Shandong University
Alessandra Audia, Business Development Manager, Champions Oncology Inc.
Zhong Deng, Assistant Professor, Department of Neurosurgery, the First Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510080, Guangdong, China
Informatics Analyst, UT M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
High School Interns