Joya Chandra, Ph.D.
B.S. Microbiology, Louisiana State University, 1993
Ph.D. Cancer Biology and Immunology, University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, 1998
Postdoctoral Fellowship, Division of Toxicology, Institute for Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institute, 1998-2000
Postdoctoral Fellowship, Division of Oncology Research, Mayo Clinic, 2000-2002
Hobbies: Cooking, kayaking and canoeing
Hometown: New Orleans, LA
B.A. Cell Biology and Neuroscience, Rutgers University, 2009
Cavan is interested in how epigenetic mechanisms can affect therapeutic response in brain tumors, particularly pediatric subtypes like diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG). His project focuses on the histone demethylase LSD1 and its role in governing genes related to immunotherapy. He is also exploring how epigenetic inhibitors that disrupt chromatin remodeling complexes affect the functions of T- and NK cells in combination immunotherapy.
Hobbies: biking, live music and fashion
Hometown: Philadelphia, PA
B.S. Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of Arizona, 2016
Mary's work focuses on studying factors that can induce elevated levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the body, which can promote aggressive forms of leukemia; elevated ROS can come from different sources, including diet and cigarette smoke. I will observe how modifying ROS levels impacts leukemia treatment response. I hope to find ways to reduce this change in ROS as a method to help treat leukemia patients.
Hobbies: watching movies, eating, sketching and reading
Hometown: Phoenix, AZ
Lisa Wartenberg, M.F.A., R.D., L.D.
B.A. Dramatic Arts, New York University, 2008
M.F.A. Acting, University of Houston, 2012
ACEND Didactic Program in Dietetics, University of Houston, 2017
On-Site Dietetic Internship Program, University of Houston, 2018
Lisa works as a research dietician with the ON to Life Program on the pediatric energy balance studies and promotes and maintains the e-Cookbook, At The Table, which was created in conjunction with the Children's Cancer Hospital. She is also responsible for conducting nutrition counseling, nutrition and cooking classes, and acts as a liaison between the ON to Life team, clinical nutrition patients, and their families. Finally, she serves on the Family Advisory Council, representing the pediatric research team.
Hobbies: reading, cooking, writing, yoga, working as a professional actor
Hometown: South Florida
Sahar Eshtehardi, M.S.
Graduate Student & UHAND Graduate Scholar
B.S. Psychology, University of Houston, 2013
M.S. Counseling, University of Houston Clear Lake, 2016
Sahar's research interests include the bio-psychosocial mechanisms that influence health outcomes in adolescent and young adult cancer patients and survivors, with a special interest in adherence, behavioral interventions, and health-related quality of life of youth and their families. With that in mind, she is currently working on a project that will examine the use of virtual reality as a mechanism to change health behaviors and reduce anxiety in pediatric cancer survivors. Additionally, she is interested in examining adherence factors and health-related quality of life of families in the Nutrition Counseling Study.
Hobbies: volunteering at the local animal shelter, plant-based cooking and hot yoga
Hometown: Houston, TX
Achintyan Gangadharan, M.S.
Research Assistant II
B.S. Biotechnology, Anna University, India, 2014
M.S. Biomedical Engineering, University of Texas at Dallas, 2016
Achin’s research is focused on kinase inhibition in high grade glioma (HGG) and effects on tumor proliferation. HGG respond poorly to conventional treatments like chemo and radiation therapy due to their stem cell like properties. He is striving to understand the efficacy of inhibiting EGFR and PI3K pathways simultaneously in a panel of glioblastoma stem cell lines provided by the Brain Tumor Center at MD Anderson.
Hobbies: Biking, driving, cooking, reading
Manu Khosla, B.S.
Research Assistant I
B.S. Biology, The Ohio State University, 2019
Manu’s goals are to assist with understanding the mechanism of how changing modifiable behaviors can impact leukemia growth. He is using mouse models, patient derived cell lines and ex vivo models to address these questions in acute leukemias which are the most common cancer type in children.
Hobbies: Running, watching movies
Hometown: Columbus, Ohio