Raghu Kalluri, M.D., Ph.D.
Kalluri was born in St. Louis, Missouri. He received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Kansas Medical Center and his M.D. degree from Brown University Medical School. Kalluri was a research associate at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School and studied immunology and organ fibrosis. In 1997, he moved to Harvard Medical School as an Assistant Professor of Medicine and as a faculty based in the Department of Medicine at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. In 2006, Kalluri was appointed the Chief of the Division of Matrix Biology and was promoted to Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He holds an appointment in the Department of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, Harvard MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology, and Harvard Stem Cell Institute. Kalluri was recruited to the MD Anderson Cancer Center in 2012 as the Chairman of the Cancer Biology Department and as the Director of the Metastasis Research Center. His laboratory is broadly interested in the study of cell and tissue microenvironment and its impact on cancer progression and tissue fibrosis.
Pamela Samuels, B.S.
Samuels graduated with a B.S. in Business Administration/ Marketing from La Salle University in Philadelphia, PA. She joined the Kalluri Lab in September of 2012.
Jiha Kim, B.S., Ph.D.
Kim received her Ph.D. degree in 2006 from the University of Georgia, where she studied developmental biology of the central nervous system. Thereafter, she joined the lab of Chenghua Gu, D.V.M., Ph.D., at Harvard Medical School to receive her postdoctoral training. During this time, her research focused on signaling pathways in vascular development of the central nervous system. In 2013, she joined the Kalluri Lab as an instructor in order to expand her knowledge and establish a novel research area. Currently, she is working on glioblastoma and breast cancer to understand the tumor environment and specifically the role of pericytes and angiogenesis in the tumor program.
Julienne Carstens, B.S., Ph.D.
Carstens received her B.S. degree from Louisiana Tech University in Molecular and Cellular Biology in 2007, completed her dissertation entitled “FGFR1, WNT, TGF-β, and SOX9 Collaborate in the Intricate Progression of Prostate Cancer” at Baylor College of Medicine in 2013, and joined the Kalluri Lab as a postdoctoral fellow the same year. Her research interests include understanding the functions of the microenvironment in fibrogenesis and pancreatic cancer and how that influences therapeutics.
Sara Che, B.Eng., Ph.D.
Che received her B.Eng. in Nanotechnology Engineering from University of Waterloo in 2010, and her Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from Cornell University in 2016. She joined the Kalluri Lab as a postdoctoral fellow in 2016, and is interested in studying the role of exosomes in cancer biology as well as the use of exosomes for therapeutic delivery.
Yang Chen, B.S., Ph.D.
Chen received his Ph.D. degree from Tsinghua University, Beijing, China in 2014 and then joined the Kalluri Lab as a postdoctoral fellow in September 2014. His current research project focuses on the roles of stromal cells such as fibroblasts in the microenvironment of pancreatic cancer and breast cancer. He is also involved in the studies on tumor lymphangiogenesis and lymphatic metastasis as well as in generating and studying mouse models for collagen biology and Alport Syndrome.
Pedro Correa De Sampaio, B.S., Ph.D.
Correa De Sampaio received his Ph.D. degree from the University of Cambridge in 2012, for which he developed a new 3-dimensional model for the in vitro study of tumor angiogenesis. During his time in Cambridge he developed a keen interest in the tumor microenvironment and the different cellular interactions that control cancer progression. He joined the Kalluri Lab at MD Anderson in November 2012 to further pursue these interests. He is currently involved in the study of mesenchymal cell populations in the prostate tumor microenvironment and their role in the regulation of bone metastasis. He is additionally interested in the biology of exosomes, and their role in tumor progression.
Liv Gansmo, B.S., Ph.D.
Gansmo received her Ph.D degree in 2013 from the University of Bergen, Norway. In 2014 she started as a postdoctoral fellow at the Mohn Cancer Research Laboratory at the University of Bergen, and in July 2015 she joined the Kalluri Lab as part of her postdoctoral training. Her main focus is on breast cancer derived exosomes, and how the information carried by
these exosomes can be used to determine the mutational landscape and trascriptome aberrations causing chemoresistance and metastatic spred in vivo.
Amanda Haltom, B.S., Ph.D.
Haltom received her B.S. degree from Texas A&M University in Genetics in 2010 and her Ph.D. from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston in 2015, then she joined the Kalluri Lab as a postdoctoral fellow. Her research interests include using exosomes as a delivery system for cancer therapeutics.
Janine Hensel, M.Sc., Ph.D.
Hensel received her M.Sc. degree in Genetics and Molecular Biology from the RWTH Aachen, Germany, in 2008. For her master thesis she joined the institute of medical biology in Singapore to study human neural stem cells and their potential for cell replacement therapies. In 2009, she started her Ph.D. studies with a Marie Curie fellowship at the University of Bern, Switzerland. During her time in the Urology Research Laboratory at the University of Bern, she studied the microenvironmental changes occurring in bone metastatic disease. She graduated in 2014 and took at postdoctoral position in the same laboratory. In 2016, she joined Dr. Kalluri’s group with a Swiss National Science Postdoctoral fellowship to further pursue her research interest in the tumor microenvironment of bone metastatic disease.
Sara Lovisa, B.S., M.S., Ph.D.
Lovisa graduated with a M.S. degree in Medical Biotechnology from the University of Padua, Italy, in 2008. In 2012 she received her Ph.D. in Clinical Science and Technology from the University of Udine (Italy), while working on mechanisms of cancer cell cycle deregulation in Dr. Baldassarre’s laboratory at CRO National Cancer Institute (Aviano, Italy). Sara joined MD Anderson Cancer Center in February 2013 as a postdoctoral fellow in Kalluri’s laboratory. Her research interests are kidney diseases and epithelial plasticity in fibrosis and cancer.
Kate McAndrews, B.S., Ph.D.
McAndrews received her B.S. degree from University of Nevada Reno in Chemical Engineering in 2010 and her Ph.D. from Georgia Institute of Technology in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering in 2015. She joined the Kalluri Lab as a postdoctoral fellow in 2015. Her research interests include exosomes in 3D environments and fibroblasts in wound healing.
Mayela Mendt, B.S., Ph.D.
Fei Xiao, B.S., Ph.D.
Xiao received her Ph.D. in Pharmacology from Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica, Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2013 and then worked in Lilly China Research and Development Center, Eli Lilly and Company for two years. She joined the Kalluri Lab as a postdoctoral fellow in 2015. Her research interests include cancer angiogenesis and miRNAs.
Xiaofeng Zheng, B.S., Ph.D.
Zheng received her Ph.D. from Tsinghua University, China, in 2013. During her doctoral studies she focused on Tol2 transposon mediated mutagenesis and nucleoporin 107 function in early embryonic development in zebrafish. She joined MD Anderson Cancer Center in June 2013 as a Post-Doctoral Fellow in the Kalluri Lab. Currently, she is investigating the epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT), drug resistance and the function of stroma in pancreatic cancer progression using mouse models.
Jacqueline Parchem, B.A., M.D.
Parchem received her B.A. in Molecular and Cell Biology from the University of California Berkeley in 2004 and her M.D. from the University of California San Francisco in 2010. She completed residency training in Obstetrics and Gynecology at UCSF in 2014. She is currently a Maternal-Fetal Medicine fellow at Baylor College of Medicine and joined the Kalluri Lab as a research fellow in 2015. Her research interests include preeclampsia pathogenesis and investigating the function of exosomes in pregnancy.
Lisa Norberg, B.S., M.S.
Research Investigator (Laboratory Manager)
Lisa Norberg graduated from Sam Houston State University with a B.S. degree in Animal Science and from Texas A&M University with an M.S. degree in Poultry Science. Prior to joining the Kalluri Lab in 2013, she worked at the Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research in San Antonio, Texas and the Pharmaceutical Development Center at MD Anderson. She now participates in supervising the logistics of animal research.
Hikaru Sugimoto, B.S., M.D., Ph.D.
Sugimoto completed his undergraduate and graduate studies in medicine at Okayama University, Japan. After having finished the resident program as a general physician, he received training as a diabetes specialist and nephrologist. He moved to Boston in 1999 for a postdoctoral fellowship to study genetic factors for diabetic nephropathy. In 2001, he joined the Kalluri Lab to further study angiogenesis for inhibiting tumor progression. His main focus is finding a cure for fibrosis in various organs that may prevent the cancer development in many cases.
Chengyan Dong, Ph.D.
Dong received his B.S. in 2009 in Biology from Jilin University, China, and then obtained his Ph.D in Molecular Imaging from Peking University Health Science Center, China. In 2014, he joined Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences as an Assistant Professor, where he was involved in the design, development and evaluation of tumor targeted peptides for molecular imaging. He then moved to Houston and joined the Kalluri Lab in 2016.
Donna Lundy, B.S., M.S.
Sr. Research Assistant
Lundy received her B.S. degree in Molecular and Cell Biology in 2009 and M.S. degree in Plant Pathology and Microbiology (during her Peace Corps service in Azerbaijan) in 2014 from Texas A&M University. She joined the Kalluri Lab as a Research Assistant II in 2014. Her research interests include developmental biology studies, exploring cellular and molecular mechanisms, and bringing medical knowledge and attention to marginalized communities around the world. She is participating in histological specimen processing and characterization.
Shruti Malasi, B.S., M.S.
Research Assistant II
Malasi received her M.S. degree in Biotechnology from Florida Institute of Technology in 2012 and joined Kalluri lab as a Research Assistant II in 2015. Her research interests include study of pancreatic cancer progression, metastasis, and characterization of protein of interest in the tissues of pancreatic cancer mice.
Sujuan Yang, B.S., M.S.
Sr. Research Assistant
Yang received her M.S. degree from Peking University in China in 2011 and joined the Kalluri Lab as a research assistant II in 2015. Her research interests include exosomes analysis and pancreatic cancer research using different mouse models.
Lisa Becker, B.S., M.S.
Becker received her B.S. degree in Biotechnology and her M.S. degree in Bioprocess Development from the Mannheim University of Applied Sciences (Germany) in 2012 and 2014. She joined the Kalluri Lab as a Ph.D. student in 2015. Her research interests include the functions of the tumor microenvironment in breast cancer development and progression.
Margo Cain, B.S.
Cain received her B.S. degree from Bucknell University in Cell Biology/Biochemistry in 2013 and joined the Kalluri Lab in 2014 as a graduate student. Her research interests include cancer metabolism and the mechanisms underpinning cancer metastasis.
Ehsan Ehsanipour, B.S., M.S.
Ehsanipour completed his B.S. in Biochemistry at the University of California at Santa Barbara in 2010 and his M.S. in Physiology at the University of Southern California in 2013. In 2013 he moved to Houston to pursue a Ph.D. as part of UT Houston’s GSBS program and joined the Kalluri Lab in June of 2014. He is focusing on characterizing and modulating immune cell populations during the course of fibrosis.
Eliot Fletcher, B.S., M.P.H.
Fletcher completed his B.S. degree at Boston University with a focus on Medical Anthropology and Osteology and a M.P.H. in Health Law and International Health. He worked with Children's Hospital Boston on clinical trials for pediatric patients with the rare genetic disease Thalassemia and the DePinho Lab, focusing on mouse models of pancreatic cancer and doing extensive human genetics research. Fletcher is a Ph.D. student focusing his studies on the link between fibrosis and metastasis. The ultimate goal of Fletcher's research is to develop clinically relevant treatments and preventative therapeutics based on fibrosis.
Sushrut Kamerkar, B.S.
Kamerkar completed his B.S. degree in Biotechnology and Chemistry from the University of Nebraska in 2012. He joined the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center-UTHSC GSBS program in the fall of 2012, and subsequently joined the Kalluri Lab in April 2013. His thesis work focuses primarily on the role of exosomes in pancreatic cancer therapy. Outside of lab, he enjoys playing soccer and cricket, and has a slightly unhealthy obsession with tandoori chicken.
Paul Kurywchak, B.S.
Kurywchak received his B.S. degree from Arizona State University in Molecular Biosciences and Biotechnology and joined the Kalluri Lab as a graduate student in 2014. His major research interests include determining the biogenesis, contents, and functional significance of exosomes in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma.
Changsoo Kwak, B.S., M.S.
Kwak earned his M.S. degree in New York University where he studied the physiological function of GPR15 that regulates homing of FOXP3+ regulatory T cells in Dan Littman’s Laboratory. After graduating from NYU, Kwak joined in Bruce McEwen’s Laboratory at Rockefeller University and studied the functions of dendritic cells in the central nervous system. Currently, as a Ph.D. student, Kwakhas been studying the molecular mechanisms underlying how cancer-associated fibroblasts are involved in the regulation of T cell-mediated immunity in the colorectal cancer.
Krishnan Mahadevan, B.S., M.D.
Mahadevan completed his MD from JIPMER, India in 2013. He worked as a Clinical Research Fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital, HMS, Boston until 2015 and joined the Kalluri lab in 2016. His goal is to understand the role of T cells in pancreatic cancer progression using genetically engineered mouse models and is currently investigating how immune cells and tumor cells interact during tumor development to elucidate the molecular mechanisms underpinning the interaction between T cells, pancreatic cancer cells and cancer-associated fibroblasts.
Matthew Scheible, B.S.
Scheible received his B.S. degree in biology from St. Edwards University in 2013, and joined the lab as a graduate student in 2015. His research interests include stromal impact on tumorigenesis and metastasis, as well as the development of fibrotic microenvironment.
Jena Tavormina, B.S.
Tavormina graduated with a B.S. degree in Biology from Brown University in 2012 and worked in clinical research at Boston Children's Hospital investigating pediatric retinal disorders, with a focus on the long-term effects of Retinopathy of Prematurity. She came to the UT Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences in the summer of 2014 to begin working toward a Ph.D. in Cancer Biology. Her interests in the lab include investigating the cargo of exosomes, specifically those released by cancer cells.
Kerri Wolf-Dennen, B.S., M.B.S.
Wolf-Dennen is a graduate student in the Kalluri Lab. She received two B.S. degrees from University of Connecticut in 2011, one in molecular and cellular biology, the other in anthropology. She also completed her M.B.S. at Midwestern University in Arizona in 2014. Her research interests include the complex worlds of exosomes and the tumor microenvironment. For fun, she likes to dance (especially Zumba) and spend time with her three dogs, as well as her husband.
Sharmistha Lahiri, M.S.
Research Medical Student
Lahiri graduated with a M.S. degree in Chemistry from the University of Kalyani, India, in 1996. She is currently pursuing an M.D. from the University of Texas, McGovern Medical School at Houston. Sharmistha joined Kalluri’s laboratory at MD Anderson Cancer Center in May 2015 as a research medical student funded by the NIH-NIDDK T35 summer research program and decided to continue her work at the end of the summer program. Her research interests are kidney diseases, endothelial plasticity in fibrosis and cancer.
Tomas Dias, B.S., M.S. Visiting Graduate Student
Hunter Elms, B.S. Medical Student - Summer Experience (2016)
Mariangela Natale, B.S., M.S. Visiting Graduate Student
Kathryn Tighe College Student - Summer Undergraduate Research Program (2016)
Tao Wei, B.S., M.D. Visiting Graduate Student (2016)