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.
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.
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.
Michelle Kirtley, B.S., MPH.
Research Investigator (Laboratory Manager)
Michelle Kirtley graduated from Texas A&M University with a B.S. degree in Marine Biology and from Florida International University with a Master in Public Health. Prior to joining the Kalluri Lab in 2017, she worked at the University of Texas Medical Branch where she investigated the virulence gene regulation, pathogenic mechanisms, and vaccine candidates for select agent pathogens. She now participates in supervising the logistics of the Kalluri Laboratory.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
Donna Lundy, B.S., M.S. SR. Research Assistant (2016)
Jiha Kim, B.S., Ph.D. Instructor (2017)
Margo Cain, B.S. Graduate Student (2017)
Mayela Mendt, Ph.D, Postdoctoral Fellows (2017)
Sushrut Kamerkar, B.S., Ph.D. Graduating Student (2017)
Eliot Fletcher, B.S., M.P.H., Ph.D. Graduating Student (2017)
Changsoo Kwak, B.S., M.S., Ph.D., Graduating Student (2017)
Matthew Scheible, B.S. Graduate Student (2017)
Kerri Wolf-Dennen, B.S., M.B.S. Graduate Student (2017)
Sharmistha Lahiri, M.S. Research Medical Student (2017)