Michelle Kirtley, B.S., MPH.
Michelle graduated from Texas A&M University with a B.S. degree in Marine Biology and from Florida International University with a M.S. degree in Public Health. Prior to joining the Kalluri Lab in 2017, she worked at the University of Texas Medical Branch where she investigated virulence gene regulation, pathogenic mechanisms, and vaccine candidates for select agent pathogens. Currently, Michelle functions as the laboratory manager for the Kalluri Laboratory and handles reagent purchasing, oversight of the animal colonies, supervision of the laboratory related logistics, monitoring IACUC and IRB submissions and approvals and general laboratory maintenance. Additionally, Michelle participates and aids in several research projects as a research investigator.
Nancy Andres, Ph.D.
Nancy C. Andres received a Ph.D. in Biology in 2016 from the National University of South Argentina and the University Medical Center Groningen in the Netherlands. During her Ph.D. studies, she was focused on the role of Heme-Oxigenase 1(HO-1) in metastatic colorectal cancer. She then performed a postdoctoral fellowship engineering Mg2+ - Hydroxyapatite nanorods for orthopedic implants and testing the cellular response associated with mechanisms of bone regeneration. She joined MDACC in 2019 as a postdoctoral fellow dissecting the roles of Hippo-YAP and mTOR signaling in NF2 mutant tumors. Her current research focus is on elucidating the function of exosomes in cancer metastasis.
Yang Chen, B.S., Ph.D.
Yang received his Ph.D. degree from Tsinghua University, Beijing, China in 2014 and joined the Kalluri Laboratory as a postdoctoral fellow in 2014. His current research project focuses on the roles of investigating the functional heterogeneity of fibroblasts in health and disease with specific emphasis on pancreatic cancer progression and metastasis. Yang also employed novel mouse models to study tumor lymphangiogenesis and its contribution to lymphatic metastasis.
intercellular communication mediated by exosomes and to investigate the role of exosomes in immune-oncology.
Xunian Zhou, Ph.D.
Xunian received her Ph.D. from the School of Biomedical Sciences from the Chinese University of Hong Kong in Dec. 2017. During that time, she investigated the underlying anti-cancer mechanisms of a small molecule in breast cancer model. In 2019, she joined the Kalluri Laboratory as a Postdoctoral Fellow to study the function of tumor stroma and exosomes in cancer.
Graduate Ph.D. Student
Yasaman received her bachelor’s degree in Physics from Isfahan University of Technology, Iran, and her master’s degree in Physics from the University of Delaware in 2017. She is currently in the medical physics program at GSBS. She joined the Kalluri Lab as a Ph.D. student in 2021 to complete her thesis work. Her research interests include cancer metabolism and metabolic imaging. Her project is to develop a non-invasive imaging method to diagnose metabolic-genomic alterations and exploit exosomes as oncometabolite biomarkers of brain tumors.
Nuno Bastos, B.S., M.S.
Graduate Ph.D. Student
Nuno received his B.S. in Biochemistry from the University of Porto in 2014. Afterwards, he completed his M.S. in Medicine and Molecular Oncology from the University of Porto in 2016. He joined the Intercellular Communication and Cancer Laboratory in the beginning of 2017 at i3S, University of Porto, and started his Ph.D. program with Dr. Kalluri as a cosupervisor. His work focuses on understanding the role of exosomes, extracellular vesicles and biogenesis in pancreatic cancer initiation and progression.
Kshipra Kapoor, B.S.
Graduate Ph.D. Student, School of Engineering, Rice University
Kshipra received her B.S. degree in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Mumbai (India) in 2016. She joined Rice University in 2016 for her M.S./Ph.D. integrated degrees and joined the Kalluri Laboratory for her thesis work in 2017. Dr. Kalluri is an adjunct faculty in the Department of Bioengineering, Rice University. Kshipra received her Master's in Electrical and Computer Engineering in 2019 from Rice University (USA) working in the laboratory of Dr. Kalluri. Currently, Kshipra is investigating electrical and biomechanical properties of exosomes.
Bingrui Li, B.S.
Graduate Ph.D. Student
Bingrui received his B.S. degree in Bioinformatics from Qingdao University, China in 2018. During his undergraduate, he was actively involved in various projects, including bioinformatics tool development, binding affinity prediction between antibody and antigen, and deep learning model development for drug repurposing. He joined the Kalluri lab as a Ph.D. student in 2020. His current studies focus on tumor microenvironment and predicting and tracking immunotherapy outcomes based on the biology and therapeutic capabilities of exosomes.
Xin Luo, B.S.
Graduate Ph.D. Student, School of Engineering, Rice University
Xin received her Bachelor’s degree in Science from Nankai University, China, in 2019. She joined Rice University in 2019 for her Ph.D. degree in Engineering and joined the Kalluri lab in 2020 for her Ph.D. thesis work. Xin’s current research focuses on the mechanistic properties of exosomes, elucidating single exosome biology and explaining translational potential of exosomes in cancer and COVID-19.
Carolina Ruivo, B.S., M.S.
Graduate Ph.D. Student
Carolina received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering from Instituto Superior Tecnico (Portugal) in 2012 and 2014. She joined Melo Lab at i3S University of Porto in 2015 and started her Ph.D. program in 2017 with Dr. Raghu Kalluri as a co-mentor. Carolina is currently in the Kalluri Lab performing her thesis research work as a Fulbright exchange student in 2021. Her research focus is on understanding the functional role of exosomes in tumor heterogeneity and metastasis.
Kent Arya Arian, B.S.
Wafaa Hassen B.S., M.S., Ph.D.
Wafaa Hassen received her Ph.D. in Moleuclar Toxicology, University of Monastir, Tunisia and participated in several doctoral and postdoctoral internships in France. In 2006, she was appointed Assistant Professor in the Department of Cell Biology and Toxicology, University of Monastir. In 2012, she joined an INSERM-CNRS research group at the Institute of Human Genetics, Montpellier, France to study Multiple Myeloma. In 2016, Wafaa moved to Duke University and joined the Department of Neurosurgery to study the efficacy of oncoloytic viral therapy in Medulloblastoma. She joined the Kalluri lab in 2021 as a research scientist to study tumor microenvironment and exosomes as it relates to cancer progression and metastasis.
Patience Kelly, B.S., M.S.
Research Assistant II
Patience received her B.S. in Biochemistry/B.A. in Psychology from Texas State University in 2015. She continued her education at the University of Delaware, where she studied developmental models of neuron migration and completed her M.S. in Biological Sciences in 2019. Patience joined the lab in 2020 as a research assistant and provides technical support for a project related to translational biology of exosomes and organ tropism.
Brian received his Bachelor's of Science in Biochemistry and Genetics from Texas A&M University in 2018. He previously worked as a research assistant at the Texas A&M Health Science Center investigating the role of NFkappaB Inducing Kinase in cancer metabolism and at Lynntech designing point of care diagnostics for antibodies against the dengue virus in patient serum. He joined the Kalluri Lab as a research assistant in 2021. His research focuses on the role of exosomes in cancer progression and metastasis.
Barbara Moreno Diaz, B.S.
Barbara received her Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Texas A&M University in 2021. She joined the Kalluri Laboratory as a Research Assistant in 2021 and provides histology and immunohistoclonal support. Additionally she is involved in tumor microenvironment research.
Amari M. Sockwell, B.S.
Research Assistant I
Amari attended Houston Baptist University where she studied Medical Humanities and developed an interest in biological sciences. From there she focused on Cellular and Molecular Biology before receiving her Bachelor of Science degree in 2020. Amari joined the Kalluri lab in 2021 where she assists in research related to tumor microenvironment and Cancer Biology.
Rice Undergraduate Student
Mia is an undergraduate at Rice University pursuing a B.S. in Biosciences. She joined the Kalluri Lab in June 2021. She is interested in studying the potential therapeutic applications of engineered exosomes.
Kristen is an undergraduate student in the Honors College at the University of Houston majoring in Biochemical & Biophysical studies. She joined the Kalluri lab in June 2021 for her research internship. Her research interests include studying cancer metabolism and diagnostic applications as it relates to exosomes.
Chloe Seoyun Kong
Chloe is an undergraduate student at Rice University studying a B.S. in Materials Science and Nanoengineering. She joined the Kalluri lab in the summer of 2021. Her research interests include 3D-modeling the tumor microenvironment using biomaterials engineering approaches and investigating its mechanical and structural properties.
Kevin is an undergraduate student at Rice University studying Bioengineering. He joined the Kalluri Lab in February 2020. His research interests include studying exosomal biology and engineering exosomes for therapeutic applications
Krystal English, B.S.
Medical Student Researcher
Krystal received her bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience from Amherst College in 2014. She completed her Ph.D. in Neuroscience from UT Health MD Anderson Cancer Center Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences in 2020 and is currently a medical student at UTHealth McGovern Medical School. Her dissertation, titled “Astrocytes rescue neuronal health after cisplatin treatment through mitochondrial transfer,” focused on how astrocytes transfer mitochondria to neurons damaged upon cisplatin treatment. This not only improves neuronal survival but also mitochondrial function. She jointed the Kalluri lab as a medical student researcher in 2021. Her current research interests include investigating new methods for chemotherapeutic drug delivery, and communications between the brain and other systems especially with focus on exosomes.
Caleb Johnson graduated from Prairie View A&M University in May 2021 and received his Bachelor's of Science in Biology while serving in the Army Reserve. Caleb joined Dr. Kalluri's lab in July 2021 as a Postbaccalaureate student to conduct cancer research with a focus on tumor microenvironment and fibroblast biology.
Kalluri Laboratory-Based Faculty Researchers
Jacqueline Parchem, B.A., M.D.
Physician Scientist Trainee
Dr. Jackie 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 trained as Maternal-Fetal Medicine fellow at Baylor College of Medicine and currently is an attending physician in the Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine, Department of Obstetrics
and Gynecology at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center. In 2015, Jackie joined the Kalluri lab as a Physician Scientist Research Fellow. Her research interests include discovering the pathogenesis of preeclampsia and investigating the function of exosomes in pregnancy and fetal development. In 2017, Jackie was appointed as an Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology/ Maternal-Fetal Medicine at UT Health. Jackie continues to conduct her research in the Kalluri Laboratory.
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)
Paul Kurywchak, B.S. Graduate Student (2018)
Xiaofeng Zheng, B.S., Ph.D. Postdoctoral Fellow
Yan Wang Research Investigator (2017)
Amanda Haltom, Ph.D. Postdoctoral Fellow (2018)
Josephine “Kebbeh” Darpolor Graduate Research Assistant - GSBS Rotation Student (2018)
Chengyan “Nick” Dong Research Investigator (2018)
Ehsan Ehsanipour Graduate Research Assistant – GSBS (2018)
Paul Kurywchak Graduate Research Assistant – GSBS (2018)
Reshma Bhowmick Research Scientist (2018)
Liv Gansmo, Ph.D. Postdoctoral Fellow (2018)
Li “Lily” Huang Senior Research Assistant (2018)
Robert Hahn Research Assistant I (2018-2019)
Fei Xiao Postdoctoral Fellow (2015-2019)
Kyle Labella Graduate Research Assistant - GSBS (2019)
Elena Ramirez Postdoctoral Fellow (2019)
Debora Ferreira Graduate Research Assistant (2019)
Patricia Phillips Research Assistant (2019)
Jena Tavormina Graduate Research Assistant - GSBS (2019)
Olga Volpert Associate Professor (2019)
Pedro Correa De Sampaio Postdoctoral Fellow (2019)
Lisa Becker Graduate Research Assistant (2020)
Kebbeh Darpolor Graduate Research Assistant (2020)
Mariangela Natale Graduate Research Assistant (2020)
Min Tang Graduate Research Assistant (2020)
Sara Lovisa Postdoctoral Fellow (2020)
Julie Carstens Postdoctoral Fellow (2020)
Anthony Chronopoulos Postdoctoral Fellow (2020)
Jianli Dai Postdoctoral Fellow (2020)
Yibo Fan Postdoctoral Fellow (2020)
Laura Snowden Research Assistant II (2020)
Jamie Lin Instructor (2020)
Karina Vazquez-Arreguin Postdoctoral Fellow (2021)
Janine Hensel Postdoctoral Fellow (2021)
Kadeshia Earl Research Assistant II (2021)
Jennifer Leveille Senior Research Assistant (2021)
Dara Dowlatshahi Research Scientist (2021)
Eric Perez Undergraduate Researcher (2021)