Joseph McCarty, Ph.D., came to MD Anderson in 2005 as an assistant professor in Cancer Biology. In 2013 he took a position as associate professor in Neurosurgery to expound upon his interest in brain tumor research and was promoted to professor in 2018. He currently serves as the Principal Investigator for a NIH/NINDS funded project Deciphering Mechanisms of Tumor Cell Invasion in Glioblastoma and was one of the 2014 Developmental Research Project recipients for the Brain Cancer SPORE, through which he is researching the effects of Targeting Spinophillin in Glioblastoma.
In 2006 Dr. McCarty was awarded the New Scholar Award in Aging from the Ellison Medical Foundation and in 2008 the Career Development Award from MD Anderson Cancer Center Brain Cancer SPORE under the guidance of Principal Investigator W.K. Alfred Yung, M.D. Dr. McCarty is also a member of the Brain Tumor Research Program at MD Anderson, the Center for Stem Cell and Development Biology and the Cancer Metastasis Research Center.
Zhihua (Jenny) Chen, M.S., M.D.
Zhihua Chen received her master's degree in immunology from the Beijing Institute of Microbiology and Epidemiology and M.D. from the Third Military Medical University in China. From 2003-2009, she worked as a postdoctoral fellow at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. Her research focused on understanding the molecular mechanism of extracellular matrix molecules related to tumor invasion and metastasis. Prior to joining the McCarty Laboratory in 2014, she was as a research associate at the Institute of Molecular Medicine - UTHealth Science Center at Houston (2009-2014), where she was involved in projects related to neurodegenerative disorders. In particular, she used genetic and molecular approaches in Drosophila and cell culture systems to discover the disease-causative genes in Huntington’s and Parkinson’s diseases.
John Morales, B.S.
John Morales received his bachelor's degree in biochemistry from The University of Texas at Austin. Before coming to MD Anderson in 2013 as a Senior Research Assistant in the McCarty Lab, John worked as a research assistant for 11 years at The University of Texas in the Rick Wetsel, Ph.D., Immunology Lab.
Arpan De, Ph.D.
Arpan De received his bachelor and master of science degrees in
microbiology from University of Calcutta, India, and worked on a
research project funded by Department of Biotechnology, Government of
India to investigate novel coordination metal complexes as potential
anti-leishmanial agents. He moved to Bowling Green State University,
Ohio, where he received his master’s degree in biological sciences in
2015 with research focus on understanding the role of rho-family
guanosine triphosphatase effectors in filopodia dynamics. Arpan earned
his Ph.D. in biological sciences from Bowling Green State University
in 2019 where his graduate research focused on exploring circadian
clock regulation of epithelial-mesenchymal and mesenchymal-epithelial
transitions in glioma and breast cancer cells. He joined the McCarty
lab in October 2019.
Kerry Roby, Ph.D.
Dr. Roby received his bachelor of science in biology from Mississippi Valley State University in Itta Bena, MS. Kerry Received his Ph.D. in Cancer Biology from the University of Pennsylvania in 2021, where his graduate work focused on understanding the response of the tumor microenvironment to nutrient deprivation or sheer stress. Kerry joined the McCarty Lab in March 2021, and his current research focuses on understanding the molecular and functional properties of perivascular astrocyte and their contributions to blood brain barrier development and in cancer progression.
Sumod Sebastian, Ph.D.
Dr. Sebastian received his bachelor and master of science degrees in biotechnology from Bangalore University, India. He received his Ph.D. in molecular biology from Texas Woman's University in 2019 where his dissertation research was focused on drug release kinetics and blood-brain barrier crossing efficacy of polymer encapsulated magnetic nanocarriers. Sumod joined the McCarty laboratory in February 2020. His current research focuses on understanding the roles of endothelial transporter proteins and vascular basement membrane proteins in maintaining blood-brain barrier integrity during development, physiology and cancer.
Zahra Nassiri Toosi, Ph.D.
Dr. Toosi received her doctor of pharmacy degree from Tehran University of Medical Sciences in Iran. Her dissertation research was focused on investigating the pharmacokinetic parameters of sublingual versus oral tacrolimus administration in liver transparent recipients. After moving to the U.S., she joined the Molecular and Cell Biology graduate program at Georgia Institute of Technology and received a Ph.D. in the spring of 2021. Dr. Toosi's doctoral research was centered on studying the regulatory roles of post-translational modifications on G-protein signaling systems. Using yeast as a model organism, she investigated the structural and functional effects of multi-site phosphorylation on the intrinsically disordered N-terminal tail of the G-protein gamma subunit in the G-protein signaling system. In June 2021, she joined the McCarty laboratory.
Sehee Kim, Ph.D.
Dr. Kim received her masters and doctoral degrees in Biomedical
Science from Kyung Hee University, South Korea. Her research focused
on neuron survival mechanisms in diabetes and neurodegenerative
diseases (Parkinson’s disease, seizures, and stroke). She moved to the
University of Texas Health Sciences Center at Houston (UTHealth) in
2019, where her primary research was focused on understanding the
pathologic mechanisms of stress response in stroke with diabetic
comorbidity. Dr. Kim was also involved in the study of brain
arteriovenous malformations (AVMs). She joined the McCarty Lab in
Tao Wang, M.D., Ph.D.
Dr. Wang received his M.D. and Ph.D. from Fudan University in 2018. He has been working as an attending neurosurgeon in China for about 10 years. Dr. Wang’s research has been focused on USP8 mutations in Cushing’s disease and GPR68 in ischemic stroke. With a strong interest in glioblastoma research, Dr. Wang joined the McCarty Lab in June 2023.
Jack Kelly, M.S.
Research Assistant II
Jack Kelly received his bachelor's degree in biomedical science from Texas A&M University. While at Texas A&M, Jack worked as an undergraduate research assistant at Texas A&M's Institute for Regenerative Medicine in the Darwin Prockop M.D. Ph.D. lab. He collected data on the isolation and purification of exosomes from mesenchymal stem cells. Jack also went on to work in the Fei Liu Ph.D. lab where he collected data on the use of extracellular vesicle mimics made from iPS cell-derived mesenchymal stem cells to improve treatment of metastatic prostate cancer in mouse models. Jack went on to complete his Master of Science in medical science at the University of North Texas Health Science Center prior to joining the McCarty lab in August 2021.
Former McCarty Lab Members
Former Graduate Students:
- Youngsin Jung, M.D., Ph.D.
Current Position: Neurology Resident, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota
- Aaron Mobley, Ph.D.
Current Position: Research Support Specialist, Children’s Hospital, Denver, Colorado
- Steve Reyes, Ph.D.
Clinical Project Manager, XBiotech, Austin, Texas
- Jeremy Tchaicha, Ph.D.
Current Position: Scientist, Infinity Pharmaceuticals, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Former Post-doctoral Researchers:
- Shinya Hirota Position: Medical Writer, Eli Lilly Japan
- Nejla Yosef, Ph.D. Current Position: Scientist, Lonza
- Hye Shin Lee, Ph.D.
Current Position: Research Scientist, Seoul National University
- Mujeeburahiman Cheerathodi, Ph.D.
Current Position: Research Associate, Florida State University
- Paola Guerrero, Ph.D.
Current Position: Scientific Manager, MD Anderson Cancer Center
- John Lattier, Ph.D.
Current Position: Clinical Genomic Scientist, Baylor School of Medicine
- Sam Kwiatkowski, Ph.D.
Current Position: Forensic Scientist, Harris County Crime Laboratory
- Shweta Tiwary, Ph.D.
Current Position: Research Investigator, National Institute of Health
- Naze Avaci, Ph.D.
Current Position: Lead Scientist, Deciduous Therapeutics
- Jordan Toutounchian, Ph.D.
Current Position: Senior Scientist, Eikon Therapeutics
Former Research Technician:
- Mohammad Hossain
Current Position: Instructor, MD Anderson Cancer Center