Dr. Bast's office facilitates translation of new strategies, drugs and devices from the laboratory to the clinic, as well as the movement of human material and data from the clinic to laboratory. He received his education at Wesleyan University, Harvard Medical School, Johns Hopkins Hospital, the National Cancer Institute, Peter Bent Brigham Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Before joining the MD Anderson faculty in 1994 he served on the faculties of Harvard Medical School and Duke University Medical Center where he was Director of the Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center.
In addition to leading the Office of Translational Research, Dr. Bast cares for patients with gynecologic and breast cancer and has been named to Best Doctors in America and America’s Top Physicians. In medical science, Dr. Bast is best known for discovering the CA125 biomarker for ovarian cancer that has contributed to the care of hundreds of thousands of women with ovarian cancer world-wide and promises to provide a critical component of the first effective strategy for early detection of ovarian cancer. His laboratory is attempting to develop a better screening strategy for ovarian cancer, more effective treatment with paclitaxel using targeted therapy and methods to eliminate dormant autophagic cancer cells. Dr. Bast has authored or co-authored more than 690 articles, editorials and chapters and edited the textbook Cancer Medicine. He has been recognized as a Highly Cited Investigator (top 0.5%) by the Institute for Scientific Information with an H Score of 104. Dr. Bast has mentored more than 85 postdoctoral fellows, visiting investigators, graduate and medical students, and coordinates the Physician-Scientist and Clinician-Investigator Programs at MD Anderson.
At a national level, Dr. Bast was a member and chair of the Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee of the Food and Drug Administration. He has served on three study sections of the National Cancer Institute, as well as scientific advisory committees of 12 NCI-designated US Cancer Centers, the Cancer Center Karolinska, the Deutsche Krebshilfe and the Berlin Institute of Health. He has served as a chair of the tumor markers expert panel of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, and the scientific advisory boards of the V Foundation and Ovarian Cancer Action in the United Kingdom. Dr. Bast also serves on scientific advisory committees for the TJ Martell Foundation and the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance.
Dr. Lu is an associate member of the MD Anderson-UTHealth Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSBS). Dr. Lu earned her Master’s and MD degree from China, where she was involved with all aspects of teaching. She moved to the United States and obtained her second master's degree in biology from The University of Memphis. Since moving to Houston in 2002, she has been an active member in Dr. Bast’s group, where her research aims to elucidate the function of ARHI (DIRAS3) and develop novel therapeutic approaches for ovarian cancer. In collaboration with Dr. Bast, Dr. Lu provides guidance to all trainees in the research group.
Dr. Lu’s research has focused on ovarian cancer tumorigenesis and function of tumor suppressors. Our group has identified ARHI (DIRAS3), an imprinted tumor suppressor gene that is downregulated in 60% of ovarian cancers. Re-expression of ARHI blocks cell growth, inhibits motility, induces autophagy and establishes tumor dormancy. By re-expressing ARHI from a doxycycline-inducible promoter in ovarian cancer xenografts, Dr. Lu developed the first inducible model for tumor dormancy in ovarian cancer, permitting evaluation of novel anti-autophagic therapy to eliminate dormant ovarian cancer cells. In addition to studying tumor dormancy, Dr. Lu has also identified key regulators of paclitaxel resistance, and novel biomarkers for the early detection of ovarian cancer. Over the last 17 years, Dr. Lu has served as Co-Investigator and Co-principal Investigator on numerous NIH-funded grants and has published more than 40 peer-reviewed articles.
Hailing Yang, Ph.D.
Coordinator, Research Laboratory
Dr. Hailing Yang earned her Ph.D. from the MD Anderson Cancer Center UTHealth Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. Her project focuses on the treatment of ovarian cancer using kinase inhibitors.
Weiqun (Maggie) Mao, B.S.
Senior Research Assistant
Ms. Mao studies autophagy and dormancy of ovarian cancer.
Dr. Janice Santiago-O'Farrill completed her M.S. in Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Puerto Rico-Medical Sciences Campus. In 2015, she earned her Ph.D. in cancer biology from MD Anderson Cancer Center UTHealth Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. Her studies are focused on determining the role of DIRAS3, an important regulator of autophagy and tumor dormancy in ovarian cancer. She has also found that olaparib, an FDA-approved PARP inhibitor, induces autophagy that enhances drug resistance in ovarian cancer cells. Having elucidated the mechanism by which olaparib induces autophagy, she is currently combining olaparib with FDA approved drugs that are selectively toxic for autophagic cancer cells, producing additive and synergistic antitumor activity.
Chae Young Han, Ph.D.
Dr. Chae Young earnedher Ph.D. from the University of Ottawa, Canada in 2019. In the Bast Lab, her project focuses on testing and developing more sensitive early detection biomarkers of ovarian cancer using autologous antibodies and patients’ serum with Luminex system.
Gamze Bildik Elcik, Ph.D.
Dr. Bildik received her B.S. in Molecular Biology and Genetics from Istanbul University, Turkey. She earned her M.S. in Reproductive Biology from Koc University where she was trained in a translational research laboratory and focused on fertility preservation strategies against ovarian damage induced by chemotherapy and radiation in young female cancer survivors. She received her Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Medicine from Koc University and she completed her thesis entitled “DNA damage-induced and TAp63-mediated oocyte apoptosis is not associated with c-Abl activation in human ovary.” Dr. Bildik joined MD Anderson Cancer Center as a TRIUMPH Postdoctoral Fellow in 2019. Her research project focuses on better understanding the role of DIRAS3-mediated autophagy and the effect of DIRAS3 peptides on autophagy inhibition in KRAS-driven cancers. The ultimate goal is to understand autophagy-mediated drug resistance and seek more effective therapeutic interventions.
Rumeysa Ozyurt, Ph.D.
Dr. Rumeysa Ozyurt received her B.S. in biology in Turkey. She pursued her Ph.D. training in human physiology from the Eskisehir Osmangazi University Medical Faculty, Turkey. Dr. Ozyurt joined MD Anderson Cancer Center as a postdoctoral fellow in 2021. Her first postdoc project focused understanding molecular mechanisms of drug resistance in anti-estrogen therapies and role of oncogenic pathways in breast cancer. She is currently a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Robert Bast. Her current research project focuses on identification of novel candidate ovarian cancer biomarkers in an in vitro model of human fallopian tubes.
Oliver H. Wang, B.A
Research Assistant II
Mr. Wang earned his bachelor's in English Literature with a Concentration in Creative Writing from Washington University in St. Louis. His work previously involved the replication of the tumor microenvironment in transgenic dual-recombinase mouse models
Marc Pina, B.S.
Graduate Research Assistant
Mr. Pina obtained his Bachelor of Science in Biology from the Honors College at Houston Baptist University in 2019. Currently, he is pursuing a master’s in biomedical sciences at MD Anderson Cancer Center UTHealth Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. His current work focuses on identifying optimal conditions for the growth of specific breast and ovarian cancer cell lines. These conditions are crucial for screening with various experimental drug concentrations to pinpoint the one with the most significant impact at the lowest concentrations.
Abou Ghalia, Azza
Bae, Duk Soo
Orellana, Vivian R.
Rask, Philip (RAI)
Ren, Wenhong (RA)
Soisson, Andrew Patrick
Tran, Samantha (RA)
Wang, Yan (Sr. RA)
Yang, Maojie (RA)
Undergraduate and Allied Health Students
Banerjee, Anikait (Oni) (Summer 2023)
Becker, Sarah Elizabeth (Summer 2019)
Elmir, Ezzeddine (2018)
Fu, Caroline (2011)
Hamilton, Kirsten (Summer 2022 UPWARDS Undergraduate Student)
Kim, Noori M.D. (2003)
Knudsen, Hannah Rose (Summer 2019)
Pontikos, Michael (2011)
Svetkitski, Jessica (Summer 2023)
Watowich, Matthew (Summer 2020)
Zakeri, Aran ( Summer 2023 Student CPRIT CURE )
Cheon, Dong-Joo (2007-2010)
Dong, Wenli (2004)
Figueroa, Mary (2016)
Ho, I-Lin (2017)
Mondal, Jayanta (2019)
Peiton, Jarmon (Summer 2022)
Sutton, Margie Nicole (2012-2017)
Aiken, Abbie (2008)
Atashroo, Diana, M.D. (2005-2006)
Chen, Teresa, M.D. (2003)
Fan, Dengxuan (2018-2019)
Guo, Jing (2017-2019)
Klotz, Daniel (2015)
Lipska, Beate Stefania, M.D. (2002)
Pruefer, Franz, M.D. (2001-2002)
Varela, Carly L, M.D. (1999)
Clinical Residents and Fellows
Abbas, Hussein, M.D. (January 2019)
Akhave, Neil, M.D. (December 2019)
Al Zaki, Ajlan W., M.D. (August 2022)
Alhalabi, Omar, M.D. (June 2018)
Andreev-Drakhlin, Alexander Y., M.D. (April 2019)
Apostolidou, Efrosyni, M.D
Awadhi, Aydah Al, M.D. (November 2017)
Baljevic, Muhamed, M.D. (November 2014)
Barcenas, Carlos, M.D.
Bilen, Mehmet Asim, M.D. (December 2013)
Bucheit, Amand, M.D.
Cascone, Tina, M.D. (August 2014)
Casteell, Kelly, M.D. (August 2016)
Chahoud, Jad, M.D. (November 2017)
Chien, Kelly, M.D. (August 2018)
Clifton, Katherine, M.D. (July 2016)
Conter, Jacob Conter, M.D.
Daher, May, M.D. (November 2014)
Dorkhom, Stephan Joseph, M.D.
Dupuis, Megan, M.D. (December 2019)
Garber, Haven R, M.D. (July 2017)
Garmezy, Benjamin, M.D. (August 2018)
Gay, Carl, M.D. (October 2015)
Glitza, Isabella, M.D.
Gomes, Diego, M.D. (January 2014)
Goswami, Sangeeta, M.D. (March 2014)
Hahn, Andrew, M.D. (February 2020)
Halperin, Dan, M.D. (October 2013)
Henry, Jason T., M.D. (July 2019)
Hill, Laquisa, M.D. (December 2015)
Hobbs, Evthokia, M.D. (October 2018)
Hoffmann, Marc Steven, M.D. (November 2013)
Hu, Bei, M.D. (September 2015)
Hu, Boyu, M.D. (November 2016)
Huey. Ryan, M.D. (November 2017)
Im, Jin Seon, M.D.
Issa, Ghayas, M.D. (September 2014)
Jacobs, Ryan, M.D.
Jain, Preetesh, M.D. (January 2018)
Jaramillo, Sylvia, M.D.
Kakkar, Reva, M.D. (November 2013)
Karuturi, Meghan Sri, M.D. (July 2013)
Laccetti, Andrew, M.D. (August 2017)
Lee, Michael Sangmin, M.D. (August 2013)
Lee, Seung Tae, M.D. (April 2014)
Lin, Paul, M.D. (December 2017)
Link, James, M.D. (November 2015)
Livingston, John Andrew, M.D. (January 2015)
Lou, Yanyan, M.D. (October 2013)
Lunford, Kaysia, M.D. (November 2018)
Maiti, Abhishek, M.D. (December 2018)
Makawita, Shalini, M.D. (June 2019)
Maymani, Hossein, M.D. (September 2016)
McKean, Meredith, M.D. (September 2016)
Meter, Van, M.D.
Mitri, Zahi, M.D. (September 2014)
Mizrahi, Jonathan, M.D. (November 2018)
Morris, Van Karlyle, M.D.
Mougalion, Sarah, M.D.
Murthy, Rashmi, M.D.
Nusrat, Maliha, M.D. (July 2015)
Oke, Oluchi, M.D. (December 2016)
Oncaly, Melody, M.D. (May 2017)
Parkes, Amanda, M.D. (October 2016)
Parseghian, Kristin, M.D. (August 2016)
Pelster, Meredith S., M.D. (May 2019)
Pillie, Patrick, M.D. (August 2015)
Ragon, Brittany, M.D. (July 2014)
Ratan, Ravin, M.D.
Reddy, Sangeetha, M.D. (August 2015)
Reilley, Matthew, M.D. (November 2015)
Rosenstock, Aron Salomon, M.D. (July 2014)
Sacks, Ruth, M.D. (February 2018)
Sanford, Rachel Ann, M.D. (September 2013)
Schvartsman, Gustavo, M.D. (January 2016)
Sen, Shiraj, M.D. (October 2016)
Shafaee, Maryam Nemati, M.D. (August 2013)
Shah, Amishi, M.D. (August 2014)
Shaw, Andrew, M.D. (December 2015)
Short, Nicholas, M.D. (September 2015)
Siddiqui, Bilal, M.D. (October 2019)
Smith Graziani, Demetria, M.D. (February 2019)
Stati, Paola, M.D. (August 2017)
Subbiah, Vivek, M.D.
Surana, Rishi, M.D. (March 2020)
Takahashi, Koichi, M.D. (May 2014)
Uemura, Marc, M.D. (October 2015)
Vaez, Luis, M.D. (February 2016)
Wiele, Andrew J., M.D. (November 2019)
Willis, Jason, M.D. (March 2017)
Yam, Clinton, M.D. (July 2017)
Yorio, Jeff, M.D.
Zhang, Jianjun, M.D.
Postdoctoral Research Fellows
Albandri, Alfraidi (2012-2013)
Ashour Ahmed, Ahmed M.D., Ph.D., (2008-2010)
Badgwell, Donna, Ph.D. (2005-2008)
Baquero, Maria, Ph.D. (2011-2012)
Bezorgi, Kenny, M.D. (1996-1997)
Bildick, Gamze, Ph.D (2019- Present)
Blessing, Alicia, Ph.D. (2016-2019)
Chen, Min-Yu, M.D. (2005-2008)
Dalrymple, John, M.D. (1995-1996)
Das, Partha M.D. (2006-2009)
Diaz, Sheridan, M.D. (1995-1996)
Feng, Weiwei, M.D. (2004-2006)
Frumovitz, Michael, M.D. (2001-2002)
Fujii, Satoshi, M.D. (2001-2002)
Gray, Josh, Ph.D. (2021)
Hagopian, George, M.D. (1996 - 1998)
Ho Lee, Keun, M.D. (2007-2009)
Huang, Gilbert, Ph.D. (2015-2019)
Kramer, Stegan, M.D. (2000)
Kruzelock, Rusty, Ph.D. (1995-1998)
Liang, Xiaowen (2019-2021)
Nishimoto, Arata, Ph.D. (2002-2003)
Pastelnik, Terry, Ph.D. (1996-1997)
Peters, Haley (2012-2013)
Pusztai, Lajos, M.D., Ph.D. (1997)
Raamanathan, Archana, Ph.D. (2011-2014)
Romero Noguera, Ignacio M.D., Visiting Physician (2011)
Santiago-O'Farrell, Janice, Ph.D. (2015-2020)
Suh, Grace, M.D. (2008-2010)
Sutton, Margie Nicole, Ph.D. (2018-2022)
Wang, Lin, M.D. (2001-2002)
Wang, Xiaoyan, M.D. (2009-2010)
Washington, Michele, Ph.D. (2009-2011)
Wen, Xian-Feng, M.D. (2003-2005)
Yang, Hailing, Ph.D (2011-2015)
Yang, Wei-Lei (William) (2014-2019)
Young Han, Chae, Ph.D. (2019-Present)
Yuan, Jiuhong, M.D. (2000-2001)
Zhang, Shu, M.D. Visiting Physician (2010-2011)
Zhou, Jinhua, Ph.D. (2014-2016)
Other Supervisory Teaching
Adachi, Roberto, M.D. Physician Scientist Program (2003-2008)
Amin, Hesham, M.D. Physician Scientist Program (2005-2010)
Barcenas, Carlos, M.D. Paul Calabresi Scholar (2016-2018)
Byers, Lauren Averett, M.D. Physician Scientist Program (2011-2015)
Cabanillas, Maria, M.D. Paul Calabresi Scholar (2009-2010)
Cahill, Daniel P., M.D., Ph.D. Physician Scientist Program (2011)
Cascone, Tina, M.D., Ph.D. Physician-Scientist Program (2018-present)
Colman, Howard, M.D., Ph.D. Physician Scientist Program (2003-2008)
Cormier, Janice, M.D., M.P.H. Paul Calabresi Scholar (2003-2006)
Dang, Nam, M.D., Ph.D. Physician Scientist Program (1998-2004)
Davies, Michael, M.D., Ph.D. Physician-Scientist Program (2010-2011)
Evans Scott E., M.D. Physician Scientist Program (2008-2013)
Falchook, Gerald, M.D. Paul Calabresi Scholar (2008-2011)
Ferrajoli, Alessandra, M.D. Paul Calabresi Scholar (2004-2007)
Fuller, Dave C., M.D., Ph.D Paul Calabresi Scholar (2013-2015)
Gao, Jianjun (JJ), Ph.D. Paul Calabresi Scholar (2013-2015)
Gao, Jianjun (JJ), Ph.D. Physician Scientist Program (2016-present)
Garcia-Manero, Guillermo, M.D. Physician Scientist Program (2002-2006)
Gershenwald, Jeffrey, M.D. Physician Scientist Program (1998-2004)
Gibbons, Don, M.D., Ph.D. Physician Scientist Program (2012-2015)
Gold, Kathryn, M.D. Paul Calabresi Scholar (2012-2015)
Goswami, Sangeeta, M.D., Ph.D. Paul Calabresi Scholar (2020-Present)
Grosshans, David, M.D., Ph.D. Physician Scientist Program (2009-2014)
Guerrero, Thomas, M.D., Ph.D. Physician Scientist Program (2005-2010)
Guha, Sushovan, M.D. Physician Scientist Program (2006-2011)
Hennessy, Bryan T., M.D. Physician Scientist Program (2008-2009)
Herbst, Roy, M.D., Ph.D. Physician Scientist Program (1999-2002)
Heymach, John V., M.D., Ph.D. Physician Scientist Program (2006-2011)
Hillman, Tyler, M.D., Ph.D. Physician-Scientist Program (2020-Present)
Holsinger, Christopher Floyd, M.D. Paul Calabresi Scholar (2004-2007)
Hughes, Dennis, M.D., Ph.D. Physician Scientist Program (2007-2010)
Johnson, Faye, M.D., Ph.D. Physician Scientist Program (2003-2008)
Kadia, Tapan, M.D. Paul Calabresi Scholar (2008-2011)
Khakoo, Aarif, M.D. Physician Scientist Program (2006-2011)
Kim, Jeri, M.D. Paul Calabresi Scholar (2001-2004)
Kopetz, Scott E., M.D., Ph.D. Paul Calabresi Scholar (2007-2010)
Kupferman, Michael, M.D. Physician Scientist Program (2008-2013)
Lakomy, David M.D. Candidate Session on Ovarian Cancer (2017)
Lazar, Alexander, M.D., Ph.D. Physician Scientist Program (2007-2012)
Lee, Dean A., Ph.D. Physician Scientist Program (2008-2013)
Livingston, J. Andrew, M.D. Paul Calabresi Scholar (2016-2018)
Lu, Charlie, M.D. Paul Calabresi Scholar (2000-2003)
McAllister, Florencia, M.D. Paul Calabresi Scholar (2016-2017)
McGuire, Sean, M.D., Ph.D. Physician Scientist Program (2012-2017)
McQuade, Jennifer, M.D. Physician-Scientist Program (2018-Present)
Meric-Bernstam, Funda, M.D. Physician Scientist Program (2001-2004)
Morris, Van, M.D. Paul Calabresi Scholar (2016-2019)
Myers, Jeffrey N., M.D., Ph.D. Physician Scientist Program (1999-2004)
O'Reilly, Michael, M.D. Physician Scientist Program (2000-2004)
Ostrin, Edwin, Ph.D., M.D. Physician Scientist Program (2016-Present)
Rhim, Andrew, M.D. Physician Scientist Program (2016-Present)
Roland, Christina, M.D. Paul Calabresi Scholar (2016-2018)
Shah, Nina, M.D. Paul Calabresi Scholar (2009-2012)
Sharma, Padmanee, M.D., Ph.D. Physician Scientist Program (2005-2010)
Shelburne, Samuel, M.D. Ph.D. Physician Scientist Program (2007-2011)
Shureiqi, Imad, M.D. Physician Scientist Program (2001-2004)
Skoulidis, Ferdinandos, M.D., Ph.D. Physician-Scientist Program (2016-Present)
Smythe, Roy, M.D. Physician Scientist Program (1999-2004)
Sturgis, Erich, M.D. Paul Calabresi Scholar (2001-2004)
Sulman, Erik, M.D., Ph.D. Physician Scientist Program (2010-2015)
Takahashi, Koichi, M.D. Physician-Scientist Program (2018-Present)
Taniguchi, Cullen, M.D., Ph.D. Physician Scientist Program (2014-2019)
Thomas, Deborah Ann, M.D. Paul Calabresi Scholar (2001-2004)
Trent, Jonathan, M.D., Ph.D. Physician Scientist Program (2002-2007)
Truty, Mark, M.D. Paul Calabresi Scholar (2010-2012)
Tsao, Anne, M.D. Paul Calabresi Scholar (2004-2007)
Verstovsek, Srdan, M.D. Ph.D. Physician Scientist Program (2003-2008)
Welsh, James, M.D. Paul Calabresi Scholar (2010-2013)
West, Derek, M.D. UTHealth. Paul Calabresi Scholar (2014-2015)
Westin, Jason, M.D. Paul Calabresi Scholar (2010-2013)
Westin, Shannon, M.D., M.P.H. Paul Calabresi Scholar (2012-2015)
Woodman, Scott. M.D., Ph.D. Paul Calabresi Scholar (2009-2012)
You, Mingjian James, M.D., Ph.D. Physician Scientist Program (2008-2013)
Zage, Peter, M.D., Ph.D. Paul Calabresi Scholar (2007-2010)
Zhang, Jay, M.D., Ph.D. Physician-Scientist Program (2015-2019)
Zweidler-McKay, Patrick, M.D., Ph.D. Physician Scientist Program (2006-2009)