Yuan Pan, Ph.D.
Yuan received her Ph.D. degree from the University of Iowa and her thesis work focused on understanding ion channel trafficking in photoreceptors. As a postdoctoral fellow, her research focused on microenvironmental regulation of optic pathway gliomas. Leveraging genetically engineered mouse models and neuromodulatory approaches, the Pan Laboratory is currently working on understanding neuron-glia and neuron-cancer interactions, with a focus on cancer predisposition syndromes such as neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1).
Benjamin Emoefe Aghoghovwia, Ph.D.
Benjamin obtained his doctoral degree from the University of Otago, Dunedin New Zealand, in 2018. His Ph.D. thesis and postdoctoral research mainly explored the therapeutic efficacy of stem cells on neurological disorders of the basal ganglia such as neonatal stroke and cerebral palsy. His interest in expanding knowledge in Neuroscience led him to the Pan laboratory. His career vision is to understand the mechanisms of neuron-glial interaction in neurogenetic disorders such as neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1), which will contribute to the development of novel therapeutics, extend the frontiers of knowledge, and promote patient care.
Sama is originally from Baghdad, Iraq, and lived most of her life in Upstate NY. Sama decided to move to Texas to join Dr. Pan’s team after obtaining her B.S. of Biomedical Sciences from Rochester Institute of Technology in 2021, where her research was primarily surrounding the bacteria Streptococcus Mutane K. Outside of the lab, Sama enjoys learning programming languages, spending time with her cat and a crisp New York fall day.
Kechen Ban, Ph.D.
Kechen received his doctoral degree in Molecular Biology from the University of Putra, Malaysia. He has more than 20 years of experience in cancer research. Currently, his main interest is to understand the neuronal regulation of nervous system cancer and glia-mediated neurological deficits.
Renae Bertrand, Ph.D.
Renae obtained her Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Baylor College of Medicine in 2021. Her Ph.D. thesis focused on elucidating the mechanism of disease in splicing factor-associated inherited retinal degeneration. After completing her Ph.D., she worked in the Center for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine at UT Health on a Cystic Fibrosis clinical trial study using patient-derived iPSCs to evaluate patient-specific responses to CFTR modulators. Renae has a passion for mentoring and hopes to encourage young scientists to pursue careers in science through her position in the Pan Lab by working with students at the bench. Outside of the lab, Renae enjoys crocheting, sewing, camping, and hiking with her dog.
Undergraduate Research Volunteer
Hana is a freshman biomedical engineering major studying at the University of Houston. She has previously done research at the University of Houston Biomedical Engineering department and the University of Texas at Austin concerning genetic engineering for neurological and retinal degenerative diseases. Outside of the lab, Hana likes to play tennis and paint.
Khushboo Irshad, Ph.D.
Khushboo completed her Ph.D. in Biochemistry at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, India, in 2013. Her Ph.D. thesis and postdoctoral research involved the study of signaling pathways implicated in brain tumors and patient-derived primary cultures. Her current interest includes the study of the intricacies between cancer cells and cells of the nervous system. Her long-term academic goal is to learn the advanced modalities that can help to better investigate the molecular mechanisms that pose challenges in the therapy of cancer patients.
Undergraduate Research Volunteer
Tasneem is a senior biochemistry major studying at the University of Houston. She has done previous research with the UH Pharmacy department in determining COVID-19 therapeutics. Tasneem hopes to attend medical school in the future and specialize in oncology. Her hobbies include involvement with her university’s choral program.
Khalil Ali Ahmad Kasm, Ph.D.
Khalil obtained his Ph.D. in pharmacology from Shanghai Jiao Tong University in 2021. His research focuses on the field of cancer neuroscience and neuropharmacology. He has eight years of research experience in chronic pain, neuronal-glial interaction and oxidative stress, and published several peer-reviewed manuscripts. His career goals are to discover the mechanism of action of novel therapies and disease-related pathogenesis using preclinical and translational research that can substantially benefit the clinical research requirements and improve the patient’s quality of life. In his free time, he enjoys swimming, football, hiking and cooking.
Anand Singh, Ph.D.
Sr. Research Scientist
Anand is a neuroscientist with over 15 years of experience in pre-clinical drug
testing and regulatory affairs. Anand completed his Ph.D. at CSIR-Indian Institute of Toxicology Research, where he and his colleagues established a new pesticide-induced mouse model of Parkinson’s disease. During his postdoctoral fellowship at Linkoping University, he worked on the neurocircuitry of the affective dimension of inflammatory pain. Currently, Anand is handling multiple projects on chemotherapy drug treatment and assessment of neurotoxic side effects, reverse translation study of small molecule inhibitor to target oxidative phosphorylation as an anticancer strategy.