Fellow — University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA, 2010–2015
Ph.D. — MD Anderson Cancer Center UTHealth Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Houston, TX, 2010
B.S. — Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, 2004
Keri Schadler is originally from Austin, Texas. She completed her B.S. in molecular and cell biology at Texas A&M University, where she had her first job in a scientific setting making fly food for a drosophila genetics lab. She then completed her Ph.D. in cancer biology at MD Anderson UTHealth Graduate School. Her thesis work demonstrated the critical role of DLL4-Notch signaling for bone marrow-derived cell participation in vasculogenesis in Ewing’s sarcoma. For this work, Schadler was awarded the Alfred Knudson Award for Excellence in Graduate Research by MD Anderson. During graduate school, Schadler completed more than 100 hours of observation in the pediatric non-neural solid tumors clinic in the Children’s Cancer Hospital at MD Anderson, and earned a certification in Clinical and Translational Research. After graduate school, Schadler completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute. During this fellowship, Schadler’s love for tumor vascular development was combined with a scientific interest in the role of exercise in cancer treatment, and she launched the basis of her current focus on the effects of exercise on tumor response to therapy. Schadler returned to MD Anderson as faculty in 2015. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling and running or cycling the bayou trails of Houston.
Riccardo Ballaro, Ph.D.
Riccardo Ballaro earned his B.S. in biology at the University of Perugia, Italy, with an experimental thesis on the role of S100B in adult neurogenesis and glioblastoma. After the completion of his bachelor studies, he moved to Torino, Italy, where he earned his M.S. in molecular and cellular biology studying the effects of GSH-responsive nanosponges in chemotherapy-resistant colon and prostate cancer cells. He then started his translational studies as a Ph.D. student in the laboratory of Paola Costelli in Torino, where he demonstrated the critical role of targeting mitophagy and mitochondrial function by small molecule drugs and exercise in reverting cancer and chemotherapy-induced cachexia. In 2020, Riccardo moved to MD Anderson in the Schadler Lab. His projects are focused on the role of exercise as adjuvant therapy for PDAC patients. In particular, he studies the effects of exercise in the modulation of PDAC microenvironment, focusing on tumor vasculature, fibrosis and cancer-associated fibroblasts. During his free time, Riccardo enjoys outdoor sports, running and playing music.
Elysia Cohen is a pediatric hematology-oncology fellow at MD Anderson. Her fellowship research project aims to understand the role of ERK5 S496 phosphorylation in macrophages, and how this contributes to tumor growth. She is building on previous data that shows that mice in which ERK5 cannot be phosphorylated at S496 display decreased tumor growth compared to wild type mice and a shift in the tumor associated macrophages away from M2-like macrophages. Her project will be looking into the significance of this shift in the macrophage population.
Jonghae Lee, Ph.D.
Jonghae Lee graduated with an M.S. in exercise physiology from Seoul National University, South Korea in 2011. After graduation, he worked as an administrative officer at the University of Seoul for two years, then moved to the United States to pursue a Ph.D. in cardiovascular exercise physiology and joined Dr. Park’s lab at the University of Houston in 2014. His doctoral research in Dr. Park's lab centered on how exercise regulates inflammatory signaling as a key player in vascular dysfunction in diabetes and obesity. He completed his Ph.D. in December 2019 and has worked in the Schadler Lab to learn about cancer biology, eventually building my expertise in Exercise Oncology. My current research interest focuses on investigating the roles of exercise in immune checkpoint inhibitor-associated cardiovascular toxicity in mouse melanoma models.
Graduate Research Asst
Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
Sumedha Pareek is a Ph.D. student in the Schadler Lab originally from Rajasthan, India. She earned her bachelor's and master's degrees (BTech/MTech) in biotechnology from the Indian Institute of Technology Madras, India. She received an M.S. degree from the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences in 2019 with a thesis on "Bilirubin Nanoparticle as an anti-inflammatory therapy for Graft versus Host Disease". Her current research focuses on studying the immunological changes in cancer with exercise. She enjoys running, photography and making art along with science.
Research Asst I
Hetal Patel graduated from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and relocated to Texas after college to pursue her interests. Born in Galveston, Texas, and raised in several different states, she has adapted to many different lifestyles and cultures. Hetal joined the team in 2022 and has been ecstatic ever since. She is the lab manager and assists with multiple projects in the lab. Her job is to facilitate the great work of the team. In her free time, she enjoys walks along the bayou, skateboarding and playing with Legos.
Undergraduate Research Assistant
Priya Tirumala is a junior at Rice University studying biosciences (biochemistry) and global health technologies on the pre-medical track. Priya has a passion for interdisciplinary studies that is reflected in her research interests, both in biomedical engineering and cancer research. In the Schadler Lab, Priya studies the relationship between aerobic exercise and lymphangiogenesis in melanoma metastasis. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her friends and family and traveling to national parks.
Schadler Lab Alumni
Avis Harden, M.D.
Position in the Schadler Lab: Pediatrics Hematology/Oncology Fellow
Currently: Assistant Professor of Pediatrics Patient Care
Miriam Morrell, D.O.
Position in the Schadler Lab: Pediatric Oncology Fellow
Currently: Attending Pediatric Oncologist, St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tampa, Florida
Hannah Savage, Ph.D.
Position in the Schadler Lab: Research Postdoctoral Fellow
Currently: Working in lab of Dr. Devon Lawson at the University of California Irvine, pursuing metastais research and use of next-generation throughouput technology to be used in cancer investigations
Meredith Buzbee, B.S.
Position in the Schadler Lab: Research Assistant I
Currently: Sam Houston State Univeristy School of Medicine
Claudia Alvarez-Florez, M.S.
Position in the Schadler Lab: Research Assistant II
Currently: Clinical Research Assistant, MD Anderson
Aiqian Zhang, Ph.D.
Position in the Schadler Lab: Graduate Research Assistant
Currently: Physician, Third Xiangya Hospital of Central South University