Aria Vaishnavi, Ph.D., is a cancer biologist who specializes in signal transduction, targeted therapeutics and mouse models of human cancer. Dr. Vaishnavi obtained her bachelor's degree in biochemistry and molecular biology from the Honor’s College at Washington State University in 2007. She completed her doctoral studies in cancer biology at the University of Colorado Denver Anschutz under the mentorship of Dr. Robert Doebele. Here, she worked on investigating the biology and targeted therapeutic intervention of fusion kinases in lung cancer. Dr. Vaishnavi did her postdoctoral training with Dr. Martin McMahon at the University of Utah’s Huntsman Cancer Institute, where her work was focused on mouse models of human lung and pancreatic cancer. She was recruited as a CPRIT scholar of Cancer Research and an assistant professor in the Department of Cancer Biology at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in 2022. She is currently a faculty member in MD Anderson Cancer Center UTHealth Houston Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSBS) in both the Cancer Biology and Therapeutics and Pharmacology (TAP) programs, and she is currently accepting graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.
Shiming Jiang, Ph.D.
Shiming Jiang graduated with his Ph.D. in Biomedical Science fromthe University of Heidelberg at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) with Dr. Uwe Haberkorn in 2001. He went on to complete his DOD-funded postdoctoral fellowship with Dr. Steffi Oesterreich at Baylor College of Medicine. Here, he studied transcription regulation in breast cancer and went on to be awarded a Career Development Award from the MD Anderson SPORE in breast cancer. Shiming is an experienced veteran with expertise in leveraging mouse genetics to study mechanisms of gene regulation in numerous cancer types. He is now a research scientist in the Vaishnavi Lab, where he is studying different classes of BRAF mutations.
Kyle Butler, M.S., B.S.
Kyle Butler graduated with a B.S. in physics from Gonzaga University in 2021. He subsequently obtained an M.S. in biotechnology from Georgetown University. Kyle is a personalized medicine enthusiast and aspiring future Ph.D. student. He was the first hire as a research assistant in the Vaishnavi Lab, where he is helping with everything from mouse colony management to ordering supplies and learning a vast array of new molecular techniques.
Meng-Jung Wu, B.S.
Meng-Jung Wu graduated with her B.S. in bioengineering from Oregon State University in 2022. She gained experience there conducting undergraduate research in different electrical and bioengineering labs. Meng-Jung, the newest Vaishnavi lab member, will also be assisting with mouse colony management, ordering supplies and learning new molecular techniques. Meng-Jung is excited to learn more about lung cancer, molecular biology and mouse genetics.
Bhoomika Muruvekere Lakshmisha
M.S. Biomedical Sciences Student at MD Anderson UTHealth Graduate School
Bhoomika Muruvekere Lakshmisha graduated with a bachelor’s in Engineering in Biotechnology from BMS College of Engineering at Bangalore in 2022, with her thesis work focused on biomarkers in breast cancer. After that, she gained experience in mycology at Gaiagen Technologies Private Limited and in molecular biology at the Indian Institute of Science. Here, she gained her greatest inspiration to pursue a graduate degree, and potentially a Ph.D. in the future. She is passionate about understanding the molecular basis of diseases and positively contributing to biomedical research. In her free time she enjoys dancing and traveling.