Wenfang Chen - Visiting Scholar
I am a visiting scholar from China where I work as a pathologist. I specialize in the diagnosis of renal diseases, and routinely evaluate biopsies from native and transplanted kidneys in adults and children. I am currently an Associate Professor in the department of pathology in the 1st Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University. My research interests include molecular mechanisms and underlying pathogenesis of GU cancers. Now I am working on an interesting project that evaluates a drug targeting HIF2 for treatment of patients with advanced ccRCC.
Alana Christie - Biostatistical Consultant
I was born and raised here in Dallas, Texas. I graduated in 2011 from the University of Oklahoma with a BS in Mathematics and an MS in Biostatistics. I joined the Simmons Cancer Center Biostatistics Shared Resource in March 2012 and began providing statistical support on projects with Dr. Brugarolas’ lab shortly after.
Shannon Cohn - Postdoctoral Fellow
I am a pediatric hematology/oncology fellow at UT Southwestern. I am originally from Longview, Texas. For my undergraduate education, I attended UT Austin and received a degree in chemical engineering in 2005. I then received my medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine. Soon after coming to Children's Medical Center for pediatric residency, I discovered my passion for pediatric oncology. My fellowship training began in July 2012, and I joined the Brugarolas Lab in July 2013. The goal of my research is to understand the mTOR pathway and determine mechanisms of resistance to mTOR inhibitors.
Yi-feng Gu - Postdoctoral Fellow
I come from Shanghai, China. I obtained my PhD degree in cell biology from Zhejiang University, Hangzhou in 2011. My PhD thesis focused on innate immunity, specifically on NF-κB signaling. I am interested in translational medicine and cancer biology, so I joined the Brugarolas lab in 2012. My research is focused on signaling pathways in kidney cancer.
Haley Hill - Research Technician II
I am a research technician who joined the Brugarolas lab in July of 2014. I was raised in Roanoke, TX and graduated from UCLA in June 2014 with a Bachelor's in Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics. I will be helping develop a mouse model of RCC that can be used to predict patient responses to various cancer drugs. I am very excited to gain more research experience and increase my knowledge of cancer biology.
Eboni Holloman - Research Technician II
Proud Texan, born and raised! I graduated from St. John’s University (Queens, New York) in May of 2013 with a BS in Biology. Soon after I became a SPURS Fellow at Columbia University where my studies focused on airway smooth muscle; specifically the investigation of GABAA α4 specific ligands in hopes of discovering new therapeutic drugs for asthma. In September of 2013, I began working in the Brugarolas Lab on the development of RCC tumorgraft models for molecularly targeted therapies.
Tracie Johnson- Kidney Cancer Program Coordinator
I joined the Brugarolas lab as the Kidney Cancer Program Coordinator and also have the privilege to serve a Dr. James Brugarolas’ Sr. Administrative Assistant in September 2014. I am originally from Chicago, Illinois. I attended Robert Morris University and received my BA degree in Health and Fitness Management. I’m honored to join such a wonderful team that takes pride in the mission and goal of the program.
Payal Kapur - Collaborating Pathologist
I am a staff pathologist at UT Southwestern. I have been exposed to pathology training at two training programs in opposite sides of the world – Maulana Azad Medical College in New Delhi, India, and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas. I am currently an Associate Professor in the department of pathology. My research interests include characterizing adult tumors and developing prognostic, predictive and diagnostic markers. I am currently involved in multiple collaborative projects in genitourinary pathology. Investigating the biology of renal cell carcinoma has been most exciting. Dr. Brugarolas is an excellent mentor and a great collaborator and it has been fun working with him.
Meghan Konda - Research Technician
I attended the University of North Texas and graduated with a B.S. in Biochemistry in December 2014. My future plans are to continue my education and move toward attaining an M.D./Ph.D. degree. in cancer or molecular biology. During my time at UNT, I worked in a virology lab for 4 years and for 2 years in a chemistry lab, which focused on cancer drug delivery systems. Currently, I am trying to understand how the Transcription Factor EB (TFEB) is regulated. I am so grateful to be working in such a wonderful lab and with all the great staff that help make this team what it is today and what it will be in the future.
Renee McKay- Assistant Professor
I am originally from Swansea, MA, and attended college at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth, where I obtained a B.A. in Sociology and a B.S. in Biology. I received my Ph.D. in Biological Sciences from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA. My thesis work focused on the role of the homeobox gene Ultrabithorax in Drosophila midgut development. I then moved to Dallas, TX for my post-doctoral training with Jonathan Graff at UT Southwestern. Initially, I worked on identifying genes involved in embryonic development using Xenopus laevis as a model, but then the lab switched focus to the study of adipogenesis. In 2008, I joined Dr. Luis F. Parada’s Iab, where I assisted Dr. Parada with grant and manuscript writing. And in September of 2013, I joined Dr. Brugarolas as the Director of Kidney Cancer Program Research Administration.
Andrea Pavia-Jimenez - Research Assistant
I'm originally from the Mexican Peninsula, but a proud Austinite! I graduated from St. Edward's University in Austin, TX with a major in Biology in May 2010. It was at St. Edward's that my passion for research began. There, I studied the patterns of expression during early embryogenesis in Drosophila melanogaster. I started working in the Brugarolas Lab in September 2010. Among my projects, I have been involved in a clinical trial of first-line everolimus in patients with advanced RCC.
Francisco Martinez Redondo- Postdoctoral Fellow
My name is Francisco Martinez and I come from Spain. I studied Biology at the University of Jaen, and then I obtained my Ph.D. degree from the University of Castilla-La Mancha. I joined the Brugarolas lab in October of 2014. I enjoy science, and now I want to learn a lot about TFEB and its role in cancer.
Stephen Sewell - Research Technician
I was born and raised in Kerrville, Texas. I graduated from Schreiner University in May 2014 with a BS in Biology. It was at Schreiner University that my love for science and the human body became certain. Shortly after graduating I moved to McKinney, Texas and started working at UT Southwestern in Dr. Brugarolas' Lab.
Nick Wolff - Senior Research Associate
My name is Nick Wolff and I'm originally from Wharton, Texas, which is about 60 miles southwest of Houston. I went to Texas A&M University, where I got my Bachelor of Science degree in biochemistry. I've been at UT Southwestern since 1996, and I joined the Brugarolas lab in April 2006. Previously, I worked on mouse models of chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML), where I tested experimental protein tyrosine kinase inhibitors and in which I studied STAT5 signaling. I look forward to achieving new success with Jim as we unlock the mysteries of REDD1 and identify new compounds effective against kidney cancer.
Xian-Jin Xie (Jin) - Collaborating Biostatistician
Currently an Associate Professor of Biostatistics in the Department of Clinical Sciences and at the Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center, I received a Bachelor's degree (Physiology and Biophysics) from Beijing University in China. Subsequently, I received both a Doctorate degree in biostatistics, as well as a Master's degree in neurobiology, from the University of Iowa. After my training, I stayed at the University of Iowa as an Associate Research Scientist (Project Lead Biostatistician). In June of 2005, I joined the faculty at UT Southwestern Medical Center. My scientific research interests focus on biostatistic and bioinformatic methodologies and their application to collaborative research projects between biomedical and clinical disciplines.