Staff

Avery Anderson

Avery Anderson - Director of Communications

I am the Director of Communications for UT Southwestern’s Kidney Cancer Program and joined the lab in July of 2017. As a native Texan, I’m happy to be back in my hometown of Dallas after being a Reporter/Anchor at the NBC affiliate in Wichita, KS and as the Weekend Anchor/Reporter for the CBS affiliate in Abilene, TX. I attended the University of Texas at Arlington as a Division 1 student-athlete and graduated Cum Laude with my degree in broadcast/journalism.


Alana Christie

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.


Megan Dougherty

Megan Dougherty - Director of Patient Experience

I was born and raised in Weatherford, TX. I attended the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston where I obtained my Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree and graduated with Sigma Theta Tau Honors. Upon graduation in 2012, I started working for UT Southwestern as a nurse in the operating room. I joined the Kidney Cancer Program in the spring of 2018. I am excited to be a part of this innovative team and contribute to providing a high quality and compassionate experience for our patients.


Yi-feng Gu

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.


Debbie Harvey

Debbie Harvey - Sr. Administrative Assistant

I am the Sr. Administrative Assistant for Dr. Brugarolas and joined the lab in May of 2015. I was raised in Ft. Worth, Texas and attended The University of North Texas where I received a Business degree. I am very excited about having the opportunity to work with the Brugarolas team and to witness the important work being conducted in the lab.


Adrien Jump

Adrien Jump - Lab Manager

I completed my graduate work in marine microbiology and microbial ecology then came to UT Southwestern and spent 16 years in Rheumatoid Arthritis research. Most recently, I spent five years in Mineral Metabolism, partly as a technician and partly as lab manager. I began working for Dr. Brugarolas in May of 2017, as his lab manager.


Payal Kapur

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. 


Yuanqing Ma (Eric)

Yuanqing Ma (Eric) - Postdoctoral Fellow

I was born and raised in Shanxi Province, China. I attended Sun Yat-sen University and obtained a degree in Cellular Biology. I then received my Ph.D. degree from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing in 2015. Shortly after graduating I joined the Brugarolas Lab. I am interested in cancer biology and have been working to understand molecular mechanisms of HIF-2 regulation in kidney cancer.


Renee McKay

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 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. 


Renee McKay

Tiffani McKenzie - Senior Histology Technician

I joined the Brugarolas lab in May 2016, as the Histology Technician. I was born and raised in Dallas. I graduated from the University of Houston with a Bachelor of Science in Biology. I received my HT(ASCP) certification in 2006.


Oreoluwa Onabolu

Oreoluwa Onabolu - Research Technician II

I was born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria. I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee in 2017. While I was at Fisk, I was involved in a research lab that focused on Parkinson's disease, using the worm, C.elegans to test the effects of dopamine on swimming-induced paralysis in water. I also worked in another lab that focused on extracting toxins, which could serve as potential cancer drugs, from marine microbes. I joined the Kidney Cancer Program at UT Southwestern in July 2017 as part of Dr. Brugarolas' Xenograft and Histology team to help with the discovery of viable treatments for renal tumors using mouse models.


Xian-Jin Xie

Christina Stevens - Research Technician II

I was raised in St. Louis, MO and received a B.S. in Biochemistry with a minor in Agricultural Sciences from Abilene Christian University in December of 2016. I joined the Brugarolas lab in June 2017 as a part of the xenograft team that develops mouse models from patient tumors to screen for potentially effective cancer therapies. I am very excited for the opportunity to be involved in research and to further my understanding of cancer biology.


Xian-Jin Xie

Layton Woolford - Research Technician II

I'm a Texas native and obtained my Bachelors in Biology at the University of Texas at Arlington in 2016. I began working in the lab in April of 2017 and am part of a team that uses mouse models to predict patient response to various chemotherapeutics. I have been very fortunate to join such a wonderful team and am confident that my time here will prepare me for my future studies. I intend to pursue a medical degree or an MD/PhD.


Juan Yang

Juan Yang - Postdoctoral Fellow

I received my Ph.D degree at the Shanghai Institute for Biological Sciences, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2015, and then joined Dr. Brugarolas’ lab for post-doc training. My study focuses on mechanisms of drug resistance in ccRCC.


Hui Ye

Hui Ye - Postdoctoral Fellow

I am a postdoctoral fellow who joined the Brugarolas lab in September of 2015. I come from Shanghai, China. I received my Ph.D. in genetics from Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine in June 2014. Now, the goal of my research is to understand the mechanism of tumorigenesis by Transcription Factor EB (TFEB), a transcription factor translocated and activated in RCC.