Staff

Vincy Alex

Vincy Alex - Program Coordinator

I joined the Brugarolas lab initially in 2013 as a Sr. Administrative Assistant, and now serve as the Kidney Cancer Program Coordinator. I am born and raised in Dallas and received my BS in Health Studies and my MS in Healthcare Administration from Texas Woman’s University. It is an honor to work with such a wonderful team and to be able to see the growth and future of the program.


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.


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.


Haley Hill

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.


Farrah Homayoun

Farrah Homayoun - Research Technician II

I was born and raised in Plano, Texas. I joined the Brugarolas lab in January 2015. I graduated from The University of Texas at Dallas with a Bachelor’s of Science in Neuroscience and a minor in Biology. I spent time as an undergraduate in Dr. Lucien T. Thompson’s Aging and Memory lab. I worked under Dr. Lynda Wilmott in her study of sex and dose-dependent effects of post-trial calcium channel blockade by magnesium chloride on memory for inhibitory avoidance conditioning. I am excited to be working closely with both Dr. Kapur and Dr. Brugarolas. In addition, I am eager to learn about the biological mechanisms of renal cell carcinoma and to further my passion for research.


Allison Joyce

Allison Joyce - Research Technician II

I graduated with a B.S. in Microbiology and Infectious Disease from UT Austin in July 2015. I worked as a undergraduate research assistant for two years in an evolutionary genomics lab. Within a year, I obtained my own independent research project, studying insect control over obligate bacterial symbionts under varying ecological conditions. I wrote and received a grant that funded this project. I began working in the Brugarolas lab in February 2016 as part of a team that uses a mouse model of kidney cancer to identify patient-specific drug therapies and screen for potentially effective cancer drugs.


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. 


Meghan Konda

Meghan Konda - Research Technician II

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.


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. 


Andrea Pavia-Jimenez

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.


Junqing Wang (Neville)

Junqing Wang (Neville) - Visiting Scholar

I am from Shanghai, China. I am an attending doctor and Assistant Professor of the Department of Surgery at Shanghai, Ruijin Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine. I joined the Brugarolas Lab in 2015 as a visiting scholar. My study is focused on translational medicine. It is great to work with such an outstanding team.


Nick Wolff

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

Xian-Jin Xie (Jin) - Collaborating Biostatistician

Currently a Professor of Biostatistics in the Department of Clinical Sciences and 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.


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.


Qurratulain Yousuf (Anum)

Qurratulain Yousuf (Anum) - Research Technician II

I am originally from Wah Cantonment, Pakistan. I went to college at LSU in Shreveport and graduated with a degree in biology with a concentration in molecular and cellular biology in the May of 2015. I started working at the Brugarolas lab in August of the same year. At the Brugarolas lab, I'm a part of xenograft team and help develop mouse models from patient tumors.