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.
Sachith Gallolu Kankanamalage - Graduate Student
I am a graduate student from the island nation of Sri Lanka, where I got my bachelor's degree in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry. I have been interested in unraveling hidden mysteries of living beings from my childhood and hence decided to become a biologist. My current interest is understanding signal transduction processes that play a significant role in cancer, which is why I joined the Cancer Biology graduate program. While enjoying my time in Dallas, I also like to travel, read and watch movies when I am free.
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 in the regulation and origins of 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 the signaling pathways in kidney cancer.
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 Assistant Professor in the department of pathology. My research interests have included characterizing adult tumors and developing prognostic, therapeutic and diagnostic molecular 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.
Andrea Pavia-Jimenez - Research Technician II
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 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 September 2010 and I am currently working on a clinical research trial for first-line everolimus in patients with advanced RCC.
Samuel Peña–Llopis - Instructor
I was born in Castellón, Spain. With both my parents working in science, my father a biologist doing research at the Spanish Research Council (CSIC) and my mother a chemistry teacher, I grew up very interested in science. I obtained my BSc in Biochemistry from the University of Barcelona in 1997. I got my Ph.D. from the University of Valencia in 2003, where I started an independent line of research studying oxidative stress in aquatic animals. This work led to several publications including one that was awarded the 'Best Publication Award on Environmental Research 2004' by the Society of Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry and AstraZeneca. At the completion of my Ph.D., I received a postdoctoral fellowship to study the effects of oxidative stress on gene regulation with Bruce Demple at the Harvard School of Public Health. The opportunity then arose of leading a project to uncover molecular events that lead to kidney cancer using a variety of genomic and bioinformatic tools. To carry out this project, I moved with Dr. Brugarolas to UT Southwestern Medical Center on February 1st, 2006. Shortly thereafter, I was awarded a Postdoctoral Fellowship of Excellence from Generalitat Valenciana, Spain.
Vanina Toffessi Tcheuyap - Research Technician II
I am originally from Yaoundé, Cameroon. I graduated from Southwestern Oklahoma State University with a major in Biology in 2011. I started working in the Brugarolas lab in April 2012 on the development of RCC tumorgraft models for molecularly targeted therapies.
Silvia Vega–Rubín-de-Celis - Postdoctoral Fellow
I was born in Villanueva de la Peña, Spain. I went to college at the University of Navarra (Spain) and graduated in 2000 with a double major in Biology and Biochemistry. I did my graduate work at the Instituto de Acuicultura Torre de la Sal (Spain), where I studied the regulation and mechanism of action of a hormone that controls energy metabolism in fish. My work was supported by a predoctoral fellowship from the CSIC (National Research Spanish Council). Towards the end of my Ph.D., I became interested in cancer research and in September of 2004 I joined Dr. Brugarolas at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. On February 1st 2006, Dr. Brugarolas moved to UT Southwestern Medical Center and I decided to join him to start the new lab.
Shanshan Wang - Postdoctoral Fellow
I come from China. I received my Ph.D. degree from the Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences. During my Ph.D. career, I studied epigenetics in budding yeast, mainly focusing on how epigenetic marks on the genome are coordinated by nuclear factors. After that, I wanted to continue the study of epigenetics in cancer biology. I joined the Brugarolas lab to investigate the role of histone modifiers in kidney cancer.
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.
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.