Meet the Team
Shailja Pathania, Ph.D
Associate Professor of Cancer Biology
Shailja Pathania completed her Ph.D at University of Texas at Austin and her postdoctoral training in Dr. David Livingston’s lab at Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School in Boston.
Haohui Duan is a Ph.D candidate in the lab. Her main research interests include:
- To study the role of BRCA2, a tumor suppressor, in stalled replication fork repair and nucleotide excision repair.
- Identify genetic changes that drive tumorigenesis in BRCA2 mutation carriers by carrying out CRISPR based screen in BRCA2mut/+ and BRCA2+/+ breast epithelial cells.
- To study the role of CHK2, a tumor suppressor, in stalled replication fork repair and to study CHK2 haploinsufficiency in CHK2mut/+ and CHK2 +/+ cells harvested from skin biopsy.
Special interests: Haohui enjoys cooking delicious authentic chinese food!
Joshua Rivera is a native from New York. He is a graduate student pursuing a PhD. He has experience working at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, & UMASS Boston. His research interests include:
- Developing targeted therapies against the disease while preserving the host by leveraging systems tumors rely on for growth and metastasis.
- Using a novel murine breast cancer model and single cell RNA-seq (scRNA-seq) to understand the mechanisms tissues undergo that corrupt normal routine and undergo tumorigenesis, gaining insight into ways to prevent tumorigenesis and early diagnostics.
Special interests: Josh is a guitarist that plays Funk/Rock and roll, and loves Led Zeppelin
Kathy Situ is pursuing a Ph.D in the MCOB program. Her research interest includes:
- Identifying genes and factors that drive DNA damage repair mechanisms and defects which contribute to tumorigenesis, in the context of BRCA2 mutant driven breast cancer.
- Investigating the effect of environmental carcinogens like tobacco, alcohol and asbestos on replication stress induced BRCA2 mutant cancer.
Special interests: Kathy loves to hike and eat dairy when she’s not supposed to.
Jess Hao is pursuing a PhD in Molecular Cellular and Organismal Biology. Her research interests includes:
- To study CHD1 loss in BRCA2 deficient male cancer
- To understand CHD1 loss and PARP inhibitor resistance in BRCA2 deficient male cancer
special interests: jess loves playing total war: warhammer and exploring new mods!
Tejasvene Ramesh is pursuing a PhD in Integrative Biosciences (Bioinformatics). She grew up in Singapore, where she completed her undergraduate degree in Life Sciences at the National University of Singapore. She got her Masters in Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Southern California. Her research interests include:
- To investigate the underlying mechanisms of BRCA2 in breast tumorigenesis through the establishment of BRCA2 murine cancer models and single-cell RNA-seq Analysis.
- To understand how these mechanisms could assist in prevention of breast cancer and consider alternative noninvasive preventive methods against breast cancer.
special interests: tejasvene loves to travel, watch movies, read books, cook and eating scrumptious food.
Jaehark Hur is a PhD candidate in the lab. His main research interest includes:
- To study how ovulation contributes to DNA damage, leading to ovarian cancer and investigate the molecular mechanisms of a certain post-transcriptional modification involved in DNA damage repair system.
Special Interest: Jaehark likes to workout, play baseball, and go ski, and snowboarding in the winter.
Pratha Rawal is an aspiring MD/Ph.D and an undergraduate studying Biology with a minor in Cognitive Science. She joined the lab as of Summer 2022 through her participation in the Summer Program to Advance Research Careers (SPARC). Pratha is under the mentorship of Haohui Duan while assisting with her projects.
Special interests: Pratha loves playing basketball, painting, drawing, and traveling.
George Briggs is an aspiring Ph.D and an undergraduate student studying Biology. He joined the lab as of Winter 2023 and is under the mentorship of Joshua Rivera while assisting with his projects.
Special interests: George loves to play the guitar, learning new recipes, and going to the gyM!
Niral Patel is an aspiring MD/Ph.D and an undergraduate student studying Biology with a minor in Cognitive Science. She joined the lab as of February 2023 and will be under the mentorship of Jess Hao while assisting with her projects.
special interests: Niral loves exploring new places, reading, and trying new recipes.
Basim Naeem is an aspiring MD/MPH and an undergraduate student studying Biology with a minor in Cognitive Science. Basim joined lab through his participation in U54 Summer internship. He will be under the mentorship of Kathy Situ while assisting with her projects.
special interest: basim enjoys finding underground desi music, playing basketball, and trying to get better at chesS!
Jacob Pulido is an aspiring MD and an undergraduate student studying biochemistry. Jacob joined the lab as of Summer 2022 through his participation in the Summer Program to Advance Research Careers (SPARC) Summer internship. He will be under the mentorship of Kathy Situ while assisting with her projects.
Special interests: jac0b loves listening to Kpop and binge watching Tik Toks while wearing sheet masks
We wish all our alumni a successful research/medical career!
Stephen Godin: Scientist at Cygnal Therapeutics in Cambridge MA (2019). Senior Scientist I at Tango Therapeutics in Cambridge MA (2021).
Pamoda Galhenage : Postdoc at Harvard Med School(2023).
Kelly Fietz: Currently completing Bachelors at University of Massachusetts Boston
Brenda Loc: Graduated from UMass Boston Spring 2023.
Gabrielle McCloskey: Graduated from UMass Boston Spring 2023.
Silvi Salhotra: Graduated from UMass Boston Spring 2023.
Margaret LaPointe: Currently completing Bachelors at University of Massachusetts Boston.
Vansh Khokhani: Currently completing Bachelors at University of Massachusetts Boston.
Salomé Moulière: Transferring to Boston University as of Fall 2022
Nisha Patel: Graduated from UMass Boston Spring 2022.
Erica Perry: Graduated from UMass Boston Spring 2022. Currently attending Tufts Dental School since Fall 2022.
Stevenson Tran: Graduated from UMass Boston Spring 2022.
Sally Kyei Mensah: Graduated from UMass Boston Spring 2022. Aspiring MD/PhD.
Haaris Zeb: Graduated from UMass Boston Spring 2021. Currently attending the University of Vermont Medical School since Fall 2022.
Urwah Kanwal: Graduated from UMass Boston Spring 2021. Currently in the medical school application process.
Delan Khalid: Graduated from UMass Boston Spring 2020. Currently a Research Technician at Dana- Farber Cancer Institute, Boston MA.
Margaret Gillis: Graduated from UMass Boston Spring 2020. Currently attending Tufts University School of Medicine since Fall 2020.
Tiego Da Silva: Currently a Research Associate at Acceleron Pharma, Cambridge, MA.
Sarah Mansour: Graduated from UMass Boston Spring 2019. Currently pursuing a Ph.D in Biochemistry, Cell and Developmental Biology at Emory University, Georgia since Fall 2019.
Kemmie Kibaja: Earned a Master of Public Health (MPH) program at Northeastern University in 2020 and is currently working.
Arpine Israelyan: Graduated from UMass Boston in Spring 2018. Patient Care Associate at Spaulding Rehab and planning to apply to Physician Assistant programs.
Brandon Gentile: Graduated from UMass Boston in Fall 2017. DNA Purification Scientist at Pfizer Pharmaceuticals in Cambridge, MA (2018). Associate Scientist I/II at Bluebird Bio in Cambridge, MA (2019).
Information has been updated as of Fall 2022