The Team

Meet the Team

 


Principal Investigator

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.

Publications  I  AwardsContact


PhD Students

Haohui Duan

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!
 

Publications  I  Awards

Joshua Rivera

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 

Pamoda Galhenage

Pamoda Galhenage is pursuing her Ph.D in Molecular Cellular and Organismal Biology. She earned her Bachelor of Sciences from North Dakota State University in 2016. During her undergrad, she studied pharmacological targets for pancreatic and lung cancer treatment. For her Ph.D, she is focusing on:

  • Understanding how mutations in BRCA1 lead to early cancer predisposing events in high grade serous ovarian carcinoma upon DNA damage.
  • Investigating the role of tumor suppressor gene Chk2 (checkpoint kinase 2) at stalled forks and haploinsufficiency using patient derived cells.
Special interests: Pamoda loves baking cakes.

Kathy Situ

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

Jess Hao has just joined the lab as of June 2022! She is pursuing a PhD in Molecular Cellular and Organismal Biology.

special interests: jess loves playing total war: warhammer and exploring new mods!
 

Undergraduate Students

 
 

Gabrielle “Gabby” McCloskey

Gabrielle McCloskey is an aspiring MD and undergraduate student studying Biology and minoring in English. She joined the lab as of Summer 2021 and is under the mentorship of Graduate student Kathy Situ assisting with her projects.

SPECIAL INTERESTS: Gabby enjoys knitting, playing piano, yoga, and reading!

Silvi Salhotra

Silvi Salhotra is an undergraduate studying Biology and minoring in cognitive science, and aspiring MD/PhD. She has just joined the lab as of Summer 2021 and will be under the mentorship of Haohui Duan and is assisting with several projects.

Special interests:  Silvi loves playing tennis, cooking new recipes, and baking!

Brenda Loc

Brenda Loc is an undergraduate studying Biochemistry and an aspiring MD. She has just joined the lab as of Summer 2021 and will be under the mentorship of Pamoda Galhenage assisting with her several projects.

Special interests: Brenda Loc loves baking, cooking, hiking, and running.

Pratha Rawal

Pratha Rawal is an undergraduate studying Biology and minoring in cognitive science, and an aspiring MD/PHD. She has just joined the lab as of Summer 2022 through the participation of the Summer Program  to Advance Research Careers (SPARC). Pratha will be under the mentorship of Haohui Duan and is assisting with several projects.

Special interests: Pratha loves to play basketball, painting, drawing and traveling. 

Margaret “Maggie” LaPointe

Maggie LaPointe is an undergraduate studying Biology and an aspiring MD. She has just joined the lab as of Summer 2022 and will be under the mentorship of Pamoda Galhenage and is assisting with several projects.

Special interests: Maggie loves to swim, hike and learn new instruments.

Vansh Khokhani

Vansh Khokhani is an undergraduate student and aspiring MD/PhD currently studying Biology with a minor in public policy. He has just joined the lab as of Fall 2022, and he will be under the mentorship of Josh Rivera assisting with his current projects.

Special interests: Vansh loves to read, paint, and cook!

We wish all our alumni a successful research/medical career!

PostDOc:

Stephen Godin: Scientist at Cygnal Therapeutics in Cambridge MA (2019). Senior Scientist I at Tango Therapeutics in Cambridge MA (2021).

Undergraduates:

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.

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 on 12/08/2021