Former Members

Andrea
Andrea Valdespino
Research specialist
Andrea graduated from Wake Forest University with a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry. Previously, Andrea was a Chemist in Biotech. In the Rosner lab, she developed anti-metastatic therapies for breast cancer by targeting the stress kinase signaling network. Andrea also investigated the effects of SARS-CoV-2 on the unfolded protein response. Andrea graduated from the Rosner Lab in July 2022 to attend the PhD program at UPenn.

Chris
Christopher Dann
Research specialist
Chris graduated from San Francisco University High School and received his Batchelor of Science degree with Honors at University of Chicago in 2021. He was a Biology major (Molecular Engineering minor) on the Advanced Biology track in the College. Chris was a Captain of the varsity track team, Head of Staff for UC Emergency Medical Services, and former President of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity. Off-campus he volunteered with a hospice care facility. He joined the lab in 2018 and worked on understanding and targeting the tumor hypoxia response in triple-negative breast cancer. Chris graduated from the Rosner Lab in May 2022 to attend the joint MD-PhD Program at UCLA-Caltech.

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Ali Yesilkanal
Post-doctoral Fellow
Ali joined Rosner Lab when he was undergraduate student at the University of Chicago. Ali studies novel drug combinations to treat metastasis of triple negative breast cancer. He is the first graduate student in our lab to utilize artificial intelligence to discover new targets and analyze data. Due to frequent use of “random forest” and “k-nearest neighbors”, his laptop has become sentient.Ali founded Histones, the aptly-named and popular a capella band consisting of graduate students in biological sciences. His computational skills make him a strong candidate for positions related to data science and machine learning.

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Siqi Sun
Former lab technician
Siqi graduated from University of Michigan Ann Arbor in 2018 with a Master’s Degree in Pharmacology and joined the lab immediately after. Siqi is currently pursuing a PhD degree at the Division of Life Sciences at Rutgers University.

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Payal Tiwari
Former graduate student
Payal received her engineering degree from Deenbandhu Chhotu Ram University of Science and Technology. Payal is co-mentored by Dr. Rosner and Dr. Lev Becker. Her work focuses on the role of metabolically activated macrophages (MMes) in obesity-driven triple negative breast cancer. Payal is the first student at University of Chicago to win the highly competitive NIH F99/K00 Pre-doctoral to Post-doctoral Transition Fellowship. She graduated in Fall 2018 and joined Dr. William Hahn’s lab at Broad Institute as a post-doc.

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Joseph Wynne, MD, PhD
Former Clinical Research Fellow
Dr. Wynne received his bachelor’s degree from Cornell University. He was an MSTP fellow at New York University where he received M.D. and Ph.D. degrees (PI: Dr. Mark Phillips). Joe currently works at FDA as a medical officer.

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Jiyoung Lee, PhD
Former Instructor and Post-doctoral Fellow (former lab member)
Dr. Lee received her bachelor’s degree from Korea University and her Ph.D. degree in Molecular and Integrative Physiology from University of Illinois at Urbana, Champaign (PI: Dr. Jongsook Kim Kemper). Dr. Lee currently works at the School of Medicine and Health Sciences at the George Washington University as an Assistant Professor.

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Jielin Yan
Former undergraduate student
Jielin graduated from Beijing No.80 High School and is a biology Major (Class of 2018) at the college of the U of C. Jielin graduated in Summer 2018 and joined the Cancer Biology PhD Program at Gerstner Sloan Kettering Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.

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Ariane Blank
Former undergraduate student
Ariane graduated from Bend Senior High School in Oregon and is a biology Major (Class of 2018) at the college of the U of C. She graduated in Summer 2018 and joined the Cancer Biology PhD Program at Stanford University.

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Ethan Steinberg
Former undergraduate student
Ethan graduated from Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School in Maryland and is a biology Major (Class of 2018) at the college of the U of C. Before joining the Rosner Lab, he did an internship at National Cancer Institute. Ethan graduated in Summer 2018 and became a full-time writer for TPG based in Shanghai.

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Nykia Walker, PhD
Former post-doctoral Fellow
Dr. Walker received her bachelor’s degree in Cell Biology, Neuroscience and Physiology from University of Pennsylvania and her Ph.D. degree in Stem Cell and Cancer Biology at Rutgers University (PI: Dr. Pranela Rameshar). Nykia left in January 2021 and became a faculty at University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

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