People

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Marsha Rosner, PhD
 
Prncipal investigator
 
Email: mrosner@uchicago.edu
 
Dr. Rosner received her bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from Harvard University and her Ph.D. degree in biochemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as a student of Professor Har-Gobind Khorana, who won the Nobel Prize for his work in elucidating the genetic code. She then stayed at MIT to pursue postdoctoral work as a fellow of the American Cancer Society in the laboratory of Dr. Phillip Robbins. In 1982, she assumed her first faculty position as an Assistant Professor in the Dept. of Applied Biological Sciences at MIT. Dr. Rosner joined the University of Chicago faculty as an Associate Professor in 1987 and was promoted to Full Professor in 1994. Currently she teaches the Cancer Biology course at the university – an award-winning fan-favorite among undergrads. In her free time, Marsha enjoys hiking, sailing, dancing, and spending time with grandchildren.

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Long Nguyen, MD, PhD
Post-doctoral Scholar
Dr. Nguyen received his M.D. from Vietnam at Hue University of Medicine and Pharmacy specializing in Odonto-Stomatology, and then obtained a Ph.D. in Medical Science from Tohoku University in Japan (PI: Dr. Kazuhiko Igarashi). He studied epigenetics in cancer biology during his PhD and now working on BACH1 with us. He is interested in translational aspect and looks forward to using the knowledge from basic research to benefit treatment. Long’s hobbies include videography and snowboarding. When he’s not in the lab, he likes traveling.

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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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Peter Yang
Graduate student
Peter received his bachelor’s degree in biology from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He joined the lab in 2017 and he investigates the signaling network of RKIP. Currently he is using single-cell sequencing to study tumor heterogeneity in triple negative breast cancer. Peter likes technology and provides technical support for the lab. He is the founder and administrator of the lab website.

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Christopher Dann
Undergraduate student
Chris graduated from San Francisco University High School and is currently a 4th year Biology major (Molecular Engineering minor) on the Advanced Biology track in the College. He will be applying for MD/PhD programs this summer and hopes to be a physician scientist. Chris is 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 volunteers with a hospice care facility. He joined the lab in 2018 and is currently investigating the role of BACH1 and hypoxia on tumor progression and metastasis, as well as contributing to various other projects in the lab. Chris enjoys cooking, singing & music, and working out in his free time.

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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 is developing anti-metastatic therapies for breast cancer by targeting the stress kinase signaling network. Outside of lab, Andrea enjoys portrait photography, singing out loud to anything written by Lin Manuel Miranda, and spending time with her two adorable toddlers.

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Lydia Robinson-Mailman
Undergraduate student
Lydia graduated from Stuyvesant High School and is now a Biochemistry major at the college (Class of 2023). She studied lineage tracing methods and leptomeningeal metastasis at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer center and now studies the relationship between heterogeneity and metastasis through single cell transcriptomics at the Rosner Lab. She also worked as an EMT in the Chicago area during her earlier years at the university. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her cat Slinky and dog Hermie, playing the piano, and drawing outside when it’s not too cold.

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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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