Chandra Mohan
Hugh Roy and Lillie Cranz Cullen Endowed Professor

Kamala Vanarsa
Researcher III

Her research focuses on utilizing novel proteomic technologies including ITRAQ and NRM assays to quantitate biomarkers in human body fluids. Other research interests include detecting novel biomarkers in human body fluids using Somalogic’s SomaScan Assay.

Chen Yanping
Researcher III

Her research focuses on working with animal models and mouse colony management. 

Rajalakshmy Ayilam Ramachandran
Postdoctoral Fellow

Raja’s current research is to understand the cellular and molecular mechanisms behind
lupus nephritis, inflammatory bowel disease, neuroinflammation, and Sjögren’s syndrome.

Ting Zhang
Clinical Research Fellow

Ting, a rheumatologist in China, research focuses on the discovery of novel biomarkers for Lupus Nephritis and primary Sjogren Syndrome to improve the early diagnosis and subsequent evaluation.

Hao Li
Research Fellow

Hao is a visiting scholar from China, focusing on the stool protein biomarkers of colorectal cancer.

Qiang Wang, M.D., Ph.D.
Research Scholar

Qiang is a visiting scholar from China. He will work on the effect of CDC42 on macrophage migration and its roles in renal ischemia-reperfusion injury, anti-GBM nephritis and lupus nephritis.

Ding Bao
Visiting Scholar

Ding’s research focuses on verifying the anti-inflammatory effects of the peptoid GUCM-1, as well as performing cell-SELEX to identify the aptamers that can bind with the B lymphocyte cells.

Thao Nguyen
Ph.D. Student

Her research focuses IL1B signaling pathway and neutrophilic activity on the using transgenic zebrafish models. She also explores the potential to enhance immune cell viability and functionality by using advanced 3D artificial scaffolds derived from decellularized organs and natural polymers.

Rongwei Lei
Ph.D. Student

She currently has two projects, one is Lupus self-diagnosis: development of a lateral flow assay for active LN and the other is microrobots target cancer cell under electromagnets to fulfill drug delivery task.

Pietro Cicalese
Ph.D. Student

His research focuses on the application of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence techniques in the field of medicine. Currently, he’s working on a deep learning algorithm that aims to accurately diagnose SLE from IHC/IF data collected from various healthcare institutions.

Srinandhini Chandran
Ph.D. Student

Her research focuses on testing of suitable 3D environments for the growth of immune cells.

Ferial Koutani
Master’s Student

Ferial is working on designing a rheumatic diseases biomarker panel for early diagnostic testing. She is also working on another early diagnostic method for chronic myeloid leukemia using ELISA and electro-chemiluminescent platforms.

Ramya Susarla
Research Scientist

Ramya’s work mainly focuses on validating biomarkers associated with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in stool samples and disease groups within the lupus nephritis population. She also works for Houston Omics Collaborative.

Omar Abunofal
Undergraduate Researcher

Omar’s research focuses on immunohistochemistry for staining various antibodies on mice kidneys, as well as optimizing IHC protocol. With collaborators, Omar’s project focuses on imaging various immune cells using IR microscopy.

Malavika Nidhi
Undergraduate Researcher

Malavika is a biomedical engineering student whose research focuses on the validation of biomarkers identified in microarray and elevated in IBD stool samples in order to make treatment more efficient for this disease. Her other focuses are testing buffers for stool extraction and ELISA validation for microarray urine samples.

Mallika Tripathy
Undergraduate Researcher

Mallika’s research focuses on manipulating the interaction between Fatty Acid Amide Hydrolase (FAAH), an integral membrane protein high in cancer cells, and naturally-produced endocannabinoids to induce apoptosis as a possible therapeutic alternative to chemotherapy. Mallika was awarded the Provost Undergraduate Research Scholarship (PURS) for Spring 2020.

Pooja Patel
Undergraduate Researcher

Pooja’s research focuses on screening cancer patient urine samples to identify potential urine biomarkers that were present in elevated levels by using aptamer based screening as well as Luminex screening.

Anjali Patel
Undergraduate Researcher

Anjali’s research focuses on analyzing protein biomarkers in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) plasma samples through the use of aptamer based screening and ELISA validation. 

Phuongthy T Tran
Undergraduate Researcher

Phuongthy was awarded the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) for Summer 2020. Her project was a literature review of the top ten themes of systemic lupus erythematosus with a focus on environmental and genetic factors. She is also helping to develop a lupus tracking app that can be used in future clinical research. 

Rani Nune
Undergraduate Researcher

Rani’s research focuses on ALCAM (CD166), a protein biomarker, and the mechanism by which it promotes the development of lupus nephritis. She also explores the molecular mechanisms of BANK1, the disease gene for SLE, to determine how the gene promotes autoimmunity. 

Nhi Nguyen
Undergraduate Researcher

Nhi is currently working on immunohistochemistry to identify specific genes on specific tissues of the mouse’s kidney such as CD31 in order to compare the difference in tissue structure and gene expression between the healthy mouse and the lupus mouse.

Shereen Enan
Undergraduate Researcher

Shereen was awarded the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) for Summer 2020. Shereen’s project focused on conducting an aptamer-based screening of cancer-based urine samples for 1300 unique proteins. The analysis was conducted for the samples, to distinguish between groups including bladder cancer versus healthy control samples, low stage bladder cancer versus high stage bladder cancer samples, and prostate cancer versus bladder cancer samples. Approximately 26 protein biomarkers have been selected for ELISA validation, in hopes to find significant urinary biomarkers for bladder cancer.



Lavanya Elangovan
Cristopher Gidley
Hasna Kanta
Desi Kreska
Li Li
Satyavani Nukula
Sneha Raichandran
Lloyd Walton

Postdoctoral Fellows

Cristina Arriens
SoogHee Chang
Benjamin Chong
Huihua Ding
Yuyang Fu
Jack Hutcheson
Geetha Jonnala
Zoran Kurepa
Jianwei Li
Lisa Li
Liunan Li
Xuebin Liu
Yang Liu
Kui Liu
Bindiya Marrakanth
So-You Min
Nikita Patel
Rahul Patel
Simanta Pathak
Ling Qing
Sushma Reddy
Smitha Rudaraju
Lili Shi
Sandeep Singh
Samar Soliman
Briony Strachan
Tianfu Wu
Shangkui Xie
Chun Xie
Jiankun Zhu

Undergraduate Students

Umair Akbar
Dania Albaba
Yaqeen Alsadah
Malikah Al Alshaikh
Sahar Baig
Margaret Davis
Thao Doan
Dylan Eser-Jose
Sunny Gotewal
Deena Habazi
Anam Haque
Roberto Hasbun
Sriram Hemachandran
Rose Ann Huynh
Arwa Kathiria
Marwa Kharboutli
Elhaum Khobhay
Kate Krause
Divya Kurian
Rael Memnon
Nguyen Nguyen
Chika Okala
Jackson Owens
Kent Page
Laura Paglicawan
Brittany Payan
Allison Popovich
Jahnvi Rajput
Laxmi Ramana
Aubrey Swilling
Nathan Thai
Dennis Tran
Luyue Wang
Melissa Yang

Visiting Research Scholars

Supriya Dubashi
Aurélie De Groof
Sirisha Gokaraju
Ling Lei
Bindiya Marakkath
Gargy Parhy
Sneha Ravikumar

Graduate Students

Sergio Calixto
Michelle Chen
Sindhu Gangula
Lavanya Elangovan
Jared Henderson
Tamika Henry
Eric Zhiyan Liang
Jessica Mayuex
Jacob Orme
Manali Patel
Kirthi Raman
Sanam Soomro
Samantha Stanley
Jeff Sun
Huzair Tirmizi
Andrew Wang
Amarayca Zambrano

High School Students/Interns

Rahul Agarwal
Anna Bashmakov
Leian Chen
Yixiao Chen
Eric Chen
Susan Davis
Nima Deljavan
Sai Harish Dharmavaram
Zainab Fatima
Simer Grewal
Meera Grewal
Rannon Hao
Kelvin Hsu
Grace Jiang
Jae Won Joh
Arun Kane
Ronit Kumar
Jennifer Li
Vatsala Mundra
Lokesh Naginini
Vineet Padisetty
Anish Patel
Sanika Phanse
Deena Sajitharan
Peter Sedrak
Kavita Selvamanickam
Ruchi Sharma
Soumya Somani
Kiran Thirukonda
Suneal Velmuri
Jason Zhou