Chandra Mohan
Hugh Roy and Lillie Cranz Cullen Endowed Professor

Kamala Vanarsa
Lab Manager

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
Senior Staff

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

Anto Sam Crosslee
Post Doctoral Fellow

Crosslee’s research focuses on understanding the molecular pathways involved in autoimmunity and is working on creating an in-vitro model of glomerulus.

Yaxi Li
Post Doctoral Fellow

Yaxi joined the lab as a Post Doctoral Researcher. Her research focuses on the discovery of novel biomarkers and drug targets for autoimmune diseases and cancers to improve the early diagnosis and facilitate better therapeutics. She also works for the Houston Omics Collaborative as Associate Director.



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 engineering bioartificial spleens for immunological studies and therapeutic applications, and exploring the effect of Mushrooms and Mesenchymal Stem Cells on different disease models.

Rongwei Lei
Ph.D. Student

Her projects focus on engineering point of care tests based on lateral flow assay (LFA) or vertical flow assay (VFA) for rapid diagnostics of autoimmune diseases or cancer. 


Kumar Abhishek
PhD Student

His research focuses on developing microfluidic devices for isolating specific immune cells for immunotherapy applications.


Ashtami Jayakumar
Visiting Researcher

She joined the lab as a Fulbright Doctoral Researcher. Her research focuses on exploring the biomedical scope of 2D nanomaterials especially layered double hydroxides.


Jessica Castillo
Master’s Student

Omar Abunofal
Master’s Student

Omar’s research focuses on biomedical imaging for disease diagnosis. He works with Dr. Mayerich from ECE in a project for advancing 3D imaging by serial ablation of paraffin-embedded biological samples. Omar is working in developing an imaging modality that facilitates 3D imaging by image processing and acquisition, in which it could leverage efficient SLE diagnosis.

Sylvia Xie
Master’s Student

Sylvia’s research focuses on the development of a novel EGFR-targeted nanoparticles drug delivery system for the treatment of lupus nephritis.

Haleigh MS Student

Haleigh Inthavong
Master’s Student (NSM/Biology)

Haleigh’s research mainly focuses on identifying biomarkers that discriminate pediatric SLE samples from the adult population. Her research focuses on using ELISA on urine samples collected from pediatric SLE patients to compare urine proteins in active LN samples to those from healthy controls.



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.

Maliha Mir
Undergraduate Researcher

Maliha’s research focuses on exploring appropriate conditions for growth of immune cells. She is currently investigating the viability of splenocytes using splenoid culture and flow cytometry analysis to measure cell characteristics.

Amy Bui
Undergraduate Researcher

Kala Pham
Undergraduate Researcher

Kala’s research focuses on developing a high-throughput 3D glomerular platform that will help in identifying the key biomolecules and their relevant signaling pathways involved in the disease pathogenesis of multiple renal diseases. Kala was awarded the Summer Undergraduate Research Scholarship for Summer 2021.


Hufsa Arain
Undergraduate Researcher

Hufsa Arain’s research focuses on creating and optimizing an point-of-care diagnostic test: an in-house vertical flow assay which will be used for the detection of IL-6.



Christina Kuruvilla
Undergraduate Researcher

Christina’s research focuses on the synthesis and biomedical applications of 2D nanomaterials, specifically layered double hydroxides. She works in collaboration with Dr. Varghese’s Physics Lab on exploring the efficiency of nanoparticles as an adjuvant for immunotherapy. .


Maryann Ivbievbiokun
Undergraduate Researcher

Maryann’s research focuses on using imaging mass cytometry to identify when and where various proteins are expressed in kidney tissues and using the results to qualitatively compare protein levels in both mild and severe cases of LN..




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
Rajalakshmy Ayilam Ramachandran
Thao Nguyen
Hao Li
Qiang Wang

Undergraduate Students

Mallika Tripathy
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
Pooja Patel
Anjali Patel
Shereen Enan
Malavika Nidhi
Kamal Mohd
Alexa Truong
Salar Sanati
David Wong
Aaron Chacko

Visiting Research Scholars

Supriya Dubashi
Ramya Susarla
Aurélie De Groof
Sirisha Gokaraju
Ling Lei
Bindiya Marakkath
Gargy Parhy
Sneha Ravikumar
Ding Bao
Ting Zhang

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
Ferial Koutani
Ipshita Pradhan

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