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.


Kumar Abhishek
PhD Student

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

Julie Ngoc Trinh
Undergraduate Researcher (Rice University)


Gabrielle Lea
Undergraduate Researcher

Gabby is a recipient of the  Provost Undergraduate Research Scholarship (PURS). Their research centers around analyzing and comparing the viability of protein biomarkers in urine as a way to differentiate pediatric and adult lupus. Their project is in collaboration with Baylor College of Medicine and also includes tracking the presence of biomarkers in urine over the course of treatment.

Amber Ayub
Undergraduate Researcher

Amber’s research focuses on conducting ELISA-based studies of Lupus Nephritis in human body fluids.


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.


Amy Bui
Undergraduate Researcher 

Amy’s research focuses on utilizing Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs) and medicinal mushroom extracts as reagents to assess cancer cell proliferation and breast cancer cell viability. Her project is in collaboration with Hope Biosciences, a stem cell therapeutics company located in Sugarland, Texas. She was awarded the Provost Undergraduate Research Scholarship (PURS) in Spring 2022.

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.


Janani Arunachalam, MBBS
Clinical Research Scholar

Her research focuses on the clinical aspects of how various point-of-care tests and novel proteomic technologies can be used in day-to-day medical practice for rapid early diagnosis and continued monitoring of autoimmune disorders like lupus nephritis and IBD. She is also investigating how the new biomarkers detected in body fluids can aid in developing targeted therapy for these autoimmune diseases.

Sai Sravya Gude, MBBS
Clinical Research Scholar

Her research mainly focuses on the detection of lupus nephritis, role of autoantibodies in rheumatologic diseases like Dermatomyositis. She aspires to be an oncologist one day and use her skills in research and clinical treatments.

Ayesha Budhwani

PhD student

Ayesha works in Dr. Mohan’s and Dr. Abidian’s laboratories to explore how various ECM proteins impact the growth of renal resident cells or neurons. This involves 3D-printing of ECM proteins, cell culture and functional studies. Alongside, she is characterizing a novel monoclonal antibody with therapeutic potential.

Aalekyah Biswas

PhD student

Aalekhya’s research focuses on exploring the molecular mechanisms that modulate the function of infiltrating macrophages and resident renal cells in lupus nephritis, using cutting-edge molecular and cellular techniques.

Nga Thai

Undergraduate Researcher

Nga was awarded the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) for Summer 2022. Nga’s research focuses on discovering novel biomarkers for lupus nephritis and optimizing a vertical flow assay for the detection of MMP-9 in dry eye disease.

Sonja Vodehnal


The focus of Sonja’s research involves the assessment of published urinary biomarkers and the use of innovative proteomic technologies to identify additional urinary biomarkers that may have improved diagnostic accuracy for lupus nephritis. Future studies will also include designing multi-analyte point-of-care assays that can be used for in-home monitoring.

Ryan Pereira 

Undergraduate Researcher

Ryan is a Spring 2023 PURS recipient. His research is focused on novel biomarker discovery and pathogenesis in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) through proteomics and validation studies. His work aims to establish a non-invasive method that can be used to diagnose patients with IBD, differentiate between Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative colitis, as well as monitor disease progression.

Kimeera Paladugu

Undergraduate Researcher
Kimeera’s research focuses on analyzing data and determining the merits of stool and plasma biomarkers in the development and diagnosis of IBD.




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
Rani Nune
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
Ashtami Jayakumar
Ramya Susarla
Aurélie De Groof
Sirisha Gokaraju
Ling Lei
Bindiya Marakkath
Gargy Parhy
Sneha Ravikumar
Ding Bao
Ting Zhang

Graduate Students

Rongwei Lei
Jessica Castillo
Sergio Calixto
Omar Abunofal
Haleigh Inthavong
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