PAST LAB MEMBERS
Dr. Abbey Perl, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow
Abbey began her research career as a undergraduate at Lehigh University, where she had the opportunity to work in both microbiology and molecular biology laboratories. That's where she began to dive into the world of cell signaling. Abbey pursued these interests as a graduate student in Dr. Goutham Narla's lab. In the Narla lab she is focused on understanding how PP2A signaling regulates the cell cycle in both normal and tumor cells.
Matthew Hoffa, Lab Technician
Matthew is a laboratory technician who began working with Dr. Narla in May 2018. He earned a BA in Biology, with minors in Chemistry and Bioethics & Medical Humanities, from Case Western Reserve University in 2018. Before joining Dr. Narla’s research team, Matthew spent three years in an orthopaedic research lab at CWRU studying aseptic loosening.
Lauren Hurst, Clinical Research Technician
Lauren is a recent graduate of the Ohio State University where she majored in Molecular Genetics, and is excited to experience and meet new people in her alma mater’s rival city. Lauren pursued her undergraduate research in Dr. Narla’s Lab for three years where she conducted projects with her mentor, Caroline Farrington, on Small Molecule Activators of PP2A (SMAPs). They studied SMAPs as a potential therapy in c-MYC driven cancers as well as their anti-cancer activity in breast cancers despite impediments from CIP2A, an endogenous PP2A inhibitor.
Dr. Sahar Mazhar, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow
Sahar earned her Ph.D. in Pathology from Case Western Reserve University and her B.A. from Ohio Wesleyan University. Her dissertation work established that the phospho-Tyr307 PP2Ac-directed antibodies commonly used to detect this inhibitory mark on the PP2A catalytic subunit are in fact agnostic to their intended target, binding unphosphorylated PP2A with equal affinity. Her work also offers a reinterpretation for data generated using these reagents, demonstrating that the antibodies appear to be biased towards the unmethylated form of PP2Ac. Sahar’s current project is dedicated to defining the role of PP2A subunits in hereditary forms of cancer.
Dr. Tina Xiaohua Gao, M.D., Research Lab Specialist
Tina Xiaohua Gao, M.D., is a Research Lab Specialist Intermediate in Dr. Goutham Narla’s laboratory. She earned her medical degree from Shandong University and completed her OB/GYN residency at Jinan Children and Women Health Hospital in China. During that time, she refined her operative skills and brought that talent to the lab where she currently works to test SMAP therapies effect on the mouse and rat xenograft cancer model.
Dr. Aqila Ahmed, Ph.D., Staff Scientist
Aqila Ahmed, Ph.D. is a Staff Scientist in Dr. Narla’s laboratory. She earned both her B.S. and Ph.D. from Wayne State University. Her graduate work focused on clarifying the role of POLB in ageing phenotype of Down syndrome. Her postdoctoral work was completed in the Department of Urology at the University of Michigan. There she utilized single-cell technologies to study immune infiltration in prostate cancer bone metastasis. Aqila’s current work in the Narla is concentrated on understanding the role of PP2A in cancer development and progression.
Dr. Jaya Sangodkar, Ph.D., Research Investigator
Jaya Sangodkar, Ph.D., is a Research Investigator in Dr. Goutham Narla’s laboratory. She earned her doctoral degree from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. During her graduate program, she uncovered a transcriptional axis involving the KLF6 and FOXO1 tumor suppressor genes that negatively regulated EGFR signaling in both cell culture and in vivo models. Based on these findings, she identified and repurposed FDA approved tricyclic neuroleptic medication to reactivate this key transcriptional network in both disease relevant cell culture and mouse models of lung cancer.
Arathi Mohan, M.D., Research Fellow
Arathi Mohan, M.D. is a research fellow in Dr. Narla’s laboratory. She earned her M.D. from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and completed her internal medicine residency at Stanford University. She is currently a clinical fellow in the Division of Hematology and Oncology at the University of Michigan. Arathi’s current work in the Narla lab is focused on novel therapeutic strategies and early phase clinical trials.
Celine Rajoulh, Undergraduate Student
Celine is a senior at the University of Michigan, double majoring in Biomolecular Sciences and BCN with a minor in Gender, Race, and Nation. Her current work in the Narla lab focuses on PP2A's role in the mitochondrial dynamics of triple-negative breast cancer. During her free time, she leads a Model UN organization on campus, volunteers in a student-led refugee assistance program, and plays piano. In the future, she hopes to target disparities in cancer treatment and participate in translational research as an oncologist.
Sydney Musser, Undergraduate Student
Sydney is a senior at the University of Michigan majoring in Neuroscience and minoring in Science, Technology, and Society. She joined the Narla Lab in May 2021 through the University of Michigan Cancer Research Summer Internship Program. She is currently working on a drug screening project to identify small molecules that target PP2A in prostate and breast cancer cells. In her free time, she loves attending UM football and basketball games with friends, playing piano, and staying active in a women’s fitness organization on campus. After graduation, she plans to attend graduate school to pursue a Ph.D. in the biomedical sciences.
Dr. Caroline Farrington, Ph.D., Research Fellow
Caroline is a Research Fellow in the Narla lab with a Ph.D. in Pharmacology from Case Western Reserve University. She first joined the Narla lab as a research assistant when it was located at Mount Sinai in New York City and joined the lab for her graduate work at Case Western. Her thesis work investigated the potential to inhibit cancer growth driven by the c-MYC oncogene by negatively regulating it through activation of the tumor suppressor, PP2A. Her current research investigates the mechanisms by which PP2A may contribute to the regulation of cell metabolism.