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.

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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.