Polina Matre

Polina Matre has a comprehensive background as a research scientist with a specialization in cancer research. Rooted in her extensive tenure across various domains of basic research and within the biotechnology industry, her expertise spans molecular biology, cell biology, and biochemistry. Her academic foundation was laid at the University of Stavanger in Norway, where she earned her Ph.D. in biochemistry while investigating the intricacies of enzyme regulation. Post-doctorate, she worked at MD Anderson Cancer Center, where her endeavors revolved around metabolic reprogramming in cancer and the exploration of novel dimensions in oncology drug discovery. In her role as a scientist at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston, within the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the McGovern Medical School, she concentrated on fundamental stem cell biology, as well as bone and muscle biology. Her primary emphasis was on translating stem cell techniques and applications to the clinic, aiming to contribute to the healing and regeneration of musculoskeletal tissues. As a Research Scientist at the Cancer Center, she handles various aspects of research and operations within Dr. Jenny Chang’s laboratory that focuses on the development of therapeutic interventions for breast cancer

Gianmarco Melone

Gianmarco Melone is a PhD student enrolled in a joint PhD program between Swansea University and Houston Methodist Research Institute. Currently involved in active research to define the role of inducible Nitric Oxide Synthase (iNOS) in the tumour niche of the High Grade Serous Ovarian Cancer (HGSOC) and Triple Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC).  Gianmarco worked at Swansea University to develop an innovative RNAi interference therapy based on miRNAs with the aim of destabilizing the ovarian cancer tumour niche. He got his master’s degree in molecular biology in Italy, at Università Politecnica delle Marche working in the NY-MaSBiC laboratories to develop an advanced graphene system for SARS-CoV-2 detection during the world pandemic

Tejaswini Reddy

Tejaswini (Teja) Reddy received a bachelor’s of arts in neuroscience from Wellesley College in 2015. She matriculated into the Texas A&M MD/PhD program in 2016 and joined Dr. Jenny Chang’s Lab in April 2019. Prior to joining the MD/PhD program, Reddy gained research experience at various institutions, including Oregon Health and Science University, Wellesley College, Indian Council for Medical Research, The Edwin L. Steele Laboratory for Tumor Biology at Massachusetts General Hospital, and Texas Tech University Health Science Center. Her research currently involves studying novel therapeutics to treat metaplastic breast cancer, a rare and highly aggressive cancer. In her free time, Reddy enjoys doing yoga, cooking, and traveling.

Wei Qian

Before joining Dr. Jenny Chang’s Lab, Wei Qian worked in a molecular and cellular biology lab at Baylor College of Medicine for more than ten years. She joined Dr. Jenny Chang’s Lab as a research assistant in May 2012. Qian primarily assists in the animal maintenance, projects, treatment, surgery, and several other aspects. She also is essential in helping fellow coworkers and students by maintaining the mouse model supply, performing IHC staining, preserving a tissue bank for all clinical samples, training new employees, creating and keeping lab sample inventory, analyzing data, and many other aspects involving the lab. In her spare time, Qian enjoys outdoor activities, cooking, and watching movies.

Jianying Zhou

Jianying Zhou received her bachelor’s in public health from Shanghai Medical University and practiced as a Certificated Nurse in China for more than 15 years before moving to the United States. She joined Dr. Jenny Chang’s Lab in April 2019 as a research assistant. Zhou assists in taking care of the experimental animals, mating, breeding, maintenance of PDX models and storage, mouse tumor implanting, and preforming treatment procedures. She also is involved in bench lab work, which includes recent involvement in a brain tumor metastasis project. In her spare time, Zhou enjoys traveling and watching movies.

Liliana Guzman, PhD

Liliana Guzman received her bachelor’s in clinical chemistry from the Autonomous University of Guadalajara, Mexico. Later, she obtained a master’s in immunology at the School of Medicine, National Autonomous University of Mexico, where she developed a diagnostic test for Chaga’s disease. Next, Guzman received her PhD from the Autonomous University of Nuevo Leon, and performed her research thesis at the Department of Immunology at MD Anderson Cancer Center, studying the transcriptional control of B-lymphocyte maturation in immune response. She continued her postdoctoral training in the Department of Genitourinary Medical Oncology at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Dr. Pasqualini and Dr. Arap lab developing new Phage Display technology and angiogenesis using genetically engineered mouse models. Then, Guzman was recruited by Dr. Nancy Jenkins and Dr. Neal Copeland at the Houston Methodist Research Institute in the Department of Cancer Research working in new approaches to sequence the insertion of transposons in the mouse genome by using next generation sequencing. In addition, she collaborated in the functional validation of novel tumor suppressors in breast cancer identified by transposon mutagenesis. Dr. Guzman then transferred to Dr. Jenny Chang’s Lab at the Cancer Center of Excellence in January 2019. She is involved in the characterization of transcriptional regulation of pathological angiogenesis in triple negative breast cancer. In her past time, Guzman enjoys being around her family and traveling.