Gabe Hanson (Biomedical Engineering)

Immune Infiltration and Antigen Presentation in the Tumor Microenvironment of Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

I am interested in understanding the mechanisms which the immune system uses to recognize cancer cells. I leverage large omic datasets, multiplexed spatial data and machine learning algorithms to identify the key signatures and mechanisms in these data that can inspire the next generation of immunotherapies.

Primary Mentor: Sepideh Dolatshahi

Secondary Mentor: Mike Brown


Russell Hawes (Biomedical Engineering)

Identifying conserved cell-state heterogeneities in triple-negative breast cancer premalignancy

I am interested in how different biological systems interact, as well as how diverse datasets can be used to study these systems. Previously, I worked on mechanisms of genomic repair at Clemson U. and platelet vesicle trafficking at U. Kentucky.

Primary Mentors: Kevin Janes

Secondary Mentor: Aakrosh Ratan



Shay Ladd (Biomedical Engineering)

Glycosylation and Golgi stress in the non-small cell lung cancer immune response

I am using systems biology approaches to understand how glycosylation influences tumor cell signaling. I am interested in combining computational and experimental approaches to determine how this process is affected by fragmentation of the Golgi apparatus.

Primary Mentor: Sepideh Dolatshahi

Secondary Mentory: Gloria Sheynkman



Kristofor Pas (Biomedical Engineering)

Mathmatical Modeling of MR-based signals for Biomarker Development

Incorporating mathematical models to analyze MR-based signals holds promise for biomarker development. This approach aids medical research by enhancing diagnostic accuracy, disease monitoring, and treatment evaluation, contributing to improved patient outcomes and advancing personalized medicine.

Primary Mentor: Gustavo Rohde

Secondary Mentor: Dan Benjamini


Jamel Simpson (Biophysics)

Predicting chimeric immunogens to elicit targeted antibodies against betacoronaviruses

I focus on using computational methods like Alphafold and Gromacs to streamline the prediction and creation of chimeric immunogens.

Primary Mentor: Peter Kasson

Secondary Mentor: Christian Reidys



Lionel Watkins (Biomedical Engineering)

Systems Modeling to Identify and Validate Novel Regulators of Cardiac Hypertrophy

I use novel computational and experimental techniques to answer biological questions. In the Saucerman Lab, I use these techniques to explore the signaling mechanisms governing cardiac hypertrophy.

Primary Mentor: Jeff Saucerman

Secondary Mentor: Aidong Zhang

Yonatan Degefu (Biomedical Engineering)

Elucidating the Role of AP-1 Transcription Factor Network Dynamics in Cancer Cell Plasticity

My research background lies in using data-driven modeling approaches to derive insight from high throughput data. I am interested in coupling data-driven and mechanistic modeling approaches to better understand the role of AP-1 transcription factors in cancer cell plasticity.

Primary Mentor: Mohamad Fallahi-Sichani

Secondary Mentor: Kevin Janes

Candace Lei (Biomedical Engineering)

Understanding kinase signaling heterogeneity in complex tumor tissues

I graduated with a M.S. in Bioinformatics at Northeastern University. My research interests include studying the activation and inhibition of kinases signaling mechanisms in cancer and their effects on therapeutic outcomes.

Primary Mentor: Kristen Naegle

Contact Us

Connie Pace

Administrator, Systems & Biolecular Data Science Training Program

UVA BME | MR5 Room 2010

Phone: 434 243-7660