ICaRE Faculty

Manya Dhar-Mascareno

Portrait of Dr. Manya Mascareno

Director, ICaRE
Associate Professor, Biological Sciences

Students in the Mascareno lab are directly involved in many aspects of scientific experiments. Our goal is to provide a better understanding of how science is conducted and we expect the students to fully participate in experiments and data preparation. These include cloning of genes in plasmid vectors, mammalian cell culture maintenance, transfection of plasmids in mammalian cells, immunoblot analysis, fluorescent microscopy and gene expression microarray analyses. Students will also learn the application of bioinformatics tools in biomedical research. Students will learn safe practices, how to perform a variety of laboratory techniques, how to record scientific data and present our experimental data in various forums. At the end of the training the student will be able to show results in a poster, give oral presentations and discuss their research with the scientific community on college, state and nationwide conferences.

Ruomei Gao

Portrait of Dr. Gao

Associate Professor, Chemistry and Physics

Dr. Gao's research focuses on light-induced chemical reactions that produce reactive oxygen species (ROS), such as singlet oxygen (1O2) and superoxide radicals (O2.-). 1O2 has been recognized as the major cytotoxic species responsible for cell death in photodynamic therapy (PDT). We develop pH-controlled nano-sensitizers that can only be activated in acidic tumor environment, thus are promising drug candidates for selective PDT. Examples are imidazole-modified porphyrins and silica-attached porphyrins. In another study, the formation of ROS upon UVA light irradiation of thiopurine DNA bases is examined. This project provides quantitative information for better understanding of molecular events of thiopurines in a biological system. Time-resolved laser, steady-state photolysis, NMR, HPLC/MS, fluorescence and UV/Visible spectrophotometers are the major instruments used in lab.

Youngjoo Kim

Portrait of Dr. Youngjoo Kim

Assistant Professor, Chemistry and Physics

Dr. Kim's laboratory focuses on mechanistic studies on enzymes that are important therapeutic targets in various human cancers. EGFR (epidermal growth factor receptor) is either overexpressed or mutated in various human cancers and therefore an important therapeutic target. We are interested in inactivation mechanism of EGFR by different families of protein tyrosine phosphatases PTPN1, RPTPK, and DUSP3. We use a variety of biochemical techniques to answer questions on EGFR inactivation. Students working in the laboratory will gain experience in molecular biology, recombinant protein over-expression, protein purification and enzyme assays. Biochemical techniques employed in the laboratory include chromatography, enzyme assays using UV-Vis spectrophotometer and mass spectrometer.

William Gillis

Portrait of Dr. Gillis

Assistant Professor, Biological Sciences

Dr. Gillis' research interests include Comparative Developmental Biology, Bioinformatics and Comparative Genomics, and Molecular and Cell Biology.Dr. Gillis' research uses frog embryos and mammalian cell culture to better understand key signaling pathways which normally control development, and whose misregulation lead to diseases such as cancer. 

Maria Zulema Cabail

Portrait of Dr. Cabail

Assistant Professor, Biological Sciences

The CABAIL LAB focuses on the field of Immunometabolism and Obesity at the cellular and molecular level. Currently, we are working in two research projects:

  1. Pathophysiology Of Obesity-Associated Metabolic Inflammation: Our goal is to investigate the events involved in the pathophysiology of the chronic low-grade systemic inflammation observed in obese patients. In particular, we are interested in determine the role of autophagy in regulating such inflammatory state.
  2. Investigation of the molecular mechanisms underlying the link between obesity and prostate cancer: The main goal of this project is to elucidate the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying the association between obesity and prostate cancer risk. This project is being conducted in collaboration with Dr. Manya Mascareno.