Aguirre-Ghiso Lab Team

Aguirre-Ghiso Lab west view

Jennifer Lopez
Lab Administrative Assistant
Jen runs all our lab operations and logistics to make sure the science does not stop and that I do not miss meetings and trips.




Poorna Parameswara, MSc
Research and Laboratory Coordinator
Poorna, as our new Laboratory Coordinator, contributes to multiple projects the lab. She also directs the functioning and development of our chicken embryo facility and mouse colonies, optimizing methods for xenograft and tumor cell metastasis studies in the embryos and mice. Poorna obtained her MSc in NYU working on using genetic engineering tools to characterise lung cancer models and also genetic engineering of signalling proteins in Drosophila melanogaster.


Tasrina Rahman, MSc
Research Coordinator
Tasrina is conducting studies to identify and optimize small molecule agonists of nuclear receptors involved in dormancy induction. She is also developing work to optimize bioassays to identify drugs that modulate dormancy pathways.


Rita Nobre, MSc – Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia Fellow – Portugal
PhD Graduate Student
Rita is conducting research to identify the cell types in the bone marrow that regulate both hematopoietic stem cell dormancy and DTC dormancy. She is also working to identify the gene signatures that distinguish early DTCs from those that originate from large invasive tumors.


Veronica Calvo-Vidal, PhD – LIFA Fellow
Senior Postdoctoral Fellow
Vero studies the role of the endoplasmic reticulum stress pathways  in mediating tumorigenesis and DTC survival in models of breast cancer and HNSCC. She also studies how to target the UPR survival mechanisms in multiple myeloma and biologics that might be used to induce dormancy during MRD.


Dan (Rosaline) Sun, PhD 
Postdoctoral Fellow
Rosaline joined from Laura Buttitta’s Lab, at the University of Michigan  where she studied mechanisms of quiescence during Drosophila development and tissue differentiation. Rosaline project focuses on the role of histone variants and histone post-translational modifications in the regulation of senescence and quiescence programs in DTCs.


Deepak Singh, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow
Deepak joined from Dr. Prasanth lab, at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, where he studied the role of long non-coding RNAs in breast cancer (BC) progression. He now brings his experience to study the epigenetic regulation of disseminated tumor cell dormancy and metastasis initiation.

Erica Dalla, MSc

PhD Graduate Student

Erica obtained her MSc in Cancer Biology at Drexel University, where she studied the role of the chemokine receptor CX3CR1 in metastatic dissemination in breast cancer. She recently joined the Aguirre-Ghiso Lab to develop her thesis work in the role of myeloid cells in determining DTC fate in different target organs.

Alba Rodriguez Martinez, MSc

Visiting Graduate Student

Studied Biochemistry with a specialization in Biomedical Sciences and holds a Master in Reasearch in Celular and Molecular Immunology. She is currently studying the function and optimization of novel small molecules to induce dormancy of cancer cells.

Melisa Lopez Anton, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow

Melisa did her undergraduate training at the University of Valencia, research education at the Institute of Cancer Research in London and postgraduate education at the University Pompeu Fabra. She obtained her PhD in the laboratory of Donald Fraser as part of a European Training and Research Network. She is joining the Aguirre-Ghiso lab to develop work related to tissue microenvironments and early and late DTC dormancy regulation.

Julio A. Aguirre-Ghiso, PhD  

Principal Investigator
Does the usual grant and paper writing, institutional and NIH service and mentoring. He feels fortunate when he is asked by his lab members to sit at any microscope to look at samples or help with experiments.

Past Lab Members:

Aparna Ranganathan, currently Assistant Professor at University of Arizona, Phoenix, AZ

Alfred Adomako, currently Medical Writer at Adelphi Communications, New York, NY

Alejandro Adam, currently Assistant Professor at Albany Medical College, Albany, NY.

Kurt Lowry, currently Project Manager at Dana-Farber/ Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center

Denis Schewe, currently Faculty Member at Department of General Pediatrics, University Medical Center Schleswig-Holstein, Campus Kiel, Germany

Huei-Chi Wencurrently Postdoc at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

Sharon Sequeira, currently, Supervisor at American Type Culture Collection (ATCC)

Bibiana Iglesias, currently Research Associate in Ophthalmology, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Yeriel Estrada, currently Clinical Coordinator at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

Alvaro Avivar-Valderas, currently Research Scientist at AstraZeneca, UK

Carla Capobianco, currently PhD student at Universidad de Quilmes, Argentina.

Maria Jose Carlini, currently Postdoc at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Department of Pharmacological Sciences @Sosa Lab.

Ethan Tardio, currently undergraduate student at Johns Hopkins University.

Paloma Bragado, currently Lab Head at IDIBAPS, Barcelona, Spain.

Kathryn Harper, currently Assistant Medical Director, Health Science Communications, New York.

Georg Fluegen, currently, Assistenzarzt, Universitätsklinikum Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf · Klinik für Allgemein-, Viszeral- und Kinderchirurgie. Düsseldorf, Germany.

Nina Linde, currently Lab Head at Merck, Germany.

M. Soledad Sosa,  currently Assistant Professor – Tenure Track at Department of Pharmacological Sciences, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

Stefan Moritsch, currently PhD student at University of Vienna, Austria.

Margaret Hung, currently PhD student at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

Julie Cheung, currently accepted to the immunology PhD program in Yale University.

Anna Banach, currently Graduate student at the MCB Program, Stony Brook University.

Miguel Vizarreta Sandoval, currently Investment Banking Summer Analyst at MD Global Partners, LLC, Duke University – The Fuqua School of Business

Christopher Pool, currently Resident Physician at Penn State Hershey Medical Center

Erin Butler, currently Staff Associate in Otolaryngology, Weill Cornell Medicine.

Hector Martinez, currently Center for Functional Genomics – SUNY- Albany

Shishir Oja, currently, Pulmonologist, Southeastern Health, NC.

Ajish George

Tara Garcia Collins

Rosaline Petriconne