Team

Arthur Chow was born and raised in Tracy, CA. He completed his B.S. in Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of California, Merced. During his undergraduate career, Arthur explored the role of sclerostin, a bone morphogenetic protein antagonist, in the development of the B-cell compartment in mice. He also performed research at UCSF as a part of their summer research training program (SRTP) where he explored the role of a specific subset of dendritic cells in acquiring systemic autoimmunity. Upon graduation in 2015, he moved to New York City and worked as a research technician at Memorial Sloan Kettering and studied the role of RNA regulators in the development of both normal and leukemic stem cells. In 2017, he decided to pursue a PhD in Cancer Biology at the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences in the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and joined the Dar Lab. He is excited to pursue research in the structural and chemical biology of immune-oncology targets. Outside the lab, he enjoys biking all over the city and relaxing in coffee shops.

Mary Duffy is a PhD student in the Biophysics and Systems Pharmacology training area. She is originally from Long Island, NY, and she completed her B.Sc. in Biology at Northeastern University in 2017. During her undergraduate studies, she completed translational research at the Harvard NeuroDiscovery Center assessing blood biomarkers for improved diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease. She also completed a co-operative education internship at XTuit Pharmaceuticals, a start-up company, where she conducted preclinical research on investigational compounds for the treatment of cancer and liver fibrosis. She is particularly interested in the process of bringing new targeted cancer therapeutics from early stages in the lab to ultimately reaching patients.

 Zaigham Khan is a postdoctoral fellow born and raised in Lahore, Pakistan. He obtained his Masters in Biotechnology from Quaid-i-Azam University Islamabad. Later he moved to Germany where he completed his PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Tübingen under the supervision of Professor Thilo Stehle. He developed his expertise in protein expression and protein purification by working on several challenging projects. He solved the crystal structures of notable viral and bacterial proteins in complex with their cognate ligands. Currently, he is utilizing his skills of X-ray crystallography to gain structural insights into how clinically important drugs modulate cell signaling pathways. Further, he is focused on structure-based drug design to target several proteins that are involved in cancer. Zaigham is also interested in solving the structure of multi-protein complex using electron microscopy.

William Marsiglia is a postdoctoral fellow originally from Long Island, NY. He completed a BS in Biochemistry and a BA in Music at Binghamton University in 2013. While at Binghamton he worked with Professor Christof Grewer on synthesizing serine-based inhibitors of the ASCT2 transporter. He then continued to NYU for his Ph.D under the direction of Professor Nate Traaseth where he used NMR spectroscopy to understand how pathological gain-of-function mutations within the kinase domain of the Fibroblast Growth Factor Receptor enhance signal transduction. In the Dar lab, he is working to understand the relationship between cancer drugs and their pro-/anti-target using in vivo cancer models. Outside of the lab, he enjoys exploring central park, finding new coffee shops, cooking, and playing trombone in local community orchestras.

Alex Real is a MD/PhD student originally from Newton, MA. Alex completed his B.S. in Biomaterials Engineering and M.S. in Materials Science and Engineering from Stanford University.  Alex’s background is in protein design and engineering for novel therapeutic and diagnostic applications in oncology using cell-surface display and various biochemical techniques. Currently, Alex is working on developing a novel high-throughput screening platform for kinase inhibitor potency and selectivity in vitro, as well as investigating small molecule modulators of the pseudokinase KSR.

Jayasudhan Reddy Yerabolu completed his B.Sc. in Chemistry from Kakatiya University and M.Sc. in Chemistry from JNTU-Hyderabad.  He graduated with a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (CSIR-IICT), working with Professor J. S. Yadav. During his Ph.D. he developed several novel synthetic methodologies and utilized them in total synthesis of natural products. Jaya trained with the Liotta and Krishnamurthy laboratories at the Georgia Institute of Technology and The Scripps Research Institute, California, before joining the Dar laboratory as a postdoctoral fellow at Mount Sinai. He is currently participating in a research study which focuses on developing small molecule compounds for target validation and biological studies in models of human cancer. Jaya’s interests include biology, chemistry, catalysis, music, movies, and cricket.

Alex Scopton is a senior instructor in the lab originally from Winchester, MA. He completed his B.Sc. in Biochemistry at Trinity College and his PhD in Organic Chemistry at Boston College, working with Professor Ross Kelly.  Alex has published on the total synthesis of natural products through the development of novel chemical probes for the Structural Genomics Consortium in Toronto, Canada. Alex’s interests include chemical biology, medicinal chemistry, organic synthesis, catalysis, music, and movies.

Ryan Smith is a graduate student in the Cancer Biology Training Program. He graduated from Columbia University with a B.A. in physics in 2014 where he worked on micrograph processing for single particle reconstruction cryo-electron microscopy under Joachim Frank. He joined the MD/PhD training program at Mount Sinai where he is currently researching small molecule manipulation of pseudokinase signaling complexes. He is co-mentored in the Dar and Schlessinger laboratories.

ALUMNI

Lukiana Anka-Lufford was a postdoctoral fellow born and raised in London, UK. She completed her B.A. in Chemistry at Skidmore College and her PhD in Organic Chemistry at the University of Rochester with Professor Daniel J. Weix. Her graduate research focused on the selective nickel-catalyzed cross-coupling reactions of aryl halides with alkyl electrophiles. In the Dar lab she worked on the organic synthesis of small molecule Kinase Suppressor of Ras (KSR) modulators for the treatment of cancer. Lukiana is now working with PTC Therapeutics as a medicinal chemist.

Neil Dhawan was a graduate student in the Cancer Biology Training Program. He completed an undergraduate degree at Northwestern University and MSc at Mount Sinai before joining the Dar lab for his PhD in 2013. Neil was interested in all things associated with Ras and how his work related to others in the field.  He hoped to one day find a cure associated with a ‘baller’ genetic signature for certain lung cancers. He enjoyed dance music, learning about the crossover between business and science, and visiting the different synchrotrons throughout the country. Neil led the original KSR work in the lab (Dhawan, Scopton, and Dar, Nature, 2016). After graduating in the summer of 2016, Neil joined a chemical biology startup company based in Boston.

Andres Maldonado was born and raised in New York. He graduated from The University at Albany with a B.S and M.S in Chemistry and later with a Ph.D. in Biophysical Chemistry with Professor Alexander Shekhtman. His background is in structural studies of disease-related protein-protein interactions using in vitro and in cell NMR techniques. During his Ph.D., he solved the solution structure of the cytosolic tail of the receptor for advanced glycation end-products and further developed the use of in-cell NMR to study the proteasomal degradation pathway in mycobacterium tuberculosis. He studied kinases that are frequently mutated in cancer in order to gain insights in drug development. Andres left the group at the beginning of 2018 for a position at Morgan Stanley focused on biotechnology equities.

Lisa Silber is originally from Hopewell, New York. She obtained a BA in Chemistry from Bard College and a MS also in Chemistry from Long Island University.  Her undergraduate research was published in the Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry. She completed her Master’s thesis on the novel Topoisomerase-I inhibitors as potential anti-cancer agents. She was a research associate in the lab, and was involved in our MAPK and small molecule synthesis work.  She left in early 2018 for a scientist position at a forensics lab in NYC.

Jia (Annie) Yu was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. She graduated summa cum laude from Boston University with a dual degree in 2012 with a BA in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and MA in Biotechnology. For her undergraduate research, she helped to build the gene regulatory network for skeletal patterning in Lytechinus variegatus by morpholino perturbation of developing embryos. For her postgraduate research, she worked as a senior research support specialist to study the evolution of acquired immunity in Ginglymostoma cirratum by investigating the role of alternative splicing of immunoglobulins. In 2013, she joined the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and the Dar lab to pursue more translational research. She studied the effectiveness of Sorafenib and novel analogs in the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma and was supported by a NIH NRSA F31 scholarship while in the group. She graduated in 2018 and started as an analyst at the Cancer Research Institute (CRI) based in NYC.