Meet the team

Jose Javier Bravo-Cordero, PhD
Principal Investigator

Javier Bravo is an Associate Professor at the Department of Medicine/Division of Hematology and Medical Oncology at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. He obtained his Ph.D. from the Autónoma University of Madrid (Spain) in 2007, at the Spanish National Cancer Research Center (CNIO) working on tumor invasion and metalloproteinases trafficking. He then joined the Condeelis and Hodgson labs for his postdoctoral studies, at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He focused on the study of RhoGTPases signaling during cancer invasion by using high-resolution imaging tools including FRET biosensor imaging and intravital microscopy. His lab focuses on understanding the biology of disseminated tumor cells with an emphasis on tumor invasion and tumor dormancy.

Daniela De Martino, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow

Daniela is a postdoctoral fellow in Bravo-Cordero lab. She completed her PhD in Genetics and Molecular Medicine at University Federico II in Naples, Italy. She interested in investigating the molecular mechanisms that favor breast cancer cells dissemination and dormancy in the different organs, with particular emphasis on breast cancer metastasis in the brain. Her hobbies include traveling, attending rock and jazz music concerts, and going to visit all sorts of markets, especially Christmas and Farmers markets!


Erin Bresnahan, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow

Erin is a postdoctoral fellow who earned her MD at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and previously studies tumor-intrinsic mechanisms of immune evasion in hepatocellular carcinoma within the Tisch Cancer Institute. She is interested in the immune dynamics of metastatic cancer states and immune cell interaction with the extracellular matrix in metastatic niches. Her hobbies include crafting (scrapbooking, stamping, knitting, cross stitching, painting), jigsaw puzzles, playing the violin, running, and hosting intense board game nights.  

Cris Megino, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow

Cris is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Bravo-Cordero Lab. She completed her PhD in Health Sciences at University of Lleida. She is interested in studying how dormant disseminated tumor cells instruct and modulate resident brain cells to establish dormant environments in brain metastatic niches. Her hobbies include cycling, running, climbing, hiking, travel, and hanging out with friends.



Jonathan Barra-Carrasco, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow

Jonathan is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Bravo-Cordero Lab. He earned his Ph.D. at the Faculty of Medicine, Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, working on EGFR endocytic trafficking and its manipulation as a novel anti-tumoral strategy, under the supervision of Dr. Alfonso Gonzalez. Then he joined the lab of Dr. Margarida Barroso, Albany Medical College, where he studied the cellular mechanisms of endosome-mitochondria inter-organelle interactions and its importance in breast cancer malignancy. His work at Bravo-Cordero Lab is focused on intercellular crosstalk between tumoral cells and tissue-resident cells in both brain and lung metastasis using different models of tumoral dormancy, advanced imaging techniques, and spatial transcriptomics/proteomics.

Kanishka Tiwary, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow

Kanishka is a postdoctoral fellow at Bravo-Cordero lab. She completed her PhD at Ulm University, Germany (2023). She worked on understanding the metastatic behavior of a subset of cancer stem cells in pancreatic cancer and formulating novel insights into targeting them. Prior to her PhD, Kanishka earned a Masters in Engineering from BITS Pilani Goa, India (2015). Her current work at Bravo-Cordero lab concentrates on deciphering the cross talk between the nervous system and breast cancer cells in order to elucidate the tumor microenvironment cues responsible for metastatic and dormant behavioral patterns of tumor cells. Her hobbies include (but not limited to) reading fiction, binging on docu-series, going for a walk and enjoying some good food.

Alex Mur
Visiting Researcher

Alex  is a visiting researcher in the Bravo-Cordero Lab. He is pursuing his PhD at the Vall d’Hebron Institute of Oncology in Barcelona, Spain. He is interested in understanding how colorectal cancer cells overcome chemotherapy treatment by entering a slow-cycling phenotype, and how this impacts on relapse. His hobbies include spending time in nature, traveling, reading, watching movies, running, and scuba diving.


Kailie Matteson
Associate Researcher

Kailie is an associate researcher in the Bravo-Cordero Lab. She has a B.S. in biology (2020) from Castleton University in Vermont. She was a research technician at Albany Medical College for 2.5 years, where she worked on projects related to HER2+ breast cancer and organelle topology in metastatic triple negative breast cancer. She was also the imaging core manager and was responsible for training and helping users with the confocal microscope. Her goal is to get into grad school to a get a PhD in cancer biology with a focus on microscopy imaging. She enjoys reading, going to museums, and hanging out with her cat Poppy.

Genesis Lara Granados
PhD Student

Genesis is a first-year PhD student in the BMS program. She has a B.A. in biology (2021) from Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts. She was a research associate in Benjamin Hopkins lab at Mount Sinai for 2 years, where she ran the functional genomics pipeline, and used organoid models to explore and discover alternative therapeutic options for NSCLC. She is interested in continuing in cancer biology, focusing on 3D culturing and imaging.

Mimi Zhang
PhD Student

Mimi is a first-year PhD student in the BMS program. She earned a B.S. in neuroscience and cognitive sciences from Vanderbilt University, focusing on improving classroom learning efficiency and investigating neurodevelopment changes in mouse offspring resulting from long-term usage of oral contraceptives. Subsequently, she obtained a M.A in biotechnology at Columbia University, where she studied the proliferation/quiescence decision of normal, cancerous, and stem cells. She is interested in continuing studying cancer biology at Mount Sinai. In her leisure time, she enjoys traveling, hiking, attending concerts, and exploring various restaurants.


PhD Students:
Aida Amador (Visiting PhD student, Sept-Dec 2021)
Alice Macchia (Visiting PhD student, April-June 2022)
Nicole Hirsh (PhD rotation student, Summer 2022)

Postdoctoral Fellows:
Carmen Aguirre, PhD
Luke Watson, PhD
Julie di Martino, PhD
Ana Rosa Saez, PhD
Chandrani Mondal, PhD
Ananya Mukherjee, PhD

Associate Researcher:
Rebecca Chiu

Rotation Masters Student:
Maya Ramachandran, BS

NERA MEdPrep Program:
NERA Mentees:
Munifa Wheeler (NERA MedPrep Student-summer program 2017)
Timmy Dhakala (NERA MedPrep Student-summer program 2017)
Jewel Estrella (NERA MedPrep Student-summer program 2019)

Undergraduate students:
Klaudia Koziol (1st semester 2016 -undergraduate student)
Shandelle Hether (1st semester 2016 -undergraduate student)
Janki Tailor (Summer 2016 -undergraduate student)
Jessie Han (1st semester 2017-undergraduate student)
Madison Fraser (1st semester 2017- undergraduate student)
Vivian Su (Summer 2018)
Ireti Eni-Aganga (Visiting PhD student from Meharry Medical College/ Meharry – Mount Sinai 2019 Summer Scholars Program)
Rocio Santos (Visiting student from U. Francisco de Vitoria in Spain- first semester 2020)

High-School Students:
Nichola Cedeno (High-School Student, Summer 2017-2018)
Diego Segura (High-School Student Summer 2016)
Tasmiah Akhter (CEYE Program Mount Sinai 2019-2020)