Meet the Team

Principal Investigator
Associate Professor of Medicine
Division of Nephrology

Dr. Ilse Daehn is a molecular and cell biologist with expertise in DNA damage and oxidative stress. She obtained her undergraduate in Biotechnology (Honors) and was awarded her Ph.D from the Flinders University of South Australia in 2008. She then pursued a postdoctoral fellowship at Cancer Research UK, London before joining the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in 2010. She became faculty at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in 2013. Her primary research interests are to understand the early molecular events involving mitochondria that occur and lead to chronic kidney disease. Her work has provided a fundamental paradigm shift in our current understanding of chronic kidney disease development and is now applying this knowledge to seek for biomarkers in the urine for early detection of disease and its progression. Dr. Daehn is also interested in exploring and evaluating the genetic susceptibility of individuals in the community to developing progressive kidney disease. Dr. Daehn is a leader in the scientific community actively involved in encouraging networking, collaboration and innovation among young researchers (

Dr. Hunter Korsmo earned their Ph.D in Biochemistry from the City University of New York Graduate Center – New York, in 2022. During their predoc, they focused on the long-term impacts of prenatal choline supplementation on offspring fatty liver disease in a mouse model of maternal diabetes. Following their defense in 2022, they worked as a postdoc in immunology investigating the immunomodulatory effects of methylated tryptamines in vitro before joining the Daehn Lab. Hunter joined the Daehn Lab in May 2023 and is involved in projects investigating the crosstalk between endothelial cells in podocytes upon acute and chronic insults and the role of oxidative stress in kidney disease progression and impact on the liver

Dr. Ubong Ekperikpe received his Ph.D. in Experimental Therapeutics and Pharmacology from the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) in August 2023. His doctoral dissertation focused on the role of insulin resistance and inflammation during the progression of renal injury in a novel rat model of prepubertal obesity. Before joining the Ph.D. program at UMMC, Ubong was involved in studies that investigated the antidiabetic effects of some functional foods (locust beans and grapefruit) at the University of Benin, Nigeria. He joined the Daehn lab in September 2023, and his current project is focused on understanding genetic susceptibility to diabetic kidney disease.

mg_5864Liping Yu is a Senior Associate Researcher int he Division of Nephrology and graduated from Jiangxi Medical College in China. She received a diploma in pharmacology from Jiangxi University of Traditional Chinese Medicine. She was a head pharmacist studying herbal medicines in China. In 2001, she joined Dr. Bottinger’s lab at Albert Einstein College of Medicine as a technician. She moved with the lab to Mount Sinai School of Medicine in 2004. Currently she is a senior research associate and lab manager, and is involved in the projects studying CKD biomarkers and podocytes-endothelium crosstalk by working with the faculty members and postdocs in the lab.



Dr. Emelie Lassén graduated with a Master of Science in Biotechnology from Chalmers University of Technology – Sweden, in 2015. She pursued her doctoral degree in Medical Science at the University of Gothenburg, focusing on the molecular mechanisms underlying IgA nephropathy. Following her defense in 2019 she worked as a researcher at the University of Gothenburg before joining the team as a postdoctoral fellow. Emelie joined the Daehn lab in September 2020 and was involved in projects investigating pathogenic crosstalk between endothelial cells in podocytes in early CKD, as well as the cell death mechanisms in AKI. She is now working in a big Pharmaceutical company in Sweden.

Dr. Rihab Bouchareb is a Research Assistant Professor. She graduated from the Institute of Genetics and Molecular and Cellular Biology (IGBMC) at Strasbourg University in France, where she received her Master’s and PhD degrees in Cell and Molecular biology. Dr. Bouchareb’s PhD was focused on studying the molecular mechanism leading to atherosclerosis plaque rupture and platelets activation. After completing her post-doctoral training at Quebec Heart and Lung institute, Laval Hospital, Quebec, Canada, she joined the cardiovascular research center of Mount Sinai as a postdoc. Her research program in the Daehn lab focused on identifying the molecular signaling pathways that are involved in the pathogenesis of kidney disease and the impact on distant organ function such as the heart. She is now a Principal Investigator and recipient of a prestigious Stephen I. Katz ESI Research project grant.

Dr. Shuyu Li visiting scientist from Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, a visiting scientist from Chongqing Medical University, worked on understanding the genetic predisposition of mice strains to developing diabetic kidney disease. Dr. Li established key methods for TF binding assays in the lab. She is currently working in the Department of Pathology at the School of Traditional Chinese Medicine, BUCM.

Dr. Qin Wang visiting scientist from College of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Chinese Medicine, Southwest University, Chongqing, China. She trained in basic principles, methods and technologies of laboratory research in the School of Pharmacy, Jiangxi University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Nanchang, Jiangxi, China. Whilst in the Daehn lab, Dr. Wang worked with our models of DKD and identified important pathology among the different strains. She helped develop key mouse protocols. She is currently leading human clinical trials with traditional Chinese medicines in DKD.

Dr. Gabriella Casalena is an alumnus of the University of Bologna – Italy where she graduated with honors in Molecular Biology. She pursued her doctoral research at the same university earning a PhD in Biochemistry. Before joining the lab in 2009 she was a visiting student at University of Kentucky, Lexington. Gabriella was involved in the investigation of the podocytes-endothelium crosstalk with a particular focus on the role of mitochondria (dys)function in the initiation and propagation of pathological pathways. Dr. Casalena a the Scientific Research Manager at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York.