Post-doctoral Fellows


María Casanova-Acebes

Maria is a postdoctoral fellow from Madrid, Spain. She received her PhD in Cellular Biology and Genetics under the supervision of Dr. Andrés Hidalgo at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (Spain) in 2015. Her PhD studies were focused on understanding the mechanisms of neutrophil aging and how the natural clearance of aged neutrophils triggers the homeostatic release of hematopoietic progenitors from bone marrow into the blood. She joined Dr.Merad laboratory in April 2015, after being awarded a long-term postdoctoral fellowship from the Human Frontiers Science Program. During her postdoctoral research she is currently interested in the role of macrophage ontogeny in the context of lung adenocarcinoma progression in primary tumors.

Fundings : Human Frontiers Science Program



Barbara Maier

Alveolar macrophages and interstitial macrophages of the lung represent tissue resident populations, that share a core gene expression signature with other macrophage populations, but each have unique transcription profiles. This allows different macrophage populations to be perfectly adapted to their tissue environment and to fulfill tissue specific functions, e.g. clearance of surfactant in the alveolar airspace in the lung. Barbara studies which tissue-derived or cell-intrinsic factors determine macrophage identity at specific tissue sites to better understand how tissues control the homeostatic functions of innate immune cells but at the same time allow for an effective immune response in case of an invading pathogen.


Jalal Ahmed

Jalal is a Holman Research Pathway Resident in the Department of Radiation Oncology. His work is focused on targeting the tumor microenvironment to improve anti-tumor immune responses by Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T cells.

Fundings : Lung Cancer Research Foundation and the American Society for Clinical Oncology


Pauline Hamon

Pauline is a postdoctoral fellow from France. During her PhD in Immunology, she characterized the dynamics and functions of monocytes and macrophages during inflammation and their role in response to chemotherapy in lung metastasis. She is currently working on the impact of myeloid cells in the mechanism of resistance to cancer immunotherapy revealed by the combination of single-cell RNA sequencing (CITE-seq) and multiplex imaging (MIBI).

Fundings : Human Frontiers Science Program

Samarth Hegde

Samarth received his Ph.D. in 2019 under Dr. David DeNardo at Washington University in St. Louis, where he worked on T cell immune surveillance dysfunction in pancreatic cancer. In the Merad Lab, Samarth is interested in understanding global immune interactions across different tumor contexts, focusing on dendritic cell dysfunction over tumor progression. He will utilize high-dimensional tools in mouse models and human patient samples to study the impact of tumor microenvironment and cell-intrinsic signaling on the function of proximal myeloid cells.

Fundings : The National Cancer Institute F99/K00 Predoctoral-to-Postdoctoral Transition Fellowship

Matthias Wilk

Matthias is an MD in training for Hematology and Oncology from Düsseldorf / Germany. During his previous research in Zurich / Switzerland he was working on clonal hematopoiesis and Langerhans cell histiocytosis. As a postdoctoral fellow, he is now further studying the pathophysiology of Langerhans cell histiocytosis and aspects of senescence in solid tumors.

Fundings : Swiss National Science Foundation and Swiss Cancer League

Meriem Belabed

Meriem is a postdoctoral fellow from Algeria. She obtained her PhD in immunology at the University of Paris (France). Now, in her postdoctoral fellowship, she will participate in the research study, which focuses on the innate immune system to develop novel therapies against cancer. In particular, she will study the biology of dendritic cells and macrophages that reside in cancer tissues to understand whether specific defects in these cells contribute to disease pathogenesis and whether dendritic cells and macrophage defects could be restored to cure cancer.


Maxime Dhainaut

Maxime is a postdoctoral fellow who is part of both the Merad Lab and the Brown Lab. He is taking advantage of the Jedi mice (developed by the Brown laboratory) to study the mechanisms of cytotoxic CD8T cell (CTLs)-mediated tumor regression in vivo. He is particularly interested in the interactions between CTLs and cancer-initiating cells.

Fundings: Belgian American Education Foundation


Alfonso Rodriguez

Alfonso is a postdoctoral fellow from Madrid, Spain. During his PhD studies in the University of Navarra (Pamplona, Spain), he investigated the role type 1 conventional dendritic cells play in cancer immunity. In conjunction with Brian Brown’s lab, he is currently working on the development of novel myeloid cell-targeted therapies in the context of cancer immunotherapy.


Gurkan Mollaoglu

Gurkan received his master’s degree in molecular biology and genetics from Koc University (Istanbul, Turkey) and his doctorate in oncological sciences from the University of Utah School of Medicine. He joined the Merad and the Brown labs at Mount Sinai to study the role of cancer genetics in tumor immunity. He is fascinated by the nature of the complex interactions between cancer cells and immune cells. He thinks that a better understanding of the incredibly dynamic co-evolution of cancer cells and the immune system will eventually make most cancers if not all manageable diseases.

Funding: The National Cancer Institute