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Reginato Lab Members

Current Lab Members

Mauricio Reginato, PhD, Professor

Lorela Ciraku, PhD Candidate, MCBG Graduate Program, since Spring 2017

  • Received the 2019-2020 Dean’s Fellowship for Excellence in Collaborative or Themed Research, Drexel University College of Medicine, for her work titled “Targeting CDK5/ACSS2 Axis Using Novel Glioblastoma Ex Vivo Model.”
  • Was chosen for a short talk at the September 2019 Biology of Cancer: Microenvironment & Metastasis Conference in Cold Spring Harbor, New York, to present part of her thesis research "O-GlcNAc Transferase Regulates Glioblastoma Acetate Metabolism via Regulation of CDK5-dependent ACSS2 phosphorylation.”
  • Received third prize for Best Senior Graduate Student Poster presentation at Drexel's 2018 Discovery Day. Lorela’s poster was entitled "The essential role of O-GlcNAc transferase in intestinal homeostasis."
Lorela Ciraku, PhD Candidate, MCBG Graduate Program, since Spring 2017

Tejsi Dhameliya, MS Candidate, MCBG Graduate Program, since Spring 2020

 

Tejsi Dhameliya, Reginato Lab Member

Emily Esquea, MS Candidate, MCBG Graduate Program, since Spring 2020

 

Emily Esquea, Reginato Lab Member

Wiktoria Gocal, Undergraduate Researcher, since Fall 2015

  • Received STAR Program Fellowship, Drexel University, Summer 2016
  • Presented her research at Yale Undergraduate Research Conference, February 2017, New Haven, CT
  • Presented her research at National Conference on Undergraduate Research, April 2017, Memphis, TN
Wiktoria Gocal, Undergraduate Researcher, since Fall 2015

Vlada Kupriienko, Undergraduate Researcher, since Fall 2018

 

Vlada Kupriienko, Reginato Lab Member

Giang Le Minh, PhD Candidate, Biochemistry Graduate Program, since Summer 2019

 

Giang Le Minh, Reginato Lab Member

Rebecca Moeller, MS Candidate, Cancer Biology Program, since Spring 2019

 

Rebecca Moeller, Reginato Lab Member

 

Former Trainees: Graduated PhD Students

Neha Akella, PhD, Biochemistry Graduate Program, 2014-2019

Thesis title: The role of O-GlcNAc transferase and O-GlcNAcylation in regulation of breast cancer stemness and tumor initiation

  • Awarded DUCOM GSA Student Travel Award to present her research at 2016 Keystone Symposium: Stem Cells and Cancer, Breckenridge, Colorado
  • Selected Oral Presentation, Emerging Graduate Scholars Conference, Drexel University, April 2017
  • Was chosen for a short talk at the October 2017 Biology of Cancer: Microenvironment & Metastasis Conference in Cold Spring Harbor, NY, to present her thesis research "O-GlcNAc transferase regulates breast cancer tumor-initiating cells."
  • Chosen for a short talk at the September 2018 Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University Educational Retreat to present her thesis research, "O-GlcNAc transferase regulates breast cancer tumor-initiating cells."
  • Received first prize for Best Poster at the Sydney Kimmel Cancer Center Breast Cancer Symposium in November 2018. Neha’s poster was entitled "O-GlcNAc transferase regulates breast cancer tumor-initiating cells."
Neha Akella, PhD, Biochemistry Program

Zachary Bacigalupa, PhD, Molecular and Cell Biology and Genetics Graduate Program, 2013-2018

Thesis title: Role of O-GlcNAc transferase in glioblastoma growth and acetate metabolism and in tissue homeostasis

  • Received 2nd Prize, Best Platform Presentation Speaker, Discovery Day 2017: Drexel University College of Medicine
  • Awarded Dean's Graduate Student Travel Award and chosen for short talk platform presentation to present his research at 2016 Keystone Symposium: New Frontiers in Understanding Tumor Metabolism in Banff, Alberta, Canada
  • Awarded DUCOM PhD Biomedical Sciences GSA Fellowship Award ($2,000) for thesis project
  • Awarded International Travel Award from the Office of Global Engagement and Education Abroad at Drexel University to present his research at 2017 Keystone Symposium, Tumor Metabolism: Mechanisms and Targets, in Whistler, Canada
  • Awarded 2017 Dean's Fellowship for Excellence in Collaborative or Themed Research ($3,000), Drexel University College of Medicine

Current position: Postdoctoral fellowship, laboratory of Dr. Jeffrey Rathmell, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee

Zachary Bacigalupa, PhD, Molecular and Cell Biology and Genetics Graduate Program (2013-2018)

Valerie Sodi, PhD, Molecular and Cell Biology and Genetics Graduate Program, 2011-2016

Thesis title: Regulation of O-GlcNAc Transferase in breast cancer and its role in regulating lipid metabolism

  • Selected platform presentation speaker, Discovery Day 2015, Drexel University College of Medicine
  • Received NIH-National Cancer Institute NRSA (F31) Predoctoral Fellowship Award: 7/15-06/17 ($123,830)
  • Awarded Dean's Graduate Student Travel Award to present her research at 2015 Biology of Cancer meeting at Cold Spring Harbor Labs, Cold Spring Harbor, New York
  • Received third prize, Best Graduate Student Poster, 2014 Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center Consortium, Thomas Jefferson University
  • Awarded Drexel University College of Medicine Graduate Student Student Travel Award to present her research at 2013 Keystone Symposia on Tumor Metabolism, Keystone, Colorado
  • Received first prize, Outstanding Junior Graduate Student Poster, Discovery Day 2012, Drexel University College of Medicine

Current position: Postdoctoral fellowship, laboratory of Dr. Denise Connolly, associate professor, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Valerie Sodi, PhD, Molecular and Cell Biology and Genetics Graduate Program (2011-2016)

Christina M. Ferrer, PhD, Molecular and Cell Biology and Genetics Graduate Program, 2010-2015

Thesis title: O-GlcNAcylation: Linking Metabolic Reprogramming to Cancer Cell Survival, Invasion and Metastasis

  • Awarded NIH NCI Pre-doctoral Minority Supplemental Fellowship (8/12-7/15, $65,000)
  • Received first prize, Outstanding Senior Graduate Student Poster, Discovery Day 2012: Drexel University College of Medicine
  • Awarded Keystone Symposia-NIGMS Ancillary Training Program travel scholarship to present her research at 2013 Keystone Symposia on Tumor Metabolism, Keystone, Colorado
  • Received travel award and chosen for short talk platform presentation at 2013 Cancer Biology & Therapeutics meeting at Cold Spring Harbor Labs, Cold Spring Harbor, New York
  • Received NIH-National Cancer Institute NRSA (F31) Predoctoral Fellowship Award: 10/13-09/15 ($125,079)
  • Selected platform presentation speaker, Discovery Day 2013: Drexel University College of Medicine
  • Received travel award and chosen for short talk platform presentation at 2014 Mechanisms & Models of Cancer meeting at Cold Spring Harbor Labs, Cold Spring Harbor, New York
  • Received Bondi Fellowship Award for excellence in research at Discovery Day 2014, Drexel University College of Medicine
  • Awarded Keystone Symposia-NIGMS Ancillary Training Program travel scholarship and chosen for short talk platform presentation at 2015 Keystone Symposia on Biology of Sirtuins, Santa Fe, New Mexico
  • Awarded AACR Scholar-in-Training Award to attend and present her work at 2015 AACR Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Received the 2016 Amedeo Bondi, PhD, Endowed Graduate Award for excellence in research performance during the training experience. This is the highest recognition given to PhD students in Biomedical Graduate Studies Programs

Current position: Postdoctoral fellowship, laboratory of Dr. Raul Mostoslavsky, associate professor, Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts

Christina M. Ferrer, PhD, Molecular and Cell Biology and Genetics Graduate Program (2010-2015)

Sergey Karakashev, PhD, Biochemistry Graduate Program, 2011-2015

Thesis title: The Role of Hypoxia in Mediating Resistance to Breast Cancer Therapy

  • Received third prize, Outstanding Senior Graduate Student Poster, Discovery Day 2012, Drexel University College of Medicine
  • Selected for short talk platform presentation at 2013 Third AACR International Conference on Frontiers in Basic Cancer Research in National Harbor, Maryland
  • Awarded Graduate Student Travel Award to present his research at 2014 AACR Annual Meeting, San Diego, California
  • Awarded Graduate Student Travel Award ($2,000) for thesis project
  • Received second prize, Best Graduate Student Poster, 2014 Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center Consortium, Thomas Jefferson University
  • Selected platform presentation speaker, Discovery Day 2014, Drexel University College of Medicine

Current position: Postdoctoral fellowship, laboratory of Dr. Rugang Zhang, associate professor, Gene Expression and Regulation Program, Wistar Institute, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Sergey Karakashev, PhD, Biochemistry Graduate Program (2011-2015)

Diane Kambach, PhD, Molecular and Cell Biology and Genetics-Molecular Path. Graduate Program, 2010-2012

Thesis title: Mechanisms Regulating Breast Cancer Invasion in Response to Ionizing Radiation

Co-mentor: Jane Clifford, PhD

  • Selected platform presentation speaker, Discovery Day 2011, Drexel University College of Medicine
  • Awarded Graduate Student Travel Award to present work at 2012 AACR Annual Meeting, Chicago

Postdoctoral position: National Cancer Institute postdoctoral fellow, laboratory of Jayne Stommel, PhD, Radiation Oncology Branch, Center for Cancer Research, NIH, Bethesda, Maryland

Current position: Field application scientist, BioTek Instruments Inc.

Diane Kambach, PhD, Molecular and Cell Biology and Genetics-Molecular Path. Graduate Program (2010-2012)

Thomas P. Lynch, PhD, Molecular and Cell Biology and Genetics Graduate Program, 2008-2012

Thesis title: Role of O-GlcNAc Transferase in Cancer Cell Metastasis and Metabolism

  • Selected Platform Presentation Speaker, Discovery Day 2010, Drexel University College of Medicine
  • Chosen for platform presentation at 2011 The Biology of Cancer: Microenvironment, Metastasis & Therapeutics at Cold Spring Harbor Labs, Cold Spring Harbor, NY
  • Awarded Keystone Symposia Future of Science Fund travel scholarship to present his research at 2012 Keystone Symposia on Cancer and Metabolism, Banff, Canada

Postdoctoral fellowship: NJ Commission on Cancer Research postdoctoral fellowship, laboratory of Dr. Estela Jacinto, associate professor, Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, The Cancer Institute of New Jersey, UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School

Current position: QS scientist at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

Thomas P. Lynch, PhD, Molecular and Cell Biology and Genetics Graduate Program (2008-2012)

Kelly Whelan, PhD, Molecular and Cell Biology and Genetics Graduate Program, 2007-2011

Thesis title: Hypoxia/HIF-1 regulation of mammary morphogenesis and oncogenesis

  • Received third Prize, Outstanding Junior Graduate Student Poster, Discovery Day 2007, Drexel University College of Medicine
  • Selected platform presentation speaker, Discovery Day 2009, Drexel University College of Medicine

Postdoctoral fellowship: NIH-NRSA postdoctoral fellowship in the laboratory of Dr. Hiroshi Nakagawa, associate professor, and Dr. Anil Rustgi, chief and professor, Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine, Abramson Cancer Center, University of Pennsylvania.

Current position:Assistant professor (tenure-track), Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Fels Institute of Cancer Research and Molecular Biology, Temple University Lewis Katz School of Medicine

Kelly Whelan, PhD, Molecular and Cell Biology and Genetics Graduate Program (2007-2011)

Keneshia Haenssen, PhD, Molecular and Cell Biology and Genetics Graduate Program, 2006-2010

Thesis title: Functional role of integrinα5 in ErbB2-mediated oncogenesis of human mammary epithelial cells

  • Received Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program Predoctoral Traineeship Award: 1/08-12/09 ($64,800)
  • Received honorable mention, platform presentation speaker, Discovery Day 2005, Drexel University College of Medicine

Postdoctoral fellowship: UNCF/Merck, laboratory of Dr. Edmund Lattime, deputy director and professor, The Cancer Institute of New Jersey, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School/UMDNJ

Current position: Senior scientist, Oncobiologics Inc.

Keneshia Haenssen, PhD, Molecular and Cell Biology and Genetics Graduate Program, Drexel University College of Medicine, 2006-2010

 

Graduated Master's Students

Jing Ju, MS, Cancer Biology Graduate Program, 2017-2019

Thesis title: Role of ACSS2-Ser267 phosphorylation in glioblastoma cells

Current position: PhD Candidate, Molecular & Cellular Biology Program, Virginia Tech University, Blacksburg, Virginia

Jing Ju, MS: Reginato Lab Member

Rusia Lee, MS, Cancer Biology Graduate Program, 2016-2018

Thesis title: Targeting cyclin-dependent kinase 5 in glioblastoma

Current position: PhD Candidate, Program in Biology, City College of New York, New York

Rusia Lee, MS, Cancer Biology Graduate Program (2016-2018)

Ayonika Mukherjee, MS, Biotechnology Graduate Program, 2016-2018

Current position: Associate Scientist, Molecular Biology Division, GlaxoSmithKline, Upper Providence, Pennsylvania

Ayonika Mukherjee, MS, Biotechnology Graduate Program (2016-2018)

Aishwarya Subramanian, MS, Biotechnology Graduate Program, 2016-2018

Current position: Contract Position, Vaccines R&D Center, GlaxoSmithKline, Rockville, Maryland

Aishwarya Subramanian, MS, Biotechnology Graduate Program (2016-2018)

Chaitali Bhadiadra, MS, Molecular and Cell Biology and Genetics Graduate Program, 2015-2017

Thesis title: Using cancer genomic databases to identify glycosyltransferases involved in cancer.

Current position: Research Technician, Laboratory of Dr. Laurence Eisenlohr, Professor, Department of Pathology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Chaitali Bhadiadra, MS, Molecular and Cell Biology and Genetics Graduate Program (2015-2017)

Dimpi Mukhopadhyay, MS, Cancer Biology Program, 2015-2017

Thesis title: Role of spastin in regulating glioblastoma cell survival

Current position: PhD Candidate, Program in Molecular Medicine & Molecular, Cell and Cancer Biology, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, Massachusetts

Dimpi Mukhopadhyay, MS, Cancer Biology Program (2015-2017)

Michael Smith, MS, Biochemistry Graduate Program, 2015-2017

Thesis title: Regulation of ACSS2 by O-GlcNAc transferase in glioblastoma cells

Michael Smith, MS, Biochemistry Graduate Program (2015-2017)

Asma Ashraf, MS, Drug Discovery & Development Graduate Program, 2012-2014

Thesis title: Reducing O-GlcNAcylation Sensitizes Breast Cancer Cells to Lapatanib

Current position: Research scientist, preclinical/clinical vaccines, Molecular Biology Department, GlaxoSmithKline, Rockville, Maryland

Asma Ashraf, MS, Drug Discovery & Development Graduate Program (2012-2014)

Sakina Khaku, MS, Molecular and Cell Biology and Genetics Graduate Program, 2010-2012

Thesis title: O-GlcNAc Transferase Expression is Regulated by mTOR and Myc pathways in cancer cells

Current position: Associate scientist, vaccine development, Merck & Co., West Point, Pennsylvania

Sakina Khaku, MS, Molecular and Cell Biology and Genetics Graduate Program, 2010-2012

Tong Lu, MS, Cancer Biology Program, 2014-2016

Thesis title: Understanding O-GlcNAc transferase regulation of SIRT1 in breast cancer cells

Current position: PhD Candidate, Biomedical Sciences Program, Penn State College of Medicine, Hershey, Pennsylvania

Tong Lu, MS, Cancer Biology Program (2014-2016)

Peter Michener, MS, Molecular and Cell Biology and Genetics Program, 2014-2017

Thesis title: Identifying oncogene-induced protein interactions with O-GlcNAc transferase

Current position: Research scientist, laboratory of Dr. Christine Eischen, professor, Department of Cancer Biology, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Peter Michener, MS, Molecular and Cell Biology and Genetics Program (2014-2017)

 

PhD Rotation Students

2019

  • Giang Le Minh (Biochem) Spring 2019
  • Shih-Chun (Annie) Shen (MCBG) Fall 2019

2018

  • Meagan Tomasso (Biochem) Winter 2018
  • Ahn Tran (Pharmacology) Spring 2018
  • Dorothy Benton (MCBG) Fall 2018
  • Alexandra Guffey (MCBG) Fall 2018

2017

  • Sidney Wilson (Molecular and Cell Biology and Genetics) Fall 2017

2016

  • Kiran Madugula (Microbiology & Immunology) Spring 2016
  • Anthony DiNatale (Molecular and Cell Biology and Genetics, MD/PhD Candidate) Summer 2016
  • Lorela Ciraku (Molecular and Cell Biology and Genetics) Fall 2016

2015

  • Peter Michener (Molecular and Cell Biology and Genetics) Spring 2015
  • Kristopher Raghavan (Molecular and Cell Biology and Genetics) Fall 2015

2013

  • Arpita Mondal (Microbiology & Immunology) Winter 2013
  • Neha Manjari Akella (Biochemistry) Fall 2013

2012

  • Tim Nacarelli (Molecular and Cell Biology and Genetics) Spring 2012
  • Mallory Zvarick (Molecular and Cell Biology and Genetics) Fall 2012

2011

  • Patrice Worthy (Biochemistry) Winter 2011
  • Sergey Karakashev (Biochemistry) Spring 2011
  • Valerie Sodi (Molecular and Cell Biology and Genetics) Fall 2011

2010

  • Sumedha Bagga (Molecular and Cell Biology and Genetics) Spring 2010
  • Scott Melideo (Biochemistry) Fall 2010
  • Christina Ferrer (Molecular and Cell Biology and Genetics) Fall 2010

2009

  • Shuo Qie (Molecular Pathology) Fall 2009

2008

  • Benjamin Stager (Molecular and Cell Biology and Genetics) Spring 2008
  • Geetika Sethi (Biochemistry) Spring 2008 - Received 3rd Prize, Best Poster Junior Graduate Student, Discovery Day 2008, Drexel University College of Medicine
  • Zhiyuan Ma (Molecular and Cell Biology and Genetics) Fall 2008

2007

  • Emily Butte (Molecular Pathology) Spring 2007
  • Thomas Lynch (Molecular and Cell Biology and Genetics) Fall 2007

2006

  • Mike Amatangelo (Bioscience and Biotechnology) Spring 2006
  • Kelly Whelan (Molecular and Cell Biology and Genetics) Summer 2006
  • Jeff Pawlikowski (Biochemistry) Fall 2006

2005

  • Keneshia Haenssen (Molecular and Cell Biology and Genetics) Spring 2005
  • Aleem Choudhary (Biochemistry) Spring 2005
  • Adam Leham (Molecular and Cell Biology and Genetics) Fall 2005

 

Medical Student, Research Advisor

Joseph Assali, Summer 2019

  • Received Medical Student Summer Research Fellowship, Drexel University College of Medicine, 2019

Traci King, Summer 2017

  • Received Medical Student Summer Research Fellowship, Drexel University College of Medicine, 2017

Richard Wolfe, Summer 2016

  • Received Medical Student Summer Research Fellowship, Drexel University College of Medicine, 2016

Harun Thimmiah, Summer 2015

  • Received Medical Student Summer Research Fellowship, Drexel University College of Medicine, 2015

Sean Breslin, Summer 2013 (Co-mentor with Nancy MacGarvey, MD)

  • Received Medical Student Summer Research Fellowship, Drexel University College of Medicine, 2013
  • Received 2nd Prize, Outstanding Medical Student Poster, Medical Student Research Day 2014, Drexel University College of Medicine

John Falcone, Summer 2012

  • Received 1st Prize, Outstanding Medical Student Poster, Medical Student Research Day 2013, Drexel University College of Medicine

Kaitlin Ritter, Summer 2011 (Co-mentor with Laura Steel, PhD)

  • Received Medical Student Summer Research Fellowship, Drexel University College of Medicine, 2011
  • Received 2rd Prize, Best Poster Medical Student, Discovery Day 2011, Drexel University College of Medicine

Ashley S. Doane, Spring/Summer 2009

  • Received Medical Student Summer Research Fellowship, Drexel University College of Medicine, 2009

 

Master's Rotation Students, Research Advisor

Daniel Kantner (Molecular and Cell Biology and Genetics) Fall 2019

Tara McGrath (Cancer Biology) Spring 2019

Rebecca Moeller (Cancer Biology) Winter 2019

Fatimah Alfaran (Cancer Biology) Winter 2019

Ruth Seuker (Cancer Biology) Spring 2018

Shivani Sheth (Cancer Biology) Fall 2018

Jing Ju (Cancer Biology) Fall 2017

Rusia Lee (Cancer Biology) Spring 2017

Ayonika Mukherjee (Biotechnology) Spring 2017

Courtney Fesko (Biochemistry & Molecular Biology) Fall 2016

Kiana Shahidi (Cancer Biology) Fall 2016

Michael Smith (Biochemistry & Molecular Biology) Spring 2016

Chaitali Bhadiadra (Molecular and Cell Biology and Genetics) Winter 2016

Khin Zar Win Pyae (Molecular and Cell Biology and Genetics) Winter 2016

Kelly Geosits (Molecular and Cell Biology and Genetics) Spring 2015

Justine Gandia-Jackson (Drug Discovery & Development) Spring 2015

Dimpi Mukhopadhyay (Cancer Biology) Fall 2015

Dimpi Mukhopadhyay (Cancer Biology) Fall 2015

Tracey Yenilaitus (Biochemistry) Winter 2014

Samuel Flashner (Cancer Biology) Winter 2014

Tong Lu (Cancer Biology) Spring 2014

Safoora Deihimi (Cancer Biology) Fall 2014

Asma Ashraf (Drug Discovery & Development) Summer 2013

  • Received Honorable Mention, Junior Graduate Student Poster, Discovery Day 2013, Drexel University College of Medicine

Zachary Bacigalupa (Cancer Biology) Fall 2013

Suyash Bhatnagar (Molecular and Cell Biology and Genetics) Spring 2012

Matthew Leberer (MMS Program) Fall-2012

Sakina Khaku (Molecular and Cell Biology and Genetics) Spring 2011

Celal Emre Yetkin (Molecular and Cell Biology and Genetics) Fall 2010

Nada Abdel-Magid (Molecular and Cell Biology and Genetics) Winter 2008

Hsiang-Hwa (Shawn) Chen (IMS Program) Fall 2005-Spring 2006

 
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Research photos from the Reginato Lab at Drexel University College of Medicine