Principal Investigator

Costas A Lyssiotis, PhD
Assistant Professor, Molecular & Integrative Physiology 

Costas is a biochemist and runs a research lab aimed at defining metabolic alterations in disease. His team uses this information to guide the development of diagnostic markers, new drug targets and therapies. He is also passionate about science education and training the future generation of scientists. 
Hobbies: cycling, brewing, soccer, sci-fi, disc golf, mustaches

Postdoctoral Fellows

Christopher Halbrook, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow, Molecular & Integrative Physiology

Chris earned his PhD from Stony Brook University studying the signaling and transcriptomic landscape of acinar cell plasticity in the context of chronic pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer. In the Lyssiotis Group he is studying tumor–stromal crosstalk as well as metabolism driven therapeutic and detection modalities for pancreatic cancer.
Hobbies: Green Bay Packers football, cooking, brewing, running

Ilya Kovalenko, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow, Molecular & Integrative Physiology

Ilya obtained his PhD from the Technical University of Berlin working at Bayer Healthcare working on the role of ion channels and transporters in pancreatic cancer metabolism. In the Lyssiotis group he is studying the role of neural regulation on metabolism during the progression of chronic pancreatitis into PDAC and the metabolic pathways in fibroblasts that promote survival of cancer cells.
Hobbies: visual arts, cooking, running marathons and other outdoor sports

Lauren Rodenbarger, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow, Pathology 

Lauren completed a PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Indiana University studying the convergence of IL-6/Stat3 signaling and HIPPO signaling in breast cancer. There, she fell in love with the study of human tissues using immunofluorescent labeling and microscopy. Lauren is currently co-mentored by Costas and David Lombard to study melanoma metabolism. 
Hobbies: All music always, her dog Zora, and the art of craft beer consumption

Mengrou Shan, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow, Molecular & Integrative Physiology

Mengrou obtained her PhD in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering from Cornell University studying the dynamic outcomes of cell-tissue interactions in vascular anastomosis and cancer metabolism. In the Lyssiotis lab, she is interested in understanding the rewired metabolism in pancreatic cancer cells, the PDAC tumor microenvironment and everything in between.
Hobbies: hiking, camping, homebrewing, gardening, hoarding houseplants, DIY home improvement

Nneka Mbah, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow, Molecular & Integrative Physiology

Nneka obtained her PhD in Cancer Biology from the University of Toledo studying the mechanism of indole chalcone compounds as inducers of methuosis, a non-apoptoptic cell death pathway, in glioblastoma. In the Franchi and Lyssiotis labs, she will be studying novel immunotherapeutic strategies to potentiate immune responses against DIPG, a type of pediatric brain tumor.
Hobbies: reading, classical music, crafts, nature walks

Vinee Purohit, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow, New York University (Simeone Lab)

Vinee completed her Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine (2008) in India, followed by a PhD (2014) at UNMC focusing on the metabolic basis of chemotherapy resistance in pancreatic cancer. She is a postdoctoral fellow in the Simeone lab at New York University and is co-mentored by Costas. She is collaborating with the Lyssiotis Lab to understand how redox is regulated in pancreatic cancer.
Hobbies: (in no particular order) dogs, music, long drives, national parks, cars

Graduate Students

Barbara Nelson
Graduate Student, Cancer Biology 

Barbara graduated from UMass Amherst with a B.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology a. She then worked at UMass Medical School on T cell immunity against influenza, followed by a position researching brain circuitry assembly. She joined the Cancer Biology Graduate Program at UM in 2015. In the Lyssiotis lab, she is studying crosstalk between tumor cells and the surrounding stroma.
Hobbies: hiking, curling, reading, dancing

Daniel Kremer
Graduate Student, Chemical Biology

Dan earned his B.S. in chemistry with a minor in applied mathematics from the University of St. Thomas (MN). He joined the Program in Chemical Biology in 2015. As a member of the Lyssiotis Lab, Dan is interested in profiling metabolic rewiring and potential drug targets for human cancers.
Hobbies: hockey, running, weightlifting, rock climbing, adventures, reading

Hanna Hong
Graduate Student, Immunology

Hanna graduated from the University of Washington in 2015 with a B.S. in biochemistry. As an undergrad, she studied how the KSH virus altered host cell metabolism during latent infection. Following graduation, she joined the Gallin lab at the NIH, where she studied bacterial pathogenesis. She started at UM in 2016 and is studying immunometabolism in the Lyssiotis lab.
Hobbies: breakfast, music, coffee, millennial things

Kristen Loesel

Graduate Student

Kristen, a graduate student from Saginaw Valley State University in Biology. At SVSU, she studied age-related changes in inflammatory signaling. Currently she is working in the Franchi and Lyssiotis labs studying immunometabolism.
Hobbies: reading, tennis, word games, and painting

Peter Kim
Graduate Student, Cancer Biology

Peter graduated with a B.A. in biology at Columbia Univeristy and a M.S. in biomedical science at UMDNJ-Rutgers. He then worked on a project where he elucidated the regulation of hexosamine biosynthesis pathway by mTORC2. He is currently rotating in the Lyssiotis lab, researching the glycosylation pathway in pancreatic cancer.
Hobbies: Kettlebells, hiking, watching NBA games/highlights, traveling.

Samuel Kerk
Graduate Student, Cancer Biology

Sam graduated from Calvin College with a B.S. in Biochemistry. He worked as a research technician at the University of Michigan before joining the Program in Biomedical Sciences in 2017. Sam is currently a rotation student in the Lyssiotis lab studying the metabolic interactions between neurons and tumor cells in PDAC. 
Hobbies: Reading, running, coffee

Undergraduate Students

Joon-Young Oh

Undergraduate Student

Joon is a senior at the University of Michigan majoring in Cellular and Molecular Biology. He is involved in managing genetically engineered mouse models of cancer and metabolism.
Hobbies: music, soccer, photography

Matthew Ward

Undergraduate Student

Matt is a junior at the University of Michigan majoring in Biochemistry and minoring in German Studies. He is researching novel gene targets which may affect the metabolism of pancreatic cancer cells.
Hobbies: reading, coaching gymnastics, kayaking

Samuel Welling

Undergraduate Student

Sam is a freshman at the University of Michigan intending to major in Cellular and Molecular Biology. He is currently researching the role of hexosamine biosynthetic pathway in cancer.
Hobbies: Performing aerial acrobatics, snake charming, reading

Sean Hou
Undergraduate Student

Sean is a senior at the University of Michigan majoring in Biomolecular Science and Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience. He is researching the regulation of PD-L1 expression by macrophage in cancer cells. 
Hobbies: weightlifting, running, eating, basketball, NBA, reddit


Amy Myers, PhD
Lab Manager

Amy earned a PhD from the Medical College of Ohio studying differential gene expression in cancer. As a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Arizona, she focused on UVA-induced signaling pathways. Thereafter she joined UM as a Laboratory Specialist and worked on esophageal adenocarcinoma chemoresistance. She is the Lyssiotis lab manager and part of the research team studying novel inhibitors of the GOT1 pathway in pancreatic cancer.
Hobbies: swimming, boating, zumba, hangin’ with my kiddos!

Corbin Pontious
Technician, Molecular & Integrative Physiology

Corbin graduated from Michigan State University with a BS in Human Biology in 2016. He is currently a Molecular & Integrative Physiology technician and will study metabolic alterations in pancreatic cancer cells as a member of the Lyssiotis lab.
Hobbies: running, cycling, reading, traveling and bad movies

Ho-Joon Lee, PhD
Research Investigator, Molecular & Integrative Physiology

Ho-Joon obtained his PhD in bioinformatics at the Free University of Berlin and the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics in Berlin, Germany, studying functional genomics of yeast transcriptional networks. His postdoctoral work in systems biology at Harvard Medical School was focused on IL-3 activation and cell cycle using proteomics and metabolomics. In the Lyssiotis lab he is working on metabolomics data analysis pipelines and integrative multi-omics analysis in pancreatic cancer. 
Hobbies: running, biking

Li Zhang, PhD
Research Area Specialist Lead

Li is a chemist specializing in mass spectrometry applications. With 16 years of experience working at leading university MS facilities, a private instrumentation company and government lab, he continues to enjoy learning and adapting new MS technologies to better serve the life sciences.
Hobbies: gardening, home improvement, piano

Lin Lin, MD, PhD
Assistant Research Scientist, Molecular & Integrative Physiology

Lin earned her medical degree from Xian Jiaotong University in China and completed her PhD in molecular biology and genetics at The Medical College of Ohio. She obtained her postdoctoral training in molecular oncology at UM and continued her research focusing on identification and characterization of genetic alterations in esophageal adenocarcinoma. Her latest research focused on microenvironmental gene regulation and epithelial-mesenchymal transition in the modulation of chemoresistance. In the Lyssiotis Group, she is characterizing metabolism driven therapeutics in pancreatic cancer.
Hobbies: Choral singing, classical music, poetry composition, Michigan football

Peter Sajjakulnukit


Peter graduated from the University of Michigan in 2016 with a BS in Neuroscience. During that time he worked at the Henry Ford Medical Center on an Epilepsy research project and at the Eisenhower Center as a rehab assistant helping patients suffering from the effects of traumatic brain injuries. He currently splits his efforts between the Lyssiotis Lab and the Metabolomics Core as a lab technician.
Hobbies: Hockey, Golf, Wandering, and Napping

Xiaohua (
Research Lab Specialist Inter

Tina earned her medical degree from Shandong University and completed her OB/GYN residency in China. Her previous work at the Henry Ford Health System concerned the investigation of anticancer effects of novel agents and their mechanism of action. Tina recently joined the Lyssiotis lab where she will run mouse tumor model studies and the supervise the transgenic animal colony.
Hobbies: speed skating, skiing, volleyball, soccer


Monica Misra

Monica is a microbiologist by training. She has been involved with the sequencing efforts of chromosome 16 (part of Human Genome Project), bacterial annotation, fungal annotation and comparative genomics. She is extremely interested in pancreatic cancer research.
Hobbies: Reading, Photography, Running and Gardening.


 Name  Former Role in Lyssiotis Lab  Current Position
 Chris Granados Masters Student in Chemical Biology 
 Sydney Rosenblum Rotating Graduate Student     Graduate Student, Garner Lab, University of Michigan
 Pradeep Gunasekaran Graduate Student Clinical Data Analyst, Tempus Biotech 
 Johanna Ramos Technician NeuMoDx Molecular  
 Stephanie Wisner Technician Business School, University of Chicago
 Tansy Massey-Green Undergraduate Researcher Somewhere in Central America...
 Ambreen Zaidi Undergraduate Researcher Sophmore, Northwestern University
 Steven Kasperek Technician Masters Student, Clemson
 Akash Vaidya Undergraduate Researcher Senior, Cornell
 Zachary Tolstyka Postdoctoral Fellow Medical School, Wayne State University
 Aaron Lotvola  Masters Student in Chemical Biology  Clinical Data Analyst, Tempus Biotech 
 Ilana Kotliar  Undergraduate Fellow  Senior, Cornell University
 Emily Sherman Rotating Graduate Student Graduate Student, Garner Lab, University of Michigan
 John Crellin  Rotating Graduate Student  Graduate Student, Martin Lab, University of Michigan
 Torrin McDonald Rotating Graduate Student Graduate Student, Boyle Lab, University of Michigan