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Elizabeth Petri Henske, MD
Principal Investigator

Karen Forti
Grants Administrator

Damir Khabibullin, MS
Research Scientist/ Lab Manager

Phone: 857-307-0788

Education / Training:

Kazan State University, Russia (BA- English Translation)
Kazan State University, Russia (MS- Molecular Biology)

Research Interests:

Damir is currently working to identify the role and functions of folliculin, as it relates to the pathogenesis of Birt-Hogg-Dube (BHD) Syndrome. He is also developing animal models of FLCN inactivation.

Hobbies / Interests:

  • Computers, computer games
  • Archery

Hilaire Lam, PhD
Instructor in Medicine

Phone: 857-307-0789

Education / Training:

Wellesley College (BA, Biological Chemistry with honors project in the laboratory of T. Kaye Peterman, PhD)
University of Pittsburgh, School of Medicine (PhD, Cellular and Molecular Pathology, in laboratory of Augustine MK Choi, MD, Department of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine)
Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School (Research Associate with Augustine MK Choi, MD, Department of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine)
Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School (Postdoctoral Fellow with Piero Anversa, MD, Department of Anesthesia and Medicine)
Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School (Postdoctoral Fellow with Elizabeth (Lisa) Henske, MD, Department of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine)

Research Interests:

As an undergraduate researcher, Dr. Lam investigated the Arabidopsis thaliana protein Patellin 1, a lipid binding protein associated with cytokinesis. She received her doctorate in Cellular and Molecular Pathology from University of Pittsburgh, School of Medicine working in the laboratory of Dr. Choi. Her graduate work focused on the regulation of proteostasis by HDAC6 and autophagy in cigarette smoke-induced cilia loss, which contributes to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) pathogenesis. As a postdoctoral fellow in the Anversa laboratory, Dr. Lam investigated regenerative and aging mechanisms in heart and lung stem cells. Dr. Lam’s current research is focused on elucidating therapeutically targetable events of metabolic reprogramming in LAM/TSC.

Hobbies / Interests:

  • Reading
  • Baking
  • Kayaking
  • Softball
  • Theology/Philosophy

Charilaos Filippakis, PhD
Instructor in Medicine

Phone: 857-307-0994

Education / Training:

School of Medical Sciences, University of Aberdeen, UK. (B.Sc. Honors, Genetics)
School of Medicine, University of Crete, Greece. (M.Sc. Cellular and Genetic Etiology, Diagnosis and Treatment of Human Disease)
School of Medicine, University of Crete, Greece. (Ph.D. Biochemistry/Virology)
Molecular Oncology Research Institute, Tufts Medical Center, Boston, MA. (Postdoctoral Fellow)
Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School (Postdoctoral Fellow)

Research Interests:

Dr. Filippakis received his Ph.D. from the University of Crete Medical School in 2011. His thesis focused on the involvement of the oncogenic Ras signaling pathway during active human cytomegalovirus infection. Harry then investigated the role of T-antigens of the polyomaviruses SV40 and MCV in tumorigenesis at the Molecular Oncology Research Institute at Tufts Medical Center. His current research focuses on the metabolic vulnerability of lymphangioleiomyomatosis and the tuberous sclerosis complex that could be targeted therapeutically.

Hobbies / Interests:

  • Cooking
  • Reading
  • Travel

Nicola Alesi, MD
Instructor in Medicine

Phone: 857-307-0794

Education / Training:

MD University Politecnica delle Marche, Ancona, Italy

Hobbies / Interests:

  • Cooking
  • History
  • Philosophy
  • Travel

Heng-Jia (Tina) Liu, PhD
Instructor in Medicine

Phone: 857-307-0792

Education / Training:

Otago School of Medical Sciences, University of Otago, New Zealand (BBiomediSc (Hons), Biomedical Sciences with First Class Honors)
Faculty of Biomedical and Psychological Sciences, School of Biomedical Sciences, Monash University, Australia (Ph.D., Molecular Biology and Biochemistry)
Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School (Postdoctoral Research Fellow)
Dr. Liu received her Ph.D. in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry from Monash University. Her Ph.D. thesis focused on the characterization of inositol polyphosphates 4-phosphatases, regulators of the PI3-Kinase signaling in breast cancer biology. Her current research focuses on role of the immune microenvironment in the pathogenesis and therapy of and tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) and lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM).

Hobbies / Interests:

  • Music
  • Ancient history
  • Travel
  • Bike riding
  • Cats

Shefali Bagwe, MBBS
Clinical Research Coordinator

Phone: 857-307-0784

Education / Training:

Bharati Vidyapeeth University Medical College, MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery), 2011

Hobbies / Interests:

  • Photography
  • Bike riding
  • Baking

John C. Kennedy, MD
Instructor in Medicine

Phone: 857-307-0792

Education / Training:

Salisbury University, Salisbury MD (BS, Biology)
Salisbury University, Salisbury, MD (BA, Psychology)
Trinity College Dublin, Dublin (MS, molecular Medicine)
The University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM (MD, Medicine)
The University of Rochester, Rochester, NY (Resident, Internal Medicine and Pediatrics)
Brigham and Women’s Hospital/ Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA (Postdoctoral Fellow, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine)
Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA (NIH training grant, Pulmonology Division T32 training)
The Broad Institute, Cambridge, MA, (Affiliated Scientist)

Research Interests:

I am interested in cystic interstitial lung diseases, and particularly at understanding the genetic underpinnings of pulmonary cyst development. I currently focus on the rare cystic lung disease Birt-Hogg-Dube, as a example of a monogenic interstitial lung disease. I have also become interested in the developmental biology of lung formation and how those pathways might be reactivated during lung injury and repair. I am using induced pluripotent stem cell models to further my study of Birt-Hogg-Dube, and of lung development in general.

Hobbies / Interests:

  • Hiking
  • Going to the beach
  • Raising 3 small children

Yan Tang, PhD
Instructor in Medicine

Phone: 857-307-0786

Education / Training:

Peking University (Ph.D. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology)

Research Interest:
Systems biology of human disease

Charbel Hobeika, MD
Postdoctoral Fellow

Education / Training:

Saint Joseph University, Beirut, Lebanon (MD, Medicine)

 

Research Interests:

Understanding the pathogenesis of chromophobe renal cell carcinoma

 

Hobbies / Interests:

Coffee

Soccer

Greco-roman history and mythology

Dean Rosenthal, BA
Research Assistant

Education / Training:

Vassar College (BA, Biology)

Research Interests:

Non-canonical mTOR signaling and the role of Rag GTPases in regulating MITF/TFE transcription factors.

Hobbies / Interests:

  • Rock climbing
  • Baking
  • Zoology

Long Zhang, PhD
Instructor in Medicine

Education / Training:

  • East China Normal University (PhD, Biomedicine, School of Life Sciences)
  • Albany Medical College (Postdoctoral Research Fellow, in the laboratory of Wenzheng Zhang, Department of Regenerative & Cancer Cell Biology)
  • Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School (Postdoctoral Fellow with Elizabeth (Lisa) Henske, MD, Department of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine)
  • Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School (Instructor with Elizabeth (Lisa) Henske, MD, Department of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine)

Research Interests:

Dr. Zhang received his Ph.D. in Biomedicine in 2014 from East China Normal University in China.  Dr. Zhang joined the Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine Division in 2019 as a research fellow.  Dr.  Zhang has taken the lead in investigating the role of ferroptosis in chromophobe renal cell carcinoma (chRCC), a rare subtype of RCC. This work builds on Dr. Zhang’s expertise in kidney biology.  Dr. Zhang has discovered that gamma-glutamyl transferase-1 (GGT1), the key gene of glutathione savage pathway, play a critical role in sensitizing chRCC cells to ferroptosis. As a rare cancer, chRCC has always lacked effective treatment methods and medicine. Dr. Zhang’s research on ferroptosis provides new ideas and potential treatment methods for the treatment of chRCC. In parallel, Dr. Zhang is developing new genetically-engineered mouse models of chRCC that can be used for preclinical and mechanistic studies.

Hobbies / Interests:

  • Reading
  • Hiking
  • Swimming
  • Travel
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