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Lab members


Katerina (Katya) Gurova came to Roswell in 2008. She got her PhD at Blokhin Russian Cancer Research Center in 1997. Her thesis work was aimed at understanding the interaction of tumor cells with normal fibroblasts. During post-doctoral training she was trying to understand why p53 is mutated only in half of human tumors and aimed to identify novel types of p53 activators for cancer treatment. Before coming to Roswell she worked as Director of Anti-Cancer Research in Cleveland BioLabs (CBL) for 3 years , the company which was founded after the discovery of prototype curaxin compounds.  When curaxins entered formal development stage, she decided to come back to the academy to continue looking for the mechanism of action of curaxins,  as well as other novel small molecules with anti-cancer properties, which were discovered in CBL or in the lab. Curaxins led her and the lab into the field of chromatin biology and histone chaperones.

Alfiya Safina is a senior scientist. She joined the lab in 2010 and since then has been instrumental in most of the projects in the lab. There are no problems that Alfiya cannot solve, and if she cannot - this means this problem has no solution. Alfiya likes to cook and does this excellently. This is one of the reasons of why all her experiments work.

Poorva Sandlesh just got her PhD in our lab in November of 2017. She generated conditional knockout mouse model of FACT and decided to stay in the lab for a while to characterise consequences of FACT knockout in more details. 

Elimelech (Eli) Nesher got his PhD in Ariel University in Israel in neuroscience! After that he joined our lab to get training in chromatin biology and cancer. He noticed and described   "chromatin damage" caused by DNA binding small molecules in cells. He is back in Israel now, but we continue working together.

Graduate Students

Laura Prendergast joined our lab as a PhD student in 2015 after completing her BS in Biology at the State University of New York College at Geneseo. Laura's thesis work focuses on understanding why breast tumor cells, but not normal mammary cells, are so dependent on FACT. 

Henry (Hank) Garcia graduated in 2014. Hank was the first to notice that tumor cells love FACT and cannot live without it. 

Peter Cheney graduated in 2016. He was trying to understand why FACT binds chromatin in curaxin-treated cells found that FACT is a "sensor" of DNA torsional stress.

Undergraduate/High School Students

Saleha Mir is a junior at City Honors School that joined our lab in 2017. She is studying the efficacy of curaxins combined with radiation in Glioblastoma multiforme cells. 

Thierry Juang is a senior at City Honors School that joined our lab in 2015. He works on several project, mainly helping Poorva to generate conditional FACT knockout mouse model.

Erin Hong is undergraduate student at University of Buffalo. She joined the lab in 2017. She is trying to understand the mechanism of synergy between curaxins and inhibitors of HDAC.

Former Lab Members

Daria (Dasha) Fleyshman was postdoctoral fellow in the lab. She ran several projects to develop novel types of drugs for the treatment of hormone insensitive prostate and breast cancers.

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