Lab Members

Sandra Orsulic, PhD

Sandra Orsulic, PhD

Director Email: sandra.orsulic@cshs.org

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Orsulic is the Director of Women's Cancer Biology in the Women's Cancer Program and Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Cedars-Sinai. She is also an Associate Professor-in-Residence in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of California, Los Angeles. Prior to joining Cedars-Sinai, Orsulic was Principal Investigator of a research laboratory at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, where she also served as Assistant Professor of Pathology at Harvard Medical School.

Xiaojiang Cui, PhD

Research Scientist Email: xiaojian.cui@cshs.org

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Cui obtained his doctoral degree in biology from the University of Texas at Austin. His breast cancer-related translational studies began at Baylor College of Medicine Breast Center, where he received his postdoctoral training and used murine models to study the role of insulin-like growth factor signaling in breast cancer development and metastasis. He also investigated the crosstalk between growth factors and progesterone in breast cancer cells. Results from those studies have implications for the treatment of estrogen receptor (+) / progesterone receptor (-) breast cancers and may help explain why progestins in hormone replacement therapy enhance the risk of breast cancer relative to estrogen use alone. In 2007 he joined the John Wayne Cancer Institute as an assistant professor, where he directed the institute's translational breast cancer research program. In 2011, he moved to Cedars-Sinai. He has received competitive funding from DOD, NCI, the Komen Foundation, and other agencies to administer and successfully complete research projects on biomarkers and stress signaling pathways in breast cancer development and metastasis.
Ruprecht Wiedemeyer

Ruprecht Wiedemeyer, PhD

Scientist Email: wolf.wiedemeyer@cshs.org

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Wiedemeyer is a scientist in the Cedars-Sinai Women's Cancer Program. Wiedemeyer earned his doctorate at the German Cancer Research Institute in Heidelberg, Germany. He completed postdoctoral training at the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg, Germany, and at Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, Massachusetts.
Christine Walsh, MD, MS

Christine Walsh MD, MS

Research Scientist Email: christine.walsh@cshs.org

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Walsh is director of the Gynecologic Oncology Fellowship Program and a gynecologic oncologist and research scientist at the Cedars-Sinai Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
Hasmik Agadjanian

Hasmik Agadjanian, PhD

Scientist Email: hasmik.agadjanian@cshs.org

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Agadjanian graduated summa cum laude from Yerevan State University, Armenia with BS/MS in biophysics/biology. She earned her PhD in biochemistry from Yerevan State University, Moscow, Russia. She completed her postdoctoral research in the Institute of Experimental Biology of the Armenian National Academy of Sciences, studying biotransformation of proteins and peptides in CNS. After moving to the United States, she taught college biology courses (Union College, NY, and Pepperdine University, CA), and continued her research in cancer biology at USC Norris Comprehensive Center. She began working at Cedars-Sinai in 2003. Her current research includes studying the role of XPG in ovarian cancer response to cisplatin chemotherapy and the role of some oncogenes in collaboration with CyclinE in ovarian cancer initiation. She works primarily with Christine Walsh, MD, MS.

P-J Aspuria, PhD

Research Postdoc Email: paul-joseph.aspuria@cshs.org

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Aspuria earned his doctoral degree from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). As a graduate student, he trained with Fuyuhiko Tamanoi, PhD, where his research focused on metabolic pathways. He is interested in the roles of HOXB13 in ovarian cancer progression and mesenchymal cell differentiation. Aspuria works primarily with Sandra Orsulic, PhD.

Jessica Beach, BA, MS

Research Scientist Email: jessica.beach@cshs.org

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Beach earned her degrees in cell and molecular biology from California State University, Northridge. As a Master’s student, she trained with Rheem Medh, PhD, where her research focused on the regulation of apoptosis in human lymphoid cells. Beach is interested in cancer stem cell metabolism and its potential as a therapeutic target. She is a student in the Cedars-Sinai Graduate Program in Biomedical Science and Translational Medicine and works primarily with Sandra Orsulic, PhD.

Anthony Braswell, MBA

Program Director Email: anthony.braswell@cshs.org

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Braswell is a graduate of Emory University and holds masters degrees from Georgia State University. He is the Program Director for Women's Cancer Program.
Dong-Joo Cheon, PhD

Ellen Cheon, PhD

Scientist Email: dong-joo.cheon@cshs.org

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Cheon earned her doctoral degree in molecular genetics from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. She trained in the laboratory of Richard Behringer, PhD, where she gained extensive experience in mouse embryology and developmental biology. She is interested in the roles of embryonic genes in ovarian cancer development and progression. Cheon works primarily with Sandra Orsulic, PhD.

Bowen Gao

Research Associate II Email: bowen.gao@cshs.org

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Gao graduated from Shenyang Normal University of China with a degree in Biology and an MBA. She is a research associate in the Cui Laboratory within the Women's Cancer Program.
Bingchen Han

Bingchen Han, PhD

Scientist Email: bingchen.han@cshs.org

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Han, a postdoctoral fellow, obtained his PhD in cancer biology from the Genetics Institute at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, China. He works primarily with Xiaojiang Cui, PhD.
Lourdes Hernandez

Lourdes Hernandez

Clinical Research Program Assistant Email: lourdes.hernandez@cshs.org

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Hernandez supports the biorepository and the Gilda Radner Hereditary Cancer Program.

Marie Holzapfel, MD

Gynecologic Oncology Medical Fellow Email: marie.holzapfel@cshs.org

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Marie Holzapfel attended medical school at University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle. She thereafter completed a residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, Santa Clara. She is currently a third year clinical and research fellow in gynecologic oncology at Cedars-Sinai and UCLA Medical Center. At present, she is working in the Women's Cancer Program laboratory at the Samuel Oschin Cancer Center under the direction of Xiaojiang Cui, PhD, using induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) differentiated towards Mullerian epithelium to investigate the molecular mechanisms responsible for serous carcinogenesis and examine the effect of a BRCA1 mutation on this process.
Tilley Jenkins Vogel

Tilley Jenkins Vogel, MD

Physician Email: jenkinsvogelmt@cshs.org

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Jenkins Vogel attended medical school at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She thereafter completed a residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at The University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle. She is currently a clinical and research fellow in Gynecologic Oncology at Cedars-Sinai/UCLA Medical Centers. At present, she is working in the Women's Cancer Program laboratory at the Samuel Oschin Cancer Center under the direction of Xiaojiang Cui, PhD investigating the role of FOXC1 in ovarian cancer metastasis and invasion.

Jeffrey Johnson, MD

Surgical Resident Email: jeffrey.johnson@cshs.org

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Jeffrey Johnson is a resident in general surgery at Cedars-Sinai. He attended medical school at Weill Cornell Medical College. He is working under the mentorship of Xiaojiang Cui, PhD, and Armando Giuliano, MD, FACS, FRCSEd.

Justyna Kanska, PhD

Postdoctoral Scientist Email: justyna.kanska@cshs.org

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Justyna Kanska earned her MS degree in molecular biotechnology from Wroclaw University of Technology, Poland and received her PhD in developmental biology from National University of Ireland, Galway. Currently, she is working as a postdoctoral scholar in the laboratory of Ruprecht Wiedemeyer, PhD, in the Cedars-Sinai Women's Cancer Program. Her research is focused on the evolution of highly genetically heterogeneous high grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSOC) and the molecular mechanisms underlying resistance of ovarian cancer cells to targeted therapies.

Jenny Lester, MPH, CCRP

Senior Research Project Advisor Email: jenny.lester@cshs.org

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Lester is a Senior Research Project Advisor with the Women's Cancer Program in the Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute. She graduated from University of Georgia and earned her Master of Public Health (MPH) degree from Morehouse School of Medicine. She has worked in clinical research for over 20 years.
Diane Park

Diane Park

Clinical Research Coordinator Email: diane.park@cshs.org

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Park is a clinical research coordinator for the Women's Cancer Program. She graduated from the University of Washington with a BS is biology and is currently pursuing a Masters degree in public health. She supports the biorepository program, the Gilda Radner Hereditary Cancer Program, and the clinical trials unit.

Ying Qu, MD, PhD

Postdoctoral Scientist Email: ying.qu@cshs.org

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Qu attended medical school at Shanghai JiaoTong University in China. She finished her PhD program at Shanghai JiaoTong University medical school. She was trained at John Wayne Cancer Institute in Santa Monica on breast cancer translational research. She is currently a postdoctoral fellow in Gynecologic Oncology at Cedars-Sinai/UCLA Medical Centers. At present, she is working in the Women's Cancer Program laboratory at the Samuel Oschin Cancer Center under the direction of Xiaojiang Cui, PhD, investigating the role of TXNL2 in regulating breast cancer malignancy and stem cell property.
Leah Sabacan

Leah Sabacan, MBA

Clinical Research Data Specialist II Email: leah.sabacan@cshs.org

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Sabacan develops databases, maintains regulatory compliance, and abstracts clinical data for a variety of Women's Cancer Program projects.
Barbie Taylor Harding

Barbie Taylor Harding, PhD

Researcher Email: barbie.taylor-harding@cshs.org

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Taylor Harding received her doctorate in molecular biology from the University of London, U.K. She trained with Nicholas Dyson, PhD at Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center and Harvard Medical School, where her research focused on the molecular mechanisms underlying cancer development. She is currently in W. Ruprecht Wiedemeyer, PhD Laboratory, where her research interests focus on how tumor-specific genetic alterations dictate response to targeted therapies in ovarian cancer.
Hang Tran

Hang Tran, BS

Scientist Email: hang.tran@cshs.org

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Tran has been an integral member of the Women's Cancer Program during her 16 years at Cedars-Sinai. She graduated from Cal State University, Fullerton, with a degree in biology, and has put her education to good use as the primary technician for cell culture research as well as other molecular research fields within WCP.
Xiao Yang

Xiao Yang

Scientist Email: xiao.yang@cshs.org

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Yang graduated from Dental School West China University of Medical Sciences, Chengdu China. She gained clinical research experience in Peking Union Medical College Hospital and Jichi Medical School, Japan. She acquired biomolecular skills in the Institute of Biophysics, Academia Sinica, China. She started as a specimen procurement specialist at WCP seven years ago and now also works with Xiaojiang Cui, PhD.

Yi Yu, PhD

Postdoctoral Scientist

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Yu received her PhD degree from Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. She is currently a postdoctoral scientist in Cui Laboratory. Her research interests focus on generating the stem-like cells using human mammary gland derived epithelial cells. She is also studying the cross talk between FOXC1 and other molecules in breast cancer cells.
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