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Meet Our Team

Our team members are at the core of what makes Laboratory of Keith Syson Chan such a unique and fulfilling place to work. We take pride in the diversity of our staff, with each member contributing their unique skills to the projects we are working on.

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Keith Syson Chan

Principal Investigator

I received my PhD at UT MD Anderson and my postdoc training at Stanford. I am enthusiastic about cancer research that can ultimately impact patients' lives. I enjoy Jazz and getting to know other music lovers at local bars. Tony Bennett is my favorite. I appreciate impressionist art work and blown glass e.g., Chihuly. During the pandemic, I am using the instant pot as a novel approach to optimize experimental protocols.

Contact us to find out more about our team.

 
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Fotis Nikolos

Project Scientist (Former CPRIT fellow)

I have a B.S. in Molecular Biology and Genetics from Democritus University of Thrace in Greece. I received my PhD from University of Houston. For hobbies, I love cooking food (especially BBQ/Grilling), eating, and baking. I also love to run (to compensate from all the eating!).

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Hongbo (Beth) Gao

Post-Doctoral Fellow

I received my MBBS in Clinical Medicine from Taishan Medical University and went on to obtain a PhD in Basic Biomedical Sciences from the University of South Dakota. Currently, I am studying the crosstalk between cancer cells and its stromal niche. In my spare time, I love spending time and playing with my children, exploring the beaches, zoo and California outdoor scenics!

 
 
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Kazukuni Hayashi

Graduate Student (NCI F31 fellow)

I obtained a B.S. in Molecular Cell Biology from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and currently a Ph.D. candidate at Baylor College of Medicine. I am interested in the pathophysiology that manifests as a consequence of cancer on organ(s)/organ system(s), in the context of both treatment and treatment-naive setting.  Currently, I am investigating the influence of cancer on immune cells. As for hobbies: soccer, running, reading, cooking, eating, drinking (boba is a must!)...also, beach-ing is a hobby

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Mark Alonzo

Graduate Student

I received my B.S. in Microbiology and M.S. in Biological Sciences from Cal Poly Pomona. I am interested in the interplay between the tumor microenvironment and cancer cells. For my project, I am investigating the effects of DDR1 and its interaction with collagen, on the regulation of cancer progression. When not in lab, I am probably: playing video games, binging TV shows and movies, reading, eating ramen/pho.

 
 
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Xen Ping Hoi

Research Associate

I received my B.S. in Biochemistry from UCLA. I am interested in the cross-talk between immune cells and their microenvironment during disease progression (i.e., in cancer). I enjoy exploring eateries, hanging out with friends, hiking and being restful during vacations.

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Armine Kasabyan

Research Intern

I am currently a third-year student at UC Santa Barbara looking to graduate in June with a BS in Cell and Developmental Biology. I am interested in learning more about immunogenic responses to different types of chemotherapy and how these manifest themselves in different cancers. Currently, I am looking at the immunogenic potential of gemcitabine in non-small cell lung cancer. Outside of the lab, I enjoy reading non-scientific literature, running, swimming, and interacting with friends and family.