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.


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.


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!).


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!


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


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.


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.