By Faculty

We have a diverse set of faculty in our center whose expertise span from bench to bedside. Brief descriptions of each researcher and their work are listed here as well as links to their individual websites. Browse the Disease and Technology pages for more detailed information on specific projects they work on.

  • Joshua LaBaer (Director) moved from Harvard Medical School in 2009 to establish the Center for Personalized Diagnostic at the Biodesign Institute. His work focuses on leveraging the Center's formidable resources for the discovery and validation of biomarkers - unique molecular fingerprints of disease - which can provide early warning for those at risk of major illnesses, including cancer and diabetes. Joshua LaBaer's website

  • Karen Anderson, an oncologist with a joint appointment at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, and brought expertise from her previous work at Harvard and the Dana Faber Cancer Institute in cell culture and HPV-induced cancer to her research program in the CPD when she joined the center in 2011. Along with identification of biomarkers in a variety of cancer, in collaboration with researchers at Georgetown University, her lab is growing primary tumors from breast cancer patients in culture for a variety of downstream cancer treatment applications.  Karen Anderson's website

  • Chad Borges joined our center after several years as a research track faculty member.  Since 2007, he has been part of the Molecular Biomarkers Lab at the Biodesign Institute focused on using mass spectrometry based proteomic and glycomic techniques to identify biomarkers of disease.   He will bring his expertise to the Center to continue his studies of aberrant glycosylation in cancer and to develop novel markers of biospecimen (plasma/serum) integrity. Chad Borges' website

  • Reed Cartwright research interests cover many different questions in population genetics and molecular evolution, focusing on computational biology and stochastic models. He has worked on frequency-dependent selection models, spatial genetic models, indel evolution models, sequence alignment, and phylogenetic models. Reed Cartwright's website

  • Yunro Chung joined the CPD in 2018. He is a biostatistician who, in addition to supporting all of the biomarker studies in the center, is interested in developing novel statistical and computational methods for analysis of clinical trials. Yunro Chung's website

  • Li Liu holds an M.D. degree in Medicine and an M.S. degree in Information System. As a trained clinician and a bioinformatics researcher, she fully appreciates the critical roles genomic medicine and bioinformatics play in advancing precision medicine. Before joining ASU, Dr. Liu helped build and directed the bioinformatics core facility at University of Florida. Li Liu's website

  • Alexandra Lucas research has examined the roles of serine protease inhibitors as well as the glyocalyx and chemokines in transplant vasculoapthy. This work has led to studies on the roles of serpins and glycosaminoglycans both as mediators and as potential therapeutic targets in transplant rejection as well as in acute inflammatory viral hemorrhagic fevers and in aggressive pancreatic cancer. 

  • Mitch Magee joined the CPD in 2009, bringing with him extensive experience in the production and utilization of peptide arrays. His current projects focus on using the center's technology to better understand infectious diseases, to map signaling pathways, and identify biomarkers for a variety of diseases. Mitch Magee's website

  • Marco Mangone is an assistant professor in the Biodesign Virginia G. Piper Center for Personalized Diagnotics and the School of Life Sciences at ASU. He is interested in study how eukaryotic RNA transcription is terminated and how the messenger RNA is regulated on its way to the expression into proteins, using the wound worm C. elegans as model system.

  • Vel Murugan is an associate research professor at the Biodesign Virginia G. Piper Center for Personalized Diagnostics at Arizona State University. In addition to basic research his group focuses on developing and commercializing diagnostic tests. Murugan’s group utilizes integrated approach to study change in genomic architecture, gene expression upon exposures to agents related to weapons of mass destruction. 

  • Jin "Jay" Park is a assistant research professor and his current research is focused on identification of molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying cancer development and novel therapeutic targets by utilizing combined approaches of functional genomcis and computational biology. Jin Park's website

  • Ji Qiu joined the CPD in 2009. He has used his previous research experience using native protein microarrays to identify cancer biomarkers in his current project to identify autoantibody biomarkers for disease using NAPPA. Ji Qiu's website

  • Wade Van Horn is a structural biologist who is interested in understanding the three dimensional structure of membrane proteins that involved in health and disease. Wade Van Horn's website

Associate Faculty

  • Valentin Dinu researches the assessment, improvement, and development of computational approaches, software applications and databases that will facilitate the management, integration and analysis of diverse sources of biomedical information. Some of his research areas include the use of biological domain knowledge to supplement statistical analysis and data mining methods to identify genes and pathways associated with disease, and the exploration of database modeling approaches for managing large and heterogeneous data sets from both clinical and biosciences domains. 

  • Haiwei Gu researches metabolomics. Specifically, his focus is on the development of advanced analytical tools and statistical methodologies for profiling metabolites and metabolic pathways in complex biological systems. He also pursues metabolomic applications to study diseases, nutrition, drug toxicity and the environment. Haiwei Gu's website

  • Doug Lake uses cell biology and mass spectrometry to identify biomarkers for cancer in the blood and to potentially use this information to create a cancer vaccine.  He is also using mass spectrometry and lectins to identify the Valley Fever fungus in tissues and blood to develop a diagnostic test to detect the fungus.  Most recent studies focus on tumor biology and development of inhibitors for an enzyme (QSOX1) that is over-produced by cancer cells. Doug Lake's website

  • Shwetal Mehta was recruited from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute to join Barrow Brain Tumor Research Center at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center as an Assistant Professor in January 2013. She joined CPD as an adjunct faculty in April 2013. She brings with her the expertise in targeted therapy for glioblastoma and culturing of primary glioma cells. The main focus of her lab is to identify novel drug targets to sensitize malignant brain tumor cells. Barrow Neurological Institute | BNI-ASU Neuroscience Program

  • Mehdi Nikkhah is currently an assistant professor of Biomedical Engineering at the School of Biological and Health Systems Engineering, Arizona State University. The research in his laboratory is focused on the integration of micro and nanoscale technologies, innovative biomaterials and biology to better understand the mechanisms of disease progression in humans, specifically cancer and tissue fibrosis, and to develop regenerative medicine strategies to treat organ/tissue failure. Mehdi Nikkhah's website