Aidan Dunphy
Graduate Student Researcher

Aidan is a driven and passionate member of the lab who join in January of 2022. He holds a BS in molecular and cellular biology from Johns Hopkins University and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in the same field. He is a New Jersey native and a member of the JHU Varsity Men’s Soccer team. Aidan’s research centers on the effect of OGT deficiency on Erk1/2 phosphorylation and cardiac susceptibility to ischemia stress in mice models. Currently, he has a focus on whether BRAF can provide a cardio-protective effect though the Erk1/2 pathway.

Kyriakos Papanicolaou, PhD
Kyriakos Papanicolaou, Ph.D.
Research Associate

Kyriakos, a native of beautiful sunny Cyprus, also comes to Hopkins by way of Boston, where he trained in the lab of Dr. Kenneth Walsh, Director of the Whitaker Cardiovascular Institute of the Boston University School of Medicine. His doctoral thesis examined the role of heart mitochondrial membrane proteins called mitofusins, particularly with respect to their influence on the mitochondrial permeability transition that marks the onset of cell death by necrosis. He also showed that mitofusins 1 and 2 are essential for postnatal metabolic remodeling in the heart. We are happy to have him on board.

Kevin Prasad
Graduate Student Researcher

Kevin is an enthusiastic researcher with a diverse background; he has lived in three countries—India, Indonesia, and The Netherlands—before pursuing his master’s at JHU.
He obtained his BSc from Maastricht University in The Netherlands. Kevin’s bachelor’s thesis sought to elucidate the appropriate stiffness of the cell culture substrate to convert myofibroblasts into fibroblasts. He showed that 3D-engineered heart matrices possess the ideal magnitude stiffness for transforming myofibroblasts into fibroblasts.
Kevin also led the 2021 iGEM MSP Maastricht team, which was awarded the iGEM silver medal and the prestigious National Student Engineering Award from the Royal Society of Engineers (KIVI) in the Netherlands. Before joining JHU, he interned at a biotech startup in Bangalore, India, where he learnt the workings of the business of science.

Sogol Sedighi, M.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow

Sogol earned her Doctor of Medicine degree from Shiraz University of Medical Sciences in Iran, where she pursued her research interest in clinical cardiology. She joined Hopkins in April 2023 to further expand her research expertise in molecular cardiology. Her research focuses on the application of targeted proteomics in unraveling the pathophysiology of heart diseases. She aspires to become a clinician/scientist in the near future, all while traveling to as many countries as she can!

Tony Shen
Graduate Student Researcher

Tony, a student researcher who is passionate about conducting research. His hometown is Shanghai, China where he was born and raised before coming to the US for college. He obtained his bachelor’s degree from Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) in Biochemistry and was trained in the lab of Dr. Johannes von Lintig as an undergraduate student researcher. Tony’s bachelor thesis characterized the carotenoid binding proteins, the Aster protein family. His ongoing work is examining the impact of manipulating retinoic on the contractility of human stem cell-derived engineered heart tissue.

Trainee Lab Position Years Present Occupation
Michelle Zhang Undergraduate Researcher 2019-2021

Clinical Research Coordinator at the University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA

Lauren Parker Undergraduate Researcher 2017-2019

Medical Student, Medical Scientist Training Program, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, North Carolina

Charles Crepy D’Orleans Undergraduate Researcher 2017-2018

Medical Student, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta Georgia

Nicita Mehta Undergraduate Researcher 2015-2016

JHU Graduate

Yuejin Li M.D., Ph.D. Postdoctoral Fellow 2012-2016

Assistant Professor of Biology, Morgan State University

Ni Yang, M.D. Visiting Postdoctoral Fellow 2015-2016

Attending Physician, Shengjing Hospital of China Medical University, Shenyang, China

Jasma Rucker B.S. Research Specialist 2004-2015

Registered Nurse, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD

Andrew Hwang Undergraduate Researcher 2014-2015

JHU Graduate

Anthony Nastasi Undergraduate Researcher 2013

Resident, Department of Emergency Medicine, Penn Medicine

Yusufu Kamara, B.S. Post-Baccalaureate Training 2011-2012

Physician, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA

Paul Wijnker, Ph.D. Visiting Graduate Student 2011

Research Associate, Dept of Physiology, Amsterdam UMC, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Aisha Frazier M.D. Fellows Research Rotation 2010-2011

Pediatric Cardiologist, Jefferson University Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, Wilmington, DE.