Lab Members


Principal Investigator
Shuang Chen, MD, PhD
Associate Professor, Principal Investigator

Shuang Chen, MD, PhD, received her doctorate in cardiovascular physiology at Hebei Medical University in China. After postdoctoral studies at Harbor-UCLA, investigating the nitric oxide and GABA signal transduction in the somatosympathetic reflexes and their cardiovascular control mechanisms, Chen joined the lab of Moshe Arditi, MD, studying varying aspects of innate immunity, infection and atherosclerosis. She received an American Heart Association Grant-in-Aid award and recently was awarded an R01 from the National Institutes of Health to investigate the role of IL-17 and IL-1beta/NLRP3 inflammasome in atherogenesis. Chen’s focus is on understanding mechanisms of vascular inflammation, atherosclerosis and gender differences in disease. She also investigates the link between autoimmune diseases, such as systemic lupus erythematosus, and increased risk of cardiovascular disease and is working to discover new and more efficacious treatments for patients with these disorders.

Timothy R. Crother, PhD
Associate Professor, Principal Investigator

Timothy R. Crother, PhD, received his doctorate from Indiana University in molecular, cellular and developmental biology. After postdoctoral studies at UCLA investigating the pathogenesis of Borrelia burgdorferi (the causative agent of Lyme disease), Crother joined the lab of Moshe Arditi, MD, studying innate immunity, pulmonary infections and asthma. Currently, an associate professor of research, Crother was independently funded by the National Institutes of Health with an R21 award to investigate the role of plasmacytoid dendritic cells and autophagy in C. pneumoniae lung infections. His research focus includes acute lung infections and host-pathogen interactions, allergic asthma models and the role of the gut microbiome in asthma models. Crother is also investigating the mechanisms by which Rip2 in T cells controls the induction of pathogenic Th17 skewing and its implication in inflammatory bowel disease mouse models.

Kenichi Shimada, PhD
Associate Professor, Principle Investigator

Kenichi Shimada, PhD, received his doctorate in microbiology and immunology at Kitasato University in Japan. He joined the Arditi Laboratory in 2006 and studies host defenses against pathogens, innate immunity and immune regulation. Shimada made the seminal observation that during apoptosis, oxidized mitochondrial DNA is released and binds to cytosolic NLRP3 to activate it for IL-1b production (Immunity, 2012), and oxidized mitochondrial DNA damage accelerates atherosclerosis (Circ Res, 2016). Shimada is now investigating the role of mitochondria biogenesis in mechanical ventilator-induced acute lung injury, the role of Rip2 and Th17 in Chlamydia pneumoniae infections and the role of autophagy in myocardial infarction. His research also explores the role of mitochondria in the activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome, as well as the role of PMNs and NETosis in inflammatory disorders. Shimada is independently funded by the National Institutes of Health (R01 and R21).

Magali Noval Rivas, PhD
Associate Professor, Principal Investigator

Magali Noval Rivas, PhD, received her doctorate in immunological sciences at the Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium. After her postdoctoral studies at UCLA and Boston Children's Hospital/Harvard Medical School investigating the microbiome’s influence and mechanisms of oral tolerance breakdown during food allergy, she joined the laboratory of Moshe Arditi, MD, in 2015. Currently an assistant professor, Noval Rivas received a National Institutes of Health R01 award for her investigations of the role of the gut microbiome, metabolomics and gut permeability in the development of cardiovascular lesions in an experimental Kawasaki disease mouse model. She is also investigating the role of secretory IgA in Kawasaki disease vasculitis, as well as novel therapies to treat and prevent the cardiovascular lesions seen in Kawasaki disease.

Michifumi Yamashita, MD, PhD
Associate Professor

Michifumi Yamashita, MD, PhD, is an assistant professor of pathology and a physician-scientist in renal pathology. He completed his postdoctoral training in the laboratories of Ganes C. Sen, PhD, Department of Molecular Genetics, Cleveland Clinic, and Steven N. Emancipator, MD, Department of Pathology, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio. His research revealed the essential kinases for TLR3: EGF receptor and Src phosphorylates, and identified the specific tyrosine residues of TLR3. After clinical fellowship in renal pathology at Brigham and Women's Hospital/Harvard Medical School, Yamashita joined the faculty at Cedars-Sinai in 2016. His research now focuses on understanding the role of EGFR in TLR-mediated injury in glomerulonephritis, a form of vasculitis in kidney glomeruli. He is funded by the UCLA CTSI KL2 grant under the mentorship of Moshe Arditi, MD.

Santhosh Nadipuram, MD
Staff Physician, Instructor

Santhosh Nadipuram, MD, is a pediatric infectious diseases specialist and a physician-scientist. After completing his clinical fellowship in 2013, Nadipuram joined the lab of Peter J. Bradley, PhD, at UCLA as a postdoctoral fellow. There, Nadipuram studied the unicellular parasite Toxoplasma gondii, focusing on the organism's secreted proteins and their roles in pathogenesis. He used genetic and protein purification techniques to identify and characterize several of these secreted proteins and discovered the role for one of these proteins in the parasite’s survival and intracellular lipid utilization. He joined Cedar-Sinai in 2018 and is now studying in the Arditi Lab with the goal of understanding the host response to Toxoplasmainfection, specifically in immune-privileged compartments, such as the brain and the eye (chorioretinitis), using experimental mouse models of acute and chronic toxoplasma infections. Nadipuram is also an active clinician, caring for pediatric patients in the hospital and clinic settings, and is involved in clinical translational research with Kawasaki disease patients.

Priya Soni, MD
Staff Physician, Instructor

Priya Soni, MD, is a physician-scientist with subspecialty training in pediatric infectious diseases from UCLA. In her early research at University of North Carolina School of Medicine in Chapel Hill, she studied the expression of Sox9 transcription factors and effect on the proliferative capacity of the intestinal epithelium. Soni's other research contributions include global health initiatives in infectious diseases. Most recently, she conducted field research measuring long-term outcomes of sustainable vaccination programs, through Hands up for Haiti. During her fellowship at UCLA, Soni pursued clinical/translational research in pediatric HIV to better understand the latent viral reservoir in hopes of developing novel approaches for a sustained HIV cure. She joined the Pediatric Infectious Diseases and Immunology Division at Cedars-Sinai as a physician-scientist. In the Arditi laboratory, Soni is a clinical translational researcher who studies the role of intestinal permeability, gut microbiome, metabolomics and host immune responses during human Kawasaki disease. She works with Magali Noval Rivas, PhD, and Moshe Arditi, MD, in translating basic science research findings obtained with the experimental Kawasaki disease mouse model to children with Kawasaki disease.

Vikram Anand, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor

Vikram Anand, MD, PhD, received his medical degree and doctorate from the UCLA School of Medicine through the combined Medical Scientist Training Program. For his doctoral work, Anand investigated intracellular protein transport. He completed his residency in pediatrics at UCLA, followed by a fellowship in pediatric infectious diseases at Children's Hospital Los Angeles. During his fellowship, Anand investigated the involvement of the TNF alpha receptor in a mouse model of inflammatory bowel disease. He joined the Pediatric Infectious Diseases and Immunology Division at Cedars-Sinai as a physician-scientist. In the Arditi Laboratory, he focuses on translational research in children with Kawasaki disease vasculitis.

Rebecca Porritt, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow, Project Scientist

Rebecca Porritt, PhD, received her doctorate at the Centre for Innate Immunity and Infectious Diseases, Hudson Institute of Medical Research, Australia. During this time, her research focused on the innate immune response, specifically mechanisms regulating Type I interferon signaling. To gain a greater understanding of the immune response as a whole, Porritt began a postdoctoral position at the Cedars-Sinai Inflammatory Bowel and Immunobiology Research Institute researching the adaptive immune response. These studies focused on the regulation of CD4+ T cell responses at the intestinal mucosa, specifically in regard to inflammatory bowel disease, and its influence on and interaction with the microbiome. Following this postdoctoral position, she began a second postdoctoral position with Moshe Arditi, MD, and Timothy R. Crother, PhD. These studies focus on innate and adaptive immune responses elicited against the respiratory pathogen C. pneumoniae. Specifically, Porritt is interested in the role of pDCs in the control of C. pneumoniae, the regulation of CD4+ T cell responses during infection, the role of Rip2 in T cells in regulating Th17 responses, and is also investigating gender differences in Kawasaki disease vasculitis using the experimental mouse model of the disease.

Janet Markman, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow

Janet Markman, PhD, received her doctorate from the Cedars-Sinai Biomedical Science and Translational Medicine Program. She obtained her master's degree in bioscience technologies at Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 2010, where she worked on two separate projects related to targeting of HIV-1 retroviral vectors and Treg involvement in the reversal of Type-1 diabetes in a mouse model. Markman then worked as a research associate III at Cedars Sinai in the laboratory of Julia Ljubimova, MD, PhD, to design nanomedicine to treat both primary and metastatic brain tumors. Markman is building on that thesis work as a postdoctoral scientist in the Arditi Laboratory, where she studies the relationships among innate immunity, hormonal signaling and cancer using a melanoma metastasis mouse model. She is investigating the role of testosterone in the tumor microenvironment, and the effect of androgen depletion therapy and potential immune defects in prostate cancer patients that may predispose them to secondary tumors, including melanoma.

Nobuyuki Nosaka, MD, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow

Nobuyuki Nosaka, MD, PhD, received his medical degree from Nagoya University, Japan, and completed his training in pediatric critical care at National Center for Child Health and Development, Tokyo. He received his doctorate at Okayama University, Japan, where he focused on anti-inflammatory strategy against severe influenza pneumonia. Nosaka works with Kenichi Shimada, PhD, and is studying the immunological mechanisms responsible for the development of ventilator-induced acute lung injury. Nosaka’s research focus is on the molecular mechanisms of the two hit lung injury model, using lipopolysaccharide and mechanical ventilation and the role of IL-1beta/NLRP3 inflammasome pathway.

Masanori Abe, MD, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow

Masanori Abe, MD, PhD, received his doctorate in pediatrics in 2016 at the Nippon Medical School in Tokyo. He is a pediatric cardiologist who is particularly interested in treating and researching the cardiovascular complications of Kawasaki disease. Abe joined the Arditi Laboratory in 2016 as a postdoctoral research fellow to investigate the role of innate immune responses in the experimental mouse model of Kawasaki disease vasculitis. His studies focus on the molecular mechanisms and cardiac function involved in the development of vasculitis and aneurysms in this model. Abe is particularly interested in long term complications, such as myocardial fibrosis following Kawasaki disease.

Meena Narayanan, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow

Meena Narayanan, PhD, received her doctorate from Medical University of Vienna, Austria, where she studied the immunological mechanisms underlying the boost of secondary antibody responses using molecules containing B cell epitopes. After her brief experience working for a pharmaceutical company, Narayanan joined the Arditi Laboratory to work with Magali Noval Rivas, PhD, studying the role of microbiome and mucosal immunology in shaping systemic immune responses, particularly focused on how these systems contribute to the development of cardiovascular lesions in Kawasaki disease.

Begum Kocaturk, PhD
Visiting Postdoctoral Scientist, Postdoctoral Fellow

Begum Kocaturk, PhD, received her doctorate from the Thrombosis and Hemostasis Department at Leiden University, Netherlands, where she worked on the impact of coagulation factors in cancer progression. Upon completion of her doctorate, Kocaturk worked as a postdoctoral fellow at National Nanotechnology Research Center, Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey, where her research focused on emergency room stress-dependent gene expression profile in the development of atherosclerosis. She joined the Arditi Laboratory in 2018 and is working with Magali Noval Rivas, PhD, on the role of innate immunity, platelets, and the complement system in the development of cardiovascular lesions in the experimental mouse model of Kawasaki disease vasculitis. Kocaturk is also working with Moshe Arditi, MD, on the molecular and cellular immune mechanisms involved in the acceleration of atherosclerosis after Kawasaki disease in the mouse model.

Kyle Madrid
Graduate Student

Kyle Madrid is a doctoral candidate in biomedical science and translational medicine in the Cedars-Sinai PhD program studying in the Arditi Laboratory. For his undergraduate degree, Madrid transferred from Fresno City College to the University of California, Riverside, in 2013. He studied photocatalytic semiconductors in the nanomaterial synthesis lab of Yadong Yin, PhD. Madrid received his bachelor of science in biochemistry in 2015. His current project in the Arditi Lab focuses on the influence of IL-1β on smooth muscle proliferation in Kawasaki disease utilizing tissue-specific IL-1β receptor knockout mice. He is also investigating the role of IL-12, IL-17 and IL-22 in the experimental mouse model of Kawasaki disease vasculitis. He is funded by a National Institutes of Health F31 grant, mentored by Moshe Arditi, MD.

Malcolm Lane
Research Associate I

Malcolm Lane began his career at Occidental College, where he investigated the effect of stem cells on neuronal repair in rodent models of epilepsy in the lab of Kerry Thompson, PhD. Lane graduated from Occidental College in 2015 with a bachelor's degree in biochemistry and a minor in mathematics. After graduation, Lane was recruited by an e-procurement software company as a professional services consultant for a yearlong project with IBM. He joined the Arditi Laboratory in 2016, where he works on transgenic mice colony maintenance and assists in a range of experiments in the lab, including the experimental mouse model of vasculitis.

Debbie Moreira
Research Associate I

Debbie Moreira manages and maintains the mouse colony used for research purposes in the Arditi Lab. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in organismal biology from California State University, Long Beach. As an undergraduate, she volunteered and interned in a neuroscience lab where she studied sexual dimorphism in the developing brain. After graduating, Moreira worked in an immunology lab at the Tibor Rubin VA Medical Center in Long Beach, California, as an animal caretaker and research associate.

Amanda Abolhesn, MS
Research Associate II

Amanda Abolhesn began working in the Arditi Laboratory with Magali Noval Rivas, PhD, in May 2018. Previously, Abolhesn worked at BioMarin Pharmaceuticals where she developed gene therapy treatments for rare pediatric genetic diseases. Prior to that, she conducted research on airway epithelial stem cells at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging in Novato, California. She received a master of science in medical health sciences from Touro University California in Vallejo and a bachelor of science in neuroscience from the University of California, Riverside. Abolhesn’s current research involves the molecular mechanisms of gut permeability and mucosal immunity in the development of cardiovascular lesions in the experimental mouse model of Kawasaki disease vasculitis. She is also interested in translational research.

Angela Gomez, MS
Research Associate II

Angela Gomez began working in the Arditi Laboratory with Magali Noval Rivas, PhD, in January 2019. Gomez earned her master of science in global health at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana and her bachelor of arts in biological sciences at Clemson University in South Carolina. She previously worked at Midwestern University in Illinois where she studied the transcription factor gene, Prdm16, in craniofacial development. Gomez was also at the Medical University of South Carolina, where she worked to characterize the regulatory mechanism of ryanodine receptors, skeletal and cardiac muscle calcium release channels. Currently, she works on the molecular and cellular immune mechanisms in a mouse model of Kawasaki disease vasculitis and the role of statins in this model.


Alumni Lab Members

Contact the Arditi Lab

8700 Beverly Blvd.
Davis Building, Rooms D4024, 4025, 4027
Los Angeles, CA 90048