Lab Members

Marie Fiorino
Research Specialist II, IACUC PI, Lab Manager

Marie Fiorino earned a master's degree in biotechnology and an MBA from California State University, Channel Islands. She has 19 years of in vivo biology experience, including seven years in the pathology department of a leading biopharmaceutical company. She specializes in the development of preclinical models within a variety of disease areas, including inflammatory bowel disease, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, atherosclerosis, diabetes and angiogenesis. She is currently the principal investigator and lead for all in-vivo design and study programs, using her expertise to design functional models that lead to potential new targets for the treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases.

Bradley Henkle
Research Specialist I

Brad Henkle has more than 15 years of laboratory experience, including 11 years in biotech. During his tenure in biotech, he developed primary human immune cell assays supporting drug development for inflammatory diseases. Henkle has a bachelor's degree in physiology and cell biology from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Annabel Iwuchukwu, MS
Research Associate I

Annabel Iwuchukwu earned her master's degree in neuroscience from King's College London (KCL) and a bachelor's degree in biomedical science from the University of Sheffield, England. Iwuchukwu also undertook a certificate course at UCLA Extension in general business and entrepreneurship. During her degree at KCL, her thesis focused on the localization of Poxn and engrailed expression patterns in the antennal mechanosensory and motor center and wedge of the adult drosophila brain under the supervision of Frank Hirth, PhD. Iwuchukwu performs in vivo experiments on mice to study inflammatory bowel disease and is currently working on evaluating the consequences of gene alterations on the development and severity of colitis using the T cell transfer-induced colitis model.

Leah Kramer
Research Associate II

Leah Kramer earned her Bachelor of Science in biochemistry and molecular biology from University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC). Leah comes from the biotech industry, where she developed cancer diagnostic assays in the R&D department. Leah also previously worked as an undergraduate researcher in a hematopoietic stem cell biology lab in the Biomedical Science Department of UCSC, with a senior project that focused on the affect of chemotherapy on hematopoietic stem cell mobilization into and out of bone marrow niches in vivo. 

Alka Potdar, PhD
Research Bioinformatician III

Alka Potdar, PhD, received her doctorate in chemical and biomolecular engineering from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, and her master's degree from University of Alabama in Huntsville. She is a systems and computational biologist/ bioinformatics scientist with more than 10 years of experience. She currently leads the bioinformatics and biostatistics efforts in the Inflammatory Bowel Diseases Drug Discovery and Development unit. She is responsible for the analysis of large-scale clinical and biological datasets (such as genotype, expression, sequencing) within the Bilsborough Laboratory as well as for external industry collaborators. She has extensive experience working in interdisciplinary teams and applying engineering, mathematical and statistical concepts to answer biological and disease-related questions. Potdar has developed mechanistic, predictive computational models for various biological pathways such as inflammation, cancer cell migration and iron metabolism. She has created custom bioinformatics pipelines to predict novel candidate variants/genes to drive basic/clinical research and drug discovery and development.

Ignat Printsev, PhD
Project Scientist

Ignat Printsev, PhD, received his doctorate in biochemistry and molecular biology from the University of California, Davis, studying the cell biology of breast cancer and glioblastoma and how the ubiquitination system contributes to the molecular mechanisms that affect the progression and lethality of these diseases. Printsev completed his postdoctoral work at the California Institute of Technology under Alexander Varshavsky, PhD. During this time, Printsev developed a new approach for the study of protein fragments and their functions in cells and in vivo, with a specific focus on the regulation and biology of hemichannels. Currently, he works in the Inflammatory Bowel Diseases Drug Discovery and Development unit to develop novel therapeutics for inflammatory bowel disease patients, utilizing the approaches of personalized medicine.

Lauren Ysais
Research Associate I

Lauren Ysais joined the Inflammatory Bowel Diseases Drug Discovery and Development research team in 2016 as a research associate. She graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) with a bachelor's of science in neuroscience. At UCSC she worked as an undergraduate researcher in a neurotoxicology lab, and her senior project aimed to determine if chronic postnatal manganese exposure altered the dendritic spine density of medium spiny neurons within the dorsal striatum. Since joining the Bilsborough Laboratory, Ysais performs in vivo experiments utilizing murine models to study inflammatory bowel disease. She has gained hands on experience in fibroblast isolation, cell culture and cell staining. Additional duties entail rodent husbandry, molecular biology techniques and ordering laboratory supplies. One of Ysais's current projects investigates the efficacy of various small molecule targets to ameliorate colitis using the chronic dextran sodium sulphate model.

Contact the Bilsborough Lab

8693 Wilshire Blvd., 
Second floor
Beverly Hills, CA 90211