Kang Zhou, MD, PhD, graduated from the XiangYa Medical School of the Central South University, Changsha, in 2004. From 2009 to early 2011, he went to the Artificial Organ Lab of the Medical School of Maryland as a joint training doctoral student. He earned his doctorate in clinical medicine from the Central South University in 2011 and has been working as a cardiovascular surgeon in the Second XiangYa Hospital of the Central South University, Changsha. Zhou’s research focus is on the protection of myocardium and reservation of the heart function. He joined the Hong Lab in March 2016, and his current research is on the building of mouse heart ischemia-reperfusion model and identifying the function of BIN1 in rescuing the function of ischemic heart.
Yan Liu, MD, earned her medical degree in cardiology from Dalian Medical University, China. She is an associate professor in the Cardiac Department of the First Affiliated Hospital of Dalian Medical University. She joined the Hong Lab to study the role of the membrane scaffolding protein BIN1 in normal and failing cardiomyocytes.
Zhiyi Ma, MD, PhD, earned her doctorate in biology from Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and her medical degree from Peking University, China. Her PhD study focused on cell size control. She has finished her internal medicine training at People's Hospital of Peking University. Her clinical research focuses on hypertension and chronic disease management. She joined the Hong Lab in October 2017 as a visiting scholar, and her current research is to characterize cBIN1-containing microparticles.
Tara Hitzeman earned her bachelor of science in statistics from San Francisco State University and her master of public health in biostatistics at UCLA in 2016. She is a researcher and the lab manager for both the Hong Laboratory and Shaw Laboratory. Her research includes managing the cardiac BIN1 biomarker subgroup and serving as the Hong Lab’s primary epidemiologist and biostatistician.
Yu Xie, MD, is currently training as a cardiology fellow at Cedars-Sinai. She earned her bachelor of science in molecular and cell biology from the University of California, Berkeley and her medical degree from the University of California, San Francisco. She completed her internal medicine residency and served as a chief resident at University of California, San Diego. Her research interest in the Hong Laboratory and Shaw Laboratory is on using cBIN1 as a clinical predictor of cardiac reserve in both healthy controls and patients with advanced heart failure, pre- and post-transplant.
Andriana Nikolova, MD, went to Grinnell College in Iowa, where she majored in biochemistry and abstract mathematics. After, she went to medical school at Harvard University and then internal medicine training at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Currently, she is exploring the West Coast while doing her cardiovascular fellowship and doctoral work at Cedars-Sinai. In the Hong Laboratory and Shaw Laboratory, her interest is in unraveling the role of cardiac Bin1 in HFpEF (heart failure with preserved ejection fraction) by working both on an animal model — to understand its molecular mechanisms — as well as human blood samples where Bin1 can be used as a diagnostic and prognostic marker.
Ronit Zadikany, MD, is currently training as an internal medicine resident at Cedars-Sinai. She earned her bachelor’s degrees in biomedical research and in history from the UCLA. She received her medical degree from the University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine. She will be serving as chief resident for the Cedars-Sinai Internal Medicine Program for the 2017-2018 academic year. Her research interest in the Hong Laboratory and Shaw Laboratory includes the study of cardiac BIN1 as a clinic marker for cardiac reserve in heart failure patients.
Rachel Baum earned her bachelor of science in biochemistry and cell biology at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). She first worked in chemistry research, and then at Vertex Pharmaceuticals in a neurobiology lab and at UCSD in an immunology lab. She is currently a PhD student in the Cedars-Sinai Graduate Program and is doing her thesis research under the joint mentorship of TingTing Hong, MD, PhD, and Robin Shaw, MD, PhD.
Sosse Agvanian earned her bachelor of science in biology from the University of California, Irvine. As a research associate for both the Hong Laboratory and Shaw Laboratory, Agvanian contributes to various projects studying BIN1 and Connexin 43 in heart disease. Her interests include developing a biomarker to better predict and assess risk for heart failure in patients, as well as therapies to limit the impact of ischemic heart disease on heart function and arrhythmogenesis.
Ana Caldaruse earned her bachelor of science in biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She worked in clinical research for the last two years and decided to join the Hong Lab to take an academic research path. In the Hong Laboratory, Caldaruse studies BIN1 biology and helps in the development of cardiac BIN1 biomarker assay as a diagnostic and prognostic tool for heart failure.