Aushinie Abeynayake received her bachelor's degree in cell and molecular biology from California State University, Northridge. She joined the Lu Laboratory as a research associate in 2018. Abeynayake is involved in a project investigating the effect of LARP-1 and its phosphorylation mutant overexpression on ribosomal proteins in cancer cells.
Lucía Barbier Torres, PhD, received her doctorate in molecular biology and biomedicine at the University of the Basque Country, Spain. She joined the Lu Laboratory at Cedars-Sinai in 2017 as a postdoctoral scientist to continue her studies on mitochondrial function, signaling pathways and new molecular mechanisms in liver disease.
Wei Fan, MD, PhD, spent part of his graduate training in the Lu Laboratory and received his doctoral degree at the State Key Laboratory of Respiratory Disease. He is now a postdoctoral fellow in the Lu Laboratory.
Tony Li, PhD, received his doctorate at University of California, Irvine, in biological sciences. After completing his postdoctoral studies at the University of Southern California in the lab of Peter Jones, PhD, Li joined the Lu Laboratory in 2006. He studies methyl donors in oxidant defense mechanisms, injury and cancers of the liver and colon. Li is also the lab manager overseeing the Lu Lab.
Nirmala Mavila, PhD, received her doctorate at the University of Mysore, Karanataka, India. She completed her postdoctoral training at Children's Hospital Los Angeles in 2014. She has extensive training in the fields of cell signaling pathways, molecular biology, biochemistry, cell biology and liver biology. Her research is focused on signaling pathways that are deregulated in liver fibrosis and cancer. She is the recipient of the 2014 NASPGHAN Young Investigator George Ferry Award.
Ben Murray, PhD, received his doctorate at the University of Liverpool, United Kingdom. He has recently started his postdoctoral training in the Lu Laboratory at Cedar-Sinai to increase his knowledge in molecular biology, cell biology and liver biology. Murray has a background in biophysics and structural biology, which was the subject of his doctorate. His thesis focused on resolving the crystal structure of the methionine adenosyltransferase α2β protein complex. His current research focuses on the novel interactions of methionine adenosyltransferases with other proteins.
Komal Ramani, PhD, received her doctorate at the University of Delhi, New Delhi, India. She completed her postdoctoral training at the University of Southern California in 2008 in the Lu Lab. She has broad-based training in the field of liver disease. Her research is focused on the molecular mechanisms that promote liver fibrosis, with specific emphasis on hepatic stellate cell activation. She is also interested in studying novel molecular mechanisms that promote the development of human hepatocellular carcinoma. She was recently supported by a K99/R00 grant.
Hui Peng, PhD, received her doctorate at Sichuan University, Sichuan, China, in pathology and pathophysiology. She completed her postdoctoral training at the University of Southern California in the lab of Daniel Levy, PhD. Peng joined the Lu Laboratory in 2010, where she is currently involved in studying novel functions of methionine adenosyltransferase proteins. She is largely responsible for the works that demonstrated MAT2B variants are part of a scaffold complex that regulates all the steps in the Ras-RAF-MEK-ERK signaling pathway.
Jiaohong Wang, MS, received her degree in experimental medicine at Hengyang Medical College in China. She joined the Lu Lab in 2014 and specializes in isolation and culture of hepatic stellate cells, Kupffer cells, sinusoidal endothelial cells and hepatocytes from rats and mice. Wang also trained in small animal surgery such as partial hepatectomy and bile duct ligation, liver fibrosis models and alcoholic liver injury models.
Heping Yang, MD, PhD, received his doctorate at Beijing Medical University. He completed his postdoctoral training at the University of Southern California in the Lu Lab. His background is in molecular biology and transcriptional regulation. Yang has been working in the field of hepatic glutathione metabolism for the past 15 years. He is also particularly interested in cholangiocarcinoma and developed a highly useful cholestasis-associated cholangiocarcinoma murine model that was published in Gastroenterology in 2011.