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Members

Alexander J. R. Bishop, D. Phil.

Associate Professor, Cell Systems and Anatomy, GCCRI
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My research focus is on DNA damage response and DNA repair, with a particular interest in Ewing sarcoma, breast cancer and Ataxia telangiectasia looking at cancer, development and aging. Since becoming an independent investigator, I have trained five postdoctoral fellows all of whom remained in science. In fact, since coming to UTH-SA, I have developed a postdoctoral career workshop, am a member of a Departmental committee to promote postdoctoral career advancement and most recently initiated a Departmental Postdoctoral Seminar Series. I am therefore a strong advocate for finding means for postdoctoral fellows to achieve their career goals. I have also been fortunate enough to have recruited several talented graduate students, six have now graduated and all pursued further research careers in either academia or private industry. I am currently training four graduate students. Over the last few years five of my graduate students obtained independent funding (including DoD BRCP program and PCRCP Horizon Award), as did three of my postdocs (including DoD BCRP and AstraZeneca-AACR START).

Current members


Manish Parihar, PhD

Research Scientist (2020 – )
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Manish received his PhD from the University of Texas at Arlington in 2014 and his postdoctoral training at UT Health San Antonio. He studies the genetic disease ataxia-telangiectasia (AT) and is dissecting the role of amino acid transporters in disease development using molecular and cell biology techniques. Such transporters have the potential to be targeted for therapeutic intervention in AT. Manish was awarded the NIH sponsored IRACDA/SABER Associate Scholarship for postdoctoral training at UT Health San Antonio and outside research, he enjoys reading and swimming.

Liesl A. Lawrence

PhD student (2016 – )
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“My project focuses on the connection between transcription, splicing, and transcription-associated stress (such as R-loops) in the context of Ewing sarcoma. I am using a variety of cell and molecular biology methods to determine how these processes are altered in Ewing sarcoma and investigate novel therapeutic targets.”

Grants/Awards

  • 2019 – CDMRP PRCRP Horizon Fellowship
  • 2019 – Rennels Memorial Award for Excellence in Graduate Studies
  • 2018 – NCATS TL1TR002647 Predoctoral Training Fellowship

Kevin F. Kanda

PhD student (2018 – )
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“The overall focus of my project is to investigate how altered metabolic pathways in Ewing’s Sarcoma drive its pathology, specifically in the context of DNA repair and epigenetics. I will be exploring metabolic response using a variety of techniques to quantify the production of reactive oxygen species and antioxidants as well as their overall effects on cell viability and DNA repair/modification.”

Grants/Awards

  • 2020 – Mays Cancer Center Predoctoral Fellowship

Henry E. Miller

PhD student (2018 – )
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Henry is a PhD student in the Biology of Aging track of the Integrated Biomedical Sciences program. He is interested in applying molecular and computational approaches to understanding biological systems in cancer and aging. The focus of his project is to understand the role that R-loops play in normal physiological processes and the mechanisms by which those roles are disrupted with aging and cancer.

Henry received his B.S. from Christopher Newport University in 2016 and went on to study Biomedical Engineering at SUNY Buffalo, earning an M.S. in 2018. While earning his master’s, Henry became involved with biotech startups and learned programming with Python. He is the co-founder of the Bioinformatics Interest Group club at UTHSA, in which he leads a bioinformatics workshop. Outside of school, Henry enjoys hiking and playing jazz piano.

Grants/Awards

  • 2020 – Greehey Graduate Predoctoral Fellowship
  • 2021 – F31 NIA/NIH Predoctoral Fellowship

Pramiti Mukhopadhyay

PhD student (2018 – )
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“My research focuses on examining the phenomenon of replication stress, specifically in Ewing sarcoma. I will be using various molecular and cell biology techniques to study the mechanisms in which proteins found at replication forks and involved in DNA damage repair pathways regulate the consequences of replication stress, thereby allowing Ewing sarcoma tumor cells to maintain stable genome integrity despite high levels of replication stress.”

Grants/Awards

  • 2020 – CPRIT Training Grant RP170345 Predoctoral Fellowship

Aiola Stoja

PhD student (2020 – )
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Aiola received her Biotechnology B.S degree from James Madison University in 2016, after which she worked at the University of Virginia and at the UT Health Science System as a Research Assistant. During this time, Aiola developed skills in computational biology and chromatin remodeling, which she is looking to implement in her PhD by studying R loops in Ewings Sarcoma. The goal is to be able to use a computational biology and research oriented approach to elucidate how R loops effects Ewings Sarcoma and potentially other cancers as well. Aiola is Historian of the Bioinformatics Interest Group and in her free time enjoys camping with her dogs and drinking coffee.


Raquel Neves

Visiting scholar, UT Health San Antonio (2021- )
PhD Student, Santa Catarina Federal University (2019- )
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Raquel is currently in our lab as a visiting student and her project focuses on the mutant p53 gain-of-function (GOF) activities in triple-negative breast cancer, particularly the promotion of an inflammatory profile in this type of cancer. Raquel is a Biotechnologist, received her M.S degree in 2019 and now she is part of the Biochemistry graduate program at Santa Catarina Federal University in Brazil. 

Nicklas Bassani, PhD

Post-doctoral student (2018 – )
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Eva Loranc

Lab manager
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Valerie Caro

Research Student (2020 – )


Former Lab Members

Aparna Gorthi, PhD.

Post-doctoral student (2015 – present)
PhD student (2010 – 2015)
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Aparna Gorthi is an AACR-AstraZeneca START postdoctoral fellow. She studies the cross-talk between DNA damage response, transcription and epigenetic regulation and their shared utilization of key factors like BRCA1 and STAG2 in Ewing sarcoma. Her approach combines molecular, cell biology based experiments and computational techniques to delineate systems biology of transcriptional stress response. In her research project, she studies the causes and consequences of R-loop accumulation and its role in epigenetic regulation.

Aparna hails from India where she completed her B.Engg in Computer Science, and a Masters in Biological Sciences from the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur. She then worked at Philips Research Asia-Bangalore as a computational biologist for a few years before starting graduate school at UTHSA with Alex Bishop. During her graduate work, she discovered pervasive accumulation of R-loops in Ewing sarcoma and was able to mechanistically describe the underlying sensitivity to PARP inhibitors.  Aparna enjoys reading, music and road-trips with her husband and son.

Grants/Awards

  • 2018 – American Association for Cancer Research – AstraZeneca Stimulating Therapeutic Advances through Research Training (START) fellowship
  • 2018 – NIH/NCATS TL1 Translational Science Postdoctoral Training Grant, UT Health SA
  • 2018 – Susan L. Naylor Award for Excellence in Postdoctoral studies, UTHSCSA
  • 2018 – Ann A. Hollocher Trainee Travel Award in Cancer Biology Translational Research
  • 2015 – NIH/T32 Cancer Biology Postdoctoral Training Grant, UT Health

Carolina Romero

Post-doctoral student (2015 – 2020)

Carolina was awarded a CPRIT training fellowship in Sept. 2015. Won first prize and a travel award for her poster presentation at the 2017 UTHSCSA Postdoctoral Association Research Workshop. Carolina went on to take a Research Assistant Professorship at Johns Hopkins University.

Carolina is currently a Research Associate in the Department of Environmental Health and Engineering at John’s Hopkins University.


Erin Sybouts

PhD Student (2015 – 2019)
Postdoctoral Student (2019 – 2020)

Erin was awarded the 2015 Greehey Fellowship Award to cover her salary and tuition (2015-2016) and then again in 2017 (2017-2018). Erin was awarded a 2017 Greehey Travel Award to cover her attendance to the 2017 Keystone Recombination and Repair meeting. Her abstract was also selected for a short talk at the same meeting. Erin went to a CSHL meeting of DNA replication to give a talk in place of Dr. Bishop who was invited to give a talk.

Erin is currently an Associate Human Molecular Geneticist at PreventionGenetics


Alfeu Zanotto-Filho

Postdoctoral Student (2013 – 2014)

Alfeu was awarded a DoD CDRMP Breast Cancer Research Program Postdoctoral Trainee Fellowship (2014 – 2017) for his work. Accepted an independent Assistant Professor (non-tenure track) in 2014 at the Institute of Basic Health Sciences, Department of Biochemistry – Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS). In 2016 Alfeu moved to a tenure track Assistant Professor position at Departamento de Farmacologia – Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Brazil and is now an Associate Professor.


Lindsey Barron

PhD Student (2013 – 2016)

Lindsey started as a graduate student in Don McEwan’s lab 4/2011 but due to Dr. McEwan’s illness and passing away is now mentored by Drs. Hinck and Bishop. She was awarded the Greg Treibs Memorial Scholarship 11/2012, been a science fair judge at the 2012 Science and Engineering Academy Science and Engineering Fair.


Ana Chavez-Santoscoy

PhD Student (2013 – 2014)

Ana was awarded the 2013 Greehey Fellowship Award to cover her salary and tuition (2013 – 2014) a supplement on my R01 and subsequently an individual F31 fellowship (2015 – 2017). Ana decided to leave the graduate program on 1/2015 due to personal issues with her family.


Xavier Bernard

Postdoctoral Student (2012 – 2014)

Went on to obtain a scientist position in FIRALIS, a biotech firm in France.


Sonal Tonapi

PhD Student (2011 – 2015)

Sonal was awarded the Dean’s Excellence Award in 2010. She was also awarded a T32 Cancer Biology Training Fellowship in 2013. She was further recognized with the 2014 T32 retreat best oral student presentation and 2014 CTRC retreat best student poster. Sonal was awarded the 2014 Greehey travel scholarship to attend 2015 Keystone meeting on Genomic instability. Sonal went on to obtain a Postdoctoral Researcher position in Caris Life Sciences and is now working for a biotech company in San Fransisco.


Subapriya Rajamanickam

Postdoctoral Student (2010 – 2012)

Went on to another postdoctoral fellowship after successfully completing her project to set up a breast cancer xenograft model in the lab.


Bijal Karia

PhD Student (2006 – 2013)

Bijal was awarded a DoD CDRMP Breast Cancer Research Program Predoctoral Traineeship Award (2010 – 2012) for her work. She successfully defended her thesis spring 2013 (graduated May 2013). She went on to take a postdoctoral position in Rob Stavek’s lab at UTHSCSA and then as a research scientist in bioAffinity.


Adam Brown

PhD Student (2007 – 2012)

Adam was awarded a student fellowship on a T32 Aging Grant.  Selected to present an oral presentation at 2010 Mutagenesis Gordon Conference based on abstract submission. Successfully defended his thesis spring 2012 (graduating May 2012). He is staying on in my lab for 1 year to complete papers but he has already secured a postdoctoral position in Mike Kastan’s lab at Duke University and has obtained a fellowship from a training grant there. Continued as a postdoctoral fellow in my lab to complete/publish his graduate work before going on to a postdoctoral position in Prof. Mike Kastan’s lab in Duke in 2013 with a NIH T32 Training Fellowship. Currently works for BMS as a Medical Liaison Officer.


Amy Wiles

Postdoctoral Student (2005 – 2009)

Amy is currently an Associate Professor (tenured) at Mercier University, GA


Ravi Dashnamoorthy

Postdoctoral Student (2005 – 2008)

Promoted in 2008 to an Instructor of Cellular and Structural Biology, UTHSCSA. Was awarded a NCI travel grant to attend the 2nd US-EU Workshop, Systems level understanding of DNA damage responses, Stowe, VT, as well as a Young investigator travel scholar award to attend Systems Biology of Cancer, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX. Ravi also won a poster presentation award (First Prize) in 2008 for his presentation at the 61st Annual Symposium for Cancer Research Systems Biology, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX and 2007 at the CCRI Annual Retreat, UTHSCSA. Ravi is currently an Associate Professor (research track) at Rutgers Cancer Institute, NJ


Previous Visiting Graduate Students

DateStudentDescription
05/2010 – 07/2010  Praathibha SripadhanStudent, Department of Biology, The University of Texas at San Antonio. Obtained research experience for her Masters program at UTSA. Went on to become a research assistant.
05/2010 – 07/2010  DivyaPriya RagavanStudent, Department of Biology, The University of Texas at San Antonio. Obtained research experience for her Masters program at UTSA. Went on to become a research assistant.
05/2010 – 07/2010  Bhavani SelvarajWent on to become a research assistant.

Former Rotation Students

DateStudent
10/2018 – 11/2018 Kevin Kanda
09/2018 – 10/2018 Pramiti Mukhopadhyay
08/2018 – 09/2018 Henry Miller
11/2017 – 12/2017 Michael Bene
10/2017 – 11/2017 Abdulhafiz Imam Aliagan
10/2017 – 11/2017 Travis Madaris
12/2016 – 01/2017 Alex Chu
11/2016 – 12/2016 Cody Thompson
08/2016 – 09/2016 Shaimar Gonzalez
11/2015 – 12/2015 Liesl Lawrence
01/2015 – 03/2015 Erin Sybouts
10/2014 – 11/2014 Hongjoo An
08/2014 – 09/2014 Roma Kaul
08/2014 – 09/2014 Rebecca Bricker
09/2013 – 10/2013 Nourhan Abdelfattah
01/2013 – 05/2013 Ana Chavez-Santoscoy
09/2011 – 11/2011 Alison Doyungan
01/2011 – 03/2011 Sonal Tonapi
11/2010 – 02/2011 Aparna Gorthi
09/2010 – 11/2010 Stephanie Pilgrim
09/2010 – 11/2010 Huiyoung Yun
04/2010 – 07/2010 Manjula Mummadisetti
10/2009 – 12/2009Izhar Batth
01/2008 – 02/2008Balaji Parameswaran
09/2007 – 11/2007Alison Claybon
09/2007 – 11/2007Ketan Marballi
04/2007 – 06/2007Bijal Karia
04/2007 – 05/2007Adam Brown
02/2006 – 03/2006Smitha Sassindra
06/2005 – 07/2005David New

Previous Undergraduate Students

DateStudentUniversity / Description
06/2019 – 08/2019Aishwarya SathishUniversity Texas San Antonio, TX
06/2019 – 08/2019Yutong (Crystal) LiNew York University, NY
06/2018 – 08/2018Alejandra RomeroSt. Mary’s University, TX
06/2017 – 08/2017Vy NguyenSt. Mary’s University, TX
06/2015 – 08/2015Johan CraytonUniversity of Texas San Antonio, TX; Voelcker Summer Undergraduate Research Fellow
06/2015 – 08/2015Dorothy CrumityElizabeth City State University, NC
10/2014 – 8/2015Elicia Goodale  University of Texas San Antonio, TX
06/2013 – 08/2013Yoo-Jin (Michelle) BaikUniversity of Illinois, IL; Accepted to medical school.
06/2012 – 08/2012Julia CardenasUniversity of the Incarnate Word, TX
06/2012 – 08/2012Carolina CantuUniversity of Texas-Pan American, TX
06/2012 – 08/2012Alice ZhangJohns Hopkins University, MD
06/2011 – 08/2011Adriana Foster Johns Hopkins University, MD
06/2011 – 08/2011Scott GreenmanBrigham Young University, UT; For his contributions Scott was included as an author in a submitted manuscript. Went on to Medical school.
06/2010 – 08/2010Veronica LandaStanford University, CA; For her contributions Veronica will be included as an author in a manuscript that is currently under preparation
06/2010 – 08/2010Xochitl Pablos-VelezUTPanAm, TX ; Obtained a Gates Foundation fellowship and applied to MD/PhD programs.
05/2010 – 08/2010Crystal BruceOklahoma State University, OK; Crystal obtained a credit in course 4990 of Oklahoma State University for research experience. Currently working as a Research Assistant.
07/2009 – 09/2009Veronica LandaStanford University, CA
06/2008 – 08/2008Rachel ChackoUniversity of St. Thomas, TX; went on to medical school.
05/2008 – 08/2008Crystal HernandezOur Lady of the Lake University, TX; For her contributions Crystal was included as an author in a 2010 NAR paper.
06/2007 – 08/2007Lisa ChingWashington University, WA; Entered a D.Pharm degree program.
05/2006 – 07/2006Meena KadapakkamUTA, TX; Went on to medical school (Baylor College of Medicine)
06/2005 – 08/2005Meena KadapakkamUTA, TX
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