Sherri Osborne-Lawrence, M.S.
Senior Research Scientist and Lab Manager
Sherri was born in Texas and has lived here all of her life. She received her B.A. degree in Biology from Austin College in Sherman, TX, and an M.S. degree in Molecular & Cell Biology from UT Dallas. She has worked in five laboratories at UT Southwestern Medical Center. Sherri's initial research projects involved positional cloning of genes involved in rheumatoid arthritis and early-onset familial breast cancer. After a few years assisting with the final stages of sequencing for the Human Genome Project, she focused on discovering how endothelial cell dysfunction leads to cardiovascular disease, with particular interests in estrogen modulation as well as the effects of C-reactive protein. Sherri joined the Zigman Lab in 2006 as Senior Research Scientist and Lab Manager, and has now expanded her interests to include ghrelin and its effects on metabolic pathways. Among many other contributions, Sherri has designed and generated several new mouse lines currently in use in the lab and by our collaborators.
Bharath Mani, Ph.D.
Bharath was born and raised in Namakkal, a small town in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, India. Bharath’s initial training was at Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University in Chennai, India, where he earned a B.VS.c. in Veterinary Sciences and an M.S. in Pharmacology. Afterwards, Bharath worked as a research scientist in India, where he was involved in conducting pre-clinical efficacy and toxicity studies of new chemical entities to treat cardiovascular diseases. In July of 2006, Bharath moved to Chicago and enrolled in the pharmacology graduate program at Loyola University Chicago. Bharath worked in the laboratory of Dr. Kenneth Byron to understand the regulation of vascular tone by ion channels in smooth muscle cells to receive his Ph.D. in 2012. To complement his training in cardiovascular pharmacology, Bharath wanted a broad-based training in metabolic syndrome, an important contributor to cardiovascular risk. So, he joined the Zigman Lab in May 2012 and has been working to understand mechanisms regulating ghrelin secretion and action. Bharath spends a lot of time with his family and is interested in exploring different cultures and food. Bharath is a profound follower of cricket, the most revered sport in India.
Nathan Metzger, M.S.
Research Assistant I
Nathan was born and raised in Apple Valley, MN. He obtained his BS in Community Health (2012) and Biomedical Science (2012) and his MS in Cell and Molecular Biology (2014) from Saint Cloud State University in Saint Cloud, MN. His research background includes having studied the post-translational modifications of a family of proteins collectively known as PGC-1. Specifically, identifying modifiers, locating binding sites, and exploring their effects on PGC-1 expression and activity. He relocated to Fort Worth, TX in the summer of 2016, after which he joined Dr. Zigman's lab. When he is not in the lab exploring the mysteries of life, he enjoys playing League of Legends and spending time with his wife.
Deepali Gupta, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Deepali was born in Chhattisgarh, a tribal state in the central part of India. She received her Bachelor in Pharmacy from Rajiv Gandhi Technical University in 2008 and Master in Pharmacy from BITS-Pilani, Pilani Campus, India in 2011. During her Master’s dissertation program mentored by Prof. Mahesh, she studied the role of serotonin signaling and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis dysregulation in depression. Later, she enrolled in the doctoral program at BITS-Pilani and continued to work under the guidance of Prof. Mahesh . Her doctoral research project was aimed at investigating the role of serotonin type-3 (5-HT3) receptor signaling in the pathogenesis of type-1 diabetes-induced depression and the antidepressant activity of novel 5-HT3 receptor antagonists. Deepali joined the Zigman lab in January 2017 to further explore pathogenic pathways involved in depression, in particular, those modulated by the ghrelin system. When not in the lab, she likes cooking and chatting with her family and friends.
Juan Rodriguez, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Juan was born in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico, but grew up a native Texan. He completed his B.S. at Texas A&M University in 2009 in Psychology with a minor in Neuroscience. He remained at Texas A&M as a research technician before continuing his education there as a graduate student under the mentorship of Paul J. Wellman. His doctoral dissertation work sought to investigate the contributions of ghrelin and ghrelin receptors located within the VTA-to-nucleus accumbens reward circuit in influencing behaviors leading to addiction and obesity. Juan completed his PhD in May of 2017 and joined the Zigman lab where he aims to continue investigating the role of the ghrelin system in obesity. Outside the lab he enjoys reading action-packed novels, listening to movie scores, tinkering under the hoods of classic cars, and spending time with his loved ones.
Kripa Shankar, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Kripa was born in a small city Kannauj, famous as a city of perfume, in Uttar Pradesh, India. Kripa completed his undergraduate education at CSJM University in Kanpur, India. Afterwards, Kripa received a Master of Science degree in Biotechnology at Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University in Lucknow, India. After obtaining Junior and Senior Research fellowships from the University Grant Commission, India, Kripa joined the lab of Dr. Anil N. Gaikwad at CSIR-Central Drug Research Institute in Lucknow, India. He earned his PhD degree in 2017. His PhD work focused on pathways involved in chronic hyperinsulinemia and high fat diet-induced insulin resistance. In June of 2017, Kripa joined the Zigman Lab to further enhance his expertise in the area of ghrelin-mediated effects on blood glucose regulation. Apart from science, Kripa loves watching cricket and listening to Bollywood music.