About Us

Lab Members

Melanie Cobb

Melanie H. Cobb, Ph.D

Principal Investigator
Email: melanie {dot} cobb {at} utsouthwestern.edu

Ankita Jaykumar

Ankita Jaykumar, Ph.D

Postdoctoral Researcher
Email: Ankita {dot} Jaykumar {at} utsouthwestern.edu

Research Interest: I am interested in understanding how the With No Lysine kinase 1 (WNK1) regulates endothelial cell migration and proliferation.

Michael Kalwat

Michael Kalwat, Ph.D

Postdoctoral Researcher
Email: michael {dot} kalwat {at} utsouthwestern.edu

Research Interest: My research is focused on growth factor and nutrient signaling pathways that regulate pancreatic islet cell function and developing novel in vitro models to monitor secretion and expression of insulin and glucagon.

Aroon Karra

Aroon Karra, Ph.D

Email: aroon {dot} karra {at} utsouthwestern.edu

Research Interest: My work is centered around characterizing the interactions between MAP kinases and DNA in an effort to elucidate how these signaling molecules are capable of such varied effects on gene expression. I am also very interested in exploring differences between ERK1 and ERK2 and the roles those differences may play in MAPK signaling versatility.

Clint Taylor

Clint Taylor, Ph.D

Email: clinton {dot} taylor {at} utsouthwestern.edu

Research Interest: Using structural biology and classical biochemical approaches, I study how interactions between protein kinases and their signaling partners facilitate pathway regulation.

Pearl Chonlarat

Chonlarat (Pearl) Wichaidit, Ph.D

Research Scientist
Email: chonlarat {dot} wichaidit {at} utsouthwestern.edu

Research Interest: Image processing, data analysis, and bioinformatics


Graduate students

Sachith Perera

Sachith Gallolu Kankanamalage

Email: sachith {dot} gallolukankanamalage {at} utsouthwestern.edu

Research Interest: I'm working on finding the molecular mechanisms of how the protein kinase With No Lysine (WNK) 1 regulates the intracellular degradation pathway autophagy.

Courtney Powell

Courtney Powell

Email: courtney{dot} powell{at} utsouthwestern.edu

Research Interest: My work focuses on identifying novel ERK1/2 nuclear targets and examining the role of ERK in SCLC and other neuroendocrine cancers.



Dionne Ware

Dionne Ware

Sr. Administrative Associate
Pharmacology department
Email: dionne {dot} ware {at} utsouthwestern.edu

Steve Stippec

Steve Stippec

Research Scientist: Cloning guru and WNK specialist
Email: steve {dot} stippec {at} utsouthwestern.edu

Svetlana Earnest

Svetlana Earnest

Sr. Research Associate: Project generator and Jane-of-all-trades
Email: svetlana {dot} earnest {at} utsouthwestern.edu

Joel Villarreal

Joel Villarreal

Lab Technician Assistant I: Miniprep specialist
Email: joel {dot} villarreal {at} utsouthwestern.edu