About Us

Our People


Meet The PI    Junior Faculty     Postdoctoral Researchers     Research Staff     Graduate Students     Lab Alumni


Meet The PI


Ganesh V. Raj, M.D., Ph.D., is a Professor of Urology and a fellowship-trained urologic oncologist at UT Southwestern Medical Center. He was trained in molecular biology, endocrinology, and oncology and has significant experience in the preclinical endocrine agents for human hormonal malignancies.

Dr. Raj is a funded cancer investigator with an active clinical practice. His advanced science research focuses on translational strategies against steroid hormonal receptors. His laboratory is actively characterizing molecular signaling pathways involving the androgen receptor in prostate cancer.

Dr. Raj is passionate about his patients, his research, and his family. The laboratory's focus is primarily translational, tempered with an overwhelming desire for drug design and development to improve the lives of people with hormonally dependent cancers.

In collaboration with Jung-Mo Ahn, Ph.D., of UT Dallas, Dr. Raj pioneered and developed several peptidomimetics, protein-like compounds that target the interaction of nuclear receptors with their coregulators. These peptidomimetics have been licensed by a pharmaceutical company and are being evaluated for clinical trials.

With Wayne Tilley, Ph.D., of the University of Adelaide in Australia, Dr. Raj has developed a novel ex vivo culture method for evaluating primary cancer tissues. This approach enables study of biologically relevant pathways in clinically relevant specimens.  The ex vivo culture method remain a significant focus of our research, and we are validating it in multiple tumor types (including breast, kidney, lung and prostate).


Junior Faculty 

Yi Yin, Ph.D. - Assistant Professor

Hometown: China

College: Peking University

Favorite Movie: Angry Birds

Hobbies: Swimming

Xihui Liu, Ph.D. - Instructor

Hometown: China

College: Tongji Medical College

Favorite Movie: The Matrix/The Shawshank Redemption

Hobbies: Reading, traveling, photography

Marcelo Roggero, Ph.D. - Instructor

Hometown: Mendoza, Argentina

College: Universidad Nacional de San Luis

Favorite Movie: Pulp Fiction

Hobbies: Running (coming soon...), traveling, listening to music


Lan Yu, Ph.D. - Instructor

Hometown: Suzhou, China

College: Beijing Institute of Biotechnology

Favorite Movie: Lion King

Hobbies: Family time


Postdoctoral Researchers

Karla Parra, PhD - Postdoctoral Researcher

Hometown: El Paso, Texas

College: UT El Paso

Favorite Movie: V for Vendetta

Hobbies: Cooking, traveling


Research Staff

Rajni Sonavane, M.S. - Lab Manager

Hometown: India

College: Stephen F. Austin State University

Favorite Movie: Cast Away/Coco

Hobbies: Painting, listening to music, spending time with my Bird (Rockey) and dog (Milly - the best dog ever!)

Shihong Ma, Ph.D - Sr. Research Associate

Hometown: China

College: China Medical University

Favorite Movie: Forrest Gump

Hobbies: Jogging, Chinese dance

Michael Hsieh, B.S. - Research Associate

Hometown: Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

College: Binghamton University

Favorite Movie: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

Hobbies: Surfing, soccer, snowboarding

Collin Gilbreath, B.S. - Research Technician II

Hometown: Carrollton, TX

College: University of Texas at Dallas

Favorite Movie: Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Hobbies: Sleeping, napping


Anvita Devineni, B.S. - Research Technician II

Hometown: Coppell, TX

College: Washington University in St. Louis

Favorite Movie: The Help

Hobbies: Dancing, photography

Shourya Kumar, B.S. - Research Technician II

Hometown: Dallas, TX

College: Duke University

Favorite Movie: Gladiator

Hobbies: Rock climbing, traveling, running, listening to music

Noa Kopplin, B.S. - Research Technician II

Hometown: Frisco, TX

College: Villanova University

Favorite Movie: Chef's Table (TV)

Hobbies: Hiking


Charlotte Marchioni -  Research Assistant I

Hometown: Clifton, NJ

College: Hendrix College

Favorite Movie: Howl's Moving Castle

Hobbies: Hiking, cooking, rowing


Graduate Students

Eliot Blatt, B.S. - Graduate Student

Hometown: Austin, TX

College: Rhodes College

Favorite Movie: Anonymous

Hobbies: Tennis, playing with my dog (Bailey)


Lab Alumni


Jorena Lim - Summer (SURF) Student


Aaron Libed - Summer (STARS) Student

Michael Witwer, B.S. - Research Technician II


Dede Bahun-Wilson, Ph.D. - Postdoctoral Researcher
Annie Chang, M.D. - Postdoctoral Researcher
Preethi Ravindranathan, M.S.
Vijay Gonugunta, Ph.D.
Omar Akram, Ph.D.
Eva Freeman
Lin Yan, M.D., Ph.D.
Shuai Liu, M.D., Ph.D.
Zhao Liu, Ph.D.
Lu Miao, Ph.D.
Sentai Ding, M.D., Ph.D.
Amy Li, Ph.D.
Ross Liao, Undergraduate Student
Sydney Kapp, Undergraduate Student