CAPMM Team

Co-Directors

 

Lance A. LiottaLance A. Liotta, MD, PhD
Co-Director
 

 

Emanuel F. Petricoin IIIEmanuel Petricoin III, PhD
Co-Director
 

 

 

 

Administrative Team

 

Peggy HackettPeggy Hackett
Assistant to Center Directors
Email: phackett@gmu.edu
Phone: (703) 993-9526

 

 

Carly StellCarly Stell
Senior Grants Administrator, Office of Sponsored Programs
Email: cstell@gmu.edu
 

 

 

Research Team

 

Robyn AraujoRobyn P. Araujo, PhD
Research Assistant Professor
Email: raraujo@gmu.edu

Robyn’s particular research emphasis is cancer cell signaling.  Through the development of novel mathematical formulations of cellular protein networks, with an emphasis on network motifs, feedback loops and other regulatory mechanisms, she has proposed a number of novel approaches to cancer treatment, including ‘network-targeted’ combination therapies and ‘control-oriented’ targeted therapies.  Her ongoing development of mathematical models contributes to the wider goals of CAPMM by providing vital insights on how to interpret the highly complex data-sets that result from high-throughput profiling of cellular protein networks, and by promoting a greater understanding of how these signaling networks are affected by anti-cancer drugs.

Valerie CalvertValerie Calvert, BS
Research Assistant Professor
Email: vcalvert@gmu.edu
 

 

Jianghong DengJianghong Deng, MS
Biostatistician
Email: jdeng@gmu.edu

Jianghong specializes in medical diagnostic tests, sample size calculation, survival analysis, predictive model development and high-dimensional data analysis technology. A user of SAS, R, and JMP, Jianghong is a member of the American Statistical Association and the American Association for Cancer Research. 

Virginia EspinaVirginia Espina, PhD, MT(ASCP)
Research Assistant Professor
Email: vespina@gmu.edu

Dr. Virginia Espina is the former Manager of the Laser Capture Microdissection Core facility at the National Institutes of Health/National Cancer Institute, within the Laboratory of Pathology and the NCI-FDA Clinical Proteomics Program. Dr. Espina's career began as a Medical Technologist in clinical laboratories. She has extensive clinical laboratory experience, including clinical chemistry and Blood Bank.  Her thorough knowledge of clinical quality control and quality assurance issues and regulations compliment her clinical research initiatives, which include phosphoprotein stability, effects of therapy on protein cell signaling pathways, and live cell/tissue microdissection. She currently has multiple roles in the Center for Applied Proteomics and Molecular Medicine, including CAP/CLIA laboratory director, research laboratory manager, instructor, and researcher.
In varying degrees, she has been involved in a number of functional proteomics-based research projects and clinical trials at George Mason University and the National Institutes of Health/National Cancer Institute. The studies performed by Dr. Espina have involved a wide spectrum of proteomic approaches, including classical western blotting, laser capture microdissection and reverse phase protein microarrays, that yielded elucidation of phosphorylation specific kinase events in the tumor-host microenvironment of multiple myeloma, breast, lung and ovarian cancer. Dr. Espina’s responsibilities include lab management for the CAP/CLIA compliant clinical trial laboratory, co-PI on a Breast DCIS chemoprevention clinical trial, as well as translational research involving nanoparticle applications for harvesting biomarkers, identification of breast cancer progenitor cells in pre-invasive lesions, and elucidation of cell signaling cascades in cancer and infectious disease. Dr. Espina is the lead scientist developing phosphoprotein preservatives as an alternative to formalin fixation.

 

                           
Isela GallagherIsela Gallagher, MS
Research Specialist
Email: rgallag3@gmu.edu

Isela’s research incorporates laser capture microdissection, reverse phase protein microarrays, western blotting, and immunohistochemistry to investigate unique signaling pathway profiles in cancer tissue that can be utilized for diagnosis, prognosis, targeted therapeutics and individualized therapy.

Alessandra LuchiniAlessandra Luchini, PhD
Assistant Professor
Email: aluchini@gmu.edu

 

 


Claudius MuellerClaudius Mueller, PhD
Research Assistant Professor
Email: cmuelle1@gmu.edu
Claudius' research focuses on protein pathway activation mapping in brain cancer (glioblastoma) as well as the development and optimization of new tissue stabilizing chemistries and fixatives that preserve the phosphorylation state of signaling proteins, while maintaining full diagnostic immunohistochemical and histomorphologic detail of cells and tissues.

Mariaelena PierobonMariaelena Pierobon, MD
Research Assistant Professor
Email: mpierobo@gmu.edu

 

Alex ReederAlex Reeder, BS , MT(ASCP)
Medical Technologist
Email: kreeder@gmu.edu
Alex is involved in research that focuses on translational breast cancer clinical trials. She uses laser capture microdissection, reverse phase protein microarrays and cell culture as primary technologies in her work.
Alex analyzes protein signaling pathways in tissue to provide physicians with data to rationally select FDA-approved pharmaceutical treatments for breast cancer patients.

Sally RuckerSally Rucker, BS, MT(ASCP)
Medical Technologist
Email: srucker@gmu.edu
Sally is involved in research that uses hydrogel microparticles to sequester and concentrate low abundance proteins, such as biomarkers or antigens, in complex biofluid samples. Her current focus is on early Lyme disease detection using these microparticles to concentrate Lyme antigens in urine, which can then be detected using an ELISA procedure.   
Sally also ensures the laboratory is CAP/CLIA compliant for upcoming clinical trials. This involves meeting all CAP/CLIA regulations and participating in proficiency testing surveys to monitor the lab’s performance on established tests.

Paul RussoPaul Russo, PhD
Research Assistant Professor
Email: prusso@gmu.edu
Paul’s research focuses on using multiple reaction monitoring mass spectrometry (MRM-MS) to quantitate and validate potential biomarkers for diseases including cancer, heart disease, and schizophrenia.  After potential biomarkers are discovered by other mass spectrometry methods, Paul uses MRM-MS to validate and quantify data using larger sample sets. 
Paul is also developing a method using MRM-MS to quantitate human growth hormone (hGH) in human blood and urine to identify athletes who have doped.

Amy VanMeterAmy VanMeter Adams, MS
Research Specialist
Email: avanmete@gmu.edu
 Amy’s research focuses on using laser capture microdissection, western blotting and reverse phase protein microarray technology to investigate the phosphorylation events in signaling pathways for the discovery of new rational drug targets and mapping protein pathways which can be applied to disease diagnosis and prognosis
Amy also directs The Aspiring Scientists Summer Internship Program that engages high school and undergraduate students in cutting edge scientific research related to Proteomics, Genomics, Neuroscience, Biochemistry, Chemistry, Biodefense, Nanotechnology, Bioinformatics, Computer Science, Physics and Environmental Science.

Julie WulfkuhleJulia Wulfkuhle, PhD
Research Professor
Email: jwulfkuh@gmu.edu
Dr. Wulfkuhle has more than 10 years of experience in human tissue processing and preparation for Laser Capture Microdissection and in the field of functional signal pathway profiling of human cells and tissues using Reverse Phase Protein Microarray (RPMA) technology. She has contributed to methods development for sample preparation, printing, staining, image capture and analysis and has also been involved in the establishment of a set of reference standards and calibrators for RPMAs that will be used in the transition of this technology into a calibrated assay that can be used for standardization and quantification of staining intensities across arrays and between experiments. Dr. Wulfkuhle’s research interests include proteomic profiling of solid tumor tissues, including breast, prostate, lung and brain, for designing personalized therapeutic strategies, and identification of signaling mechanisms underlying resistance to targeted therapeutics.

Weidong ZhouWeidong Zhou, PhD
Research Assistant Professor
Email: wzhou@gmu.edu
Weidong analyzes serum, tissue and cell lines using liquid chromatography-coupled tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) for biomarker discovery relevant to cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, infectious disease, schizophrenia, and atrial fibrillation.