Our Lab Members
We are a collaborative, enthusiastic, and hard working group determined to advance outcomes for cancer patients by researching therapy resistance and biomarkers of response.
Dr. Stanley Liu, MD, PhD
I am a clinician-scientist and Associate Professor within the Departments of Radiation Oncology and Medical Biophysics at the University of Toronto. I completed my PhD at the University of Toronto, Dept of Medical Biophysics, followed by medical school and a radiation oncology residency at the University of Toronto. I completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Oxford, UK with Profs. Ruth Muschel and Adrian Harris. I now have the privilege of overseeing our translational research lab filled with talented team members, and treating and caring for patients with genitourinary malignancies at the Sunnybrook Odette Cancer Centre as a radiation oncologist.
Dr. Xiaoyong Huang, MD, PhD
Xiaoyong completed MD training in China, then his PhD at the Kanazawa University, Dept of Medical Sciences, Japan. After 4 years of postdoc training in the leukemia field at SRI with Dr. Hough, he joined the Liu lab. His research focus is investigating the role of microRNA in tumor radiation response. Xiaoyong likes playing table tennis when not in the lab.
Chantel completed her BSc in Biology and Chemistry at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology as well as obtaining an Advanced Diploma in Pharmaceutical and Food Science Technology. She's excited to join our team as our research technician focused on biobanking for the Odette Cancer Centre where she processes clinical samples and optomizing the procedures surrounding clinical studies. When she's not in the lab Chantel enjoys a great craft beer and boating during the summers
Jessica Wright, MSc
Jessica graduated from McGill University in Montreal with her B.Sc. studying Anatomy and Cell Biology. Excited to return to her native Toronto, she is now working towards her M.Sc. in Medical Biophysics at the University of Toronto, delighted to be completing her thesis work with Dr. Liu's research group. Her project focuses on an oncogenic microRNA and its role in radioprotection of prostate cancer, resulting in a radiation resistant phenotype and ultimately tumour recurrence after treatment. Outside the lab Jessica enjoys trivia games, nature photography, and creating art from images captured during scientific research.
Eric Wang, BSc
Eric is completed his BSc in Honours Biology at University of Waterloo. During his undergraduate studies he worked in the Liu Lab for an eight month co-op term. We were happy to welcome him back to the Liu lab in September 2018 as a graduate student in Medical Biophysics at the University of Toronto. His research is investigating the immune response as a therapeutic avenue for radiorecurrent prostate cancer. In his spare time, Eric enjoys working out and sketching.
Christianne Hoey, MSc
Christianne completed her BMSc at the University of Western Ontario in Medical Sciences, graduating with distinction. Christianne began her MSc in September with the Department of Medical Biophysics at the University of Toronto. She is thrilled to be a part of the Liu Lab team at Sunnybrook Research Institute. For her masters project she investigated how a certain microRNA implicated in many cancers, is involved in conferring a treatment-resistant phenotype in prostate cancer, leading to cancer recurrence and poor patient outcomes. Christianne has a passion for music, and pursues classical vocal performance in her spare time. When not in the lab, she also enjoys biking, camping, and playing with her cat.
Daisy is completing her BScH degree in Life Sciences at Queen’s University. After finishing her third year of undergraduate studies, she will be working in the Liu Lab for a period of three months as a part of the SRI summer student research program. In this time she will be primarily investigating the response of radio-resistant prostate cancer cell lines to various therapeutic compounds of interest. Outside of the lab, Daisy enjoys discovering new music and working out with friends!
Dr. Aruz Mesci, MD, PhD
Aruz completed his PhD at the University of Toronto in the Dept. of Immunology (Dr. Carlyle lab) and was a Vanier Scholar. He then enrolled in medical school at the University of Toronto. During his medical training he also worked in the Liu lab as a CREMS Research Scholar, investigating the role of a pro-metastatic transcription factor. After completing his MD degree in May 2015, he commenced his residency in radiation oncology at the University of Toronto.
Seville completed her BSc in Honours Biochemistry at the University of Waterloo. She workied with the Liu Lab for an eight month co-op term analyzing clinical samples for the lab’s biobanking programs. She also investigated role of microRNA in radiation response and the phenotypic variations in radiation resistant cells. Outside of the lab, Seville enjoys horseback riding and skiing.
Elina Korpela, MSc
Elina completed her BSc at the University of Toronto, and recently finished her MSc in the Dept. of Medical Biophysics at University of Toronto in the Liu lab in 2014. She was a receipient of a CIHR Masters studentship, and also supported by Paul Starita and Scace Family graduate student fellowships through the University of Toronto. Her project investigated Vasculotide as a novel approach to minimize acute radiation toxicity in preclinical models. She will be pursuing MD/PhD studies at Queen's University in Kingston starting in September 2016, supported by a Vanier Scholarship.
Scott Strum MSc
Scott completed a BScH at Queen's University and then an MSc at the University of Toronto, both in the field of biochemistry. He is now studying Medicine at the University of Toronto and assisted with Dr. Liu's research as a CREMS summer research student. He explored the role microRNAs play in modulating prostate cancer cell phenotype. Broadly, Scott enjoys science, medicine, sports, and music.
Cailey van Veen
Cailey completed her BSc in Honours Life Physics at the University of Waterloo. She is excited to be working with the Liu Lab team for her 4 month co-op term, focusing on biobanking as well as other microRNA research. Outside of the lab, Cailey enjoys playing piano, camping, and reading novels.
Ivan is enrolled in the BSc Honours Biology Co-op program at the University of Waterloo. He completed an eight month co-op work term at the Liu lab where he was involved in biobanking and analysis of clinical samples. He also performed research investigating microRNA in therapy resistance. He is now perrsuing his PhD studies at University of Guelph.
Sophie is an undergraduate student looking to gain valuable lab experience and skills over the summer. She just completed her first year of college at Harvard University where she plans on concentrating in the life sciences. After college, Sophie hopes to attend medical school. Outside of the lab, Sophie enjoys playing squash as a member of the Harvard University squash team and travelling to new places.
Rishi Jairath, BSc
Rishi was enrolled in an Honors Specialization in Medical Sciences at Western University. He started medical school at U of T in September 2015. Rishi worked in the Liu Lab in the Summer of 2012 on Pea3 and its involvement in colorectal carcinoma. Since then, he has had the opportunity to work in the Advanced Molecular Diagnostics Lab at Mount Sinai Hospital with Dr. Jordan Lerner-Ellis and at the Human Physiology Research Unit at the University of Toronto with Dr. Greg Wells.
Cat Leoveanu, BSc
Cat studied Biology at York University and graduated with her BSC Honours in 2013. She worked in the Liu lab during the summer of 2012 as a member of the MBP summer student program. Cat is completed her MSc graduate studies in the lab of Dr. E. Nambara at the University of Toronto, followed by a one year clinical research assistant position at Hospital for Sick Children. She is now enrolled in medical school at the University of Calgary.
Dr. Ali Fotouhi, MD, MSc
Alireza has a MSc in Molecular Biology - Genetics from Université de Montréal, and completed his Radiation Oncology residency training at University of Toronto. He was the 2015 CARO Fellowship Recipient and a Clinical Translational Fellow at the Odette Cancer Center working with Drs. Liu and Vesprini. The focus of Alireza's research was to investigate exosomal microRNA as a predictive biomarker for radiotherapy, as well as the role of lncRNA in radiation response.
He now is a staff Radiation Oncologist at the University of Pennsylvania.
David Shin, BSc
David studied Health Sciences at McMaster University, and has begun Medical school at McMaster. He worked in the Liu Lab in Summer 2017 as part of the D+H SRI summer studentship program. He investigated genes associated with certain prostate cancer cell phenotypes. Outside of work, he enjoys taking photographs and playing the saxophone!"
Michelle is a two-time recipient of the SRI D+H summer studentship, aiming to use this opportunity to gain laboratory experience in molecular biology techniques that she can continue to refine during her undergraduate studies and beyond. She completed her B.Sc. in Life Sciences at Queens University. She is preparing to start her graduate studies at University of Toronto. When not at the lab bench, Michelle enjoys speed skating and riding her bike.
Matthew Lee, BSc
Matthew completed his Honors Bachelor of Health Sciences at McMaster University in May 2014 with first class standing, and is now in medical school at the University of Toronto. He spent the summer of 2014 working in the Liu Lab funded through the D+H SRI Summer student research program. He investigated the role of non-coding RNA in tumor radiation response.
Darshan was enrolled in a Honors BSc Double Major program (Immunology & Mathematics) at the University of Toronto. He graduated in June 2015. He was on the Deans Honours List and held a Banting and Best Summer studentship in 2014. He worked in the Liu lab in the summer of 2013 investigating the role of PEA3 in metastasis. He spent the following summer performing research in Dr. Klip's lab at HSC.
He will be starting his PhD studies in Bioinformatics & Computational Biology at Princeton in September 2016.
Samira Taeb, MSc
Lab manager and
Samira had been working with Dr. Stanley Liu since the inception of the lab, both as a manager and research technician. She worked closely with her team towards elucidating the mechanism of various microRNA that are involved in mediating cellular response to radiation. Samira holds a Masters of Biology from York University and an Advanced Diploma in Pharmaceutical Chemistry. When not in the lab, Samira spent her time sketching, painting and creating various forms of visual art. She is keenly interested in using visual language as a way to conceptualize the abstractness of complex scientific notions. She is now working as a clinical research associate.
Sahar Jahangiri, MSc
Sahar completed her MSc degree at SBMU in Tehran, Iran. She started volunteering at Dr. Liu lab after immigrating to Canada then joined his team as a research technician. She performed biobanking for the Odette Cancer Biobanking facility. In addition to work on biobanking programs, She investigated the role of various microRNA in radiation response. Outside of the lab, she mostly spends her time with her family and her son. She also enjoys biking, camping and playing foosball. She is now a biobanking manager at CReATe fertility center.
Tina Vujcic, BSc
Tina completed her BSc in Biology at Ryerson University. She worked as a research technician, focusing on biobanking for the Odette Cancer Center. In doing so, she processed clinical samples and ensured that the samples are properly processed and catalogued. She was also involved in performing downstream assays with patient samples. She was thrilled to be part of a such an enthusiastic and hardworking team. During her spare time, Tina loves to cook, bake and read books. She is now pursuing studies at OISE to become a science teacher.
Kelly is currently completing her BSc in Honours Biology at the University of Waterloo. She is excited to be working with the Liu Lab for an eight month co-op term. She focuses on processing clinical samples for the lab’s Biobanking programs and investigating the phenotypes of radiation resistant prostate cancer cells. She is now starting her Doctor of Dentistry studies at U of T.. Outside of the lab, Kelly enjoys volunteering, exercising, and playing with her guinea pigs.