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.
Kristen Cimolai, PEng
Kristen has completed her BEng in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Guelph. She manages the biobank, storing and processing all clinical samples in association with the Odette Cancer Centre for several clinical trials. She likes to find ways to improve the lab organization, as well as assist fellow colleagues with their FACS analysis, cell culture, and animal work for their projects. Outside the lab during her free time, she enjoys painting, cooking, and exploring new places!
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 completed her M.Sc. in Medical Biophysics at the University of Toronto in our lab focusing on an oncogenic microRNA and its role in radioprotection of prostate cancer, resulting in a radiation resistant phenotype and ultimately tumour recurrence after treatment.
Jessica is now pursuing PhD studies in the Liu lab where she is deriving primary prostate cancer cell lines for therapy prediction and novel models. Outside the lab Jessica enjoys trivia games, nature photography, and creating art from images captured during scientific research.
Eric Wang, BSc
Eric 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 PhD 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.
Gavin Frame, BSc
Gavin graduated from McGill University with a B.Sc. in Physiology. Following his passion for oncology research, he began his M.Sc. in Medical Biophysics at the University of Toronto in 2021, where he would eagerly join the Liu lab. His research investigates genetic targets involved in radiation resistance and metastasis in prostate cancer, which may be therapeutically leveraged to improve outcomes in patients. Outside of research, Gavin enjoys playing rugby and rereading Hemingway novels.
Stephanie White, BSc
Stephanie completed her Honours BSc in Immunology and Psychology at the University of Toronto. She previously worked as our biobanking technician, but is now excited to join our lab as our newest graduate student in Medical Biophysics at University of Toronto in 2022. She also assists with other research projects and brings the seasonal spirit to the lab. In her spare time, she enjoys learning new recipes and sharing them with her friends and family
Tera Petchiny, BSc
Tera completed her Honours BSc in Molecular Biology and Evolutionary Anthropology at the University of Toronto. She managed the biobank and processed clinical samples. She is now pursuing her MSc in the Dept. of Medical Biophysics. Outside the lab, she enjoys playing volleyball, scuba diving, and travelling any chance she gets!
Dr. Aruz Mesci, MD, PhD
Radiation Oncology Fellow
Christianne Hoey, MSc
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 embarked on his residency in radiation oncology at the University of Toronto which he completed June 2020. He completed his fellowship training at the Juravinski Cancer Center with Dr. Theos Tsakiridis, and is now a Staff Radiation Oncologist at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre.
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 was 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. She is now working in clinical trials at Women's College Hospital.
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 was excited to join our team as our research technician focused on biobanking for the Odette Cancer Centre where she processed clinical samples and optomized procedures surrounding clinical studies. When not in the lab, Chantel enjoys a great craft beer and boating during the summers.
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.
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.
Daisy is completing her BScH degree in Life Sciences at Queen’s University. She worked in the Liu Lab for a period of three months as a part of the SRI summer student research program. In this time she investigated the response of radioresistant prostate cancer cell lines to various therapeutic compounds of interest. Outside of the lab, Daisy enjoys discovering new music and working out with friends!
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 is completing her MD/PhD studies at Queen's University in Kingston, supported by a Vanier Scholarship.
Cailey van Veen
Ivan was 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.
Cailey completed her BSc in Honours Life Physics at the University of Waterloo. She was 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.
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.
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. When not at the lab bench, Michelle enjoys speed skating and riding her bike.
Sophie was an undergraduate student looking to gain valuable lab experience and skills over the summer. She completed her studies at Harvard University where 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.
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 completed medical school at the University of Calgary.
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 completed his PhD studies in Bioinformatics & Computational Biology at Princeton May 2022 and is starting medical school in Johns Hopkins Sep 2022.
Matthew Lee, BSc
Matthew completed his Honors Bachelor of Health Sciences at McMaster University in May 2014 with first class standing, and completed 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.
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 in the USA.
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.
David Shin, BSc
David studied Health Sciences at McMaster University, and has completed 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!"
Tina Vujcic, BSc
Kelly completed her BSc in Honours Biology at the University of Waterloo. She was excited to be working with the Liu Lab for an eight month co-op term. She focused on processing clinical samples for the lab’s Biobanking programs and investigating the phenotypes of radiation resistant prostate cancer cells. She then completed her Doctor of Dentistry studies at U of T.. Outside of the lab, Kelly enjoys volunteering, exercising, and playing with her guinea pigs.
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.