MEET THE TEAM

We have established an inclusive atmosphere where scientists are encouraged and inspired. We are firm believers that this approach fosters the ideal environment for innovation

John2_small

John Iafrate, MD, PhD

Deputy Chair of Pathology for Academic Affairs

Former Director of the Center for Integrated Diagnostics (CID)

Pathologist in Pathology, Massachusetts General Hospital


Dr. Iafrate received his MD, PhD degrees from the State University of New York at Stony Brook in 2000, and was trained in anatomic and molecular genetic pathology at Brigham and Women's Hospital. He joined the Massachusetts General Hospital staff in 2005. His post-doctoral work involved the discovery and description of a novel source of human genetic diversity, termed "Copy Number Variation" (CNV). His work, using genome-wide array comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) assays, contributed significantly to clinically differentiating pathogenic CNVs from CNVs that are less likely to contribute to an affected individual's clinical presentation.

He established the Center for Integrated Diagnostics, a cancer diagnostics lab focusing on genetic fingerprints that help guide novel, targeted therapies. In 2008, his lab launched “SNaPshot”, the first multiplexed genotyping assay in genotyping primary and recurrent tumors and later implemented next generation sequencing (NGS) technologies including the development of Anchored Multiplexed PCR (AMP), now a widely-used sequencing platform. His research is focused on lung and brain tumors, and he has been closely involved in the clinical development of crizotinib and companion diagnostics in ALK-positive lung cancers. His lab is now focused on developing assays for detecting tumor DNA in circulation (ctDNA) and launched one of the first clinical ctDNA assays for lung and breast cancer in 2018.

Anna (Chegzhou) Gao, PhD

Senior Research Scientist

Anna is a Senior Research Scientist with expertise in Molecular and Cellular Biology. Currently, she is working on High Content Imaging Assay development and optimization. In her free time, she likes to read, watch movies, and enjoy outdoor activities with her family.

Diane Yang, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow

Diane is a postdoctoral fellow interested in developing new small molecules targeting oncogenic drivers of cancer. Her current project is identifying novel therapeutic targets for ALK+ small-cell lung cancer using molecular biology and proteomic analysis. She also studies the mechanism of action of small molecules with cell biology and gene editing.

Diane grew up in Taiwan and received her Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Biology from Baylor College of Medicine, where she studied stem cell differentiation for regenerative medicine. In her free time, she enjoys cooking and researching recipes, petting soft and fluffy cats, and traveling.

Annie Li, MD

Postdoctoral Fellow

Annie is currently investigating the immune landscape of adenoid cystic carcinomas, a rare cancer of the head and neck region using a multiplex immunofluorescence platform. She is also investigating utilizing customized liquid biopsy assays in rare sarcomas as a novel diagnostic tool.

Annie grew up in Germany and graduated from Medical School at the University of Heidelberg. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with friends, trying new restaurants, watching movies and traveling.

dna-strand_8389754
Liz Headshot
Dawn_Headshot

Stefan Kaluziak, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow

Liz Codd

Bioinformatics Specialist I

Liz Codd earned her Master of Science in Bioinformatics from Northeastern University in December 2022. She first started working in the Iafrate Lab as an intern during her graduate studies, then joined the lab as a Bioinformatics Specialist this past January. She works on data analysis and pipeline development for a variety of exciting transcriptomic and epigenomic projects. Her current research focus is alternative transcription and epigenomic regulation in Triple Negative Breast Cancer and Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma

Before entering the field of bioinformatics, Liz received a Bachelor of Mathematics from Rhode Island College and a Master of Music in Violin Performance from Park University. She worked as a freelance violinist in Kansas City for several years where she performed with orchestras including the Kansas City Symphony and pop stars such as 2Cellos, recorded three albums with platinum rapper Tech N9ne, and played milongas with a five-piece tango band. Liz Codd is originally from Providence, RI and currently resides in Worcester, MA with her fiancé Sean and their black cat Jack.

Dawn Mitchell

Bioinformatics Graduate Student Intern

Dawn is a Bioinformatics Master's student at Northeastern University and has been working with Stefan on image analysis pipelines since Spring 2023. During her time in the lab, Dawn has built a live-cell imaging analysis pipeline and is currently investigating pipelines for processing multiplex immunofluorescence imaging data.

Dawn holds a B.S. in Geophysical Sciences from the University of Chicago and an M.S. in Computer Science from Brandeis University. In her free time, she enjoys practicing piano, playing video games, and going for walks with her partner.

Edwin Headshot
Bianca Headshot
Thuc Headshot

Edwin Zhang

Research Technician I

Edwin graduated from Brandeis University in 2019 with a B.A in Biology and Neuroscience. He is currently working with Diane on her project identifying novel therapeutic targets for ALK positive non-small cell lung cancer. He works on screening new compounds, running Western Blots, and producing/purifying recombinant protein. In his free time, he enjoys reading, learning how to cook new dishes and eating new dishes. A fun fact is that he has never had coffee in his life!

Bianca Gonda

Research Technician I

Bianca received her B.A. in Biology from New York University. Currently, she is working on immunologically profiling tumors using multiplex immunofluorescence and immunohistochemistry. She is currently working with Annie on profiling a variety of different tumor types. Outside of work, Bianca enjoys traveling, spending time with her friends, family, and pets, and exploring the city. 

Thuc Dzu

Research Technician I

Thuc graduated from Johns Hopkins University with a B.A. in Biophysics. He works with Stefan and Annie on projects that include the development of diagnostic NGS assays and monitoring of tumor growth using biomarkers secreted by tumor cells in the blood. In his free time, he enjoys rock climbing, reading, and spending time with friends.

Prinjali Headshot_cropped
Natalie Headshot_Cropped
Kellie Headshot

Prinjali Kalyan

Research Technician I

Prinjali graduated from Boston University in 2023 with a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering. She is currently working alongside Stefan where she performs DNA and RNA library preparation and DNA sequencing using NGS. She interested in the intersection between molecular diagnostic techniques and data-driven approaches to increasing the efficacy and accessibility of healthcare. In her free time, she enjoys painting, crocheting, traveling, and trying new food in the city!

Natalie Nordenfelt

Research Technician I

Natalie joined the Iafrate Lab in July 2023 after graduating from Northwestern University with a BA in Chemistry and a minor in Political Science. In the lab,she primarily works with Diane on culturing cells and running cell viability assays. Outside of work, Natalie loves reading, spending time with friends, and exploring new places.

Kellie A. Burke

Program Administrator

Kellie has been working at Massachusetts General Hospital for 22 years and is an Administrative Assistant to Dr. A. John Iafrate, Deputy Chief of Pathology at MGH. Previously Kellie worked at the Center for Integrated Diagnostics at MGH also known as CID, where Dr. Iafrate was one the Director of.  She brings a wealth of knowledge and experience from working at MGH as well as her strong ability to organize and schedule.  Kellie has worked in Adult Neurology, Pediatric Neurology, and Primary care during her career here at MGH.

dna-strand_8389754

Jo Anne Fordham

Research Scientist

Jo Anne, a veteran medical and bioscience writer, contributes a longstanding experience in supporting report and grant development across efforts to better characterize, treat, and prevent illness, deepen understanding of function, and sustain a versatile and enduring health. At academic medical centers, Jo Anne has worked in tandem with physicists, chemists, biochemists, physiologists, and physician and nursing researchers to disseminate findings from neuroscience and oncology, further primary care and public health outreach campaigns, and develop early policy briefs on equitable access and the social determinants of health. In higher education, she has strongly supported programs to secure closely mentored science education opportunities for K-12 and undergraduate students, as well as to provide graduate students, post-docs, and junior faculty with leadership training aimed at teaching science to underprepared students. Jo Anne enjoys tackling the intractable problems that supporting science, health, and writing present, and is particularly motivated to engage the daunting task of clarifying the densely layered, multifactorial, interdisciplinary, and technically- and statistically-grounded concepts of contemporary research for readers of a range of discrete backgrounds, whether lay or professional.

Alumni

Maristela Onozato, MD, PhD - Senior Research Scientist

Julia Theiruf, MD, PhD - Postdoctoral Fellow

Vivek Naranbhai, MD, PhD - Postdoctoral Fellow

Ju Cheng, PhD - Postdoctoral Fellow

Rashi Purohit - Research Technician I

Grace Kirkpatrick - Research Technician I

Alex Kui - Research Technician I

Group1
Boat
Group2_cropped_2

Summer 2023 Boat Outing on the Charles River