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Current Board Members

  • Katelyn Daman

    Katelyn Daman


    IndEx Board Member, Industry Outreach

    I am a versatile scientist trained in molecular neuroscience and working to generate therapies for multiple types of muscular dystrophy. I first became interested in a career as a scientist as an undergraduate when I worked in the lab of Janet Paluh at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. In the Paluh lab, we used fission yeast to characterize the role of a kinesin-14 motor protein during bipolar spindle assembly. From there I completed my Ph.D. in molecular and cell biology at Brandeis University where I worked in Suzanne Paradis’ lab to uncover novel signaling pathways required for synapse formation and dendritic arborization during mammalian brain development. During my Ph.D. research, I discovered that I was passionate about doing translational research in a collaborative environment with the potential to improve patient’s lives. With the goal of performing patient focused translational research, I joined Charlie Emerson’s lab as a postdoctoral associate. In the Emerson lab, we are using our myogenic cell xenograft mouse model to develop and validate therapeutic candidates for the treatment of facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy. Throughout my career, I have enjoyed challenging myself to learn new techniques and expand my skill set to include new areas of research.


  • Revati Darp

    Revati Darp

    PhD Candidate

    IndEx Board Member, Public Relations

    I am a passionate and enthusiastic cancer biologist with nearly 8 years of experience in an academic setting. Currently, I am a PhD Candidate in Dr. Craig Ceol’s lab at the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS). I am interested in understanding the early cellular events that contribute to tumor initiation and the role of genomic instability in cancer. My thesis project focuses on the role of tetraploid intermediates in melanoma progression, particularly in a zebrafish tumor model. As a part of my project, I have generated transgenic zebrafish strains and developed several mammalian cell lines using lentiviral and CRISPR-Cas9 based approaches. I am currently using flow cytometry, immunofluorescence and live-cell imaging-based approaches to develop my project. I hold Bachelors and Masters degrees in the Biomedical Sciences from the University of Auckland, New Zealand. Prior to beginning my graduate work at UMMS, I have held research positions at the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine in Miami, FL and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in Boston, MA.  Although my early graduate education focused on fetal and perinatal physiology, my interest in cancer biology developed during my time at the MGH Cancer Center. At MGH, I worked on projects that focused on cancer cell dormancy, chemotherapy resistance and mechanisms regulating asymmetric cancer cell division. Here, I gained many lab skills including a vast range of cancer biology based assays and learned in vivo tumor modeling. I also developed better communication and time management skills, set up collaborations with other academic institutions, worked as part of team and understood the importance of good work ethic and dedication to my work.  In addition to my graduate work, I am a teaching assistant for a Science Communication course at UMMS. As a part of my teaching assistantship, I teach and mentor second year graduate students who are preparing for their doctoral candidacy examinations. Additionally, I am a board member for Public Relations in the Industry Exploration Program (IndEx) at UMMS. As part of the IndEx team I hope to connect with like-minded scientists that are exploring opportunities in industry. After finishing my PhD, I hope to be a part of an exciting research team in a biotech or pharmaceutical company. 

  • Ishani Dasgupta

    Ishani Dasgupta


    Index Board Member, Alumni Relations

    I am a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology Department in UMass Medical School. My current research is focused on studying the role of mechanical tension in signaling pathways implicated in cancer, cell growth, differentiation and organ development. To know more about my current research in UMass, you can follow this link. Prior to joining UMass, I pursued my PhD in molecular and cell biology from NTU, Singapore. During my doctoral studies, I studied the role of osmotic pressure in the regulation of cytoskeleton during mitosis. I gained extensive experience in biochemistry, molecular biology, cell biology techniques like flow cytometry, confocal microscopy and mechanobiology skills. During my Master’s research project in Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore, I explored the molecular pathogenesis of Salmonella infection. There, I gained expertise in working with mouse models and microbial pathogenesis. I have always been fascinated by the numerous facets of Bioscience and I am enthusiastic to learn new techniques to broaden my skill set.
    Besides bench science, I am an active member of Association for Women in Science (AWIS) and I serve as the Events Director for the Central Massachusetts chapter. As a part of the dynamic team, I am involved in organizing AWIS events like networking socials, professional development workshops and symposiums for STEM professionals. I am also very passionate about science communication. I participate to disseminate interesting research findings to a broader audience via science writing by serving as the Publicity manager of ClubSciWri. I am interested to pursue a career in science communication in future. Being a board member of IndEx group has helped me enrich my networking skills and team work qualities. Through my association with IndEx, I want to learn and inform fellow early career researchers about potential career opportunities in the biotech industry.

  • Raed Ibraheim

    Raed Ibraheim

    PhD Candidate

    IndEx Board Member, Industry Outreach

    Throughout my academic and professional career, I have harnessed my problem-solving skill set in a variety of research areas. I am currently a third-year doctoral candidate in the lab of Erik Sontheimer, PhD at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. My current research focuses on developing the use of CRISPR-Cas9 for in vivo and ex vivo therapeutic genome editing purposes for rare genetic diseases. Prior to starting my graduate studies, I worked in the lab of Ronald Crystal, M.D. at Weill Cornell Medical School, where I gained in-depth experience in the current Good Manufacturing Practice production and quality control of clinical-grade recombinant adeno-associated viral vectors. I received my Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Bard College. For my undergraduate thesis project, I worked in the lab of Brooke Jude, PhD where I studied the colonization of the Haitian Vibrio cholerae O1 El Tor variant. I also strengthened my biochemical expertise working at the lab of Swapan Jain, PhD studying the kinetics of alcohol dehydrogenase with NADH coenzyme mimics. Over the past two years, I have been actively involved with UMass Medical School Graduate Student Body Committee in leadership roles related to improving career development opportunities for graduate students. I am also apart of student-led committee organized to expand the social media presence of the Graduate School. I am a committed scientist with energy and drive, and I hope to pursue a research career in industry to develop gene therapy-based treatments for genetic disorders.

  • Socheata Ly

    Socheata Ly

    PhD Candidate

    IndEx Co-Chair and Director, Public Relations

    I am a PhD candidate in Anastasia Khvorova’s laboratory in the RNA Therapeutics Institute at UMass Medical School (UMMS). In 2015, I received the Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (IMSD) grant. Previously, I received my B.A. in Biology from Clark University in 2009 and then began working as a Research Technician at the Boston Biomedical Research Institute in Watertown, MA. The Khvorova lab is interested in developing siRNAs as a therapeutic for the treatment of disease. My primary research interests are the intracellular trafficking mechanisms of therapeutic siRNA. Currently, one of the major limitations in the field is the inefficient delivery of siRNA to the relevant cellular compartments such as the RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC) in the cytoplasm. The focus of my project is to dissect the intracellular trafficking pathways of siRNA in order to identify the “productive” and “non-productive” pathways. The main skills I have developed to answer this question are structured illumination microscopy (SIM), immunofluorescence, image processing and analysis in ImageJ, mammalian cell culture, molecular biology and biochemistry. After completing my PhD, I hope to continue my work as an industry scientist to further develop siRNA-based therapeutics. 

  • Ogooluwa Ojelabi

    Ogooluwa Ojelabi


    IndEx Board Member, Alumni Relations

    I am currently a postdoc in infectious diseases at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, where I recently received my PhD in Biomedical Sciences. My graduate research focused on the mechanisms of small molecule modulation of glucose transport proteins (GLUTs) as it relates to diseases such as cancer and diabetes. My present research explores the impacts of modulating glucose transport and metabolism on parasite growth and host immune responses during malaria infections using mouse models and tissue culture. My areas of expertise also include enzyme kinetics, membrane transport, fluorescent microscopy, western blotting and molecular docking. I am currently honing my skills in immunoparasitology and multicolor flow cytometry. In the near future, I plan to work as a research scientist on drug discovery teams in the biotech industry.