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Lab Members

  • Sumeda Nandadasa

    Sumeda Nandadasa, PhD

    Assistant Professor

    Prinicpal Investigator

    Education: 

    • PhD in Molecular and Developmental Biology,  University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, and Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Research Foundation.
    • Postdoctoral training: Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Insititute.
    • Undergraduate Degree: B.A. in Biotechnology and Biochemistry, Minnesota State University 

    I am a developmental biologist by training. Having been exposed to developmental biology starting with the sophomore year as an undergraduate, through working with Dr. Ellen Brisch (MSUM), and then working with two extraordinary developmental biologists Dr. Chris Wylie and Dr. Janet Heasman (CCHMC) for my PhD thesis, I was inspired to embark on a career as a developmental biologist my self. The very first time I saw a sea urchin egg divide and develop into an embryo under a light microscope, I knew this is what I will be studying for the rest of my life – the amazing process of how a ball of cells self organizes to become a fetus with structure, form, organs and a skeleton..., the program of embryonic development.

    e-mail: Sumeda.Nandadasa@Umassmed.edu

    Phone: (508) 856-3962

  • Karyn Robert

    Karyn Robert, B.A., M.A.

    Research Associate

    Karyn is the Nandadasa lab manager. She joins our group after completing her master’s and bachelor’s degrees in Biology from Clark University, Worcester, MA and with decades of experience working as a veterinary tech. Karyn will be overseeing a number of very exciting projects and the Nandadasa lab transgenic mouse colony.

    e-mail: Karyn.Robert1@Umassmed.edu

    Phone: (508) 856-1620

  • Dandan Mao

    Dandan Mao, Ph.D.

    Postdoctoral Fellow

    Dandan joins the lab after receiving her PhD at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK ) and her Master’s degree from Shanghai University. She completed her Bachelor of Medicine from Henan University of Chinese Medicine, China. Dandan will focus on understanding the molecular mechanisms of ADAMTS proteases in regulating ciliary transition zone assembly and developing novel therapeutic strategies for the treatment of cystic kidney disease using various cell culture and mouse models.

    e-mail: Dandan.Mao@Umassmed.edu

    Phone: (508) 856-1620

  • Tooba Quidwai

    Tooba Quidwai, Ph.D.

    Postdoctoral Fellow

    Tooba joined UMMS after receiving her Master of Biotechnology from University of Pune, India and her Ph.D. in Genetics and Molecular Medicine in the lab of Dr. Pleasantine Mill, University of Edinburgh, Scotland, UK. Tooba was also a EMBO short-term fellow in Gaia Pigino lab MPI CBG, Dresden, Germany. Tooba is investigating the role of ADAMTS9-mediated TMEM67 cleavage in transition zone assembly and the underlying molecular mechanisms of primary cilia biogenesis using various mouse and cell culture model systems.

    e-mail: Tooba.Quidwai@Umassmed.edu

    Phone: (508) 856-1620