Our Doctoral Program Students

Garrett Bartoletti

Undergraduate institution: Tulane University

Year of graduation: 2017

Year of enrollment: 2019

Current Lab: He lab

Dissertation topic:
Investigating the role of Pdgfra in calvaria bone and cartilage development

Bartoletti G, Dong C, Umar M, He F. Pdgfra regulates multipotent cell differentiation towards chondrocytes via inhibiting Wnt9a/beta-catenin pathway during chondrocranial cartilage development. Dev Bio. 2020. 

Dong C, Umar M, Bartoletti G, Gahankari A, Fidelak L, He F. Expression pattern of Kmt2d in murine craniofacial tissues. Gene Expr Patterns. 2019. 

Gahankari A, Dong C, Bartoletti G, Galazo M, He F. Deregulated Rac1 activity in neural crest controls cell proliferation, migration and differentiation during midbrain development. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2021. 

Interests/hobbies:  Playing D&D, MTG, chess, board games, and trivia. I often watch anime and drink craft beer and cocktails. I am also an amateur ceramicist and enjoy collecting mugs from local artists.

Shreya Bavishi

Undergraduate institution: AMC MET Medical College, Ahmedabad, India

Year of graduation: 2018

Year of enrollment: 2021


Bavishi, S., Chaudhary, D., Li, J., Naik, S., Abedi, V., & Zand, R. (2022). Long-term mortality in ischemic stroke patients with concomitant chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Journal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases, 31(11), 106701. https://doi.org/10.1016/J.JSTROKECEREBROVASDIS.2022.106701 

Chaudhary, D., Anyaehie, M., Demiraj, F., Bavishi, S., Shahjouei, S., Li, J., Abedi, V., & Zand, R. (2022). Comparison of Long-Term Outcomes and Associated Factors between Younger and Older Rural Ischemic Stroke Patients. Journal of Clinical Medicine 2022, Vol. 11, Page 143011(5), 1430. https://doi.org/10.3390/JCM11051430 

Abedi, V., Avula, V., Razavi, S.-M., Shreya, B., Chaudhary, D., Shahjouei, S., Wang, M., Griessenauer, C. J., Li, J., & Zand, R. (2021). Predicting short and long-term mortality after acute ischemic stroke using EHR. Journal of the Neurological Sciences427, 117560. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jns.2021.117560 

Abbas, K.; Lu, Y.; Bavishi, S.; Mishra, N.; TomThundyil, S.; Sawant, S.A.; Shahjouei, S.; Abedi, V.; Zand, R. A Simple Review of Small Vessel Disease Manifestation in the Brain, Retina, and KidneysJ. Clin. Med. 2022, 11, 5546https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm11195546

Current Lab: Meadows lab

Dissertation topic: Developing targeted therapeutics in HHT by elucidating mechanism of AVM development

Reading, puzzles, board games, swimming

Kylie Browne

Undergraduate institution: Johns Hopkins University

Year of graduation: 2018

Year of enrollment; 2019

Current lab: Meadows Lab

Dissertation topic
Characterizing venous malformation formation and behavior in a Pik3ca-mutant murine model.
Assessing effects of Pik3ca mutation in arteries versus veins for mechanisms relating to vessel-specific malformation onset.
Identifying alternative therapeutic targets for venous malformations.

Writing, video gaming, bonsai novice

Curie Chen

Undergraduate institution: University of California, Irvine

Year of graduation: 2022

Year of enrollment: 2023

Principal Investigator: Rotating student

Dissertation topic:

Interests/hobbies: Baking and Tennis

Youad Darwish


Adella Guidroz

Undergraduate institution: Nicholls State University

Year of graduation: 2021

Year of enrollment: 2022

Current Lab: Meadows lab

Dissertation topic: Assessing mosaicism and vascular integrity in HHT-AVM mouse models

Interests/hobbies: reading, playing trivia, trying new coffee shops

Apurva Gahankari

Undergraduate information: Fergusson College, Savitribai Phule Pune University

Year of Graduation: 2015

MSc: Fergusson College, Savitribai Phule Pune University

Year of Graduation: 2017

Year of Enrollment: 2018

Current Lab: He Lab

Dissertation topic(s): My focus is on characterizing the role of platelet derived growth factor receptor alpha (Pdgfra) regulated vascular formation during craniofacial development. 


  • Gahankari A, Dong C, Bartoletti G, Galazo M, He F. Deregulated Rac1 activity in neural crest controls cell proliferation, migration and differentiation during midbrain development. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2021.
  • Umar M, Bartoletti G, Dong C, Gahankari A, Browne D, Deng A, Jaramillo J, Sammarco M, Simkin J , He F. Characterizing the role of Pdgfra in calvarial development. Dev Dyn. 2023. DOI: 10.1002/dvdy.564.
  • Dong C, Umar M, Bartoletti G, Gahankari A, Fidelak L, He F. Expression pattern of Kmt2d in murine craniofacial tissues. Gene Expr Patterns. 2019. Pubmed.
  • Nikte, S., Gahankari, A., Mulla, J., Sengupta, D., Joshi, M., & Tamhane, V. (2019). In vitro and in silico studies on membrane interactions of diverse Capsicum annuum flower γ‐thionin peptides. Proteins: Structure, Function, and Bioinformatics, 88(1), 227-236. 

Interests/hobbies: Painting, Kayaking

Qilan Liang

Undergraduate Institution: Harbin Medical University

Year of Graduation: 2015

Dalian Medical University, MS, 2020

Tulane University, MS 2022


1.  Oncogenic AURKA-enhanced N6-methyladenosine modification increases DROSHA mRNA stability to transactivate STC1 in breast cancer stem-like cells. Cell Res. 2021 Mar;31(3):345-361. Peng F*, Xu J*, Cui B*, Liang Q*, Zeng S*, He B, Zou H, Li M, Zhao H, Meng Y, Chen J, Liu B, Lv S, Chu P, An F, Wang Z, Huang J, Zhan Y, Liao Y, Lu J, Xu L, Zhang J, Sun Z, Li Z, Wang F, Lam EW, Liu Q.;

2. Estrogen receptor β upregulated by lncRNA-H19 to promote cancer stem-like properties in papillary thyroid carcinoma. Cell Death Dis. 2018 Nov 2; 9 (11):1120. Mei Li, Hui-Fang Chai, Fei Peng, Yu-Ting Meng, Li-Zhi Zhang, Lin Zhang, Hong Zou, Qi-Lan Liang, Man-Man Li, Kai-Ge Mao, Dong-Xu Sun, Meng-Ying Tong, Zi-Qian Deng, Zhi-Jie Hou, Yi Zhao, Jia Li, Xiao-Chao Wang, Sha-Sha Lv, Qing-Qing Zhang, Xiao Yu, Eric W.-F. Lam, Quentin Liu, Xiao-Nan Cui & Jie Xu 

Hobbies: Cooking, video games, watching movies

Edward Looker

Undergraduate Institution

Year of graduation

Current Lab: Fang lab

Dissertation topic: 


Sandra Offor

Undergraduate Institution: Federal University of Technology Owerri, Imo state, Nigeria

Year of graduation: 2019

Current Lab: Schrader Lab

Dissertation topic:

Hobbies: Listening to music, cooking, research 

Rajan KC

Undergraduate institution: McNeese State University

Year of graduation: 2019

Year of enrollment: 2020

Current Lab: Meadows and Galazo

Dissertation topic
Investigating the role of transcription co-factor Zmiz1 in neocortical development and association with Autism

Endothelial cell polarity and extracellular matrix composition require functional ATP6AP2 during developmental and pathological angiogenesis.

Work-out @ Reily, walking in Audubon Park, travelling, listening to music, Marvel's movies


Kapil Thapa

Undergraduate information: Trichand Multiple Campus, Tribhuwan University, Kathmandu, Nepal

Year of graduation: 2021

Year of enrollment: 2022

Current Lab: Fang lab

Hobbies: Soccer (die-hard fan of Leo Messi), watching movies (Sci-fi, thriller, and fantasy), poetry, sketching

Yinga Wu

Undergraduate information: Dailan Medical University, China

Year of graduation: 2012

MS: Inner Mongolia University, China, 2015

Year of enrollment: 2018

Current Lab:  Wang lab

Hobbies: Pet lover, cooking

Tianhao Wu

Undergraduate institution: Tulane University

Year of graduation: 2021

Year of enrollment: 2022

Current Lab: Huang lab

Dissertation topic
Ion channel dysfunction in the auditory synapse of Fragile X mental Retardation

Tianyi Xiao

Undergraduate institution: Shenzhen University

Year of graduation: 2017

Year of enrollment: 2021

Current Lab: Huang lab

Dissertation topic:  Changes in Properties of Auditory Synapses following Conductive Hearing Loss


Qi Zhou

Undergraduate information: Henan Agriculture University

Year of graduation: 2014

Year of enrollment: 2019 for Master program. 2021 for Ph.D program.

Current lab: Wang lab

Dissertation topics
Senescence and AMD disease.

Interests: Seeing the sea, Riding motorcycle, thinking.