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Lab Members

  • Arthur H. and Isabel Bunker Professor of Medicine (Hematology) and Professor of Immunobiology; Director, Center of Molecular and Cellular Oncology; Chief, Division of Basic Science, Yale Cancer Center

    Markus Müschen, MD-PhD, is the Director of the Center of Molecular and Cellular Oncology, Arthur H. and Isabel Bunker Professor of Hematology, and Professor of Immunobiology at Yale University. He also serves as Chief of the Division of Basic Science of Yale Cancer Center. His research program focuses on signal transduction mechanisms in lymphoid malignancies and how these pathways can be intercepted for the treatment of drug-resistant leukemia and lymphoma. His laboratory established new conceptual frameworks for the understanding of B-cell signaling and energy metabolism and how these mechanisms are altered in lymphoid malignancies. Markus Müschen studied medicine at the Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf, Germany, Université de Nantes, France and the Institut Pasteur, Paris, France. After his clinical training in hematology-oncology with Volker Diehl at the University of Cologne, he completed postdoctoral fellowships in immunology with Klaus Rajewsky and Ralf Küppers and in leukemia genetics with Janet D. Rowley at the University of Chicago. Before coming to Yale, Markus Müschen’s laboratory was at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF, 2010-2017) where he served as Program Leader of the Hematological Malignancies Program at the UCSF Comprehensive Cancer Center. Markus Müschen is currently a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Faculty Scholar, an elected member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation, the Connecticut Academy of Science and the Scientific Advisory Board of the Lymphoma Research Foundation. His research has been supported by an NCI Outstanding Investigator Award (R35) since 2016. As Director of the Center of Molecular and Cellular Oncology at Yale, he serves as mentor for nine junior faculty. Müschen Laboratory Drug Discovery platform:
  • Postgraduate Associate

    Nikol graduated from St. Petersburg’s State Institute of Technology (Technical University) in Russia with a B.Sc. in biotechnology, followed by M.Sc. in molecular biology and biotechnology at the ITMO Univeristy, SCAMT Institute also in St. Petersburg, Russia. Her bachelor thesis was focused on the synthesis of iron oxide nanoparticles and their internalization into FetMSC stem cells in vitro. It was followed by her master's thesis which studied reduction of copper (II) for overcoming drug resistance in tumor cells. Later on, she had an internship in University of Bordeaux where she worked on the impact of microenvironment on the physiology of adult stem cells derived from the wisdom teeth. After that she received an opportunity to join Müschen lab as a postgraduate associate.
  • Associate Research Scientist

    Philipp Berning studied medicine at the University of Muenster, Germany, University of Nantes, France and University of Bern, Switzerland. While in medical school, he studied the role of CXCR4 signaling in Ewing’s sarcoma under the supervision of Professor Uta Dirksen and received his Dr. med. from the University of Muenster. Subsequently, he joined the Department of Hematology and Oncology at the University of Muenster and started his postdoctoral training under the supervision of Professor Georg Lenz working on PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling in aggressive B-cell lymphomas. Before joining the Müschen Lab, he completed his residency and clinical fellowship training at the University of Muenster with Professor Georg Lenz in 2023.
  • Postgraduate Associate

    Eden graduated from the University of Connecticut with a B.S. in Physiology & Neurobiology. As part of her honors degree, Eden completed a thesis under the mentorship of Dr. John Salamone pertaining to the histological analysis of rat nucleus accumbens electrodes utilized for research into motivational deficit. As part of the Müschen Lab, Eden is looking forward to learning more about B-cell cancer research before completing a graduate education.
  • I graduated from Zhejiang University, China, with a B.S. degree in biological sciences. In my undergraduate school, I joined a lab focusing on bacteria interactions with host innate immune responses and is lucky to be mentored by a talented and diligent graduate student. Now I am happy to be a graduate student in Markus Lab, focusing on MYC and BCL6, due to their interesting oscillated expression pattern in cancer cells and across B cell development. In my spare time, I like to play Genshin Impact and add more things to my home.
  • Associate Research Scientist

    Dr. Kadriye Nehir Cosgun received her Ph.D degree in Stem Cell Biology in 2013 from Technical University of Dresden, Germany. Her PhD thesis titled “Kit regulates HSC engraftment across mouse human species barrier.” was supervised by Prof. Dr. Claudia Waskow and awarded with “The Best PhD thesis in 2013” by Center Regenerative Therapies Dresden. For her post-doctoral training she joined the laboratory of Prof. Dr. Markus Müschen at University of California, San Francisco and later at City of Comprehensive Cancer Center, Los Angeles. Dr. Cosgun is interested in Wnt/beta-catenin signaling in B cell malignancies and the role of pre-BCR signaling in  B-cell leukemia.
  • Yanzhi Feng completed his undergraduate training at Zhejiang University. After receiving his B.S. in biological science, he worked as a postgraduate research assistant at the same university, studying the function of FGFR signaling in angiogenesis. As a graduate student at the Department of Immunobiology, he is currently focusing on overcoming the therapy resistance of cancer.
  • Jake Fontaine is a graduate student who joined the Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences in 2022. He obtained a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry from Emory university in 2022. There, he completed the honors program under the mentorship of Dr. Bruce Levin investigating the ecological role of bacteriophage in the human gut microbiome. Since joining the Müschen lab in 2023, he has now become interested in how B-cells sense pathological signaling in order to regulate their behavior, and how these mechanisms can be dysregulated in lymphomas and autoimmune diseases.
  • Clinical Fellow

    Jodi is a pediatric hematology-oncology fellow at Yale New Haven Children's Hospital. She completed her medical school training at Tufts University School of Medicine prior to moving to Yale for her pediatric residency. She hopes to pursue a career as a physician-scientist dedicating her research to improving the outcomes of children with high-risk relapsed or refractory leukemias.
  • Hospital Resident

    William “Tyler” Frantz is a Pediatrics Resident in the American Board of Pediatrics Integrated Research Pathway at the Yale School of Medicine. He completed his MD/PhD at the University of Massachusetts Medical School’s Medical Scientist Training Program. There, under the mentorship of Dr. Craig Ceol, he leveraged zebrafish to model melanocyte stem cells during regeneration. In addition to his clinical work as a pediatrics resident, Tyler studies hematopoiesis and leukemia predisposition genomics under the mentorship of Dr. Markus Müschen.
  • Nishah Jaferi is an undergraduate student studying Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology at Yale College. She joined the Müschen Lab in October 2023 where she is researching the molecular basis of Src-family kinases in B-cell and T-cell signaling.
  • Postdoctoral Fellow

    Dr. Franz Ketzer received his BSc in Nutritional Sciences at Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Germany in 2016. He conducted his thesis on the effect of aluminum-nanoparticles on colon cancer cells supervised by Prof. Dr. Michael Glei, sparking his interest in cancer research. In 2018, he proceeded to complete the MSc curriculum in Molecular Medicine in Ulm, Germany, specializing in Molecular Oncology. During his MSc thesis, he studied the role of BLNK in the regulation of FOXO1 in B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia, supervised by Prof. Dr. Thomas Wirth and Dr. Alexey Ushmorov at the Institute of Physiological Chemistry. As part of the International Graduate School for Molecular Medicine Ulm (IGradU), he subsequently completed his PhD work in the same group but shifted his focus to the role of CCND3 in the maintenance of B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia. In 2022, he received his PhD (magna cum laude) in Molecular Medicine, after publishing his findings on the essential, anti-apoptotic role of CCND3 outside of its functions within the cell cycle in B- cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia. In June 2022, he joined the Müschen laboratory at Yale as a postdoctoral associate, with a focus on signaling molecules downstream of the B-cell-/T-cell receptor in the etiology of hematopoietic malignancies and autoimmune disease.
  • Richard is an undergraduate student at Yale University on the pre-medical track, majoring in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology and Classics. He joined the Müschen lab in May 2024 and is currently researching the functions and potential applications of MYC and BCL6 in B-cell lymphomas and leukemias.
  • Research Associate

    Lars Klemm obtained his B.Sc. from the Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf, Germany and subsequently got his M.Sc. from the same university in 2009. He has been the Laboratory Manager for the Müschen Lab since 2006. Lars is responsible for keeping the Müschen Lab operational, assisting the team with their experiments and finding/researching new technologies that can be applied to our studies.
  • Assistant Professor of Medicine (Hematology); Clinician Lead, Cancer Biology Training Program; Core Faculty, Medical Oncology and Hematology Fellowship Program

    Shalin Kothari, MD is an Assistant Professor of Medicine (Hematology) at Yale University. Dr. Kothari completed his residency in Internal Medicine at SUNY Upstate Medical University and his Hematology and Medical Oncology fellowship through the University at Buffalo/Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center where he was the Chief Fellow. He received his Medical Degree from Gujarat University in India. Dr. Kothari specializes in the treatment of lymphomas. His research is focused on using his clinical skills and basic science knowledge to answer scientific questions focused on mechanistic understanding of lymphoma therapeutics and its translation in the form of early-phase clinical trials for various aggressive forms of B-cell lymphomas including mantle cell lymphoma. He also conducts research in the Müschen Laboratory here at Yale University with a specific focus on developing new therapies for mantle cell lymphoma. He is a Lymphoma Research Foundation (LRF) Scholar, and an inductee of the ASH Advocacy Leadership Institute and the Gold Humanism Honor Society. He has presented his research in multiple national and international meetings and has won abstract achievement and travel awards.
  • Research Scientist

    Dr. Kohei Kume completed his PhD at Iwate University (Morioka, Japan) in 2011 with mentorship from Yasushi Saitoh, PhD. After a postdoctoral training at Iwate Medical University with mentorship from Satoshi S. Nishizuka MD, PhD, he joined Dr. Markus Müschen’s laboratory in 2017 at the Beckman Research Institute of the City of Hope. He is currently an Associate Research Scientist in Dr. Müschen’s laboratory at Yale University, and studies the mechanisms and functional significance of autonomous Ca2+ oscillations in oncogenic signaling of multiple B-cell malignancies.
  • Assistant Professor Adjunct

    My research interest lies mainly in discovering the novel molecular target to treat B cell leukemia and lymphoma. To do that, our lab leverages genetic engineered mouse model to study the role of gene of interests in 1) B cell development, 2) BCR-mediated immune response and 3) leukemogenesis.
  • Clinical Fellow

    Etienne Leveille is a hematology & oncology fellow in the ABIM Physician-Scientist Research Pathway at the Yale School of Medicine. He completed his medical school at McGill University, where he also studied the genetics of Parkinson’s disease and hereditary spastic paraplegia under the supervision of Dr. Ziv Gan-Or and mechanisms of inhibition of apoptosis in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma with Dr. Nathalie Johnson. While at McGill , Etienne was also the Co-Editor-in-Chief of the McGill Journal of Medicine. In addition to his clinical work as a resident, Etienne is a member of the Center of Molecular and Cellular Oncology and studies B-cell dynamics and oncogenic signaling in B-cell malignancies under the mentorship of Dr. Markus Müschen.
  • Associate Research Scientist

    Dr. Qin Li completed her PhD in cellular immunology in 2012 from Sun Yat-sen University Zhongshan School of Medicine. After a postdoctoral training at Yale University School of Medicine in Dr. Naftali Kaminski’s lab, she joined Dr. Markus Müschen’s laboratory from April 2022. Her PhD training is focusing on antigen specific CD4+T cell mediated immune response against Mycobacterium infection and postdoc training is focusing on B cell pathology in pulmonary fibrosis and identification of biomarkers in peripheral blood. Her research interest is in T/ B cell biology in human diseases, especially autoimmune diseases, and hematology cancer.
  • Postgraduate Associate

    Christian received his MSc in Molecular and Cell Biology from Quinnipiac University in 2023. While earning his graduate degree, Christian conducted research in the de Lencastre Lab on miRNA-71 expression in response to b-amyloid toxicity in C. elegans. He continued his research working in the McGinnis Lab where he collected and analyzed samples taken from the Quinnipiac River for the presence of phthalates and plasticizers. During his last year of graduate school, Christian conducted independent study research in the Magie Lab on the role of Rho GTPases during gastrulation in Nematostella vectensis. In June 2023, Christian joined the Müschen Lab at Yale as a postgraduate associate where he will focus his research on signaling molecules downstream of B-cell-/T-cell receptors in relation to lymphoid malignancies.
  • Postdoctoral Fellow

    Salim Oulghazi, MD, is a resident in the Department of Hematology/Oncology at Heidelberg University Hospital. He studied medicine in Frankfurt (Goethe University), Sydney (University of Sydney) and Cape Town (Stellenbosch University) with scholarships from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. While his time in medical school, he studied lymphocyte trafficking in a mouse model of autoimmune diabetes at the Institute of Transfusion Medicine and Immunohematology under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Halvard Bönig. After publishing his findings on VLA-4 as a target for primary prevention in autoimmune diabetes in 2020 he received his Dr. med. (summa cum laude) from Goethe University. In 2022, he joined the Müschen lab at Yale as a postdoctoral fellow of the Dr. Mildred Scheel Cancer Foundation to study negative regulation of Wnt signaling in lymphoid malignancies.
  • Dawei Peng conducts in-depth research on the existing literature and latest developments in the field of optogenetics, particularly in relation to B-cell calcium oscillation and its importance in B-cell survival. By working on the design, optimization, and testing of these tools, he contributes to the creation of innovative solutions that could potentially inhibit B-cell malignancy and advance cancer research.
  • Associate Research Scientist

    During my PhD at Cardiff University I developed novel bioinformatics methods to analyze nucleosome maps generated by MNase-digest sequencing in order to understand the roles of chromatin remodelers in controlling developmental expression programs through nucleosome positioning. Following my PhD I moved to the lab of Dr. Niklas Feldhahn at Imperial College London where I first became interested in hematological oncology research. Our work mapping DNA-damage and enhancer reprogramming in transformed B-cells helped to explain why lineage specific markers recurrently mutated in B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL). I also performed topology mapping to identify oncogenic enhancer co-option, uncovering the mechanisms of MECOM expression and function underlying the dismal prognosis of this subset of acute myeloid leukemia patients. To further my interest in computational hematology-oncology I joined the lab of Dr. Markus Müschen in 2019 working alongside bench scientists to identify novel therapeutic vulnerabilities of B-cell malignancies. Through integrative analysis of clinical, transcriptional, proteomic and phosphoproteomics data in B-ALL and mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) models I helped uncover an unexpected mechanism of lipid-raft formation leading to PI3K amplification loop downstream of the B-cell receptor. Working alongside Dr. Lai Chan, my identification of mutational segregation between patient cohorts with STAT5- and ERK-pathway driven B-ALL helped lead to the development of a concept of oncogene convergence. This work showed that convergence on a single oncogenic driver was essential for development of B-ALL, and that activation of divergent pathways subverts oncogenesis. This convergence theory gives rise to the exciting possibility of combining divergent pathway activation synergistically with principal driver inhibition as a novel therapeutic strategy. By extending this analysis to study all major oncogenic pathways pan-cancer I now aim to identify whether oncogenic convergence is unique to B-ALL, or whether it represents a new hallmark of cancer that can be exploited to design personalized combination therapies.
  • Graduate Student, Immunobiology Graduate Program

    Ruifeng graduated from Xiamen University in 2020 with a B.S. degree in Biological Sciences. In the sophomore summer, he had his first research experience in autophagy. He then joined an immunology lab studying B cell central tolerance at Xiamen University. His interest in hematological malignancy was piqued when he did his graduation project at Yale in Dr. Joao Pereira's lab, where he studied how B-ALL impacted B lymphopoiesis. Outside the lab, Ruifeng enjoys swimming, cooking and watching anime.
  • Graduate Student

    Andrew graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles with a BS in Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics. He first arrived at Yale as a postgraduate associate with Dr. Carrie Lucas studying PI3K signaling in primary immunodeficiencies and is now an Immunobiology graduate student in the Müschen lab.
  • Associate Research Scientist

    I completed my postdoctoral training at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory with Dr. Chris Vakoc and Dr. Jason Sheltzer. I focused mainly on the role of aneuploidy and genomic instability in cancer metastasis. Prior to that I graduated with my doctorate from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore where I focused on host-parasite behavioral manipulations. I am currently responsible for coordinating onboarding of new hire, overseeing efficient operational workflows and interfacing between the laboratory needs and administration.
  • Dr. Elise Wolf obtained her PhD in Biomedical Sciences from the University of California, San Francisco in 2022. Under the mentorship of Jason Cyster, she described the role of GPR174 in regulating B cell activation and response. She spent a year as a postdoctoral scholar at the Innovative Genomics Institute in Berkeley, CA in David Nguyen's lab. At the IGI, she used CRISPR-Cas9 to introduce variants of unknown significance (VUS) from patients with hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) into primary human CD8+ T cells and characterize the effect on cellular cytotoxicity. Dr. Wolf matriculated to the Yale School of Medicine in 2023 and looks forward to a career as a physician-scientist. In the Müschen lab, she is using genome editing strategies to dissect migratory signaling pathways in B cells and how they are dysregulated in hematological malignancies.
  • Postdoctoral Associate

    Dr. Chuanzong Zhan received his PhD in Shanghai Institute of Immunology (SII), Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine. He conducted his thesis on mechanisms of insertion and deletions (Indels) during antibody diversification supervised by Dr. Leng Siew Yeap. His research interests mainly focused on germinal center response, B cell development and broadly neutralizing antibody when he was a graduate student. After receiving his PhDdegree, Chuanzong joined Dr. Müschen’s lab in Oct. 2023, where he is interested in B cell transformation and regulation of autoimmune response during B cell development.
  • Postdoctoral Associate

    Dr. Zhang received his PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in 2020 from Shanghai Institute for Biological Science, Chinese Academy of Science(CAS) and then joined Institute of Neuroscience of CAS to start his postdoctoral training in YANG HUI lab. His PhD training is focusing on liver cancer and postdoctoral training is focusing on CRISPR tools for disease therapy. From January 2022, Chang joined Müschen lab and decided to employ mouse genetics and the use of genome editing tools (CRISPR-Cas9) towards the development of pre-clinical models to investigate the mechanisms of B-cell development and leukemogenesis.
  • Tiffany Zhou is an undergraduate student in college Yale College studying Molecular, Cellular, Developmental Biology. She joined the Müschen Lab back in March of 2024. She is currently working under the STARS Summer Fellowship. Her project involves working MYC translocations and its sensitivity treatment.