LAB MEMBERS

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JOSHUA BRYANT, PH.D.

Postdoctoral Associate

Josh graduated from Hardin-Simmons University with a B.S. in Chemistry, then earned his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Texas at Austin. His Ph.D. thesis focused on mitochondrial folate-mediated one-carbon metabolism and its role in the etiology of neural tube defects. As a postdoctoral associate in the West Lab, he is investigating mitochondrial dysfunction as a trigger of the innate immune system and how this contributes to the progression of Gulf War Illness and other diseases.

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YI-FAN CHEN, PH.D.

Postdoctoral Associate

Yi-Fan earned a D.V.M. from National Chung-Hsing University and a M.S. degree in Biopharmaceutical Sciences from National Yang-Ming University. She then graduated from Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine with a Ph.D. in Comparative Biomedical Sciences. Her thesis investigated the role of mitophagy in nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor-induced premature vascular endothelial senescence. As a postdoc in the West Lab, she is studying the role of mitochondria and innate immune responses in cancer therapy-related heart failure. 

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YUANJIU ABBY LEI, M.S.

Ph.D. Student - American Heart Association Pre-Doc Fellow

Abby earned her B.S. degree in Biotechnology from Shandong University.  She continued her research training at Shandong University, focusing on signal transduction in non-small cell lung cancer for her M.S. degree. She is now a graduate student in the TAMHSC Medical Science Ph.D. program, and her thesis project focuses on how mitochondria regulate type I interferon responses in mouse models of human disease.

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SYLVIA TORRES-ODIO, M.S.

Ph.D. Student - NIH F31-Diversity Pre-Doc Fellow

Sylvia earned a B.S. in Biochemistry and a M.S. in Molecular Biology from the University of Havanna. Her M.S. thesis examined links between HLA alleles and autoimmune diseases. As a TAMHSC Medical Science Ph.D. student in the West Lab, she is characterizing the role of two novel mitochondrial proteins in innate immune signaling and antiviral immunity.

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ASHLEY WINTERS, B.S.

Ph.D. Student

Ashley earned a B.S. in Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior from the University of California, Davis. She is currently a TAMHSC Medical Science Ph.D. student and is investigating mitochondrial DNA instability as a key factor influencing the immune microenvironment during cancer progression. 

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JORDYN VANPORTFLIET, B.S.

Ph.D. Student

Jordyn earned a B.S. in Genomics and Molecular Genetics from Michigan State University, and is a Ph.D. candidate in the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Genetics. In the West Lab, she is investigating how innate immune dysfunction increases susceptibility to viral and bacterial pathogens in models of primary mitochondrial disease.

SAEED MENISSY

Undergraduate Researcher

Saeed is majoring in Molecular and Cellular Biology and plans to pursue medical school or a graduate degree following graduation. Saeed performs computational image analysis for several ongoing projects in the lab. 

SERENA KANG

Undergraduate Researcher

Serena is majoring in Biomedical Sciences at Texas A&M. She currently works with Abby and plans on going to graduate school after finishing her BS degree.

KAYSIE FAAS

Undergraduate Researcher

Kaysie is double majoring in biology and biochemistry at TAMU. After graduation, she plans on attending medical school, and would like to specialize in dermatology.

LAB ALUMNI

CHRISTINE BIRDWELL, PH.D.

2017-2020 Postdoctoral Associate

Presently, Research Scientist

Dept. of Leukemia, Bhalla Lab

M.D. Anderson Cancer Center

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CAMILA GUERRA MARTINEZ, PH.D.

2017-2018 Postdoctoral Associate

Presently, Assistant Professor 

Dept. of Medicine

Universidade Ceuma, Maranhão, Brazil

A. PHILLIP WEST, PH.D.

Principal Investigator

Phillip received dual B.S. degrees in Biology and Science Education in from North Carolina State University. He earned his Ph.D. in Immunobiology from Yale School of Medicine under the mentorship of Sankar Ghosh. He then completed an American Cancer Society postdoctoral fellowship with Gerald Shadel in the Department of Pathology at Yale and moved to Texas A&M in 2016. 

LAURA CIACCIA WEST, PH.D.

Co-Principal Investigator

Laura received a B.A. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Boston University. She earned a Ph.D. in the lab of Peter Cresswell and performed postdoctoral research with Albert Bothwell, both in the Department of Immunobiology at Yale School of Medicine. In addition to co-managing the lab, Laura is a member of the pre-clerkship curricular team in the College of Medicine.