SCIENTIFIC TEAM

Our core R&D facility, based in Plymouth, MI, is comprised of some of the best scientific minds in academia and research.

Luke Peterson, Ph.D.

Director

Dr. Peterson has nearly 30 years of scientific research expertise and has participated in ground-breaking clinical oncology research. He was one of the team members to discover an alternative splice variant associated with the t(8;21) translocation that promotes acute myeloid leukemia. He was involved in early clinical development of an MDM2 inhibitor for the treatment of chronic myeloid leukemia and involved in the discovery of a deubiquitinase-inhibitor for the treatment of myeloma, melanoma and pancreatic cancer.

Miao-Chia Lo, Ph.D.

Director

Dr. Lo has nearly three decades of oncology research experience. She was the first to discover downregulation of CD45 in t(8;21) leukemia cells, show that CD45 downregulation leads to enhanced JAK/STAT signaling in t(8;21) leukemia cells and demonstrate the therapeutic potential of JAK inhibitors in treating t(8;21) leukemia.

Mounir Bendahmane, Ph.D.

Senior Scientist

Dr. Bendahmane has experience with imaging, electrophysiology and microscopy techniques that he used to study the effects of fasting on the olfactory activation thresholds in rodents and the neuromodulation of the olfactory system related to learning and memory. Additionally, Dr. Bendahmane has worked on the biophysical properties of neurotransmitter and hormones release.

Weijiang Ying, Ph.D.

Senior Scientist

Dr. Ying has nearly two decades of experience in synthetic chemistry research in which he successfully synthesized anticancer natural products (+) antofine and (-) cryptopleurine using tandem [8+2]/ [4+2] reaction and synthesized 1’-deoxy-1’-fluorosucrose (F18 or F19-labelled sucrose) for PET imaging study.

Min Guo, Ph.D.

Scientist

Dr. Guo has experience in analytical method development and validation specifically in areas of impurity assessment, assay development, forced degradation, deformulation, extractable & leachable, and stability studies using different advanced analytical instruments.

Teresa Casar Tena, Ph.D.

Research Scientist

Dr. Casar Tena investigated the potential protective effect of several compounds in cardiac and stem cell lines under the effect of a chemotherapeutic drug and developed an in vitro evaluation system based on her research that is still used by scientists to further research in that field. Her in vitro research experience is a valued asset to help advance cancer therapeutics at Penrose.

Yanyan Han, Ph.D.

Senior Scientist

Dr. Han has experience in DNA targeted anti-tumor drug discovery, metabolite identification, liver microsome stability, protein binding and drug distribution. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences in China and is currently working towards her M.S. degree in Pharmacometrics from University of Maryland.

Ashapurna Sarma, Ph.D.

Senior Scientist

Dr. Sarma has experience in circadian rhythms and cancer biology, specifically circadian clock modulation in response to anti-cancer drugs. Additionally, she has worked with different cancer indications to identify gene signatures and pathways associated with the drug responses.

Kathleen J. Maheras, Ph.D.

Scientist

Dr. Maheras has experience in exploring mitochondrial network dynamics following cardiac arrest and, in 2019, received funding from the American Heart Association to study the influence of mitochondrial fragmentation and Parkin-dependent mitophagy in oligodendrocytes on neuronal survival and the resulting cerebral injury profile following ischemia-reperfusion.