Lab Members

Robin Bolek

Robin Bolek

Research Specialist II Email: robin.bolek@cshs.org

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Robin Bolek received her bachelor's of science in biology with a focus in microbiology from The Ohio State University in Columbus. Her passion for pharmacy led her to drug development in the biotech and pharma industries. She has more than 20 years of laboratory experience in the therapeutic areas of oncology, autoimmunity and inflammation. Bolek's current research is supporting the discovery and development of small molecule drugs for the treatment inflammatory bowel diseases.

Marie Fiorino

Research Specialist II, IACUC PI, Lab Manager Email: marie.fiorino@cshs.org

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Marie Fiorino earned a master's degree in biotechnology and an MBA from California State University, Channel Islands. She has 19 years of in vivo biology experience, including seven years in the pathology department of a leading biopharmaceutical company. She specializes in the development of preclinical models within a variety of disease areas, including inflammatory bowel disease, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, atherosclerosis, diabetes and angiogenesis. She is currently the principal investigator and lead for all in-vivo design and study programs, using her expertise to design functional models that lead to potential new targets for the treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases.

Bradley Henkle

Research Specialist I Email: bradley.henkle@cshs.org

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Brad Henkle has more than 15 years of laboratory experience, including 11 years in biotech. During his tenure in biotech, he developed primary human immune cell assays supporting drug development for inflammatory diseases. Henkle has a bachelor's degree in physiology and cell biology from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Alka Potdar, PhD

Research Bioinformatician III Email: alka.potdar@cshs.org

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Alka Potdar, PhD, received her doctorate in chemical and biomolecular engineering from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, and her master's degree from University of Alabama in Huntsville. She is a systems and computational biologist/ bioinformatics scientist with more than 10 years of experience. She currently leads the bioinformatics and biostatistics efforts in the Inflammatory Bowel Diseases Drug Discovery and Development unit. She is responsible for the analysis of large-scale clinical and biological datasets (such as genotype, expression, sequencing) within the Bilsborough Laboratory as well as for external industry collaborators. She has extensive experience working in interdisciplinary teams and applying engineering, mathematical and statistical concepts to answer biological and disease-related questions. Potdar has developed mechanistic, predictive computational models for various biological pathways such as inflammation, cancer cell migration and iron metabolism. She has created custom bioinformatics pipelines to predict novel candidate variants/genes to drive basic/clinical research and drug discovery and development.

Devendra Srivastava, PhD

Devendra Srivastava, PhD

Project Scientist Email: devendra.srivastava@cshs.org

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Devendra Srivastava, PhD, earned his doctorate in protein biochemistry and structural biology from All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, and pursued postdoctoral research in the laboratoies of Seth Darst, PhD, at The Rockefeller University, New York, and Hao Wu, PhD, at Harvard Medical School, Boston, respectively. Srivastava has extensive experience in protein and antibody expression, purification, protein engineering and characterization. With more than 12 years of research experience in protein chemistry and structural biology, Srivastava aims to contribute in the mission to develop better drugs for inflammatory bowel disease patients to improve their quality of life. He is spearheading protein science efforts in the Inflammatory Bowel Diseases Drug Discovery and Development unit to support the discovery and development of large- and small-molecule-based drugs.

Frank Sun

Frank Sun

Research Associate I Email: frank.sun@cshs.org

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Frank Sun received a bachelor's degree in biochemistry from UCLA. He has two years of research experience from his time as an undergraduate under Jaclyn Winter, PhD, from the Tang Laboratory and as an intern for Masayuki Fukata, MD, PhD. As a student researcher, Sun studied proteomics and analytical techniques relevant to his work in fungal polyketides under Winter and intestinal epithelial permeability under Fukata. Sun's current project focuses on the impact of certain genetic polymorphisms on inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and looks to contribute to the development of personalized medicine for future IBD patients.

Lauren Ysais

Lauren Ysais

Research Associate I Email: lauren.ysais@cshs.org

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Lauren Ysais joined the Inflammatory Bowel Diseases Drug Discovery and Development research team in 2016 as a research associate. She graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) with a bachelor's of science in neuroscience. At UCSC she worked as an undergraduate researcher in a neurotoxicology lab, and her senior project aimed to determine if chronic postnatal manganese exposure altered the dendritic spine density of medium spiny neurons within the dorsal striatum. Since joining the Bilsborough Laboratory, Ysais performs in vivo experiments utilizing murine models to study inflammatory bowel disease. She has gained hands on experience in fibroblast isolation, cell culture and cell staining. Additional duties entail rodent husbandry, molecular biology techniques and ordering laboratory supplies. One of Ysais's current projects investigates the efficacy of various small molecule targets to ameliorate colitis using the chronic dextran sodium sulphate model.