Lab Members

Timothy Birkland, PhD

Lab Manager

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Timothy Birkland, PhD, earned his PhD in microbiology and immunology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and has been working with the Parks Lab since 1995. Currently, he is directing and winding down Parks' research program at the University of Washington in Seattle. Birkland's projects include the role of MMP10 in lung infection and in models of chronic cigarette smoke exposure.

Chidinma Chima-Okereke, MD

Fellow, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine Email:

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Chidinma Chima-Okereke, MD, who hails from Nigeria, did extensive premedical and financial education at the University of London, University of Cambridge and Washington University in St. Louis. She earned her MD at Stony Brook University and did her residency at Yale University before starting her fellowship at Cedars-Sinai. Her research project centers on macrophage phenotype in human idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

Elizabeth Dimitrova, MS

Research Associate III Email:

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Elizabeth Dimitrova, MS, a native of Bulgaria, earned her BS from Louisiana State University and an MS in translational medicine from Imperial College London. From 2011 to 2014, she worked in the Department of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology at UCLA and recently joined the Parks Lab. Her project explores how specific glycosaminoglycans control proMMP activation and activity.

Maryam G. Rohani, DDS, PhD

Project Scientist Email:

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Maryam G. Rohani, DDS, PhD, earned her DDS from Shahid Beheshti University in Tehran, Iran, and her PhD in oral biology from the University of Washington in Seattle. She joined Parks Lab as a postdoc in 2009, and she currently directs projects on MMPs in skin repair and scarring.

Kate Smigiel, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow Email:

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Kate Smigiel, PhD, earned her BS in in microbiology and immunology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and she recently completed her PhD in immunology studying Treg biology with Dan Campbell, PhD, at the Benaroya Research Institute and University of Washington in Seattle. Her project at Cedars-Sinai centers on macrophages in models of fibrosis.

Tyler Vandivort

Graduate Student Email:

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Tyler Vandivort did his undergraduate studies at Rhode Island College, and he is currently a doctoral student in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, School of Public Health, at the University of Washington in Seattle. He is completing his graduate research on regulation of MMP10 expression at Cedars-Sinai under the Visiting Graduate Student Program.

Ying Wang, MS

Research Associate IV Email:

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Ying Wang, MS, completed her medical undergraduate training in Beijing and earned an MS in physiology from the University of Manitoba. She has worked in the Parks Lab since 2004. In addition to contributing to many projects in the lab, Wang oversees the mouse colony and administration.