Lab Members

Principal Investigator
Mekedlawit Efrem
Research Associate I

Mekedlawit Efrem, BS, received her bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and molecular biology from the University of California, Santa Cruz.  She previously worked on developing an early detection method for Alzheimer’s disease using surface-enhanced Raman scattering. Her current role is to perform routine lab maintenance duties and cellular, molecular and microbiology procedures including gel electrophoresis, cell culture, flow cytometry, data analysis and mouse husbandry.

Carol Landers
Senior Research Project Advisor

Carol Landers joined the Targan Lab in 1987 and has more than 30 years continuous research and research laboratory management experience in IBD. She directly oversees the Serotyping Unit as well as serving as liaison with the Translational Unit. Her expertise is documented in more than 80 articles published in high impact journals. She is credited with inventing the antibody detection assays currently used by Serotyping Unit. Landers has a bachelor's degree in biochemistry from Iowa State University.

Susie Lee, RN, NP, DNP
Research Doctor of Nursing Practice

Susie Lee, DNP, is a board-certified family nurse practitioner. In 2017, she earned a doctorate degree in nursing practice from Chamberlain University. Prior to her doctorate, she earned her bachelor's and master's degrees at California State University, Dominguez Hills, specializing as a family nurse practitioner. Lee specializes in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and works with specialists, medical trainees and a multidisciplinary team to coordinate well-rounded care for patients with IBD. She is a partner, resource and adviser for the MIRIAD Biobank team, regularly providing input on ways to optimize the research experience for patients who volunteer to participate. 

Jesse Lerner, MS
Research Associate III

Jesse Lerner received her bachelor's and master's degrees in general biology from the University of California, San Diego. She began her career in microbiology, working in various capacities studying bacteria in both academia and industry. Her interest in cell biology and immunology led to her current position in the Targan Laboratory studying inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). She currently works on a project studying the role of T cell plasticity in the immunopathogenesis of IBD.

Núria Solà Tapias, PhD
Postdoctoral Scientist

Núria Solà Tapias, PhD, joined the Targan Laboratory at Cedars-Sinai as a postdoctoral researcher in 2020. She began her career working on lung cancer molecular biology at the Netherlands Cancer Institute and continued her research at the University of Paris Diderot, studying mucosal immunity against influenza. Solà received her doctorate in intestinal pathophysiology from the University of Toulouse, France. Her research includes studying the alteration of the innate and adaptive immune response on intestinal mucosa from inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Contact the Targan Lab

110 N. George Burns Road
Davis Building, Room D4063
Los Angeles, CA 90048