Principal Investigator

Elsa R. Flores, Ph.D.
Chair, Department of Molecular Oncology
Co-Leader, Cancer Biology and Evolution
NCI Outstanding Investigator
Moffitt Cancer Center

Education and Training
B.S. - Chemical Engineering. MIT, Cambridge, MA
Ph.D. - Cancer Biology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI
Postdoctoral Fellowship – Dr. Tyler Jacks Lab, MIT
Research Faculty/Staff
Xiaohua Su, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Year Joined: 2005
Ongoing Projects: Deciphering the role of TAp63 in tumor environment and metastasis
Marlese Pisegna, B.S., B.F.A
Research Investigator/Lab Manager
Year Joined: 2012
Payal Raulji, M.S.
Research Assistant II
Year Joined: 2012
Brooke A. Meyers, M.B.E
Senior Research Assistant
Year Joined: 2015
Post-doctoral Fellows
Marco Napoli, Ph.D.
Title: CPRIT-TRIUMPH Postdoctoral Fellow
Year Joined: 2012
Ongoing Projects: 1. LncRNAs as mediators of the TAp63 anti-metastatic functions 2. Analysis of the p63 isoform-specific transcriptional activities
Education: Ph.D. in Molecular Biomedicine from University of Trieste, Italy in 2011
Rahul Checker, Ph.D.
Title: Postdoctoral Fellow
Year Joined: 2015
Ongoing Projects: 1. Understanding the role of p63 and p73 isoforms in lung cancer development and the contribution of tumor microenvironment in lung cancer progression. 2. Studying the role p63 and p73 isoforms in inflammatory and immune responses.
Education: Ph.D. in Life Sciences from Homi Bhabha National Institute, Mumbai, India in 2013
Xiaobo Li, Ph.D.
Title: Postdoctoral Fellow
Year Joined: 2016
Ongoing Projects: 1. LncRNAs involved in TAp63 regulated breast cancer metastasis and ΔNp63 mediated cancer progression
Education: PhD in Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry from University of Kentucky Dec 2015
Graduate Students
Ngoc Hoang Bao Bui, M.S.
Year joined: 2013
Ongoing Project: Understanding the dynamic regulation of Delta-Np63 in EMT and metastasis Email:
Andrew Davis, B.S
Year Joined: 2013
Ongoing Project: Understanding the regulation of microRNAs by TAp63 in UV-induced squamous cell carcinoma
Sarah J. Wu, B.S
Year Joined: 2013
Ongoing Project: Deciphering the role of TP63 isoforms in Lung Tumorigenesis Email:
  • Bernard Ayanga, PhD – Post-doc at Baylor College of Medicine
  • Santosh Sandur, PhD
  • Chang Hun Lee, MD, PhD
  • Yanning Wu, PhD.
  • Hussein A. Abbas, MD, PhD; Current title: Resident in internal medicine at Johns Hopkins Hospital
  • Min-soon Cho, Ph.D. – Post-doc at MD Anderson Cancer Center
  • Deepavali Chakravarti, Ph.D. Graduated in 2013. Current Position: Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Dr. Ronald Depinho's lab at MD Anderson Cancer Center
  • Avinashnarayan Venkatanarayan, M.Sc., Ph.D. Graduated in 2015. Current position: PostDoctoral Research Fellow at Genentech, Inc
  • Ramon R. Flores, M. D., Ph.D. Graduated in 2016. Current position: Neurolog Resident in University of Miami
  • Welles Chan, B.S. – Graduate Student at University of Houston, ClearLake
  • Marco Leung, B.S. – Graduate Student at UTHSC-Houston
  • Divya Panditi
  • Max Peterson
  • Kelvin Chen
  • Alyssa Nikides
  • Dan Dan Liu
  • Ghassan Maalouf
  • Pruthali Kulkarni
  • Ann Zhang
  • Srujana Lam
  • Nicole Cornelia Mueller.
  • Ariany-Aquino
  • Jeyshka M. Reyes
  • Serge Korjian
  • Sonakshi Sahu
  • Yi-Chun "Carol" Liu
  • Yu Li Lin, M.S.
  • Wei Zhang
  • Lingzhi Liu
  • Young Jin
  • Kunal Jain