2019 Left to right: Ricardo Espinosa, MiHyun (Amy) Jang, Soham Bose, Prativa Sahoo, David Frankhouser, Russell Rockne, Sergio Braciamore, Daniel Abler, Davide Maestrini, Michelle Morales (administrative assistant), Lisa Costan (grants administration, financial analyst). Not shown: Vikram Adhikarla, Syed Rahmanuddin.

Affiliate Faculty

Aleksandra Karolak - Mathematical Oncology
Aleksandra (Ola) Karolak is an Assistant Research Professor in the Department of Population Sciences at City of Hope, working jointly with Dr. Jeannine McCune (Population Sciences and Hematology & HCT) and Dr. Russell Rockne (Mathematical Oncology) on improvements of outcomes of the patients with hematopoietic stem cell transplants.
She obtained MSc in metal-organic chemistry of bio-inorganic polymers and transition metals complexes from the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poland. During PhD at the University of South Florida in Tampa, she studied computational and biophysical chemistry. While at USF, she applied and developed computational methods for the conformational studies of biomolecules on various levels of resolution including ab initio, atomistic and coarse- grained models of small molecules, proteins and DNA. Her first postdoctoral training in the Mathematical Oncology Department at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa focused on applications of theoretical and computational methods in clinically relevant settings. At Moffitt, she worked on 2D models of imaging agents penetration through the tumor tissue, and 3D models of tumor organoids growth. Her desire to more completely contribute to the field of precision medicine led her to the Institute for Research in Biomedicine in Barcelona, Spain where her postdoctoral training was jointly funded by MSCA actions and BIST. At IRB, she applied multi-omics and machine learning approaches to uncover the structural signatures of cancer mutations in individual or subgroups of patients.
In her research she combines approaches from computational and biophysical chemistry, structural biology, mathematical oncology and biostatistics to elucidate the role of heterogeneity in cancer progression and response to treatment. She seeks to understand variations in disease evolution, variability in the response to treatment and development of resistance, and how this knowledge, explored on the multi-scaled resolution levels using highly interdisciplinary approach, can be utilized to improve the outcomes of individual patients. 


Vikram Adhikarla
Vikram Adhikarla is a Staff Scientist in the Division of Mathematical Oncology at City of Hope. He has a Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Wisconsin – Madison with specialized focus in Medical Physics. His interests lie in the domain of computational modeling and analysis of both pre-clinical and clinical imaging data. He has experience in modeling tumor-vasculature system based on hypoxia and proliferation positron emission tomography (PET) imaging data and has worked on modeling the response of tumor-vasculature system to anti-angiogenic therapy.

He has further trained in the kinetic analysis of PET imaging data in the Department of Radiology at Emory University in Atlanta. His focus in particular has been on the evaluation of novel radiotracers used for imaging neurological disorders.

As a scientist at City of Hope, he uses his skills to analyze the migration of stem cells in immunohistological and three dimensional cleared images of the mice brain. This data analysis feeds into his work on the prediction of stem cell migration paths for the translational purpose of optimizing the clinical delivery of stem cell therapeutics. Concurrently, he is also involved in analysis of clinical molecular imaging data for evaluation of novel radiotracers poised to deliver clinical impact.

Postdoctoral researchers

Daniel Abler
Daniel Abler is a PhD physicist with research experience in applied physics, software- and computational bio-engineering. He has been actively involved in multidisciplinary research for 10 years, collaborating with engineers, computer scientists, biologists and clinicians.

At the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), Daniel studied technical feasibility of a new accelerator-based research infrastructure for ion-beam radiobiology. He also investigated model-driven data collection approaches to address semantic interoperability challenges in the context of ion-beam radiotherapy.

Over the past 4 years, Daniel has been working on image-based computational models for various body-sites and medical conditions. His current research focuses on the effect of biomechanical forces on formation and development of brain tumors and possible implications for treatment; he develops mathematical models to investigate this question.

Daniel is interested in model-based computational approaches for integrating clinical and pre-clinical information into decision processes. He hopes that these efforts will ultimately improve the treatment of individual patients and facilitate the quantitative assessment of therapeutic approaches. Daniel has strong experience in the implementation of image-based finite-element models, related image and data processing, and analysis. His current research appointment as Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow is shared between City of Hope and the University of Bern, Switzerland.


Davide Maestrini
Davide joined the Mathematical Oncology Division in March 2017. He obtained a Master Degree in Theoretical Physics in 2011 at Univerista`degli Studi di Torino (Italy) with a final project on the study of Bose-Einstein Condensates (BECs). He then moved to the University of East Anglia (UK) where in 2016 he obtained a Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics focusing on the study of quantized vortices in BECs in confined geometries by using a statistical mechanical approach.

Davide's research covers non-linear physics, non-equilibrium statistical mechanics, dynamical systems and mathematical modeling of cancer dynamics. In particular, he is currently working on the developing of a mathematical model of Acute Myeloid Leukemia.
Prativa Sahoo
Prativa Sahoo has 10 years of experience (including a Ph.D.) in the field of magnetic resonance imaging post processing. She has been actively involved in the detailed study of MRI, perfusion imaging (DCE), diffusion imaging (DWI, DTI), mathematical modelling and algorithm development and implementation. She has extensive experience in Java and Matlab. In her four year industry experience, she has worked closely with clinicians and radiologists to understand the clinical needs and problems, and has have designed and developed DCE-MRI post processing tool and validated for 500 brain tumor patients. Currently it is being used in multiple centers in India and abroad (Italy, Korea, Thailand and Nepal).

She has developed a new three compartmental kinetic model for DCE-MRI post processing and the work has been selected for coverpage publication in the Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (JMRI). Over the years she has published 7 journal papers published and 26 ISMRM conforence proceedings. She is interested in developing new algorithims and MR methodologies to answer various clinical questions and also to explore new areas like rs-fMRI and CEST imaging.


Amy Jang
Amy Jang is a rising sophomore at Columbia University, majoring in biomedical engineering. Amy has previously done research at USC Information Science Institute where she published her work on “Designing an Ontology for the ENIGMA Neuroscience Collaboration” and on the “Automatic Generation of Portions of Scientific Papers for Large Multi-Institutional Collaborations Based on Semantic Metadata.” Additionally, she won the Best Interdisciplinary Collaboration award at IKCAP and the Best Poster Award at the INCF Neuroinformatics Congress. Amy also collaborated with Edwards Lifesciences to create a prototype version of an automated heart valve sewing machine. During the school year, she is working on identifying neuro-biomarkers for Huntington’s and Parkinson’s Disease patients at the Neurorehabilitation Research Lab and on identifying the relationship between speakers’ gestures and audience comprehension at the Columbia Engineering Laboratory for Intelligent Imaging and Neural Computing.
Outside of biology and computer science, Amy loves to play piano and being up in the sky, whether that be ziplining or parasailing, and she hopes to skydive and bungee jump sometime in the future!
Soham Bose
Soham Bose is a rising senior at Troy High School fascinated by the intersection of mathematics, computer science, and biology. At school, he is the president of Math Club, captain of the Science Bowl team, and on the varsity tennis team. Some of his hobbies include reading and playing piano, basketball, and video games. Previously, he has worked on research to create ODE models of the reverse Warburg effect and explore the effects of different agents on specific gene expression in mouse fibroblasts. Currently, he is a participant in City of Hope’s Eugene and Ruth Roberts Summer Academy working under Dr. Rockne in the Division of Mathematical Oncology. Later, as an undergrad and in his career, he hopes to pursue computational biology and applied math.