Lab Members

assistant Research Professors

Zhengshan Chen, M.D., Ph.D.
Zhengshan Chen is an Assistant Research Professor in the Department of Systems Biology at the Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope. Zhengshan Chen obtained his M.D. and Ph.D. in Pathology at Peking University Health Science Center. During the Ph.D. study, he joined Dr. Harinder Singh’s lab in the University of Chicago to study transcription factors in B cell development. As a Postdoctoral Fellow and later Assistant Researcher with Dr. Markus Müschen at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF), he discovered that ITIM receptors and downstream phosphatases are necessary to balance signaling strength in BCR-ABL1 leukemia cells. The interests of Zhengshan Chen’s research include pre-B cell receptor (BCR) signaling transduction and tyrosine kinase-driven leukemia, important transcription factors involved in B cell development and leukemia transformation.
Lai (Linda) Chan, Ph.D.
Lai (Linda) Chan is an Assistant Research Professor in the Department of Systems Biology at the Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope.  Linda Chan earned her B.S. in Biochemistry and Chemistry at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology at UCLA.  As a graduate student working with Dr. Fuyuhiko Tamanoi, she performed a chemical biology study to develop small molecule inhibitors of geranylgeranyltransferase-I (GGTIs).  Furthermore, she investigated the molecular mechanisms and targets of GGTIs in human pancreatic and lung cancer cell lines.  As a postdoctoral scientist with Dr. Markus Müschen at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF), she discovered that B-cell transcription factors (PAX5, IKZF1) protect B cell precursors from malignant transformation by restricting glucose and energy supply.  The goal of Linda Chan’s research is to elucidate the role of kinases, phosphatases and transcription factors in regulating oncogenic signaling and metabolism for the development of cancer therapeutics.
Jaewoong Lee, Ph.D.
Jaewoong Lee, Assistant Research Professor in the Department of Systems Biology at the Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope, is an accomplished biologist who focuses on making breakthrough discoveries to understand blood cancer development and apply into the novel therapeutic interventions for B cell leukemia/lymphoma. As a postdoctoral scientist with Dr. Markus Müschen at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF), Jaewoong Lee discovered the mislocated Ifitm3 receptor, a gatekeeper of virus such as Influenza, responsible for the B cell leukemia development. In addition, he also discovered CD25 as a molecular target to treat B cell malignancies especially deriving poor clinical outcomes. He received his Ph.D at Kyungpook National University in the Korea
Gang Xiao, Ph.D.
Dr. Gang Xiao received is doctoral degree at Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences. His previous work was supervised by Dr. Xiaolong Liu and focused on regulation of checkpoint molecule PD-1 during T-cell anti-tumor immune responses and thymocyte development. During his postdoctoral training with Markus Müschen at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF), Dr. Xiao’s research is mainly focused on the role of the inhibitory phosphatase PP2A in the regulation of glucose metabolism, redox homeostasis and oncogenic signaling in normal B cell development and B cell leukemia and lymphoma. Dr. Gang Xiao joined the Department of Systems Biology of the Beckman Research Institute in 2017 and is an Assistant Research  Professor in the Division of Epigenetic and Transcriptional Engineering.

Staff Scientist

Lars Klemm
Lars Klemm joined the Müschen Laboratory in 2005 and acquired his master's of science (M.sci.) degree in molecular and cell biology from the Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf, Germany in 2009. His work focused on the activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID) and how it promotes genetic instability in B-lymphoid malignancies (Klemm et al., Cancer Cell 2009, Swaminathan et al., Nature Immunol 2015). Lars Klemm moved with the Müschen Laboratory from Düsseldorf, Germany in 2006 and has been the lab manager of the research group. Lars Klemm joined the Department of Systems Biology of the Beckman Research Institute as technology manager of the department,  overseeing laboratory operations and design and the set-up of all major technical equipment and research infrastructure of the research groups.


Ali Aghajanirefah
Ali obtained his Ph.D. from Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, The Netherlands and his work in Professor Frank Grosveld’s laboratory mainly focused on ƴ-globin reactivation during human hematopoiesis. He subsequently joined the BLUEPRINT project (mapping human blood cell epigenomes) in Professor Henk Stunnenberg‘s laboratory in Nijmegen, The Netherlands. Ali Aghajanirefah then joined the Müschen laboratory at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) in 2015 and moved with the group to the Beckman Research Institute in May 2017. Ali Aghajanirefah is mainly interested in BTB-domain transcriptional repressors, including BCL6, BACH2 and BCOR. For detailed biochemical studies, Ali developed genetic systems for inducible deletion of Bcl6, Bach2 and Bcor in B-lymphoid and myeloid lineages as well as various leukemia subtypes.

Kadriye Nehir Cosgun, Ph.D.
Kadriye Nehir Cosgun is a postdoctoral fellow and mainly interested in the basic mechanisms of hematopoiesis and leukemic transformation. One of her projects focuses on the role of pre-B cell signaling in acute lymphoblastic leukemia. In 2008, Dr. Cosgun completed her graduate training in molecular biology degree with high honors at Bilkent University in Turkey. She was subsequently admitted to the Dresden International Ph.D. program in Dresden, Germany. Her Ph.D. thesis, titled “Kit regulates HSC engraftment across mouse human species barrier” was supervised by Professor Claudia Waskow and awarded the “The best Ph.D. thesis in 2013” by the Center for Regenerative Therapies Dresden. In 2014, Nehir joined the Müschen laboratory at the University of California, San Francisco and moved with the group to the Department of Systems Biology of the Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope in May 2017. Her current work focuses on the role of Lgr5 and WNT signaling in B cell selection and the malignant transformation of B cells.
Gauri Deb, Ph.D.
Gauri Deb completed her PhD from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Guwahati, India, and her work focused on molecular insights into the modulation of matrix metalloproteinases by green tea polyphenols in endocrine related cancers. As an international Fulbright –Nehru doctoral and professional research fellow, she also trained in Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, USA in Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s laboratory during her PhD work. She then joined Prof. Tim Somervaille’s laboratory in Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute as a postdoctoral scientist in July 2014. Her research focused on hematological malignancies particularly AML. Using CRISPR-Cas9 genome wide screens, she focused on identifying genetic vulnerabilities which cooperate with pharmacological inhibition of lysine specific histone demethylase 1A (LSD1) in targeting human AML cells. In October 2017, she moved to US and joined the laboratory of Markus Müschen in the Department of Systems Biology as a Postdoctoral Fellow. She is interested in studying role of autoimmunity-associated PTPN22 phosphatase in autoimmune checkpoint activation and as a potential therapeutic strategy in human B-and T cell malignancies.
Vishal Khairnar, Ph.D.
After finishing Masters Biotechnology at Sardar Patel University, Anand, India, Vishal Khairnar joined Prof. Karl S. Lang at the Institute of Immunology, University Hospital Essen in Germany. There he focused on investigating the role of different genes in Innate and Adaptive Immune activation. He obtained his PhD with summa cum laude.  His PhD thesis was mainly focused on defining the role of Carcinoembryonic antigen-related cell adhesion molecule 1 (CEACAM1) in B and T-cell responses after viral infections and development. Vishal joined the laboratory of Markus Müschen in the Department of Systems Biology as a postdoctoral fellow in February 2018. He is mainly interested in targeting oncogenic mimics of the proximal TCR signaling cascade in Peripheral T-cell Lymphoma (PTCL).
Kohei Kume, Ph.D.
Kohei Kume obtained his Ph.D. from the United Graduate School of Agricultural Sciences, Iwate University (UGAS), Japan in 2011 and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Iwate Medical University in 2015, working with Professor Satoshi Nishizuka. After joining the Institute of Biomedical Science at Iwate Medical University as an instructor, he joined Markus Müschen’s laboratory as a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Systems Biology at Beckman Research Institute in 2017. Kohei Kume studies the mechanisms of autonomous calcium oscillations in oncogenic signaling of B-lymphoid leukemia cells and the functional significance of these calcium oscillations.  His work includes genetic studies of Orai and Stim1 Ca2+ channels as well as imaging systems to track Ca2+ flux as part of oncogenic signaling in live cells.
Teresa Sadras, Ph.D.
Teresa was awarded her Ph.D. in genetics from the University of Adelaide, South Australia, in 2014 for her thesis entitled “Investigation of the role and mechanism of β-catenin activation in acute myeloid leukemia”. She then joined the Leukemia Laboratory of Professor Tim Hughes and Deborah White at SAHMRI as a postdoctoral fellow, where she was part of the Australian Genomics Healthcare Alliance for three years. In this time she gained expertise and a strong interest in Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) genetics and personalized medicine, particularly in the establishment of platforms for the rapid identification of targetable lesions in patients with ALL. Teresa joined the Müschen Laboratory in January 2017 where she hopes to further pursue her research goals of understanding the genetics and signaling networks driving leukemogenesis. Her current project is focused on understanding the role of Syk-family kinases in B-cell malignancies.
Hongbin Wang, Ph.D.
Hongbin Wang received his Ph.D. degree from Institut Pasteur of Shanghai under the supervision of Professor Guangxun Meng in 2015. His Ph.D. study focused on mechanisms of the NLRP3 inflammasome activation during innate immune response. Hongbin Wang then continued his studies of the inflammasome’s roles in virus infections and antiviral drug development in the Meng laboratory as a postdoctoral fellow. In July 2017, he joined the Müschen laboratory to deepen his interest in lymphocyte signaling and leukemia and lymphoma biology His current research project focuses on  chronic active BCR signaling in mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) and genetic events leading to gradual transformation of early B cell precursors.
Chien-Hung Yeh, Ph.D.
Chien-Hung Yeh completed his Ph.D. training in Christophe Nicot’s laboratory at the University of Kansas Medical Center. His Ph.D. study focused on genetic inactivation of FBXW7 in T cell lymphomas (Yeh et al., Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2016; 113 :6731-6736). FBXW7 functions as an E3 ubiquitin ligase targeting Notch 1 and Myc. In January 2018, he joined Markus Müschen’s laboratory as a postdoctoral fellow to study CRISPR-based base editing approaches for genetic reversion of driver mutations in B cell malignancies including B-ALL and B-cell lymphoma.

Visiting Scholars

Júlia Aguadé Gorgorió, Ph.D.
Júlia Aguadé Gorgorió graduated in Pharmacy at the University of Barcelona, where she also trained in the laboratory of Dr. Albert Tauler and Dr. George Thomas. She moved to Zürich, Switzerland, where she completed her Ph.D. in Cancer Biology and one year of postdoctoral fellowship at the University Children's Hospital. Her thesis was supervised by Dr. Beat Bornhauser and Dr. Jean-Pierre Bourquin and was titled "Exploiting alternative cell death mechanisms to overcome drug resistance in leukemia". Dr. Aguadé Gorgorió joined the laboratory of Markus Müschen with a fellowship grant from the Swiss National Science Foundation in April 2018. Her project will focus on the study of autoimmunity checkpoint activation in malignant B cells, and the cell death processes activated downstream. She is interested in translational research in pediatric oncology and cell death signaling.
Franziska Auer, Ph.D.
Franziska Auer completed her graduate training in molecular biotechnology at the Technical University Munich (TUM), before she moved to Duesseldorf for her Ph.D. at the Heinrich-Heine University (HHU) Düsseldorf. Dr. Auer’s Ph.D. thesis titled "Paired Box 5 (PAX5) in B cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia," was performed in Professor Arndt Borkhardt’s laboratory in the Department of Pediatric Oncology, Hematology and Clinical Immunology of the Düsseldorf University Medical Center. Franziska Auer also trained with Dr. Isidro Sánchez-García and worked in his laboratory in Salamanca, Spain.
In May 2017, Dr. Auer joined the Müschen laboratory in the Department of Systems Biology as a Postdoctoral Fellow. Her project involves the study of negative feedback regulations in pre B-cell Receptor (pre-BCR) signaling in precursor B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemias (pre-B ALLs). Her other research interests include pediatric leukemias, B-cell specific transcription factors and pre-BCR signaling.
Lili Pan, Ph.D.
Lili Pan earned her master's degree in hematology from Fujian Medical University, China in 2013. Her work focused on the germline and somatic mutations that are implicated in pathogenesis of a large Chinese acute myeloid leukemia family with 11 cases in 4 generations. After graduation, she had been working as a physician in hematology department of Fujian Medical University Union Hospital for more than 4 years and has been mentored by Dr. Shaoyuan Wang , Professor of Hematology at Fujian Medical University. In March 2018, Lili joined the Müschen laboratory as an international graduate student to study genetics and signaling networks driving B cell transformation.

Research Associates

Anthony Abarientos, B.Sc.
Known around the lab as Aj, Anthony recently graduated from UC Berkeley with Bachelors Degrees in both Molecular & Cellular Biology and Integrative Biology. As a Research Associate, he currently works with senior members of the lab on projects that focus on delineating the role of several proteins implicated in B-Cell Leukemia. Anthony aspires to one day contribute to both cancer research and medicine as a productive physician-scientist.
Derek Dinson, B.Sc.
Derek Dinson recently graduated from California Polytechnic University, Pomona with a Bachelor of Science degree in General Biology. Prior to joining the laboratory of Markus Müschen in the Department of Systems Biology, his research experience focused on human pluripotent stem cells (hMSC) and the differentiation into adipogenesis and osteogenesis. Currently, he works with Dr. Jaewoong Lee to study the role of CD25 as a negative feedback regulator of lymphocyte antigen receptor signaling.
Andrew Lin, B.Sc.
Andrew Lin is a research associate in the Muschen Lab, where he performs laboratory procedures such as mice genotyping and plasmid preparation. He has a B.S. in Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior from University of California, Davis. In the years before he started work at the Muschen Lab, Andrew worked as an EMT for almost two years, acting as the first point of contact with patients in emergency situations. He has traveled to Haiti, Guatemala, and Myanmar to volunteer in free clinics and his career goal is to travel the world, while providing aid to those in need with Doctors without Borders.
Janet Winchester, B.Sc.
Janet Winchester graduated from UC Berkeley with a B.S. in molecular toxicology. She joined the laboratory of Markus Müschen in the Department of Systems Biology in September 2017 and currently works with Dr. Linda Chan on transcriptional control of oncogenic signaling and plans to attend medical school.
Qiuyi Chen Zhang, B.Sc.
Qiuyi Chen Zhang recently graduated from Keck Graduate Institute with a Master’s Degree in Business and Science. Prior to moving to the United States, she conducted research about neurodegenerative disorders at La Fe Hospital in Valencia, Spain. She joined the laboratory of Markus Müschen in the Department of Systems Biology in September 2017 and currently works with Dr. Gang Xiao in several of on-going projects, including CRISPRi-based genetic screening to elucidate novel lineage-specific tumor suppressive genes in B-lineage ALL and myeloid leukemia-lineage AML. Qiuyi’s future goal is to pursue a productive career within the biopharmaceutical industry.