Works In Progress

The Department of Pharmacological Sciences hosts a biweekly Works in Progress Discussion Series where trainees discuss their research ideas, design, results, and receive feedback in an informal setting. Two WiP presentations are held per session. This series is held on Thursdays at 11 am in a virtual format via Zoom. For presenting at the WiP Series, please contact



December 14

“Epigenetic Alterations in Pulmonary Endothelial Cells” 
Kate Jankowski (Hadri Lab)

“Applications of WNTinib in Colorectal Cancer and Hepatocellular Carcinoma Models” 
Frank Fonseca (Guccione Lab)

November 30

Structural and Biochemical Studies of the Novel Endoribonuclease YicC”
Ruoxi Wu, Ph.D. (Lazarus Lab)

November 16

Targeting Enzymatic Activities of the Bacterium Burkholderia Cenocepacia
Richard Quintana-Feliciano (Aggarwal Lab)

“Design and Synthesis of BRD4/BRD2-ET Domain Targeting Inhibitors” 
Bharath Kumar Gajjela, Ph.D. (Zhou/Cheung Lab)

November 2

“PRMT5 regulates Global and ZNF326 Symmetrical Demethylation of Arginine
under DNA Replication Stress”
Wan Yee Lam (Walsh Lab)

“Camelid Nanobodies against Staphylococcus Aureus Antigens” 
Jeffrey Kim (Shi Lab)

October 26

PRMT5 regulates Global and ZNF326 Symmetrical Demethylation of Arginine
under DNA Replication Stress”
Audrey Warren (Wacker Lab)

“Prediction of Small Molecule Ligands for SLC4A10 by AlphaFold2 Modeling and Virtual Screening” 
Yihan Zhao (Ma’ayan Lab)

October 5

“Molecular Features of Trace Amine-associated Receptor 1 Activation”
Gregory Zilberg (Wacker Lab)

“Predicting the Functional Impacts of Pathogenic Genetic Variants with Machine Learning”
David Stein (Schlessinger Lab)

September 7

“NAD Regulation by Novel Small Molecules”
Carisse Lansiquot (Lazarus Lab)

August 24

“Novel High-throughout Spatial-temporal Omics of Mitochondrial Drug Response”
Ngoc Dung Pham, Ph.D. (Shi Lab)

August 10

“Unveiling the Bone Remodeling Symphony: The Skeletal Impact of CGMP-Dependent Protein Kinase G (PKG) Type 2”
Farhath Sultana, Ph.D. (Zaidi Lab)

July 27

"Screening Genetic Targets of Alzheimer's Disease in CRISPRa/i Microglia”
James Vicari (Roussos & Kellner Labs)

July 13

“Prevention of Diet Induced Obesity by FSH Blockade: Dose-Finding Studies” 
Anusha Rani Pallapati, Ph.D. (Zaidi Lab)

June 29

“Understanding Activation Mechanism of Mu-Opioid Receptors Coupled to G Proteins”
Rikhia Ghosh, PhD (Filizola Lab)

June 6

“Design of Small Molecules for the Treatments of Neurological Disorders and Cancer Diseases”
Peng-Jen Chen, Ph.D. (DeVita Lab)

“Determinants of Cardiac Tissue Vulnerability to Arrhythmia in Uniform and Heterogenous Computational Tissue Models”
Taylor Pullinger (Sobie Lab)

June 1

“Development of Monoclonal Antibody (MS-Hu6) Formulation, Biophysical Characterization and Stability Evaluation
Satish Rojekar, PhD. (Zaidi Lab)

“Design, Synthesis and Biological Evaluation of Small Molecules Targeting Important Targets
Prasanth Saraswati Akella, Ph.D. (DeVita Lab)

April 20

“Multi-drug Combination Effects on Physical Therapy-enabled Recovery After SCI
Nicholas Johnson, Ph.D. (Iyengar Lab)

April 6

“Design of Small Molecules for the Treatments of Neurological Disorders and Cancer Diseases” 
Peng-Jen Chen, Ph.D. (DeVita Lab)


Taylor Pullinger (Sobie Lab)

March 23

“AI-Guided Computational Tools for Nanobody Discovery and Bioengineering” 
Zhe Sang (Shi Lab)

March 9

“Automated Model Parameterization for Studying Electrophysiological Variation in hiPSC-derived Cardiomyocytes” 
Janice Yan (Sobie Lab)

“Development of Bifunctional Modalities for the Treatment of Cancer”
Md Kabir (Jin Lab)

February 23

“Structural Studies of a Renal Organic Cation Transporter”
Omar Sanchez-Reyes, Ph.D. (Wacker Lab)

“Structural and Functional Studies of YloC, A Novel Bacterial Ribonuclease”
Shakti Ingle, Ph.D. (Bechhofer Lab)

February 9

“Bridged Proteolysis Targeting Chimera (PROTAC) Enables Degradation of Cyclin D”
Yue Zhong (Jin Lab)

January 26

“Super-immunity by Pan-sarbecovirus Nanobodies”
Yufei Xiang, Ph.D. (Shi Lab)




December 15

“Design & Synthesis of BRD4/BRD2-ET Domain Targeting Compounds”
Bharath Kumar Gajjela, Ph.D. (Zhou Lab)

December 8

“Angiotensin Receptors and Vascular Disease”
Keiichi Asano, Ph.D. (Ramirez Lab)

December 1

“Structural Pharmacology of Psychedelic Tryptamines”
Audrey Warren (Wacker Lab)

November 10

“Investigating Dynamics Modulating of SLC Transporter LAT1 Function”
Keino Hutchinson (Schlessinger Lab)

"Aortic Cell Modulation is Associated with Aneurysm Formation in Marfan Syndrome”
Yifei Sun, Ph.D. (Walsh Lab)

October 13

“Structural and Functional Evidence of Novel Antidepressant Action at Understudied Serotonin Receptors”
Gregory Zilberg (Wacker Lab)

September 29

“Predicting Gain and Loss of Function Variants with Machine Learning”
David Stein (Schlessinger & Itan Lab)

“Discovery of Novel Histone Lysine Methyltransferase PROTAC Degraders”
Julia Velez (Jin Lab)

September 15

“Using Confirmation Sensitive Protein KInase C Antibody to Probe G Protein Coupled Receptor Signaling”
Achla Gupta, Ph.D. (Devi Lab)

September 1

“Ultrastructure of the Sarcoplasmic Reticulum and Ca2+ Release Cluster Modulate Local Ca2+ Release”
DeAnalisa Jones (Sobie Lab)

August 4

“Develop the Novel Sequencing Technique CUT&Tag for Epigenomic Profiling of FOXI1 Utilizing Cystic Fibrosis as a Disease Model”
Wan Yee Lam (Walsh Lab)

Early Dissemination of Breast Cancer Cells
Carolina Rodriguez Tirado, Ph.D. (Sosa Lab)

June 23

“Drug Discovery and Cardiotoxicity Models: hiPSC-Derived Cardiac Models’ Maturity Boosted by 3D Culturing Affecting Drugs Toxicity Predictions”
Rafael Dariolli, Ph.D. (Sobie Lab)

June 2

“Unveiling and Exploiting the Structural Determinants of HCN2 Channel Selectivity”
Emily Teichman (Jin Morel-Han, & Slesinger Lab)

“SigCom LINCS: Gene Expression Signature Portal for Drug and Target Discovery”
John Erol Evangelista (Ma’ayan Lab)

May 12

“Singular Value Decomposition Based Identification of Drug Specific Transcriptomic Signatures in Healthy Human Subject iPSC Derived Cardiomyocytes” 
Jens Hansen, M.D. (Iyengar Lab)

March 31

“lncHUB2: Predicted Biological Functions and Drug/Disease Associations for lncRNAs” 
Megan Wojciechowicz (Ma’ayan Lab)

“Identification of ULK1 Activators”
Heather Dahlin, Ph.D. (Lazarus Lab)

March 3

“Targeting Triple Negative Breast Cancer with VHL-recruiting EZH2 Protein Degrader”
Brandon Dale (Jin Lab)

February 17

“Stabilizers and Destabilizers of the Protein-Protein Interaction”
Zaigham Khan (Dar Lab)

January 20

“Welcome Address”
Ming-Ming Zhou, Ph.D.

“Molecular Mechanisms for CNS Axonal Regeneration – Extracellular Histones and Axonal mRNA-seq” 
Mustafa Siddiq, Ph.D. (Iyengar Lab)




December 16

“Structural Signatures: Using Patterns of Structures in Expressed Proteins to Understand Underlying Biological Phenomena”
Nicole Zatorski (Schlessinger Lab)

November 18

“Rational Design of Small Molecules Targeting LAT1”
Keino Hutchinson (Schlessinger Lab)

“Role of TSH receptors in the brain”
Sari Miyashita (Zaidi Lab)

October 21

“Synthesis and pharmacology of a novel μ-δ opioid receptor heteromer selective agonist based on the carfentanyl template”
Ivone Gomes (Devi Lab)

“The Regulation of Pancreatic Cancer Cell Death Through Autophagy Inhibition”
Kisa Sung (Lazarus Lab)

September 23

“Structural and Biochemical Studies of a Pseudokinase ULK4”
Susmita Khamrui (Lazarus Lab)

“Pharmacological Characterization of Understudied Aminergic Receptors”
Gregory Zilberg (Wacker Lab)

September 9

“Discovery of First-in-class eEF1A2 Degraders for Pancreatic Cancer”
Md Kabir (Jin Lab)

“Markov State Model Analysis of Dynamic Dimerization Interfaces Between Transmembrane Domains of Metabotropic Glutamate Receptors”
Letty Salas-Estrada (Filizola Lab)

August 26

“First-in-Class Humanized FSH Blocking Antibody Targets Bone and Fat”
Sakshi Gera (Zaidi Lab)

July 1

“Mechanisms of Resistance and Sensitivity to TNBCs”
Arthur Chow (Dar Lab)

June 3

“Early Dissemination of Tumor Cells in Breast Cancer”
Carolina Rodriguez Tirado (Sosa Lab)

May 20

“Discovery and characterization of a fifth 3' exonuclease in Bacillus subtilis”
Shakti Ingle (Bechhofer Lab)

“Applying Single Cell RNA-Sequencing to Map the Cystic Fibrosis Airway and Chart the Cell Type-Specific Regulation and Expression of CFTR”
Megan Januska (Walsh Lab)

May 6

“Interaction of BRD2/BRD4 and E-protein of SARS-CoV2 Stimulates Cytokine Storm”
Anbalagan Jaganathan (Zhou Lab)

“A Perfluoroalkane Toolkit for Type II Kinase Inhibitors and Rational Polypharmacology”
Alex Scopton (Dar Lab)

April 22

‘Insights into kidney physiology from the Kidney Precision Medicine Project”
Jens Hansen (Iyengar Lab)

“Chemical Modulators of Polycomb Group Protein CBX7 for Prostate Cancer Therapy”
Nilesh Zaware (Zhou Lab)

March 25

‘Making the LINCS L1000 Data Look Like RNA-seq with Deep Learning”
Megan Wojciechowicz (Ma’ayan Lab)

“Fine Tuning of Opioid Receptor Signaling”
Mariana Lemos Duarte (Devi Lab)

March 11

‘Predicting Targets for 17 Types of Pain with Machine Learning”
Minji Jeon (Ma’ayan Lab)

“Structure-Based Drug Design of a HCN2 Channel-Selective Inhibitor with Antidepressant Activity”
Emily Teichman (Han/Jin Lab)

February 25

“Structural Basis for the Action of Anticancer Drug Trametinib”
Zaigham Khan (Dar Lab)

January 21

“Conversations with the Chair”
Ming-Ming Zhou, Ph.D.

“CRF in the Extended Amygdala Gates the Affective Experience of Depression”
Sherod Haynes (Han Lab)