People

Vinay Aakalu

 

Vinay Aakalu, MD, MPH
Associate Professor of Ophthalmology
Oculoplastic & Reconstructive Surgery Service
Director, Lacrimal Cell Biology Laboratory
Co-Director, Illinois Center for Thyroid Eye Disease

Laboratory Address:
College of Medicine Research Building
909 South Wolcott Avenue, 1st Floor, Room 1080
Chicago, IL 60612
Telephone: (312) 355-1411
Email: vaakalu@uic.edu

Dr. Vinay Aakalu is a clinician scientist, funded by the National Eye Institute’s K08 program. His primary research focus is the development of treatments for patients with ocular surface diseases and lacrimal gland diseases. His laboratory is housed in the College of Medicine Research Building at UIC. Current areas of research include lacrimal epithelial biology, ex vivo culture methods, organotypic culture systems, directed differentiation of stem cells, peptide based therapeutics and regenerative medicine efforts.

Marwan Ali

Marwan Ali, MRes
Associate Research Scientist
Lacrimal Cell Biology Laboratory

Laboratory Address:
College of Medicine Research Building
909 South Wolcott Avenue, 1st Floor, Room 1080
Chicago, IL 60612
Telephone: (312) 355-1411
Email: marwan@uic.edu

Marwan Ali is a research scientist with a background in pharmacology and experimental physiology and drug discovery. He earned his master of research and bachelor degrees from top-tier universities in the United Kingdom. He joined the lacrimal cell biology laboratory at UIC in 2014. His research projects in the LCB laboratory include investigating lacrimal epithelial cell biology, utilization of viral vectors, primary cell culture methods and developing a lacrimal epithelial cell line to be used as a pre-clinical model for the treatment of dry eye syndrome. In his leisure time, Marwan enjoys playing sports, socializing with friends and video gaming.

Dhara Shah

Dhara Shah, MS
Associate Research Scientist
Lacrimal Cell Biology Laboratory

Laboratory Address:
College of Medicine Research Building
909 South Wolcott Avenue, 1st Floor, Room 1080
Chicago, IL 60612
Telephone: (312) 355-1411
Email: dshah40@uic.edu

Dhara Shah is a research associate in the lacrimal cell biology at University of Illinois at Chicago. She received her master’s in Medical biotechnology from UIC. Her research interest is to screen for peptide based treatments of ocular surface diseases. Her expertise includes molecular biology techniques, drug screening and various protein and cell based assays.

Arun Balasubramaniam

Arun Balasubramaniam, PhD
Visiting Scholar
Lacrimal Cell Biology Laboratory

Laboratory Address:
College of Medicine Research Building
909 South Wolcott Avenue, 1st Floor, Room 1080
Chicago, IL 60612
Telephone: (312) 413-7909
Email: arun@uic.edu

Dr. Arun Balasubramaniam is an expert geneticist with extensive experience in animal, human and plant cell culture, plant genomics, Mendelian genetics, molecular biology, transgenic science and in project management. As a scientist, with a history of large-scale project management, Dr. Balasubramaniam is excited to help drive the diverse projects in the Lacrimal Cell Biology Laboratory forward.

Catherine Liu

Yunxiang Catherine Liu, MD, PhD

Dr. Catherine Liu, is the current ASOPRS Oculoplastics Fellow at UIC. She works with Dr. Aakalu clinically and in the laboratory on oncologic and orbital disease biomarker development. Dr. Liu is a trained ophthalmologist and has a PhD in microbiology.

Kyung No Son

Kyung No Son, PhD

Dr. Kyung No Son is a Research Assistant Professor in the Lacrimal Cell Biology Laboratory at the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Science at University of Illinois at Chicago. He has an extensive background in molecular/cell biology, immunology and virology. He is highly experienced and well-versed in cell culture and a broad range of analytical and quantitative assays used in general and molecular and cell biology and animal pathogenesis.

Sushma Kalmodia

Sushma Kalmodia, PhD

Dr. Kalmodia earned her PhD under the supervision of Professor Colin J. Barrow and Dr. Wenrong Yang (Deakin University Australia) and Professor S. Krishnakumar (Sankara Nethralaya, India). During her doctoral research, she developed a new method of nanoparticles fabrication for targeted therapy as well as molecular imaging and for that work her thesis was nominated for the "Alfered Deakin Gold Medal”. Presently her research focus is on drug discovery & regenerative medicine targeting ophthalmic diseases.

Shweya

Shreya Wadhwa

Shreya Wadwa is a Loyola University undergraduate bioinformatics student interested in "big data" and applying statistical methods to biological and medically relevant problems.

Shelby Tam

Shelby Tam is an undergraduate honors college student focusing on pharmaceutical sciences. She is interested in wound healing and therapeutic development.






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