MISSION STATEMENT: Through rigorous scientific pursuits, we translate research breakthroughs into patient-centered solutions and empower the next generation of scientific trailblazers.

Our research projects are primarily geared towards identifying cancer signaling pathways and developing targeted therapies for breast cancer. Our work spans the spectrum of basic cancer biology, through translational studies in mouse models and human tissues, and engages with early-phase clinical trials. We use an array of methods and technologies in these endeavors, including mammalian tissue culture, gene and protein expression and activation profiling, metabolic profiling, chromatin immunoprecipitation, massively parallel DNA sequencing, genome-wide screening, bioinformatics, mouse models, and live animal imaging.

Lab culture is very important to us. We thrive as a team of colleagues and collaborators who enjoy working together and are passionate about our science. We emphasize building relationships that extend beyond someone’s time in the lab.

We develop research endeavors with their ultimate impact in mind; this provides a framework to design projects with high potential to make a difference in the world. We ask: “When this project is complete, how will the findings help people affected by cancer? Will the findings substantially increase our understanding of cancer biology or management?”


Having rigorous standards and being the strongest critic of one’s own research promotes quality, integrity, and reproducibility.

Sharing research tools, exchanging scientific ideas, and offering collaborative support to colleagues fosters a supportive, attractive community.

Our most valuable asset is time. How we spend our time reflects our character. It is important that we give time to support colleagues and the local community through volunteer and service activities.

We are fortunate to have roles in society where we are asked to perturb biological systems and see what makes them tick, and we get paid for doing it. We thank our lucky stars for being here.


In our laboratory and sphere of influence, everyone is welcome regardless of race, ethnicity, creed, gender, age, religion, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, or country of origin. We believe in providing an inclusive environment that promotes belonging to all.

Even when we hold different opinions on education and research, we are all broadly working towards a common goal for the greater good. Our similarities outweigh our differences, and our differences are less important than the greater good. Progress is expedited and the quality of results are improved when we work together.

We champion efforts to promote diversity in all forms and at all levels within our academic environment and our greater community.


Everyone is different, and mentoring needs are tailored to each mentee in our group. It is critical that there be an open, trusting mentor/mentee relationship to maximize training, personal and professional growth, and research productivity. A strong mentor/mentee relationship will last well beyond a trainee’s tenure in our lab.

What trainees can expect from me:

  • I will tailor my mentoring style to your needs, which may evolve during your time in the lab.
  • I will provide scientific and technical guidance.
  • We will formally meet one-on-one at least once every two weeks. We can schedule other meetings to address issues as needed. I generally have an open-door policy when not otherwise occupied.
  • We will meet and review your Individual Development Plan once per year, usually in winter.
  • I will make time outside of the lab for our team members’ life events.
  • I will support you in your career goals and give guidance. We will try to shape your training experience to help you achieve your career goals.
  • If I don’t have a good answer, I will try to find someone who does, whether it be about science, training opportunities, academic concerns, or career paths. I will also help you build a professional network.

What I expect from trainees:

  • Honesty, trust, kindness, and friendliness.
  • A team mentality. Help fellow labmates.
  • Commitment to doing their best.

Take the time to do it right, or take the time to do it again.”

  • Make a plan for your time in lab, and efficiently use your time.
  • Communication about both the good and bad things happening in lab.
  • A vision for your future so we have goals to aim towards.
  • Each winter, you will complete an Individual Development Plan that we will review/discuss to keep your training activities on track towards your goals.
  • This is key to scientific inquiry.
  • Just as some recipes don’t go as planned, so go some experiments. We learn, adapt, and try again.
  • Passion for science. This is not a job; it is a career. We are literally spending more time on scientific pursuits than anything in life, so we should be passionate about it.


This balance is different for everyone. In science, most people want to be productive. Productive people tend to be happy. However, not being satisfied with one’s personal life makes it difficult to be productive. Thus, happiness at work and at home is paramount, and we must each find a work-life balance that makes us happy.

Science is not a 40-hour-per-week job; it is a career, and this is evident when we think about science during idle down time when we could daydream about something else. However, we need to have personal lives too, and we cannot live in the lab. We strive to make our time in the lab productive so that, when we are “off the clock,” we don’t feel guilty. Personally, I think a 9-hour weekday schedule and a couple of hours on some weekend days is a reasonable time commitment to be in lab and complete our types of experiments. Research and training activities that do not require one’s presence in the lab, such as reading, writing, or data analysis, can be done outside of the lab when time is flexible, or for those efficient multi-taskers such activities can be done during incubations.

In academia, work can come in waves. Large writing projects will take considerable time and effort, so we plan accordingly and stay flexible. When there is a lull, take time to breathe.

Vacation, Days Off, and Schedule:

  • Time away from lab can be taken at any time. For any time off lasting longer than a day, please let me know. For any time off lasting a week or more, please discuss with me at least one month beforehand.
  • If you will be away from lab, please work with your labmates to ensure that your experiments are taken care of, such as for mouse experiments or treating cells.
  • For major holidays when most people will be away from lab, we will make a calendar to ensure that mouse experiments and cell culture are handled.
  • If you are trained and independent in the lab, you can make your own schedule and work hours that suit you. Until you are comfortable and independent in the lab, you should try to work hours that most align with senior labmates so they can help with issues that arise.


  • I check and send emails throughout the day. I consider email to be a passive form of communication for non-urgent matters.
  • For urgent matters, I am available by mobile phone or text (603-558-7779). If I receive a call or text, I assume that it is urgent. If not urgent, please use email.


We will meet one-on-one at least once every two weeks to discuss experimental results, plan upcoming experiments, troubleshoot, and discuss career development opportunities and concerns.

Trainees are expected to prepare a brief update of their data and activities since our last meeting, their interpretation of those data, and their plans for the coming weeks; this Word or Powerpoint file should be emailed to me the day before our meeting so I have time to review it. We then meet to review the update and formalize plans for the coming weeks. This plan provides structure and efficiency to our meetings, and is designed to leave us both feeling productive and optimistic.


We have an in-person lab meeting for 75 minutes each week to share updates, troubleshoot experiments, brainstorm new projects, and discuss the state of the lab. Everyone in lab is expected to attend.

One lab member will give a Powerpoint presentation. This can either be a presentation of a recent primary research manuscript of interest to our team (i.e., journal club style, and emailed to lab members in advance), or a project update; I suggest alternating between these formats to ensure that you give project updates every ~2 months. Project updates should include a brief background of their project, hypothesis, aim(s), recent experimental plans and results, their interpretation of results, and their plans for upcoming experiments. This presentation should focus on recent activities, and old data should be limited to that which is necessary to provide background or frame a research question. When sharing your data, be open and transparent; labmates are here to help you.

Labmates are expected to provide feedback, and chime in about experimental design, data analysis, and data interpretation. Team input improves our research output.


Trainees will be encouraged to apply for fellowship grants per eligibility criteria. U.S. citizens and permanent residents are typically eligible for NIH F-series fellowships (F30/F31/F32). This is particularly strategic since the MCW Qualifying Exam uses the F31 format (i.e., much of the work is already done, so why not submit it to NIH).

Persuasive writing is a critical skill in science, and acquiring a grant shows that you convincingly presented your scientific arguments to seasoned scientists. Receipt of funding also enables the awardee to learn stewardship of resources, and enables the pursuit of new directions.

Grant writing requires considerable time commitment and needs to be well-planned. I will work with you to develop a writing timeline, and I will provide constructive input on your application. I will also prepare sections of applications that are required from the advisor/mentor.


In the scientific community, work that doesn’t get published essentially never happened. Publishing manuscripts is our primary means of communication of research findings to the world. Publications are also important to demonstrate productivity.

While we can envision a manuscript outline early in a project, a project will often evolve as experiments are conducted and the field advances.

WHERE we publish is not as important as WHAT we publish. We strive to produce high-quality scientific articles with robust experimental designs, convincing data, and insightful data interpretations placed into the broader context of the field. Journals are rated with Impact Factors, which is a metric that reflects the number of times its articles get cited. While many reputable journals have high Impact Factors, and it is flashy to publish our articles those journals, we do not measure the quality of our science by a journal’s Impact Factor. We also do not conceive of a project with a target journal in mind, and we have limited control over the journal that agrees to publish our findings.

I will work with trainees to shape data into a manuscript and develop a writing plan. I will provide constructive feedback and often make significant contributions to the writing (as should all authors). Peer review can be a tough process, where we receive criticism of our precious work from anonymous researchers. We must accept their feedback and use it to improve our work. After publication, the world sees our article as the culmination of a chapter of our research, and this is a reflection of the quality and significance of our contributions.


As a member of our lab, you will need to complete the following training:

Biosafety – Bloodborne Pathogens for Researchers (online)

Biosafety – Recombinant DNA (rDNA) Training (online)

Animal – ACUPO + Facility Workshop Orientation (online)

Animal – Occupational Health and Safety (online)

Animal – Aseptic Technique Workshop (in person at BRC)

Animal – Working with the IACUC (online)

Animal – ABSL2 (online)

You will need badge access to:

BSB 6th floor

MACC Building 4th and 6th floors

MEB 4th floor


All lab members maintain either (A) a bound (paper) lab notebook, or (B) an electronic notebook on Lab Archives. Each experiment should be dated, describe hypothesis or research question, methods, results and a rough figure, interpretation of results, and plans for next steps.

A structured approach is to name each experiment with initials and a number, such as “TWM134,” or initials and a date, such as “TWM18March2024.” Then all electronic files and images associated with that experiment can use the same root experiment name.

Another approach that is not mutually exclusive is to use colored tabs on the margin of each page, with a color corresponding to a project.

I also encourage lab members to keep a scratch pad on their bench to take rough notes, which can then be transcribed/translated into the bound/electronic lab notebook. It is helpful to date entries on the scratch pad for your reference.

Much of your data will be in electronic format, and it is critical to save this for future reference (and publication). The final data output or graph of an experiment should be printed and pasted into your bound notebook, or linked in your electronic notebook.

The hard drive in your computer is NOT a good place to store data because the drive can fail. You can store some data on OneDrive, and more data through the MCW RCC Open OnDemand interface (https://docs.rcc.mcw.edu/user-guide/access/ondemand/ ). Files that you use/edit frequently should be stored on OneDrive. Depending on your data storage needs, we may also use an external hard drive.


My goal is for each trainee to attend a (inter)national scientific conference approximately once per year, providing there is a permissible funding landscape. Presentation of your scientific findings at a conference is important, and this usually requires submission of an abstract and abstract acceptance by the conference organizers. I do not expect students in Year 2 to have developed an abstract, but trainees beyond that stage need to have an abstract accepted to justify conference attendance. Example conferences that our lab members regularly attend are the American Association for Cancer Research annual meeting, and focused meetings offered through AACR, Keystone Symposia, and Gordon Research Conferences. Travel and conference expenses can be defrayed through the acquisition of travel awards/grants, which also reflect positively upon the trainee. Up-front costs such as conference registration, flights, hotels, etc. can be paid for through our department. Daily conference expenses are reimbursable upon return.