Neuro-Oncology Branch: Our Teams

About the Neuro-Oncology Branch

The Center for Cancer Research's Neuro-Oncology Branch (NOB) is a trans-institutional initiative that aims to develop novel diagnostic and therapeutic agents for patients with primary central nervous system tumors. Launched in 2000, the branch is sponsored by both the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). The NOB also serves as the lead institution for collaborative networks including NCI-CONNECT (Comprehensive Oncology Network Evaluating Rare CNS Tumors) and the Brain Tumor Trials Collaborative (BTTC).

If you need to reach our NOB administrative team, please email


Administrative Team

  • Lilian Yang (Senior Branch Administrator)
  • Sherita Morris (Executive Assistant)
  • Courtney Moore (Clinical Program Assistant)
  • Ore Ogundimu (Clinical Program Assistant)
  • Brittany Cordeiro (Program Manager, NCI-CONNECT)
  • Raleigh McElvery (Scientific Communications Editor)
  • Rebecca Zacuto (Communications Fellow)

Clinical Team

  • Attending Physicians

  • Clinical Collaborators
    • Brett Theeler, M.D.
  • Clinical Fellows
    • Danielle Bazer, D.O.
    • Sushant Puri, MBBS
    • Kevin Breen, M.D., Ph.D. (Clinical Rotator)
    • Grace Tobin, M.D. (Clinical Rotator)
  • Nurse Practitioners
    • Lisa Boris, C.R.N.P.
    • Marissa Panzer, D.N.P., A.G.N.P.
    • Tina Pillai, C.R.N.P.
    • Lily Polskin, C.R.N.P.
    • Renee Tweneboah-Koduah, D.N.P., C.R.N.P.
  • Research Nurses
    • Tricia Kunst, R.N.
    • Christine McGowan, R.N.
    • Kelly Fernandez, R.N.
    • Kathleen Wall, R.N. (NCI-CONNECT)
  • Patient Care Coordinators
    • Tracy Ani
    • Kristen Oshin (NCI-CONNECT)
    • Krystle Collins
  • Fellows
    • Brayden Chavis (CRTA Fellow)
    • Lorenzo Argao (CRTA Fellow)

Brain Tumor Trials Collaborative (BTTC)

  • Jennifer Reyes (Protocol Coordinator)
  • Claudia Chambers (Protocol Coordinator)

NCI-CONNECT (Comprehensive Oncology Network Evaluating Rare CNS Tumors)

  • Brittany Cordeiro (Program Manager)
  • Raleigh McElvery (Scientific Communications Editor)
  • Marta Penas-Prado, M.D. (Senior Clinician)
  • Kathleen Wall, R.N. (Research Nurse)
  • Kristen Oshin (Patient Care Coordinator)
  • Anna Choi, B.S.N. (Clinical Research Coordinator)
  • Brita Anderson (Laboratory Technician)
  • Hope Miller (Research Analyst)
  • Sana Hussaini (CRTA Fellow)
  • Morgan Johnson (CRTA Fellow)

Translational Immunology Team

  • Mark Gilbert, M.D. (Chief; Senior Investigator)
  • Masashi Watanabe, Ph.D. (Staff Scientist)
  • Chen Cam-El Makranz, M.D., Ph.D. (Research Fellow)
  • John Hancock (OxCam Fellow)
  • Madhura Managoli (CRTA Fellow)
  • Tuesday Haynes (CRTA Fellow)
  • Caitlin Huguely (CRTA Fellow)
  • Emma Byrne (Special Volunteer)

Patient Outcomes Team

  • Terri Armstrong, Ph.D. (Senior Investigator) 
  • Alvina Acquaye-Mallory (Outcomes Program Manager)
  • Michelle Wright, Ph.D. (Clinical Staff Scientist)
  • Vivian De Alvarenga Guedes, Ph.D. (Staff Scientist)
  • Dhaivat Raval (Laboratory Technician)
  • Kimberly Reinhart (Research Analyst)
  • Macy Stockdill, Ph.D. (iCURE Fellow)
  • Tara Davis, Ph.D. (iCURE Fellow)
  • McKenzie Kauss (CRTA Fellow)
  • Zuena Karim (CRTA Fellow)
  • Morgan Johnson (CRTA Fellow)
  • Emory Hsieh (CRTA Fellow)
  • Bennett McIver (CRTA Fellow)
  • Kaitlynn Slattery (CRTA Fellow)
  • Kendra Adegbesan (Special Volunteer)
  • Maeve Pascoe (Special Volunteer)

Cancer Stem Cell Biology Team

  • Zhengping Zhuang, M.D., Ph.D. (Senior Investigator) 
  • Herui Wang, Ph.D. (Staff Scientist)
  • Tara Doucet-O'Hare, Ph.D. (Research Fellow)
  • Juan Ye, Ph.D. (Visiting Fellow)
  • Xueyu Sang, Ph.D. (Visiting Fellow)
  • Yaping Zhang, M.D., Ph.D. (Visiting Fellow)
  • Qingfeng Xue, M.D. (Visiting Fellow)
  • Yasemin Cole (OxCam Fellow)
  • Mitchell Sun (OxCam Fellow)

Translational Research Team

  • Jing Wu, M.D., Ph.D. (Investigator) 
  • Peng Lu, Ph.D. (Staff Scientist)
  • Olga Kim, M.D., Ph.D. (Visiting Fellow)
  • Qi Li (Laboratory Technician)
  • Zachary Sergi (CRTA Fellow)

Cancer Metabolism Team

Molecular and Cell Biology Team

  • Chunzhang Yang, Ph.D. (Investigator) 
  • Fengchao Lang, Ph.D. (Visiting Fellow)
  • Karambir Kaur, Ph.D. (Visiting Fellow)
  • Liang Liu, M.D., Ph.D. (Visiting Fellow)
  • Javeria Zaheer, Pharm.D., Ph.D. (Visiting Fellow)
  • Diego Luis Ribeiro, Ph.D. (Special Volunteer) 

Basic Immunology Team

  • Masaki Terabe, Ph.D. (Investigator)
  • Nargis Malik, Ph.D. (Visiting Fellow)
  • Ayaka Hara, Ph.D. (Visiting Fellow)
  • Seketoulie Keretsu, Ph.D. (Visiting Fellow)
  • Hye Kim, Ph.D. (Biologist)
  • Emily Steffke (OxCam Fellow)
  • Morgan Coombs (CRTA Fellow)
  • Laila Latifi (CRTA Fellow)

Bioinformatics Team

  • Orieta Celiku, Ph.D. (Staff Scientist)
  • Aiguo Li, Ph.D. (Biologist)
  • Brandon Bergsneider (Special Volunteer)
  • Yeonju Kim (Special Volunteer)

Preclinical Translational Research Team

  • Wei Zhang, M.D., Ph.D. (Technical Lab Manager)
  • Jinkyu Jung, Ph.D. (Staff Scientist)
  • Meili Zhang, M.D., Ph.D. (Scientist II)
  • Hua Song, Ph.D. (Scientist I)
  • Zalman Wong (CRTA Fellow)

Tissue Procurement Team

  • Susie Ahn (Biologist)
  • Nicole Briceno (Biologist)