Neuro-Oncology Branch: Our Teams

Group photo of NOB members standing outside
2019 Neuro-Oncology Branch group photo

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).


Administrative Team

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

Clinical Team

  • Attending Physicians

  • Clinical Collaborators

    • Brett Theeler, M.D.
  • Clinical Fellows

    • Sushant Puri, M.D.
    • Danielle Bazer, D.O. (Clinical Rotator)
  • Nurse Practitioners

    • Lisa Boris, C.R.N.P.
    • Nicole Lollo, 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.
  • Research Nurses

    • Matthew Lindsley, R.N.
    • Kelly Mentges, R.N.
    • Kathleen Wall, R.N. (NCI-CONNECT)
    • Tricia Kunst, R.N.
  • Patient Care Coordinators

    • Tracy Ani
    • Jennifer Harris
    • Kristen Oshin (NCI-CONNECT)

Brain Tumor Trials Collaborative (BTTC)

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


  • Brittany Cordeiro (Project 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)
  • Thomas Wall, M.D. (CRTA Fellow)
  • Morgan Johnson (CRTA Fellow)

Translational Immunology Team

  • Mark Gilbert, M.D. (Chief; Senior Investigator)
  • Masashi Watanabe, Ph.D. (Staff Scientist)
  • Seiya Liu (CRTA Fellow)
  • Madhura Managoli (CRTA Fellow)
  • Matthew Watowich (CRTA Fellow)
  • Tuesday Haynes (CRTA Fellow)
  • John Hancock (OxCam Fellow)
  • Emma Byrne (MRSP Fellow)

Patient Outcomes Team

  • Terri Armstrong, Ph.D. (Deputy Chief; Senior Investigator) 
  • Elizabeth Vera (Bio-Behavioral Research Analyst)
  • Alvina Acquaye (Bio-Behavioral Research Associate)
  • Vivian De Alvarenga Guedes (Staff Scientist)
  • Amanda King, Ph.D. (iCURE Fellow)
  • Macy Stockdill, Ph.D. (iCURE Fellow)
  • Kendra Adegbesan (CRTA Fellow)
  • Emily Wu (CRTA Fellow)
  • Jaime Garcia (CRTA Fellow)
  • McKenzie Kauss (CRTA Fellow)
  • Zuena Karim (CRTA Fellow)
  • Alex Wollet (Special Volunteer)

Stem Cell Team

  • Zhengping Zhuang, M.D., Ph.D. (Senior Investigator) 
  • Herui Wang, Ph.D. (Research Fellow)
  • 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)
  • Iris Indig (CRTA Fellow)
  • Yasemin Cole (OxCam Fellow)
  • Alex Valenzuela (MRSP Fellow)

Translational Research Team

  • Jing Wu, M.D., Ph.D. (Investigator) 
  • Ying Pang, Ph.D. (Visiting Fellow)
  • Belene Oudit (CRTA Fellow)
  • Zachary Sergi (CRTA Fellow)

Metabolomics Team

  • Mioara Larion, Ph.D. (Investigator)
  • Lumin Zhang, Ph.D. (Scientist I)
  • Adrian Lita, Ph.D. (Research Fellow)
  • Faris Zaibaq (CRTA Fellow)
  • Tyrone Dowdy, M.S. (Lab Technician)

Genomics Team

  • Chunzhang Yang, Ph.D. (Investigator) 
  • Yang Liu, Ph.D. (Research Fellow)
  • Fengchao Lang, Ph.D. (Visiting Fellow)
  • Yang Zhang, Ph.D. (Visiting Fellow)

Basic Immunology Team

  • Masaki Terabe, Ph.D. (Investigator)
  • Ayaka Hara, Ph.D. (Visiting Fellow)
  • Hye Kim, Ph.D. (Biologist)
  • Emily Steffke (OxCam Fellow)

Bioinformatics Team

  • Orieta Celiku, PhD (Staff Scientist)
  • Aiguo Li, PhD (Biologist)
  • Hope Miller (Research Analyst)
  • Yeonju Kim (CRTA Fellow)
  • Brandon Bergsneider (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)
  • Dionne Davis (Lab Technician)
  • Kaitlyn Slattery (CRTA Fellow)
  • Brayden Chavis (CRTA Fellow)

Tissue Procurement Team

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