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Current lab members



Aleksandra Babicheva, PhD, Assistant Project Scientist

Dr. Babicheva is an experienced cell and molecular biologist. Her research is focused on investigating the pathogenic roles of microRNA and endothelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EndMT) in the development and progression of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). She also has expertise in isolated pulmonary artery ring tension experiments.


Pritesh P. Jain, PhD, Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Dr. Jain is an experienced animal physiologist and pharmacologist. His research is focused on studying mechanisms of alveolar hypoxia-induced pulmonary vasoconstriction using isolated and perfused/ventilated lungs and screening new drugs for the treatment of experimental pulmonary hypertension using in vivo pharmacological experiments. He is proficient in right heart catheterization in mice, development of mouse pulmonary hypertension models, and mouse lung angiography.


Tengteng Zhao, M.S., Staff Research Associate

Mr. Zhao is an experienced electrophysiologist. His research is focused on investigating pathogenic role of the transient receptor potential (TRP) channels and the voltage-gated K+ (Kv) channels in the development and progression of pulmonary arterial hypertension. He has expertise in recording whole-cell and single-channel ionic currents in both primary and cultured pulmonary arterial smooth muscle cells and endothelial cells using the patch clamp technique. 


Jiyuan (Era) Chen, M.D., Visiting Graduate Student 

Dr. Chen is an experienced cell biologist and organ physiologist. Her research is focused on investigating the molecular mechanism involved in the contractile-to-proliferative phenotypical transition of vascular smooth muscle cells and its potential pathogenic role in the development of pulmonary vascular disease. She also study the role of mechanosensitive channels in the regulation of PASMC proliferation. She is proficient in cell culture, electrophoreses, Western blotting, animal handling (mice and rats). 



Jian Wang, MD, Associate Project Scientist (50% effort) 

Dr. Wang is an experienced physician-scientist with extensive expertise in translational research on pulmonary vascular disease. He is currently involved in using isolated pulmonary arterial rings from normal and pulmonary hypertensive animals to study the role of various ion channels and membrane receptors in the development of hypoxic pulmonary vasoconstriction. 



Ryan Powers, Undergraduate Research Student

Mr. Powers is a senior majored in Neurobiology at UCSD. He is working with Dr. Babicheva to study cellular and molecular biological mechanisms involved in pulmonary arterial smooth muscle and endothelial cell proliferation and apoptosis using in vitro and in vivo experimental approaches.


Cole G. Paquin, Undergraduate Research Student

Mr. Paquin is a junior majored in Chemistry with a minor in Biology. He is working with Dr. Babicheva on genotyping transgenic and knockout mice to investigate the pathogenic role of Notch and Ca2+ signaling in pulmonary hypertension and right heart failure using various mouse models.


Sophia Parmisano, Undergraduate Research Student

Ms. Parmisano is a freshman majored in Human Biology with a minor of Health Care-Social Issues at UCSD. She is working with Dr. Jain on examining cellular mechanisms of alveolar hypoxia-induced pulmonary vasoconstriction using an ex vivo mouse model. She is also assisting in in vivo pharmacological experiments using mice and rats with experimental pulmonary hypertension.


Manjia (Mary) Zhao, Undergraduate Research Student

Ms. Zhao is a senior majored in Biochemistry and Chemistry at UCSD. She is working with Dr. Era Chen on studying the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in the contractile-to-proliferative phenotypical transition of pulmonary vascular smooth muscle cells using in vitro and ex vivo models. She is also working with lab members to design scientific diagrams and graphs for presentation.


Moreen Matti, Undergraduate Research Student

Ms. Matti is a pre-med junior majored in Human Biology at UCSD. She is working with Drs. Era Chen, Alex Babicheva and Pritesh Jain on a new project to use single-cell RNAseq technique to investigate gene expression profile in surgically removed lung tissues and cells from patients with chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension.