Principal Investigator

Dr. Donald Durden, MD, PhD (Bio)
Vice Chair of Research, Department of Pediatrics, UC San Diego and Rady Children’s Hospital, San Diego Associate Director for Pediatric Oncology, Moores UC San Diego Cancer Center and UC San Diego School of Medicine 

 Assistant Project Scientist 

Shweta Joshi, PhD: As an Assistant Project Scientist in the Pediatrics Department at UCSD, Dr. Joshi's research is focused on the identification of pathways controlling the immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment, and finding new molecular targets for cancer therapy. She has identified a signal transduction pathway in macrophages that extends from provisional integrin α4β1 through a kinase/GTPase pair (Syk-Rac2) to control tumor immunosuppression and metastasis. Her recent study revealed that myeloid kinase promotes tumor immunosuppression and inhibits adaptive immune responses in various cancer models. Dr. Joshi is also involved in studying rationally designed dual kinase inhibitors as novel therapeutic immune-oncological agents for pancreatic cancer, and head and neck squamous carcinomas.

Lab Manager/ Staff Research Associate III

Muamera ("Mima")  Zulcic: Zulcic is designing and executing wet lab and animal-based research, focusing on the signaling pathways using in vitro and in vivo models, human specimens, as well as primary and established human cells. She is engaged in the study of Rac2-Syk signaling pathway in macrophages which is required for tumor growth, angiogenesis, and metastasis.  Zulcic is managing and overseeing the laboratory, focusing on managing daily lab operations including training new members and students, supervising and mentoring students, writing, amending and renewing all lab authorizations and protocols, monitoring lab budgets and lab inventory, as well as purchasing equipment and supplies.

Staff Research Associate I
  Daniel S.: Daniel is engaged in supporting the various ongoing projects of the project scientists, post-docs, and graduate students, as well as the general operations of the Durden Laboratory.


Visiting Graduate Student

Namood-E Sahar: Namood-e Sahar is studying the modulation of circadian rhythms in cancer cells in response to PI3K and BRD4 inhibitors.

Student Interns

Boss Le
Cynthia Phan
Lucas Romero

Past Lab Members

Adam Burgoyne (Senior Clinical Fellow)
Afshan Ahman (Student)
Alexey Efanov (Assistent Project Scientist)
Alok Singh (Project Scientist)
Amanda Amarasinghe (Lab Assistant)
Amanda Goldin (Resident)
Andrew Martin (MD Fellow)
Apurwa Adwait Shukla (Student)
Archana Mukthavaram (Volunteer)
Cassandra Wang (Student)
Carlos Noworny (Student)
Corey Cheung(Student)
Dhananjaya Pal (Postdoctoral Scholar)
Felix To (Student)
Francisco Vega (Visiting Scholar)
Michael Alcaraz (Lab Assistant)
Mingyu Hu (Student)
Mrudula Bhuvanagiri (Student)
Jasmine Massoumi (Student)
Joshua Lange (Student)
Lisa Hartman (MD Fellow)
Mohar Chattopadhyay, Ph.D. (Postdoctoral Fellow)
Neeha Ravula (Student)
Nicholas LaCivita (Student)
Olivia Tucci (Student)
Salvatore Fanale (Staff Research Associate)
Sharanbir Gill (Student)
Tracey Huynh (Student)