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Lab Members

We are always looking for talented students and post-doctoral fellows to join our efforts to elucidate the pathogenesis of obstructive lung diseases, central arterial stiffening induced by diet and aging, and metastatic-invasion of cancer (spanning brain, breast, lung, melanoma and prostate).

Meet our current team...

Steven An, PhD

Steven An, PhD
Associate Professor
Department of Environmental Health and Engineering

Dr. An's primary research is focused on the airway smooth muscle cell and its role in the pathologic narrowing of the airways in asthma. He brings to this research specific expertise in cell-based analyses of smooth muscle contraction, having previously trained in the labs of Dr. Chi-Ming Hai of Brown University and Dr. Jeffrey J. Fredberg of Harvard University.

Over the years, Dr. An has been instrumental in the design and development of a suite of novel quantitative methods and, importantly, has applied them to address a range of fundamental questions in physics and biology that have direct bearing on our understanding of respiratory mechanics and lung disease.

While not in the lab, Dr. An enjoys traveling to “PARTS UNKNOWN”, exploring “BIZARRE FOODS”, and playing “STRAIGHT FLUSH” (2009 American Lung Association ‘Casino Night’ Champion).

Eric Tuday, MD, PhD
Cardiology Fellow

Eric is currently a clinical cardiology fellow now in his research training. Eric completed his PhD in the biomedical engineering department at Johns Hopkins University in the lab of Dan Berkowitz and Artin Shoukas. He graduated medical school at Northwestern University and completed his residency at Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle, WA. His primary research interests lies in the cellular and extracelluar mechanisms of pathologic vascular stiffness associated with aging. He has been working in the An lab to measure the contribution of individual cells to vascular stiffness overall.

Eric enjoys running with his two dogs, kayaking/paddle boarding, hiking, and skiing.

Wanqu (Jasen) Zhu, PhD Zhu
Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr. Zhu received his PhD degree from Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences (SIBS) of Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), where his thesis research has focused on stem cell biology. Before joining Dr. An's lab, he studied cancer biology as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Using gene editing techniques, including TALEN and CRISPR, he explored the molecular regulation of cancer cell metastasis.

Dr. Zhu is now applying CRISPR-Cas9 system to knock-down molecular targets of interests in both airway and vascular smooth muscle cells, and exploring biophysical consequences in the context of lung and cardiovascular diseases.

Outside of lab, Wanqu enjoys the life with his family. He likes traveling, swimming, playing table tennis and listening to country music.

jessieJessie Huang, BSE, PhD Student
Toxicology, Physiology & Molecular Mechanisms

Jessie joined the Department of Environmental Health and Engineering as a doctoral student in 2013. She received a Bachelor of Science in Engineering (BSE) in Bioengineering from the University of Pennsylvania, where she developed an interest in lung injury biomechanics as well as lung structure and function. Jessie’s current area of research in Dr. An’s lab involves odorant sensing in human airway smooth muscle, with particular focus on the characterization of olfactory receptors in airway smooth muscle cells.

When not in lab, Jessie enjoys reading, running, and watching The Food Network.

Hong Lam, BS, PhD Studenthong
Toxicology, Physiology & Molecular Mechanisms

Hong is a first year doctoral student from New York. He interned at Roswell Park Cancer Institute studying the effects of a novel drug on colon cancer cells and received a Bachelor of Science in biology from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where he developed an interest in diseases and pathophysiology. Hong’s current areas of research in Dr. An’s lab include elucidating the function of airway smooth muscle cells in asthma and investigating the role of GPCR's in human airway smooth muscle cells.

When not in lab, Hong likes watch movies/shows, exercise, play games and read novels.

Natalia Bexiga, MS, Visiting Scholarnatalia

Natalia joined the Department of Environmental Health and Engineering as a visiting scholar in 2017. Natalia received a Bachelor of Pharmaceutical Sciences and completed a Master's Degree in Biochemical-Pharmaceutical Technology in the field of biopolymers and biomaterials from Sao Paulo University, Brazil. She is currently enrolled in a PhD program at Sao Paulo University. Her research interest includes development of new adjuvants for biological products with an emphasis on nanobiotechnology and obstructive lung disease. Natalia’s current area of research in Dr. An’s lab involves a delivery system for anti-inflammatory interleukins with emphasis on their action on airway smooth muscle cells.

When not in lab, Natalia enjoys reading, running, being with friends and family and listening to music.

Sam Paeksam p, Research Technician
Johns Hopkins University

Sam is a recent graduate of JHU. At JHU, he double majored in Public Health Studies and History of Science & Technology. When not in not, this guy enjoys music, exploring both existential and theological studies, and playing Battle Cats.

Nguyen (Stephanie) Pham, Graduate Research Assistantstephanie-pham

Stephanie is pursuing her master in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology after receiving a Bachelor of Sciences in Biology from University of California, Irvine. During her undergraduate studies, she was a student research assistant in several research labs including endocrinology and neurobiology. Stephanie has a passion for volunteering and she is aspired to become a physician serving the underserved one day.

During her free time, Stephanie enjoys playing music, dancing, hiking, watching soccer and traveling.

Victoria Lui, Undergraduate Research Assistantvictoria lui

Victoria is in her senior year at JHU double majoring in Public Health Studies and Biology. When not in lab, she enjoys finding new places to eat, catching up on her favorite shows, and dancing.

Jenny (Jayhyun) Seo, Undergraduate Research Assistant
Johns Hopkins University

Jenny is in her junior year at JHU majoring in Public Health Studies and minoring in Psychology. When not in lab, Jenny enjoys listening to music, watching films, playing the cello, spending time with friends, and swimming.

Kevin Jin, Undergraduate Research Assistantkevin jin

Kevin is a sophomore at JHU majoring in Molecular and Cellular Biology with an interest in Public Health and mental health. While not in the lab, he can be found studying languages, playing games, reading Wikipedia, or listening to podcasts.

Shreya Narayan, Undergraduate Research Assistants-narayan

Shreya is a freshman Clark Scholar majoring in Biomedical Engineering with an interest in entrepreneurship and management, math, and music. While not in lab, she enjoys long distance running, playing her flute and veena, reading, and advocating for those with allergies and asthma.

Post-Doctoral Fellows/Visiting Scholars

  • 2012-13 - A-Rum Yoon, PhD, Yonsei University, College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea Current: Research Professor, Hanyang University, Seoul, Korea

  • Summer 2012 - Arda Akoluk, Yeditepe University Medical School, Istanbul, Turkey

  • 2013-2014 - Onur Kilic, PhD, Stanford University

  • 2013-2015 - Hwan Mee Yong, MS, Hanyang University in South Korea

Research Assistants

  • 2006-2007 - Jina Kim, BS, Material Science & Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    To: University of Michigan Medical School (MD Program)

  • 2011-2012 - Ruoqi (Rachel) Wang, BA, Public Health Studies, Johns Hopkins University To: ICF International

  • 2011-2013 - Danielle Lee, BA, Neuroscience, Johns Hopkins University
    To: Rutgers New Jersey Medical School (MD Program)

  • 2012-2013 - Eric Choi, BS, Biology, University of Maryland
    To: Yonsei University, College of Medicine (PhD Program)

  • 2013-2014 - Jung Jin Oh, BA, Psychology, Johns Hopkins University
    To: Seoul National University, School of Medicine (MD Program)

Summer Interns

  • 2013 - Breann De Santiago, Whittier College

  • 2014 - Abraham Isak, Richard Stockton College of New Jersey

  • 2014 - 2015 Randy Cruz, Johns Hopkins University

  • 2014 - Sai Putheti, Dulaney High School

  • 2014 - Nikhila Veguru, Stevens High School

  • 2015 - Maya Lapinski, Dulaney Valley High School

  • 2015 - Tiarra Joell, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine

  • 2016 - Ezekial Geffken, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine

  • 2017 - Danielle Firer, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine