Gina DeNicola Gina.DeNicola@moffitt.org

Interim Chair and Associate Member, Department of Cancer Physiology

Gina received her PhD in Cell and Molecular Biology from the University of Pennsylvania, where she studied the regulation of NRF2 by oncogenic signaling in the laboratory of David Tuveson. She did her postdoctoral work with Lewis Cantley, where she examined the regulation of cellular metabolism by NRF2. In May 2016 she established her own lab at Moffitt Cancer Center.

Aimee Falzone Aimee.Falzone@moffitt.org

Research Project Specialist

Aimee has a BA from the University of South Florida and 11 years of research experience with mouse models. She has organized and assisted in many different research projects involving transgenic mouse model colony building and maintenance, imaging, tissue collection, microsurgeries, irradiation, and cell/drug delivery. She is generating and evaluating GEMM models of lung, pancreatic and liver cancer for stable isotope infusion of tracers to study cysteine metabolism in vivo

Samantha Caldwell | Samantha.Caldwell@moffitt.org 

Research Associate II

Samantha has a B.S. from Millersville University of Pennsylvania. She previously worked as a veterinary technician but decided to take her career another direction and focus on research. She aims to expand her knowledge in metabolism in cancer working with experimental mouse models.

Nicolas Prieto Nicolas.Prieto@moffitt.org

Research Associate II

Nicolas received a B.S. in Biomedical Sciences from the University of South Florida. Parallel to his undergraduate training he gained clinical experience as a medical interpreter at the University of South Florida Bridge Clinic while shadowing Dr. Frederick Slone. Under the guidance of Dr. Chang Jiang, he is studying NRF2 regulators in lung cancer. 

Nathan Ward | Nathan.Ward@moffitt.org

Research Instructor

Nate received his PhD from the University of South Florida in the laboratory of Dominic D'Agostino, where he evaluated metabolic inhibitors for the treatment of glioblastoma. He is now extending his interest in mitochondrial metabolism to the study of mitochondrial redox regulation in lung tumorigenesis.

Laura Torrente Fernandez | Laura.TorrenteFernandez@moffitt.org

Postdoctoral Fellow

Laura received her PhD from the University of Dundee in Scotland in the laboratory of Laureano de la Vega, where she studied the regulation of NRF2 by the kinase HIPK2. Her project focuses on identification of therapeutics for NRF2/KEAP1 mutant lung tumors.  

Chang Jiang | Chang.Jiang@moffitt.org

Research Instructor | National Pancreas Foundation Grantee | K99 Grantee

Chang received her PhD from the University of Pittsburgh in the laboratory of Dr. Partha Roy, where she studied the molecular mechanisms underlying Profilin-1’s regulation of tumorigenic potential of breast cancer cells. Chang did her first postdoctoral work with Dr. Benjamin Gewurz, where she performed CRISPR/Cas9 screens to identify key regulators of CD40/NFkB signaling in human B cells. She also exploited the same strategy to identify the host B cell factors critical for Epstein-Barr virus latent to lytic switch. She is interested in identifying key regulators of KEAP1/NRF2 signaling and studying the role of KEAP1/NRF2 mutation on tumor initiation and progression.

Sang Jun Yoon | SangJun.Yoon@Moffitt.org 

Postdoctoral Fellow

Sang Jun received his PhD in Pharmaceutical Analysis from Prof. Sung Won Kwon’s laboratory at the Seoul National University in the Republic of Korea. During this time, he applied LC-MS/MS and GC-MS to the study of lipidomics and metabolomics on diverse clinical samples. He is interested in understanding metabolism through the comprehensive interrogation of mass spectrometry based stable isotope labeling and biological phenotypes.

Yumi Kim | Yumi.Kim@moffitt.org

Postdoctoral Fellow

Yumi received her PhD in the Biochemistry from the College of Korean Medicine, Kyung Hee University where she studied the regulation of lipid metabolism by natural products in pancreatic cancer in the laboratory of Hyeung Jin Jang. She did her postdoctoral work with Chang Hwa Jung, where she discovered the impaired autophagy flux in the aging lung, and also studied the role of IDH2 in longevity and aging in skeletal muscle. She now wants to explore cancer metabolism intensively. Her project in the DeNicola lab focuses on identifying key molecules for metabolic reprogramming and cancer progression using organoid models.

Janine DeBlasi | Janine.Deblasi@moffitt.org

PhD Student

Janine received her B.S. from the University of South Florida, where she performed her honors thesis work with Domenic D'Agostino. She subsequently received an M.Sc. from Oxford University. Her PhD work focuses on interrogation cooperation between KEAP1 mutation and loss of other tumor suppressors in lung adenocarcinoma. 

Cheyenne Schneider | Cheyenne.Schneider@moffitt.org

Research Associate I

Cheyenne received her B.S. in Biomedical Science from Keiser University. She received her M.S. in Molecular Medicine Research from the University of South Florida in 2022, where she completed her research project in the DeNicola lab. Cheyenne is staying on in the DeNicola lab to deepen her understanding of biology at the molecular level and expand on her laboratory techniques before continuing to the next step in her academic career. Her research focuses on the interplay between DNA damage and NRF2, and the effect of NRF2 posttranslational modifications on DNA damage repair.

Amanda Sherwood |

Undergraduate volunteer

Amanda Sherwood is an undergraduate student at the University of South Florida studying Cellular and Molecular Biology and Philosophy. Upon graduation she hopes to pursue graduate studies in Genetic Counseling. Under the guidance of Dr. Nathan Ward, she is studying mitochondrial redox regulation in lung tumorigenesis.

Anish Thalakola |

Undergraduate volunteer

Anish is an undergraduate student at the University of South Florida majoring in Biomedical Sciences. His main desire to get involved in cancer research stemmed from his undergraduate curriculum in which he sought to develop a better understanding of cancer biology and evolution. Under the guidance of Dr. Chang Jiang and Nicolas Prieto, he hopes to develop introductory lab techniques while learning more about the regulation of KEAP1/NRF2 signaling and the role KEAP1/NRF2 mutations can play in tumor initiation and progression.