Florian A. Karreth, Ph.D.

Principal Investigator

I grew up in Germany and Austria and received M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in Genetics from the University of Vienna. I have a longstanding interest in developing new mouse models to study cancer biology in an in vivo setting. Using these mouse models, I aim to identify new protein-coding and non-coding cancer genes, characterize their function in cancer development, and test their suitability as drug targets. 

florian.karreth@moffitt.org  -  Curriculum vitae

Xiaonan Xu, M.D./Ph.D.

Research Scientist I

I received my M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from Zhongshan School of Medicine, Sun Yat-sen University, China. My previous research was mainly focused on deregulation of signaling networks in lung cancer. In the Karreth lab I will identify critical genes in amplified genomic regions in metastatic melanoma, investigate their biological functions and their underlying mechanisms, and validate their therapeutic potential using ESC-GEMMs.


Manon Chadourne, Ph.D.

Postdoc Fellow

I obtained my Ph.D. from Paris Saclay University in France where I studied lncRNAs regulated by the TOPAZ1, a protein essential for the meiosis of male germ cells. My work identified an important role for the lncRNA 4930463O16Rik in the production and motility of spermatozoa. In the Karreth lab, I study ncRNA to identify and characterize new lncRNA involved in melanoma development.




Zulaida Soto Vargas, Ph.D.

Postdoc Fellow

I'm originally from San Sebastian, Puerto Rico. I received my Ph.D. degree from Purdue University. My doctoral thesis project focused in studying the impact of KRAS mutation in extracellular vesicles mediated cancer phenotypes in lung cancer. In Karreth Lab, I investigate the mechanisms behind MAFG, a transcription factor involved in melanoma progression.



Neel Jasani

Graduate Student

I came to the USA to obtain a Masters degree in Pharmacology and Toxicology. Before joining the Cancer Biology PhD program at Moffitt, I worked at Memorial Sloan Kettering for almost two years on the mechanisms underlying PI3K inhibitor resistance using CRISPR knockout screens. In the Karreth lab I study the molecular mechanisms underlying melanoma development and resistance. I am also interested in understanding the role of long non-coding RNA’s in melanomagenesis.



Kaizhen Wang

Graduate Student

I received my Bachelor of Medicine degree from Capital Medical University, Beijing, China. My undergraduate research work focused on the regulation of DNA methylation in HPV negative cervical cancer. Currently, I’m a first year Cancer Biology PhD student in the Karreth lab.



Nicol Mecozzi

Graduate Student

I am from Italy and received my Bachelor's Degree from the University of Pisa where I studied cell proliferation, metastasis, and chemoresistance in human tumor xenografts in Zebrafish. I am working on my PhD Degree thesis in the Karreth Lab, focusing on the identification and characterization of novel circular RNAs involved in melanoma.




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Nhan Phan

Research Associate II 



Crystal Griffith

Research Associate II

I am from Guyana and received a B.S. in Biomedical Sciences from the University of South Florida. Before joining the Karreth lab, I worked with Dr. Robert Gillies’ team investigating the mechanisms regulating lipid accumulation and their role in survival under acid stress in breast cancer. In the Karreth lab, I am investigating the role of long non-coding RNA involved in the development of melanoma. 


Rachel Kogan

Undergraduate Student

I grew up in New York and am currently finishing my Bachelor’s Degree of Biomedical Sciences at USF. I am currently applying to graduate programs for a PhD in Biomedical Sciences with a focus on Cancer Biology. I intern under Kaizhen Wang’s mentorship, and work with her on elucidating the non-canonical RNA binding function of the MYBL2 transcription factor in driving melanoma progression. 




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Cassandra Montjoy

Undergraduate Student 





picture coming soon



Shivani Prabu

Undergraduate Student 



Norma Pagan

Associate Grants Administrator II

I was born and raised in Bronx, New York (home of the Yankees!), but am loving life in Florida.  I enjoy spending time outdoors with my family and friends, and enjoy taking in all the natural beauty this state has to offer.  I am honored to be part of the Moffitt family.  Even though I’m just a little grain of sand in this huge endeavor to find a cure for cancer, I believe someday we will!




coming soon

Angel Ball

Associate Grants Administrator I





Nicole Vincelette -- Postdoc (2016-2017)

Koji Nakamura -- Postdoc (2017-2020) -- Assistant Professor, Osaka University, Japan

Olga Vera Puente -- Postdoc (2018-2023) -- Sara Borrell Fellow, La Paz University, Madrid, Spain



Ilah Bok -- Graduate Student (2016 - 2022) -- Postdoc, Ben Major Lab, WUSTL

Tiffany Arnold -- Master Student, Biotechnology (2017)

Oluwashanu Balogun -- Master Student, Biotechnology (2018)



Sara Tran -- Lab Manager (2016 - 2017)

Andrew Nyein -- Research Associate (2016-2017)

Keenan Kushner -- Undergraduate Student and Research Associate (2017-2018)

Jordan Reff -- Research Assistant (2018-2019)

Ariana Angarita -- Research Associate (2019-2020)

Ben Posorske -- Research Associate II (2019-2020)

Michael Martinez -- Undergraduate Student and Research Associate II (2021-2024)


Rotation and Undergraduate Students

Kayla Harrington -- Rotation Student, Cancer Biology (2016)

Brianna Sellers -- Rotation Student, Cancer Biology (2017)

Timothy Keeley -- SPARK student (2018)

Jessica Mandula -- Rotation Student, Cancer Biology (2018)

Jacob Sullivan -- SPARK student (2019)

Colyn White -- Undergraduate Student (2019-2020)

Rachel Sullivan -- Undergraduate Student (2019-2020)

Jorge Cadrillo -- Undergraduate Student (2019-2020)

Nick Spinosa -- Rotation Student, Cancer Biology (2021)

Nicole Wang -- Volunteer, USF Master's Program (2021-2022)

Sabrina Chowdhury -- Volunteer, USF Master's Program (2021-2022)

Athulya Kuruvilla -- Undergraduate Student (2022)