Bhupal Ban

Bhupal Ban, PhD

Senior Staff Scientist, Pharmaceutical Biotechnology Center

Bhupal Ban

Bhupal Ban, PhD

Senior Staff Scientist, Pharmaceutical Biotechnology Center

Bhupal Ban, Ph.D., joined the IBRI in March 2019 as Senior Staff Scientist in the IBRI’s Pharmaceutical Biotechnology Center (PBC). In this role, he will be responsible for defining and executing molecular engineering strategies designed to optimize the biological activity and pharmaceutical properties of lead monoclonal antibody candidates.

Prior to the IBRI, and since 2015, Dr. Ban served as an Assistant Professor of Research and Director of the Antibody and Engineering Technology Core in the Department of Cell Biology at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Va. While at UVA, he was recognized as having the outstanding research core of the year for 2016. Prior to UVA and since 2013, he served as Research Associate in the College of Pharmacy at Xavier University in New Orleans, La. From 2011 to 2013, he was a Postdoctoral Researcher at Tulane University’s School of Medicine, also in New Orleans.

Dr. Ban’s corporate experience includes working in the Bioscience Division of Los Alamos National Laboratory in Los Alamos, N.M., and serving as Senior Research Scientist and Project Leader for MedyTox Inc. in South Korea where he was recognized as outstanding researcher of the year in 2008.

A native of Nepal, Dr. Ban earned his B.S. in Biological Sciences from Tri-bhuvan University in Nepal, and his M.S. in Organic Chemistry, also from Tri-bhuvan University. He earned his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Sun Moon University in South Korea, where he also served as a Doctoral Researcher.  He has published more than two dozen papers and presentation abstracts and holds three patents.

Partha Banerjee

Partha Banerjee, PhD

Staff Scientist, Pharmaceutical Biotechnology Center

Partha Banerjee

Partha Banerjee, PhD

Staff Scientist, Pharmaceutical Biotechnology Center

Partha Banerjee, Ph.D., joined the IBRI September 2018 as Staff Scientist in the Pharmaceutical Biotechnology Center (PBC).  In this role, he is responsible for the general research and development of new and existing protein therapeutics.

Prior to the IBRI and since 2011, he was a Postdoctoral Fellow and then a Research Associate in Biological Chemistry at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Md. From 2006 to 2011, he was a Ph.D. Candidate in the Chemical Biology Group State University of New York (SUNY) at Stony Brook, N.Y. He received the Chemistry Award for Excellence in Doctoral Research from SUNY in 2011. From 2005 to 2006, he served as a Research Assistant in Microbiology at the Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology in New Delhi, Indiana.

Dr. Banerjee earned his Ph.D. in Chemical Biology from SUNY at Stony Brook, N.Y., and his M.S. in Chemistry from University of Delhi in New Delhi, India. He earned his B.S. in  Chemistry from St. Stephens College, also in New Delhi. He holds one patent and has been responsible for the publication of nearly a dozen articles related to microbiological research and human metabolic diseases.

Whitney Bullock

Whitney Bullock

Postdoctoral Fellow, Pharmaceutical Biotechnology Center

Whitney Bullock

Whitney Bullock

Postdoctoral Fellow, Pharmaceutical Biotechnology Center

Whitney Bullock joined the IBRI in December 2019. She spends half of her time as a postdoctoral fellow with the Indiana University (IU) School of Medicine and the other half here at the IBRI researching mechanotransduction in bone and developing antibodies targeting the Wnt signaling pathway in bone mechanotransduction.

Prior to joining the IBRI, Whitney worked on her PhD at IU, where she explored the role of mechanical signaling in regulating bone biology. While completing her PhD she generated new mouse models using both ES cell line and Crispr/Cas9 gene editing technologies, and phenotyped these novel genetic mutations using radiographic, histological, biochemical and other analyses.

She also mentored undergraduate students and served as a teaching assistant for the Biomedical Engineering Biomechanics laboratory course in Biomedical Engineering at Purdue University.

Whitney obtained her bachelor’s degree in Animal Sciences from Purdue University in 2010. She earned her Doctor of Philosophy in Cell Biology and Anatomy from Indiana University in 2019.

William Carter

William Carter

Research Associate, IBRI Diabetes Center

William Carter

William Carter

Research Associate, IBRI Diabetes Center

William (Bill) Carter joined the IBRI in July 2019 as a research associate in the IBRI Diabetes Center (IDC). In this role he is establishing a lab to facilitate various cell studies that will support the IDC’s regenerative  medicine program and other diabetes research efforts.

Before joining the IBRI and since 2014, he worked on his family’s Indiana farm where he was able to apply his extensive scientific and research background to crop genetics and animal breeding and nutrition. From 2003 to 2014, he served as manager of the Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis (IUPUI) Transgenic Core Facility (TGF) in Indianapolis where he ran multiple cell manipulation studies. He also served as the TGF’s research technician from 2001 to 2003.

Bill earned his B.S. and M.S., both in Biology from Ball State University in Muncie, Ind.

Craig Connors

Craig Connors

Assistant Research Associate, IBRI Diabetes Center

Craig Connors

Craig Connors

Assistant Research Associate, IBRI Diabetes Center

Craig Connors is an assistant research associate in the Mastracci lab, in the IBRI Diabetes Center (IDC). In this role, he is assisting with the analysis of genetic mouse models, which will provide a greater understanding of beta cell growth and regeneration.

He joined the Mastracci lab at the IBRI in 2017 first as a zebrafish technician before moving into his current role. Zebrafish are a model system used in diabetes research, especially for the study of pancreas development given that they closely resemble human organogenesis. Prior to the IBRI and since 2017, he was operations manager at The Reef Aquarium Shop in Indianapolis where he cared for and treated inventory, quarantined new arrivals as needed and ensured proper balance of freshwater and saltwater systems. Before working at the aquarium shop and since 2015, he worked as a husbandry and lab technician at the Herman B. Wells Research Center at Indiana University School of Medicine where he also maintained zebrafish systems for diverse experiments.

He earned his B.S. in Biology from Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis (IUPUI).

Robert Considine

Robert Considine, PhD

Professor of Medicine, Director, IBRI Diabetes Center

Robert Considine

Robert Considine, PhD

Professor of Medicine, Director, IBRI Diabetes Center

Robert V. Considine, Ph.D., joined the Division of Endocrinology at the Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis, Ind., as an Assistant Professor in 1997 and was promoted to Professor in 2013. Prior to his appointment at the IU School of Medicine, he was on the faculty of the Department of Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, Pa., where he had completed his doctoral training.

Dr. Considine’s research is focused on understanding the contribution of obesity to the development of diabetes and its complications. In early work, his lab made seminal observations about the function of the adipose tissue hormone leptin in humans.  More recently, the Considine lab has focused on the effects of bariatric surgery to alter gut hormone release and improve glucose homeostasis and insulin sensitivity.  In collaboration with David Kareken, Ph.D., at the IU School of Medicine, Dr. Considine is also utilizing neuroimaging techniques to understand the reward system response to food cues in human subjects.  

Dr. Considine is currently the Associate Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded Diabetes Center at the IU School of Medicine, and oversees the Analyte Laboratory, which provides quantitation of adipokines, cytokines, gut peptides and hormones from human and animal samples.  He is also the Statewide Director for Endocrine and Reproductive Biology, a second-year course in the IU School of Medicine curriculum. 

Stephane Demine

Stephane Demine

Postdoctoral Fellow, IBRI Diabetes Center

Stephane Demine

Stephane Demine

Postdoctoral Fellow, IBRI Diabetes Center

Stephane Demine is a postdoctoral fellow working in the Lilly Diabetes Center of Excellence located here in the Diabetes Center. He works with Decio Eizirik, whom he partnered with at the University of Brussels.

While at the University of Brussels, he helped to identify new biomarkers suitable for the in vivo imaging of pancreatic beta cells, in collaboration with other universities (University of Mons, University of Brussels (VIB)) and industrial partners (Eurogentec). The most-advanced probe, a short camelid antibody targeting DPP6, was recently shown to accumulate in human beta cells grafted in mice and to correlate with the number of cells transplanted. The preclinical development of these probes is continuing at the IBRI Diabetes Center.

He also focused on the characterization of beta cells derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC). He showed that human iPSC-derived beta cells respond to pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-1β + IFNγ and IFNα), by activating the same pathogenic processes as adult human primary beta cells. These cells thus represent a valuable tool for future research on the pathogenesis of type 1 diabetes. His future goal is to use this cell model to better understand how some single nucleotide polymorphisms are associated to type 1 diabetes developments.

Stephane obtained his PhD at the University of Namur in Belgium in 2016, where he worked extensively on the elucidation of the molecular mechanisms triggered by a mild mitochondrial uncoupling in white adipocytes, a new anti-obesity therapeutic approach.

Doreen Eastes

Doreen Eastes

Research Associate, Pharmaceutical Biotechnology Center (PBC)

Doreen Eastes

Doreen Eastes

Research Associate, Pharmaceutical Biotechnology Center (PBC)

Doreen Eastes is a research associate in the IBRI’s Pharmaceutical Biotechnology Center (PBC), which she joined in June 2019. In this role, she is responsible for establishing hybridoma production capabilities and development of new and existing protein therapeutics.

She joined the IBRI in 2016 as a research analyst in the IBRI’s then Single Cell Analytics Center, which was phased out in the spring of 2019 to pursue external commercialization of its diagnostic platform. Prior to the IBRI, and since 2015, she was a research technician in the Wells Center for Pediatric Research at Indiana University (IU) School of Medicine in Indianapolis. Before that and since 1998, she served as an assistant diabetes research scientist at Eli Lilly and Company, Indianapolis, and then as a research associate at PreClinOmics, also in Indianapolis. Her broad scientific experience also included research at Scherling-Plough Animal Health in Mundelein, Ill., Interdisciplinary Center for Cell Products and Technologies (ICCPT) in Terre Haute, Ind., and at Pitman-Moore Inc., also in Terre Haute.

Doreen earned her B.S. in microbiology from Indiana University (IU) in Bloomington, Ind., and her M.A. in microbiology, also from IU-Bloomington.

Decio Eizirik

Decio Eizirik, MD, PhD

Investigator, IBRI Diabetes Center

Decio Eizirik

Decio Eizirik, MD, PhD

Investigator, IBRI Diabetes Center

Dr. Eizirik is Full Professor and Director of the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) Center for Diabetes Research, Brussels, Belgium, and a member of the ULB medical faculty. He is also an Investigator for the Indiana Biosciences Research Institute (IBRI), Indianapolis.

He has published more than 350 full papers and reviews in peer-reviewed international journals and has received several national and international prizes, including the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) Diabetes Care Research Award in 1998; the “2012 Albert Renold Prize Lecture for Outstanding Achievements in Research on the Islets of Langerhans” awarded by the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) in 2012, and the “2013 Rumbough Award for outstanding achievements in type 1 diabetes research” awarded by the JDRF.

Dr. Eizirik is listed by the ISI Essential Science Indicators among the 1 percent most cited scientists in Clinical Medicine and Biology & Biochemistry, with an h-index of 78. He has served as Honorary (Scientific) Secretary of the EASD and as Deputy Editor of Diabetologia, the official journal of the EASD. His research focuses on the molecular mechanisms regulating insulitis and beta cell apoptosis in type 1 diabetes, pancreatic beta cell imaging, generation of beta cells from inducible pluripotent cells and on the search for novel approaches to prevent the progressive loss of beta cell mass in diabetes.

Parker Evans

Parker Evans

PhD Student, IBRI Diabetes Center

Parker Evans

Parker Evans

PhD Student, IBRI Diabetes Center

Parker Evans is a Bioenergetics and Exercise Science PhD student in Carol Witczak’s lab. He is working with Carol to complete his research for his PhD, which focuses on the subcellular localization of Glucose Transporter 6 (GLUT6) in skeletal muscle, as well as the role of GLUT6 in functional overload, a rodent model of resistance exercise.

Prior to joining the IBRI, Parker was a presenter at the FASEB Science Research Conference focused on The Regulation of Glucose Metabolism. His presentation centered around research about how female mice are protected against high fat diet-induced hyperinsulinemia and insulin resistance but not hyperglycemia or glucose intolerance compared to males.

Parker obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Science from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, in 2017.

Jonathan Flak

Jonathan Flak

Assistant Investigator, IBRI Diabetes Center

Jonathan Flak

Jonathan Flak

Assistant Investigator, IBRI Diabetes Center

Jonathan Flak joined the IBRI in September 2019. Immediately upon arrival he began setting up his own lab within the IBRI Diabetes Center. In his lab, Jonathan will focus on studying the central nervous system’s regulation of glucose metabolism as it relates to diabetes.

More specifically, Jonathan will build on work he began at the University of Michigan that is aimed at distinguishing markers for ventromedial hypothalamic neurons involved in glycemic regulation from the rest of the nucleus, a known brain area critical to balancing glucose, to help determine new targets/brain systems that may prove important in future therapeutics. He plans to identify the downstream systems from these subsets of ventromedial hypothalamic neurons to establish the mechanisms of how the brain can tune metabolic function (e.g. energy expenditure, glucose uptake and glucose mobilization).

Prior to establishing his lab here at the IBRI, Jonathan worked in the lab of Martin Myers at the University of Michigan. This project was an outgrowth from his work in this lab, where he began using cre-dependent mouse models and viral systems to study leptin action in the brainstem periaqueductal gray and lateral parabrachial nuclei. His work with Prof. Myers led to research published in Nature Neuroscience and the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

Jonathan received his Bachelor of Science degree in Biopsychology and Cognitive Sciences with honors from the University of Michigan in 2004. And, he obtained his PhD in Neuroscience from the University of Cincinnati in 2011.

Dylan Frabutt

Dylan Frabutt, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow, Bioanalytical Technologies

Dylan Frabutt

Dylan Frabutt, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow, Bioanalytical Technologies

Dr. Frabutt is a postdoctoral fellow that is currently collaborating with Alexander Efanov at Eli Lilly and Company. He is a Microbiologist with experience working with human viruses and host viral restriction factors, specializing in the study of the endoplasmic reticulum-associated degradation of misfolded viral envelope proteins. He joined the IBRI under the direction of Micheal Pugia to facilitate the optimization and delivery of the SIERRA nanoparticle diagnostic technology.

Prior to the IBRI, he was a graduate research assistant in the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at Michigan State University.

Dr. Frabutt earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Microbiology at the University of Michigan-Dearborn in 2012. He received his PhD in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics in 2018 from Michigan State University in East Lansing.

Anna Geisinger

Anna Geisinger

Research Associate, Bioanalytical Technologies

Anna Geisinger

Anna Geisinger

Research Associate, Bioanalytical Technologies

Anna Geisinger is a research associate in the IBRI’s Bioanalytical Technologies group. Bioanalytical Technologies supports all of the IBRI’s research centers by helping to innovate the next generation of bioanalytical systems and methods. In her role, Anna is responsible for cell and bacteria culture, assay validation and protocol development, and molecular analysis.

Anna joined the IBRI in November of 2017 as a research analyst in the IBRI’s Single Cell Analytics Center (SCAC), which developed a technology platform to ultimately achieve the diagnosis of infections and diseases from a single cell. With the efforts to commercialize the platform externally, in May 2019, the SCAC transitioned to the internal Bioanalytical Technologies support group.

From 2016 to before joining the IBRI, Anna served as a microbiologist with the Indiana State Department of Health Laboratories. She was responsible for assay development and testing, clinical testing, and outbreak monitoring. From 2011 to 2016, she served as a contractor research associate at then Dow AgroSciences (now Corteva Agriscience) responsible for nucleic acid and protein isolation, molecular analysis, and high-throughput experience associated with DNA isolation and analysis.

Anna earned her B.S. in biology from Indiana University in Bloomington, Ind., with minors in chemistry and Spanish. While at IU, she also served as an undergraduate teaching assistant in the biology department.

Steven Haney

Steven Haney, PhD

Research Director, Pharmaceutical Biotechnology Center

Steven Haney

Steven Haney, PhD

Research Director, Pharmaceutical Biotechnology Center

Steven Haney, Ph.D., joined the IBRI in July 2018 as Research Fellow in the IBRI’s Pharmaceutical Biotechnology Center. In his role as Research Director, he is responsible for establishing the protein expression and production cores, as well as developing biological support for emerging therapeutics.

Prior to the IBRI, and since 2012, Dr. Haney served as a Senior Research Advisor and Group Leader, and Senior Research Advisor at Eli Lilly and Company, Indianapolis, IN. His research focus at Lilly was on quantitative biology discovery chemistry and research technologies, and oncology translational research. Prior to Lilly, he was a consultant to the Yale Medical Center for Molecular Discovery, New Haven, CT. He also held various senior, principal and management scientific research positions at Pfizer Research and Wyeth Research, both Cambridge, MA, and at Cadus Pharmaceutical Corporation, Tarrytown, NY.

Dr. Haney earned a B.S. in Biochemistry from the State University of New York, Stony Brook, NY, and a Ph.D., in Biological Chemistry from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI and was a Research Fellow in the Department of Molecular Biology at Princeton University, Princeton, NJ. He co-holds the patent for methods of modulating apoptosis using inhibitors of brain-localized protein kinases. He has authored or co-authored more than 25 publications, and has authored more than 30 commentaries, reviews and book chapters, and is the editor of two books on High Content Screening. He is currently President of the Society for Biomolecular Imaging and Informatics.

June Javens-Wolfe

June Javens-Wolfe, PhD

Research Associate, Pharmaceutical Biotechnology Center

June Javens-Wolfe

June Javens-Wolfe, PhD

Research Associate, Pharmaceutical Biotechnology Center

June Javens-Wolfe, Ph.D., joined the IBR as a Research Analyst in December 2018 in the Pharmaceutical Biotechnology Center (PBC). In her current role as Research Associate, she is responsible for the general research and development of new and existing protein therapeutics.

Prior to the IBRI and since 2015, she worked for two contractors for Eli Lilly and Company in Indianapolis – Advanced Testing Laboratory as a Biology Project Coordinator, and with Eurofins Lancaster Laboratories as a Biochemist in BioProduct Development. From 2004 to 2013, she served as a visiting research associate and graduate research assistant at Indiana University-Bloomington, Ind., and from 2013 to 2014, she held adjunct faculty positions at DePauw University in Greencastle, Ind., and at IU-Bloomington.

She has been responsible for several significant research accomplishments, including being the lead author of a research article on the cellular localization of microbial polysaccharide export proteins published in Molecular Microbiology. Dr. Javens-Wolfe earned her Ph.D. in molecular, cellular and developmental biology from IU-Bloomington, and a B.A. in biology from DePauw University.

David Johnson

David Johnson

Assistant Research Associate, IBRI Diabetes Center

David Johnson

David Johnson

Assistant Research Associate, IBRI Diabetes Center

David Johnson joined the IBRI in November 2019 as an assistant research associate in the IBRI Diabetes Center (IDC). In this role, he will work with Johnathan Flak to study the central nervous system’s regulation of glucose metabolism as it relates to diabetes.

David was previously a study technician at Covance Laboratories in Greenfield, IN, where he performed absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion (ADME), good laboratory practice and toxicology research studies. He also was responsible for the collection and documentation of pertinent data, including test material administration, sample collections and sample processing. While studying at Michigan State University, he served as a teaching assistant in the Charles Drew Science Scholars Program and was an undergraduate research intern in the College of Veterinary Medicine.

David received his bachelor’s degree in neuroscience – cognitive and computational from Michigan State University in East Lansing, Mich.

Nathan LeRoy

Nathan LeRoy

Assistant Research Associate, Pharmaceutical Biotechnology Center

Nathan LeRoy

Nathan LeRoy

Assistant Research Associate, Pharmaceutical Biotechnology Center

Nathan LeRoy is an assistant research associate in the IBRI’s Pharmaceutical Biotechnology Center (PBC), effective May 2019. In this role, he is responsible for the general research and development of new and existing protein therapeutics.

Before joining the IBRI and since 2016, he was a research assistant with Tantama Research Group in West Lafayette, Ind., where he was involved in the research of foundational molecular biology and fluorescent protein purification/characterization methods. In the summer of 2018, he served as a computational biologist intern at Eli Lilly and Company in Indianapolis.

Nathan earned his B.S. in biological engineering from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind.

Teresa Mastracci

Teresa Mastracci, PhD

Assistant Investigator, IBRI Diabetes Center

Teresa Mastracci

Teresa Mastracci, PhD

Assistant Investigator, IBRI Diabetes Center

Teresa Mastracci, PhD, was hired as the first independent investigator to commence innovative scientific research at the Institute in the spring of 2016. Dr. Mastracci is a molecular and developmental biologist who comes to the IBRI from the Indiana University School of Medicine where she was an Assistant Research Professor in the Department of Pediatrics, the Herman B Wells Center for Pediatric Research, and the Center for Diabetes and Metabolic Diseases.

Mastracci completed her post-secondary education in Canada, earning her bachelor’s degree from the University of Guelph, and her PhD from the University of Toronto at the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute. Mastracci moved on to postdoctoral studies at Columbia University and the Naomi Berrie Center for Diabetes Research in New York. Here she merged her interests in developmental biology and human disease by studying how the pancreatic insulin-producing beta cell develops and functions in the normal and diabetic contexts. In 2007, Mastracci was named the Naomi Berrie Fellow in Diabetes Research and was granted research support by the Russell Berrie Foundation. Subsequently in 2010, she was awarded a prestigious Postdoctoral Fellowship from the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), which continued to support her career development and research. Together these fellowships were instrumental in launching Mastracci’s career in the field of diabetes research, and as a result she was recruited to the Indiana University School of Medicine where she continued to grow her research.

Currently, Mastracci is focused on understanding how pathways that direct protein synthesis drive the development and differentiation of the hormone-producing islet cells in the pancreas. This research is funded in part by a prestigious Career Development Award from the JDRF. The research goal of Mastracci's lab is to discover pathways that can be exploited to create new treatments that provoke the regeneration of the insulin-producing beta cells that are dysfunctional or destroyed in people with diabetes.

In addition to her primary appointment at the IBRI, Mastracci holds an adjunct Assistant Professor faculty position in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Indiana University School of Medicine. In 2017, Mastracci was recognized as one of the Indianapolis Business Journal's Forty Under 40 rising stars.

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Mastracci Lab

Studying the signals that permit pancreas development and beta cell regeneration, with the goal to generate novel therapeutics for type 1 diabetes.

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Brad Mills

Brad Mills

Lead Data Scientist, Applied Data Sciences Center

Brad Mills

Brad Mills

Lead Data Scientist, Applied Data Sciences Center

Brad Mills is lead data scientist with the IBRI’s Applied Data Sciences Center (ADSC), which he joined in June 2018. In his current role, he is the project lead for the Collaborative Toxicogenomics Partnership with Corteva Agriscience and Eli Lilly and Company (Lilly), which seeks to deliver a data-driven platform to improve the safety predictions for newly discovered molecules.

Before joining the IBRI, Brad worked at Lilly in Indianapolis since 1988 in all facets of data science and analytics, and IT related to biomarkers, oncology, structural biology, animal health informatics; and bioinformatics, including genomics, sequencing and protein discovery. From 1994 to 1995, he took an educational leave from Lilly to work at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications in Urbana, Ill. He co-developed the Biology Workbench, a data integration and query framework for the early World Wide Web. He also served as an intern with Bell Northern Research, the research division of Northern Telecom.

Brad earned his B.S. in computer science at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind., and his M.S. in computer science from the University of Illinois in Urbana, Ill. He holds graduate certificates in bioinformatics and applied statistics from the Stanford University in Stanford, Calif., and from Texas A&M University in College Station, Tex., respectively.

Mustapha Moussaif

Mustapha Moussaif, PhD

Senior Staff Scientist, Pharmaceutical Biotechnology Center

Mustapha Moussaif

Mustapha Moussaif, PhD

Senior Staff Scientist, Pharmaceutical Biotechnology Center

Mustapha Moussaif, Ph.D., joined the IBRI in January 2019 as Senior Staff Scientist in the Pharmaceutical Biotechnology Center (PBC).  In this role, he is responsible for establishing operational platforms for biotherapeutic antibody discovery, lead optimization and developability.

Prior to the IBRI, he worked as Scientist in the Bio-Therapeutics/Lead Engineering group with Boehringer-Ingelheim in Ridgefield, CT. Prior to that, he was a Senior Scientist in Biotherapeutics Discovery at the Icahn Medical School in Mount Sanai, NY. and worked as a Research Scientist at New York University in New York City. From 2004 to 2010, he was a Research Associated with the department of molecular pharmacology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City.

Dr. Moussaif also served as Postdoctoral Research Associate in Biochemistry, Biophysics and Molecular Biology at the University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, and as a Postdoctoral Fellow at Wayne State University in Detroit, Mich. He earned his Ph.D. in Biology and Biological Sciences from the University of Liège, Liège, Belgium, and his B.S. in Cellular and Molecular Biology from the University Abdel Malek Essaadi in Morocco. He has published and contributed to the publication of more than 15 research articles.

Meeta Pradhan

Meeta Pradhan, PhD

Senior Data Scientist, Applied Data Sciences Center

Meeta Pradhan

Meeta Pradhan, PhD

Senior Data Scientist, Applied Data Sciences Center

Adjunct Assistant Research Professor, School of Informatics and Computing, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI)

Meeta Pradhan, PhD, earned her Master of Technology degree from the University Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai, in 1995. She then went on to earn her Doctorate of Technology from the same institution in 2000. Dr. Pradhan has a Master of Science degree in Cheminformatics from IUPUI. Additionally, she earned a Post Doctorate degree in 2004 and again in 2006, form IUPUI and the University of Missouri Columbia, respectively. 

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Michael Pugia

Michael Pugia, PhD

Investigator and Director, Bioanalytical Technologies

Michael Pugia

Michael Pugia, PhD

Investigator and Director, Bioanalytical Technologies

Michael Pugia, Ph.D., is an Investigator and Director of the Indiana Biosciences Research Institute's (IBRI) Bioanalytical Technologies group, effective May 2019. Before that, he served as Director of the IBRI’s Single Cell Analytics Center leading the efforts to develop new single-cell bioanalytical technology for measuring proteomic biomarkers as targeted diagnostics for the fields of endocrinology, oncology and infectious disease.

Prior to joining the IBRI, Michael spent 30 years in the biomedical in-vitro diagnostic industry for the Bayer and then Siemens diagnostic divisions. In his roles at Bayer and Siemens he contributed to 21 new product launches that have since produced more than 25 billion test results worldwide. Some of the products also helped to establish new, cost effective healthcare programs, such as Japan’s use of microalbumin/creatinine ratio for annual mass screening of all children for kidney disease.

He spent 15 of those 30 years as a director of research and development working on new systems and methods for point of care (POC) diagnostics and hospital laboratories. Additionally, he spent 20 years leading next generation analytical and diagnostic technology research teams in collaboration with leading design house, health care institutions, universities and technology companies around the world. In his last eight years, he served as a principle key expert for Siemens’ Healthcare sector in Strategic Innovations and lead the Siemens’ contribution to the EU IMI CANCER ID program by placing the Circulating Tumor Cell platform into leading EU cancer centers and the U.S. Siemens CLIA lab for clinical research use.

For his entire career, Michael’s primary biochemistry research interest for clinical diagnostics has been identifying immunity markers for infections in diabetes and co-morbidities.

In 2009, Michael was honored with the Siemens Inventor of the Year award for his pioneering work on the miniaturization of “lab-on-a-chip” diagnostic tools for POC testing. He also was recognized with nine Bayer Science and Technology Awards including the Outstanding Bayer Technology Award, the Bayer Corporate Quality Excellence Award and the Near Patient Testing Segment General Manager Award for Exceptional Leadership for his contributions to the CLINITEK and MULTISTIX urinalysis product lines. 

The American Association of Clinical Chemistry celebrated him as the Samuel Natelson Senior Investigator in recognition of outstanding service for the advancement of clinical chemistry and as the winner of the 1st Annual AI Free Memorial Lectureship.

Michael holds 58 U.S. patents and has 34 active U.S. patent applications with more than 470 worldwide patent filings. He also has 59 manuscripts, 15 book chapters and hundreds of conference papers and lectures in a wide variety of chemistry disciplines to his name. He earned his Ph.D. in chemistry from Texas Tech University and his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Clarkson University.

While working in industry, Michael has held pro-bono adjunct positions as a Visiting Scholar at the University of Notre Dame and as a Clinical Research Professor at the University of Louisville Medical School to pursue his research into the causes of inflammation during kidney disease and diabetes.

Rong Qi

Rong Qi, PhD

Data Science Analyst, Applied Data Sciences Center

Rong Qi

Rong Qi, PhD

Data Science Analyst, Applied Data Sciences Center

Rong Qi received her BA in Biopharmacy at the Southwest Normal Univerity in China and then achieved her PhD in Biology under Dr. Xinyuan Liu at the Shanghai Jiaotong University. Following her PhD, she was the cell biology leader at Dragonfly Science. Next, Rong proceeded to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital for a postdoctoral assignment in the Tumor Cell Biology Department. Continuing to pursue her other passion, Rong went back to school at the Univeristy of Memphis to obtain a MS in Computer Science degree. At her internship in the Data Center Group at Intel, Rong was able to solve a challenging problem of integrating the MKL library into Cloudera and achieving the expected performance gain. Rong's mix of science and technology is a strong fit for the mission of IBRI.

Daniel Robertson

Daniel Robertson, PhD

Investigator and Director, Applied Data Sciences Center

Daniel Robertson

Daniel Robertson, PhD

Investigator and Director, Applied Data Sciences Center

Daniel H. Robertson, a proven and experienced technical leader in information technology (IT), computational science and research, is focused on defining and developing the Institute’s computational analytics, digital and data science capabilities.

Dr. Robertson originally joined the IBRI in mid-2015 as part of a loaned executive program at Eli Lilly and Company, but in mid-2017 he accepted a permanent position at the IBRI due to the opportunity at the IBRI to drive innovative research among multiple life sciences companies, academic institutions and technology companies to advance solutions to critical problems.

His most recent role at Eli Lilly and Company was Senior Director of Research IT where he led the IT team supporting discovery systems and processes across six global research sites and nine functional/therapeutic areas. During his leadership role in IT at Lilly, Dr. Robertson restructured Research IT to become a leaner, more efficient organization, reset the Research IT strategy supporting the discovery functions, delivered emerging new technology and analyses through informatics, enhanced support for HPC, cloud, and internal big data storage and analysis. He also transformed the IT support for Open Innovation Drug Discovery program to be the first high-performing DevOps team, which was recognized with an InformationWeek 500 award. Throughout his 10 years in leadership roles at Lilly, Dr. Robertson developed several individuals within his organization to advance to higher level roles in other organizations within Lilly. He joined Lilly as a research scientist in Lilly Research Laboratories and performed numerous independent contributor and scientific leadership roles before transitioning to the IT organization in 2010.

Dr. Robertson earned his PhD in physical chemistry from Florida State University and his Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry, graduating Summa Cum Laude, from Florida Southern College. After earning his PhD., Dr. Robertson served as an NRC/NRL Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C., and then held several positions at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) from 1993 through 2000. He last served as Associate Scientist and Director of Technical and Administrative Services and Manager of the Facility for Computational Molecular Science at IUPUI before joining Eli Lilly and Company in 2000.

Dr. Robertson has published 67 papers in refereed journals, authored three invited book chapters, and conducted more than 65 professional/technical presentations. He has been honored with multiple awards from Eli Lilly and Company and IUPUI, and is a member of the American Chemical Society, American Physical Society and physics and mathematics honoraries.

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Applied Data Sciences Center

Focusing on the creation of tools and development of applications that will enable deep computer learning to assist researchers, clinicians, and patients.

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Morgan Robertson

Morgan Robertson

Research Associate, IBRI Diabetes Center

Morgan Robertson

Morgan Robertson

Research Associate, IBRI Diabetes Center

Morgan Robertson is a research associate in the Mastracci Lab in the IBRI Diabetes Center (IDC). In this role he is responsible for projects in regenerative medicine, consisting primarily of developmental biology and genetic-based research using the zebrafish and mouse model systems.

He joined the Mastracci Lab at the IBRI in 2016. Before joining the IBRI and since 2012, he worked at the Wells Center for Pediatric Research at Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis. At the Wells Center, he worked as a lab manager, research technician and research analyst on diabetes and islet biology-related research.

He earned his B.A. in biological sciences from DePauw University in Greencastle, Ind.

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Donalyn Scheuner

Donalyn Scheuner, PhD

Senior Staff Scientist, IBRI Diabetes Center

Donalyn Scheuner

Donalyn Scheuner, PhD

Senior Staff Scientist, IBRI Diabetes Center

Donalyn Scheuner, Ph.D., joined the IBRI in March 2019 as Senior Staff Scientist in the IBRI Diabetes Center. In this role, she is responsible for planning and coordinating the research on the mechanisms of pancreatic beta-cell dysfunction and death in type 1 diabetes, working in close collaboration with Dr. Decio Eizirik.

Prior to the IBRI and since 2017, she worked as a Scientific Consultant for DLS Consulting in Greenfield, IN, on a multisite NIH project grant. From 2009 to 2017, she served as Senior Scientist in Islet Biology at Lilly Research Laboratories in Indianapolis. From 2004 to 2009, Dr. Scheuner was a Research Specialist at Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI. From 1995 to 2004, she was a Postdoctoral Fellow at HHMI. And from 1994 to 1995, she was a Postdoctoral Fellow focusing on NIH Developmental Neurobiology and Neuroscience at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH.

Dr. Scheuner has been responsible for more than three-dozen scientific publications and nearly the same number of presentations, and she has been recognized with numerous honors, awards and fellowships. She earned her Ph.D. in Pharmacology at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI, and her B.S. in Chemistry, also at Michigan.

Megan Sopko

Megan Sopko

Senior Research Associate, Pharmaceutical Biotechnology Center

Megan Sopko

Megan Sopko

Senior Research Associate, Pharmaceutical Biotechnology Center

Megan Sopko joined the IBRI in April 2019 as Senior Research Associate in the Pharmaceutical Biotechnology Center (PBC).  In this role, she is responsible for the general research and development of new and existing protein therapeutics.

Prior to the IBRI and since 2010, she served as a Technologist/Technician and then as a Technologist for Corteva Agriscience, the Agriculture Division of DowDuPont (formerly Dow Agrisciences) in Indianapolis. She was involved in diverse lab operations and research, and in the training of other technicians. From  2004 to 2010, she was a Lab Technician and Scientist with Kelly Scientific Resources in Indianapolis. She was involved in gene expression and other genetic research.

Megan earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. She has been responsible for three scientific publications covering genetic and protein research.

Natalie Stull

Natalie Stull

Manager, Facilities and Lab Operations

Natalie Stull

Natalie Stull

Manager, Facilities and Lab Operations

Natalie D. Stull is Manager, Facilities and Lab Operations for the Indiana Biosciences Research Institute’s Metabolic Phenotyping Core Facility. In that capacity she is charged with managing projects with multiple principal investigators from the IBRI and other research campuses with mouse and rat phenotyping services, as well as other facility and lab-related operations.

Stull joined IBRI to continue her lengthy career as a scientist and research analyst in laboratory settings. Most recently, she served as the Associate Consultant Scientist in the Clinical Diagnostic Laboratory, a CAP/CLIA lab in the Department of Experimental Pathology at Eli Lilly and Company. Prior to that engagement, Stull was a research analyst, technician and lab manager for 14 years (2001-2014) in the Wells Center for Pediatric Research for Indiana University’s School of Medicine. During that time she worked for Dr. Raghu Mirmira and managed the Islet Core.

From 1990 through 2001, Stull served as a research technician and lab coordinator at the Thomas Jefferson University and Hahnemann/MCP University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It was during this time she honed her skills in rodent surgical techniques.

Stull has authored or co-authored 28 publications during her career, including six resulting from research conducted in collaboration with Dr. Mirmira at the Wells Center for Pediatric Research. Stull received her Bachelor’s of Science degree in biology from Indiana University.

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Andrew Templin, PhD

Andrew Templin, PhD

Assistant Investigator, IBRI Diabetes Center

Andrew Templin, PhD

Andrew Templin, PhD

Assistant Investigator, IBRI Diabetes Center

Andrew Templin joined the IBRI Diabetes Center in June 2020. He also holds positions at the Indiana University (IU) School of Medicine and the Roudebush VA Medical Center. Andrew’s lab studies the relationship between islet inflammation and beta cell dysfunction and death in the setting of diabetes. Ultimately, the goal of the Templin Lab is to uncover novel mechanisms of diabetes pathogenesis that affect islet beta cell health, and to use this information to develop new treatments for diabetes.

Prior to joining the IBRI, Andrew served as an Acting Instructor of Medicine at the University of Washington in Seattle. During his time there, he studied the role of islet amyloidosis in islet inflammation and beta cell loss in collaboration with Dr. Steven Kahn. This collaboration led to publications in Diabetes, Diabetologia, and Diabetes Care, among others.

Andrew received his Bachelor of Science degree from IU in 2006, during which time he was a member of the Hutton Honors College. After working and studying at Northwestern University in the Feinberg School of Medicine, Andrew returned to IU and obtained his PhD in Cellular and Integrative Physiology under the mentorship of Dr. Raghu Mirmira, graduating in 2014.

Andrew is a native Hoosier who enjoys travel, soccer, the Chicago Cubs and Golden Retrievers.

Carol Witczak

Carol Witczak

Associate Investigator, IBRI Diabetes Center

Carol Witczak

Carol Witczak

Associate Investigator, IBRI Diabetes Center

Carol Witczak joined the IBRI in December 2019 to establish a lab that will research the regulation of glucose transport in skeletal muscle. This research is vital to the Diabetes Center because while people with type 2 diabetes have decreased muscle glucose uptake in response to the hormone insulin, they have a normal ability to take up glucose in response to exercise. 

A specific focus of Carol’s research is resistance exercise training. She seeks to better understand the complex metabolic adaptations that occur in enlarging muscles, and how these adaptations could be exploited to develop new treatments for type 2 diabetes.

Prior to her arrival in Indiana she was an Associate Professor at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina. At East Carolina University she focused on understanding the molecular and cellular factors that regulate muscle metabolism in both physiological and pathological conditions, including exercise, diabetes and cachexia.

Carol received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Molecular Biology from Colgate University in Hamilton, New York, in 1998. She obtained her PhD in Physiology from the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri, in 2003.

Victor Wroblewski

Victor Wroblewski, PhD

Research Director, Pharmaceutical Biotechnology Center

Victor Wroblewski

Victor Wroblewski, PhD

Research Director, Pharmaceutical Biotechnology Center

Victor J. Wroblewski, Ph.D., joined the IBRI in July 2018 as Research Fellow in the IBRI’s Pharmaceutical Biotechnology Center. In his current role as Research Director, he is responsible for preclinical evaluation and optimization of antibody leads and lead development. 

Prior to the IBRI, Dr. Wroblewski held positions with increasing responsibility during a 25-year span at Eli Lilly and Company’s Lilly Research Laboratories in Indianapolis, IN. His responsibilities at Lilly Research Labs included the direction of a team of 30 scientists charged with supporting the preclinical development of Lilly’s biotechnology portfolio (monoclonal antibodies, multi-functional antibodies, fusion proteins and peptides). Prior to Lilly, he worked at Bayer Corporation in Berkeley, CA, as a Staff Scientist and Senior Staff Scientist, and before that, he served as a Post-Doctoral Scientist at the University of California at Davis.

Dr. Wroblewski earned a B.S. in Biology from State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, NY, and his Ph.D. in Pharmacology from the University of Buffalo, Buffalo, NY. He holds the patent for Protease Resistant FLINT Analogs. He has authored, co-authored or contributed to more than 25 publications and book chapters.

Yingjian You

Yingjian You

Senior Research Associate, Pharmaceutical Biotechnology Center

Yingjian You

Yingjian You

Senior Research Associate, Pharmaceutical Biotechnology Center

Yingjian “Jim” You is a senior research associate in the IBRI’s Pharmaceutical Biotechnology Center (PBC). He joined the IBRI in 2019 to be responsible for the general research and development of new and existing protein therapeutics.

Yingjian brings an exceptionally strong history in biotherapeutic development to the IBRI. Prior to the IBRI and since 2017, he was a research analyst in the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology at Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis. Before that and since 2012, he worked as a research associate in protein expression science for Regeneron Pharmaceuticals in Tarrytown, N.Y. From 1999 to 2006, he was a senior research technician in the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at Washington University School of Medicine (WUSM) in St. Louis. From 2006 to 2012, he became staff scientist at WUSM. From 1998 to 1999, he was a research technician at the Institute for Microbiology and Hygiene at Saarland University Hospital in Homburg, Saarland, Germany. From 1985 to 1998, he was a senior medical laboratory technologist in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Tongji Medical University in Wuhan, China.

He studied medical laboratory technology at the Health School of Tongji Medical University in Wuhan, China. He has authored or coauthored more than two dozen journal articles and a dozen abstracts.

Vidadi M. Yusibov

Vidadi M. Yusibov, PhD

Research Program Director, Pharmaceutical Biotechnology Center

Vidadi M. Yusibov

Vidadi M. Yusibov, PhD

Research Program Director, Pharmaceutical Biotechnology Center

Vidadi Yusibov, Ph.D., is a science-focused executive with more than 15 years of operational and strategic leadership experience in biopharmaceutical R&D and business development, with particular focus on vaccines and therapeutics. At IBRI, his responsibilities will include expanding and strengthening IBRI’s core capabilities in Pharmaceutical Biotechnology through building and managing a cross-functional matrix organization, developing translational research programs and establishing partnerships.

Prior to joining the IBRI he was the Scientific Director and then the Executive Director of the Fraunhofer USA Center for Molecular Biotechnology where he developed strategic plans and led the growth of a unique translational research organization, secured more than $150 million from public and private institutions. He established multiple partnerships involving academia, industry and federal institutions. Furthermore, Dr. Yusibov worked extensively with local and federal legislators, economic development authorities and agencies to better align developments at the Center with regulatory guidelines and market needs.

In his academic career, Dr. Yusibov was an Assistant Professor at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia after holding research positions at Purdue University in Lafayette, Indiana. His research has focused on the development and application of new technologies for vaccine and therapeutics development.

He earned his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology at the Academy of Sciences in Moscow, Russia and his M.S. in Plant Biochemistry and his B.A. in Biology at St. Petersburg University in St. Petersburg, Russia. As the developer of new technology for human health applications, he initiated and led a conference series known as “New Technologies, New Vaccines” that became a place for the exchange of new knowledge and ideas for the scientific community and regulatory authorities.