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Thoracic Surgery Research Laboratory
Harrison Department of Surgical Research
Sunil Singhal, M.D.
Lab Members
Dr. Sunil SinghalSunil Singhal, M.D. is the Director of the Thoracic Surgery Research Laboratory and Assistant Professor of Surgery at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. He obtained his Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Pennsylvania and received post-graduate training at Johns-Hopkins and University of Pennsylvania. His research interests in nanotechnology, intraoperative immune suppression, muscle physiology, patient outcome, myeloid derived suppressor cells, and gene-expression and profiling are what drives the laboratories’ core experimental philosophy.
Phone: 215-662-4767
Dr. Chhanda BiswasChhanda Biswas, Ph.D. is a Senior Research investigator in the department of cardiothoracic Surgery. She is a Biochemist with particular interest in molecular chaperones in diseases and immunomodulation. In the past in CHOP she, with Dr. Argon and his group, has researched on structural functional basis of GRP94/gp96, a glucose regulated protein, and developed a mini chaperone offering potentials in tumor immunomodualtion. Currently Dr. Biswas, in Dr. Singhal’s group, is studying the intracellular signaling molecules and pathways that transmit “atrophy message” in human diaphragm during diaphragm inactivity and prolonged mechanical ventilation. This study may potentially translate into therapeutic elimination/ attenuation of the difficulty in weaning patients from mechanical ventilation.
Phone: 215-823-5800, x5011
Dr. Murat BudakMurat T. Budak, M.D., Ph.D., joined the lab as a senior research investigator after completing his medical degree at Hacettepe University, Turkey and Ph. D. degree at Gazi University, Turkey. He has trained in Mount Sinai School of Medicine with Dr.J. Mario Wolosin as well as in Pennsylvania Muscle Institute of University of Pennsylvania with Dr. Neal Rubinstein & Dr.Tejvir Khurana. His research interests are respiratory muscle physiology, muscle atrophy, stem cell and muscle stem cell isolation and characterization.
Phone: 215-823-5800, x5009

Dr. Aaron BlouinAaron Blouin is a semi-retired professional musician who took an unorthodox route to Thoracic Oncology via oenology. He received his training in chemical analysis and enduring horrid aromas at the Woodhall Wine Cellars in Parkton, MD under the supervision of the renowned winemaker Christopher Kent. In 2006, he took a position as Research Specialist under Drs. Anil Vachani and Steven Albelda at the Thoracic Oncology Research Laboratory at the University of Pennsylvania. More recently, he has developed the protocol for the lab’s clinical trial and is looking forward to taking on more clinical responsibilities. He is honored to be a part of Dr. Singhal’s lab working with tumors full-time.
Louis AlipertiLouis Aliperti is a post-baccalaureate student at the University of Pennsylvania. His interest in medicine budded from his involvement in Fire/Rescue and Emergency Medical Services while attending Colgate University. He is very excited to have the opportunity to work under the direction of Dr. Sunil Singhal as a member of the Thoracic Surgery Research Laboratory.
Brandan JudyBrendan Judy recently graduated cum laude from the University of Richmond where he focused in political science and pre-med courses. Since the early part of 2010 he has been instrumental in the continuing development of the animal models at TSRL. He is honored to be working under the guidance of Dr. Sunil Singhal as a member of the Thoracic Surgery Research Laboratory.
Jarrod PredinaJarrod Predina is a fifth year MD/MTR student planning to pursue a career in Thoracic Surgery. He graduated summa cum laude from Case Western Reserve University in 2006 with degrees in Biology and Chemistry. Jarrod is currently completing his Masters Degree in Translational Research and his thesis focuses on (1) immunotherapy strategies as surgical adjuvants for NSCLC, mesothelioma, and esophageal cancers; (2) T-regulatory cell biology in cancer recurrence; and (3) developing animal models of postoperative cancer recurrence. He has received grants from the AATS, AMA, and Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. Under the mentorship of Dr. Singhal, he has completed multiple first author publications and presented his work at numerous national and international meetings.

In addition to course and lab work, he is the coordinator of the student-run UCHC Free Clinic, Vice-President of the Agnew Surgical Society, member of the School of Medicine Admissions Committee, and member of the PennMed Soccer Team.
Brian MadajewskiBrian Madajewski graduated from the University of Connecticut with a B.S. in Molecular and Cell Biology. After graduating in 2010, he pursued a career in research. In May of 2011 he became a Research Specialist in Dr. Singhal’s Lab. Since arriving at Penn, Brian has been responsible for running the intra-operative imaging side of the lab. Thus far, he has designed and built an intra-operative CCD camera to aid in the visualization of tumor margins. He has also taken part in multiple other facets of the lab. He is currently looking to perfect the CCD system for use in future trials. Brian is grateful to have the opportunity to be working with Dr. Singhal and everyone in his lab.
Dan LevineDan Levine is currently a post-baccalaureate student at the University of Pennsylvania. A graduate of Vanderbilt University and the Villanova School of Law, he returned to his hometown of Philadelphia in 2010 to pursue a career in medicine. He is honored to be working under Dr. Sunil Singhal as a part of the Thoracic Surgery Research Laboratory.


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