Penn Surgery

Thoracic Surgery Research Laboratory

Team Members

Current Faculty Leaders

Sunil SinghalSunil Singhal, MD (2007-present) is the Director of the Thoracic Surgery Research Laboratory and the William M. Measey Associate Professor of Surgical Research 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.
Sandy LevineSandy Levine, MD (2007-present) Adjunct Professor, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine is the co-Director of the Thoracic Muscle Physiology lab. He has over 30 years of research experience and has published several high impact papers including the New England Journal of Medicine.
Evgeniy EruslanovEvgeniy Eruslanov, PhD (2013-present) Assistant Professor, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Dr. Eruslanov is a tumor immunologist with a research focus on myeloid derived cells, focusing on the complex interaction between immune cells and the tumor microenvironment. His work has been internationally cited for his contribution to neutrophil biology.

Current Lab Members

Michael Annunziata (2015-present) graduated from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania with a B.S. in Economics. After graduation he worked in private equity with a focus on software and internet businesses, then returned to UPenn for post-baccalaureate studies. Currently, he researches the effect of the tumor microenvironment on local immune function and in model effector cell systems. He plans to pursue a career in medicine and become a Tai Chi Push-Hands master.
Brenda HornBrenda Horn, AAS, CCRP (2016-present) Graduated from Burlington County College with A.A.S in Health Information Technology and minored in Certified Tumor Registry. In 1998 she became a certified tumor registrar/office coordinator at Thomas Jefferson University for 3 years until she joined their Oncology Research Unit. In 2006 she joined the Clinical Research Unit at the University of Pennsylvania as the Head and Neck Research Coordinator. During her 8 year tenure in the unit, she broadened her research to include breast, melanoma, leukemia, and lymphoma. She is co-author on two study papers for leukemia and head neck. She went to Virtua Voorhees in 2014 where she was the Oncology Research Program Coordinator responsible for approximately 45 clinical trials including breast, gyn, lung and prostate. She returned to the University of Pennsylvania as Dr. Singhal's Senior Research Coordinator in September 2016 where she manages his INDs and studies for lung, pituitary, urology and gastrointestinal malignancies. As the Senior Coordinator, she is responsible for the sponsored phase 2 study lung study that is using intraoperative molecular imaging to fluoresce malignant tissue in the operating room. She plans to see his research through to FDA approval.
Jack Mizelle (2016-present) graduated summa cum laude in 2016 from Franklin & Marshall College with his B.S. in Biochemistry with a chemistry focus. At F&M, Jack studied the effect of small organic molecules on molybdenum adsorption onto pyrite, starting from his freshman year. During his junior year, Jack was elected to membership in Phi Beta Kappa; he acted as the PBK guide in senior year. As a Harrison Surgical Scholar, Jack works on the development of monitor systems involved in intraoperative molecular imaging of lung cancer through a mouse model system and through working with patients and surgeons in the OR to facilitate the identification of previously undetectable malignancies. He plans on pursuing a career in surgery.
Andrew NewtonAndrew Newton, MD (2016-present) graduated from the University of Maryland School of Medicine. He is currently a general surgery resident at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. He is in his second year in the lab and is studying intraoperative molecular imaging for gastrointestinal and other solid tumors. Upon completion of his general surgery training, he will pursue a fellowship in Surgical Oncology.
Michael ShinMichael Shin (2017-present) graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a B.A. in biochemistry and M.S. in chemistry in 2017. Before joining the lab, he researched the structure and function of protein acetyltransferases in the Biochemistry & Biophysics department at Penn. He is interested in a career in medicine.

Heather Slater graduated from West Chester University with a B.S in Cellular Molecular Biology and a minor in Chemistry in 2015. She also received a Clinical Medial Proficiency Certificate from the Community College of Philadelphia in 2015. She functions as a surgical scribe in Dr. Singhal’s clinic and as a Clinical Research Coordinator within his lab. She is interested in pursuing a career as a physician’s assistant with a physician who actively participates in research.

Jason StadanlickJason Stadanlick, PhD completed his doctoral training in the Immunology graduate program at the University of Pennsylvania, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship in the lab of Dr. David Wiest at the Fox Chase Cancer Center.  There, he studied a link between loss of a ribosomal protein (RPL22) in T cell development and lymphoma.  After a brief time at Vitae Pharmaceuticals performing pre-clinical drug development work, Jason joined Dr. Singhal's lab, and is currently using an array of cellular and molecular techniques to interrogate the role that specialized neutrophils play in modulating the host's immune system response to lung cancer.

Lydia Frenzel Sulyok graduated from Haverford with a B.S. in chemistry. There, she did biophysical chemistry research. She used spectroscopy to understand site-specific post-translational modifications in proteins. In her current position, Lydia seeks to help improve surgical outcomes of cancer patients. Her research focuses on methods to optimize our fluorescent intraoperative molecular imaging technology. Lydia's ultimate goal is to practice medicine.

Leilei XiaLeilei Xia (2016-present) graduated from the Anhui Medical University in China with a medical degree. He also received his Master’s degree in Surgery (Urology) from the Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine. Before coming to the United States, Leilei worked in the Department of Urology at Shanghai Ruijin Hospital and researched in the areas of urological cancer. He then visited as a clinical observer at Penn Urology. Currently, he is working with Dr. Singhal and Dr. Guzzo on the usage of intraoperative imaging for renal cell carcinoma, bladder cancer, and prostate cancer surgeries. He plans on pursuing a career in Urology.
Ryan Zeh (2016-present) graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with his B.S. in Neuroscience. While there, he worked at the Department of Neurosurgery’s Neurotrauma Clinical Trials Center, primarily researching diagnostic tools, biomarkers, and treatments for mild and severe traumatic brain injury. Ryan’s current work aims to extend the applications of intraoperative molecular imaging of cancer into the field of neurosurgery through the development of laboratory models and clinical trials.

Past Lab Members and Current Position

Michael Annunziata (2016-2017) Case Western, Medical Student

Michael Baldassari (2016-2017) Thomas Jefferson University, Medical Student

Courtney Connolly (2016-2017) Mount Sinai, Medical student

Ashley Dunbar (2016-2017) Quinnipiac University, Medical Student

Jack Mizelle (2016-2017) Medical Student, Boston University

Ryan Zeh (2016-2017) Ohio State University, Medical student

Pratik Bhojnagarwala (2013-2015)

Jack Jiang (2013-2015)

Ryan Judy(2013-2015) University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

Elizabeth De Jesus(2013-2015) Temple University Postbassalaureate Program

Ollin Venegas (2015-2016) Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University

Jacqueline Morgen(2013-2014) Medical Student, University of California

Gregory T. Kennedy (Summer 2014) General Surgery Resident, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

Olugbenga Okusanya (2012-2014) Fellow, Thoracic Surgery, University of Pittsburgh

Jon Quatromoni (2012-2014) Vascular Surgery Resident, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania

Kenny Oh (2013-2014) Medical Student, Temple University School of Medicine

Louis Aliperti (2009-2010) Urology

Jarrod Predina (2009-2012) Surgical Resident, Massachusetts General Hospital

Zachary Tucker (2011) Medical Student, Commonwealth

Benjamin Laguna (2012) Stanford University

Daniel Levine (2011-2012) Medical Student, Thomas Jefferson University

Brian Madajewski (2011-2012) PhD. Memorial Sloan Kettering

David Fedor (2012) Surgery Resident

Rainey Johnson (2012) Medical Student, Penn

Brendan Judy (2010-2013) Neurosurgery, Johns Hopkins Hospital

Aaron Blouin Director of Operations, On Target Laboratories

Lab Groups

2017 Lab Members

2016 Lab Members

2014 Lab Members

2013 Lab Members

2011 Lab Members