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BCRL Home » Biographies » Scientific Staff

Scientific Staff

Julia Santucci-Pereira, PhD

Julia Santucci-Pereira, PhDResearch Associate
Julia has been in the BCRL since February 2006. She received her degree in Biomedical Sciences (2004) at Universidade Federal de Sao Paulo, Brazil. In 2009, Julia completed her doctoral thesis "2,3,7,8 tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) Effect on the Global Gene Expression of the Rat Mammary Gland During Development" at the same university, in collaboration with Fox Chase Cancer Center. Julia has been involved in several projects in the BCRL, such as prevention of breast carcinogenesis and effect of environment contaminants in the development of the mammary gland. Her major interest is in analyses of high-throughput data using Bioinformatics tools.  In addition, Julia loves music and enjoys dancing in her free time.
Room P2051, Tel 215-728-5294, Fax 215-728-4083,

Yanrong Su, PhD

Yanrong Su, PhDResearch Associate
Yanrong joined the BCRL in April of 2011. She received her doctoral degree from Peking University in China in 2003. She has extensive experience in cell culture and molecular biology related works; she is proficient in immunohistochemistry, immunofluorescence and In Situ Hybridization on tissues and cells.  She is involved in several projects: 1) hCG induces chromatin remodeling of human breast epithelial cells; 2) The cancer preventive effect of human chorionic gonadotropin is by target the stem cell population of the rat mammary gland.  Her interests outside of the  laboratory include traveling, gardening and taking care of the kids.
Room P2067, Tel 215-728-3177, Fax 215-728-5291,

Ricardo Lopez, PhD

Ricardo Lopez, PhDSenior Research Associate
Ricardo joined the BCRL in September of 2007. He received his doctoral degree from the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina in 2004. His research focus is in the study of genomic changes in the mammary gland produced by different endocrine disruptors, the effects of the diet in rat tumor development, and characterization and validation of the genomic signature of pregnancy in the mammary gland.
Room P2055, Tel 215-214-3922, Fax 215-728-5369,

Maria Barton, MSc

Maria Barton, MScGraduate Student
Maria joined the BCRL in October 2011. She received her degree in Biochemistry at Universidad de la Republica, Montevideo, Uruguay in 2007. In June 2011, Maria completed her Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences at Kent State University, Ohio. Her master’s thesis was in Prostate Cancer. In August 2011, she started her doctoral studies at Temple University, Philadelphia, in a joint program with Fox Chase Cancer Center. She is now working on her doctoral thesis “The Role of Non-coding RNA in Breast Cancer Prevention.” Joining the lab has led Maria to learn new techniques, expand her knowledge in cancer, and be part of a hardworking multicultural team. In her free time, Maria enjoys working out at the gym, listening to music, and traveling around the US.
Room P2057, Tel 215-728-3185, Fax 215-728-5369,,

Theresa Nguyen, BS

Theresa Nguyen, BSScientific Technician
Theresa joined the BCRL in February 2011 where she has been improving her skill in histology works, whole mount process/analysis, with data collecting including counting and identifying structures of the whole mount mammary gland with Terminal end buds (TED), Terminal ducts (TD), Lobules Type 1, 2, 3 and 4 and in molecular biology related tasks.  She attends group meditation every weekend.
Room P2063, 215-728-5289,

Luz Vargas

Luz VargasVolunteer
Luz has given her generous support to the BCRL since 2003. Luz serves as a liaison to the advocate community, and has played a key role in the organization of the "A Day in the Life of the Breast Cancer Research Lab" workshops, as well as assisting BCRL staff with various day to day needs.
Room P2063, 215-728-8234,

Yubo Zhai, BS

Yubo Zhai, BSGraduate Student
Yubo joined the lab in September 2011 and is chasing his PhD degree by focusing on EMT mechanism in breast cancer.  After acquiring a BS degree in Biology from Nanjing University, he was admitted into Department of Biochemistry at Temple University.
Room P2063, 215-728-3635,

Thomas Pogash, BS

Thomas Pogash, BSScientific Technician
Thomas has been part of the BCRL since July 2011. He completed his Bachelor of Science in Biology (2011) from DeSales University, Pennsylvania. Thomas is involved in several studies such as the effect of hCG on mammary gland stem cells, the effect of diet in proliferation of human breast cancer cells, and the protective effect of hCG on the mammary gland and human breast cancer cells. Thomas also helps to manage the lab and lab equipment. In his free time, Thomas enjoys snowboarding, riding his motorcycle, ice hockey, fishing, hiking, and being outdoors.
Room P2057, Tel 215-728-2416, Fax 215-728-5369,

Nathan Hopfinger, BS

Nathan Hopfinger, BSScientific Technician
Nathan received his Bachelor of Science in Biology at West Chester University in 2011 and shortly thereafter joined the lab. Nathan is involved in two studies relating to the effect of hCG on chromatin remodeling in mammary epithelial cells and how the EMT pathway can be affected by use of epigenetic inhibitors. In his free time Nathan enjoys swimming and backpacking. 
Room P2067, Tel 215-728-5309, Fax 215-728-5291,

Linda Cathay

Administrative Assistant
Room P2036, Tel 215-728-2813, Fax 215-728-5291,