Lab Members

Principal Investigator

Mark Nicolls, MD.

Chief, Division of Pulmonary, Allergy & Critical Care Medicine

Endowed Chair, The Stanford Professor of Pulmonary, Allergy & Critical Care Medicine

Stanford University School of Medicine

Read More About Dr. Nicolls >>



Peter Kao, MD., PhD.

Associate Professor, Division of Pulmonary, Allergy & Critical Care Medicine

Dr. Kao, received his MD and PhD degrees from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.  He established rodent models of inflammatory pulmonary hypertension and demonstrated that the endothelial lineage contributes to the neointimal vascular occlusion. Additionally, Dr. Kao discovered and cloned novel gene regulators NF45/ILF2 and NF90/ILF3 that modulate chromatin conformation, RNA transcription, RNA splicing and translation. These host cell factors are hijacked during viral infections to support viral replication and gene expression. Dr. Kao is exploring novel antiviral strategies based on his unique insights into the biology of ILF2 and ILF3.

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Visiting scholar

Gongyong Peng, MD., PhD.

Visiting scholar from Guangzhou Institute, China

Dr. Peng received his MD. from Hubei University of Medicine in 2000 and his PhD. from Guangzhou Medical University in 2009. He is a visiting scholar from Guangzhou Institute of Respiratory Health, State Key Laboratory of Respiratory Disease, the First Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou Medical University. Currently, he is studying the role of Treg cells in the development of PAH. 



Shravani Pasupneti, MD.

Instructor of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary, Allergy & Critical Care Medicine

Dr. Pasupneti completed her M.D. and residency training in Internal Medicine at the University of Chicago. She then came to Stanford for Pulmonary and Critical Care Fellowship, which she completed in 2018, with a clinical focus on Advanced Lung Diseases. Her research interests include the hypoxia inducible factors and mechanisms responsible for the development of emphysema.

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Project Leaders

Xinguo Jiang, MD., PhD.

Project Leader

Dr. Jiang received PhD from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His research focuses on elucidating the roles of hypoxia-inducible factors in vascular physiology and pathophysiology.

View Dr. Jiang's publications >>


Amy Tian, PhD.

Project Leader

Dr. Tian received her PhD degree in biochemistry from University of Illinois at Chicago and was trained in the world-renowned eicosanoid signaling and lipid signaling lab with Dr. Wonhwa Cho. She has extensive experience in cell signaling, vascular biology and inflammation. She designs and administers studies in the area of pulmonary hypertension, lymphedema and lung transplantation activities in the Nicolls group.


Research Assistants

Yesl Kim, M.S.

LS Research Assistant & Lab Manager

Dongeon Kim, PhD

Postdoctoral Researcher

Eric Granucci, M.S.

Research Assistant

Torrey Guan

Research Assistant

Tim Wu, M.S.

Research Assistant

Amber Lim

Research Assistant


Yesl received her B.S and M.S in Nutrition of Science from Chung-Ang University in Korea and she completed one year of  the Nutrition Ph.D. program at Texas A&M University. Now she works as a lab manager and research assistant at Nicolls lab to participate in the contribution of the immune response to lung and lymphatic disease. Her career goal is to become a researcher who can solve pressing issues in the field of life science as well as improve research strategies.



Dr. Kim received his B.S. from Ulsan University in 2013 and he received his MS-PhD in Biomedical Science & Engineering Interdisciplinary Program from Korea Advance Institute of Science & Technology (KAIST) in 2018. He completed his postdoctoral fellowship at the Center for Convergent Research of Emerging Virus Infection (CEVI) from Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology (KRICT) in 2019. Currently, he is studying how lymph node and vascular lymphatic endothelial cell regulate immune cell.



Eric received his B.S. in Biopsychology from Tufts University in 2013, and his M.S. in Medical Sciences from Boston University in 2016. He previously studied neurodegeneration at Massachusetts General Hospital and currently is studying the role of HIFs in lymphedema and tracheal transplant rejection. In his free time he enjoys fencing, swimming, tabletop games, and playing with his dog Oliver.




Torrey graduated from Case Western Reserve University with a B.A. in Biology in 2019. He is in the process of applying for medical school. Torrey is currently  studying the differential function of S-1-P signaling in lymphatic vessels and lymph nodes. His hobbies include playing basketball, baking, and practicing the oboe. 


Timothy graduated from Stanford University with a B.S. in Biology with Honors and M.S. in Biomedical Informatics in 2018. He is currently a medical student at the Stanford School of Medicine. As an undergraduate, he began research in the division of pulmonary medicine under Dr. Peter Kao studying immediate early gene regulation by DNA- and RNA-binding proteins NF45 and NF90. He is now mentored by both Dr. Kao and Dr. Nicolls to study vascular inflammation and immune dysfunction in pulmonary hypertension.



Petra Dahms, B.S.

Current: PhD in Biomedical Sciences Program, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

Allen Tu, B.S.

Current: UC Davis

Patrick Zhang, BA

Rasa Tamosiuniene, MD, PhD.

Olga Manouvakhova, BA

Current: UAB School of Medicine

Alaa Hussein

Current: UC Davis

Yon Sung, MD

Current: Clinical Assistant Professor, Stanford University School of Medicine

Yu-chun Lin, PhD

Paul Mesange, PhD

Current: Charles River Laboratories

Eric Shuffle, MS

Current: UQ-Ochsner Medical School

Ashok Babu, MD

Current: Cardiothoracic Sugeon, St. Thomas Heart Institute, Nashville, TN

Torrey Guan

Current: Case Western Reserve University Undergraduate, Dr. Karathanasis lab

Grace Kuffner

Current: Massachusetts Institute of Technology Undergraduat

Mithya Jayakumar

Current: University of California at Davis Undergraduate

Shirley Jiang

Current: University of California at Los Angeles Medical Student

Mohammad Afzal Khan, PhD

Current: Senior Scientist, King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Center, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Hai Li, PhD

Current: Research Scientist, VA Palo Alto

Tomohiro Murakawa, MD

Current: Assistant Professor of Thoracic Surgery, University of Tokyo

Tom Nguyen, PhD

Mohammed Omer

Current: Duke University Medical School Program

Danielle Sandhu

Current: Boston University Undergraduate / Medical School Program

Joshua Santé, PhD

Carol Tran

Current: Harvard University Undergraduate

Jing Xu

Current: California Institute of Technology Undergraduate