Ramesh Butti- Postdoctoral Fellow

I hail from Warangal, India. I received my Ph.D. degree from the National Centre for Cell Science in Pune, India. My graduate work focused on the role of stromal fibroblasts in the modulation of breast cancer progression. I joined the Brugarolas lab as a postdoctoral researcher in September 2021. My research involves exploring the role of tumor microenvironment in the regulation of drug resistance and relapse in kidney cancer using patient-derived xenografts and transgenic mouse models.

Alana Christie

Alana Christie - Biostatistical Consultant

I was born and raised here in Dallas, Texas. I graduated in 2011 from the University of Oklahoma with a BS in Mathematics and an MS in Biostatistics. I joined the Simmons Cancer Center Biostatistics Shared Resource in March 2012 and began providing statistical support on projects with Dr. Brugarolas’ lab shortly after.


Kiki Fuller- Administrative Associate

I am the Administrative Associate for Dr. Brugarolas. I joined the lab in March 2021. I grew up in Rhome, Texas, and hold degrees in Arts and Applied Science. I am currently finishing my degree in Biology at the University of North Texas. I feel blessed to be a part of the Kidney Cancer Program and witness the incredible research being done in the Brugarolas Lab.

Payal Kapur

Payal Kapur - Collaborating Pathologist

I am a staff pathologist at UT Southwestern. I have been exposed to pathology training at two training programs in opposite sides of the world – Maulana Azad Medical College in New Delhi, India, and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas. I am currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Pathology. My research interests include characterizing adult tumors and developing prognostic, predictive and diagnostic markers. I am currently involved in multiple collaborative projects in genitourinary pathology. Investigating the biology of renal cell carcinoma has been most exciting. Dr. Brugarolas is an excellent mentor and a great collaborator and it has been fun working with him. 

Akhilesh Mishra

Akhilesh Mishra – Postdoctoral Fellow

I earned my Ph.D. degree in Biological Sciences from the Indian Institute of Technology in Delhi, India. My graduate work focused on sequence, energy, and structural profiling of DNA. In February 2021, I joined Prof. Brugarolas’s lab as a postdoctoral fellow. My research is focused on managing, analyzing, and interpreting kidney cancer genomic data. I am looking forward to developing a platform for precision oncology in kidney cancer.

Jeffrey Miyata

Jeffrey Miyata – Research Technician II

I am a Texas native. I received a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of Texas at Dallas in 2019, where I initially interned in a neurology lab focusing on nerve regeneration. I joined the Brugarolas Lab in the summer of 2020, where I am now responsible for helping determine the morphological characteristics of patient renal tumors that have been implanted into mice.

Gopinath Prakasam

Gopinath Prakasam - Postdoctoral Fellow

I come from Tamil Nadu, India. I obtained my Ph.D. degree in Molecular Cancer Biology from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi in 2017. My doctoral dissertation was focused on cancer metabolism; specifically, I studied the deregulation of glycolytic enzymes that contributes to cancer progression. I joined the Brugarolas lab in July of 2018, to pursue cutting-edge knowledge in the basic biology and translational research of kidney cancer. My research is focused on investigating the aberrant signaling pathways that drives the subtype of renal cancer called “Translocation Renal Cell Carcinoma”.

Gopinath Prakasam

Faeze Saatchi - Postdoctoral Fellow

I received my Ph.D. in biochemistry from Purdue University. During my Ph.D., I studied the cross-talk between metabolic players including the TCA cycle enzyme fumarase and the metabolite fumarate and chromatin modifying enzymes during DNA damage response. I joined the Brugarolas lab for my postdoctoral training in June 2019. My research focuses on understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying therapeutic resistance and tumor aggressiveness in RCC.


Charlotte Small - Research Technician II

Raised here in Dallas, I recently graduated with a B.S. from Texas A&M majoring in Biochemistry and Genetics. While there, I studied fruits, vegetables, and turfgrasses to breed more sustainable, healthier, and productive agriculture. My interests, however, have always been in human research and treatment, and I joined the xenograft project team in 2022 to learn more about the research pipeline and oncology as I prepare for medical school. Outside of work, I enjoy climbing, running, and cooking, especially with friends. I am very excited to continue exploring my interests while working on ground-breaking discoveries in kidney cancer research!

Vanina Toffessi Tcheuyap

Vanina Toffessi Tcheuyap - Research Associate

I am originally from Yaoundé, Cameroon, and I received a M.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of North Texas, Denton, TX. My thesis work focused on the development of a von Willebrand factor zebrafish mutant using the CRISPR/Cas9 system. I joined the Brugarolas lab in summer of 2018, and am working on the evaluation of potential molecularly targeting therapies in RCC tumorgraft models. I am happy to be back and to contribute to the innovative research of the KCP that should one day provide novel treatments and lead to better outcomes for kidney cancer patients.


Kathy Worland- Program Coordinator

After earning my BS in Public Administration from the University of Missouri, I started working in academic medicine in 1985. Originally I worked at UCLA, and then at UTSW when my family moved to Dallas. I recently completed my MA in Dispute Resolution and Conflict Management. I’ve always found the work in academic medicine dynamic, interesting, challenging, and worthwhile. Over the years, I have been privileged to support some of the best leaders and brightest minds in the field. Working in the Brugarolas lab as the Kidney Cancer Program Coordinator is a perfect challenge for me at this time. It is an honor to work with such a wonderful team and to support the continued growth and future of the program.