Team

Greenberg Lab Members

Principal Investigator

Roger Greenberg, MD, PhD

Roger Greenberg, MD, PhD

J. Samuel Staub, M.D. Professor of Cancer Biology
 rogergr@pennmedicine.upenn.edu
 215-746-2738

Roger Greenberg, MD, PhD, is the J. Samuel Staub, M.D. Professor in the Department of Cancer Biology at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, where he also serves as Director of the Penn Center for Genome Integrity and the Director of Basic Science for the Basser Center for BRCA. During Dr. Greenberg’s early training, he demonstrated the first evidence that telomere shortening suppresses carcinogenesis in vivo, and subsequently, he helped define a BRCA1-centered tumor suppressor network. Dr. Greenberg’s independent laboratory investigates basic mechanisms of genome integrity maintenance and their impact on cancer etiology and response to therapy. His group discovered that ubiquitin chains serve as a platform for BRCA1 DNA damage recognition, identified biallelic mutations in BRCA1 as a cause of Fanconi Anemia, and developed novel systems to identify ATM kinase dependent transcriptional silencing near DNA double-strand breaks. More recently, his group defined the molecular underpinnings of homologous recombination dependent telomere lengthening mechanisms that occur in nearly 15% of cancers, and mechanisms that enable DNA damage responses to communicate with the immune system.

Dr. Greenberg is a recipient of numerous awards, including the Michael Brown New Investigator Award for Basic Science, Kimmel Scholar Award in Translational Science, Charles E. Culpeper Scholarship in Medical Sciences, a Harrington Discovery Institute Scholar-Innovator Award, and the Stanley N. Cohen Award for Biomedical Research. He has also been elected to the American Society of Clinical Investigation and American Association of Physicians. Dr. Greenberg previously chaired the DNA Mechanisms of Cancer study section for the American Cancer Society and is now a member of the NIH Cancer Etiology Study Section.

Education:

BA - Haverford College
MD and PhD - The Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Residency – Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Post-doctoral Fellowship - Dana-Farber Cancer Institute


Administration

Laura Murillo

Laura Murillo

Administrative Director
 murillo@upenn.edu
 215-573-0908

Laura Murillo graduated from Emerson College in Boston, MA in 2005 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. She then spent a year in New York City working as an Editorial Assistant on the website EuroCheapo.com. Laura provided administrative support to Drs. Eric J. Brown, Roger A. Greenberg, and Ben Z. Stanger and their labs from 2007-2019, during which time she also coordinated two seminar series, managed three websites, and several symposia. She is now the Administrative Director for the Penn Center for Genome Integrity (PCGI) supporting Center operations, seminars, and the Greenberg Lab.


Lab Management

Weihua Li

Weihua Li

Research Specialist, Lab Manager
 weihua@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Weihua Li is a Research Specialist and the Lab Manager for the Greenberg Laboratory. Weihua has been working on mechanisms of DNA repair of double strand breaks (DSB) and response to targeted therapies since 2016. Before she joined the lab, Weihua had worked as a research specialist at Penn and Monell Chemical Senses Center, investigating Stem cell / iPS transcription factors in endothelium, orofacial bone mesenchymal stem cells, and taste receptor genes. Weihua has 10 published papers (see bibliography) and has been awarded 2 patents. 


Lab Members

Jie Chen

Jie Chen

Michael Brown Penn-GSK Postdoctoral Fellow
 chenjie4@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Dr. Chen was born and raised in Suizhou, China. He completed his PhD from the University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China. His scientific interest focuses on the communication between DNA damage and anti-tumor immune responses (Chen J, et. al., Cell Reports 2020). Outside of the lab, Dr. Chen enjoys playing basketball and Judo.

Haoyang Jiang, PhD

Haoyang Jiang, PhD

Postdoctoral Researcher
 Haoyang.Jiang@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Haoyang was born and raised in Changzhou, China. He obtained his B. Sc. in Biological Sciences at Nanjing University, followed by a Ph.D. in Molecular, Cellular, and Integrative Biological Sciences at Penn State under the supervision of Dr. Joseph Reese. There he revealed that the Ccr4-Not complex is involved in DNA damage-induced RNAPII destruction in yeast.

In the Greenberg lab, Haoyang applies his biochemical skills to human cells and cancer therapy. He is looking into new therapeutic targets for treating breast/ovarian cancer and ALT (alternative lengthening of telomere) positive cancers and understanding their driving mechanisms. He recently published a paper with Dr. Greenberg exploring pathway-selective agents that target DNA repair deficiencies in a tumor tissue agnostic manner (Jiang H, Greenberg RA, Clin Cancer Res. 2021).

Outside of the lab, he likes music and is a big fan of history.

Vidhya Krishnamoorthy, PhD

Vidhya Krishnamoorthy, PhD

Postdoctoral Researcher
 Vidhya.Krishnamoorthy@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Dr. Krishnamoorthy received her B.Sc. (2009) and M.Sc (2011) in Biotechnology from the University of Mumbai, India where she carried out research on genetic markers influencing the incidence of sickle cell disease in tribal populations of India. She started her Ph.D. at CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad, India and joined the group of Dr. Veena K Parnaik. Her research focused on the role of E3 ubiquitin ligases in the turnover of nuclear envelope proteins, lamins, and their interactors and understanding their role in the pathophysiology of nuclear envelopathies. Her work resulted in two first-author publications (Krishnamoorthy V, et. al., Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2018; and Krishnamoorthy V, et. al., Biochem Biophys Acta Mol Cell Res. 2018). She received her Ph.D. in 2019, and joined the Greenberg lab as a postdoc in March 2019. She is currently studying the role of AAA+ ATPases in DNA replication and repair.

Timothy Lippert, PhD

Timothy Lippert, PhD

Postdoctoral Researcher
 Timothy.Lippert@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Tim was born and raised in Nuernberg, Germany. He traveled to the United Kingdom to study a B.Sc. in Immunology at the University of Edinburgh followed by a PhD in Clinical Sciences (Immunology and Inflammation) at Imperial College London under the mentorship of Simon Boulton. Throughout his time as a graduate student he was associated with the Francis Crick Institute, where he also held a position as laboratory research scientist. 

His PhD work was focused on the modulation of homologous recombination at telomeres in response to infection with oncogenic Kaposi's Sarcoma Herpesvirus. In the Greenberg lab, Tim is looking into the contribution of innate immune signaling to anti-tumor immunity in the context of BRCA-deficient cancer. This work builds on his expertise at the intersection between the fields of cellular responses to DNA damage, immunology, and virology. He recently authored a review with Dr. Greenberg on the "Abscopal Effect" in JCI, describing mechanisms underlying communication between the DNA damage and immune responses during cancer therapy (Lippert T, Greenberg RA, J Clin Invest, 2021).

Stefano Misino, PhD

Stefano Misino, PhD

Postdoctoral Researcher
 Stefano.Misino@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Stefano was born and raised in Italy, where he obtained his B.Sc. at the University of Pavia. After attending an Erasmus program, Stefano decided to move to Sweden where he achieved his M.Sc. at Lund University. He then moved to Mainz, Germany, where he conducted his PhD under the supervision of Brian Luke at the Institute of Molecular Biology (IMB). Here, Stefano addressed the regulation and function of TERRA in yeast cells that adopt the alternative lengthening mechanism of telomeres (ALT) to maintain their chromosome ends.

In the Greenberg lab, Stefano aims at deciphering at a molecular level the recombinational events characterizing ALT, with a specific emphasis on the spatial organization of telomeres. Furthermore, he is in pursuit of the origin of ALT in senescent cells before immortalization. Passionate about telomeres biology, Stefano strongly hopes his work will contribute to a better understanding of how specific cancers engage ALT with the prospect to develop better therapeutic strategies.   

Jenny Stundon

Jenny Stundon

Postdoctoral Fellow
 jstundon@email.chop.edu

Jenny Stundon attended Bryn Mawr College for undergraduate, then attended graduate school at Princeton University and completed her medical degree at Rutgers University. She completed her pediatric residency training at CHOP. She is currently a pediatric hematology and oncology fellow at CHOP and completing her research fellowship in the Greenberg lab. 

Vaughn Thada

Vaughn Thada

Postdoctoral Researcher
 Vaughn.Thada@Pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Originally from Owatonna, MN, Vaughn received his BA in Biology from Augustana University in 2015, where he achieved a first-author credit on an article (Thada V et. al., J Cell Mol Med, 2016). He received his Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University in 2021, where he studied the mechanism and structural determinants of ATR activation and checkpoint signaling. His work there in the lab of Dr. David Cortez earned him two additional first-author publications (Thada V, Cortez D, J Biol Chem, 2021; and Thada V, Cortez D, J Biol Chem, 2019).

Since joining the Greenberg lab this year, Vaughn has begun working on understanding how three dimensional cellular interactions influence the DNA damage response. Outside of lab, Vaughn enjoys golfing, kayaking, and hiking. 

Tianpeng Zhang, PhD

Tianpeng Zhang, PhD

Postdoctoral Researcher
 zhtianp@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Dr. Zhang received his B.A. and Ph.D. from the Sun Yat-sen (Zhongshan) University, Guangzhou, China. He is devoted to understanding mechanisms underlying chromosome integrity and DNA damage response pathway choice at telomere and genomic DNA under different chromatin features. Dr. Zhang is also interested in cancer therapy: understanding mechanism for drug resistance, new use for approved drug and combination therapy. He received the Forbeck Scholar, William Guy Forbeck Research Foundation in 2019 for his work. Dr. Zhang recently published a paper that revealed an unexpected dominant role of ATR in hPSCs, combined with unique cell cycle abnormalities and, ultimately, consequences distinct from those observed in their isogenic differentiated counterparts (Vessoni T, Zhang T, et. al., J Cell Biol, 2021).

Smita Bhutda, PhD

Smita Bhutda, PhD

Postdoctoral Researcher
 Smita.Bhutda@Pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Dr. Smita Bhutda received her B.Sc. (2010) and M.Sc. (2011) in Biotechnology from University of Mumbai, India. She then joined the National Institute of Research in Reproductive Health (NIRRH-ICMR), Mumbai, India, where she held the position of junior research fellow. Her study was focused on investigating stem cells in the adult mouse ovary, effect of chemotherapy on them, and their potential to differentiate into germ cells. She received her PhD (2021) in cellular microbiology from Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, India. Her PhD work was focused on understanding a universal approach of bacterial ubiquitination for sensing diverse intracellular pathogens. In the Greenberg Lab, Smita is looking into Homologous Repair (HR) for double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) breaks at the molecular level, with emphasis on disassembly of NHEJ protein complexes. Furthermore, she is aiming to understand interaction between BRCA1 and A-complex.

Arindam Datta

Arindam Datta

Postdoctoral Researcher
 Arindam.Datta@Pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Arindam carried out his doctoral research at CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Biology, Kolkata, India, under the mentorship of Dr. Susanta Roychoudhury, and received his PhD in Biotechnology from the University of Calcutta. His PhD research work focused on understanding the molecular mechanism of gain-of-function (GOF) mutant p53-driven tumorigenesis and resulted in four first-author publications (Datta A et al., EMBO reports, 2017; Datta A et al., Genes, 2019; Datta A et al., Genome Data, 2016; Ghatak D and Datta A et al., Molecular Cancer Research, 2021). After receiving his PhD, Arindam joined the lab of Robert Brosh in the Helicases and Genome Integrity Section at the National Institute on Aging (NIH) as a Visiting Scientist Postdoctoral Fellow. He investigated the molecular functions of RECQ helicases implicated in genome stability maintenance and characterized a specialized role of WRN helicase in recovery of stalled replication forks under the condition of BRCA2 genetic deficiency (Datta A et al., Nature Communication, 2021, In press).

Arindam joined the lab in November 2021 and is currently studying the roles of BRCA1-A complex in regulation of double-strand break repair in human cells. Outside of the lab, he enjoys hiking, reading books, cooking, and music.

Interested in joining the team? Please contact us at murillo@upenn.edu.