Current Lab Members


Harish Vasudevan, MD, PhD
Harish Vasudevan, MD, PhD
Man playing tennis
Harish playing tennis in the era before color photography.

Harish Vasudevan, Assistant Professor, Departments of Radiation Oncology and Neurological Surgery. After completing his undergraduate education at the California Institute of Technology, Harish pursued his MD/PhD training at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, where his thesis explored the mechanisms of receptor tyrosine kinase specificity in development. Harish then completed his residency training in the Department of Radiation Oncology at UCSF, and his postdoctoral work investigated neurofibromatosis associated nervous system tumors. Harish is currently a faculty member in the UCSF Departments of Radiation Oncology and Neurological Surgery where his clinical practice is focused on pediatric and adult nervous system tumors. In the laboratory, Harish is broadly interested in mechanisms of growth factor signaling during development and cancer, always keeping an eye toward technology development to enable new biologic insights. In his copious amounts of free time, Harish enjoys playing any sports his deteriorating body permits and spending time with his wife and two young children exploring everything the Bay Area has to offer.

Julian Chien, SRA. Julian received his bachelor’s degrees in Molecular Biology and Psychology from the University of California, Berkeley. In the Vasudevan Lab, Julian is working on identifying biomarkers of radiation response in pathways that lead to malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors (MPNSTs). 

Devan Diwanji, Postdoctoral Fellow. Devan is a graduate of the UCSF MD/PhD program who is currently an Preliminary Intern at CPMC, after which he will be joining the UCSF Radiology Residency Program. In the Vasudevan Lab, Devan studies how to perturb receptor tyrosine kinase signaling for therapeutic purposes and integrates molecular and radiographic data to develop non invasive, imaging based stratification approaches for cancer. 

Alexandra (Lexi) Haugh, Clinical Fellow, Department of Hematology/Oncology. In the Vasudevan Lab, she studies metastatic melanoma with an emphasis on translational efforts to test new therapeutic approaches for NF1 mutant tumors.

Alexandra Haugh
Alexandra (Lexi) Haugh.


Kanish Mirchia, Clinical Instructor, Department of Neuropathology. In the Vasudevan Lab, Kanish applies bulk and single cell molecular approaches to understand neurofibromatosis associated nervous system tumors.

Sarah Mohabeer, SRA. Sarah received her Bachelor’s Degree in Microbiology from UC Santa Barbara, where she researched the impact of neuronal mechanisms on decision-making in Drosophila Melanogaster. Joint with the McCormick Lab in collaboration with Dr. Matthew Sale, Sarah’s work focuses on the methods and effects of NF1 reconstitution in the peripheral nervous system, hoping to uncover effective gene therapy treatments for Neurofibromatosis type I. In her free time, she enjoys playing soccer, bouldering, and discovering the best restaurants in the Bay Area. 

Charlene Pan, PhD student, BIOE program. Joint with the lab of her thesis adviser Adam Abate, where she works on developing new high-throughput single-cell technologies, Charlene’s research focuses on developing new methods to identify, enrich and sequence rare cells. Her two main projects in the Vasudevan lab are 1) using single cell approaches to study drug responses in glioblastoma, and 2) enriching and sequencing rare cell populations from cancer patient blood specimens to develop novel liquid biopsy approaches. Outside the lab, Charlene loves photography and skiing.

Charlene Pan
Charlene Pan.


Maria Sacconi Nunez, Staff Research Associate. Maria received her bachelor’s degrees in Neuroscience, Molecular Biology, and Psychology from the University of Colorado, Boulder. During her time at CU Boulder, Maria conducted research in both synthetic biology and cognitive neuroscience. In the lab, her work focuses on understanding the functions of RAS GAPs in the nervous system, and how they impact health and disease. Outside of work, she enjoys a nice walk in the park, going to the gym, finding happy hour deals, and petting strangers’ dogs.

Maria Sacconi
Maria Sacconi Nunez.


Iowis Zhu, Postdoctoral Fellow. In the Vasudevan Lab, Iowis is investigating the relationship between radiotherapy and neurofibromatosis with a focus on identifying synergistic therapies for malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors (MPNSTs).

Iowis Zhu
Iowis Zhu, PhD.


Lab Alumni

Emily Payne. Currently PhD candidate at the University of Edinburgh.

Kaeli Miller. Currently SRA at UCSF.