Our Team

David S. Baskin, MD
Dr. Baskin began his research career while still a resident at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF). In 1982, he spent a year as a Research Associate at the University of Capetown Medical School and Groote Schuur Hospital in Capetown, South Africa. The following year, Dr. Baskin returned to UCSF and served as a Research Associate in the Hormone Research Laboratory. After completing his residency, Dr. Baskin was appointed as Assistant Professor of Neurological Surgery and Assistant Professor of the Center for Biotechnology at Baylor College of Medicine, with a joint appointment as Chief of Neurological Surgery at the VA Hospital. In 1994 he was promoted to Professor at Baylor College of Medicine in the departments of Neurosurgery and Anesthesiology, positions he held until 2005 when his academic career transitioned to Methodist.

Dr. Baskin has received many national and international honors and awards. He has served as principal investigator on numerous research projects funded by private, state and federal sources, resulting in multiple patents and patent applications. He has also chaired or served on review panels and advisory councils for private, state and federal agencies. Dr. Baskin has published over 100 scientific manuscripts and book chapters and currently serves as Program Director in Houston Methodist Neurological Institute, as well as Professor of Neurosurgery at Weill Cornell Medical College, and Research Professor at the University of Houston in both the Cullen College of Engineering's Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the School of Pharmacy.

Martyn Sharpe, PhD
Head of Research, Kenneth R. Peak Brain and Pituitary Tumor Center 
Martyn A. Sharpe, PhD, is a Research Associate II at Houston Methodist Hospital. As a chemistry-based biochemist and pharmacologist, he investigates the role of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species in pathophysiology. His interest in mitochondrial oxidative/nitrositive stress led him to design and synthesize a range of small, superoxide dismutase, catalase and glutathione peroxidase mimetics. He is currently developing novel technologies and drugs to treat glioma and other cancers. In recent years, he has also studied cellular pathology in autism, looking at the role of genes and environmental toxins. 

Dr. Sharpe studied classical biochemistry in London and Scotland, focusing on mitochondrial function, and has acquired a strong background in both organic and inorganic chemistry. He has authored 65 peer-reviewed articles. Dr. Sharpe acts as referee for several prestigious medical journals and grants, and is often called on as an expert reviewer for grants involving oxidative stress.

Junyan Han, PhD
Synthetic Chemistry, Kenneth R. Peak Brain and Pituitary Tumor Center
Junyan Han, PhD, is a postdoctoral fellow at the Kenneth R. Peak Brain and Pituitary Tumor Center. As a medicinal chemist, Dr. Han is working to design and synthesize MAO-B activated prodrugs, and has recently published his findings on using them to treat human malignant glioma, as well as probes used for selective imaging of human malignant glioma in mouse models. He has authored 15 peer-reviewed articles and acts as referee for several journals, including Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry. He studied chemistry in China and the US, earning several awards, including the A.E. Martell Travel Award and the American Chemical Society Young Researcher Travel Award. 

Kumar Pichumani, PhD
Cancer Metabolic Analysis, Kenneth R. Peak Brain and Pituitary Tumor Center
Kumar Pichumani, PhD, is a research scientist and research associate professor at the Neurosurgery Research Laboratory and Houston Methodist Research Institute. Dr. Pichumani is an NMR physicist and has worked in NMR spectroscopy since 1990. He developed new methods using first principles of NMR spin relaxation to increase both resolution and sensitivity so that complex biomacromolecules of larger molecular mass can be studied by NMR Spectroscopy. These research publications were  cited by two Nobel Laureates in NMR spectroscopy. 

His most recent research involves investigating in-vivo cancer metabolism using non- radioactive 13C enriched nutrients as infusion substrates (glucose, acetate, fatty acids), studying the fate of these substrates via high-resolution 13C NMR spectroscopy of surgically resected tumor tissues extracts. In a recent article published in CELL, he demonstrated that acetate acts as an alternate energy source for cancer cells in human glioblastoma patients and mouse models. He studied in India, Sweden and the US, gaining a diverse background spanning physics, mathematics, electronics, physical chemistry, NMR, Cancer Metabolism and biophysics.