Dr. Rostomily has a long-standing clinical and research interest in neuro-oncology. His clinical specialties are skull base surgery, stereotactic radiosurgery and multidisciplinary management of brain metastasis. He is the director of Translational Research for the Houston Methodist Department of Neurosurgery, the Brain Metastasis Clinic and Co-Director of the Houston Methodist Gamma Knife Center slated to open in 2018. His research interests include i) understanding basic mechanisms of glioma invasion and epithelial mesenchymal transition (EMT) and their potential as therapeutic targets, ii) patient derived organotypic slice cultures and 3D tissue engineered tumors-on-chip as platforms for pre-clinical therapeutic screening on microfluidic devices to enhance precision cancer medicine, iii) the implications of aging and genomic instability on intra-tumor molecular heterogeneity and treatment responses, and iv) characterizing the electro-physiologic properties of gliomas (the “Electrome”) to identify new therapies and mitigate tumor related morbidity. When not dissecting the brain, he is busy smoking a mean brisket, fishing or spending time with family.
SCIENTIST; PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR
Sr. Research Assistant
Naze earned her Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from the University of Houston. Her graduate studies led to the development of in vitro 3D Glioblastoma models using hydrogel-based microwells, where she investigated the signaling pathways that play role in the interaction of tumor cells with the microenvironment. She also investigated the therapeutic effect of Delta-24RGD on in vitro 3D tumor models. She showed that microwell platform helps tumor to mimic the in vivo tumor microenvironment and can be used as a robust tool to investigate the oncolytic potential of the viruses in vitro. Prior to joining Dr. Rostomily lab in February 2018, Naze worked as a postdoctoral fellow for the Neurosurgery Department at MD Anderson Cancer Center, focusing on understanding the molecular signaling pathways and gene regulatory events that promote angiogenesis and its role in Glioblastoma. In her free time, Naze enjoys outdoors often running, camping, travelling and playing hang drum.
Sr. RESEARCH Assistant
Pooja earned MS in Microbiology from India and MS in Cell and Molecular Biology from Long Island University, New York. After completion of her MS in Microbiology, she joined Wockhardt Research Center where she conducted Bioefficacy and Bioidentity studies for erythropoietin and insulin. Later with her degree in Molecular Biology, she joined Center for stem cell and Regenerative Medicine, University of Texas Health Science Center where she worked on ex vivo expansion of Human Hematopoietic stem cells and gene editing using ZFNs. After that she worked on NOTCH signaling pathway in the process of Spermatogenesis at M D Anderson Cancer Center. In order to better understand the specific regulation of RBPJ which is central player of NOTCH signaling and its downstream targets, she used Yeast-2-hybrid assay with RBPJ as bait and discovered novel binding partner called BHC80. She then confirmed protein-protein interactions via co-ip as well as mass spectrometry. Her recent poster presentation on finding novel binding partners of RBPJ received an outstanding award at TFRS conference. Pooja enjoys travelling, camping, hiking and painting.
Sai Ashish Vasa
Rice University under graduate student
Ashish is currently enrolled as an undergraduate at Rice University. He is pursuing a Bachelors of Science in Biochemistry and Cell Biology and is minoring in Neuroscience on the Natural Sciences and Engineering track. His interest in medicine and later shadowing experience with the Neurosurgical ICU at Houston Methodist motivated him to pursue research in Glioblastomas. Ashish plans to enter medical school in order to pursue a career as a practicing scientist physician. His hobbies include practicing clarinet, hiking, bouldering, programming, and finding new music, coffee shops, and books.
Shawn an original Houstonian after a stint in the 82nd airborne as a medic, earned his BS from Texas A&M in Marine Biology. He has worked and managed in Molecular Pathology and Veterinary Pathology at MD Anderson, Integrative Biology and Pharmacology at UT Health before joining the Rostomily Laboratory. He enjoys scuba diving, ice hockey and working on Harley Davidson engines when time allows.
Sawana Tillett is Dr. Rostomily’s Clinical, Research and Administrative Assistant for his Neurosurgery practice and Translational Research. Sawana is a native Texan with over 17 years of experience in research administration. She began her admin research career at Baylor College of Medicine in Cardiology, Pulmonary and Surgery Departments, with her final stop in Medical Ethics before joining Houston Methodist. Her career at Methodist began in the Office of Governance & Faculty Affairs and where she joined the department of Cardiovascular Sciences. Sawana joined Dr. Rostomily soon after he arrived at Methodist.Sawana enjoys spending time with family, traveling and all things outdoors, fishing, biking, football, basketball, and music. She’s a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and volunteers regularly with The Bread of Life (St. Johns United Methodist Church, Downtown), her passion is serving others.
- Maria Elias, Research Assistant; Current- PhD University of Utah, Scientist Myriad Genetics, Salt Lake City, Utah.
- Rob Oxford, MD, Post-doctoral Fellow; Current – Neurosurgeon, Carolina Spine and Neurosurgery
- Sutapa Ray PhD, Post-doctoral Fellow; Current- Business Development Manager Impel NeuroPharma, Seattle WA
- Elizabeth Stoll, PhD Student (co-mentored with Phil Horner); Current- CANDO Research Fellow Newcastle University UK
- Mari Tokita MD, Post-doctoral fellow, Current- Associate Laboratory Director at Rady Children's Institute for Genomic Medicine, San Diego CA
- Hunter Underhill MD PhD, Post-doctoral fellow; Current-Assistant Professor Pediatrics University of Utah.
- Rohan Ramakrishna MD, Post-doctoral fellow; Current-Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery Weill Cornell Medical Center
- Kathleen Fink (nee Tozer) MD, Post-doctoral fellow; Current- Assistant Professor Neuroradiology, University of Washington School of Medicine
- Liza Severs (nee Kobelt), Research Assistant, Current- PhD Student, Department of Neurobiology, University of Washington, Seattle
- Lisa Horowitz, Post-doctoral Fellow; Current- Research Scientist Department of Pathology University of Washington, Seattle, WA
- Julia Pollak, Post-doctoral fellow; Current- Scientist, Resolution Biosciences, Seattle, WA
- Maga Sanchez, Research Assistant; Current- Histotechnologist MD Anderson Cancer Center