Meet Our Members

Current Members


Jeong-Han Kang, Ph.D.
Jeong-Han Kang, Ph.D.

Dr. Kang obtained his Ph.D. in Biochemistry in South Korea. At that time, he developed a substance for suppressing epilepsy and researched the discovery of new substances related to arteriosclerosis. Afterward, he worked as a research professor at the Catholic University of Daegu, teaching students while studying the mechanism of action of new anti-cancer substances. As a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Pittsburgh in the United States, Dr. Kang conducted autophagy-related research with Dr. Yin and mitochondrial protease function research with Dr. Maurizi at NCI. For the past ten years, Dr. Kang has researched pulmonary fibrosis and liver disease with Dr. Leof and Dr. LaRusso at the Mayo Clinic. He has also mentored graduate students as an assistant professor and is currently working as a reviewer for several journals. Currently, his research explores challenges of drug delivery among the tumor microenvironment related to the blood-brain barrier and malignant glioma.


Photo of Sanghee Lim
Sanghee Lim, MS
Animal Biologist

Sanghee earned her Master's degree from Seoul National University in Neuroscience. Prior to the NIH, she performed cGMP and GLP cell manufacturing and drug therapy on neonatal hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy animal model with mechanism research at Johns Hopkins University and Millipore Sigma dedicated to neuroscience, cancer research, molecular biology and cell biology. Her current research explores the permeability of the blood-tumor barrier among malignant gliomas in in vitro and rodent glioma models.


Photo of Minhye Kwak
Minhye Kwak, MS
Animal Biologist

Minhye earned her B.S. in Biological Science from Sungkyunkwan University and an M.S. in Medicine from Seoul National University in South Korea where she performed molecular biology and genomics research. She then worked at Korea Institute of Science and Technology in Proteomics and worked at Johns Hopkins University in Neuroscience. Her current work focuses on the role of transient blood-tumor barrier disruption to enhance CNS drug delivery, using allograft and xenograft rodent glioma models.



Photo of Melissa Cesaire
Melissa Cesaire, BS
Post-bac fellow

Melissa Cesaire earned her Bachelor of Science in Biology with a concentration in Developmental Biology and Genetics from Penn State University. Her undergraduate thesis explored researchers’ views on how Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE), epigenetic mechanisms, and poor health-related outcomes are interrelated. In the Summer of 2021, she investigated the causes behind hyperinsulinism and helped characterize the ABCC8 inactivating mutation in the Zebrafish model at the Laboratory of Dr. Diva D. De León Crutchlow, at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Melissa Cesaire was selected as a National Institutes of Health, Undergraduate Scholarship Program Scholar (UGSP), and was hired by the NIH Office of the director as a full-time federal employee upon graduation. Her current work focuses on evaluating drug proteins that can transiently disrupt tight junctions between endothelial cells of the BBB to improve drug delivery to malignant glioma. Melissa is currently applying to MD and MD/PhD programs for a future career in medicine.


Photo of Kayen Tang
Kayen Tang, BS
Post-bac fellow

Kayen is originally from Seattle and earned his B.A. from Vassar College in neuroscience and behavior with a minor in chemistry. As an undergraduate, he investigated the role of prelimbic astrocytes in a spatial working memory paradigm. Currently, he is focusing on understanding the migratory patterns of cancer cells with different chemotherapeutic agents and evaluating drug entry using glioma model intratumoral microdialysis sampling. Kayen is currently applying to MD and MD/PhD programs for a future career in medicine.



Mahalia Dalmage, BS, Special volunteer


Lab Alumni

  • Christina Conrad, PhD, Post-doc fellow
  • Brandon Foster, BA, Post-bac fellow
  • Caitlyn Meek, MS, Graduate fellow
  • Matthew McCord, MD, MRSP fellow
  • Amelie Vezina, MS, PhD, Post-doc fellow