TEAM

DrBhat

Dr. Mamatha Bhat

Principal Investigator

Dr. Bhat graduated from medical school at McGill University, followed by Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology residency training, as well as the Clinician Investigator Program (CIP).  Dr. Bhat went on to do a fellowship in Transplant Hepatology at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. She received distinctions over the course of her residency training include a Canadian Association for Study of Liver (CASL) Fellowship, Detweiler Traveling Fellowship from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, the Canadian Society for Clinical Investigation / Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CSCI/CIHR) Resident Research Prize for McGill University, and Resident Research Awards from the Canadian Association of Gastroenterology. She subsequently completed a PhD in Medical Biophysics through a CIHR Fellowship for Health Professionals with Dr. Nahum Sonenberg at McGill University and Dr. Igor Jurisica at University of Toronto, by applying Network analysis tools to the study of Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).

Dr. Bhat is currently a staff Hepatologist and Clinician-Scientist within the UHN Multi Organ Transplant Program and Assistant Professor in the Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine at University of Toronto. She has a graduate appointment with the Institute of Medical Sciences and is affiliated with the Toronto General Hospital Research Institute, Banting and Best Diabetes Centre and Ontario Institute for Regenerative Medicine. She has been the recipient of the Vanguard award for Best clinical paper and a Young Investigator award from the International Liver Transplant Society (ILTS). She is currently serving on the Clinical Research committee of the American Association for Study of Liver Diseases and the Basic and Translational Science committee of the ILTS. Dr. Bhat was the recipient of the 2019 Polanyi Prize in Physiology/Medicine, awarded by the Government of Ontario and Ontario Council of Universities for her research aiming to improve the long-term health of liver transplant recipients.

Dr. Bhat currently serves on the Clinical Research committee of the American Association for Study of Liver Diseases and the Basic and Translational Science committee of the ILTS.

Dr. Bhat also leads the UofT Department of Medicine Network to Enhance Well-being and Life (NEW Life) in Solid Organ Transplant recipients and co-leads the Therapeutics pillar within the UHN Multi Organ Transplant Program.

Current Lab Members

Elisa Pasini

Elisa Pasini

Master of Science in Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology, Udine, Italy. She has a Graduate degree in Biological Sciences with Pathophysiology Specialty, Bologna, Italy

 Current Research:

– Analyst involved in most of the projects in the lab and helps in student supervision
– Integration of multi-omics data in liver cancer and post-transplant diseases
– Network analysis and graphical visualization of protein-protein-interactions in liver cancer and post-transplant diseases
– Molecular validation of bioinformatics predictions for liver diseases

Cristina Baciu

Scientific Associate

PhD in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology – UNC Charlotte, USA
MS in Biochemistry / Computational Chemistry – Univ. of Windsor, ON
BSc in Chemical Engineering – Technical Univ. Ghe. Asachi -Iasi, Romania

Current Research:

– Overseeing the basic research projects in the lab, helps with grant applications, collaborative projects and bioinformatics analyses. She has extensive experience in cancer research, biomarker discovery in various diseases, multi-omics data integration, network and pathway analysis.

Yingji Sun

Yingji Sun is a Machine Learning Analyst who joined our lab as in December 2021. With a Master of Science in Biostatistics – Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto
Honours Bachelor of Science in Physiology and Statistics – University of Toronto

Current Research:
  • Employing machine learning methods to predict the survival trajectories of NASH patients and PSC patients on liver transplant waitlist

Post-Doctoral Fellows

Anh Thu Nguyen

Anh Thu Nguyen-Lefebvre

Doctor of Philosophy in Cellular, Molecular Biology, and Oncology – Universite Claude Bernard Lyon, France
Master of Science in Functional Genetics and Cellular Pathologies – Universite Claude Bernard Lyon, France
Bachelor of Science in Genetics – Universite Claude Bernard Lyon, France

Current Research:

-Identification of Stem Cell populations in Liver Regeneration, and Characterization of their Molecular Markers.
– Identification of Signaling Pathways regulating Liver Regeneration.

Anita Bakrania

Anita Bakrania

Received her B.Pharm, M.Pharm and Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences from Nirma University, India. Her Ph.D dissertation was focussed on nano-targeted anti-cancer therapy in TNBC. She then pursued her postdoctoral research at Universite de Sherbrooke (Quebec) as a recipient of both CRCHUS and FRQS fellowships while working on the therapeutic interventions and mechanistic approach of PACE4 in prostate cancer. Recently joined Dr. Bhat’s team.

Current Research:

-Biodistribution and off-target liver toxicity of therapeutic cargo delivered via porphysomes in hepatocellular carcinoma
-Effectiveness of siRNA targeted nano-delivery in decreasing HCC burden in the context of cirrhosis

Amirhossein Azhie

Amirhossein Azhie

MD degree Tehran university of medical sciences

Current Research:

-Characterization of Post – Transplant NAFLD

Nadia Prayitno

Doctor of Natural Sciences (Dr. rer. nat) in Molecular Biology, Chromatin Biology – Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Germany
Master of Science in Molecular Medicine – Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Germany
Honours Bachelor of Science in Immunology, Molecular Genetics & Microbiology – University of Toronto, Canada

Nadia holds a doctoral degree for her work on the role of roX RNA in Dosage Compensation during Drosophila melanogaster embryogenesis, where she utilized a variety of molecular and cellular biology, biochemistry, NGS, and bioinformatic techniques. She joined the lab in July 2021 and is a trainee of the Canadian Donation and Transplantation Research Program.

Current Research:
  • Elucidating the epigenetic effects of environmental factors on an aggressive form of NASH by integrating multi-comics data of post-transplant NASH
  • Evaluating novel approaches for the treatment of NASH

Master's Student

Madhumitha Rabindranath

Master of Science Candidate – Institute of Medical Science, University of Toronto

Honours Bachelor of Science in Pathobiology and Practical French – University of Toronto

Madhu is a recent HBSc. graduate who has research experience in clinical research, particularly in transplantation and artificial intelligence (AI). She recently completed a fourth-year undergraduate research project where she leveraged deep learning to automate Ki67 positivity scoring in various neuropathology cases. Combining her interests in AI and hepatology, she joined as a graduate student at the Bhat lab in Sept 2021.

Current Research:
  • Developing a deep learning workflow that non-invasively diagnoses liver graft fibrosis and steatosis (in partnership with Medo.AI)

Medical Students

Bishoy Lawendy

(2020 April – Current)

Adam Minich

(2020 April – Current)

Current Undergraduate Students

Priya Sheth

(2020 April – 2021 Sep)

Chaoqun (Cherry) Xu

(2020 April – 2021 Sep)

Mary Grace Wong

(2020 April – 2021 Sep)

Undergraduate Students

Multi Organ Transplant Research Training Program

Catherine Chen

Catherine Chen

Fall Student (2020 Sep-2021 Apr, 2019 Sep – 2020 Apr, 2018 Sep – 2019 Apr)

Shruti Misra

Shruti Misra

Fall Student (2020 Sep- 2021 Apr, 2019 Sep – 2020 Apr)
Summer Student (2019 May – 2019 Aug)

Cindy Wei

Fall Student (2020 Sep- 2021 Apr)

Peihao Li

Fall Student (2019 Sep – 2020 Apr)

Nan Ji Suo

Nan Ji Suo

Fall Student (2019 Sep – 2020 Apr)

Cathy Yang

Cathy Yang

Fall Student (2019 Sep – 2020 Apr), Summer Student (2019 May – 2019 Aug)

Andrew Rogalsky

Andrew Rogalsky

Summer Student (2019 May – 2019 Aug)

Praniya Nesan

Praniya Nesan

Summer Student (2019 May – 2019 Aug)

Cherie Tang

Cherie Tang

Summer Student (2019 May – 2019 Aug, 2018 May – 2018 Aug)

Catherine Hu

Catherine Hu

Summer Student (2019 May – 2019 Aug, 2018 May – 2018 Aug)

Yun Louise Lee
Jeffrey Yu
Evey Chen
Justin Kang
Monique Castro
Veena Asokan,
Jenifar Afrin
Charlene Gomes
Fuad Ahmed Ali
Emily Chen
Bishoy Lawendy
Sujitha Srinathan
Aninditee Das

Lab Alumni

Saranya Sivaraj

(2019 Apr – 2020 Nov), Probiotics to prevent the Progression of Non-alcoholic Steatohepatitis to Cirrhosis

Graziano Oldani

(2018 Dec – 2020 Jun), Pathway-based Analysis of Liver Regeneration.

Ravi Kiran

(2018 Dec – 2020 Jan), Prediction of Survival after Transplant for NASH Cirrhosis.

Raj Uchila

(2019 Aug – 2020 June), Outcomes of Liver Transplantation for Lean and Obese NASH Cirrhosis.

Saeed Almarzooqi

(2018 Oct – 2019 Oct), Cardiovascular Complications after Liver Transplantation.

Sreelakshmi Kotha

(2018 Feb – Present), Meta-analysis of Post-transplant diabetes.

Divya Sharma

(2020 Oct – 2021 Sept), Application of ML tools for liver disease detection and analysis.

Radmehr Rahemipour

(2019 Sept – 2021 Sept), Development of Porphysomes as Treatment for Hepatocellular Carcinoma.

Anshu Malik

(2020 Dec – 2021 Sept), Probiotics to prevent the Progression of Non-alcoholic Steatohepatitis to Cirrhosis.

Marc Angeli

(2016 Sept – 2021 Sept), Post-Transplant outcomes.

HEADER IMAGE CREDIT – Bergthaler Group/CeMM

This 3D image depicts the liver at the microscopic level. Liver cells are organized around the central veins to form hexagonal hepatic lobules that are powerhouses of liver metabolism and immune-metabolic regulators upon infection.