Current Lab Members

Christopher Counter, Ph.D.

Principle Investigator

Professor of Pharmacology & Cancer Biology, Radiation Oncology

Hema Adhikari, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral fellow exploring how oncogenic RAS proteins signal through interrogating their interactomes using proximity-labeling technologies coupled with CRISPR/Cas9 loss-of-function screens.

  • Adhikari & Counter, Nat Commun 2018
  • Adhikari & Counter, Methods Mol Biol, accepted.


Özgün Erdoǧan, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral fellow exploring how the relationship between oncoprotein levels and mutation types affect tumor initiation in different tissues using genetically engineered mouse models of human cancers.


Zahra Kabiri, M.D., Ph.D.

Postdoctoral fellow exploring how modulating oncogenic RAS signaling through altering the codon usage of the gene can be used to unmask sensitivities particular to specific levels of oncogenic signaling.

  • Kabiri et al, J Clin Invest 2018
  • Sawyer & Kabiri et al, under revision

Siqi Li

Graduate student investigating how the carcinogen urethane leads to tumors initiated by very specific oncogenic RAS mutations using ultra-senstitive next-generation sequencing approaches and mouse carcinogen models.

  • Li et al, Nat Rev Cancer 2018
  • Li et al, Nat Commun 2020

Nikki Newman

Technician aiding postdoctoral fellow Dr. Ozgun Erdogan in manipulating the levels and mutation types of KRAS in genetically engineered mouse models of human cancers.


Kelsey Wagner

Technician aiding postdoctoral fellow Seth Zimmerman with studies into how Ras like proteins promote tumor phenotypes in vivo.

Hamed Zaribafzadeh

Technician exploring how to pharmacologically target candidate RAS modifiers.


Seth Zimmerman, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral fellow exploring how phosphatidylinositol metabolism influences tumorigenesis by employing targeted in vivo CRISPR/Cas9 loss-of-function screens. He is also studying how PAX3-FOXO1 promotes the childhood solid cancer  rhabdomyosarcoma by mapping the interactome of this fusion oncoprotein.