Principal Investigator

Pavan Kakumani, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Post-Doc: CRCHU de Québec-Université Laval, Québec, Canada.

Ph.D.: International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB) New Delhi.

B.Tech.: Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University (JNTU), Hyderabad, India.



Current Members

Sushmitha Ramakrishna

PhD Student, E-mail:

I am from Mysore, a beautiful city in the southern part of India. I completed my Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Biochemistry from the University of Mysore. After my Master’s, I started my PhD journey in Dr. Kakumani’s lab in 2022. In our lab, I am trying to uncover the mysteries surrounding how siRNAs regulate AGO2-mediated gene silencing in mouse embryonic stem cells. 

Outside of my research, I like hiking, movies, and music. 

Arezou Arvand

MSc student, E-mail:

I grew up in a small village called Algen in the south of Iran. I completed my Bachelor's degree from Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz where my interest in Genetics has grown. I am so curious about cell signaling and gene regulation. I joined Kakumani’s lab in June 2023 to start my graduate studies and find the answer to my questions while questioning more things! (This cycle has been my whole life!)

Outside the lab, I am a hair and skin counselor and I love learning about fashion. I also love being in nature and focusing on how natural things work in the world.

Mahammed Zaid Patel

MSc student, E-mail:

I am from Bharuch, the oldest city in Gujarat, India. I completed my bachelor's degree from P P Savani University, located in Surat, Gujarat. Ever since high school, I have nurtured a deep curiosity about the molecular machinery of the human body and the causes of diseases like cancer. I am joining Kakumani Lab as a graduate student in September 2023. I am particularly interested in studying the role of piRNAs in somatic and stem cell differentiation as part of my research focus.

In addition to my academic pursuits, I have a great passion for exploring new places, meeting new people, and indulging in the delights of various cuisines.                       

Yuguan Jiang

MSc student, E-mail:

I am from Shenyang, Liaoning Province, a city in northeastern China. Between 2018-2023, I received my bachelor's degree in clinical pharmacy from China Medical University. During my undergraduate studies, I developed an interest in studying cells from the DNA and RNA and protein levels. I am joining Kakumani's lab in September 2023 as a graduate student and am studying piRNAs and the role of PIWI proteins in living organisms.

In addition, I am a philosophy enthusiast, enjoy jogging and painting.                     

Claire Hynes

NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Awardee

I just completed my B.Sc Biochemistry (Honors). I joined Kakumani Lab group in 2022 and where I have been studying the role of CSDE1 missense variants and the miRNA pathway in the development of autism spectrum disorders.

When not in the lab, I enjoy swimming, skiing, and hiking.

Former Members

Claire Hynes, SRIP/MUCEP Student (Fall 2022 & Winter 2023), NSERC USRA (Spring - Summer 2023), Biochemistry Honors (Fall 2023 - Winter 2024)  

Maria Dodgson, MUCEP Student (Spring & Fall 2022), Biochemistry Honors (Fall 2022 - Summer 2023) 

Emily Collins, MUCEP Student - Summer 2023

Laura Grasmeyer, MUCEP Student - Spring 2023

Connor Milks, MUCEP Student -  Fall 2022 & Winter 2023

Amina Khaled, MUCEP Student -  Fall 2022 

Kangwa Napanje, MUCEP Student - Spring 2022

Emma Layman, MUCEP Student - Winter 2022

Lily Bertolo, MUCEP Student - Winter 2022

Esosa (Naomi) Ighodaro, MUCEP Student -  Winter 2022

Grace Christopher, Research Assistant, November 2021 - March 2022

Yaneesh Jerath, MUCEP Student - Fall 2021