Jianmei Wu Leavenworth, MD, PhD

Associate Professor
Areas of Interest:
cancer immunotherapy, malignant tumors, glioma

Dr. Leavenworth joined UAB Neurosurgery as an Assistant Professor on Oct. 1, 2016. Previously, Dr. Leavenworth was at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute at Harvard University. Her main research interest is to understand the mechanisms of self-tolerance, focusing on molecular and cellular elements that regulate effector and regulatory cell subsets of the immune response. Her long-term goal is to seek effective strategies for cancer immunotherapy using mouse models and specimens from patients with malignant tumors, including gliomas. Dr. Leavenworth completed medical school at Nantong University (NTU) School of Medicine, Nantong, Jiangsu, China. She then finished her PhD training in molecular biology, microbiology and biochemistry with a focus on immunology at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine. She was at Harvard Medical School since 2009 serving as a research fellow (Postdoc) and then as an instructor.

Current Members

Sadashib Ghosh, PhD
In 2015, Sadashib Ghosh graduated from the National Brain Research Centre in India, with a PhD degree in Neuroscience. After a year of postdoctoral training at McGill University in Canada focusing on regulatory T cell research, Sada came to UAB and joined the Department of Neurosurgery for his postdoctoral training in glioblastoma research. He joined the Leavenworth lab in 2020, and is working on projects related to GBM, oncolytic virotherapy and CNS inflammation.

Michael Dixon
In Spring 2014, Michael graduated with a Bachelors degree in molecular biology from UAB. In pursuit of further training, he began his graduate studies in the cancer biology theme at UAB. After developing a passion for targeting tumor cells via immunological approaches, he switched to the immunology theme and pursued efforts that would allow him to combine the knowledge gained from both fields. After working with various immunologists and cancer biologists, Michael joined the lab of Dr. Leavenworth where he studies the role of follicular T-cells and their impact in tumor progression.

Jeffrey Grimes, M.S.
In Summer 2009, Jeff graduated with a Bachelors degree in Microbiology and Molecular Biology from UCF. He then worked for Dr. Dmitry Kolpashchikov as a Research Assistant for several years before deciding to pursue further training, he began his graduate studies by getting a MS in Microbiology at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Following that he worked in industry for several years before deciding to pursue his PhD in the Microbiology theme at UAB. After working with various immunologists, Jeff joined the lab of Dr. Leavenworth where he studies the role of CD4 T-cell subsets in the regulation of glioma progression.

Michael Franks, M.S.
In 2017, Michael Franks graduated with a Bachelors degree in Biomedical Science from UAB. He then continued at UAB to obtain an MS degree in Biotechnology in 2018. After working as a research technician in several labs at UAB, he was admitted into the UAB GBS to pursue his PhD degree in Cancer Biology. Michael joined the Leavenworth lab in 2021 and is starting to explore the role of NK cells in cancer.

Malik Seals
Malik Seals graduated with a BS degree at the University of Alabama in 2020. He was then accepted to the MS Program in Multidisciplinary Biomedical Science at UAB to pursue his MS degree in Immunology. He joined the lab in 2020 to focus on the EAE/MS research.


Luo Lin, PhD, Postdoctoral fellow (2018-2020), Currently as an Associate Professor at Nantong University, China

Jie Yin, PhD, Postdoctoral fellow (2016-2017), Currently as an Instructor at Tianjin Medical University, China

Baolong Yan, PhD, Visiting Scientist (2017-2018), Currently as a Lecturer at Wenzhou Medical University, China

Danny Lynn, UAB-CORD Blazing to Biomedical Careers Program (BBC) community college student (2021)

Rashib Samant, high school student (2021)

Wesley Oliver, Undergraduate in Neuroscience (2019-2020)

Julia Homola, Undergraduate in Immunology (2019-2021)

Xianzen (Jane) Hu, MS, Researcher V (2018-2019)

Katie Valin, Researcher II (2016-2018)