Principal Investigator

Mythreye Karthikeyan

Mythreye Karthikeyan (K. Mythreye) completed her Bachelors in Science from Delhi University in the Biochemistry honors program and after completing her MS in Biochemistry, received her PhD from UNC Chapel hill in 2005. As a postdoctoral fellow at Duke University  (Gerard Blobe mentor) , she was first a recipient of the Susan Komen postdoctoral fellowship and subsequently a recipient of the DOD (OCRP) Postdoctoral Award. She made notable contributions and discoveries on the role of TGFβ coreceptors and cell-ECM interactions in regulating tumor cell behavior in both ovarian and breast cancer. 

MK is a 2013 Liz Tilberis Scholar, awarded the same year she joined the faculty of University of South Carolina, Columbia, in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry as a tenure-track Assistant Professor (2013). She received tenure and promotion in the Summer of 2019.

MK is currently a Tenured Associate Professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Graduate Faculty and Co-director of the TMS T32 and a Scientist Member of the Cancer Cell biology program at the O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center.        Email: and Office ph: 205-934-2746  CV  and publications


Graduate Students

 Ben Horst

Ben Horst completed his BS in Chemistry from Furman University before joining University of South Carolina through the Interdisciplinary Biomedical Science Graduate Program. He joined Mythreye’s lab in Spring 2017. His main interest is understanding angiogenic mechanisms in ovarian cancer focusing particularly on the role of Inhibin, and mechanisms regulating Inhibin expression. His main discovery relates to hypoxia dependent regulation of Inhibins/Activins in cancer.  



Zainab Shonibare

Zainab completed her BS in BioChemistry from Nigeria  before joining University of South Carolina’s Chemistry Biochemistry graduate program. She joined Mythreye’s lab in Fall 2017. Since Spring 2020 she  has transferred into UAB’s Graduate Biomedical Science program. Her main interest is understanding the role of BMP’s in ovarian cancer  focusing particularly on the mechanisms by which BMP regulates anchorage independent survival and metastasis and the targets downstream of BMP’s particularly Sox2. Her main discovery relates to novel mechanism by which BMP and TGFb regulate Sox2 expression in cancer and the therapeutic impact of Sox2 alterations to metastasis . Publications

Alex Seok Choi

Alex Choi completed his BS in Exercise Science  from University of South Carolina  before joining University of South Carolina’s Chemistry Biochemistry graduate program. He joined Mythreye’s lab in Fall 2017. Since Spring 2020 he  has transferred into UAB’s Graduate Biomedical Science program. His main interest is understanding the role of Proteoglycan coreceptors particularly betaglycan in ovarian cancer  focusing particularly on the mechanisms and impact of different GAG modifications on betaglycan in the tumor microenvironment. His main discovery is the identification of modified betaglycan in ovarian cancer. He  is currently examining the impact of this modification on receptor shedding, TGFb signaling  and biology in ovarian cancer. Publications

Resha Rajkarnikar

Resha completed her BS in Biochemistry from University of New Mexico (UNM).  Previously, Resha worked as a lab technician in Dr. Eric Prossnitz’s lab at UNM, where her projects focused on metabolism in obesity and diabetes. To pursue her interest in cancer biology, she joined the Graduate Biomedical science program at UAB (P3 theme) in 2021 and joined Mythreye’s lab in 2022. She is currently exploring novel protein targets that can play important role in anoikis resistance and metastasis of ovarian cancer.


Post Doctoral Fellows and Researchers.

Mehri Monavarian ( Senior Researcher )


Mehri completed her clinical/medical degree from Shiraz University of Medical Sciences in Iran. She joined Mythreye’s lab in Spring 2019 and since then has been primarily examining stress adaptation mechanisms in ovarian cancer. Her two main projects are 1) defining roles for specific lncRNA’s and 2) developing novel in vitro models for studying emergent cell behavior in ovarian cancer specific stress adaptation scenarios.



Asha Kumari Ph.D ( Post Doctoral Fellow)


Asha completed her Ph.D from Banaras Hindu University, India in 2018. She worked as a Post-Doctoral Fellow at UCSD till June 2020, before joining the lab. Her research interest includes understanding the relationship between aging and angiogenesis  during cancer progression . Asha uses aging models to mimic post menopausal onset of ovarian cancer along with molecular and cellular tools to address this issue.


Elizabeth T Evans M.D (Gynecology Oncology fellow)

Elizabeth is a first year Gynecology Oncology fellow who completed her MD and Residency from University of Virginia and Oklahoma University Health Science center respectively. For her one year research in the lab she will examine activins and inhibins as markers for immune outcomes in non high grade serous cancers.

Liz Q Macias Ph.D (Senior Researcher)

Liz is a researcher who obtained her MS and PhD from CINVESTAV-IPN in Mexico City and has subsequently worked in diverse research areas and multiple mouse models with prior employment at Emory and UAB.

Select Alumni

Archana Varadaraj ( pdfellow 2013-2016). Tenure Track Faculty Northern Arizona University

Priyanka Singh (pdfellow 2015-2018). Research Scholar University of Michigan

Kathleen O’ Connell (pdfellow 2016-2017) California State University, Instructional Faculty

Lauren Vaughn ( pdfellow 2018-2019) University of South Carolina , Instructional Faculty

Laura M Jenkins ( Lane) (Doctoral 2014-2019) Program Coordinator, SC DHEC

Tirthankar Bandyopadhyay ( MS ) PhD program University of South Carolina

Pratik Patel (Research Technician) Quality Specialist at KBI Biopharma. Durham, NC

Carly Lancaster (Undergrad researcher) PhD program Emory University

John Caleb Snider (Undergrad research). PhD program Vanderbilt University

Calen Raulerson (Undregrad research) MS program in Bioengineering

Juliet Joseph (Undergrad research) MD Program South Carolina

Nick Lenze (Undergrad research) MD Program UNC Chapel Hill

UAB the University of Alabama at Birmingham home
UAB is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer committed to fostering a diverse, equitable and family-friendly environment in which all faculty and staff can excel and achieve work/life balance irrespective of race, national origin, age, genetic or family medical history, gender, faith, gender identity and expression as well as sexual orientation. UAB also encourages applications from individuals with disabilities and veterans.