Boland Lab Team
We are a team of translational scientists learning about cancer by studying patient-derived tumors and blood samples.
Genevieve Boland, MD, PhD
Genevieve M. Boland, MD, PhD, FACS is an Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School and Director of the Melanoma Surgery Program at the Massachusetts General Hospital. Her primary clinical focus is on melanoma and cutaneous oncology. She undertook combined MD/PhD training, completing a PhD in Cell and Tissue Engineering at the National Institutes of Health focusing on signaling pathways in adult, human mesenchymal stem cells.
She graduated cum laude from Thomas Jefferson University as a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha medical honor society and completed her general surgical training at Massachusetts General Hospital. Following this, she completed a clinical fellowship in Complex General Surgical Oncology and a combined research fellowship at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. She joined the MGH Division of Surgical Oncology and is focused on the clinical management of melanoma patients. She is board certified in General Surgery and Complex General Surgical Oncology, and she is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons.
Tatyana Sharova, MD
Tatyana Sharova is a senior clinical research coordinator in the Boland Lab. She completed her Doctoral Degree in Oncology Hematology in Pediatrics in 1999. She has 15 years of intensive basic research at Boston University Department of Dermatology with a main focus on molecular and cell biology of skin and hair. Her technical skills including expertise in biochemical analysis of RNA and DNA, DNA cloning, protein handling, multi-color IHC and IF staining methods. For the last 10 years her work was primarily focused on skin derived cells, stem cells, and induced pluripotent stem cells. She is also a former lecturer for the unique International Graduate Program in Dermatology at BU. The combination of clinical and basic science knowledge was a good start to her career in clinical research, and she completed Clinical Research Coordinator Training and HIPAA Advanced Training. She also has expertise in FDA, GCP, HIPAA, and IRB regulations and guidelines.
William Michaud, PhD
William (Bill) Michaud is a research scientist in the Boland Lab. He obtained a PhD in Biology from the University of Maryland in 2001.
He worked in the Rocco Lab from 2001 – 2014 studying molecular changes in head and neck tumors, focusing on predictors of responsiveness to therapy. He joined the Boland Lab in 2014 and has optimized techniques for exosome extraction from cell culture and human sera, RNA preparation and analysis.
In additional to his technical expertise, Bill is a talented chef, brewmaster, biker and fisherman.
S. Alireza Rabi, MD, PhD
Ali is a general surgery resident at the Massachusetts General Hospital. He completed his combined MD/ PhD training at Johns Hopkins University. For his PhD thesis, he was mentored by Dr. Robert Siliciano, and he worked on delineating the mechanism by which protease inhibitors, a potent class of anti-retroviral drugs, achieve their anti-HIV-1 inhibitory potential.
For his research, he is interested in controlling the site of integration of lentiviruses. Lentiviruses integrate their genetic cargo into the genome of their host cells thus ensuring long-term and stable viral protein synthesis by the infected cells. In addition, they are capable of infecting non-dividing cells. These features make them very attractive for gene therapy applications. However, the genomic site of integration is largely unpredictable. This unpredictability can (and has) lead to oncogenesis which limits their use in in vivoapplications. His current project aims to control the site of lentiviral gene integration, thus rendering them safer for use in vivo.
Clinically, he is enrolled in the cardiac surgery track of the cardiothoracic integrated training program at MGH. He hopes to focus his fellowship training and subsequent career on heart and lung transplantation.
Xu Bai, MD
Xue (Catherine) Bai obtained an MD from Peking University in 2015 and has worked in Peking University Cancer Hospital as a medical oncologist since then. She joined the lab in 2017 and has been focusing on developing a predictive biomarker panel of MAPK pathway inhibitors in BRAF-mutant melanoma patients in the hope of identifying new intervention targets.
Marta Díaz Martínez, PhD
Marta obtained her PhD in 2017 from the Complutense University of Madrid, Spain. As the first part of her PhD, she focused on the role of Src kinases in melanoma cell invasion and metastasis. In the second part, she studied the mechanisms of melanoma resistance to targeted therapy, with special attention to microRNAs contribution.
She joined Boland’s lab in March 2019, where she is working to expand her studies in microRNAs and their potential in cell-to-cell communication through exosomes and microvesicles regarding their role in melanoma resistance to both targeted therapy and immunotherapy. The ultimate goal is to translate results to the clinic, and find new biomarkers as predictors of resistance.
Mohsen Maleh Mir, PhD
Mohsen obtained his PhD in 2018 from University of Zurich, Switzerland. For his PhD thesis, he mechanistically delineated the role of Platelets in conditions associated with metabolic disease and also liver disease. Mohsen and colleagues showed that platelet recruitment to the liver contributes to development of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) through platelet glycoprotein Ibα (GPIbα).
Since immunotherapy is not curative for most patients with metastatic melanoma owing to the innate or acquired resistance, Mohsen aims to investigate different aberrations that lead to resistance. He is interested in investigating the mechanisms contributing to melanoma tumor progression or response following immunotherapy. A number of previous studies have yielded mechanistic insights underlying response or resistance in clinical cohorts and in vivo studies. Using a comprehensive transcriptomic profiling study of ICI response and resistance in a clinical cohort which provides novel evidence to existing hypotheses regarding ICI response or resistance mechanisms, he aims to potentially uncover molecular insight into the underlying mechanisms of immunotherapy response and resistance.
Benchun’s background is anti-cancer pharmacology. He has been a part of many drug-resistance related studies, especially in the field of melanoma therapy. He works as a member of the tissue banking team, and is involved in collecting, processing, storing and transporting patient tumor, tissue and blood samples. He plays an integral role in providing patient tumor, DNA, RNA, plasma, and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) samples to support collaborating researchers in their work.
Susannah’s work primarily involves collection and processing of blood and tissue specimens from patients with melanoma and gastrointestinal cancers. She graduated from Colorado College with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and a minor in Biochemistry and hopes to pursue a career in medicine.
Tommy plays an integral role in collection and processing of patient blood and tissue samples. In addition, Tommy oversees the construction and management of a research and clinical database. He graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with a Bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and will be starting at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in the fall of 2019.