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Welcome Our New Faculty

Connect with the newest faculty of the basic science academic departments

Issam Ben-Sahra, PhD joined the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics as an assistant professor. The goal of his research is to define the key molecular links between oncogenic events and cellular metabolism. The Ben-Sahra lab seeks to identify novel connections between oncogenic signaling and metabolic pathways required for nucleotide synthesis.
 
Dr. Ben-Sahra earned a PhD in Cell & Molecular Biology from the University of Sophia-Antipolis (Nice, France). He completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Cancer and Metabolism in the laboratory of Prof. Brendan D. Manning in the department of Genetics and Complex Diseases at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
Paul DeCaen, PhD joined the Department of Pharmacology as assistant professor. He studies the biophysics, pharmacology and physiology of ion channels. Currently his laboratory is focused on two divergent groups: voltage gated sodium channels (Nav) and Polycystin channels (also called Polycystic Kidney Disease Proteins, PKDs).
 
DeCaen was selected as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Medical Research Fellow in 2014. He earned a doctorate in Pharmacology from the University of Washington in 2010 and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Boston Children’s Hospital.
Elizabeth Leeth, MS joined the Center for Genetic Medicine as Assistant Director of the Graduate Program in Genetic Counseling (GPGC). She is an assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics. Leeth served as a GPGC faculty member for 20+ years, helping to develop the three primary genetics courses for the program. Her full time role at the GPGC will focus on collaborating with the core and adjunct faculty on curriculum development. 
 
Leeth earned her master’s degree in Medical Genetics from Indiana University and was certified by the American Board of Genetic Counseling in 1996. She is an active member of the National Society of Genetic Counselors and the Genetic Task Force of Illinois. She provided prenatal genetic counseling and administrative leadership at NorthShore University HealthSystem for over two decades and most recently was a laboratory and clinical genetic counselor at the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago.
Huiping Liu, MD, PhD joined as an associate professor in the Department of Pharmacology and the Department of Medicine (Hematology/Oncology). She earned an MD at the Fourth Military Medical University, China, and a PhD in Biomedical Sciences at the University of Chicago. Prior to joining Northwestern, Liu was an assistant professor in Pathology at Case Western Reserve University.
 
The Liu lab studies the molecular mechanisms underlying cancer stem cells (CSCs) and metastasis through four ongoing interactive basic and translational research projects: (1) to understand CSCs in metastasis using cutting-edge single cell sequencing and CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing technologies; (2) to image CSC behavior and interactions with immune cells during metastasis using bioluminescence imaging and intravital imaging systems; (3) to target CSCs with novel therapeutics delivered by exosomes and nanoparticles; (4) to develop circulating tumor cell- and circulating exosome-based biomarkers for cancer diagnosis, treatment monitoring, and prognosis. The Liu lab is looking forward to collaborating with colleague scientists, engineers, physicians, and patients to impact cancer medicine at Northwestern.
Loukia Parisiadou PhD joined an assistant professor in the Department of Pharmacology.  She studies the cellular and molecular events by which mutations in the gene LRRK2 contribute to Parkinson’s Disease. The Parisiadou lab’s long-term goal is to understand the pathophysiology of Parkinson’s Disease by researching a-synuclein and mainly LRRK2-dependent alterations at the cellular, network and behavioral levels.
 
Parisiadou is the Principal Investigator of an NINDS/R01 grant. Prior to joining Northwestern, Parisiadou was a senior research fellow to the Laboratory of Neurogenetics at the National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health. She earned a PhD in Biology from the University of Athens.
 
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