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Meet the APS Research Team!

Lab Life

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lab leadership
knight Jason Scott Knight, MD, PhD
Marvin and Betty Danto Research Professor of Connective Tissue Research
Associate Professor of Internal Medicine
profile-yu-zuo-2022 Yu Zuo
Edward T and Ellen K Dryer Early Career Professor of Rheumatology
Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine
Lab Manager
intmedrheumknightteamyalavarthi Srilakshmi (Sri) Yalavarthi, MS
Sri Yalavarthi, MS has worked at the University of Michigan for over 18 years and joined the lab in 2013. Apart from general lab maintenance, Sri's current work primarily focuses on the role of anti-NET antibodies as potential biomarkers for disease severity in auto immune diseases such as APS. She is also interested in investigating any potential connection between anti-NET antibodies and disease progression in COVID-19 patients. Outside the lab, Sri enjoys gardening and wishes that Michigan would have long summers. She also loves to travel to new places with her family and try out new cuisines.
faculty
intmedrheumknightteamali Ramadan Ali, PhD
Dr. Ramadan Ali completed his bachelor’s degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Toledo, Ohio where he also received his PhD degree in Medicinal Chemistry. He joined the Michigan Medicine Division of Rheumatology in 2017 as a postdoctoral fellow. Dr. Ali's research focuses on adenosine receptors as potential therapeutic targets in APS. He is also interested in natural medicine, specifically the anti-inflammatory effects of ginger-derived compounds in the context of lupus, APS, and other inflammatory diseases. In his off-time, Dr. Ali loves to spend quality time with his family.
intmedrheumknightteammadison Jacqueline Madison, MD
Dr. Jacqueline Madison, a Clinical Assistant Professor in Adult and Pediatric Rheumatology, joined the research team in 2019. Dr. Madison is interested in the study of APS, with a particular concentration in pediatric APS. She also contributes to the study of thrombosis and antiphospholipid antibodies in COVID-19 patients. Dr. Madison graduated from Yale University with bachelor’s degrees in Biology and Anthropology. She received her MD and completed both a combined Internal Medicine-Pediatrics residency and fellowship at the University of Michigan. Dr. Madison enjoys exploring the outdoors, traveling, and spending time with her family and labradoodle.
ajay Ajay Tambralli, MD
Dr. Ajay Tambralli, Clinical Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine and Pediatrics, focuses his research on the role of neutrophil metabolism in the pathogenesis of APS. Dr. Tambralli received his medical degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in Birmingham, Alabama. He then completed his residency at the University of Rochester in Rochester, New York and a combined Internal Medicine-Pediatrics fellowship at Michigan Medicine. Listen to Dr. Tambralli present his research "Neutrophil Glucose Flux as a Therapeutic Target in Antiphospholipid Syndrome."
APS Program Manager
intmedrheumknightteamsarosh Cyrus Sarosh, MSA, CCRP
Cyrus Sarosh, a clinical research coordinator lead, joined the team in 2021. Cyrus works on the Regulatory and Compliance aspects of the Human Research Projects and helps oversee the research occurring in the APS Research Labs. He has been working at Michigan Medicine since 2011, specializing in research. Cyrus received his bachelor’s degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology from Lawrence Technological University in Southfield, Michigan, and his Master of Science in Administration with a focus on Health Services Administration from Central Michigan University. In his free time, Cyrus enjoys playing baseball and spending time with his family.
Postdoctoral Fellows
intmedrheumknightteamliu Chao Liu, PhD
Dr. Chao Liu is a postdoctoral research fellow who joined the team in 2020. Dr. Liu works primarily on the study of renin-angiotensin system regulation on neutrophils, as well as a number of other studies involving diabetes and COVID-19. He is a 2015 graduate of Nanjing Medical University with a PhD degree in cardiovascular pharmacology. In his free time, Dr. Liu enjoys exercise and traveling.
intmedrheumknightteamnaveen Somanathapura K. NaveenKumar, PhD
Dr. Somanathapura K. NaveenKumar is a postdoctoral research fellow who joined the lab in December 2021. Dr. NaveenKumar's research interests include the roles of platelets and neutrophils in the pathogenesis of thromboinflammation. He received his PhD in Biochemistry (2018) from the University of Mysore, India and then trained at the Indian Institute of Science (Prof. G. Mugesh Lab) as a postdoctoral fellow (2018-21). Dr. NaveenKumar is currently investigating the role of ectonucleotidases and adenosine receptors on platelets as potential avenues for inhibiting arterial and venous thrombosis in APS. He is also interested in evaluating different cell death pathways in APS neutrophils.
Research Staff
intmedrheumknightlabteammemberkmetova Katarina Kmeťová, MSc
Katarína Kmeťová is a research laboratory specialist associate who joined the lab in 2022. Katarína has a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Biomedical Physics from Comenius University, Bratislava in Slovakia. She is currently working on her PhD in Normal and Pathological Physiology at the Institute of Molecular Biomedicine at the Comenius University, Bratislava. Currently, Katarína is working on a project that is analyzing samples from patients with sepsis and planning to expand this work further. In her free time, Katarína loves to hike, do yoga, cook, and spend time with friends or any combination the above.
intmedrheumknightteamliang Wenying Liang, MBBS, PhD
Dr. Wenying Liang, a research laboratory specialist who joined the lab in 2021, is interested in vascular diseases and is currently working on the vascular complications of APS. Dr. Liang was in the Michigan Medicine-Peking University Health Science Center (PKUHSC) MD-PhD program, and received her medical degree from PKUHSC in 2015 and PhD degree from Michigan Medicine in 2021. Her career goal is to be a physician-scientist. In her free time, Dr. Liang volunteers to prepare health education materials for underserved populations. She enjoys outdoor activities with family and friends, especially exploring new running routes.
intmedrheumknightteamsugur Kavya Sugur, PhD
Dr. Kavya Sugur, a research laboratory specialist associate, joined the APS Research Labs in June 2023. Dr. Sugur received her PhD from the JSS Academy of Higher Education and Research, Mysore, India. Her prior research focuses on oxidative stress, lipid peroxidation markers, and CVD risk estimation in type II diabetes. Currently, Dr. Sugur is leading a variety of different projects at the lab from the mechanism of infection-induced autoimmunity to the long-term cardiovascular sequelae of patients with antiphospholipid antibodies. In her spare time, Dr. Sugur enjoys traveling and spending time with her family.
students