• Meet the Sumanas Lab

    Most of the lab members have individual projects that relate to studying the mechanisms of cardiovascular development in a zebrafish model system. We nurture a supportive environment where each lab member is encouraged to work and think independently while receiving adequate mentoring and supervision. It is a friendly and collegial place where in addition to regular lab meetings and seminars, we also have fun parties and outings.  

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    Michael Craig, MS

    Systems Biology Graduate Student

    Michael studies functional redundancy between vascular-specific transcription factors and their potential role in supporting tumor vascularization.  He received his BA in Microbiology from Miami University and his MS in molecular biology from the University of Cincinnati.

    Michael Craig, MS


    Jennifer Davis Williams

    Graduated Magna Cum Laude Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama; Medical degree from Kansas City University of Medicine & Biosciences in Kansas City, Missouri; Currently a third year clinical fellow in pediatric Hematology/Oncology/BMT at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.  She pursues her research interest: Lymphatics by studying animal models of lymphangiogenesis and vascular tumors.  Her goal is to identify genetic targets for drug therapy that will treat rare vascular tumors and metastatic disease for which currently there is no cure.  She joins CCHMC faculty in July 2013.  For fun she might be sailing a boat, exploring a foreign city, trekking a mountain, or checking out the local fare in newly discovered eatery.

    Jennifer Davis Williams


    Sharina Palencia Desai

    Graduate Student
    BS 2000 Molecular Biology & Biochemistry, Rutgers University. MA 2003 Biology, Magna Cum Laude, Hunter College. Sho Dan black belt: 2004. Motherhood: 2007. PhD 2005-2008 MCDB: UCLA; 2008-present MDB: University of Cincinnati & Cincinnati Children’s’ Hospital.  

    Sharina studies the early cardiogenesis in zebrafish. She loves being a wife & mom, cooking, spoken word poetry, neo-soul music & dancing salsa, hula, & reggae.

    Sharina Desai


    Nikki Glenn, PhD

    BS Miami University, 2006
    PhD University of Cincinnati, 2013

    Nikki studies early heart structure and the development and regulation of primitive neutropoiesis.

    Nikki Glenn


    Allison Lubert

    Research Assistant II

    Allison joined the Sumanas Lab in August 2012. She is a graduate of Xavier University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Natural Sciences concentration in Biology. Allison is a native of Knoxville, TN and enjoys sporting events as well as running in her free time.

    Allison Lubert


    Megan Rost

    Graduate Student

    Megan received her BS in biochemistry from Michigan State University in 2008. She has been a member of the Sumanas Lab since the fall of 2008 and her lab project focuses on understanding the role of Stabilin2 in zebrafish arterial-venous differentiation. Outside of the lab, Megan enjoys a number of things including swimming and exploring what the city has to offer.

    Megan Rost


    Jennifer Schumacher, PhD

    Jen received her BS in Biology from the University of Scranton in 2000, and her PhD in Cell and Molecular Biology from the University of Pennsylvania in 2007.  Her research interests include endocardial development and discovering the roles of novel genes in vascular development.

    Jennifer Schumacher, PhD


    Saulius Sumanas

    Assistant Professor

    Saulius Sumanas received his PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Minnesota.  Dr. Sumanas’ lab utilizes zebrafish as a model to study molecular mechanisms of vasculogenesis and angiogenesis.

    Saulius Sumanas

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