Finnell Lab | People
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Richard Finnell

Professor, Department of Pediatrics, The University of Texas at Austin Dell Medical School
Director, Genomic Research, Dell Children's Medical Center
Ph.D, 1980, University of Oregon Medical School

Dr. Finnell's research examines the interaction between specific genes and environmental toxins as they influence normal embryonic development. While his primary research focuses on discovering the role of folic acid in the prevention of birth defects, his laboratory is also working to identify the gene or genes that determine susceptibility to human neural tube defects (NTDs) and orofacial clefts. Dr. Finnell is studying teratogenic agents, both pharmaceutical compounds and those found in the environment, that contribute to the population burden of birth defects.

Office: 512-495-3001   |   Lab: 512-495-3008       DPI 3.838


Robert Cabrera

Research Scientist
PhD, 2006, Medical Sciences, TX A&M

Office: 512-495-3005   |   DPI 3.840

Jimi Kim

Graduate Research Assistant
MS, Food Science and Nutrition, Jeju National University, Republic of Korea

Office: 512-495-4709   |   DPI 3.842

Yunping Lei

Research Scientist
PhD, School of Life Science, Fudan University (China)

Office: 512-495-4711   |   DPI 3.834

Ying (Linda) Lin

Research Fellow
MD, Clinical Medicine, School of Medicine, Shanghai Jiaotong University, China

Office: 512-495-4709   |   DPI 3.842

Paige McKenzie

Undergraduate Research Student
Project: NTD Candidate Gene Re-Sequencing and Functional Analyses
Supervisors: Dr. Yunping Lei

Chinwe Obudulu

Undergraduate Research Student
Project: Establishing eNOS mut mESC lines, and differentiating the mESCs into neuroepithelial cysts
Supervisors: Amanda Vaughn

Sarah Qureshy

Undergraduate Research Student
Project: Food Allergies and Association with Risk of NTD
Supervisors: Drs. Rachel Tittle and Yunping Lei

John Steele

Graduate Research Assistant

Office: 512-495-4709   |   DPI 3.842

Priscilla Tanamal

Undergraduate Research Student
Project: Folate receptor autobody assay
Supervisors: Dr. Robert Cabrera

Amanda Vaughn

Graduate Research Assistant

Office: 512-495-4709   |   DPI 3.842

Bogdan Wlodarczyk

Research Assistant Professor
PhD, 1993 and ScD, 2002, National Veterinary Research Institute in Poland

Office: 512-495-3002   |   DPI 3.836

Huiping Zhu

Affiliated - Research Assistant Professor
M.D., Ph.D.

Visiting Scientists

Dong An, MD, PhD

Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics, The First Affiliated Hospital of China Medical University, Shenyang, China

Clinical work: provide a full range of inpatient and outpatient clinical services for children and their families to optimize health and well-being.
Research interests: prenatal marker screening and pathogenesis studying of neural tube defects. Current interests are focused on understanding the genetics of neural tube defects.

Cristiane Fonteles DDS, MS, PhD

Federal U of Ceara, Brazil. Associate Professor of Pediatric Dentistry and Clinical Pharmacology. Postgraduate Program in Dentistry. School of Medicine, Drug Research and Development Center.

Clinical work: Focus on providing comprehensive dental care to children and adolescents with birth defects and craniofacial disorders.
Research interests: Translational science, and clinical research within the fields of genetics and pharmacology. Current interests are focused on understanding the genetics of craniosynostosis.

Hande Sipahi

Associate Professor, Toxicology Yeditepe University, Istanbul Turkey


Yoshifumi Yamaguchi

Department of Genetics, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, U. of Tokyo, Japan

I am a molecular developmental biologist interested in how cell society is designed, constructed and maintained. My recent interest is to reveal regulatory mechanisms of cell death and metabolism in development and physiology by using genetically engineered mice.

Yan (Yolanda) Xue

Associate Professor, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, School of Medicine

Major work: Stem cell and related molecular machinery.
Research field: Differential expressions of proteins in disease proteomics; Protein-Protein Interactions and related disciplines; Cell signal transduction; Microfluidic chip

Esther Zurita, MD

Clinical work: provide a full range of inpatient and outpatient clinical services for children and their families to optimize health and well-being.
Research interests: current interests are focused on understanding the genetics and environmental factors of neural tube defects and craniosynostosis.