Lab Members

Principal Investigator
Marcia Haigis, PhD

Department of Cell Biology
Harvard Medical School
LHRRB Room 301A
240 Longwood Avenue
Boston, MA 02115

Phone: 617-432-6865
Fax: 617-432-6932

Marcia C. Haigis, Ph.D., is a Professor in the Department of Cell Biology at Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA,  a member of the Paul F. Glenn Center for the Biology of Aging, and the Ludwig  Center at Harvard Medical School. Following graduate training in Biochemistry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Biochemistry, Dr. Haigis studied mitochondrial metabolism during her postdoctoral research at MIT. She has contributed to understanding the role that mitochondrial sirtuins play in metabolism and disease. She has received a number of honors, including the Ellison Medical Foundation New Scholar Award, the Brookdale Foundation Leadership in Aging Award, and selection for the National Academy of Medicine's Emerging Leaders in Health and Medicine Program. 

Lab Manager and Mass Spectrometry Director
Shakchhi Joshi

Shakchhi graduated from Creighton University with a bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience and Psychology. As the Lab Manager, she is responsible for training new technicians, onboarding new lab members, coordinating lab events and overseeing inspections/lab safety. As the Mass Spectrometry Director she is responsible for overseeing instrument maintenance, coordinating run schedules, supervising and training all users on how to use the MS interfaces, data acquisition and data analysis softwares, and sample prep for all three of the in-house LC-MS mass spectrometery instruments. 

Known Aliases: Joshi, Shakichi, Shakcchi, Shakchii, Sha, Shakira

Postdoctoral Fellows
Brandon Gassaway

Brandon is a co-mentored post-doc between the Haigis and Gygi labs. As an undergrad at BYU, Brandon worked with Emily Bates studying the role of inwardly rectifying potassium channels in Drosphila development. He did his Ph.D at Yale with Jesse Rinehart, studying mechanisms of insulin resistance by phosphoproteomic analysis. He is currently interested in developing methods to functionalize protein phosphorylation.

Fun Fact: As an undergrad, Brandon also performed with the International Folk Dance Ensemble. 

James Han

James is a co-mentored post-doctoral fellow in Drs. Marcia Haigis and Arlene Sharpe laboratories. He completed his BSc at McMaster University, and MSc and PhD at the University of Toronto. Under the supervision of Dr. Pamela Ohashi and mentorship/guidance from Drs. Tak Mak and Naoto Hirano, his doctoral research focused on developing strategies to overcome T cell tolerance in the tumor microenvironment. James joined the Haigis and Sharpe labs to further understand how tumor microenvironment and anti-tumor immunity change with aging. 

Favorite Food: K-bbq, KFC (Korean Fried Chicken), sushi 

Hobbies: investing (stocks, crypto, etc) & travelling

Ji Seul Han

Ji Seul completed his Ph.D at Seoul National University in the lab of Jae Bum Kim. In his doctoral research, he investigated roles of HIF in the regulation of lipid catabolism and thermogenesis in adipocytes. Ji Seul is interested in studying how adipocytes sense and control metabolites upon metabolic diseases.

Hobbies: Cooking, traveling

Annie Hsieh

Annie is co-mentored post-doctoral fellow in Drs. Marcia Haigis and Bernardo Sabatini laboratories. She completed her M.D. at Tzu Chi University in Taiwan and then she pursued her Ph.D. at Johns Hopkins University under the supervision of Dr. Chi Dang, where she studied MYC disruption of molecular clock in cancer cells. In collaboration with Dr. Amita Sehgal, she also found drosophila Myc is required in maintaining circadian behavior and metabolism in fruit flies. She then completed her neurology residency at Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia and matched into the neuro-oncology fellowship program at MGH/DFCI/BWH. Annie is particularly interested in studying the mechanism of metabolic regulation of neurotransmitters in glioma.  

Hobbies: traveling, skiing, and trying interesting restaurants 

My childhood dream: Becoming a congresswoman 

Songhua Hu

Songhua completed his Ph.D at Fudan University in the lab of Shimin Zhao, studying how metabolites regulates metabolism through forming covalent modification to proteins. During his Ph.D, he found a novel protein lipidation, namely tryptophan polyunsaturated fatty-acylation. In his post-doc, Songhua is more interested in immunometabolism, and he also maintains a great interest in SIRT4, the last puzzle of mitochondrial Sirtuins.


Favorite Food: Hot Pot, sushi

Favorite Movie & Actors: King of Comedy, Stephen Chow

Kiran Kurmi, PhD

Kiran completed his Ph.D at Mayo Clinic in the lab of Taro Hitosugi, studying how oncogenic signals modulate mitochondrial metabolism. Kiran's current work focuses on areas of immunometabolism, primarily investigating various cell-intrinsic metabolic processes that can influence the performance of immune cell function with the goal of exploiting these alterations for clinical intervention. Kiran is a Gilead Sciences fellow of the Life Sciences Research Foundation

Favorite food: chicken chihuahua from Taco Bell


Jaime Schneider, MD/PhD

Jaime was born and raised in Florida, completed her undergraduate degree in Biochemistry at Northwestern University, and her MD and PhD degrees at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. After training in internal medicine at MGH, she matriculated into the hematology/oncology fellowship program at DFCI and is particularly interested in thoracic oncology. She joined the Haigis lab to study mechanisms of metabolic and proteostasis dysregulation in cancer and the interplay between oncogenesis and aging. 

Spirit animal: The Dachshund 

Conghui Yao, PhD

Conghui completed her PhD at Washington University in St. Louis, where she worked on LC/MS based metabolomics of cancer cells. In her postdoc, Conghui is interested in studying how immune cell functions are comprised in the tumor microenvironment.

Interested in but not good at: basketball 

Graduate Students
Yutong Dai

Yutong (Mary) received her bachelor’s degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She did her undergraduate research in the Johnson Lab, working on antibody-polymer conjugates for cancer treatments. She is currently interested in integrating chemical methods to study metabolite signaling.

Hobbies: traveling, playing board game!

Peter Georgiev

Peter is a PhD student in the HMS Immunology program and is co-mentored between the Haigis and Sharpe laboratories. He is interested in understanding the metabolic determinants of effective anti-tumor immunity and metabolic usage of CD8T cells in the settings of cancer and aging. Previously Peter worked as an industry scientist at Merck Research Laboratories where he supported the pre-clinical development of several immunotherapeutic agents across the early discovery pipeline. In addition to immunometabolism, Peter is broadly interested in immune tolerance and cancer immunology.  When he is not doing science Peter enjoys spending time with his wife Tehya and daughter Sofia Belle.

Hobbies: Fishing

Favorite Food: Neapolitan Pizza

Sheila Johnson

Sheila received her B.S. in Biochemistry from University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her undergraduate research in the lab of Dave Pagliarini was focused on identifying enzymes and precursors involved in coenzyme Q biosynthesis. She is currently interested in exploring how alterations in T cell metabolism improve antitumor immunity. 

Favorite show: Avatar: The Last Airbender

Liam Kelley

Liam did his undergraduate research in the laboratory of Bryan Ballif at University of Vermont, where he studied blood group systems. He is currently researching the interaction between tumor metabolism and urea cycle dysfunction in the context of hepatocellular carcinoma. In addition, he is interested in studying the contributions of proteomic changes to cancer metabolism.

Hobbies: Editing Wikipedia

Favorite protein: SrcASM

Research Assistants
Joseph Crowley

Joe graduated with a BA in Biology with a Minor in Environmental Studies from College of the Holy Cross. As a research assistant in the lab, his focus is on mass spectrometry. He also assists multiple postdocs in their research through bench work and analysis, works as an animal technician, as well as other administrative duties.

Favorite Food: Squirrel

Hobbies: Archery, bicycling, hunting.

Ishita Dhiman

Ishita graduated with a BS in Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology from Emory University. As a research assistant in the lab, her focus is on mouse colony management. She also assists several postdocs by maintaining cell cultures and assisting in other experimental techniques, as well as conducting some administrative duties.

Favorite Shows: Psych, Monk, Squid Game, Alex Rider

Favorite Food: anything spicy