Trinh Tat, Ph.D. (Research Associate II, Program Project Manager – Houston Methodist Hospital)
Before coming to the United States, Trinh earned both a B.S. in Biotechnology and M.S. in Genetics from the VNUHCM University of Science – Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Upon completion of her Master’s degree in Genetics, Trinh was awarded a prestigious Vietnam Education Foundation Fellowship to pursue her Ph.D. in the United States. In 2009 she joined the lab of Dr. Tim Nilsen at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) in Cleveland, OH where her research focused on the regulation of mRNA stability by deadenylation elements and miRNAs. She completed her research and received her Ph.D. degree in Biochemistry in August of 2015. Immediately after completing her Ph.D. she joined Coller Lab at The Center for RNA Science and Therapeutics, CWRU as postdoctoral researcher. Her work in the Coller Lab focused on investigating the mechanism of action of drugs for targeting certain CFTR mutations.
In 2016, as a condition of her Vietnam Education Foundation Fellowship she returned to Vietnam to share her training. During these two years, she gained industry experience as she was appointed as Regulatory and Technical Relations Manager at Procter & Gamble.
Dr. Tat joined the Kiss RNA Lab at Houston Methodist Research Institute on December 3, 2018. Her current research projects include designing, constructing, and experimentally evaluating novel RNA therapeutic candidates. She is also pursuing bioinformatics training and was co-mentored by Dr. Kaifu Chen for 2 years. She has utilized that informatics training and data mining techniques to predict and evaluate putative cytoplasmic recapping sites in mammalian cells and has experience analyzing eCLIP, RNA-Seq and ChIP-Seq data as well.
Outside the lab, she enjoys traveling and spending time with her family and friends. Experiencing new cultures, enjoying new natural spaces and meeting new people are always on her top to do list during her vacation. She also enjoys doing flower arrangement and interior design whenever she has some time to spare.
Vinay Nair, PhD
Vinay Nair is a computational chemist pursuing impactful small-molecule anti-cancer drugs. He has 8+ years of experience in applying complex molecular dynamics simulations in high-performance computing environments to probe protein/membrane structure and dynamics. Currently, he is an industrial postdoc at the Institute for Applied Cancer Science (IACS) at the UT MD Anderson Cancer Center, where he is a part of multiple drug discovery programs being prosecuted at IACS. In his current role, he is gaining expertise in state-of-the-art in computer aided drug design, while being exposed to the industry standard of drug discovery and development. During his postdoc, he has gained expertise in industry-standard tools such as CCG MOE, Schrodinger, AMBER for prosecuting drug discovery programs. Further, he has gained experience in utilizing his background as a computational and experimental researcher to interface with different functional areas and make a positive impact to the drug discovery programs. His long term goal is to transition these skills into a successful career as a drug discovery researcher.
Miusi Shi, MD
Miusi Shi, M.D., Postdoctoral Associate, Rice University, Department of Bioengineering
Dr. Shi got a M.D. degree from Wuhan University, School and Hospital of Stomatology (China), where she took two years residency training after graduation. She had a great experience on the treatment of periodontitis, as well as developing drug delivery systems and bone engineering scaffolds for tissue regeneration. In 2020, she went to Yale University, School of Medicine for her first-round postdoc training. In Schwartz Lab, she investigated the mechanosensing signaling and the cellular mechanism of atherosclerosis and then became an expert in cell biology and molecular biology.
Dr. Shi joined McHugh lab at Rice University in 2022 to explore new possibilities on drug development. Inadequate PK has been identified as a key shortcoming of many drug therapies, especially for biologics, which are more unstable with short half-lives. Therefore, her current research focuses includes: (1) enable drugs to be delivered passively with customized control over release kinetics, (2) develop a controlled-release strategy that protects biopharmaceuticals from environmental insult during formulation and release, (3) create methods that sequentially delivers multiple drugs to meet dynamically changing treatment needs, and finally bring the injectable controlled-release microsystems into clinical application to improve drug performance, drug safety, and patient compliance.