PDA Leadership Biographies


Member Biography
Popular Pandey

Popular Pandey, PhD
~ President, PDA
~ PDA Professional Development Committee
~ Postdoc Representative, Faculty Senate & Intercouncil Leadership

Popular Pandey is a postdoctoral researcher who joined the Department of Physiology and Biophysics at CWRU in Fall 2022. Originally from Kathmandu, Nepal, he earned his PhD in Physics from Florida International University (FIU) in Fall 2020. During his PhD studies, he developed nanoscale electroanalytical probes for single molecule analysis. After completing his PhD, he continued as a distinguished postdoctoral fellow at FIU, where he developed and implemented nanopipette-based multifunctional probes for single cell analysis. At CWRU, Popular's research focuses on understanding how membrane proteins regulate the permeation of water, gases, and other solutes that are critical for cellular homeostasis. He uses a combination of molecular biology, biochemistry, electrophysiology, and molecular dynamics simulation methods to investigate these mechanisms. Outside of work, Popular enjoys a variety of activities, including gardening, cooking, watching TV shows and movies, hiking, traveling, and spending time with friends and family. As a new member of the CWRU Postdoctoral Association (PDA), Popular is eager to contribute to the community as the President and through involvement in the Faculty Senate and the PDA Professional Development Committee. In these roles, he looks forward to representing the interests of postdocs, promoting their professional development, and advocating for their needs and concerns.

Department: Physiology and Biophysics

Nisha Bhattarai

Nisha Bhattarai, PhD
~ Secretary, PDA
~ Postdoc Representative, Faculty Senate Committee on Minority Affairs
~ PDA Professional Development Committee


Nisha Bhattarai is a postdoc scholar who joined the department of Physiology and Biophysics at CWRU in Fall 2023. Originally from Nepal, she earned her PhD in Physics from Florida International University (FIU) in the Summer of 2021. During her PhD, she utilized computational and theoretical approaches to study various biomolecules including proteins, membranes, and peptides. Following her PhD, Nisha became a postdoc scholar at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation (CCF) in 2021, where she delved into researching disease mechanisms related to sodium ion channel mutations causing neurodevelopmental disorders, using molecular modeling and bioinformatics approaches. At CWRU, her current research is centered on understanding the interactions between various GTPases and Plexin genes, with implications in cancer. Outside of work, Nisha loves hiking in nature, traveling, trying new cuisines, and spending time with friends and family. As a member of the CWRU PDA Professional Development Committee, Nisha is enthusiastic about engaging in various PDA activities, anticipating contributions to the association, and seeking opportunities for further professional development. 

Department: Physiology and Biophysics


Yalitza Lopez Corcino, PhD
~ Secretary, PDA

* bio coming soon

Department: Department of Medicine at MetroHealth Medical Center

Imdadul Khan

Imdadul Khan, PhD
~ Postdoc Representative, Faculty Senate Committee on Graduate Studies

Imdadul is interested in applying chemical and genetic tools and approaches in epigenetics to understand and treat cancer. He did his Master's on isolating bioactive natural products from the endophytic fungus at the University of Dhaka, Bangladesh. Imdadul did his PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences (emphasis on Medicinal Chemistry) at the University of Mississippi in 2022, where he designed and synthesized natural product-inspired complex small molecules as potential therapeutics for various diseases. The potential of small molecules to serve as a tool to explore casual interaction directly in the cells and to understand the complexity of cellular processes inspired him to pursue postdoctoral training in chemical biology. Imdadul joined as a postdoctoral scholar in the Gryder lab at the School of Medicine in January 2023. Imdadul's future professional goal is to lead a team as a principal investigator and utilize a holistic approach including chemistry, biology, and bioinformatics, to solve the puzzles of biological systems in treating diseases. 

Imdadul joined the PDA in 2023 and currently is a representative on the Faculty Senate Committee on Graduate Studies. Imdadul is the eldest of two brothers and one sister, the son of two proud parents, a husband, and a father to one precious little girl. He likes to travel, watch movies, and meet new people. 

Department: Genetics and Genome Sciences

Akshaya Radhakrishnan

Akshaya Radhakrishnan, PhD
~ Chair, PDA Women's Initiatives Committee

Akshaya joined CWRU in April 2022 in the department of Medicine, division of Hematology/Oncology under Dr. Reshmi Parameswaran. She is originally from India and graduated with her PhD from Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Science University, Chennai Tamil Nadu, India. Her PhD work was on Molecular Virology. Her PhD work was developing an attenuated cell line based vaccine for Classical sine fever disease which is a highly contagious viral disease affected in swine. At CWRU, her lab focuses on immunotherapies for cancer and auto immune diseases. She was excited because it's all translation research from bench to bedside. Her projects include reducing cytokine release syndrome when CAR T cells are administered to patients. She has done some in vitro and pre clinical studies in mice models. Another project is using B-cell activating factor Chimeric Antigen Receptor Natural killer (BAFF CAR NK) cells targeting B cancer cells. She is performing pre clinical studies and excited to translate it to patients. She likes to do sketching, painting, and traveling with family. 

Department: Hematology / Oncology

Syam S

Syam S, PhD
~ Chair, PDA Social Activities Committee

Syam is a postdoctoral scholar in the Case School of Engineering, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and joined CWRU in 2023. He received his PhD in Aerospace Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur (IIT Kharagpur), West Bengal, India. Before joining CWRU, he worked a as a research assistant in the Department of Aerospace Engineering at IIT Kharagpur. At CWRU, his research focuses on the influence of aerosols and particulars on hypersonic boundary layer transition. His research interests include experimental fluid mechanics, hypersonic boundary layer transition, shock-droplet interaction, flow visualization, laser ignition of atomized fuel-air mixtures, and droplet combustion. He loves to listen to vocal and instrumental music in his free time, especially Hindustani and Carnatic music. 

Department: Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Sina Ahmadi

Sina Ahmadi, MD
~ Chair, PDA Fundraising Committee 
~ Representative, Faculty Senate Committee on Campus Planning, Facilities, and Space
~ Postdoc Representative, ad hoc University Media and Social media Safety and Protection Plan Committee of the Faculty Senate

Sina is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Learner Research Institute at Cleveland Clinic. Originally from Iran, he completed his neurosurgery residency in 2018 and has an interest in translational research projects. In 2023, he came to the US and spent a year as a postdoctoral fellow at Johns Hopkins before starting another research fellowship at Case Western in March 2024. Currently, he is working on a preclinical mouse model of Glioblastoma in Dr. Lathia's lab. He is focusing on combination therapy for brain tumor treatment. In his free time, Sina enjoys listening to music and participating in sporting activities such as hiking, dining out, and shopping with his wife.

Department: Comprehensive Cancer Center

Jonnelle Edwards-Glenn

Jonnelle Edwards-Glenn, PhD
~ Chair, PDA Public Relations Committee; Social Media Ambassador

Jonnelle Edwards-Glenn is originally from Northwestern Ohio and received her Ph.D. in Biomedical Science from the University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences in August of 2021. Currently, Jonnelle is a postdoctoral scholar in the Cardiovascular Research Institute at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Dr. Sanjay Rajagopalan’s laboratory. Her current research focuses on environmental pollutants’ effect on cardiovascular disease. Jonnelle joined PDA in 2021 but took on a greater role as Social Media Ambassador this year. In this role, she creates content and manages information disseminated on PDA’s social media pages to keep the postdoctoral community informed. Jonnelle is also a champion for diversity, equity, and inclusion and volunteers at John Hay School to mentor and instill leadership skills into underrepresented minority young ladies. Her ultimate goal is to have a lasting impact on underrepresented minority students interested in STEM careers. Outside of work, Jonnelle enjoys traveling, coloring, watching movies, and spending time with her family. Jonnelle is a proud and active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Greater Cleveland Alumnae Chapter. Jonnelle is also heavily involved in the National Black Postdoc Association.

Department: Cardiology

Eric Mosher

Eric Mosher, PhD
~ Chair, PDA Professional Development Committee

Eric Mosher is from Middletown, Pennsylvania. He is very familiar with CWRU, as he completed his undergraduate studies here. After 4 years in Cleveland, Eric pursued a PhD in Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences at Johns Hopkins University. Eric returned to CWRU in 2022 to start his current postdoc position in the lab of Derek Taylor in the Department of Pharmacology, where he is studying interactions between HPV and human proteins involved in carcinogenesis. Outside the lab, Eric is an avid sports fan and enjoys cooking. Eric joined the PDA as a chair of the professional development committee and is excited to contribute to helping CWRU postdocs achieve their career goals.

Department: Pharmacology


Bernadette Schneider

Bernadette Schneider, PhD
~ Chair, PDA Benefits Committee

Bernadette Schneider is a postdoc in the department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, working with Prof. Christine Duval and Prof. Julie Renner. A native of northeast Ohio, she completed her PhD in chemistry at the University of Michigan in 2022. Her research at Case investigates specialized polymeric membranes for rare earth element recovery via biosorption, a process using biologically-derived materials to remove specific contaminants from water. She joined the Benefits Committee to help other postdocs understand their benefits and to ensure that the needs of postdocs with respect to benefits are effectively communicated. Outside of research, she especially enjoys the performing arts and going for walks outdoors. 

Department: Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Suza Mohammad Nur

Suza Mohammad Nur, PhD
~Chair, PDA Visa & Immigration Committee
~ PDA Public Relations Committee


Suza Mohammad Nur began his undergrad and grad journey at the prestigious Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology program at the University of Chittagong in Bangladesh. There, he sharpened his theoretical knowledge of transcriptional mediated regeneration viruses and delved into bioinformatics expertise in computational design of inhibitory RNA molecules to suppress different types of viruses. He also worked as a microbiologist in two multinational joint ventured pharmaceutical companies in Bangladesh. In 2017, he moved to King Abdulaziz University (KAU), Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to pursue his PhD. During his PhD, he explored the intricate world of cell metabolism and DNA methylation, unraveling the mechanisms behind immune evasion in metastatic cancers. In 2022, Suza joined CWRU as a postdoc in Dr. Kaixiang Cao's lab in the School of Medicine, where he has been investigating the nexus between epigenomics, cellular metabolism, and stem cell differentiation. Suza's future goal is to be a researcher to span RNA metabolism, immune surveillance in metastatic tumor progression, and the regulation of cell metabolism in cancer through metabolite transporters. Suza is the eldest son in his family, a husband, and a father of two lovely kids. In his free time, Suza loves to cook multicultural dishes and watch historic documentaries. 

Department: Biochemistry


Satendra Kumar

Satendra Kumar, PhD
~ Representative, Cleveland Biomedical Trainee Alliance (CBTA)
~ PDA Visa & Immigration Committee


Satendra Kumar is a postdoctoral research scholar working with Dr. Fu-Sen Liang in the department of Chemistry at CWRU. Originally from India, he completed his PhD at the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay in 2023, where his research focused on the synthesis and chemical biology studies of g-quadruplex/i-Motif DNA interacting small molecules. 

After earning his doctorate, Satendra joined CWRU, where his primary research now focuses on developing methods and molecules to control epigenetic modifications, a promising approach for impeding cancer activity. In addition to his research, he has recently taken on roles as member of the Immigration and Visa Committee and as a representative of the Cleveland Biomedical Trainee Alliance (CBTA). 

As a member of the PDA, Satendra is enthusiastic about collaborating with CWRU staff and other PDA members to assist new postdocs, ensuring they have a smooth and enjoyable experience at the university. 

Department: Chemistry

Prateek Dwivedi

Prateek Dwivedi, PhD
~ PDA Social Activities Committee

Prateek is a postdoc in the department of Chemical Engineering. He joined CWRU in April 2024 after completing his PhD in Chemical Engineering from the Institute of Technology Kanpur (IIT Kanpur), India. Prateek's research interests include soft active matter, complex fluids, and experimental fluid mechanics. During his PhD, he experimentally investigated the dynamics of self-propelled droplets in complex environments. At CWRU, he is working with Dr. Christopher Wirth on developing new image processing and imaging deployment strategies for defect detection during the manufacturing of coatings. In his free time, he enjoys watching Test match cricket and lives traveling to have a deeper understanding of the cultural and geographical aspects of different places. 

Department: Chemical Engineering

Arpan Mahanty

Arpan Mahanty, PhD
~ Postdoc Representative, Faculty Senate Committee on Research
~ PDA Professional Development Committee


Arpan Mahanty is originally from India. He received his PhD from The Hong Kong Polytechnic University in Hong Kong in 2023. During his doctoral study, he worked on Molecular Imaging techniques for brain tumor margin detection. He started his first postdoc at CWRU in the Radiology department in 2023. Arpan is receiving his postdoc training under Dr. James Basilion's mentorship in his laboratory. His current work is focused on Molecular Imaging and surgical intervention for intraoperative image guidance for precision cancer surgery. 

Apart from his research, Arpan enjoys photography, classical music, and hiking. He is also passionate about multicultural cooking and testing new foods. He joined the PDA in May 2024. 

Department: Radiology

Rushdhi Mohamed Rauff

Rushdhi Mohamed Rauff, PhD
~ Representative, Cleveland Biomedical Trainee Alliance (CBTA)

Rsuhdhi earned his BS (Honors) in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka. He obtained his PhD from Kent State University; during his PhD he was working with RNA modifications. He joined CWRU in 2023 as a postdoctoral scholar. His current research in the lab of Dr. Fu-Sen Liang predominantly involved studying RNA modifications as well. He has been working with RNA modifications for more than 6 years and it still fascinates him, especially their role in regulating gene expression. 

Outside of work, he enjoys traveling, meeting people, trying new food, and experiencing different cultures. 

Department: Chemistry

Reza Ferdousi Beirami

Reza Ferdousi Beirami, PhD
~ PDA Social Activities Committee

Reza Ferdousi is currently a postdoctoral researcher in the department of Genetics and Genome Sciences in the School of Medicine, where he focuses on the application of machine learning techniques to predict the effects of gene knockouts and knockdowns. He earned his PhD from Tehran University of Medical Sciences (TUMS) in Iran, specializing in biomedical informatics. Outside of his academic pursuits, Reza is passionate about a variety of activities including hiking, gym workouts, painting, and reading. He values the opportunity to socialize and connect with others, reflecting on a broad range of interests and community involvement. 

Department: Genetics and Genome Science

Sekhar Jaggarapu

Sekhar Jaggarapu, PhD
~ PDA Professional Development Committee 
~ Representative, Faculty Senate Committee on University Libraries
~ Representative, Cleveland Biomedical Trainee Alliance (CBTA)

Sekhar Jaggarapu is currently a postdoc scholar in Dr. Acharya's lab in the department of Biomedical Engineering in the Case School of Engineering. Sekhar earned his PhD in India from CSIR-IICT Telangana. He joined CWRU in Fall 2023 after completing his second postdoctoral fellowship at Arizona State University. His research focuses on nano- and micro- materials and therapeutic delivery systems to modulate the immune system for various diseases, including cancer, Alzheimer's disease, and autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and multiple sclerosis (MS). Sekhar joined the PDA in 2024.  Outside of the lab, Sekhar enjoys meeting friends, road trips, and playing games.

Department: Biomedical Engineering

Lamyae El Khalki

Lamyae El Khalki, PhD
~ PDA Public Relations Committee

Lamyae El Khalki is originally from a mountainous town in Moroccco where she got her PhD in Molecular Biology from the University of Sultan Moulay Slimane. During her PhD she got an opportunity to do internships in Institut Curie in Paris, France. After defending her PhD during the Covid-19 pandemic, she flew to Philadelphia, PA for her first postdoc experience. Currently, she is a postdoctoral scholar in the School of Medicine. Her project is focusing on signaling pathways which are responsible for initiation, progression, and metastasis of Triple Negative Breast Cancer. 

Outside the lab, Lamyae dedicates her time in making the postdoctoral experience more enjoyable for postdocs in her community, formerly (2024-2024) as co-chair of Communication Subcommittee at the National Postdoc Association, and currently as a Public Relations Committee member for the CWRU PDA. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, outdoor activities, and baking when it is snowing in Cleveland. 

Department: Department of Medicine at MetroHealth Medical Center

Athar Khalil

Athar Khalil, PhD
~ Postdoc Representative, Faculty Senate Committee on Women's Affairs

Athar Khalil holds a postdoc position in the department of Genetics and Genome Sciences and serves as an instructor in the Post-Baccalaureate Readiness Instruction for BioMedical Education (PRIME) program. She earned her bachelors degree with distinction in Medical laboratory Sciences from the American University of Beirut (AUB), Lebanon, where she also completed her graduate studies, finishing her PhD in 2018. 

Khalil's research focuses on the strategic integration and advancement of biotechnologies in the fields of cell biology, translational medicine, and molecular oncology. As a PhD student, she was the first to document a novel role for the TBX2 subfamily of transcription factors as tumor suppressors in lung adenocarcinoma. Currently, as a postdoc, she is developing a lung cancer KRAS mouse model using the novel Tumor Barcoding with Ultradeep Sequencing technology (TuBa-seq) to further understand the role of the TBX2 subfamilty in vivo. 

Outside of work, Athar enjoys hiking in the mesmerizing nature around Cleveland. 

Department: genetics and Genome Sciences