Columbia SOM
The Tabas Laboratory
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Lab Director  
Ira A. Tabas, MD, PhD
Vice-Chairman of Research, Department of Medicine, Columbia University
Professor of Medicine and Anatomy & Cell Biology (in Physiology and Cellular Biophysics)
Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons

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Faculty Consultant for Lab
Lale Ozcan

Dr. Lale Ozcan received her medical degree from Istanbul University Cerrahpasa School of Medicine and did a postdoctoral work at Harvard University focusing on mechanisms linking metabolic stress with insulin resistance. She then joined the laboratory of Dr. Ira Tabas at Columbia University where she studied the detailed signaling pathways and mechanisms underlying excessive glucose production and altered hepatic insulin signaling in obesity. Dr. Ozcan is currently a tenure-track Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine at Columbia University and her work focuses on exploring novel signaling pathways that control metabolic homeostasis with the ultimate goal to provide new therapeutic options for metabolic diseases.

Lale Ozcan

Lab Members
Patrick Baah
Patrick received his bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry from the University of Ghana,  Accra in 2012. In 2018, he completed his PhD in Cell and Molecular Biology of Inflammation at the School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, where he investigated the role of formyl peptide receptor 2 in acute Influenza A virus infection. In 2018, he joined the Tabas laboratory at Columbia University with a keen interest in understanding the molecular mechanisms linking both clonal haematopoiesis and type 1 interferons to defective inflammation resolution and atherosclerosis.


Bishuang Cai
Bishuang Cai received her M.S degree in cell biology from Xiamen University, China in 2008. She then pursued her doctoral training at University of Nebraska Medical Center in Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. She received her Ph. D. in 2013 for her research on endocytic membrane trafficking of GPI-anchored protein CD59 in the laboratory of Dr. Steve Caplan. Bishuang joined the Tabas laboratory in September of 2013 and her current research interest is to study the regulation of efferocytosis receptors in inflammation.


Brennan Gerlach
Brennan received his bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences from SUNY Cortland, New York in 2013. In 2019, he completed his PhD in Molecular and Cellular Physiology at Albany Medical College, New York, where he investigated the role of GMF-γ in regulating focal adhesion dynamics during airway smooth muscle cell migration. In 2019, he joined the Tabas laboratory at Columbia University with an interest in understanding the molecular mechanisms that govern macrophage metabolism and proliferation during atherosclerosis.


Devram Ghorpade

Devram received his doctoral training at Department of Microbiology and Cell Biology, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India. He received his Ph.D. in 2012 for his research on understanding the mechanistic and functional insights into Mycobacterium bovis BCG triggered TLR2 signaling and its implications for immune evasion strategies. He joined the Tabas laboratory as a postdoctoral research scientist in March 2013. His research interest includes the identification of molecular regulators which influence insulin signaling in white adipose tissue.


Canan Kasikara

Canan received her Bachelor of Science Degree from Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey in 2011. She then received her Ph.D. degree in Molecular Biology, Genetic and Cancer from Rutgers University, School of Graduate Studies, Newark, NJ. Working in the laboratory of Dr. Raymond B. Birge, her Ph.D. studies focused on the role of TAM receptors in epithelial cell efforocytosis and tumor immune evasion. She joined the Tabas laboratory in December 2017 with an interest in understanding how insulin resistance and atherosclerosis are linked in the perceptive of MerTK-dependent efferocytosis and inflammation resolution signaling.

George Kuriakose

George is from Kerala, India. He received his B.Sc. in Biology from Kerala University and M.Sc. in Biology from Mahatma Gandhi University, Kerala. He came to U.S.A. in 1992 and started working in the Department of Ophthalmology, Columbia University as a Research Staff Associate. In 1997 he moved to the Tabas Lab as a Senior Research Worker. His primary responsibilities include (a) maintaining and breeding various transgenic and knockout mouse lines; (b) sectioning of OCT embedded and paraffin mouse tissue samples; (c) histological staining and immunohistochemical analysis; (d) quantitation and qualitative analysis of atherosclerotic lesions in aortic arch with computer-aided imaging systems; (e) isolating primary human and murine cells, and maintaining a wide variety of immortal cell lines; (f) PCR, Southern and Western analysis; (g) standard molecular biology techniques; (h) bone marrow transplantation in mouse; (i) extracting and purifying human, rabbit and mouse plasma lipoprotein (VLDL, LDL and HDL) by preparative ultra centrifugation; (j) isotopic labeling (14C, 3H, 125I) of various cholesterol and protein components of lipoproteins for studying lipoprotein trafficking via endocytic and selective uptake pathways; (k) TLC and FPLC; and (l) Protein purification by column chromatography.

George Kuriakose
Xiaobo Wang
Xiaobo Wang received his PH.D. degree in 2008 from China Agricultural University in Beijing, China. After three years postdoctoral research working on the smooth muscle gene expression during smooth muscle cell phenotypic modulation in Albany Medical College, Xiaobo joined Dr. Tabas’ lab as a research scientist to focus on macrophage apoptosis during atherosclerosis.

Arif (Art) Yurdagul

Art received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Molecular Biology in 2008 from Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, LA. In 2015, Art received his Ph.D. in Cell Biology and Anatomy from Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, in Shreveport, LA. Working in the laboratory of Dr. Wayne Orr, his graduate studies focused on integrin signaling in oxidized LDL-induced endothelial cell activation and atherosclerosis. He joined the Tabas laboratory in January 2016 with an interest in how metabolic pathways regulate cell clearance by leukocytes, how these processes contribute to disease pathogenesis, and developing novel translational therapies.

Ze Zheng
Ze received her Bachelor of Medicine Degree from Jiamusi University School of Medicine in 2008. In 2009, She entered a master program at Wayne State University Department of Biology in Michigan. After two-year working as a student research assistant in Wayne State University School of Medicine, she transferred to a Ph.D. program in the Center for Molecular Medicine and Genetics in 2011. Her graduate work focused on liver glucose and lipid homeostasis synchronized by circadian clock regulatory signaling. Ze joined the Tabas laboratory in August of 2015 with a great interest in resolving puzzles of molecular mechanism behind metabolic syndromes.

Ying Wang

Copyright © 2018 Ira Tabas, MD, PhD. All Rights Reserved.