Meet the Principal Investigator
Suzanne D. Conzen, M.D.
Professor, Internal Medicine
Division Chief, Hematology and Oncology
Suzanne D. Conzen, M.D., is a Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine and Chief of the of Hematology and Oncology. She specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer.
Dr. Conzen earned her medical degree at Yale School of Medicine and completed her residency in internal medicine at New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center. She then received advanced training in hematology and medical oncology through a clinical fellowship at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and in molecular oncology through a research fellowship at Dartmouth Medical School. She also holds a master’s degree from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.
Current Lab Members
Lynda Bennett, Ph.D.
Dr. Bennett is originally from England and received her Ph.D. in molecular genetics from St. Mary’s Hospital Medical School, Imperial College in London. She came to UTSW for her first postdoctoral fellowship in the McDermott Center to study inherited genetic diseases. In research at other institutions, she then studied genome-wide gene expression in pediatric autoimmune and inflammatory diseases and global epigenetic alterations in B-cell malignancies. She also studied DNA methylation in multiple myeloma and ovarian cancer. Dr. Bennett recently came back to UTSW bringing expertise in genetic, epigenetic, and genomic methodologies to study breast and ovarian cancer in the Division of Hematology and Oncology. Dr. Bennett’s outside interests include her family, tennis, reading, and cooking.
Chris (Woei-Yaw) Chee, Ph.D.
A native of Malaysia, Chris earned a double bachelor's degree in biochemistry from the National University of Malaysia and biological science from Bournemouth University in the UK. He earned his Ph.D. in biological science from Osaka University, where he focused on the remarkable longevity of the naked mole-rat, and found that lipid metabolism and senescence are linked via the β-catenin-regulated pathway. In Dr. Conzen's laboratory, he studies the mechanistic correlation between nicotinamide N-methyl transferase and the cholesterol biosynthetic pathway in association with metastasis. In his free time, he enjoys hiking, bouldering, and gorge climbing.
Deniz Nesli Dolcen
Nesli was born and raised in Istanbul, Turkey. She moved to the US and obtained her B.S. in Biology from Bates College. She then worked as a research technician at the Center for Cancer Genome Discovery at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. She started her graduate work at The University of Chicago Cancer Biology Ph.D. Program, and is completing it under Dr. Conzen's mentorship. Nesli's primary research interest is investigating potentially targetable post-transcriptional gene regulation mechanisms that regulate normal development and contribute to cancer progression when altered.
Candace Frerich, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Candace received a B.S. in biochemistry from Angelo State University in San Angelo, Texas, where she studied the phylogeny of Texas bat species under Dr. Loren Ammerman. She earned her Ph.D. in biomedical sciences from the University of New Mexico HSC in Albuquerque, investigating the role of Myb transcription factors in salivary gland tumors with Dr. Scott Ness. In the Conzen Lab, Candace studies the utility of glucocorticoid receptor modulators in estrogen receptor-positive breast tumors.
Praveen Jaiswal, Ph.D.
Praveen obtained his Ph.D. degree in urological cancer from King George’s Medical University, Lucknow, India. His research focuses on understanding oncogenic signaling, mechanism of therapy resistance, and application of small molecule inhibitors in prostate cancer. Apart from science, Praveen loves to spend time with family and friends, and watch movies.
Christine Shiang, M.D., Ph.D.
Christine earned her Ph.D. in cancer biology from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center UTHealth Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences in Houston, where she worked on novel therapeutic targets for triple-negative breast cancer with Dr. Lajos Pusztai. She earned her M.D. from UT Southwestern. Christine is a fellow in the Hematology/Oncology Division and a participant in the Physician Scientist Training Program. In the Conzen Lab, she is working on enhancing antitumor immunity via glucocorticoid receptor mechanisms in the tumor-immune ecosystem of triple-negative breast cancer. In her free time, Christine enjoys family, golf, and snowboarding..
Manisha Taya, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Manisha received her Ph.D. from the Department of Pharmacology and Physiology at the University of Rochester in Rochester, NY (2019). Her research focused on a rare lung cancer called LAM that predominantly affects women. She studied the interplay between estrogen receptor (ER) and immunosuppressive cells, namely myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs), and their secreted product, called neutrophil elastase, which is an angiogenic factor promoting cancer cell metastasis. She joined Dr. Conzen’s laboratory as a postdoctoral research fellow to investigate the role of glucocorticoid receptor (GR) activation on immune cell infiltration and tumor microenvironment regulation in ovarian cancer. In her free time, Manisha enjoys watching documentaries, going to live concerts, practicing street photography, and traveling.