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Lynn Fernandez, RN

Research RN

Phone: (214) 648-2817
Fax: (214) 648-6427

Lynn is from Plymouth Meeting, Penn., near of Philadelphia. She attended Germantown Hospital and Medical Center School of Nursing and La Salle University. Her career began as a medical-surgical nurse and later as a critical care nurse in Philadelphia. She moved to Texas and made a career change to research. For 15 years, Lynn was with the Department of Cardiology with a focus on heart-failure research. In 2017, she joined Dr. Raksha Jain’s lab where she continues to be a part of a dedicated team.

When she’s not working, Lynn enjoys watching Philadelphia sport teams, the arts, traveling (especially to visit her son and daughter-in-law and daughter), cooking and baking.

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Laura Henry, A.A.

Program Coordinator

Phone: (214) 648-3875
Fax: (214) 648-6427

Laura has been with UT Southwestern for more than 25 years. She has an extensive background in administration, with a focus on grants and financials. In 2015, she joined the Department of Internal Medicine in the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care as the Senior Grants Specialist. In 2019, Laura joined the CF research team as the Program Coordinator providing support for grants, clinical trials, financials, and other projects. 

Laura enjoys gardening, reading, watching movies, helping animals through her support of local rescue groups, and knitting scarves. 

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Ashley Keller, M.P.H.

Clinical Research Manager

Phone: (214) 648-6233
Fax: (214) 648-6427

Ashley has been conducting CF research at UT Southwestern Medical Center since 2011. A native of San Diego, she received her bachelor's degree in nutritional science from Brigham Young University and her Master of Public Health from San Diego State University. She focused on HIV care and research before moving to Dallas and discovering the exciting research that is happening in CF. Ashley is particularly interested in growing our CF research program so that each CF patient is aware of clinical trials and is able to participate in a trial if they wish to do so.

Ashley loves to cook and read fiction novels when she isn't exploring the Dallas area with her three kids and husband.

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Maria McLeod, LVN

Research LVN

Phone: (214) 648-2817
Fax: (214) 648-6427

A Dallas native, Maria attended Townview Health Professions High School and became a patient care tech while in high school. Maria has been an LVN for 12 years. She has worked with the Army reserves and home health care. For 10 years she worked at an OB-GYN clinic for Parkland. Throughout the years, Maria has worked on her bachelors of science.

For fun, Maria enjoys spending time with her two kids and husband. She also enjoys gardening, traveling, and working out.

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Alan Nava

Clinical Research Assistant I

Phone: (214) 648-5254
Fax: (214) 648-6427

Alan is a Dallas Native born and raised.  He received his degree in 2014 from Remington College and has worked in patient care for 7 years. Alan has worked in pediatrics, urgent care, and general internal medicine.  He began working in Cystic Fibrosis research in 2023, with a primary focus on clinical research and health initiatives. 

When away from work, Alan enjoys being at home watching movies with his family, enjoying the Dallas night-lights, and going out on long walks with his pets Willow and Benny. 

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Shadaan (Shad) Abid, Ph.D.

Research Scientist

Phone: (214) 648-2604
Fax: (214) 648-6427

Shad joined our lab in 2012 as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow and is currently a Research Scientist studying the impact of sex hormones in cystic fibrosis. She is from Mumbai, India, where she earned her Ph.D. at the National Institute for Research in Reproductive Health (ICMR). Her doctoral research focused on the molecular and cellular basis of male fertility regulation and the contribution of genetic factors in male infertility. She was a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Kent Hamra’s lab, where she studied spermatogonial stem cells.

When not in the lab, she enjoys spending time with her friends, reading, listening to songs, and cooking.

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Crystal Neugin, LVN

Research LVN

Phone: (214) 648-2817
Fax: (214) 648-6427

Crystal graduated from Dallas Nursing Institute as an LVN in 2011. She previously worked in pediatric care, specializing in pulmonary care of tracheotomy and ventilations; she also has worked in geriatric care and skilled rehab. As part of the Jain lab, she is excited to take part in developing advanced treatment for cystic fibrosis.

When not working she enjoys spending quality time with her family, reading biographies, astrology, and traveling with family and friends. 

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Terri Visnick-Chang

Clinical Data Specialist

Phone: (214) 648-2817
Fax: (214) 648-6427

Terri has worked in research for over 30 years, mostly conducting urology clinical trials in San Diego.  Upon moving to Dallas two years ago she began working in Cystic Fibrosis research.  

For fun, Terri enjoys hiking, traveling and spending time with her five grandkids. 

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Drirh Khare, Ph.D. 

Research Scientist

Phone: (214) 648-2604
Fax: (214) 648-6427

Drirh joined Dr. Jain’s Lab in 2023 as a Research Scientist studying the impact of sex hormones in chronic cystic fibrosis mice model. He earned his Ph.D. at the CSJM University Kanpur, India, entitle antiviral role of vit D to combat Influenza. He did his postdoctoral study from Hadassah University Hospital, Jerusalem, Israel.  There he learned the role of human bone marrow Mesenchymal stem derived exosome.  Conclusion of his research is exosomes were more stable compared with MSCs, have no risk of aneuploidy or ectopic proliferation, have less probability of immune rejection following in vivo allogeneic administration and may provide an alternative therapy for inflammatory diseases.  Further he joined Dr Bruce Blazar lab, Regents Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Blood and Marrow Transplant & Cellular Therapy of University of Minnesota and learned the role of Treg cells over model of chronic GVHD that results from T:B cooperativity, leading to alloantibody and subsequently, collagen deposition, culminating in multi-organ system injury specially pulmonary fibrosis.

When not in the lab, he enjoys spending time with his daughter and watching movies.