People

Group photo

Meet the Principal Investigator

Lorena Saelices, Ph.D.

Lorena Saelices, Ph.D.

I was born and raised in the south of Spain. I earned my B.S. in biology and my Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Sevilla, where my training focused on molecular biology and structural biology. As a postdoc, I used these tools to study proteins involved in human amyloid diseases.

My lab applies crystallography and cryo-electron microscopy to obtain atomic information of amyloid structures, which is later used to design tools for the clinic. Our attention is mainly directed to transthyretin amyloidosis and Alzheimer’s disease.

Lab Members

Binh Nguyen, Ph.D.

Binh Nguyen, Ph.D.

Instructor

I started as a community pharmacist, then shifted careers and earned my Ph.D. in molecular biology at the University of Otago in New Zealand. I served as a lecturer in molecular biology and managed the External Relations Department at Vietnam National University’s School of Medicine, in Ho Chi Minh City. I then moved to UCLA, where I discovered a passion for amyloid research and cryoEM. In the Saelices lab, I’m using cryoEM to explore fibril structure and dreaming about solving the mystery of amyloids.

Shumaila Afrin, Ph.D.

Shumaila Afrin, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Researcher

I am from India, and earned my Ph.D. in biochemistry at Aligarh Muslim University. In the Saelices Lab, I am interested in developing a cell-based model system of transthyretin cardiac amyloidosis, applying it to evaluate novel therapeutic strategies, and understanding the disease's pathophysiology. I enjoy reading, traveling, cooking exquisite Indian dishes, and then eating them.

Mari Fernández-Ramírez, M.S., Ph.D.

Mari Fernández-Ramírez, M.S., Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Researcher

I grew up in Córdoba, Spain, and earned my B.S. in biotechnology at Francisco de Vitoria University, and my M.S. and Ph.D. in neuroscience at the Autonomous University of Madrid. My research goal is to find key structural determinants in transthyretin and tau proteins associated with their related diseases, using CryoEM and other techniques.

Virender Singh, Ph.D

Virender Singh, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Researcher

I am a protein scientist with an interest in self-assembly and aggregation. I earned my Ph.D. in biophysics at the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur. Before that, I worked in Biocon, India's top biopharmaceutical company. In the Saelices lab, I use cryoEM to study polymorphism in transthyretin protein aggregates. When not working, I enjoy nature photography and science communication.

Yasmin Ahmed

Yasmin Ahmed

Research Technician I

A Dallas native, I earned my B.S. in Neuroscience and Public Health at UT Dallas. In the Saelices Lab, my research interests are using cryoEM to determine the structures of proteins implicated in the pathophysiology of TTR amyloidosis, and developing clinical tools for inhibiting amyloids. I enjoy reading novels, cooking, and going to coffee shops.

Preeti Singh

Preeti Singh

Research Technician I

I was born and raised in India, and completed a master's degree in mathematics at Dayananda Saraswati University. In the Saelices lab, I am in charge of lab management and research support, and investigate how TTR mutations affect amyloid structure. When I'm not working, I enjoy cooking and experimenting with new recipes. I enjoy spending time with my friends and family.

Rose Pedretti

Rose Pedretti

Graduate Student: Cell and Molecular Biology

I am from New York and earned my B.S. in biochemistry from Nazareth College. In the Saelices Lab, I am developing peptide probes that can be used for diagnosis of transthyretin amyloidosis. Outside of research, I enjoy weightlifting, baking, and trying new food.

Anna Yakubovska

Anna Yakubovska

Graduate Assistant Fulbright Program

Originally from Kyiv, Ukraine, I earned my bachelor’s and master’s degrees in molecular biotechnology from Jagiellonian University in Cracow (Poland). In the Saelices lab I study the amyloidogenic pathway of TTR to establish an aggregation protocol for in vitro analysis. In my free time, I enjoy traveling, cooking, dancing, and reading psychological books.

Lanie Wang

Lanie Wang

Temporary Staff Specialist

I am an undergraduate student in neuroscience at UT Dallas. In the Saelices lab, I work on diagnostic tools for transthyretin amyloidosis using peptide probes. Outside of the lab, I enjoy drawing, hiking, and spending time with friends and family.

Join Our Lab

As a new lab at UT Southwestern, the Saelices Lab is looking to grow.

We seek graduate students, postdocs, and technicians to join our exciting work.