Smyth Lab Members



Smyth/Morris Lab

Principal Investigators.


    Dr. Susan S. Smyth MD. Ph.D.                    Dr. Andrew J. Morris Ph.D.


Current Lab Members

J. Anthony Brandon Ph.D. 

Research Assistant Professor & Lab Manager.

Smyth/Morris Lab

 Research. ATX




 Education: Ph.D (2004) Dept. Of Forensic Scicene, Univ. of Central,Lancashire, UK

                      BSc.(Hons)(1999) Health Sciences, Wolverhapmpton University, UK           

 Team Member Since:April 2013 

 Contact Details: Office: BBSRB B354. Phone (859) 323-3348, Email:

 Home Town: Market Drayton, Shropshire, UK.

 Click here for Faculty website. 


Recent Publications: 



 Travis Sexton Ph.D.

Research Associate & Clinical Study Coordinator.

Smyth Lab.

Research:Travis oversees patient recruitment, sample collection and processing, protocol execution and data collection and analysis, and drafting and publishing manuscripts for multiple studies in which we analyze platelet function, platelet-leukocyte interactions, and the role of inflammation and thrombosis in a variety of clinical settings including acute coronary syndrome, pneumonia, and patients receiving interventional devices such as  aortic valve  replacements and ventricular assist devices (VADs).

 Education: Ph.D. (2009) Molecular & Cellular Biology, Dept. of Biology, Univ. of Kentucky

                     BS. (2002) Emphasis in Botany, Estern Kentucky University.

 Team Member Since: August 2012.

 Contact Details: Desk BBSRB B348A Phone: (859) 323-3617 Email: 

 Home Town: Paris Ky.


Recent Publications:



Prabha Nagareddy Ph.D.

Scientist III


Obesity is associated with infiltration of macrophages into adipose tissue (AT),  contributing

to i nsulin resistance and diabetes. However, relatively little is known regarding  the origin of AT

macrophages (ATMs). We discovered that murine models of obesity have  prominent

monocytosis and neutrophilia, associated with proliferation and expansion of  bone marrow (BM)

myeloid progenitors. AT transplantation conferred myeloid progenitor  proliferation in lean, while

weight loss in both mice and humans (via gastric  bypass) was associated with

a reversal of monocytosis and neutrophilia. Adipose  S100A8/A9 induced ATM TLR4/MyD88

and NLRP3 inflammasome-dependent IL-1β  production. IL-1β interacted with the IL-1 receptor

on BM myeloid progenitors to stimulate  the production of monocytes and neutrophils.These

studies uncover a positive feedback  loop between ATMs and BM myeloid progenitors and suggest that inhibition of TLR4 

ligands or the NLRP3-IL-1β signaling axis could reduce AT inflammation and insulin resistance in obesity.

Education: Ph.D. (20XX) Pharmaceutical Sciences, The University of British Columbia.

                  MPharm: (20XX)

Team Member Since; July 2013

Contact Details: Desk: BBSRB B348D Phone: (859) 323-5484 Email

Home Town Bangalore, India.

Recent Publications:



Paul Mueller BS.

Graduate Student (Ph.D. candidate 2015)

Smyth Lab


Large genomic studies in humans have implicated the gene PPAP2B in  containing SNPs that

increase an individual’s risk of developing coronary artery disease.  Paul is investigating

PPAP2B’s product, LPP3, a lipid phosphate phosphatase that  degrades bioactive LPA, and it role i

in the development of atherosclerosis.

 Education: BS. Biology, University of Kentucky.

                      Ph.D. candidate 2015


 Team Member since: 2007

 Contact Details: Desk BBSRB B306-01 Phone (859) 323-5484 Email Home Town. Winchester KY

Recent Publications.


Therese Stearns.

MD/PhD Program Administrator/Director.



Team Member Since: 2007

Contact Details: Office BBSRB B252 Phone (859) 323-

2274 Email

Home Town. Winchester










Manjula Sunkara MS.

Scientist II

Morris Lab


Research: Manjula’s primary role has been to develop mass spectrometry based

methods for the structural analysis and quantitation of lipids, small molecule metabolites and

experimental therapeutics.


Education:  MS. Chemistry, Tennessee Technological University.  

Team Member since: 2008


Contact Details: Desk BBSRB B106, Email

Home TownHyderabad, India  Small Molecule Mass Spectrometry Core Laboratory.


Recent Publications.


 Sony Soman Ph.D.

Scientist I

Morris Lab


Research: Sony’s work involves providing structural analysis and quantitation of a wide

range of analytes

including lipids, nucleotides, peptides and other metabolites using mass spectrometry

based approaches.


Education:  Ph.D. Chemistry, University of Kentucky


Team Member since: 2013 Small Molecule Mass Spectrometry Core Laboratory

Contact Details: Desk BBSRB B106 Email Home Town. Delhi,


Recent Publications


Fredrick Onono Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellow.

Morris Lab.

Research: Fredrick studies the mechanisms by which intestinal lipids promote

cardiovascular disease risk.


Education: Ph.D. Molecular Medicine.  Hannover Medical School, Germany.

                    MSc. Biochemistry  University of Nairobi

                    JKUAT Kenya (Chemistry/ Biochemistry)


Team member since: 2010


Contact Details: Desk: BBSRB B306-03 Email: Phone: (859) 323-

5484 Home Town: Kisumu City, Kenya

Recent Publications



Liping Yang. MD.

Sr. Research Technician

Smyth Lab




Education: MD China


Team member since: 2009


Contact Details: Desk: BBSRB B306-05 Email: Phone: (859) 323-


Home Town: Qinhuangdao, China.



Recent Publications.



 Collin Ray BS.

Student Research Technician

Smyth/Morris Lab




Education Pharm.D. Class of 2018. College of Pharmacy, University of Kentucky

                   BS. Human Nutrition, University of Kentucky.


Team member since: 2013


Contact Details: Desk: BBSRB B306-02 Email:

Phone: (859) 323-5484 Home Town: Louisville, KY





Julia Vandra.

Student Research Technician

Smyth/Morris Lab






Team member since: 2013


Contact Details: Desk: BBSRB B306-02 Email:

Phone: (859) 323-5484 Home Town:













Abdel-Latif Lab.




Yuri Khachkin Ph.D.

Research Associate.

Abdel-Latif Lab


Research: Yuri is interested in regenerating the heart after heart attacks via bone

marrow derived stem cells.


Education: Graduate: University of Kentucky (Ph.D)  Microbiology, Immunology,

Molecular Genetics.


Team Member Since: 


Contact Details:BBSRB B348E 

Phone: (859) 323-5484

Hometown: Saratov, Russia.


Recent Publications.


Shaojing Ye Ph.D. 

Postdoctoral Scholar.

Abdel-Latif Lab


Shaojing’s research is focused on myocardial regenerative therapies. Currently

she is working on mouse cardiovascular surgery models.


Education: Ph.D.University of Kentucky

                    Bachelor of Dental Science, China Medical University, China


Team member since: 2014


Contact Details: BBSRB B0348 B Email:  Phone: (859)

323-5484 Home Town: Hangzhou, China



Recent Publications.



Mohammad Mathbout MD.




 Team Member since. 2014


Contact Details.


Recent Publications. 











Li Lab.


Zhenyu Li MD. PhD.


Binggang Xiang Ph.D.

Research Assistant Professor.

Li Lab


Research: Binggang’s focus is on exploring the signaling pathways regulating platelet activity

and the role of platelets in human diseases including sepsis and ARC syndrome.

Education: Ph.D.Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China

Team member since: 2009

Contact Details: Desk: BBSRB B306-11 Email: Phone: (859) 323-5484 Home Town: Wenzhou, Zhejiang, China

  Recent Publications


Guoying Zhang, MD.

Research Associate.

Li Lab



Guoying research focuses on the role of NPRA/cGMP pathway in platelet activation

and the role of platelets in sepsis.

Education: MD, China

Team member since: 2009

Contact Details: Desk: BBSRB B306-xx Email: Phone: (859) 323-5484 Home Town: China


 Recent Publications:


Ren Lab.

Hongmei Ren Ph.D.

Weihua Jiang BS

Sr. Laboratory Technician





Education Mechanical Engineering (B.S.), China


Team member since: 2012


Contact Details: Desk: BBSRB B306-xx Email:  Phone: (859) 323-

5484 Home Town: Sichuan, China