Current Environment:

Meet Our Team | Overview


Chinnapen Lab Members


Principal Investigator

Current Group Members

Elvira Sandin

Elvira Sandin
Visiting Graduate Student – University of Lübeck

I am a PhD student visiting from Prof. Dr. Markus Schwaningers lab in Lubeck, Germany. I am interested in the role of the blood-brain barrier in obesity. I specifically focus on how leptin, a hormone secreted from the fat cells, is transported across the blood-brain barrier and how this may influence feeding behavior.

Rick Duclos, PhD

Rick Duclos, PhD
PhD, University of California Berkeley

Rick is a synthetic organic chemist / biochemist primarily known for syntheses of sphingolipids and glycerolipids, including the endocannabinoids.  He is interested in the molecular organization of lipids in vitro and in vivo, including cellular lipid metabolism.  He is investigating at the role of sphingolipid structure on cellular endosomal trafficking of novel bioconjugates.

Xiaoling Chen

Xiaoling Chen
BS, UMass Amherst



Michael Rufo

Michael Rufo
BS, Trinity University

Mike is interested in translating novel lipid-based chemical conjugates to in vivo drug delivery systems. Specifically the delivery of peptides and proteins across mucosal surfaces such as the GI tract and nose as a new mode of treatment.

Kiara Blue Kiara Blue
BS, Northeastern University

Former Group Members

Elisha Fielding, PhD

Elisha Fielding, PhD  -  Senior Scientist
PhD, Chemistry – Boston College
Postdoc. Scripps Institute, CA




Michele Pacheco

Michele Pacheco  -  Research Assistant
BS, Biochemistry  -  Northeastern University, MA



Emma Chistolini

Emma Chistolini – Summer Research Student





Paul Mykos

Paul Mykos  -  COOP Research Assistant



Valerie Kahkezian

Valerie Kahkezian  -  Harvard University Student



small female avatar Daniela Maria Garcia-Castillo, PhD  -  Postdoctoral Fellow 
(co-mentored Dr. Wayne Lencer)
PhD, Molecular & Cellular Biology – Institut Curie, France

small faceless male avatar Alexander Losher
Research Technologist
MS. Chemistry – Belarus State University