Lab Members

Our Staff

Zahra Sarrafan-Chaharsoughi.
Zahra Sarrafan-Chaharsoughi
Research Assistant

My research interests revolve around the relationship between inflammatory cells and metabolic imbalance in the context of chronic diseases. In 2021, I joined the Liver Disease branch to investigate the association between liver and systemic inflammation and metabolic dysregulation in patients with chronic hepatitis B and C.

Currently, my focus is studying steatosis and inflammation in patients with chronic hepatitis B liver biopsies before and after treatment. I am exploring the use of AI to enhance the evaluation of liver histology and identify new histological features that could be important in understanding the pathogenesis, outcome, and response to antiviral therapy.

Our Fellows

Graciela Galvez.
Graciela Galvez
Post-baccalaureate IRTA Fellow

Graciela Galvez earned a bachelor’s degree in Molecular Biology and Women’s Studies at Colgate University. She spent her undergraduate research as a student in Katherine McJunkin’s laboratory where she worked on generating reagents to understand the function of terminal nucleotidyl transferases in the C. elegans germline. After graduating from Colgate, she returned to the NIH for a post-baccalaureate fellowship in Dr. Marc Ghany’s lab. She is researching biomarkers for early diagnosis of hepatocellular carcinoma and cirrhosis and detection of hepatitis flares following withdrawal of antiviral therapy in patients with chronic hepatitis B.

Gavin Nee.
Gavin Nee
Post-baccalaureate IRTA Fellow

Gavin is from Central New Jersey and received his B.S. in Human Science from Georgetown University in 2023. Gavin has previously worked in Dr. Gray Pearson’s lab at the Georgetown Lombardi Cancer Center, researching the induction of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in mice, to better understand the mechanisms behind breast cancer metastasis. Gavin is currently researching the effect of steatosis on the severity of Hepatitis B.

Last Reviewed October 2023