Kosj Yamoah, MD, PhD

Dr. Kosj Yamoah is a board-certified radiation oncologist and physician scientist, who is committed to unraveling and mitigating the cancer health disparities that impact clinical care. Leading as Chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology and holding a secondary appointment in the Cancer Epidemiology Program, Dr. Yamoah embodies a wealth of relevant expertise. He directs a global laboratory dedicated to pioneering translational research, with an emphasis on uncovering gene-specific factors that drive aggressive disease and contribute to poor survival outcomes among men of African origin with prostate cancer. A native of Ghana, he earned his medical degree from Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York and his PhD in Oncological Science from Mount Sinai Graduate School of Biological Sciences and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Beyond his significant contributions to the field, Dr. Yamoah finds joy in his free time through playing and watching soccer, and the artistry of music and music creation. 






Esther Katende, BS

Esther is a Research Study Manager skillfully overseeing the dry lab operations of the Yamoah research lab. Born in Michigan, USA and raised in Kampala, Uganda, where much of her family originates, Esther brings a unique and diverse perspective to our team. She graduated with distinction, earning a Bachelor of Science Degree in Neuroscience & Behavior from the Florida Atlantic University. Currently, Esther is expanding her expertise by pursuing a Master of Public Health degree at the University of South Florida. With over five years of research experience, Esther has honed her skills in project management and coordination, making her an invaluable asset to our lab. Her aspirations extend beyond academic and professional pursuits. She harbors a deep desire to give back to her community in Uganda, through leveraging the knowledge gained from her endeavors in cancer research. Outside of her professional environment, her free time is a vibrant canvas of family and friends, travel, artistic expression through drawing, culinary adventures in cooking, and an affinity for all things outdoors and adventurous. From thrilling outdoor activities to embracing various interests, Esther embodies a dynamic spirit that complements her dedication to advancing cancer research and making a positive impact in her community.




Amparo Serna, BS

Amparo Serna is a Research Project Specialist spearheading all the wet lab operations of the Yamoah research lab. Born in Columbia, her academic journey began with a Bachelor of Science in Biology. Her expertise has taken her on a global adventure including a transformative five-year stint in Italy, conducting research on Leukemia. Subsequently, she made her mark in Philadelphia, contributing to Immunology research at the Fox Chase Cancer Center, and later in Michigan, returning to the world of Leukemia research at the University of Michigan. Amparo has been with the Yamoah research lab for about 5 years and loves what she does. Driven by an unwavering passion for cancer research, Amparo is an integral part of our research lab. In her free time, she indulges in her love for dance, music, fitness, boating, fishing, and showcasing a unique skill set with her interest in archery. Fluent in three languages—Spanish, Italian, and English—Amparo represents a multicultural perspective. She enjoys traveling and attending sports events, especially football – GO BLUE and Go Gators!






Shivanshu Awasthi, PharmD, MPH

Shivanshu is a Research Data Analyst working within the Yamoah research lab. Originating from India, he launched his professional career by attending Pharmacy school and ultimately receiving a Doctor of Pharmacy Degree. Fueled by a passion for research and a deep-seated interest in Pharmacoepidemiology, he furthered his education at Drexel University in Philadelphia. There, he successfully completed a Master of Public Health Program and is currently on a path to achieve a Ph.D. in Epidemiology, with an anticipated graduation in Fall 2024. He has a deep-seated interest in addressing the problems associated with access to essential health services, including pharmaceuticals, especially among the cancer population. Shivanshu not only brings analytical prowess to our lab but also embodies a passion for addressing healthcare disparities and a well-rounded approach to life outside the research arena. Outside of the data science realm, he finds solace in listening to light Indian classical music and watch his favorite TV shows.






Purvish Trivedi, BDS, MPH

 Purvish is a Research Data Analyst working within the Yamoah research lab. Originally hailing from India, Purvish embarked on his academic journey there, culminating in a Bachelor of Science degree in Dental Surgery. Seeking further expertise, he ventured to Chicago, where he attended Northern Illinois University, earning a Master of Science in Public Health with a concentration in Health Promotion. Within the lab, Purvish oversees analyses of our complex research datasets. Using statistical analysis tools, he skillfully crafts tables and figures, shaping them into crucial components of our research manuscripts. His interests extend into the realms of Pharmacoepidemiology and Health Service research, as he actively explores ways to address disparities in access to health services among diverse population groups. Away from the data-driven world, Purvish finds balance in working out at the gym, plays cricket, and listens to Indian Bollywood songs. 




Riley Smith, BS

 Riley is a Research Coordinator within the Yamoah research lab. Originally from Powhatan, Virginia, Riley has called Bradenton, Florida home since 2016. Her academic journey has been marked by recent achievements, including her Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences, with a minor in Public Health, from the University of South Florida. Currently, she is furthering her education by pursuing a Master of Public Health with a concentration in Epidemiology, at the same institution. Riley’s association with our lab has deep roots, starting as an intern when she was in high school. In her current position, she plays a pivotal role in patient recruitment and enrollment, as well as data management and abstraction. One of the things Riley finds most rewarding about her work is the collaborative spirit of the lab team and the continuous opportunity for learning and growth. Looking ahead, she envisions completing her master's program and expanding her knowledge of health disparities, particularly in relation to prostate cancer. During her free time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends as well as going to concerts. Riley not only contributes to the success of our lab but embraces a spirit of continuous learning and a commitment to making a positive impact on health disparities in the future. 




Abigail “Abby” Sy, BS

Abby, a Research Associate at our esteemed research lab, embarked on a journey from her hometown in Jacksonville, FL, to the University of South  Florida, where she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Integrative Animal Biology. Her association with the lab dates back to 2022 where she started as an undergraduate wet lab intern. In her current role, she plays a pivotal part in the lab's operations, focusing on growing cells for experiments, administering treatments with precision using drugs and radiation, and conducting intricate immunohistochemistry procedures. Outside of her professional development, Abby enjoys singing, dancing, playing piano, and listening to music.










Min Hsuan Wang, MS

Min is a dedicated Research Associate providing invaluable support to both our research lab and the Department of Radiation Oncology. Originally from Taiwan, her academic journey led her to the University of South Florida where she successfully completed a Molecular and Microbiology program and earned her Master of Science degree. She has been working at the Moffitt Cancer Center for the past six years and focused on immunology research. Her expertise lies in immune cell flow analysis, a critical function she fulfills with precision and dedication within our lab. Outside of her professional pursuits, her interests include completing puzzles and traveling. As a forward thinker, her goals include continuous personal and professional development, aiming to acquire more skills and knowledge to propel her career forward.







Ryan Putney, MA

Ryan is a Research Data Analyst embedded within the Yamoah research lab. He is originally from Tampa, Florida and has lived here for most of his life. He attended the University of South Florida where he obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Music. He then relocated to New Jersey where he lived for about seven years and attended Montclair State University, earning a Master of Arts in Music Performance. He returned to Tampa shortly after and began interning at Moffitt Cancer Center, while simultaneously getting a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from the University of South Florida. His research efforts within the Yamoah research lab include, bioinformatics, analysis of gene expression and methylation, as well as creating figures for our different publications. Ryan is an avid railfan, both life-sized trains and scale models, and he enjoys cooking!







Corrado Caslini, PhD

Corrado is an Applied Research Scientist supporting the Yamoah research lab and the department of Radiation Oncology. Originally from Italy, Corrado’s academic journey includes earning a Bachelor of Sciences in Molecular Biology and obtaining a Specialization in Applied Biotechnologies (PhD equivalent) from the prestigious Università degli Studi di Milano in Milan, Italy. With over 25 years of experience in the field, he has left his mark on various renowned institutions such as St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, TN, Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, PA, the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI, Rutgers University in Piscataway, NJ, and the University of Miami, FL. Corrado is an accomplished researcher in the field of cancer epigenetics and epigenomics. To date, he has made significant contributions to the study of chromatin modifiers and transcriptional regulators, their mechanism of maintaining transcriptional memory, genetic and epigenetic alterations as a cause of cancer, and functional characterization as potential therapeutic targets.





Chinaza “Naza” Munonye

Chinaza is one of the interns within the Yamoah research lab. She focuses on the dry lab data abstraction and maintain study databases. Originally from Nigeria and raised in Maryland, Chinaza is making waves at the University at the University of South Florida, where she is dedicatedly working toward a Bachelor of Science Degree in Health Sciences, with a specialization in Biological Health Sciences. Driven by a passion for dermatology, she aspires to carve out a niche as a Dermatologist, with a keen emphasis on specializing in skin of color. Beyond her academic pursuits, she finds fulfilment in the creative realm where she indulges in pottery and creating vibrant flower arrangements.




Yahya Bondokji

Yahya is an intern within the Yamoah research lab. He is currently working with the wet lab team doing bench-top research but has experience working on data abstraction and database maintenance. Prior to joining the lab team at Moffitt, he held a position as a Research Assistant for a "Vison, Attention, and Cognition" lab for 2 years. Hailing originally from Syria and raised in Saudi Arabia, Yahya is now pursuing a dual degree path at the University of South Florida, ambitiously working towards a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biomedical Sciences, and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. He is also minoring in Public Health at the same institution and a member of the Phi Delta Epsilon Medical Fraternity. He also recently attained the certification for a registered Behavioral Health Technician. Yahya is looking to apply to medical school in the coming year and continue his aspiration of becoming a physician. When Yahya is not occupied with his professional and academic endeavors, he enjoys morning bike rides, playing soccer, and reading during his leisure time.







Jong Y. Park, MPH, PhD

Dr. Park is a distinguished senior faculty member of the Cancer Epidemiology Program. He grew up in South Korea where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Yonsei University. Driven by a quest for knowledge, he furthered his education with a Master of Science degree in Microbiology from the University of South Florida His academic pursuits led him to the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where he achieved both a Master of Public Health and PhD degrees in International Studies and Epidemiology. With a rich academic background, Dr. Park has established himself as a formidable researcher, with a particular focus on biomarkers for prostate cancer and the intricate health disparity factors affecting African American men with prostate cancer. Some of Dr. Park’s hobbies include watching sports and traveling and singing in the choir at his church! (used to be a conductor for his church choir).

Link to Park Lab web page: click here






Paulo Rodriguez, PhD

Dr. Rodriguez is a distinguished senior faculty member and research chair of the department of Immunology. He obtained his graduate degree from CCBB-University of Antioquia and completed his PhD in Genetics from Louisiana State University. His research programs focus on the suppressive effects induced by tumor-infiltrating myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC), a heterogeneous population of immature myeloid precursors that are primary mediators of tumor-induced anergy and a major obstacle for the development of successful cancer immunotherapies.







Anna Giuliano, PhD

Dr. Giuliano is an expert in the field of Cancer research and the founding director of the Center for Immunization and Infection Research in Cancer (CIIRC) at the Moffitt Cancer Center. Her work has contributed significantly to our understanding of the rate at which HPV infections are acquired and cleared, the proportion that progress to disease, and also to HPV vaccine protection against multiple diseases in women and men. She obtained her graduate and doctoral education from Tufts University, School of Nutrition in Nutrition and Nutritional Biochemistry. She is an MPI on the D43 Ghana GRACE program, in collaboration with Drs. Kosj Yamoah, Joel Yarney, and Alfred Yawson. 







Janis De La Iglesia, PhD

Dr. De La Iglesia is an esteemed member of the Radiation Oncology program. As the Translational Research Manager for the department, she holds a plethora of experience and knowledge in the areas of cell biology, immunology, immunohistochemistry, and histology. Originally hailing from Spain, Janis attended the Universidad de Salamanca, where she obtained her extensive background in biology studies. She joined Moffitt back in 2019, where she dedicated much of her expertise to a managerial position in the institution’s Pathology Department. Now in her current role, she greatly supports the translational research efforts of all principal investigators in the Radiation Oncology department and assists the Yamoah research lab as needed.








Rheese McNab, MPH, CPH

Rheese is a research coordinator supporting the Radiation Oncology Translational Research Program. She champions the recruitment/enrollment efforts for various nontherapeutic research studies within the department and manages several research databases. She is originally from the island of Roatan (just off the northern coast of Honduras), but has embraced Tampa, Florida as her home for the past seven years. She attended the University of Tampa, obtaining a B.S degree in Public Health with a focus in Public Policy & Social change and a minor in international studies. She then attended a graduate program at the University of South Florida, College of Public Health and now holds a Master of Public Health in Global Health Practice, accompanied by a certificate in Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases. She is passionate about a range of topics, including global health disparities, public health policy, cancer research and prevention, social marketing in public health, neuromarketing research, and international development. In the future, she hopes to work within the international sector of public health practice, to positively impact and improve the health and well-being of underserved populations worldwide. Her hobbies include trying out new restaurants, going to the beach with friends, and watching movies and TV shows.





Angelina Fink, MPH, CCRP

Amanda DeRenzis, MPH

Asmaa Elkenawi, PhD