Team


Our lab is made up of a team of enthusiastic and highly skilled scientists who work collaboratively to understand the basic mechanisms of airway cell biology and gain new insights into the pathophysiology of chronic rhinosinusitis, cystic fibrosis, and other airway diseases.




Current Lab Members


Robert (Rob) Lee
Principle Investigator (2015-present)
Assistant Professor of Otorhinolaryngology (primary) and Physiology (secondary)
Email: rjl [at] pennmedicine.upenn.edu
Research: Calcium, cAMP. and nitric oxide in airway cells,
epithelial fluid secretion and ion transport

[More info]




Maureen Victoria
Lab Manager/Research Specialist (2015-present)
Research: Taste receptor expression in airway cells
Critical Role: Keeping the lab from descending into chaos
Notable hobby: Beekeeping





Derek McMahon
Postdoctoral Fellow (2016-present)
Research: Sub-cellular localization of taste receptors and signaling to the nucleus, bitter agonist-induced apoptosis
Notable hobbies: Teaching yoga, eating cookies





Indiwari (Indi) Gopallawa
Postdoctoral Fellow (2018-present)
Research: Akt signaling in airway cell physiology
Notable hobbies: Bikram yoga










Li Eon Kuek 
Postdoctoral Fellow (2018-present)
Research: Chemosensory functions of airway cilia 










Lab Alumni


Rachel Horn
Summer Undergraduate Student from Drexel University (2019) 


Veronika Yakovishina 
University of Pennsylvania Pharmacology Graduate Group
Rotation Student, Spring-Summer 2019




Jenna Freund
Research Specialist (Oct. 2016-June 2018)
Research topics: Activation of taste receptors by quorum-sensing molecules, GPCRs in airway cells
Notable quote: "Pennies aren't Mentos."
Notable hobby: Making furniture out of mannequins
Currently: PhD student in neuroscience at Einstein 
(Tishman Scholarship Recipient)
ORCID: 000-0001-8264-8318


Benjamin (Ben) Hariri
Year-out post bac student (2015-2016)
Research: Effects of natural products on airway pathogens, antibacterial effects of flavonoids, awesomeness of wogonin
Notable quote: "Well, they do say that wheat is the devil's food."


Notable hobby: Eating multiple lunches.
Currently: George Washington Univ. Med Student





Andrew Hart
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Immunology Graduate Group Rotation Student (Spring 2017)
Research: Regulation of T2Rs and TLRs in Airway Cells

Notable extracurricular activity: Kung Fu
Currently: Penn IGG grad student


Maddie Johnson
Part-time undergraduate Student (Summer 2016)
Currently: University of Pittsburgh Bioengineering Undergrad
Research: Airway cell cancer proliferation and metabolism
Notable extracurricular activity: Pitt Women's Lacrosse






Supriya Saxena
Part-time lab member (independent study project 2017)
University of Pennsylvania Biotechnology Masters Student
School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Research: Tagging T2R constructs for visualization

Currently: MD student at American University of Antigua

Paige Johnson
Part-time lab member (Summer 2017)
Notre Dame Undergraduate Neuroscience Undergrad
Research: Immunoprecipitation of T2R receptors
Notable extracurricular activity: Notre Dame Women's Lacrosse




Some of our friendly colleagues & collaborators:

Penn Rhinology Research Lab


Hebrew University of Jerusalem 


Monell Chemical Senses Center