Administrative Staff

David Alvarado, PhD 

I was drawn to research because the nearly endless learning opportunities appealed to my insatiable curiosity.  I was born in California and earned my Bachelor’s degree from the University of South Florida,  and my PhD from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.  I joined the Ciorba lab as a Postdoc in June of 2014, where I have continued my education in the fascinating fields of epithelial biology and cancer.  When I’m not in lab, I like to experience science directly in the field by running, hiking, biking, rock climbing, camping, and swimming.

Awards: NIH T32 Training Grant appointment (3T32DK077653-24S1) and W. M. Keck Fellow, Washington University in St. Louis (declined)

​Micah Iticovici

Micah is a pre-doctoral research technician, that has been with our lab for a little over a year.  He will be matriculating to medical school in the fall of 2018.

Srikanth Santhanam

I am a postdoctoral research associate in Dr. Ciorba’s Lab since May 2013.  My research focuses on the roles of indoleamine 2,3 dioxygenase (IDO1) in promoting epithelial cell proliferation and barrier function following injury.   IDO1 catalyzes the initial step in tryptophan catabolism along the kynurenine pathway, and is an important immunomodulator at several epithelial surfaces including the gastrointestinal tract.  In the gut, IDO1 is one of the most upregulated genes in response to intestinal injury, and is known to reduce the severity of experimental colitis and promotes oral tolerance.  We use novel tools including IDO1 KO mice and transgenic mice, and a robust technique to culture native epithelial cells from the gastrointestinal tract of these mice to investigate the role of IDO1 in the gut.

Current Staff 


Baosheng Chen, PhD 

I obtained my PhD at the Peking Union Medical College in China, where I studied the mechanisms of esophageal cancer.  In 2002, I joined the Sadovsky/Nelson lab at Washington University in St Louis School of Medicine for my postdoctoral work that investigated the expression and function of NDRG1, PPARs, CTGF, ADRP, p53, and other genes, in placental trophoblasts, and the response of trophoblasts to hypoxia and other stresses.  After postdoctoral training, I kept working on placental apoptosis and autophagy, with an emphasis on investigating the molecular effects of pomegranate juice on these processes, and the potential role of pomegranate juice as a beneficial dietary supplement during pregnancy.  In 2016, I joined the Ciorba Lab as Senior Scientist, with a focus on studying the mechanisms and identifying potential drug targets of colitis-associated cancer.

Emily Vivio

I started working at the Ciorba lab in 2011 as a student at Washington University in St. Louis.  I graduated in May 2015 and I have been lucky enough to continue my work in the lab.  I have been able to be part of projects in Dr. Ciorba’s lab that are aimed at understanding the quality of life and psychological health of IBD patients. 

Awards: Washington University in St. Louis’s Summer Undergraduate Research Award;  Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation Student Research Fellowship Award; 
American Gastrointestinal Association’s Student Research Grant.

© 2018 Ciorba Lab

Andrew LaBrier, MBA, MHR, SHRM-CP

Andrew is the newest member of our team, and comes to us from within Washington University School of Medicine.  His diverse background, and wealth of experience will help us as we collaborate and develop the IBD Program.  As the IBD Program Manager, Andrew oversees the integration of academic, research, and clinical operations to ensure seamless continuity from the bench, to book, to bedside. 

"My goal is to make the Washington University IBD Center of Excellence the most well known in the country, and to be able to share in the vision of Dr. Ciorba; to improve quality-of-life for IBD patients regionally and globally through an interdisciplinary approach that integrates world-class patient care with transformative research and education."