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Plas Laboratory

Lab Members

Catherine Behrmann, BS, BA.

Ms. Behrmann previously conducted Immunology research at the FDA in Bethesda, MD. Since joining the lab in 2006, she has worked on projects in the lab ranging from a high through-put screening of compounds, to molecular signaling in Glioblastoma tumor samples, to interrogating the role of S6K1 in breast cancer cell lines. The next research challenge includes unravelling the role of fatty acid oxidation in oncogenesis.

Merissa Pemberton, MA.

Mrs. Pemberton worked in neuroanatomy research at the University of Pittsburgh after finishing a master's in behavioral neuroscience at Bowling Green State University. She became a part of the Plas group in 2020 and has been the primary point person for the lab's in vivo experiments. She has played an integral role in better understanding mutant IDH1 in glioma cells as well as various time course studies using patient-donated samples. Her current work involves improving drug delivery with resistant glioblastoma. In her free time she enjoys hiking and bird watching. 

David Plas, Ph.D.

Dr. Plas received his PhD from Washington University studying lymphocyte antigen receptor signal transduction with Dr. Matthew L. Thomas. He studied tumor cell metabolism in apoptosis control with Dr. Craig Thompson at the University of Chicago and the University of Pennsylvania. He has led a research laboratory at the University of Cincinnati since 2004, focusing on counteracting PTEN deficiency in cancer through the targeting of signaling and metabolic pathways.



  • Hasmik Yepiskoposyan, Ph.D.
  • Guillaume Habif, Ph.D.
  • Hongqi Liu, DVM, Ph.D.
  • Xizhi “Jerry” Feng, Ph.D.
  • Collin Wetzel, Ph.D.

Graduate Students:

  • Shikha Khatri, Ph.D.
  • Preeti Tandon, Ph.D.
  • Jennifer Barger, Ph.D.

Research staff:

  • Ashley Allemang, B.S.
  • Kelli Ennis, B.S.
  • Pranjal Sarma, Ph.D.
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Department of
Cancer Biology

Vontz Center for Molecular Studies
3125 Eden Avenue
PO Box 670521
Cincinnati, OH 45267-0521

Mail Location: 0521
Phone: 513-558-5323
Fax: 513-558-1190