Meet The Team
I earned my BS degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and my PhD from Cornell University in NYC. I completed postdoctoral training at Harvard Medical School, and started the Nayar laboratory at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in January 2021. I'm passionate about making an impact on the lives of cancer patients, and mentoring the next generation of researchers.
In my non-science life, I'm a professionally-trained Indian classical dancer, and adore music, travel, food, and the arts. I'm also (unfortunately?) a political junkie, and a sucker for rhetorical debates over beers.
Nelson V. Guevara III
Hello, my name is Nelson Guevara. I am an ScM graduate of the Nayar Lab and current research technologist. My project is called Deep Mutational Scanning of the HER2 receptor, where we aim to identify all possible activating HER2 mutations in order to significantly improve clinical management of patients with endocrine refractory tumors through a personalized medicine approach.
Aside from work, you can find me watching and playing sports (futbol, basketball, or whatever everyone else is playing), going to the gym, and watching movies. If you come by the lab, make sure to ask me what my favorite movies are and watch me struggle with my answer for several minutes. My Top 3 movies are: Blade Runner 2049, Oldboy, and City of God but I can sit around naming movies for hours and not get bored.
I was born and raised in Huangshan, China, and I earned my bachelor degrees from China Pharmaceutical University, Nanjing and the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow with a major in biochemistry and pharmacology. I enjoy doing research and have participated in several research projects in respect of biochemistry, pharmacology, and cancer biology during my undergraduate. I am now a second year ScM student in Nayar Lab studying inflammatory signaling and the immune microenvironment in targeted-therapy resistant advanced breast cancer. During my spare time, I love music (a big fan of pop&rock music), watching movies (all types as long as it’s a good one), and playing basketball with friends.
I earned my Bachelor of Science from the University of Connecticut in Molecular and Cell Biology. I previously worked in a clinical COVID-19 Lab at the Jackson Laboratories. Currently, I am a second year ScM student and am interested in studying different cancer cell signaling pathways. Within the Nayar Lab, I will be using whole-genome CRISPR screens to study therapy resistance within breast cancer.
Outside of research, I love to watch sports, which include football and Formula 1, among many others. Other hobbies of mine include playing golf, reading and traveling.
I am a Molecular & Cellular Biology major at JHU as well as an aspiring immunologist. My research interests intersect cancer biology and immunology with health advocacy/equity. I am also passionate about grassroots community work per my Brooklyn upbringing! In my free time, I enjoy cooking, roller skating with my sisters, and taking candid pictures of my cat, Wiggle.
Avanthika Priya Balu
Hello everyone! I'm a ScM student in the Nayar lab. I received my B.S degree in Biological Sciences at NC State University. My passion for research started in high school and I have been involved with many projects in my undergrad. I aspire to be a cancer biologist and work toward adding to science. In addition, I work in child injury prevention at foster care homes, to help my community be a better place to live in. Outside academia, I enjoy dancing, playing badminton, cooking and I'm a big Indian movie buff!
Tianli (Alwyn) Guan
Greetings. My name is Tianli (Alwyn) Guan and I am a second year ScM student in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. I earned my Bachelor of Pharmacy degree along with a SLIGHT Aussie accent from the University of Sydney. My research interests are cancer biology and translational studies, and currently I am working on identifying HER2 activating mutations in breast cancer patients as well as probing resolutions for treatment resistance caused by such mutations.
Work hard but play harder, quite often I would pick up hobbies on a whim. I like cooking, singing, crocheting/knitting, I also have profound love for video games. However, as a proud owner of two cats, I do invest lots of time (and money unfortunately) in them as they would reward me with mental stability.
We're always seeking passionate researchers (students, research techs, postdocs). Reach out to us!