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Dr. Mahajan’s lab provides an immersive,  intensive training environment for students and fellows to discover the molecular mechanisms that cause blindness and develop therapies to prevent vision loss. Highly collaborative research teams are made up of scientists, surgeons, and engineers from around the world, interacting on a daily basis and using advanced scientific methods.

Scientists and Technicians

Soo Hyeon Lee Ph.D.

Soo Hyeon joined the lab in 2020. She received her bachelor’s degree in 2005 and Ph.D. in 2011 in the Department of Biological Sciences from KAIST (formerly the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology), Republic of Korea. She was a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Chemistry and Applied Biosciences at ETH Zurich, Switzerland. From 2017 to 2019, she was a research professor in the Department of Chemistry at KAIST. Soo Hyeon’s research interests include gene therapy using CRISPR and RNAi technology, drug formulation, and development of rare disease therapies. She is working on the development of a gene/drug delivery system for the treatment of eye diseases. She is a Mahajan Lab group leader.

Aarushi Kumar B.S.

Aarushi joined the lab in 2020 as a Clinical Research Coordinator. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of Houston in 2019. She worked as a nursing assistant and medical scribe and has research experience in NMR, gene screening, and cardiovascular diseases. Her research interests include gene therapy, proteomics, and the genetics of eye disease.

Teja Chemudupati B.S.

Teja joined the lab as a Clinical Research Coordinator in 2018. He has been at Stanford University since 2016 in the Stanford Center on Longevity. Teja earned his B.Sc. in Human Biology at UC San Diego and has clinical experience from his time as a critical care EMT. His research interests include CRISPR gene editing, neuroscience of aging, and exploring an interdisciplinary approach to research-based medicine.

MaryAnn Mahajan B.A.

MaryAnn joined the lab in 2008. She earned her B.A. in English at the University of California, Berkeley and attended graduate school at the University of California, Los Angeles where she earned a secondary teaching credential. She is a writer and editor and also performs histological phenotyping of mouse eyes.

Diana Colgan Ph.D.

Diana has been a scientist and editor in the lab since 2014 with expertise in molecular biology and gene transcription. She earned a Ph.D. in Biology from Columbia University and completed post-doctoral work at Rockefeller University. 

Joel Franco B.S.

Joel joined the lab in 2022. He is a graduate of the University of California, Irvine. He is working on mouse models of human eye disease.

Jennifer Vu

Jen joined the lab in 2019 as a student researcher and is now a Life Science Research Professional. She earned her B.S. in Human Biology in 2021 and completed an undergraduate honors thesis in the lab researching macular holes. Her research focus is on the translational proteomics of ocular diseases using vitreous fluid and tear film.


Elena Wang B.S.

Elena joined the lab in 2021 as a Life Science Research Professional. Prior to the Mahajan Lab, she was a research associate in Genentech's Biochemical and Cellular Pharmacology group where she developed ELISAs and mass spectrometry assays for pharmacokinetic analysis of preclinical samples. She earned her BS in biochemistry from UCLA in 2020 and plans to pursue a Ph.D. Her research focus is investigating retinal disease pathways through in vitro assays.