The Sykes Lab


David Sykes

Principal Investigator

David grew up on the chilly prairies of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada and completed his undergraduate degree in Biochemistry at the University of Alberta. He transitioned to La Jolla, CA to begin the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) at the University of California San Diego. His PhD research was mentored by Dr. Mark Kamps. Medical internship and residency were done at the Massachusetts General Hospital before fellowship in Hematology & Oncology at the combined Dana Farber Cancer Institute and MGH Cancer Center program. David did an additional year as Chief Resident in the Department of Medicine before starting his post-doctoral research with Dr. David Scadden in the Center for Regenerative Medicine.

David sees patients in clinic on Fridays and spends four 1-week blocks as inpatient attending on the Hematology consult service. He loves to teach hematology to the residents and fellows, as well as spend time at the microscope going over peripheral blood smears.

Outside of the lab, David likes to spend time with his wife, his Golden Retriever (Arlo), and on the golf course.

Links:  TEMPI    MGH Profile


Jenna Elkhoury

Research Technician

Jenna grew up in Acton, Massachusetts and received a Bachelor of Science in environmental science from Framingham State University. She is excited to be working in a collaborative and enthusiastic lab environment, and looks forward to learning more about the research process before beginning medical school in the fall of 2018. In her free time, Jenna enjoys practicing yoga and oil painting and she’s always on the hunt for a good latte!


Najihah Aziz

Research Technician

Najihah graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology in May 2017 with a major in Biomedical Sciences and a minor in Spanish. During her time at RIT, she spent a year working in an Immunology laboratory that investigated the susceptibility of malaria in different ethnic groups. Following her bachelor’s degree, Najihah joined the Sykes Laboratory at MGH as a Research Technician. She is planning on attending graduate school to pursue PhD in the future because she is excited about research. Outside work, Najihah enjoys cooking, playing the piano and dancing!



Ani Papazian

Lab Manager

Ani lives in Cambridge, MA and graduated from Tufts University in 2015 with a major in Biopsychology. She spent time during her undergraduate years working in a neurobiology lab, and two years as the lab manager of the Scadden Lab at MGH, as well as one year as lab manager and research technician in the Sykes Lab. She is motivated by how relevant the Sykes Lab’s research is to patients. Dr. Sykes is inspired by his clinical work, always thinking of how to improve the prognoses and lives of his patients first and foremost.

Her favorite part about the Sykes Lab is its sense of community. The talented, dynamic, organized, and fun group makes working at MGH incredibly special. The Sykes Lab as well as other labs on the floor enjoy collaboration and making the Center for Regenerative Medicine an exciting workspace.

Ani started medical school at Tufts in the fall 2018. In her spare time, she enjoys running, biking, and exploring all of the restaurants and breweries Cambridge has to offer!


Brittany Hallgren

Research Technician

Brittany currently lives in the North End of Boston, MA.  She graduated from The Ohio State University in 2015 with a Bachelor’s in Biology.  During her undergraduate years, she worked in an oncology lab for two years and then continued to work in an outpatient clinic with cancer patients.  Recently, she graduated from Boston University with a Master’s in Human Physiology and began working in the Sykes lab to continue leukemia research.  She enjoys the comfortable learning environment in the Sykes lab and has become inspired to pursue a lifelong career in science.  In her spare time, she enjoys her family’s lake house, exploring local restaurants, and traveling.  


Alexa Vidalis

Lab Coordinator

Alexa grew up in Orange County, California and graduated from Northeastern University in 2016, where she majored in Behavioral Neuroscience. She also works as the lab manager for the Rajagopal lab. She is planning on returning to school in the fall of 2018 to study healthcare management/ economics. Outside of the lab, she enjoys traveling, dancing and stopping to pet all the dogs she finds in Boston.

Start typing and press Enter to search