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


Chanyce Kane

Administrative Assistant

Chanyce grew up in Revere and graduated from Merrimack college in 2017 with a concentration in molecular cell biology and biotechnology and a minor in business management. She plans to continue her education in hopes of obtaining a Biology/Business Master’s degree. She is always ready for new opportunities. She is not only assisting Dr. Sykes but also Dr. Bardeesy and Dr. Ellisen in the MGH Cancer Center. She is very excited to learn from the three doctors and looks forward to being a part of their research growth. Living in Massachusetts, she has always wanted an opportunity to work in MGH and be a part of their innovative research. In her free time, she enjoys dancing, binge-watching Korean Dramas, and hanging out with her family and friends.


Jelena Milosevic

Postdoctoral fellow

Jelena was born and raised in Stockholm, Sweden where she completed her undergraduate degree in Biomedicine and defended her PhD in 2018 at Karolinska Institutet in the lab of Prof. Per Kogner. During her graduate work, Jelena investigated new treatment strategies in pediatric neural tumors neuroblastoma and medulloblastoma. In September 2018, Jelena joined the Sykes laboratory as a postdoctoral fellow to focus on the mechanism linking the inhibition of DHODH and differentiation in leukemia. In her spare time Jelena enjoys traveling, trying out new foods and experiencing different cultures.


Taghreed Hirz

Postdoctoral Fellow

Taghreed earned her PhD in Cancer and Immunology from Claude Bernard University, France in December 2015 under the supervision of Professor Charles Dumontet. Her PhD studies focused on the examination of neutrophils effect on the sensitivity of lymphoma cells to anti-cancer agents. This work had demonstrated how neutrophils attenuate the sensitivity of lymphoma cells to a large variety of anti-cancer agents where similar findings were found in vivo and ex vivo (Hirz et. al, J Vis Exp. 2016; Hirz et. al, Oncotarget 2017).

After completing her PhD, Taghreed moved to The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center for two years of postdoctoral studies on lung cancer, before recognizing her deeply founded interest in tumor microenvironment and immune system, that led her to Boston in April 2018. Taghreed is a shared postdoc between the Baryawno, Sykes and Scadden laboratories, and is currently investigating the biology of prostate cancer and the complexity of the disease bone metastases, which represent glaring unmet medical knowledge to date. Through the utility of scRNA-sequencing, Taghreed seeks to illuminate the complex biology of prostate cancer and the heterogeneity of bone marrow microenvironment; including tumor, stromal, and immune cells; to produce novel insights relevant to tumor-stromal and tumor-immune interactions.


Amy Sexauer

Postdoctoral Fellow

Amy grew up on a small island off the coast of Charleston, South Carolina, and completed her undergraduate work in Microbiology and German at the University of Georgia. She then spent a year abroad doing research before beginning the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She completed her PhD work on FLT3 signaling in AML under the supervision of Dr. Mark Levis. Shen next pursued pediatric residency training at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), before continuing her move up the east coast and landing in Boston for a fellowship in pediatric hematology/oncology at Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Hospital. After her clinical year of fellowship she has been happy to re-enter the lab, and is excited to be a postdoc with Dr. David Sykes.

In her free time, Amy is a violist with several orchestral and chamber music groups in the Boston area, including the New Philharmonia Orchestra. She also enjoys playing a variety of other instruments, as well as rock climbing and running.


Rana Mohamed Barghout

Research Technician/ Co- Lab Manager

Rana was born in Kafr El-Sheikh, Egypt and moved to the United States in 2001. She received her undergraduate degree from Amherst College in MA with a major in Neuroscience. During her college experience, Rana was part of the QuestBridge Scholars program. She was also a resident counselor for first year students, and captain of the Women’s Club Soccer team. Her proudest accomplishment was giving her own TEDx talk during her senior year of college. She previously worked as an intern at the Yale Comprehensive Epilepsy Center and completed her thesis in a neuroscience lab at Amherst College. She enjoys problem solving and in depth learning about various diseases. She was inspired by the innovative work done by the Sykes Lab to continue to advance hematology research and joined the team in August of 2020 .

During her free time, Rana enjoys spending time with friends, playing soccer and volleyball, and watching stand-up comedy.


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