Lab Members

Principal Investigator

Dr. Chang completed his medical school training at Brown University in the Program for Liberal Medical Education (PLME), and proceeded to complete his residency and fellowship at the University of Iowa, which has been ranked in the top ten otolaryngology training programs over the past twenty five years. Dr. Chang became an assistant professor in the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck surgery at the University of Iowa, and since beginning his academic practice has consistently been funded by the National Institute of Health (NIH) for his work in translational sinus research. He moved to the University of Arizona as an Associate Professor in 2014 to lead the Division of Rhinology and Skull base Surgery. He is one of a small number of surgeon-scientists in Otolaryngology that combines an active clinical practice and research expertise to help understand the basic process of sinus disease and develop future therapies and treatments.

Assistant Professor

Dr. Chris Le joined the University of Arizona as a Clinical Instructor and Rhinology and Endoscopic Skull Base Surgery Fellow in 2015. He was mentored by Drs. Alexander Chiu and Eugene Chang during fellowship with a clinical and surgical focus in primary and revision endoscopic sinus surgery, endoscopic benign and malignant sinonasal tumor surgery, endoscopic orbital surgery, and endoscopic and open skull base procedures. After fellowship, he stayed on as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery. Dr. Le received his undergraduate degree at University of California, Davis. He then obtained his medical degree at the Loma Linda University School of Medicine. He then completed his residency training in Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery at the University of California, Davis Medical Center. Although Dr. Le has a primary clinical interest in rhinology and anterior skull base pathologies, he also has experience in all aspects of Otolaryngology, including maxillofacial trauma. His academic interests are in population health and improving health-care outcomes in Rhinology. He feels privileged and is excited to be a part of the University of Arizona, Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery Department to teach medical students and train residents to become the future generation of Otolaryngologists. Hometown: Yuba City, CA. Outside interests: Anything pertaining to Spider-Man, the Dallas Cowboys or craft beers

Senior Clinical Research Coordinator

Nirushan was originally from Toronto, Ontario. Canada who later moved to Tucson in 2009 and completed his undergraduate in Biochemistry and Molecular Cellular Biology. He began his research in Barrett’s esophagus and esophageal adenocarcinoma where he later completed his Masters in Cellular and Molecular Medicine. Nirushan had joined the Arizona Asthma Center in 2017 and his knowledge in the field of Asthma, Food Allergy, and other respiratory related diseases such as Chronic rhinosinusitis allows him to be able to communicate efficiently to potential subjects and clearly outline the procedures within the study. In addition to his research experience, his education has allowed him to understand complex interdisciplinary concepts that has allowed him to pursue a doctoral degree in Clinical Translational Sciences in the realm of chronic rhinosinusitis. Apart from research, Nirushan enjoys watching hockey, soccer, and basketball along with cooking and trying new cuisines.

Postdoctoral Research Technician

I was born and raised in South Korea and came to USA for graduate school. I obtained my Ph.D. in Cancer Biology at the University of Arizona and finished my post-doctoral training in aging of human stem cells at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I joined Dr. Chang’s laboratory in 2020, where I play a role as a senior researcher as well as a lab manager. I love evening walks with my husband and enjoy playing with my hamster Peter. In my free time, I like to watch action movies and YouTube videos to learn something new. I am also interested in stock and option trading and love trying new trading strategies.

Research Technician

Joey was born in Tucson. He completed his undergraduate degree in Chemistry at the University of Arizona in 2020. As an undergraduate research technician under the mentorship of Dr. Louise Hecker, he helped to develop and implement a high through-put screening method to identify potential drug candidates for the treatment of Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF). His current work as a research technician within the Chang Lab includes maintaining primary cell culture, developing air-liquid interfaces (ALI), and analyzing gene expression via real-time PCR. Apart from research, Joey enjoys baseball, football, cars, and woodworking.

Student Research Assistant

Eric (Hyeon Seung) Lee was born in Seoul, South Korea and has lived in Tucson, Arizona since 2019. He is currently a third-year university student at the University of Arizona majoring in Physiology and Medical Sciences. He is very passionate about research and his goal after graduation is to attend medical school. During his free time, Eric enjoys listening to music and reading books. In Dr. Chang’s lab, Eric focuses on running qPCR, RFLP genotyping, and assisting in lab experiments.

Student Research Assistant

Sophia Volpe grew up in Houston, Texas and is currently in her senior year as an undergraduate student at the University of Arizona, majoring in Biochemistry with a minor in French. Sophia is interested in translational research as well as the healthcare field and plans to attend medical school after she finishes her undergraduate degree, hoping to specialize in pediatric medicine. In her free time, Sophia enjoys hiking Tucson’s beautiful mountains, watching period dramas, and reading Jane Austen novels. In Dr. Chang’s Lab, Sophia focuses on RFLP genotyping and developing a proximity labeling system for CDHR3.