Lab Members

Eugene H. Chang, MD FACS

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.

Christopher Le, MD

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

Amanda L. Jenkins (Willis), MS

Assistant Scientific Investigator, Lab Manager

Amanda Jenkins is an Arizona native. She graduated with her B.S. from the University of Arizona (2005) with a double major in molecular & cellular biology and biochemistry. During this time she worked in the Dept. of Pharmacology & Toxicology studying mechanisms which effect embryotic heart valve development. Following graduation she accepted a position in the Breast and Ovarian Cancer research unit at TGen (Phoenix, AZ) where she worked for 4 years and obtained her M.S. in molecular & cellular biology through Arizona State University (2009). She then moved to Ann Arbor, MI and worked for 3 years as a researcher and lab manager at the University of Michigan. Her research there focused on mechanisms for how cells invade and migrate through the body using in vitro and chick chorioallantoic membrane model systems. After that Amanda and her husband relocated to Trieste, Italy for 2 years where their daughter was born. Upon their return to Arizona Amanda joined the Chang Lab (February, 2015). Her research focuses on how underlying genetic factors, viral infections, and microbiome composition all interact to drive in the development of chronic sinus disease. When not in the lab she enjoys spending time with her daughter, craft beers, comic books and hiking.

Erin G. Romero, BFA

Clinical Research Coordinator

Erin joined the Chang lab after more than ten years working for the University of Utah Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, in Salt Lake City. Her previous research focused on inhalation toxicology through investigation of mechanisms implicated by exposure to air pollution. Her last several years focused on the effect of inhaled particles on transient receptor potential (TRP) channels, a family of calcium channels that are environmental sensors for temperature as well as known chemical agonists. Working with the upper airway in the Chang lab is a perfect opportunity to gain experience in a new area and apply her previous knowledge. Erin works to find balance between her research career and her other interests. With a B.F.A. in Modern Dance, Erin also has nine years of experience as a certified Pilates instructor teaching in several locations including Wellington, New Zealand, Santa Barbara, CA and Salt Lake City, UT.

Alexander Kim, BSE

Research Lab Technician

Alexander Kim was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii and moved to Tucson, Arizona in 2007. He attended Arizona State University, where he graduated in 2016 with a BSE in Mechanical Engineering. His previous research experience at Arizona State involved the development of a protocol that uses silver nitrate ink for 3D nanofabrication. His current research interests in the Chang lab involve studying the effects of maxillary sinus balloon dilation on patient sinus microbiomes. In addition to his research, Alexander Kim also assists the Chang lab with CDHR3 and CTFR genotyping. When he’s not in lab, Alex can be found playing with his dog, biking, drinking craft beers, or sleeping.

Kosuke Kato, PhD

Assistant Professor

Dr. Kosuke Kato, an Assistant Professor with the Department of Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery at the University of Arizona. Dr. Kato received his Ph.D. in Medical and Pharmaceutical Sciences from Kumamoto University in Japan. He performed his post-doctoral training at the Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute in New Mexico and at Temple University School of Medicine Lung Center, under the mentorship of Dr. Kwang-Chul Kim, a pioneer in the field of airway mucin biology. He collaborates with Dr. Eugene Chang to unveil the primary mechanisms of airway epithelium disorders in upper airway diseases utilizing in vivo and in vitro ALI models. In his spare time, Dr. Kato enjoys playing tennis. 

Marianne Kim, BS

Research Lab Technician

Marianne Kim was originally born in Torrance, California and grew up in Chandler, Arizona. She graduated from the University of Arizona in 2018 with a B.S. in molecular cellular biology and nutritional sciences. During this time, she worked in Dr. Kwang-chul Kim's lab a under the guidance of Dr. Kosuke Kato, supporting his research in the biological role of airway mucins in acute and chronic rrespiratory disease. She is currently working in the Chang lab and assisting in research involving chronis sinus diseas with in vivo and in vitro models. When not in lab, she enjoys spending time with her family, watching movies, and hiking.