With a degree in Veterinary Medicine from Kerala, India, Dr. Sunny came to University of Maryland, College Park in 2002 where he earned his M.S. (2005) and Ph.D. (2008) in Animal Nutrition, under the mentorship of Dr. Brian J. Bequette. Following a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas (2008-2010) under Dr. Shawn C. Burgess, Dr. Sunny continued as a Research Assistant Professor (2012-2016) at the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism at University of Florida, Gainesville. Dr. Sunny is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland, College Park since Jan 2017. Dr. Sunny is interested in understanding the metabolic mechanisms modulating growth and development in various species, and also contributing to the etiology of obesity, insulin resistance, and fatty liver disease.
Dr. Maguire earned a Master’s degree in Biomedical Sciences in 2008 from Edinburgh Napier University, Scotland under Dr. Mick Rae, focusing on fetal development of the pancreas and the effect of excess maternal testosterone on insulin production. She then earned her Ph.D. in Endocrinology and Reproductive Physiology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2017, under Dr. Colin Jefcoate, examining the overlapping effects of maternal vitamin A deficiency and deletion of cytochrome P450 1B1 on liver development and its modulation of obesity. Dr. Maguire began as a Postdoctoral Scholar in the Sunny Lab in April 2017, where her focus is to interrogate mitochondrial mechanisms in the liver, contributing to obesity and fatty liver disease.
Dr. Pillai completed his Veterinary Medicine education from Kerala, India before coming to the University of Connecticut to pursue graduate studies. Dr. Pillai completed his M.S and Ph.D. in Animal Science, under the guidance of Dr. Kristen E. Govoni, with a focus on evaluating the effect of poor maternal nutrition on fetal development. His graduate research aimed to understand the impact of under- and over-feeding during gestation on stem cell and muscle development. Dr. Pillai is experienced in using RNA-Seq and Seahorse XFp analyzer technology to evaluate genetic and metabolic changes contributing to alterations in the offspring as a result of poor maternal nutrition. Currently, as a postdoctoral scholar in the Sunny lab, Dr. Pillai is interested in understanding mechanisms contributing to dysfunctional mitochondrial oxidative flux and development of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis.
Following her Bachelors degree in Biotechnology from Visvesvaraya Technological University, Belgaum, India, Chaitra came to United States and completed her M.S. in Molecular Cell biology from University of Connecticut, Storrs. Chaitra’s research goal in the Sunny lab is to profile the metabolic adaptation of developing chicken embryos to neonatal chicks, with the objective of understands the regulatory aspects of mitochondrial metabolism and lipogenesis.
Annette is a senior undergraduate student majoring in Animal Sciences with a minor in Spanish. Annette has worked in the lab since February 2017, inspired to gain research experience, towards building a career in Veterinary Medicine. Annette is currently applying to Veterinary schools around the country and hopes to start attending one in 2018. Annette hopes to integrate her laboratory research experience, towards developing a successful Clinical Veterinary Medicine practice. In her free time, she enjoys horseback riding, reading, and cooking with family and friends.
Jennifer is an undergraduate student pursuing a B.S. in Neurobiology & Physiology at the University of Maryland. She formerly interned for 2 summers at NIMH’s Human Brain Collection Core, where she assisted in human brain dissections and conducted experiments in protein synthesis. Towards her Pre-Medicine track, Jennifer wishes to advance her biochemical background and hone her abilities in fundamental lab techniques (such as Cell Culture, qPCRs, Imaging, Mass Spectroscopy, etc.). She is currently focused on evaluating the effects of branch chain amino acids on the advancement of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. She hopes to continue to study this topic throughout her time in Sunny Lab. In her free time, Jennifer enjoys exploring cities and varying cuisines, playing tennis, tap dancing, and listening to electronic music.