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Ronadip R. Banerjee, MD, PhD
Principal Investigator

Ron is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.


Dr. Banerjee is a board-certified endocrinologist, and is a physician-scientist who remains active in clinical service in addition to his lab research. 


He received his B.S. in Biological Sciences from Stanford University (1997), followed by both an M.D. (2005) and Ph.D. (2003) from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. His doctoral thesis was done in the lab of Dr. Mitchell A. Lazar, and examined the adipocyte-secreted hormone resistin and its role in obesity and insulin resistance.  Ron returned to Stanford for residency in Internal Medicine, clinical fellowship in Endocrinology, and a postdoctoral research fellowship working in the lab of Seung Kim  studying beta-cell biology. 

Prior to joining JHU, he was an Assistant Professor at the Univ. of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine, where he was selected as a Pittman Scholar in 2021.

Ron enjoys traveling, golf, reading (especially science fiction) and spending time with his wife and two kids. 

Jin-Yong Chung
Senior Research Specialist

Jin received a Ph.D. in cell biology in 2007 from the Dong-A University in South Korea. His Ph.D. studies focused on the male reproductive system, specifically steroid production and mitochondria function in Leydig cells. He joined the laboratory of Dr. Barry Zirkin at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health in 2010 as a postdoctoral fellow dissecting the role of translocator protein and cholesterol translocation into the mitochondria during steroidogenesis. He subsequently worked with Dr. Zirkin as an Assistant Scientist elucidating how oxidative stress affects the reduction of steroid production in Leydig cells and how to restore testosterone

production in aged Leydig cells.

Currently, Jin is a Sr. Research Specialist/Lab Manager for the Banerjee Lab.  His focus is ongoing projects investigating mechanisms underlying islet cell adaptation during pregnancy and the postpartum period.  He also manages the lab, animal colony, and helps Dr. Banerjee in teaching and training other staff, students, and postdocs.

Nelmari Ruiz Otero
Postdoctoral Fellow

Nelmari joined the Banerjee in June 2022 as a Postdoctoral Fellow.


She received her B.S. in Cell and Molecular Biology from the University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras Campus (2015). She completed her Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University (2022) in the Cell, Molecular and Developmental Biology and Biophysics (CMDB) Program. Her thesis work was on the “Role of Delta/Notch-like EGF-Related receptor (DNER) in blood glucose homeostasis”. She is generally interested in β-cell biology and how different β-cell subpopulations within the islet adapt to metabolic stress.


Nelmari loves to cook, read, take care of her plants, play with her cat Haru and spend time with her husband and daughter.


KaLia Head Shot_edited.jpg

KaLia Burnette

Graduate Student

KaLia joined the lab in the spring of 2020, and is co-mentored by Dr. Hubert Tse, UAB Dept. of Microbiology & Immunology.  KaLia is in the Immunology theme of UAB Graduate Biomedical Sciences program. She is a Georgia native, receiving her B.S.E. in Biomedical Engineering and M.E. in Tissue Engineering.

When she’s not in the lab she can be found in a gym or outdoors hiking, fishing, or camping. KaLia was  appointed to the UAB CMDB T32 Training grant on July 1, 2020.

LAB ALUMNI (position immediately following Banerjee lab, if applicable)

  • Dingguo Zhang, Postdoctoral Fellow 2020-2021.  (Postdoc, Chatham Lab, UAB).

  • Yongjie Ma, Researcher V 2020-2021.  (Research Associate, UAB).

  • Hayden Bickerton, Researcher IV 2018-2020.  (Physician Assistant School, UAB).

  • Vivian Eberly, Undergraduate summer researcher, March 2019-September 2019.

  • Eric Stokes, UAB NIH PREP Scholar, July 2018- May 2019.  (graduate student, U. Colorado, Denver)

  • Huixin Wu, GBS rotation student, fall 2018.

  • Austin Browner, Undergraduate work-study student 2017-2018.

  • Dahye Park, Undergraduate researcher 2017-18.

  • Rachael Branscombe, Undergraduate Summer researcher SIBS program 2017.

  • Colleen Mikelson, Researcher II 2016-18.

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