Haugen/French Lab

Dr. Haugen is a physician-scientist who sees patients with thyroid cancer and does basic/translational and clinical research on thyroid cancer therapeutics.  More recently, his research group and collaborators have been using multi-omic approaches and single cell RNA sequencing to better understand advanced thyroid cancer in humans and animal models.

Jena French Headshot

Jena French, PhD

Associate Professor

Dr. French in an immunologist who investigates the immune response in advanced thyroid cancers using both human tumors and mouse models.

Research Topics

Here are the research topics for the Haugen Lab:


To test the novel combination therapy of taxanes and inhibitors of the spindle assembly checkpoint pathway in preclinical models of anaplastic thyroid cancer

This lab is currently NIH funded - R01 CA233546

To determine the effects of metabolism and sex in thyroid cancer progression using human studies and animal models.


To explore complementary therapies to BRAF inihibitor + MEK inhibitor (in BRAF mutated tumors) and MEK inhibitor in (in RAS mutated tumors) to improve efficacy of these therapies

The experiments use transgenic mouse models and single cell sequencing approaches.

Here are the research topics for the French Lab:


Characterizing the T cell response in human thyroid tumors. We expand tumor-infiltrating T cells from thyroid tumors for TCR clonality and antigen specificity studies


Investigating immune-modulating therapies for advanced thyroid cancers in preclinical mouse models and clinical trials

Lab Personnel

Haugen/French Lab Personnel


Vibha Sharma, PhD

Research Associate

Uma Pugazhenthi headshot


Uma Pugazhenthi

Research Laboratory Intermediate Professional



Jacob Calhoun

Research Laboratory Intermediate Professional



Amanda LaGreca, MD

Assistant Professor



Nikita Pozdeyev, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor

Min-Ji Jeon headshot


Min-Ji Jeon, MD, PhD

Visiting Research Scholar
Assistant Professor

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