An outstanding group of researchers.

Stephen B. Howell, M.D.
Professor of Medicine

Stephen B. Howell, M.D. is a Professor of Medicine at the University of Calfiornia, San Diego and Associate Director for Research Education and Training at the UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center. He is a graduate of Harvard Medical School and was trained as a medical oncologist and pharmacologist at the Massacusetts General Hopsital, the National Institutes of Health and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. Dr. Howell is head of the Pharmacology and Toxicology laboratory of the Center for Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence at UCSD. His work focuses on the development of novel drugs and drug delivery systems for the treatment of cancer, and on the molecular and genetic mechanisms underlying the development of drug resistance. He is the author of more than 330 peer-reviewed researcher articles. Dr. Howell conducted much of the early pharmacokinetic information and clinical trials work on intraperitoneal chemotherapy for the treatment of ovarian cancer. His laboratory has contributed importantly to the current understanding of how the platinum-containing drugs enter, traffic through and exit from ovarian cancer cells, and how such cells become resistant to these drugs.
Dr. Howell's professional titles include the following:


Associate Director for Research Education and Training
Co-Leader, Solid Tumor Therapeutics Program
Director, Pharmacology and Toxicology Core Lab
Director, Center for Cancer Nanoparticle Excellence



Xinjian Lin, M.D.
Project Scientist


Dr. Xinjian Lin joined the Howell lab as a postdoctoral fellow from September 1997 to October 2000 and currently is a Project Scientist at the lab conducting research in the filed of cancer growth, metastasis and chemo-resistance to platinum-containing drugs. His other major research effort is to develop novel drugs and tumor targeting systems capable of increasing the selective delivery of therapeutic agents to human cancers. He has published 17 original research articles as the first/corresponding author in peer-reviewed international journals such as Cancer Research, Clinical Cancer Research, International Journal of Cancer, Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, Neoplasia, European Journal of Cancer, Molecular Pharmacology, etc, and is widely recognized in the field as reflected by the selection as a scientific reviewer for the majority of cancer-related core journals.  



Gerald (Jack) Manorek, B.S.
Staff Research Associate


Mr. Manorek joined the Howell Lab in 2004 as a microarray specialist. Since then, he has become a "Jack of all Trades" expanding his expertise to all areas of laboratory work.

"Jack" received his bachelor of science degree from UC Davis and is currently living as a hermit in an undisclosed location.




Angela Robles, B.A.
Howell Lab Administrator

Ms. Robles earned her bachelors degree in Theology and Psychology from Georgetown University. She completed her pre-medical coursework at UCLA and post-baccalaureate coursework at UCSD. She is currently applying to medical school.

Cancer Therapeutics Training Program

Program Manager

We are now accepting applications for the 5 training positions available July 1, 2014. 

Please see the application page for further instructions.

The Cancer Therapeutics Training Program is a 24-month National Institutes of Health/National Cancer Institute T32 training grant whose specific aims include training scientists and physician-scientists in the art of drug development. For further information, see the CT2 website or contact Angie for details.


Xiying Shang, M.D.
Post-doctoral Resarcher

Dr. Shang obtained her M.D. from Peking Union Medical College, China with the focus on exploring the mechanisms and improving the efficacy of targeted gene repair mediated by single stranded DNA oligonucleotides in mammalian cells and transgenic mice. Her first year of postdoctoral training studied the role of the PRC1, a microtubule bundling protein, in mammalian cell cleavage at the Department of Cancer Cell Biology, Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center, San Diego. She joined the Howell's Laboratory as a Postdoc in August 2010 and is currently developing novel tumor targeting toxins that build on major advances in the ability to combine functional domains from different kinds of proteins to create molecules that both accumulate in specific types of tumors and carry a payload capable of killing the tumor cells when either concentrated on the cell surface or after internalization via endocytosis.

Olivia Tsai, Ph.D.
Post-doctoral Researcher


Dr. Tsai completed her graduate training inPharmacology and Cancer Biology at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston in May of 2009 under the supervision of Dr. William Plunkett researching the cellular and molecular responses to a novel nucleotide analogue, GS-9219, involved in Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL), Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma (NHL) and Multiple Myeloma (MM). She completed one year of post-doc training at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center/Department of Experimental Therapeutics before joining the Howell Lab in the Summer of 2010. She is currently involved in two projects, one on drug discovery and the second on drug resistance.



Academic Collaborators

The Howell Lab is currently involved in joint projects with the following laboratories:

Michael Rosenblum, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

Dr. Rosenblum is a Professor in the Department of Experimental Therapeutics, Division of Cancer Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX. He is also the Head of Immunopharmacology and Targeted Therapy Laboratory, Department of Experimental Therapeutics, Division of Cancer Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX.

George Georgiou, University of Texas at Austin

The Georgiou Lab is currently working on the discovery and development of protein therapeutics by capitalizing on state of the art protein engineering and directed evolution technologies.   Work in the group includes:  (1) Methods for discovering and increasing the potency of therapeutic antibodies; (2) Novel antibody therapeutics that activate the adaptive immune system to kill cancer cells; (3) Engineering of human therapeutic enzymes for the treatment of a variety of malignancies; (4) Design of proteolytic enzymes that cleave and inactivate disease targets;  (5) Molecular signatures of the immune responses in disease states.   In addition, the group is also interested on a number of issues related to the mechanism of protein biogenesis in bacteria.

Patrick Daugherty, UCSB

Precision molecular recognition underlies the circuitry of complex biological systems. Current research in Daugherty laboratory aims to elucidate protein interaction principles in biological systems, and to develop and apply methods and technologies for the diagnosis and treatment of human disease. We have developed several new technologies that enable i) isolation and engineering of protein-binding ligands with improved affinity and specificity, ii) semi-automated affinity ligand isolation using micro-fluidic cell sorters, iii) intracellular sensing and screening for enzyme activity and protein interactions, and iv) engineering and characterization of peptidases. These new biotechnologies create significant opportunities to apply molecular and cellular engineering to improve human health. In particular, we are applying these tools to develop advanced medical diagnostic technologies, and novel therapeutic approaches that rely upon engineered molecular machines and artificial signal transduction systems. Our work is highly interdisciplinary and benefits from several active collaborations with academic and industrial laboratories, and physicians.