Saed's Lab Students & Fellows

Graduate Students - Past & Present

Jimmy Belotte, M.D., PhD.


Jimmy did his PhD. in the Department of Physiology under the supervision of Dr. Saed. He received his degree in 2016. His thesis work was part on an ongoing project focusing on the role of oxidative stress in the establishment of resistance to cisplatin in epithelial ovarian cancer cells




Batoul Abdullah, Ph.D.


Dr. Saed served as an adviser in Batoul's PhD. committee. She graduated with a PhD. from the Department of Molecular Genetics in 2016. Her thesis focused on fuzzy inheritance as a novel form of somatic cell inheritance that regulates cell population heterogeneity.

Osama (Husam) Nusrat, M.D., M.S.
Osama did his master's degree in reproductive science in the Department of Physiology, graduating in September 2017. He was part of an ongoing project in Dr. Saed's lab studying the role of angiogenesis in the persistence of chemoresistance in epithelial ovarian cancer. 
Jennell White, Ph.D.
Area of interest: The role of macrophages in post-operative adehsion development. 
"The foundation that my parents laid for me as a child growing up in Detroit is one that I abide by today. The formation of this foundation was solidified with the special ingredients of faith, family, and the acquisition of knowledge. Instilled in me at a very early age was the attitude that I could achieve anything I desired through hard work, discipline, dedication, and determination.
 "I was blessed with the opportunity to be involved with two research projects at Karmanos; the first as an intern for Dr. Brenda Foster during my junior year of high school; the second as a research assistant for Dr. David Evans during my sophomore year at Xavier University in New Orleans." Jennell says each experience was quite rewarding. She returned to Detroit, entered the BMS program, which she completed in Dec 2005. After careful consideration, Jennell decided to apply to Graduate School instead of Medical School.
Jennell has chosen the Reproductive Sciences concentration and worked under Dr. Saed's supervision for her PhD in reproductive science.


Nicole M. King (Fletcher), Ph.D. 
(2013-2019) Postdoctoral Fellow 
(2008-2013) Graduate Research Assistant
Area of interest: The role of hypoxia in the development of postoperative adhesions as well as the role of oxidative stress enzymes in ovarian cancer and chemoresistance. Nicole was awarded a Postdoctoral Fellowship focusing on novel biomarkers for early stage ovarian cancer from the Prevent Cancer Foundation.
Nicole received her BS in biology from Wayne State University in spring 2006, but when Nicole started her undergraduate program, she was still unsure of where her love for biology would lead her. After various courses in the field of biology, she discovered her love for the laboratory, and chose to focus on research.
After graduating, she accepted a Research Assistant position with Dr. Ghassan Saed (WSU-OB/Gyn) and discovered her 'niche' was to be reproductive physiology or, more specifically, infertility and in vitro fertilization. So with the full support of Dr. Saed, Nicole applied to our PhD program for fall 2008. She was accepted and awarded an IBS Fellowship.
Amy Harper, M.D.
Dr. Harper is currently a first-year fellow at Detroit Medical Center and Wayne State University in the Gynecologic Oncology three-year fellowship program. She has been working full-time in Dr. Saed's lab since July 2018 for her research year. The primary role of Dr. Harper is to collect sera, tissues, and ascitic fluids from ovarian cancer patients with chemosensitive and chemoresistant histologies.
Jimmy Belotte, M.D.    
(2012-2017) WRHR Scholar 


Dr. Jimmy Belotte is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, and a Women's Reproductive Health Research (WRHR) Scholar.

He was born and raised in Port-au-Prince, Haiti where he obtained his Medical Degree at the "Universite Notre Dame d'Haiti" in October 2004.   In 2007, He started his residency training in Obstetric and Gynecology at Nassau University Medical Center in Long Island New York, and then transferred to Wayne State University in January 2010.   At Wayne State University, he successfully completed his Obstetrics and Gynecology residency training in June 2011.

As a third year resident, he had the opportunity to rotate at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in Manhattan New York, and MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston Texas where he was awarded the Felix-Rutledge Fellow certificate.

Upon completion of his residency training, he was appointed Assistant Professor at Wayne State University, Obstetrics and Gynecology department through the Women's Reproductive Health Research Career Development Program as a Scholar (WRHR).  He joined Dr. Saed's lab and his research interests focus on Gynecologic Cancers. 

Awoniyi Awonuga, M.D., FRCOG, FACOG (2011-) WRHR Scholar

Dr. Awonuga (Niyi) is a graduate of University of Ibadan, Nigeria. Dr. Awonuga completed Residencies in Obstetrics and Gynecology in Nigeria, United Kingdom and the United States. He trained and practiced in various Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility Units in the United Kingdom before moving to the United States. He recently completed advanced training in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility here at Wayne State University. He joined University Physician Group in September 2011. He is board-certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology in the USA and United Kingdom. 

Dr. Awonuga is a Fellow of The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and has received several awards including; National Faculty Award for Excellence in Resident Education (Maimonides Medical Center, NY and Medical College of Georgia). Dr. Awonuga has special interest in In Vitro Fertilization, Recurrent Miscarriages, Uterine Fibroids, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, Menopause, and Ovulation Induction. 

He was a Women's Reproductive Health Research (WRHR) fellow in Dr. Ghassan Saed's laboratory. Currently, he serves as the division head of Reproductive Endocrinology at the Department of Ob/Gyn at Wayne State University.

Valerie I. Shavell, M.D. (2010-2013)


Dr. Shavell received her Bachelor of Arts in Biology and Psychology from Ithaca NY before completing the Weill Medical College of Cornell University in 2006. She completed her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Wayne State University School of Medicine and the Detroit Medical Center.  Currently, she has a Fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility through the Wayne State University School of Medicine and the Detroit Medical Center. 

Dr. Shavell has received numerous awards and distinctions including the Detroit Medical Center Research Guild Award, the Wayne State University Excellence in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility Award, the Wayne State University Excellence in Academic Achievement Award, the Sinai-Grace Hospital Research Day First Place in Clinical Research, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists District V Junior Fellow Research Grant, the Wayne State University Division of Maternal Fetal Medicine Outstanding Effort Award, the Wayne State University Perinatology Research Branch Academic Excellence Award, and The American Austrian Foundation Max Kade Fellowship in Obstetrics and Gynecology.


Emi Bulica 

Emi Bulica, awarded a year-off oncology research scholarship from Michigan State University in the laboratory of Dr. Saed of the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology at Wayne State University.

This award is for 12 months of full-time research in Dr. Saed's laboratory studying ovarian cancer. 

Other Residents and Fellows
Other residents/fellows who were trained in Dr. Saed's lab under supervision include Mazen Abdallah, Jashoma Banerjee, Alan Bolnick, Jay Bolnick, Charalampos (Harry) Chatzicharalampous, Subodhsingh Chauhan, Laura Detti, Michael Freeman, April Gago, Amy Harper, Roohi Jeelani, Sana Khan, Mohamed Mitwally, Valerie Shavell, Mili Thakur, Rahi Victory, and Terri Woodard

Research Assistants/Technician

Rong (Florrie) Fan, M.S.


Florrie is responsible for assisting Dr. Saed in performing experiments including ELISA, real-time RT-PCR, flow cytometry, TUNEL assay, siRNA, and Western blot. Florrie will also be responsible for siRNA silencing of gene. Additionally, she is responsible for the routine maintenance of the lab equipment and conditions.

Zhongliang (John) Jiang, M.D., Ph.D.


Dr. Jiang is a research associate in Dr. Saed's lab. He was responsible for performing experiments including ELISA, real-time RT-PCR, flow cytometry, TUNEL assay, siRNA, and Western blot. He also helped Dr. Saed with performing in vivo experiments using rats, mice, and rabbits.





Ira Memaj, B.S.

Ira began as a volunteer in my laboratory, observing procedures and reading works our research team has contributed to the field of reproductive studies over many years. Both my colleagues and I were greatly impressed by Ira's persistence, enthusiasm, and thirst to gain knowledge. Within months in the laboratory, Ira successfully transitioned from an observer to a research assistant, applying theory into practice. Her hard work reflected in her first project, which involved studying the role of angiogenesis in the persistence of chemoresistance in epithelial ovarian cancer. She has mastered real-time RT-PCR, Western Blot, and ELISA methods which aided her investigation of the presence of transcription factor, HIF-1-alpha, and VEGF receptors 1 and 2 in ovarian cancer cells. Her contribution resulted in co-authorship in a manuscript published in the Reproductive Sciences Journal.

Ira is a very motivated and dedicated individual who balances academics with her passion for philanthropy. She is an aspiring future doctor who will continue to contribute in the laboratory.


Bailey Neubauer, B.S.
Bailey is a research technician in Dr. Saed's lab. She was responsible for assisting Dr. Saed in performing experiments including ELISA, real-time RT-PCR, flow cytometry, TUNEL assay, siRNA, and Western blot.