Lab Members


Principal Investigator
Bassem Ben Cheikh, PhD
Research Bioinformatician I

Bassem Ben Cheikh, PhD, is combining computational genomics and machine learning to study the heterogeneity in tumor cell populations and the heterotypic cellular interactions using next generation sequencing data. He joined the Knott Laboratory in early 2018 after completing his doctorate in the Biomedical Imaging Laboratory (LIB) at Sorbonne Universités - Pierre and Marie Curie, Paris, France. His doctoral research focused on quantifying the spatial distribution of cells in tissue and the spatial interactions in the tumor microenvironment using new approaches of spatial point pattern analysis that combine graph theory, mathematical morphology, pattern recognition and machine learning. Ben Cheikh started his doctorate at LIB in 2014 after completing his telecommunication engineering studies at the Higher School of Communication of Tunis, Tunisia, and completing his engineer training in the ICube Laboratory, University of Strasbourg, France, where he developed algorithms for 3-D specimen reconstruction from cryo-electron microscopy projections.

Kenneth Gouin, MS
Doctoral Student

Kenneth Gouin, MS, received his bachelor of science in biomedical engineering and his master of science in biomedical engineering with a specialization in regenerative medicine at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Through the CIRM Bridges program, he completed an internship in the process development department at Capricor Therapeutics Inc. Upon completing his master's degree, Gouin returned as a process development associate until joining the Cedars-Sinai PhD program in the fall of 2016.

Nathan Ing
Research Bioinformatician I

Nathan Ing received his bachelor of science in biomedical engineering from the University of Southern California in 2014 and began working at Cedars-Sinai later that year. He uses classic image analysis and predictive models to discover biomarkers in digital pathology images. These techniques are applied to discover an RNA expression signature related to vascular disorganization phenotypes and are associated with survival in clear cell renal cell carcinoma. Ing focuses on a class of machine learning based on deep neural networks for supervised and unsupervised learning. He works in the Hazelett Laboratory on new ways to model epigenetic data using machine learning.

Andrew Martineza
Research Associate I

Andrew Martinez received his bachelor of science from California State University of Los Angeles in biochemistry. He joined the Knott Lab in December 2018.

Brianna Mulligan
Research Bioinformatician I

Brianna comes to bioinformatics from a background of Biochemistry (BS with Honors, University of New Mexico, 2016), and Computer Science (MS, University of New Mexico, 2019). During her undergraduate education, Brianna was an Intensive Summer Intern at the National Center for Genomics Resources in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Prior to joining the Knott Lab, her work primarily concerned the elucidation of epigenetic biomarkers in PTSD and Autism with Dr. Elaine L Bearer. Her work has also covered protein modeling, viral DNA mutation tracking, and molecular dynamic simulation modeling. Brianna joined the Knott Lab in August of 2019.

Catherine Oh
Research Associate I

Catherine Oh received her bachelor’s degree in biology from University of California, Santa Cruz. During her undergrad, she took part in a research lab characterizing disease causing mutations. Her research background in primarily in molecular biology. Catherine joined the Knott lab in October 2019.

Florian Raths, MS
Doctoral Student

Florian Raths was born in Germany and holds a bachelor of science in biology from the University of Marburg and a master's degree in biotechnology from the University of Münster. He gained experience at the Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology (Marburg), the Karolinska Institutet (Stockholm) and the Institute for Plant Biology and Biotechnology (Münster). Raths worked on projects related to molecular genetics, polymer science, microbiology and plant-pathogen systems. He joined the Knott Lab in October 2016.

Felicia Surjono
Doctoral Student

A Los Angeles native, Felicia Surjono received her bachelor of science in biology from Azusa Pacific University. She completed her post-baccalaureate at the National Institute on Drug Abuse in Baltimore. She is a doctoral student in the Cedars-Sinai Biomedical and Translational Sciences program. Surjono joined the Knott Lab in April 2017.

David Zitser
Research Associate I

David Zitser received his bachelor of science from California State University of Los Angeles in biochemistry. Through being a member of the Honors College and Early Entrance Program, he worked with Dr. Robert M. Nissen in conducting research on the molecular mechanisms involved during jaw development in relation to DCAF7 and DYRK1A. His research background focused on molecular biology, tissue, and various techniques involved with screening the animal model Danio rerio (zebrafish). He joined the Knott Lab in August 2019

Contact the Knott Lab

8700 Beverly Blvd.
Steven Spielberg Building, Suite 100 
Los Angeles, CA 90048