Drissi Lab

Rachid Drissi

Rachid Drissi, PhD
Principal lnvestigator

Rachid Drissi, PhD, is a principal investigator in the Center for Childhood Cancer at the Abigail Wexner Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and an associate professor of Pediatrics at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. Dr. Drissi focuses on understanding high-risk pediatric brain tumor biology and the mechanisms of synergy and resistance in these malignancies to identify molecular therapeutic targets and develop new treatment paradigms. He is the Director of the Translational Research and Correlative Studies Laboratory for the Collaborative Network for Neuro-Oncology Clinical Trials (CONNECT). He provides support to the extensive translational research endeavors for the Brain Tumor Research Program. Dr. Drissi leads biology studies in multiple clinical trials through several consortia such as the Children’s Oncology Group, Pediatric Brain Tumor Consortium and CONNECT. Dr. Drissi received his master’s degree in Biochemistry and his doctorate degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the Pierre and Marie Curie University (Paris 6) in Paris, France. He then completed his postdoctoral fellowship at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, studying the effect of DNA damage on DNA replication in human cells and the regulation of telomerase by the oncogene c-Myc. As an associate investigator at St. Jude, Dr. Drissi focused on the relation between telomere dysfunction and the DNA damage signaling pathway. Later, as director of the Brain Tumor Center Translational Research Laboratory at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Dr. Drissi’s research program expanded from a focus on the biology of telomeres and telomerase in cancer to a leadership role. His laboratory served as the core resource for designing and executing novel biomarkers and integrated proof of principle research studies in clinical trials developing new therapies for children and young adults with relapsed and high-risk brain tumors.


Nationwide Children's Research Staff

Shiva Priya Dharshan Senthil Kumar, MS
Senior Research Associate

Shiva joined the Drissi Lab in 2013 and is the lab manager responsible for ordering supplies, maintaining compliance with institutional protocols and onboarding new lab members. Shiva’s focus is on translational research and collaborating with other lab members. Shiva has a bachelor’s degree in Pharmacy from Tamil Nadu Dr. M.G.R. Medical University in India and a master’s degree in Cell and Molecular Biology from Miami University.


Nationwide Children's Research Staff

Deepak Kumar Mishra, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr. Mishra joined the Drissi Lab as a postdoctoral fellow in 2018. Currently, Dr. Mishra’s work focuses on pediatric brain tumor therapeutics. Dr. Mishra earned a doctorate in Life Sciences from Jawaharlal Nehru University in India.



Rebecca Shoffner, RLAT
Research Assistant

Rebecca joined the lab in 2022 to assist with ongoing translational research studies. Her background is in animal care, and she has a bachelor's degree in Zoology from The Ohio State University. Her focus is compliance and refinement of animal research while contributing to better outcomes for children with high-grade brain tumors.


Banlanjo Umaru

Banlanjo Umaru, PhD
Post-Doctoral Researcher

Banlanjo's research focuses on immunotherapy in pediatric brain tumors.


Brendan Devine

Brendan Devine
Research Assistant 

Brendan joined the Drissi Lab in 2022. Currently, he assists other lab members with projects on therapeutic interventions for pediatric gliomas. Brendan graduated with his bachelor’s degree from The Ohio State University in 2022.