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Research and development

Somerville, Massachusetts, United States
October 28, 2016

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MCPHS University, Boston MA

Master of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences, Received, May 2016

Graduate GPA: 3.95/4.00

Award: Graduate Studies Scholarship, September 2015

Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences, Received, May 2015


Dicerna Pharmaceuticals, Preclinical Development, Cambridge MA

June-October 2016

Intern (full-time)

Direct Supervisor: Girish Chopda

Develop innovative RNAi therapies for the treatment of rare diseases, such as chronic liver diseases, cardiovascular disease, and viral liver infectious diseases

Collaborate with company teams to investigate and improve pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics parameters of current siRNA models

Design and execute in vivo/in vitro screenings involving siRNA based formulations

oEvaluating pk/pd of siRNA conjugates with or without chemically optimized modifications

Determine and quantify guide-strand exposure and target-gene knockdown

oValidating activity/potency of siRNA conjugates

Determine the lowest effect concentration with appropriate cell-lines

Forward/reverse transfection, cytotoxicity assays

Validate drug pk/pd by closely follow standard operation procedures to perform downstream analysis

oRNA isolation, cDNA synthesis, RT-PCR, Stem-Loop RT-PCR, ELISA, immunohistochemistry, microscopic imagery

Dose animals via various routes of administration, necropsy, tissue/blood sample collections

Troubleshoot/validate/optimize current in vivo and in vitro models

Graph/interpret/analyze findings on available software programs

Weekly meetings to present/share/discuss results and progress

MCPHS University, School of Pharmacy, Boston MA

December 2015-June 2016

Graduate Research Intern (full-time)

Direct Supervisor: Amanda Kentner

Investigating adolescent pain responses and underlying gene expression profiles across important brain areas involved in pain processing, in rats that were exposed to neonatal immune-challenges (See journal article below under publication)

Developing and executing behavior studies with Sprague-Dawley rats by implementing well-recognized models

oMaintenance of long-term behavior experiments

Behavior analysis

oOpen-field filming

Light-dark test

oMechanical allodynia test

Von Frey hair

Animal surgery/perfusion/dissections

otissues/blood/fetus/fecal collections for downstream analysis

RNA/DNA extractions, cDNA synthesis, RT-PCR and ELISA for the whole project

MCPHS University, School of Pharmacy, Boston MA

August 2015-May 2016

Graduate Teaching Assistant

Direct Supervisor: Mark Bohlke

Teaching undergraduate students to properly design and execute scientific experiments by following standard operation procedures

oFormulating drug tablets, capsules and suspensions

oPreparing solutions/buffer for each experiment

oSample analysis using spectrophotometer, HPLC, bioreactors or other appropriate instruments

oFormulating standard curve for calibrations

oResult analysis and interpretation

Laboratory maintenance, cleaning, setting up, ensuring all materials are in stock

Grading homework, quizzes, reports

Proctoring examinations


Yan, S., Kentner, A.C. Mechanical allodynia corresponds to Oprm1 downregulation within the descending pain network of male and female rats exposed to neonatal immune challenge. Brain Behav. Immun. (2016)

Yan, S. and Kentner, A.C. (2016). Neonatal inflammation induces mechanical allodynia and sex-specific gene expression in brain areas involved in the active modulation of nociception and inflammatory pain

To be presented at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in San Diego, California in November 2016


Molecular Biology Techniques: cell cultures, cytotoxicity assays, apoptosis assays, transfection, RNA/DNA extraction, cDNA synthesis, RT-PCR, Stem-Loop RT-PCR, ELISA, BCA assay, immunohistochemistry, staining, microscopic images

Animal Handling: develop studies involving animal modeling, behavior experiments, dosing, animal-takedown and sample collections

Literature Research: analyzing the applicability of existing methods to current research, using innovative techniques to replicate and improve these methods without having all the necessary resources available

Laboratory Skills: meticulous note-keeping in both laboratory notebooks and online files, precise mechanical pipetting skills, maintaining an organized and clean work space

Microsoft Excel: advanced in using excel functions, formulating calculation templates, data organization/analysis/interpretation


Dragon boat, rowing, violin


Girish Chopda, PhD, Principal Scientist at Dicerna Pharmaceuticals, Cambridge

Girish was Siyang’s supervisor at Dicerna Pharmaceuticals


Amanda Kentner, PhD, Assistant Professor of Psychology at MCPHS University, Boston

Dr. Kentner was Siyang’s research internship supervisor at MCPHS University


Gerard D’Souza, PhD, Associate Professor of Pharmaceutics at MCPHS University, Boston

Dr. D’Souza was Siyang’s academic advisor and professor for three academic courses at MCPHS University


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