Investigative Leadership Team

Meet our team

Chandan K. Sen, PhD, is distinguished professor and J. Stanley Battersby Chair of Surgery, Director of the Indiana Center for Regenerative Medicine and Engineering (ICRME), and executive director of the Comprehensive Wound Care Center at IU Methodist Hospital. At IU, he serves as associate vice president of research. At Indiana University Health, Dr. Sen is the executive director of the Comprehensive Wound Care Center. Dr. Sen is recognized as a Lilly INCITE Scholar.

The overriding theme that covers the research interests of the Sen laboratory across programs is tissue injury and repair. This overarching umbrella includes:

  • regenerative medicine and cell-based therapies
  • stroke
  • tissue injury and repair
  • miRNA in injury and repair
  • cell and tissue reprogramming
  • redox signaling
  • wound healing
  • tissue oxygenation
  • wound epigenetics
  • and biofilm infection

He is a widely recognized expert in regenerative medicine and wound healing. His research group works across a comprehensive platform covering basic cell culture to small animal and large animal models to human and patient-based research. Dr. Sen is continually opening up exciting new frontiers in regenerative medicine and is a leading example of a successful and altruistic scientist whose work is improving healthcare and the quality of patient lives globally.

Visit Dr. Sen’s website

Dr. Sen is joined by the following multidisciplinary leadership team to advance understanding of human post-mortem tissue response. 


Principal Investigator: Chandan K. Sen, PhD 
Scientific Administrator: Shomita Steiner, PhD
Analytics: Sashwati Roy, PhD and Kanhaiya Singh, PhD, IU School of Medicine Department of Surgery 
Tissue Procurement: George E. Sandusky, DVM, PhD, IU School of Medicine Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine 
Philosophy and Bioethics: Peter H. Schwartz, MD, PhD, IU Center for Bioethics; Amit Hagar, PhD, IU College of Arts + Sciences’ Department of History and Philosophy of Science and Medicine; and Tim O’Connor, MA, PhD, College of Arts + Sciences’ Cognitive Science Program

Sashwati Roy, PhD is a Professor of Surgery and Director of Clinical Research at IUH Comprehensive Wound Center. She is an expert in inflammation and macrophage biology in chronic wounds. Her laboratory focuses on immune cell heterogeneity and responses in tissue injury and inflammation. She has extensive experience with cell, molecular biology and advanced omics approaches. She has published numerous papers on single cells omics specifically using laser capture microdissection. Her background in high throughput omics and immunology/molecular biology will contribute substantially to this project.
Amit Hagar, PhD a Fulbright Scholar, and a two-time NSF Scholar Award winner, earned his doctorate from the University of British Columbia (2004), where he was trained in philosophy and physics. His interests lie in the intersection of computer science and physics and biology, especially in the development of solid tumors and in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. He has authored numerous manuscripts and peer reviewed articles and owns several patents in the domain of biomedicine. His role in the grant is to analyze the notion of programmed cell death and compare it to regenerative apoptosis and to necrosis or death by trauma, and to clarify what it takes to introduce the notion of “cause of death” as a new biological variable.

Visit Dr. Hagar’s website

Read “Breakthrough,” an article about Dr. Hagar’s career.
Timothy O’Connor, PhD received his doctorate in philosophy from Cornell University in 1992. He is the Mahlon Powell Professor of Philosophy and core member of the Cognitive Sciences Program at Indiana University. He has taught at IU since 1993 (serving as dept chairman 2006-12), apart from visiting research fellowships at the Universities of Notre Dame, St. Andrews, and Oxford and an appointment as Distinguished Professor at Baylor University. His main areas of scholarship are metaphysics, philosophy of mind/cognitive science, and philosophy of religion. He has published more than 80 scholarly articles and reviews and two monographs, Persons and Causes: The Metaphysics of Free Will (Oxford, 2000) and Theism and Ultimate Explanation (Blackwell, 2008). He has also edited and contributed to five books plus a science journal issue: three focused on the philosophy of mind and action and three that explored of ‘emergent’ or ‘top-down’ forms of explanation in several natural sciences. He is currently a member of an 18-person international team of philosophers and neuroscientists investigating the neuroscience of free will.

Dr. O’Connor will explore the implications of the striking cellular phenomena under study for philosophical questions concerning the unity of biological organisms, the nature of death and the interplay between ’top down’ and ‘bottom up’ causal processes in the human organism.

Visit Dr. Connor’s website
George Sandusky, DVM, PhD Professor, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the IU School of Medicine, came from southeast Ohio and graduated from Ohio University, then Ohio State, and finally Louisiana State University for pathology residency training and PhD work. In 1981, Sandusky was board certified in anatomic pathology and joined Lilly Research Labs. During his career, he was recognized for his technical contributions that have impacted programs targeting cancer and cardiovascular disease in both the discovery and medical arenas as well as areas responsible for target validation of new molecular targets using human disease cases and animal models. Dr. Sandusky joined the Indiana University Medical School faculty as a clinical assistant professor in 1984 in the Department of Pathology and transitioned to Indiana University School of Medicine in 2007 full time. He has been a professor at the IU School of Medicine since 2003 and a group leader in the Freshman and Sophomore Medical School teaching program. has worked with clinicians and researchers at the IU Simon Cancer Comprehensive Cancer for the past 14 years, where he has been responsible for the Cancer Center’s Tissue Bank. Dr. Sandusky currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Indiana Medical History Museum and volunteers for the Eiteljorg Museum and CSI (Crime scene investigation) weekend events at the Indiana State Museum. He was selected for the Distinguished Alumni Award at Ohio State University at Spring Graduation in 2016.

His lab will lead the tissue procurement team and be responsible for reviewing the histology of each case.
Peter H. Schwartz, MD, PhD, is director of the Indiana University Center for Bioethics and director of the Bioethics and Subject Advocacy Program of the Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CTSI). He is also associate professor of Medicine at IU School of Medicine and associate professor of Philosophy at Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis. Dr. Schwartz practices adult outpatient medicine in the Eskenazi Health System. He received his M.D. and Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Pennsylvania and completed his residency in Internal Medicine at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, MA.

Dr. Schwartz conducts research and writes about ethical issues in many areas, including shared decision-making, precision health, health information, and ideas of health, disease, and risk. He leads research projects on patient decision-making and risk communication in preventive and precision healthcare, with previous funding from the American Cancer Society and the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute. He is currently the principal investigator of a project examining the impact of providing personalized risk information to patients due for colorectal cancer screening, and to their providers, funded by the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI).

Dr. Schwartz will analyze the ethical and philosophical implications of the scientific findings of this project and support further discussion and broader understanding of these topics.

Visit Dr. Schwartz’s website
Kanhaiya Singh, PhD is an assistant professor at the Indiana Center for Regenerative Medicine and Engineering, Indiana University. He received his PhD from Banaras Hindu University, India on Genetic Analysis of impairment of Diabetic Wound Healing. His research interest is to dissect the molecular mechanisms of diabetic vasculopathy. His laboratory currently focuses on characterizing epigenetic mechanisms such as DNA methylation as a proxy for abnormal gene–environmental interactions in diabetic ischemic wounds. This includes whole genome sequencing approaches to investigate transcriptional regulation, post-transcriptional regulation (microRNA) and epigenetic regulation. His recent works include implications of SILAC proteomics, single-cell transcriptomics and single-cell ATAC sequencing approaches to investigate the molecular pathways that are compromised during human diabetic wound healing impairment.

Dr. Singh will use his expertise in high throughput single cell genomics that will be applied to the proposed studies. He will be primarily responsible for experimental design and analyses of data generated from post-mortem samples. He will closely work with doctors Sen, Roy and Wan and actively participate in generating data, writing reports and manuscripts and presenting research.
Dr. Jun Wan, PhD, MS is an associate professor at Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics at Indiana University School of Medicine.

Dr. Wan’s research interests are in bioinformatics and computational systems biology. His lab uses diverse approaches to investigate gene regulation, associated biological pathways, and functionally networks from transcriptional level to translational level. In particular, he focuses on deciphering epigenetic codes to understand impacts of genetic mutations and epigenetic variations on dynamic gene regulatory networks. Since 2007, he has been conducting studies of gene regulation mechanisms from multiple dimensions, including transcription factor regulation, DNA methylation, alternative splicing, microRNA regulation, histone modifications and genome-wide chromatin organizations. In addition, his lab works on public domain data to integrate a wide variety of ‘-omics’ datasets to explore comprehensive patterns of gene regulatory networks. Serving as director of Collaborative Core for Cancer Bioinformatics (C3B) shared by Indiana University Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center (IUSCCC) and Purdue University Center for Cancer Research, Wan now oversees the bioinformatics analyses and training through the C3B. Meanwhile, he engages to develop diverse, cutting-edge analyses on next-generation sequencing (NGS) data and other omics data, such as RNA-Seq, single cell RNA-seq (scRNA-seq), ChIP-Seq, ATAC-seq, single cell ATAC-seq (scATAC-seq), Whole Genome Bisulfite Sequencing (WGBS), Whole genome/exome sequencing and CRISPR/CAS9, among others.

In the Templeton project, Jun Wan supervises bioinformatics analysis and leads the method development to analyze the data and improve biologists’ hypothesis.

Learn about the Wan Lab, or read Dr. Wan’s bio.