Lab Members

John Gordan, MD PhD

Principal Investigator

I am a physician scientist, with research training in cancer biology and chemical biology. My PhD mentor was Celeste Simon (University of Pennsylvania) and postdoctoral mentor Kevan Shokat (UCSF). My clinical practice focuses on the treatment of primary liver cancers, and my research goal is to develop mechanistic insights into these tumors to identify new therapeutic targets. The Gordan lab is a young and dynamic group of scientists based in Quantitative Biosciences Institute at UCSF Mission Bay. I am very happy to have an exciting, inclusive and fun environment in the lab, with synergy between basic and translational projects. When I’m not in the lab or the clinic, I am usually trying to convince my family and dog to go hiking with me.

Alex Choi

Lab Manager and Staff Research Associate

I am the lab manager of the Gordan Lab. Prior to working with Dr. Gordan in cancer research, I have worked in two HIV labs (Dr. Joseph Wong and Dr. Nevan Krogan), a M. tuberculosis lab (Dr. Jeffery Cox), a genetic eye disease lab (Dr. Anne Slavotinek), and another cancer lab (Dr. Alan Ashworth) at UCSF in the last ten years. I went to San Francisco State University for both my B.S. in Biology (Cell and Molecular) and my Professional Science Master (PSM) in Biomedical Science – Biotechnology. When I am not in the lab, I enjoy cooking for my family and observing my turtle.


Christina Hwang

Staff Research Associate

I'm an SRA in the Gordan Lab, studying the effects of FGFR fusions in cholangiocarcinoma. In my project, I primarily utilize proteomics to identify potential targets downstream of FGFR which may contribute to drug resistance. As an undergrad at Vanderbilt, I studied neuroscience and scientific computing, which came in very handy as I now also analyze proteomic datasets for the lab. Outside of the lab, I like to play the piano, explore the city, and watch Rick and Morty.


Dom Mitchell

Staff Research Associate

I am a staff researcher with training in molecular biology and biochemistry. I hail from sunny southern California and moved up this beautiful and foggy city to get my bachelor's degree from the University of San Francisco. Presently, I'm working on a collaborative drug development project with the ultimate goal of activating the Hippo pathway. My interests outside of the lab include: yoga, cooking, hiking, and appreciating the unique spots the Bay Area has to offer.


Gary Chan

Staff Research Associate

I am a staff research associate, who grew up in Hong Kong and received my bachelor’s degree from UC Berkeley. I have been doing academic research full time for 6+ years and been part of Gordan lab since April 2018. Currently, my focus is to identify and verify potential targets for fibrolamellar hepatocellular carcinoma. As a night owl, you will find me doing a good amount of my work later in the day. Whenever I am not in the lab, I am mostly likely climbing somewhere indoor or outdoor, or cooking, or simply hiding in my blanket to sleep as much as I can.


Rigney Turnham, PhD

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

I recently joined the Gordan lab after completing my PhD from the University of Washington in John Scott’s lab, where I studied the role of a PKA chimera in fibrolamellar carcinoma. Currently, I am investigating the role of Hepatitis B and how viral proteins are modifying signaling pathways in HCC. Outside of lab, I enjoy running, good beer, and the beach.