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Our over-arching goal is to translate our lab discoveries to impact brain cancer patient treatment.


·         Contribution of membrane transport proteins to cancer development. Of particular interest is a chloride anion channel, the hetero-pentameric GABA-A neurotransmitter receptor.

·         Membrane transport proteins as anti-cancer therapeutic targets. We are particularly interested in targeting primary and secondary (metastatic) brain tumors.

·         Employing new and emerging technology to aid therapeutic delivery to brain tumors.



University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is a top-tier public academic institution. Importantly, it is a collaborative and supportive environment. Our lab is located in the Neuroscience Research Building in the University medical campus, neighboring research facilities for imaging, cancer (Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center), and neuroscience. There are core facilities available for everything: flow cytometry; organoids; microscopy (confocal, widefield, live cell); small animal imaging (PET-MRI); small animal radiation; and proteonomics.

Lab leaders

Dr. Sengupta outside headshots

Soma Sengupta, MD, PhD, MBA, FRCP (UK), FAAN, FANA

Soma completed her MD-PhD at the University of Cambridge, U.K. She received Membership in the Royal College of Physicians (U.K.) before moving to the U.S. for an internship in medicine; residency in Neurology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center-Harvard; and clinical and research fellowships at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston Children’s Hospital, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. She also completed fellowship training in Integrative Medicine (Andrew Weil Center, The University of Arizona) and an MBA with a focus on healthcare policy. Soma is board certified in Neurology and Neuro-Oncology and is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians (FRCP) as well as FANA and FAAN.

Soma’s Post-doctoral research training included a fellowship at Yale with Prof. Carolyn Slayman (deceased); training in immunology research at the Cambridge Institute of Medical research (U.K.) with Dr. Paul Lehner; and training in pediatric brain tumor research with Drs. Scott Pomeroy at Boston Children’s Hospital and Frances Jensen (currently Chair, Dept. Neurology, Univ. of Pennsylvania).

Soma was an attending at BIDMC-Harvard in neuro-oncology before moving to Emory Univ. and the Winship Cancer Institute. She has a long-standing research interest in membrane transport proteins and a major part of her lab is studying such proteins as anti-cancer targets as well as their role in development of disparate cancers. Clinically, Soma manages adult brain tumors, patients with neurogenetic disorders, and adult survivors of pediatric brain cancers. She has a strong clinical interest in investigator-initiated trials, to bring much needed new treatments for these patient populations.

At UNC Soma is currently Professor of Neurology; Division Chief, Neuro-Oncology; Vice Chair, Philanthropic Development; member, Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.


Dr. Kummel outside headshots

Daniel Pomeranz Krummel, PhD

Daniel completed his PhD at Yale under Prof. Sid Altman (Nobel in Chemistry, 1989). He pursued postgraduate training in x-ray crystallography of large macromolecular complexes at the Medical Research Council’s Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, U.K. where he worked with Dr. Kiyoshi Nagai (deceased), with whom he collaborated to determine the first structure of a small nuclear RNA-protein complex (Pomeranz Krummel et al. Nature, 2009). Daniel has a long-standing research interest in gene expression mechanisms and collaborates closely with Dr. Sengupta in research on membrane transport proteins in cancer development and as anti-cancer targets.

At UNC Daniel is currently Associate Professor of Neurosurgery.


Lab Manager

Caroline G. Mohammed



University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

School of Medicine

6129 Neuroscience Research Building (NRB)

115 Mason Farm Rd

CB #7250

Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7250