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Suraj J. Patel, MD, PhD
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Suraj Patel is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at UT Southwestern Medical Center, and a faculty member of the Center for Human Nutrition and the Division of Digestive and Liver Diseases. Originally from the great state of New Jersey, Suraj received his B.S. from Cornell University in aerospace engineering, his Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard Medical School, and his M.D. from Rutgers University. After completing a residency in Internal Medicine at UT Southwestern and a Fellowship in Gastroenterology & Hepatology at Massachusetts General Hospital, he received post-doctoral training in the lab of Evan D. Rosen, before starting his own lab at UT Southwestern. His research group has an array of interests related to the metabolic causes and consequences of liver disease, and how the immune system influences hepatic metabolism.

Current Lab Members

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Samuel Piaker studied biochemistry at Northeastern University, where he received his Bachelor of Science magna cum laude in May 2017. Samuel started working with Dr. Patel in 2019 when he was at Massachusetts General Hospital as a research technician. Now, he has elected to come to Texas to continue their research together at UT Southwestern Medical Center, helping Dr. Patel to run his laboratory as his Lab Manager.

Samuel Piaker

Lab Manager

Neethu Alex

Neethu Alex received her Bachelor of Engineering degree in Biotechnology from RV College of Engineering, Bangalore, and went on to pursue her Ph.D. from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc). During her graduate research, she studied the role of pregnancy-regulated steroid hormones on glucose and lipid metabolism in the adipose tissue and skeletal muscle. Neethu joined Dr. Patel’s laboratory at UT Southwestern as a postdoc in September 2022. Her research here is focused on understanding the role of ISGylation and the transcription factor IRF3 in fatty liver disease.

Post-Doctoral Fellow


Ankita earned her PhD from CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Biology, Kolkata. Her thesis work was focused on impact of gut microbiota derived metabolites in metaflammation and pathophysiology of NASH. She joined Patel lab at UTSW as a transitional scholar in October 2023. Now, she is working on hepatokine-mediated alcohol metabolism in liver.

Ankita Sarkar

Transitional Scholar

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Marcia McNeely

Administrative Assistant

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