Molecular Determinants Core

Meet Our Team


David Graham, Ph.D.

David Graham, Ph.D. Director

Dr. Graham is the director of the Johns Hopkins All Children’s Molecular Determinants Core (previously known as the Center for Resources in Integrative Biology). Additionally, Dr. Graham is an Associate Professor of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine.

Dr. Graham has extensive experience in the biological applications of mass spectrometry in the areas of proteomics, metabolomics, lipidomics and peptidomics. His research interests include understanding the consequences of HIV interactions with the immune system, the resulting pathogenesis in the periphery and the central nervous system, and the development of potential therapeutics. He applies advanced technologies like mass spectrometry to dissect processes at the molecular level. He is also actively involved in cancer and cardiovascular research examining the impact of disease at a molecular level.

Dr. Graham earned his undergraduate degree in biomedical and health sciences at the University of Guelph, and his master's degree in biology at McMaster University, both in Ontario, Canada. He earned his Ph.D. in biochemistry, cellular and molecular biology at Johns Hopkins University.

Susan Aja Ph.D.

Susan Aja Ph.D. Client Lead

Dr. Aja brings broad experience in project management and metabolism-related research to her role as Client Liaison for the Molecular Determinants Core. She earned her BS and PhD in Physiology at University of California at Davis, conducted postdoctoral training at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and has been JHUSOM faculty since 2002. Her own research interests have been CNS and peripheral neurotransmitters, neuropeptides, amp-activated protein kinase, fatty acid metabolism modulation, and TCA-cycle/mitochondrial health in the regulation of energy balance in metabolic health and disease. Prior to joining MDC in 2015, she established and has run a university service core for in vivo rodent metabolic services since 2008. Dr. Aja is committed to guiding researchers to optimal resources and expertise, and coordinating projects to successful outcomes.

Robert Harlan M.S., C(ASCP)CM

Robert Harlan M.S., C(ASCP)CM Operation and LCMS Lead

Rob Harlan’s interests include metabolomics profiling, targeted assay development, and clinical mass spectrometry. He has over twelve years of experience in targeted assay development using multiple reaction monitoring (MRM) assays for LC-MS/MS for high-throughput quantification of small molecule metabolites and peptides. He also has experience in clinical mass spectrometry, is a board certified medical technologist, and has experience in clinical method development in the area of clinical chemistry. Robert earned his master’s degree from Michigan State University and began his mass spectrometry research developing clinical LC-MS/MS methods for therapeutic drug monitoring at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Aurelie Roux, Ph.D.

Aurelie Roux, Ph.D. Quality and Development Lead

Dr. Roux is a Pharmacist and has a PhD in analytical chemistry with over 10 years of experience in mass spectrometry and translational research in both industrial and academic settings. She earned her M.Sc & Pharm.D in Quality Control and Analytical Development at University Paris V and her second M.Sc & Ph.D in Analytical and Theoretical Chemistry at University Paris VI. She conducted her postdoctoral training at the National Institutes of Health, and joined Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in 2015. She has vast expertise in LC/MS, mass spectrometry imaging, molecule identification by MS/MS, statistical analysis, analytical development and quality control (GLP). Dr. Roux brings new meaning to the terms creative and meticulous. She is a problem solver with astounding organizational skills.

Greg Ellis

Greg Ellis GCMS Lead

Dr. Ellis has interests spanning a wide range of analytical problems in biochemistry and environmental chemistry. He has ten years of experience in triple-quadrupole GC-MS for the analysis of human and animal metabolites and environmental contaminants. He also has expertise in multivariate statistical analysis, database design/implementation, and scientific computing in Python, SQL and R. He received his master’s in biological oceanography from the University Of Rhode Island Graduate School Of Oceanography and his PhD in chemical oceanography from the University of South Florida.

Shannon Reed

Shannon Reed Research Lab Technician

Shannon Reed received a BS degree in Biology at East Tennessee State University. She gained experience at Eastman Chemical Company as a Quality Control Analyst before moving to Florida and joining the MDC in 2018. She brought with her extensive hands-on experience in a broad set of laboratory techniques and knowledge of standard operating procedures. Her attention to detail, organizational and multitasking skills have allowed her to complete multiple development and process improvement projects. Her increased involvement in research studies further piqued her interest and she is currently attending the Microbiology Master’s program at University of Florida.