Research Team

Zina Dubeykovskaya

Zinaida A. Dubeykovskaya, PhD
Associate Research Scientist
NYU Cancer Pain Labortory
NYU Oral Cancer Center
NYU College of Dentistry

Dr. Zinaida Dubeykovskaya earned a Master of Science in Biochemistry at Lomonosov Moscow State University (Moscow) and a PhD in Biochemistry at Gamaleya Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology (Moscow). She was recruited as a research scientist at State Research Center for Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology (Obolensk, Moscow Region, Russia) where she investigated micribiological pesticide alternatives for agriculture and forestry. After undertaking a disparate array of scientific studies, Dr. Dubeykovskaya joined a French team working in the field of erythropoiesis that investigated a key regulator of β-globin gene promotor transcription factor GATA1 (La Faculté de Pharmacie de l’Université Reims, Champagne-Ardenne, France). She then investigated transcription factors Fli-1 and SPU-1/PU.1 that negatevly regulate erythroid differentiation (Institut Cochin, Paris, France). Dr. Dubeykovskaya also participated in an investigation of gene function and biosynthesis of lypohytooligosaccharides that plays a role in the symbiosis of nitrogen-fixing bacteria and plants (Scryabin Institute of Biochemistry and Physiology of Microorganisms, Pushchino, Russia). After coming to the U.S. a decade ago, Dr. Dubeykovskaya studied the function of protein TFF2. This protein is an important anti-inflammatory factor and acts as a barrier during mucosal repair of the stomach (Columbia University, New York, US). Dr. Dubeykovskaya found that TFF2 regulates the production of immature myeloid cells/MDSCs that significantly promote tumor progression. She demonstrated efficacy of TFF2 therapy in a mouse preclinical model of colon cancer.

Dr. Dubeykovskaya joined the NYU Cancer Pain Laboratory in 2018. She studies the role of tumor-derived exosomes that contain pain-inducing factors in patients with orofacial cancer.  



Paulina Ramirez Garcia

Paulina Ramírez-García
Post Doctoral Associate
Translational Research Center (Researchers)

Paulina Ramírez-García earned a bachelor's degree in Biochemistry (2014) from the Pontifical Catholic University of Valparaiso, Chile. She completed a PhD (2019) at Monash University, Australia. For her thesis work, she used pH-responsive nanoparticles to target the nociceptive endosomal signal of the neurokinin 1 receptor. This work validated the potential of nanoparticles to selectively target receptors for treating pain. Dr. Ramírez-García continued as a postdoctoral research fellow at The ARC Centre of Excellence in Bio-Nano Science and Technology (CBNS, Monash University). At CBNS, she optimized drug delivery systems to target G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) that signal from endosomes, and investigated the compartmentalized signaling of nociceptive GPCRs.

Dr. Ramírez-García joined NYU in 2021 and was awarded the John J Bonica Trainee Fellowship to work under the mentorship of Drs. Brian Schmidt and Donna Albertson. In her current position, Dr. Ramírez-García studies the downstream signaling of protease-activated receptor 2 (PAR2) and its role in the development of oral cancer pain.

Dr. Ramírez-García’s areas of research are receptor pharmacology, G-protein receptors, pain, and nanomaterials.



Caroline Sawicki DDS, PhD

Caroline Sawicki DDS, PhD
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
NYU Cancer Pain Laboratory
NYU Oral Cancer Center
NYU Dentistry Translational Research Center
PGY-1, Department of Pediatric Dentistry
NYU College of Dentistry

Dr. Caroline Sawicki is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Cancer Pain Laboratory and a dental resident in the Department of Pediatric Dentistry at New York University (NYU) College of Dentistry. Dr. Sawicki received a DDS and PhD from The Ohio State University (OSU) in 2020. Her doctoral thesis work, performed under the mentorship of Dr. John Sheridan, focused on the physiological and behavioral effects of psychological stress, including stress-induced mechanisms of pain. Dr. Sawicki received a Ruth L. Kirschstein NRSA Pre-Doctoral F30 Research Fellowship Award from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research and multiple research fellowships through the American Association for Dental Research. Upon graduation from OSU, she was awarded the Pierre Fauchard Academy Senior Student Award in recognition of her leadership, contributions to science, and advancement of the dental profession. Dr. Sawicki remains an active member of numerous national and international organizations, including the Society for Neuroscience, American Dental Association, International Association for Dental Research/American Association for Dental Research, American Dental Education Association, American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.
Dr. Sawicki’s postdoctoral research at NYU is focused on neurobiologic mechanisms associated with oral cancer pain. Utilizing clinical and preclinical approaches she endeavors to define the clinical pain phenotype of oral cancer pain in patients and determine the receptor subtypes responsible for nociceptive behavior in an oral cancer pain mouse model. Dr. Sawicki’s primary long-term research interest is the neurobiology of orofacial pain in pediatric patients. Her overall career goal is to be a productive clinician-scientist in academic dentistry. She seeks to advance pediatric pain research, facilitate the translation of research from the bench to bedside, and ultimately improve pain management of children suffering from chronic orofacial pain.

Dr. Sawicki joined the NYU Oral Cancer Center in 2020.