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Group Members

Thomas Quertermous

TQ is currently the William G. Irwin Professor of Medicine and Director of the Research in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine at Stanford University. He completed clinical training in cardiology at the Massachusetts General Hospital and research training in molecular genetics in the Department of Genetics at the Harvard Medical School. Dr. Quertermous established an independent laboratory in the Cardiac Unit at the Mass General in 1987. He was recruited to Vanderbilt University in 1991 as Chief of Cardiology and Professor of Medicine and Molecular Physiology and Biophysics. Dr. Quertermous moved to Stanford University in 1997 where he assumed leadership of the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine. Research in the Quertermous laboratory has employed genetic approaches for the study of vascular disease as a primary focus. Currently, research studies employ large-scale human genetics efforts to better understand the genetic basis of atherosclerosis and related risk factors such as hypertension and insulin resistance. Ongoing efforts include genome-wide association studies in multiethnic cohorts with coronary heart disease, and these efforts are integrated with other worldwide efforts aimed at conducting definitive association based analyses. Variation identified through these studies is further investigated at the molecular level to better understand the basic mechanisms of atherosclerotic heart disease.

Trieu Nguyen

Trieu is a Life Science Research Professional and Lab Manager. She received her bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of California, San Diego in 2000. She has extensive experience in human induced pluripotent stem cells and CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing. Since joining the Quertermous lab, Trieu has become an expert working with human coronary artery smooth muscle cells while cultivating her functional genomics skills to better understand the role of transcription factors in coronary artery disease.

Hyun-Jung Kim

Hyun-Jung is a postdoctoral research fellow in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine at Stanford. She received her MS degree in Toxicology from University of Kentucky in 2011, and her PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from University of Miami in 2018. Her graduate project mainly focused on studies identifying the role of GTPases in human mitochondria ribosome biogenesis and mitochondrial translation. In the Quertermous lab, Hyun-Jung’s principle research focuses on the investigating molecular mechanisms of coronary artery disease-associated genes underlying GWAS findings during progression of cardiovascular disease. She is also elucidating the role of chromatin interactions and transcriptional regulation modulating causal gene expression by using chromosome conformation capture and single-cell technologies.

Laeya Abdoli Najmi

Laeya is a postdoctoral research fellow in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine at Stanford. She received her MS degree in Molecular Medicine in Norwegian University of Science and Technology in 2012, and her PhD from University of Bergen in 2018. During her PhD program she worked in collaboration with Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard to bridge the high-throughput data result of human genome sequencing with functional and translational studies related to type 2 diabetes. Her main focus was defining the functional and clinical relevance of variants in HNF1A by in vitro functional studies. In Quertermous lab, her main focus is identifying genes underlying insulin resistance using the CRIPSR gene perturbation approach.  

Paul Cheng

Paul is a post-doctoral fellow in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine. He received his BEng in Chemical Engineering and BSc in biology at MIT, where he worked in the Wittrup lab  engineering antibody mimetic. He subsequently completed his MD/PhD at UCSF working in the Srivastava lab studying how extracellular morphogenic signals affect cardiac development and fate determination of cardiac progenitors. After finishing an internal medicine residency at Stanford, Paul has continued at Stanford as a fellow in cardiology. He is currently investigating molecular mechanisms behind genetic risk factors for human cardiovascular disease with a keen interest in atherosclerotic diseases. His current research focuses on the transcriptional regulation in smooth muscle cells utilizing both in vitro and in vivo models in combination with single-cell technologies to gain further insights into genetic contributions to risk of coronary artery disease. 

Jiehan Li

Jiehan is a postdoctoral fellow in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine. She received her BSc in Pharmaceutical Chemistry at the University of Toronto, and her PhD in Pharmacology & Therapeutics at McGill University, Canada. Her research has mainly focused on studying the development and function of adipocytes in health and obesity-related diseases. In the Quertermous lab, she is currently combining the CRISPR gene perturbation in adipocytes with single-cell RNA-sequencing to identify causal genes in obesity-related insulin resistance.

Ramendra Kundu

Ramen holds a position of Life Science Research Associate at Stanford University and has a PhD degree in Biochemistry from Calcutta University. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Chicago in the Biochemistry of Fatty Acids related to Reye's Syndrome. This experience was followed by 8 years of research in the field of transgenic and knockout mouse development where his expertise grew in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at USC, Los Angeles. He has worked in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine at Stanford University since 1999. Since joining the lab he has generated various gene knockout constructs and successfully created a variety of gene targeted knockout mice. In addition he has develop skills in molecular biology, immunohistochemistry, animal husbandry and small animal surgery. His extensive research has helped him to earn authorship on over 35 papers in various scientific journals over the years.

Chong Park

Chong is a senior research scientist in Cardiovascular Medicine. She is a cell and molecular biologist with extensive research experience in genome engineering and high-throughput screening based on CRISPR/Cas9 technology. She is working on functional genomics projects including large scale CRISPRi screening, Perturb-seq, ATAC-seq to identify and characterize causal genes and pathways from GWAS of insulin resistance and related cardiometabolic diseases. Before joining Stanford Cardiovascular Medicine in late 2017, she had successfully managed several core facilities at UCSF including the IGI CRISPR Screening Core, the ES Cell Targeting Core, and the Keck miRNA Knockout Mouse Project.  She obtained her BS and MS in Biology from Sogang University in Korea and Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from SUNY Stony Brook. As a postdoctoral fellow, she investigated the role of Smads signaling during dorsoventral axis formation in frog at SUNY Stony Brook and then an transcriptional regulation of skNAC during early cardiac development in mouse at the Gladstone Institute, UCSF.


Disha Sharma

Disha Sharma is a postdoctoral fellow in Cardiovascular Medicine. She studied Biotechnology at the Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, India, and received her Ph.D. in Identification and Characterization of Circular RNAs from CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology, New Delhi, India. She worked in multiple collaborative projects in the field of Genomics, Transcriptomics, and Metagenomics. She was also a part of the bioinformatics core team of IndiGen (Genomics for Public Health In India) and COVID19 Genomic Analsis at CSIR-IGIB. She has worked as a INTEL-INDIA Fellow working at CSIR-IGIB in collaboration with Intel to accelerate the genomics libraries to make scalable solutions for Genomics in clinical settings.


Johanne Justesen

Johanne is a postdoctoral fellow in Division of Cardiovascular Medicine and Department of Biomedical Data Sciences at Stanford University. She obtained her MSc in Biotechnology (2010) and PhD in Human Genetics at University of Copenhagen, Denmark (2017). Her research has mainly focused on studies evaluating the combined effect of polygenic risk scores together with lifestyle risk factors in relation to blood lipid levels and development of cardiovascular diseases in Danish prospective population-based cohorts. Currently, her research focuses on identifying and characterizing transcriptional regulation of triglyceride levels by combining hepatic single-cell CRISPR perturbations with RNA-seq and ATAC-seq.


Chad Weldy

Chad Weldy is a fellow physician in cardiovascular medicine at Stanford University. He received his M.D. from Duke University School of Medicine and completed his internal medicine internship and residency at Stanford University as a member of the Stanford Translational Investigator Program (TIP). Prior to entering medical school, Chad received his Ph.D. from the University of Washington and completed a postdoctoral fellowship with the University of Washington, Division of Cardiology where he conducted basic science research investigations within the fields of cardiovascular biology, redox biology, toxicology, and epigenetics. Chad has a clinical interest in the field of inherited cardiovascular disease where he treats patients and families within Stanford’s Center for Inherited Cardiovascular Disease (SCICD) with Dr. Euan Ashley. Chad’s work in the Quertermous Lab will be focused on understanding human genetics, epigenetics, and transcriptional regulation in cardiovascular disease. He will utilize in vivo and in vitro models with single-cell technologies such as scRNAseq and scATACseq to understand the fundamental epigenomic mechanisms of coronary artery disease. 



Huitong Shi

Huitong is a postdoctoral fellow in Cardiovascular Medicine. She graduated from Ocean University of China as a bachelor in 2014. Then she studied catfish genomics and epigenomics and obtained her PhD degree in Fishery and Allied Aquaculture from Auburn University in 2019. After that, she joined the Quertermous lab. Currently, she is working on long-noncoding RNA associated with CAD, such as detection of the new lncRNA and their function in regulating the protein-coding genes, roles of these lncRNA, and mechanisms how they collaborate together in the process of CAD formation and resistance.


Quertermous Lab Iron Chef*

*secret ingredient SPAM