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Group Members

Quertermous Lab Iron Chef*

*secret ingredient SPAM

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.

Quanyi Zhao

Quanyi is a postdoctoral fellow in Cardiovascular Medicine. He studied cancer epigenomics at Wuhan University in China and received his PhD in biochemistry and molecular biology from that institution. He joined the Quertermous lab after working in Dr. Kornberg's lab at UCSF as a postdoc in developmental biology. His current research focuses on how causal CAD associated variation regulates chromatin state, accessibility and architecture, and modulates transcription factor binding and causal gene expression in CAD associated loci.

Brian Kim

Brian is an Instructor of Cardiovascular Medicine. He graduated from MIT with degrees in Chemical Engineering and Biology, and from NYU School of Medicine. He completed his Internal Medicine training at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he also spent time in the lab of Dr. Jake Lusis as a post-doctoral scholar. He then came to Stanford to complete training in Cardiovascular Medicine, and Interventional Cardiology. His research interests are in the genetics of atherosclerosis, smooth muscle cell biology, the role of gene-environment interactions in the progression of atherosclerosis, and the use of biomarkers in patients with cardiovascular diseases. 

Paul Cheng

Paul 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. 

Milos Pjanic

Milos is a Postdoctoral Scholar in cardiovascular medicine. He holds a PhD degree in Life Sciences from University of Lausanne in Switzerland and MS degree in Molecular Biology and Physiology from University of Belgrade in Serbia. Milos' major fields of interests are computational biology and bioinformatics, coupled with the passion for the next-generation sequencing technologies, and a profound scientific interest in genomics, transcriptomics and the regulation of gene expression. In addition, Milos' area of interests encompass specificity of binding of transcription factors to the genome, histone modifications, nucleosome positioning, long-range genomic interactions and compartmentalization of the genome. Milos' work is focused on elucidating complex regulatory networks of transcription factors in human cardiac and vascular tissues, and molecular mechanisms that explain how cardiovascular disease risk-associated genomic loci confer disease risk. Milos is also active as a blogger, started a blog and continually post UNIX, awk, python and R related tips and resolve computational problems that can be applied to genomics.

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.

Rob Wirka

Rob is a post-doctoral fellow in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine. He received his medical degree from Case Western Reserve University in 2010, and completed his Internal Medicine training at the University of California, San Francisco in 2013. He completed his Cardiology fellowship at Stanford in 2016. He is interested in using human genetics as a tool to discover novel biological mechanisms driving CAD. In the Quertermous lab, he is probing the effect of CAD-associated genes in vivo during vascular disease using single-cell RNA-seq and immunohistochemistry in mice with inducible gene deletion.

Stanislao Travisano

Stanislao is a postdoctoral research fellow in Cardiovascular Medicine. He got his BSc and MSc from the University of Roma Tor Vergata in Cellular and Molecular biology. He received his PhD in Molecular biology from the Autonoma University in Madrid studying the role of Notch ligands in coronary vessel angiogenesis during embryonic heart development. His interest for coronary vascular biology was preserved by joining the Quertermous Lab in Stanford to study SMCs interactions and regulation in coronary artery disease (CAD), and is currently working on multiple CAD risk loci in vitro and in vivo.