Joseph C. Wu, MD, PhD, is Director of the Stanford Cardiovascular Institute and the Simon H. Stertzer, MD, Professor of Medicine and Radiology. Dr. Wu received his medical degree from Yale. He completed his medicine internship, residency and cardiology fellowship training at UCLA followed by a PhD (Molecular & Medical Pharmacology) in the UCLA STAR program. His clinical activities involve adult congenital heart disease and cardiovascular imaging.
His lab works on biological mechanisms of patient-specific and disease-specific induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). The main goals are to (i) understand cardiovascular disease mechanisms, (ii) accelerate drug discovery, (iii) develop “clinical trial in a dish” concept, and (iv) implement precision medicine for prevention and treatment of cardiovascular patients. His lab uses a combination of genomics, stem cells, cellular & molecular biology, physiological testing, and molecular imaging technologies to better understand molecular and pathological processes. Dr. Wu has published >350 manuscripts with H-index of 94 on Google scholar. Among his trainees, >25 of them are principal investigators in the US or abroad.
Dr. Wu has received numerous awards, including National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director’s New Innovator Award, NIH Roadmap Transformative Award, American Heart Association (AHA) Innovative Research Award, Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) given out by President Obama, AHA Established Investigator Award, Burroughs Wellcome Foundation Innovation in Regulatory Science Award, AHA Merit Award, and AHA Distinguished Scientist Award. Dr. Wu serves on the Scientific Advisory Board for the Keystone Symposia, FDA Cellular, Tissue, and Gene Therapies Advisory Committee, AHA National Board of Directors, Chair of the AHA Basic Cardiovascular Science Council, and Chair of the AHA National Research Committee.
Dr. Wu is an elected member of American Society of Clinical Investigators (ASCI), Association of University Cardiologists (AUC), American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE), American Association of Physicians (AAP), American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and National Academy of Medicine (NAM).
If you are interested in a predoctoral or postdoctoral position in the lab, please contact Dr. Joseph Wu.
Dr. Lei Tian earned his BS in Information and Computational Science from Wuhan University, China. Subsequently, he joined Human Genomics Group under the mentorship of Dr. Shuhua Xu at the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences for Ph.D. studies, focused on genetic regulation of human transcriptome at the population level. Lei is currently a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Joseph Wu’s laboratory at Cardiovascular Institute, Stanford University. His current research is focused on developing novel bioinformatics tools to mining the hidden information of the next generation sequencing data and visualizing the results. His long-term goal is to apply AI techniques to early diagnosis and screening of cardiovascular diseases. Lei’s motto is “Work hard, work smart and work together”. During his spare time, he enjoys playing basketball, traveling, cooking and skyping with his family.
Dilip Thomas is currently a TRDRP Postdoctoral Fellow with Dr. Joseph Wu at the Stanford Cardiovascular Institute. His current interest in the development of in vitro models for cardiac disease modelling and high-throughput drug testing. Dr.Thomas received his bachelor's degree in Biotechnology from University of Mumbai and Master's in Biochemical Engineering from University College London. Dr. Thomas was awarded a PhD for his dissertation ‘Development of a Microgel-based Cell Delivery Platform for Critical Limb Ischemia’ jointly carried out at the Centre for Research in Medical Devices (CÚRAM) and Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI), National University of Ireland Galway. During the doctoral training, Dr. Thomas received several national and international awards including a prestigious short-term training fellowship from the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) to further his research through training in MALDI imaging mass spectrometry (MALDI-IMS) at the Technical University Vienna. Dr. Thomas has authored several first and co-authored publications with leading journals in the field such as Biomaterials, Advanced Materials, Nature Biomedical Engineering, Tissue Engineering, Advanced Healthcare Materials, and has also contributed two book chapters on cell encapsulation for angiogenesis, bone and cartilage repair. Dr.Thomas is a Chartered Member of the Royal Society of Biology and is a peer-reviewer on several high-impact journals in the field of Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering. Dr. Thomas currently serves as the Chair of Student and Young Investigator European Section of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine Society (TERMIS). Besides lab work, Dr. Thomas is enthusiastic about mentoring and participating in science outreach programs that enable distilling cutting-edge science to a diverse audience from all walks of life.
Dr. Paul Pang is a postdoctoral fellow with primary interests in single-cell technologies, epigenomics, and precision medicine. Dr. Pang received his BS from the University of Maryland, College Park (2011), MA from Boston University (2013) and Harvard University (2015), and PhD from Baylor College of Medicine (2019) where he studied the alternative splicing of SCN5A in the heart and its effects in myotonic dystrophy. During his PhD training, Dr. Pang was a recipient of the NIH T32 and F31 NRSA Predoctoral Fellowships, Claude W. Smith Fellowship Award, and Dean’s Award of Excellence among numerous presentation and travel awards from the Muscular Dystrophy Association and the American Heart Association.
Oscar Abilez received his BS from UT-Austin (Mechanical Engineering), his PhD from Stanford (Bioengineering), and his MD from Cornell. His research interests are aimed at elucidating how various biophysical stimuli regulate cardiovascular development across time and length scales that span several orders of magnitude, using human pluripotent stem cells as a model system.
Nazish earned his MD from Univ of Bombay, trained in Int Med and obtained a PhD in Physiology and Pharm at Rutgers. He continued his postdoc at Stanford in CV and regenerative medicine, focusing on developing reagents and protocols for a nonintegrative strategy of generating human iPSCs. He received the AHA-SDG and the NIH-NHLBI Progenitor Cell Consortium Pilot Grant to investigate novel regulators to enhance safer iPSC derivation and differentiation to endothelial cells. Research interests include EC and cardiac differentiation from iPSCs, direct reprogramming, and elucidating novel pathways for generating iPSCs and its derivatives.
Ilanit Itzhaki received her PhD from the Technion Israel Institute of Technology where she worked on modeling familial arrhythmogenic syndromes (LQT and CPVT) using human iPSC-derived cardiomyocytes at Prof. Lior Gepstein’s lab. Itzhaki joined the Wu lab December 2014 and is currently studying electrophysiological cardiac maturation.
Dr. David Paik is an instructor working with Dr. Joseph Wu at the Stanford Cardiovascular Institute. At Stanford, his focus is to utilize single-cell RNA-sequencing technology to elucidate patient-specific mechanisms of various cardiovascular diseases, characterize embryonic heart development, and optimize differentiation of iPSCs to subtypes of cardiovascular cells. Dr. Paik received his BA in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Boston University (2010) and PhD in Cell and Developmental Biology at Vanderbilt University (2015). At Vanderbilt, Dr. Paik was trained by Dr. Antonis Hatzopoulos to investigate the endogenous cardiac repair mechanisms in the adult heart following ischemic injury such as myocardial infarction. In particular, Dr. Paik focused on the role of Wnt signaling pathway on coronary vessel formation and plasticity of cardiac endothelial cells during cardiac tissue repair. During his PhD training, Dr. Paik completed HHMI/VUMC Certificate Program in Molecular Medicine, where he was supervised by his clinical mentor Dr. Douglas Sawyer to interact with congestive heart failure patients and to bridge clinical sciences with basic and translational cardiovascular research. Outside the lab, Dr. Paik is a competitive tennis and squash player, a fervent fan of Tennessee Titans, and a wine enthusiast roaming in Napa Valley and Santa Cruz Mountains.
Chun Liu received his PhD of Stem Cell Biology from Peking University (2014) in China. He worked on somatic reprogramming and differentiation of tissue cells (like hepatocyte and endothelial cells) from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). During his PhD, he have demonstrated a new way to reprogram adult somatic cells to become iPSCs using only chemical small molecules, without the addition of extra genes that could introduce the risks of mutations for cancer. In 2015, he joined Wu lab as a postdoc fellow, and he is interested in cardiovascular disease modeling and potential drug screening.
Ian Chen received his BS/MSE in Biomedical Engineering at The Johns Hopkins University, followed by MD/PhD in Bioengineering at Stanford University, where he is obtaining additional clinical training in Cardiovascular Medicine. His research interests include multimodality molecular imaging, cardiac gene/stem cell therapy, and cardiovascular disease modeling using human induced pluripotent stem cells.
Masataka Nishiga received his MD from Kyoto University (Kyoto, Japan) in 2007, and completed his internal medicine residency and cardiology fellowship training at Tenri Hospital (Nara, Japan) in 2012. He received his PhD from Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine in 2017. His research was focused on microRNAs and non-coding RNAs in cardiovascular diseases such as heart failure and atherosclerosis. He joined the Wu lab as a postdoc in Oct 2017. He is interested in epigenetic regulation in cardiovascular diseases and disease modeling using iPSCs.