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Discovery and Innovation to Improve the Outcome for
Children with Heart Disease

Latest News from the BASE Labs

June 2021 - Engreitz Lab postdoctoral fellow, Dr. Gabriella Martyn, was awarded 2 postdoctoral fellowships for her work on linking variants to their effects on target genes via prime editing mediated mutagenesis. She will be supported by the Stanford School of Medicine Dean’s Postdoctoral Fellowship and the Walter V. and Idun Berry Postdoctoral Scholarship.

June 2021 - BASE Faculty Dr. Mark Skylar-Scott (Dept. of Bioengineering) was selected as a 2021 Baxter Foundation Faculty Scholar for his work on “Laser 3D Printed Human Capillary Models to Study SARS-CoV-2 Entry”. Congrats, Mark!

May 2021 - Two Skylar-Scott Lab graduate students were selected as recipients of the Stanford Bio-X PhD Fellowship. Joshua Sampson, Bioengineering PhD student, will study “Optical Coagulation for 3D Bioprinting In Vitro and Directed Homeostasis In Vivo” (Bio-X co-mentors: Dr. Steven Boxer, Dr. Michael Ma). Jonathan Weiss, Bioengineering PhD student, will work on “Organ-scale Biofabrication: 3D Bioprinting of Engineering Pluripotent Stem Cells to Form a Mature Human Ventricle” (Bio-X co-mentor: Dr. Joe Woo).

April 2021 - Dr. Jesse Engreitz published a study in Nature (read it here) in which he built genome-wide enhancer maps to systematically connect thousands of noncoding disease variants to functions in specific cell types. Using inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) as a testbed, the team accurately predicted which enhancers contain risk variants for IBD and experimentally validated these results by modulating a predicted enhancer in immune cells in vitro. Learn more about the study here, in a story released by the Broad Institute.

March 2021 - Skylar-Scott Lab Bioengineering graduate student, Jonathan Weiss, was awarded the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship for his project “Genomic Engineering of Pluripotent Stem Cells to Enable Whole Organ-Scale 3D Bioprinting”.

January 2021 - Engreitz Lab postdoctoral fellow, Dr. Dulguun Amgalan, was awarded 2 prestigious fellowships for her project “Regulatory maps of endothelial cell differentiation to connect congenital heart disease risk variants to target genes”. Her work will be supported by the American Heart Association + Children’s Heart Foundation Congenital Heart Defect Research Award and the Stanford Maternal and Child Health Research Initiative Postdoctoral Support Award.

November 2020 - Dr. Casey Gifford joins Stanford and BASE as an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Pediatrics and Genetics. Her lab will focus on identifying the complex genetic and molecular mechanisms underlying cardiovascular development and disease.

Member Spotlight - Stephanie Conley

Research Scientist & Lab Manager in Dr. Jesse Engreitz's lab

What do you enjoy most about your role?

One of the things I have enjoyed is building the lab and its community with Dr. Engreitz. It has been quite the journey launching a lab during the pandemic.

Second, I enjoy the research. My goal for years was to be a heart researcher and I am happy that I reached that goal. 

Where were you before you came to Stanford?

Prior to Stanford, I was an undergraduate at UC San Diego studying towards a degree in Biochemistry and Cell Biology. My influences were the biology faculty at my local community college in the Mojave Desert. After completing my studies at UCSD, I started my academic research career with Dr. Irving Weissman’s lab at Stanford. I was with the Weissman Lab for almost four years before joining the Engreitz Lab in March 2020.

Can you share a bit about one of your research experiences?

In the Weissman Lab, I contributed to single-cell RNA-seq projects focused on building the human and mouse cell atlas. Some of my work includes the identification of the human skeletal stem cell, the molecular cell atlas of human lung, blood and brain, and the mouse single-cell atlas.

In the Engreitz Lab, I lead a project focused on building a map of enhancer-gene connections in the developing heart as a foundation for identifying the noncoding variants, genes, and cell types that influence single ventricle malformations. We aim to identify key cell types that contribute to development of single ventricle disease by combining these regulatory maps with genetic maps of single ventricle disease risk variants.

Who is a scientist that inspires you?

I am inspired by the late Dr. Ben Barres because of his advocacy for women in science. Dr. Barres used his position and experiences as an openly trans scientist to bring attention to sexism in academia. I think it’s important to be an ally in spaces with low or nonexistent representation. I encourage the reader to learn more about Dr. Ben Barres’ advocacy and scientific contributions.

What are your favorite activities outside of work?

I am studying for a master’s in computer science, playing with my two cats (Nori and Frisbee), expanding my plant collection, and exploring Bay Area hiking trails with my boyfriend. I recently moved and finally have a large balcony for growing tomatoes, habaneros, assorted lavender varieties, herbs, and succulents. One of my favorite activities is now organizing the balcony space and DIY plant projects.

What do you hope to be doing 10 years from now?

I hope to have a PhD (I am applying to programs this fall) and work in academia or industry. I’ll probably have more cats.