Discovery and Innovation to Improve the Outcome for
Children with Heart Disease
Upcoming BASE Seminar
May 10, 2021 - James Pirruccello, MD
Deep learning-derived cardiovascular imaging phenotypes as a substrate for genetic analysis
Latest News from the BASE Labs
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.
October 2020 - Dr. Mark Skylar-Scott and Dr. Michael Ma (Dept. of Cardiovascular Surgery) were awarded a 2020 Seed Grant from Stanford’s Cardiovascular Institute & Maternal and Child Health Research Initiative for their proposal “Development of Optogenetic Thrombin for Light-directed Hemostasis During Unifocalization Surgery” in collaboration with Dr. Doff McElhinney (Depts of Pediatrics and Cardiovascular Surgery) and Dr. Steven Boxer (Dept. of Chemistry).
Member Spotlight - Jonathan Weiss
First year Bioengineering PhD student in Dr. Mark Skylar-Scott’s lab
What do you enjoy most about your role?
I am most excited wrapping my head around the endless creative ideas that are passed around as well as practicing new crafts with others in our lab! We have many talented people growing embryoid bodies, running bioreactors, cloning genes, 3D printing, and building tentacle robots, to name just a few. There are always new things to learn and groovy things to create.
Where were you before you came to Stanford?
I’m from Philly and went to college in Connecticut. I do not miss the weather there. I do miss chicken cheesesteaks.
Can you share a bit about one of your research experiences?
3D printing organs is extremely promising for human therapeutics but is currently out of reach, partially due to the enormous number of cells that are necessary. We are currently trying to leverage synthetic biology to help our stem cells grow more self-sufficiently. Looking forward to having many more little friends around in lab!
Who is a scientist that inspires you?
I am most inspired by those around me. Mark and my incredible labmates teach me so much, have an admirable work ethic, are incredibly supportive, and carry such a positive energy every single day. I feel very lucky to have been welcome into this group and look forward to the exciting work ahead.
What are your favorite activities outside of work?
Music performance. I previously played bass in a salsa band, guitar in a jazz band and several pit orchestras, and percussion in a marching (scatter) band. Currently forming a band with some friends, so catch us playing at the Arbor once they open back up!
I also enjoy powerlifting and playing chess. Luckily, we have a world-class chess player in the Skylar-Scott lab who has competed against Magnus Carlson. Stay tuned for their feature!
What do you hope to be doing 10 years from now?
I just hope to be doing fulfilling work with those who make me happy. And playing music. The lead guitarist of Queen has a Ph.D. in astrophysics. Just saying...