School of Medicine
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Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine
Bio My long-term goal as a physician-scientist is to develop therapeutic strategies for right heart failure by elucidating its pathophysiology.
I graduated from Kyushu University, School of Medicine in Fukuoka, Japan in 2008. Following a residency program at Aso Iizuka Hospital, I finished fellowship in Emergency Medicine (1 year) and Cardiovascular Medicine (2 years). My clinical expertise is general cardiology, cardiac catheterization, echocardiography, and cardiac critical care.
After my clinical training, I started my research career working towards a Ph.D. under the mentorship of Dr. Kensuke Egashira. During my Ph.D., I published two papers focusing on the development of novel therapeutics for acute myocardial infarction and pulmonary arterial hypertension. Through this research experience, I developed skills in modeling and assessing cardiovascular disease in both small (rodents) and large animals (pigs)
In 2017, I was appointed as an Assistant Professor and attending physician in the Department of Emergency and Critical Care Medicine at Kyushu University Hospital. During this period, I learned that right heart failure was one of the most devastating conditions with no treatment options in patients with pulmonary hypertension, congenital heart disease, and patients on long-term mechanical ventricular assist devices. I also continued my research with a research grant funded by the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science.
In 2019, I decided to further expand my research field into right heart failure and joined Dr. Edda Spiekerkoetter’s at Stanford University as a postdoctoral fellow. I am currently focusing on the role of BMPR2 in the cardiomyocytes, the structural changes in the right ventricle under pressure overload, and the development of right ventricle-targeting therapy in pulmonary hypertension.
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Cardiovascular Medicine
Bio My long-term goal is to become a physician scientist and develop innovative diagnostic and therapeutic modalities for patients with cardiovascular disease. Based on my experience as a cardiologist for the past 5 years, I have become aware of major clinical shortcomings, specifically in the current pharmaceutical therapies for myocardial infarction (MI) and chronic heart failure (HF). Some evidence-based drug therapies, including β-blockers, ivabradine, and renin–angiotensin–aldosterone antagonists are difficult to apply to critical patients due to adverse side effects. Drugs that have shown efficacy in basic animal experiments have failed to show significant benefits in clinical trials. To address these problems, I moved to academia to conduct translational research. During my graduate training in the Egashira Lab, I focused on drug delivery systems (DDS) that target mitochondria in animal models of MI. I obtained advanced skills in molecular biology, mitochondrial bioenergetics, and animal surgery. I realized the importance of translational research and the great potential of DDS to overcome many clinical problems. I developed nanoparticle-mediated DDS containing cyclosporine for the treatment of patients with MI. I published a first author paper and received academic awards for my novel science. Since becoming a postdoctoral fellow in the Yang Lab, I have continued to build upon my previous training in translational research. I am currently developing an innovative therapy, namely, extracellular vesicles-mediated mitochondrial transfer for the failing heart.
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Biomedical Data Sciences
Bio Alexander graduated from Harvard in Chemistry and Physics and earned an M.Phil in Computational Biology and Diploma in Greek from the University of Cambridge. He has a Ph.D. in Computational and Mathematical Engineering from Stanford, where he teaches machine learning and data science. Prior to Stanford, he worked in superconducting computing research at Northrop Grumman. As a current research fellow in the Stanford School of Medicine (Department of Biomedical Data Science), his work focuses on applying computational methods to problems in human genetics and population history.
I work on methods for creating synthetic genomic data for DNA privacy, as well as on novel algorithm design (particularly ancestry related) for several large-scale genomic studies that aim at understanding genetic causes of disease.
I also focus on projects at the intersection of computational history and population genetics, including work with native communities. As the grandson of Cappadocians expelled from their homeland, I try to engage with the complex sentiments of displaced native peoples in these projects. Pain over the disruption of community heritage and over dispossession from traditional sites often remains raw. If engagement with descendant communities is lacking, research into our past can often feel like a continuation, even a legitimation, of our dispossession. Combined alongside a dialogue with indigenous peoples, however, genetics can play a small role in helping us to reclaim ancestral stories and dispersed community connections. I hope my work in this area plays a constructive role in that process.
As written by the poet Rumi in the language of the Cappadocians (Rum),
پیمی تیِ پَاثیِسْ پیمی تی خاسِس
“Tell me what happened to you, tell me what you have lost.”
[Rumi; Konya ms 67; translit. πε με τι έπαθες, πε με τι έχασες]