School of Medicine


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  • Joseph Yesselman

    Joseph Yesselman

    Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Biochemistry

    Bio I am interested in leveraging RNA's unique structural properties to assist in deciphering basic biology and to design new in vivo nanotechnology.

    Unlike proteins whose secondary structure and tertiary structure are deeply intertwined, RNA has been demonstrated to fold in near discrete steps: first forming its secondary structure motifs and then forming interactions between these motifs to form its final 3D structure. A large body of biochemical work has demonstrated that much of RNA tertiary structure is composed of the interactions between discrete components known as RNA 3D motifs. Motifs are well-defined geometric arrangements of interacting nucleotides. Based on these limited characterized motifs, researchers have built large complicated structures including fabrics and polyhedral. Harnessing this strategy which is already employed by nature, it is possible to build large complex structures by assembling together motifs from a large family of structural elements such as helices, hairpins and internal loops already available in high-resolution crystallographic structures.

    My long-term goal is to utilize a diverse set of 3D motifs and cutting edge algorithms to design a new set of synthetic RNAs that will better illuminate the basic properties of RNA 3D structure and can be used to perform a wide-array of novel tasks as RNA nano-machines.

  • Melis Yilmaz Balban

    Melis Yilmaz Balban

    Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Neurobiology

    Current Research and Scholarly Interests I?m interested in understanding the neurobiology of fear. In my graduate work I discovered a novel innate fear response in mice; extended freezing or fleeing into a nest in response to the visual display of an approaching object. I investigated the roles of neural circuits in the retina in driving these behaviors. For my postdoctoral work, I would like to study visual fear behaviors and neural circuitry in primate models due to their similarity to humans.

  • Hanadie Yousef

    Hanadie Yousef

    Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Neurology and Neurological Sciences

    Bio Professional Summary:
    Hanadie Yousef is a trained neurobiologist and stem cell biologist with a focus on the mechanisms of aging, with pending and issued patents, several publications, a PhD from Berkeley, a 4-year postdoc at Stanford, experience leading research teams, and has worked in R&D at Regeneron and Genentech.

    In graduate school, Yousef studied the role of adult stem cells in the biology of aging and developed methods for tissue rejuvenation in brain and muscle. Her current research in the Wyss-Coray lab lies in understanding the molecular and cellular mechanisms that contribute to both a decline in brain function with aging and the onset of neurodegenerative diseases, with a focus on understanding the interactions between aged blood and the blood-brain barrier.

    Education and Research Training:
    Hanadie Yousef earned her bachelors in Chemistry with honors and a minor in Spanish from Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) in 2008 and went on to obtain a Ph.D. in Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of California, Berkeley in 2013. Since April 2014 she has been a postdoctoral fellow in the Neurology department at Stanford University School of Medicine.

    Undergraduate Research:
    Yousef began doing biomedical research in high school, where she interned locally at a pharmaceutical company in New York, Regeneron, to do research on gene therapy and cancer. She presented her research in local and international science competitions and symposiums. She returned to Regeneron to continue her research during winter and summer internships for 5 years (2003-2008). During her undergraduate studies at CMU, Yousef did a research honors thesis at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, where she elucidated molecular mechanisms driving idiopathic pulmonary lung fibrosis (2 co-authorship studies, 1 invention disclosure).

    Dissertation Research:
    Yousef studied the role of adult stem cells in the biology of aging and developed methods for tissue rejuvenation in brain and muscle (4, 1st author publications, 1 issued patent, 1 pending). During the last year of her graduate studies (2013), she did a summer internship at Genentech in the neurodegeneration group of R&D, where she studied inflammatory mechanisms underlying neurodegeneration.

    Postdoctoral Research:
    Yousef?s current research focus in the Wyss-Coray lab lies in understanding the molecular and cellular mechanisms that contribute to both a decline in brain function with aging and the onset of neurodegenerative diseases. She has a manuscript in review, a pending patent, and a translational research grant through the Stanford SPARK program based on her discoveries.

    Ongoing collaborations with postdocs and scientists in the labs of: Professor Eugene Butcher (Immunology and Pathology), Professor Marion Buckwalter (Neurology and Neurosurgery), Professor Steven Quake (Bioengineering). Past collaboration with the Genetics Bioinformatics Service Center at Stanford. 


    Hanadie has gotten many awards and honors along the way in pursuing her passion in translational scientific research, including the National Science Foundation graduate research fellowship (2009-2012), the NRSA F32 postdoctoral fellowship (2016-ongoing), a Stanford Spark grant (2017), presentation and poster awards, and travel and training scholarships at local and international scientific conferences and research institutions. Yousef has presented her research and given lectures across the globe, receiving attention in local, university and international media outlets. Yousef has a strong passion for teaching and mentorship. She was an Instructor for Drug Discovery at UCSC during the first 2 years of her postdoctoral training and has advised many undergraduate students during her graduate and postdoctoral research training, including 3 who received research honors theses under her tutelage. Yousef has several publications and issued and pending patents on methods for tissue rejuvenation.

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