Group Members

Thomas Quertermous

TQ is currently the William G. Irwin Professor of Medicine and Director of the Research in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine at Stanford University. He completed clinical training in cardiology at the Massachusetts General Hospital and research training in molecular genetics in the Department of Genetics at the Harvard Medical School. Dr. Quertermous established an independent laboratory in the Cardiac Unit at the Mass General in 1987. He was recruited to Vanderbilt University in 1991 as Chief of Cardiology and Professor of Medicine and Molecular Physiology and Biophysics. Dr. Quertermous moved to Stanford University in 1997 where he assumed leadership of the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine. Research in the Quertermous laboratory has employed genetic approaches for the study of vascular disease as a primary focus. Currently, research studies employ large-scale human genetics efforts to better understand the genetic basis of atherosclerosis and related risk factors such as hypertension and insulin resistance. Ongoing efforts include genome-wide association studies in multiethnic cohorts with coronary heart disease, and these efforts are integrated with other worldwide efforts aimed at conducting definitive association based analyses. Variation identified through these studies is further investigated at the molecular level to better understand the basic mechanisms of atherosclerotic heart disease.

Trieu Nguyen

Trieu is a Life Science Research Professional and Lab Manager. She received her bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of California, San Diego in 2000. She has extensive experience in human induced pluripotent stem cells and CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing. Since joining the Quertermous lab, Trieu has become an expert working with human coronary artery smooth muscle cells while cultivating her functional genomics skills to better understand the role of transcription factors in coronary artery disease.

Ramendara Kundu

Ramen holds a position of Life Science Research Associate at Stanford University and has a PhD degree in Biochemistry from Calcutta University. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Chicago in the Biochemistry of Fatty Acids related to Reye's Syndrome. This experience was followed by 8 years of research in the field of transgenic and knockout mouse development where his expertise grew in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at USC, Los Angeles. He has worked in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine at Stanford University since 1999. Since joining the lab he has generated various gene knockout constructs and successfully created a variety of gene targeted knockout mice. In addition he has develop skills in molecular biology, immunohistochemistry, animal husbandry and small animal surgery. His extensive research has helped him to earn authorship on over 35 papers in various scientific journals over the years.

Chong Park

Chong is a senior research scientist in Cardiovascular Medicine. She is a cell and molecular biologist with extensive research experience in genome engineering and high-throughput screening based on CRISPR/Cas9 technology.  Before joining Stanford Cardiovascular Medicine in late 2017, she had managed several core facilities at UCSF including the IGI CRISPR Screening Core, the ES Cell Targeting Core, and the Keck miRNA Knockout Mouse Project.  She obtained her BS and MS in Biology from Sogang University in Korea and Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from SUNY Stony Brook, where she studied signal transduction pathways within the field of cancer biology. As a postdoctoral fellow, she investigated the role of Smads signaling during dorsoventral axis formation at SUNY Stony Brook and then transcriptional regulation during early cardiac development at the Gladstone Institute, UCSF.

Her current research focuses on functional genomics projects including large scale CRISPRi screening, Perturb-seq, ATAC-seq to identify and characterize causal variants, genes and pathways from GWAS of coronary artery diseases and related cardiometabolic diseases.


Disha Sharma

Disha Sharma is a postdoctoral fellow in Cardiovascular Medicine. She studied Biotechnology at the Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, India, and received her Ph.D. in Identification and Characterization of Circular RNAs from CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology, New Delhi, India. She worked in multiple collaborative projects in the field of Genomics, Transcriptomics, and Metagenomics. She was also a part of the bioinformatics core team of IndiGen (Genomics for Public Health In India) and COVID19 Genomic Analsis at CSIR-IGIB. She has worked as a INTEL-INDIA Fellow working at CSIR-IGIB in collaboration with Intel to accelerate the genomics libraries to make scalable solutions for Genomics in clinical settings.


Chad Weldy

Chad Weldy is a fellow physician in cardiovascular medicine at Stanford University. He received his M.D. from Duke University School of Medicine and completed his internal medicine internship and residency at Stanford University as a member of the Stanford Translational Investigator Program (TIP). Prior to entering medical school, Chad received his Ph.D. from the University of Washington and completed a postdoctoral fellowship with the University of Washington, Division of Cardiology where he conducted basic science research investigations within the fields of cardiovascular biology, redox biology, toxicology, and epigenetics. Chad has a clinical interest in the field of inherited cardiovascular disease where he treats patients and families within Stanford’s Center for Inherited Cardiovascular Disease (SCICD) with Dr. Euan Ashley. Chad’s work in the Quertermous Lab will be focused on understanding human genetics, epigenetics, and transcriptional regulation in cardiovascular disease. He will utilize in vivo and in vitro models with single-cell technologies such as scRNAseq and scATACseq to understand the fundamental epigenomic mechanisms of coronary artery disease.


Markus Otto Hjalmar Ramste

Markus Otto Hjalmar Ramste is a postdoctoral fellow in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine in the laboratory of Dr. Thomas Quertermous. He is a physician-scientist by training and a cardiology fellow at the Helsinki University Hospital in Finland. He received his M.D. from Lugwig-Maximilians University in Munich, Germany (2016) and PhD from the University of Helsinki (2019), where he studied vascular growth factors, especially VEGF-B, in the heart under the guidance of academician, Dr. Kari Alitalo. He has a strong background in vascular biology and in vivo-studies and is additionally actively involved in clinical research projects addressing the pharmacogenetics and epidemiology of coronary artery disease.

His research interest is focused, foremost, on the disease entity of coronary artery disease, aiming at a deep understanding of the disease. He aims to achieve this through both preclinical and clinical studies focusing on the diagnostics, genetics and mechanisms of coronary artery disease. In TQ lab, Markus is working on projects for functional genomics including CRISPRi screenings, in vitro and in vivo Perturb-seq, and characterization of CAD-related causal genes and pathways.


Joao Pinho Monteiro

Joao Pinho Monteiro is currently a postdoctoral research fellow in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine at Stanford. He earned his PhD from the University of Edinburgh where he studied the role of endothelial-associated non-coding RNA in vascular remodelling. After being awarded a research project grant by the British Heart Foundation he remained at the University of Edinburgh as a postdoctoral fellow to further investigate the regulatory roles of lncRNA and their impact on vascular cell biology during development and disease.

Joao joined the Quertemous lab in 2022 where his research continues firmly centred on exploring the genomic and molecular determinants of vascular cell function and their relationship to disease risk. He is now focused on the many key genetic variants found in non-coding regulatory regions of the genome and their interaction with activators and repressor proteins to influence the transcriptional architecture vascular cells.


Wenduo Gu

Wenduo Gu is a postdoctoral fellow in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine. She received her bachelor’s degree in Clinical Medicine at Peking University Health Science Center, China and her PhD in Cardiovascular Medicine at King’s College London, UK. With her passion in finding new therapeutics for cardiovascular diseases, she is currently exploring the cellular landscape of atherosclerotic plaques with transcriptomic and epigenetic profiling techniques at the single cell level. Additionally, she is using in vitro and in vivo models to investigate the role of adventitial cells in atherosclerosis and examine the regulatory function of genes associated with specific coronary artery disease genetic loci.   



Daniel Li

Daniel Li is a postdoctoral fellow in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine. He attended college at the University of California San Diego where he began his research career studying cytoskeletal proteins involved in cardiomyopathies. He then worked at the National Institutes of Health prior to obtaining his MD at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine with distinction in biomedical research. There, he studied the mechanisms linking diet, microbiome and cardiovascular disease using a systems biology approach and continued this research through the Sarnoff Cardiovascular Research Fellowship.  After finishing an internal medicine residency at Stanford, Daniel has continued at Stanford as a clinical fellow in cardiology.  His current research utilizes a single-cell CRISPR gene perturbation approach in vitro along with in vivo transgenic mouse models to identify novel regulatory genes in smooth muscle cells which contribute to coronary artery disease.


Brian Palmisano

Brian Palmisano is a post-doctoral fellow in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine. Brian received a BA in chemistry and a BS in biochemistry from the University of Rochester. Following this, he spent a year at the NIH in Dr. Alan Remaley’s lab studying mechanisms of HDL regulation of gene expression. Brian then attended Vanderbilt University as part of the MD/PhD program. He earned his PhD under the mentorship of Dr. John Stafford, where he investigated novel pathways in lipid and glucose metabolism. Brian then pursued clinical training at Stanford, where he completed his residency in Internal Medicine as part of the Translational Investigator Pathway and is currently a Cardiology fellow. Brian’s clinical interest is in Preventive Cardiology, with a focus in cardiometabolic disease. Brian’s postdoctoral research will utilize single cell genomic technologies to understand novel pathways governing risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, with a focus on pathways overlapping with metabolic diseases like diabetes and insulin resistance.


Matthew Worssam

Matt Worssam is a postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Dr. Quertermous at Stanford’s Division of Cardiovascular Medicine and has been awarded a fellowship on the Cardiovascular Institute’s “Mechanisms and Innovations in Cardiovascular Disease” T32 grant program. Matt earned his PhD in the lab of Dr. Helle Jørgensen at the University of Cambridge, where he studied the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the clonal contribution of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) to multiple cardiovascular diseases.

Continuing his VSMC research, Matt’s postdoctoral studies are focussed on VSMC-derived cells within the atherosclerotic plaque which display characteristics of bone-forming chondrocytic cells. Highlighting the importance of chondromyocytes for cardiovascular disease progression, a significant proportion of genes associated with cardiovascular disease risk are selectively expressed by these cells. Matt is using a combination of histology, in vitro functional assays, and single-cell genomics technologies to dissect out the molecular mechanisms governing the transition of VSMCs towards the chondromyocyte fate, and to characterise which of aspects of these cells’ phenotypes most significantly contribute to cardiovascular disease risk.


Quertermous Lab Iron Chef*

*secret ingredient SPAM