Personnel

Edda Spiekerkoetter, MD

Assistant Professor of Medicine
Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine
Principal Investigator

Dr. Spiekerkoetter received a B.Sc. from the University in Tuebingen, Germany in 1988, and her M.D. from the University of Freiburg in 1995, Germany. Following a residency in Internal Medicine and a fellowship in Pulmonary and Critical Care at Hannover Medical School, Germany, she did a postdoctoral fellowship in Dr. Rabinovitch’s lab at Stanford (2002-06), funded by a fellowship award from the Pulmonary Hypertension Association (2003-05), focusing on the interaction between two susceptibility genes for Pulmonary Hypertension, BMPR2 and S100A4/Mts1. Dr. Spiekerkoetter continued her clinical training with fellowships in Pulmonary and Critical Care (2007-08) and in Critical Care (2008-09) at the Stanford University Medical Center. She was a scholar in the Stanford K12 Career Development Program in Genetics and Genomics of Pulmonary disease with Drs. Krasnow and Rabinovitch as the directors (2009-2011).  More During this time she developed an assay for screening FDA approved drugs and small molecules for their potential to induce BMPR2 signaling. She Identified FK506 as a strong BMPR2 activator; moreover FK506 reversed the occlusive vasculopathy in rodent PAH models. Based upon these studies she has, in collaboration with Dr. Zamanian at Stanford, translated her scientific findings into the clinic and has initiated a phase II clinical trial repurposing low dose FK506 to treat PAH (ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01647945). Since 2012 she is Assistant Professor and attending physician in the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care at Stanford with her own laboratory.

 

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Xuefei Tian, MD, MS 

Lab Manager

Xuefei Tian joined the Spiekerkoetter lab in 2012 as a research assistant.  Prior to joining the team, Xuefei earned her M.S. from University of Oklahoma Health Science Center in 2008, and worked at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory from 2008-2012 as a research associate on exploring the role of the extracellular-matrix (ECM) in the regulation of gene expression in breast cancer in Mina Bissell’s laboratory.  She currently focuses on identifying novel BMPR2 modifier genes and evaluating the importance of BMPR2 signaling in the development of Right Ventricular Hypertrophy. Xuefei has solid experience and knowledge in cellular biology, molecular biology, confocal microscopy and animal models. 

Mario Boehm, PhD

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Adam Andruska, MD

Pulmonary and Critical Care Clinical Fellow

Nils Nickel, MD

Pulmonary and Critical Care Clinical Fellow

Alan Kiang, MD

Resident

Kazuya Kuramoto, PhD

Visiting Scholar

Dr. Kuramoto received his Bachelor and Masters of Science from the Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Science at Kyoto University, Japan in 2004 and 2006 respectively. He received his PhD in Life Sciences from the Graduate School of Biostudies at Kyoto University in 2009 with a thesis entitled ‘Research of the functions of the Cdc42 activator Zizimin family proteins in hippocampal neurons’. Since 2009, he works at the Discovery Research Laboratories of Nippon Shinyaku Co, Ltd in Japan, initially in the Blood Cancer Group and most recently in the Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PAH) Group. 

Nippon Shinyaku Co, Ltd developed the prostacyclin receptor agonist, Selexipag, one of the most recently FDA approved drugs for PAH. 

His in vitro experience includes: RNA extraction, PCR, cloning, western blotting, cell culture, transfection, immunostaining, ELISA, colony-forming unit assay, flow cytometric analysis, human/rat PASMC proliferation ([3H]-thymidine/BrdU incorporation, MTT) as well as in situ hybridization. 

His in vivo experience includes po/sc/ip/iv administration and blood and tissue collection in mice/rats, mouse/rat PAH model (Monocrotaline, Sugen-hypoxia, hypoxia) as well as the xenograft model.

Former Lab Members

Svenja Dannewitz, PhD

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Svenja Dannewitz joined the Spiekerkoetter Lab in May 2016 as a postdoctoral research fellow. Svenja received a Bachelor in Biochemical Engineering at the University of Applied Sciences Frankfurt a. M., Germany in 2005- 2010. She received her Master’s degree in Cell Biology at the University of Manchester, UK in 2011. In October 2015, she completed her postgraduate studies with a PhD in Immmunology at the University of Sheffield, UK where she investigated neutrophil survival pathways in lung disease under the mentorship of Prof. Moira Whyte and Prof. Ian Sabroe. Before joining the Spiekerkoetter lab, she worked in Prof. Paul Evans lab in the Department of Infection, Immunity and Cardiovascular Disease at the University of Sheffield where she received training in isolation and culture of HUVECs, 3D EC culture model, murine models of cardiovascular disease, the ibidi flow system, mouse aortic isolation as well as preparation and en face staining. 

Jerry Kuang 

Jerry Kuang is originally from Gilroy, California. He is currently an undergraduate student at Stanford University majoring in Human Biology with interests in public health and medical research. He joined the Spiekerkoetter lab in 2013 as a participant of the Stanford Institutes of Medical Research program (SIMR). Jerry’s primary research interest is in studying Bone Morphogenetic Protein Receptor 2 (BMPR2) signaling in the heart and specifically the role of BMP signaling in regulating Endothelial-to-Mesenchymal Transition (EndMT). In addition, he is investigating the relationship between Hypoxia Inducible Factor 1-α (Hif1-α) and BMP signaling. He has previously worked for Stanford Hospital & Clinics in the Clinical Technology and Biomedical Engineering department. Beyond research, Jerry enjoys playing tennis, serving as an academic tutor, and performing as a solo pianist and concert saxophonist.

Deepti Sudheendra, MS

Research Assistant

Deepti Sudheendra earned her Bachelors in microbiology and received a Diploma in genetic engineering and in plant tissue culture from Bangalore University, India. She received her Masters in Biotechnology from Nottingham Trent University, United Kingdom in 2007. Her masters thesis focused on the development of RT-PCR to detect virulence genes in biotype 1A Y.enterocolitica. After her MS degree, Deepti worked as a molecular biologist and project co-ordinator in a Biotech service company in Chicago for almost three years mainly focusing on projects from the NIH and CDC. She has experience with diverse molecular biology techniques, sequencing and immunocytochemistry and was responsible for the experimental design, execution and data delivery to the customers while training and supporting new employees. 

Deepti joined the Spiekerkoetter lab in 2012 as a research assistant and lab manager. Her work has focused on developing a blood signature for BMPR2 signaling, a High Throughput small molecule Screen to identify BMPR2 activators and inhibitors as well as looking at BMPR2 signaling in neonatal lung disease.