Students and Alumni
Nelson Alvaro Amorin
Michael Longaker Lab
I graduated from Harvard in 2015 with an A.B. in Chemistry. As an undergrad, I conducted research in the lab of Dr. Theodore Betley, where I worked on synthesizing organometallic complexes for enantioselective catalysis of C--H bond functionalization, inspired by biomolecules such as cytochrome P450. In 2015, I came to Stanford as an M.D. student. My current research focus is on the fundamental cellular and molecular mechanisms of fetal wound regeneration, scarring, and fibrosis, which I hope to pursue long-term as a physician-scientist. Outside of the lab, I love surfing, traveling, golfing (poorly), and exploring the great outdoors.
Julia Kaltschmidt Lab
I am an MSTP student from NYC. I am interested in neurodevelopment, which I studied as an undergrad at Harvard with Professor Paola Arlotta. I received my Masters in Neuroscience as a von Clemm fellow at Oxford, where I studied the role of astrocytes in Alzheimer’s disease with Professor Colin Akerman and studied the connectivity of the gorilla brain with Professor Rogier Mars. In my free time, I love playing soccer, eating chocolate desserts, and complaining about the Bay Area.
I graduated from Rice University with a BS in Biochemistry and Cell Biology. My undergraduate research in the Warmflash Lab revolved around developing a micro-RNA based gene reporter for monitoring cell proliferation and gene expression in cancer cells and human embryonic stem cells. I am now interested in employing gene editing strategies in stem cells for therapeutic applications.
I am a first-year PhD student interested in chromatin biology, cellular identity, and their practical applications. I am concurrently a third-year student at Stanford Law School, and previously attended Yale for my undergraduate studies.
I am a Bay Area local from Santa Cruz, CA, and graduated from Stanford University in 2015 with a BS in Bioengineering. I joined the Stanford Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) in 2017 and began working in the Longaker laboratory to characterize and direct the behavior of fibroblasts in dermal wounds. Our goal is to minimize scarring and promote regeneration of the skin after injury. Outside of the lab, I enjoy biking in the Santa Cruz mountains, practicing martial arts (Tae Kwon Do, Muy Thai), and playing drums
Tze (Aaron) Tan
I was born and raised in the sunny island of Singapore. I graduated from The University of Edinburgh, UK with a BSc (1stClass Hons) in Development, Regeneration, and Stem Cell Biology. I completed my undergraduate thesis in Professor Ian Chambers lab where I studied the DNA-binding residues function of NANOG, the critical pluripotency factor, in the embryonic stem cell cytokine independent self-renewal. Outside the lab, I can be found haunting for Asian food cuisine around the Bay Area. I also enjoy hiking and biking to explore the sunny outdoors in California!
BS Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology
University of California, Los Angeles
BS Chemical Engineering
University of Pittsburgh
BA Molecular and Cell Biology
University of California, Berkeley
University of California, San Diego
MS Cell & Molecular Biology
San Francisco State University
MS Public Health
University of Alabama, Birmingham
BS Biomedical Engineering
University of Cincinnati
BS Cell and Molecular Biology, Humboldt State University
Growing up in Australia exposed me to a wide variety of wildlife. I knew from early on that I wanted to pursue a career in Biology. Moving to the United States at the end of High School, I attended Humboldt State for my Undergraduate Degree, where I studied the role of paternal effect genes in C. elegans development. At the end of my undergraduate career I was fortunate to have the opportunity to come to Stanford as part of the CIRM bridges program, where I worked on developing genome editing in hematopoietic stem cells for the treatment of genetic diseases in the lab of Dr. Matthew Porteus. After two years in the Porteus lab, I joined Stanford’s Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine PhD program, which I hope will serve as a platform in my attempts to become sole ruler of planet earth.
BS Biological Sciences, University of Chicago
I graduated from the University of Chicago in 2017 with a degree in biological sciences. My undergraduate research focused on the development of an optical clearing and multi-channel immunostaining technique for imaging thick human pancreatic samples for 3D analysis of endocrine islets and the role they play in diabetes progression. I am now interested in understanding the role of stem cells in the development and maintenance of tissues at different stages of life, from early embryonic development to adulthood. Outside of the lab, I enjoy being outdoors either swimming, hiking, climbing or snowboarding.
I was born in El Paso, Texas and graduated from Michael E. DeBakey High School for Health Professions in Houston, Texas in 2011. I graduated magna cum laude in 2015 from Harvard University with a degree in Human Developmental and Regenerative Biology. I completed my undergraduate honors thesis in Dr. Richard Lee’s laboratory focusing on identifying extracellular matrix components responsible for maintaining pancreatic beta cell function and maturity. Currently, I am an MD/PhD student in the Stanford Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) in Dr. Sean Wu’s laboratory. I am passionate about pursuing a career researching and treating children with congenital heart disease and am currently working on a project to develop a genetic reporter system to study left ventricular development in a human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC) model of hypoplastic left heart syndrome. I hope to combine the fields of stem cell biology and tissue engineering to provide novel ways to understand cardiac development in both normal and disease settings. I am very much in touch with my Colombian heritage and take yearly trips to Colombia. I enjoy salsa dancing, swimming, running, cycling, and love historical discussions.
BA Biology and Integrative Sciences, Wesleyan University
I received a BA in Biology from Wesleyan University in 2017. As an undergraduate, I worked with Dr. Laura Grabel on the differentiation of human embryonic stem cells into inhibitory interneurons. I also spent two summers studying Angelman Syndrome and Prader-Willi Syndrome using induced pluripotent stem cell models in the joint groups of Dr. Marc Lalande and Dr. Stormy Chamberlain at UConn Health. At Stanford, I aim to study developmental neurobiology through the lens of stem cell models and to apply this knowledge to novel therapies. When I’m not in lab, you can find me gleefully walking dogs, singing show tunes, or drinking lots of tea!
Laura Cristina Amaya Hernandez
BS Engineering, Tecnologico de Monterrey
MS Biotechnology, University of San Francisco
I completed my degree in Biotechnology Engineering in Mexico followed by a Master’s in Biotechnology at the University of San Francisco. I interned at Distributed Bio under the supervision of Dr. Jacob Glanville, and in collaboration with Dr. Sarah Taylor from Clonetech Laboratories, Inc. I worked on characterizing the diversity of BCR and TCR repertoires among Hodgkins and Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphomas. I also worked in the laboratory of Dr. Maria Grazia Roncarolo and Dr. Rosa Bacchetta at Stanford University investigating T cell development and plasticity through single-cell mass cytometry to better understand immune dysregulations. Outside the lab, I love Latin dance and I am mad about movies!
BS Cell and Molecular Biology, Cal State Northridge
During my undergraduate career at Cal State Northridge, I conducted research in Dr. Jonathan Kelber’s Developmental Oncogene lab studying the mechanisms governing breast and pancreatic cancer. I continued in the Kelber lab for my Master’s thesis examining novel regulators of regeneration in the zebrafish caudal fin. At Stanford, I aim to continue my interest in stem cell biology as a potential therapy for degenerative diseases.
BS Physiology and Neuroscience, and BS Psychology, UC San Diego
Following my experiences working with patients with severe neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders, I became motivated to leverage the potential of stem cells to create novel platforms for understanding and treating neurological disorders. Before joining the Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine program at Stanford, I used human induced pluripotent stem cells to investigate the developmental trajectory of neuropsychiatric disorders like Schizophrenia (Gage Laboratory of Genetics at the Salk Institute) and Autism (Palmer Lab at Stanford University). Now, as a graduate student, I am eager to synergize my burgeoning interest in bioengineering and computational science with my background in stem cell neurobiology to explore complex questions and devise translational solutions. Outside the lab, I enjoy cooking (and eating) a wide variety of different cuisines, and am currently trying my hand at baking bread! Whenever time permits, I love being outside playing soccer, hiking/camping, or relaxing at the beach.
BS Biochemistry and Biophysics, Oregon State University
After graduating, I worked in Dr. Richard Sherwood's lab at Brigham and Women's Hospital, where I researched methods for directed stem cell reprogramming.
I am currently investigating how epigenetic signatures correlate with macrophage phagocytic phenotypes in Dr. Irv Weissman's lab. In my spare time, I enjoy hiking, cooking, and playing piano.
Amira Barkal works in the Weissman Lab
Pieter Andries Both
BS Biochemistry and BS Math, Mississippi State University
I am a native South African who immigrated to Mississippi as a child, where I studied Biochemistry and Mathematics. My favorite food is lamb, and my favorite enzyme is telomerase. My research interest is the relationship between aging and change in tissue specific stem cells' ability to renew and differentiate.
Pieter Andries Both works in the Rando lab
BE Biochemical Engineering, University College London
I am interested in the theme of stem cell bioprocessing to overcome challenges in seeing cell therapies translated to the clinic. Since then, I've been back home in sunny Singapore working to develop an in vitro platform for erythropoiesis and through the Onestart Europe Accelerator, had the chance to explore issues such as market accessibility and IP landscaping for emerging biomedical technologies. Since the PhD is starting, my love for a good cook-out will likely morph into food appreciation at haunts around the bay area. I also look forward to exploring the great outdoors in California!
Esmond Lee works in the Roncarolo lab
BA Human Developmental and Regenerative Biology, Harvard University
I worked as an undergraduate in Kevin Eggan’s lab in the Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology at Harvard, graduating in 2016. In the Eggan lab, I studied the molecular pathways that define the identity of several populations of mouse hypothalamic neurons, focusing in particular on hypocretin neurons, which regulate sleep and arousal and degenerate in patients with narcolepsy. At Stanford, I work in Howard Chang’s lab, developing new genomics methods to understand how epigenetic regulation of gene expression contributes to cellular identity.
BS Bioengineering, Stanford
As a Stanford undergrad, I studied mechanisms of normal and pathological hematopoiesis in Irv Weissman’s Lab. Now, I study regulators of homeostatic phagocytosis in the periphery and CNS in the context of aging and disease in Tony Wyss-Coray’s lab. I am a native Californian and enjoy tennis, smoked salmon, and Belgian culture.
John Pluvinage works in the Wyss-Coray lab
BA Molecular and Cellular Biology, UC Berkeley
During my time at Berkeley, I worked in Dr. Daniela Kaufer’s lab researching how stress affects neural stem cell development through signaling in the stem cell niche. After graduating, I worked in Dr. Theo Palmer’s lab investigating how genetic risk factors and environmental risk factors can synergize to increase the risk of autism spectrum disorders in a developing fetus. As a student at Stanford, I am interested in further exploring neurodevelopment, neurodegeneration, and tumor formation in hopes of applying my learning to address diseases and disorders in human health. Outside of lab, I enjoy long distance running, hiking, and exploring creative methods of urban gardening.
Jennifer Su works in the Palmer lab
Ericka von Kaeppler
BS Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology, Yale University
I am an MD/PhD student born and raised in the Bay Area. After earning my BS in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology from Yale University, I spent a year researching bone healing and regeneration in the lab of Jill Helms. I am interested in the interface of bone biology and the inflammatory response, and will be studying the osteoimmunology of osteoarthritis. As a former athlete, I am an avid sports fan and can often be found at Stanford football and basketball games.
Ericka von Kaeppler works in the Robinson lab
Joy Qiyue He
I'm from St Louis so I love my Cardinals (and my Cardinal!) :) Interested in combination immunotherapies for high grade gliomas, and a better understanding of brain cancer/cancer stem cells/the CSC niche/etc. I love to play tennis and love to run, which fortunately offsets how much I love to make yummy delicious food, and more importantly, eat it! Always down to chat about science, food, and life.
Joy Qiyue He works in the Weissman Lab
BS Neural Science, New York University
My intrepid venture into science began with a stint in Joseph LeDoux’s lab at the Center for Neural Science at NYU, studying the role of the amygdala and how the brain learns and stores information about danger. Desiring to do something more translational, I transitioned over to Dimitris Placantonakis’s lab at NYU’s Medical Center and studied the role of IDH mutations and cancer stem cells in gliomas. My summers were spent at Vanderbilt and University of Michigan doing pharmacology and induced pluripotent stem cell work with Alfred George and Jack Parent. I hope my contributions to science will help us learn about clinical therapies for neuropsychiatric disorders and improve the lives of people living with them.
Outside of the lab, I primarily focus on bulking and cutting seasons, macros, and watching the Indianapolis Colts win football games. I aim to read one book a month, usually. Sometimes I cook, but more often I am enjoying the wide array of food in the bay area, especially tacos.
Themasap Khan works in the Pasca lab
BS Molecular Cell and Developmental Biology (minor in Biomedical Research), UCLA
As an undergraduate, I conducted research on X chromosome reactivation in the context of somatic cell reprogramming in the laboratory of Dr. Kathrin Plath in the Department of Biological Chemistry. I have lived in California my whole life and I love enjoying the nice weather by relaxing outside, dancing traditional hula, and trying new cuisines.
Bahareh Haddad Derafshi
BS Biology, MS Biology
I am very excited to join the Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, PhD program. In my research, I intend to study epigenetic regulation in neuronal development and synaptic plasticity. I also want to study the regulation of chromatin in neurons. In particular, I want to investigate the effect of deregulation in chromatin remodeling complexes, a process that occurs in many neurodevelopmental disorders. I want to study chromatin architecture and follow epigenetic deregulation at all stages along the path to synapse dysfunction. Stem cells will allow me to create a platform to study this. They will also help me to understand the early stages of disease and ultimately to identify therapeutic targets.
Bahareh Haddad Derafshi works in the Wernig lab
BS Immunology and Molecular Genetics, University of California Los Angeles
I have always loved science because it makes use of my worst and most abundant qualities. Where else is an annoying smart aleck that questions everything going to find meaningful employment, for long? In science, the experiment is always right. So no matter what I do, so long as I am logical and respect the tenants of empiricism, I must be taken seriously. Where else can you find a similar deal? In what other institution can a neophyte speak truth to power, and succeed?
Following my love of science I attended a string of public institutions where I studied immunology, genetics, virology, cancer biology, and stem cell biology. I was awarded a B.S. from UCLA and an M.S. from SFSU for my work. I am eager to begin my studies as the research being conducted at Stanford is absolutely tantalizing.
Carl Johnson works in the Jackson lab
BS Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of California Santa Cruz
During my time at UC Santa Cruz, I conducted research in the Kamakaka lab where I studied the interactions between proteins involved in double stand break repair and proteins involved in silencing.
At Stanford I am interested in studying the regulation of chromatin for maintaining pluripotency as well as the changes that occur during differentiation.
Chris Still works in the Qi lab
BS Molecular Biology at the University of Wisconsin Madison
I witnessed the need for regenerative medicine while serving 11 years in the military as a Combat Medic. Studying between tours, I received a BS in Molecular Biology at the University of WI Madison. The next couple years were spent at the Center for Eukaryotic Structural Genomics characterizing membrane proteins associated with a variety of diseases. Currently, I am a PhD student in the Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine program where I hope to discover new transcription factors and small molecules involved in cellular programming and characterize their impacts on cell fate.
Fabian Suchy works in the Nakauchi lab
BS Molecular Life Science, Stanford University
MS Molecular Mechanisms of Disease, Radboud University Nijmegen, Netherlands
During my undergraduate studies I worked with Ben Berkhout, Academic Medical Centre Amsterdam, on mother-to-child transmission of HIV and the components of mother’s milk that inhibit transmission.
I started my MS with researching Aquaporin 2 trafficking in the collecting duct of the kidney in Peter Deen’s laboratory at Nijmegen Centre for Molecular Life Sciences. For my MS thesis work, I joined the laboratory of Konrad Hochedlinger at Massachusetts General Hospital to study the role of epigenetic modulators, both proteins and long non-coding (lnc)RNAs, in transcription factor-mediated reprogramming to pluripotency.
My research interests are embryonic and adult stem cells, and the epigenetic mechanisms of cell identity determination during development. I am particularly intrigued by directed cell fate conversions using (trans-)differentiation and reprogramming, and I would like to apply genome-wide profiling and bioinformatics methods to develop novel protocols for targeted differentiation. Ultimately, I hope to aid the development of autologous cell therapies for the treatment of hematologic disorders.
Daniel Wesche works in the Weissman lab.