Learn more about our Lab Life!


Virginia Winn, MD, PhD

Principal Investigaor

Dr. Virginia Winn is the PI for the Winn Lab. She has a PhD and an MD from the University of Rochester School of Medicine, and completed her residency and fellowship at UCSF. Dr. Winn then went on to receive her Board Certification in Obstetrics and Gynecology and Maternal and Fetal Medicine from the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Purnima Iyer, PhD

Lab Manager

Dr. Purnima Iyer is the Lab Manager/Research Associate for the Winn Lab. She has a PhD in Cellular and Molecular Biology. Before coming to the Winn Lab, she studied the role of the endothelium in cerebral ischemia. Purnima is interested in studying placental development and the role of endothelial dysfunction in placental pathologies (focusing mainly on pre-eclampsia) using cell culture, flow cytometry, immunostaining, and Western blotting. Her other interests are hiking and gardening.

Sarah Marks

Administrative Associate

Born and raised in the Bay Area with a passion in all things medicine, Sarah provides expertise resolution to Dr. Virginia D. Winn, postdocs, visiting student researchers, visiting scholars and the Division of Reproductive, Stem Cell and Perinatal Biology at Stanford Ob/Gyn. Originally a Biochem major with an aspiration in pediatrics, her focus shifted to health policy and women’s health. Sarah completed internships with UCSF National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health (full year) and Stanford Medicine (residential program) and continues to learn medical knowledge with the advances at Stanford Medicine. Her other interests include Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and boba.

Emma DuBridge

Lab Technician (Life Science Research Professional 1)

Emma DuBridge has a Bachelor of Science from University of California, Irvine, and has experience in cell culture and microbiology. In the Winn Lab, she is working as a Life Science Research Professional to aid the EPOCH study. Though she tends to have a broad interest in most aspects of biology, she has a particular interest in microbiology, cellular biology, and immunology. When she is not studying or in the lab, her hobbies include drawing, reading, and creative writing.

Kenisha Puckett, MS

Graduate Student

Kenisha Puckett is originally from Southern California and received her Bachelor’s in Biological Sciences from the University of California, Riverside. Before starting graduate school, she served as a Science Educator in higher education to increase diverse talent entering the STEM workforce. As a lifelong learner, she decided to continue her academic journey by earning a Master’s degree in Cell and Molecular Biology with an emphasis in Stem Cell Biology from San Francisco State University in 2018. As a former California Institute for Regenerative Medicine fellow, she is no stranger to stem cells. Her Master’s thesis project at the UCSF Center for Reproductive Science under the mentorship of Dr. Susan Fisher investigated the impact of the environmental toxins on placental development. Today, she is a doctoral candidate with the Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine (ISCBRM) and co-mentored by Drs. Virginia Winn and Vittorio Sebastiano. Her interest in translational medicine is to examine the potential of placenta stem cells to drive the advancement of future therapies in Maternal-Fetal Medicine.

Amy Elizabeth Braun, PhD

Postdoctoral Researcher

Amy is a postdoctoral researcher in the Winn Lab interested in understanding the role of fetal sex in placentation and pregnancy risk. She did her Ph.D. in Neurosciences with Theo Palmer, studying sex-dependent neurodevelopmental impairments in a mouse model of maternal illness. Working closely with Stanford’s WHSDM center, she has been an instructor and guest lecturer on the topics of sex and gender for undergraduate, graduate, and medical courses. Outside of the lab Amy is a songwriter and singer, as well as a certified yoga instructor and cat lover. .

Shilpi Seghal, PhD

Postdoctoral Researcher

Shilpi obtained a Ph.D. in the laboratory of Dr. Pallavi Kshetrapal at Translational Health Science and Technology Institute, India. In her Ph.D. she employed molecular biology approaches and advanced statistical models to study the genomic and proteomic correlates of adverse pregnancy outcomes, especially small for gestational age births. As a Postdoctoral Researcher, Shilpi is focused on understanding the mechanistic pathways involved in preeclampsia, using 3D trophoblast organoid models derived from primary cells. Apart from science, she loves zumba, enjoys cooking and photography, and likes to travel around the world.

Yanming Wu, PhD

Postdoctoral Researcher

Yanming is a postdoctoral researcher in Dr. Winn’s lab. Her research focuses on exploring the molecular mechanisms related to endothelial dysfunction in preeclampsia. She graduated from Tongji University with MD/PhD degree in Obstetrics and Gynecology, studying placental adaptation in response to environmental exposure. She received further postdoctoral training at University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio in the field of epigenetic regulation in breast cancer. Outside of the lab, Yanming enjoys playing the piano, baking, and travelling.

Anna Lebech Kjær

Visiting Research Scholar

Anna is in her final year of medical school at University of Copenhagen, Denmark. As part of the Winn Lab, she is interested in studying the role of the insulin-like growth-factor pathway and its regulators in normal placentation and preeclampsia. She has previously studied growth and metabolism in children born after frozen embryo transfer and cardiovascular function in girls with Turner syndrome as a research scholar at Department of Growth and Reproduction, Copenhagen University Hospital - Rigshospitalet. Apart from science, she loves to play tennis, skiing and experiencing different cultures while travelling.