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Lauren Bauer Vensand (Senior Manager, Laboratory Operations)

Lauren Bauer Vensand (Senior Manager, Laboratory Operations)

Lauren joined NYSCF in 2009, with administrative experience and two years in the Lykke-Andersen Lab in the Department of MCD Biology at the University of Colorado, Boulder, studying the mechanism of mRNA decay. She is currently pursuing a MS in Biotechnology at Johns Hopkins University and received a BA cum laude in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology from the University of Colorado, Boulder.  Lauren manages the NYSCF Laboratory Operations and provides support to The NYSCF Global Stem Cell Array.  Her current research focuses on the use of iPS cells to study Alzheimer's Disease.

Marco Calafiore (Postdoctoral Research Fellow)

Marco Calafiore (Postdoctoral Research Fellow)

Marco received his Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the University of Catania, Italy, where he also completed a four-year Residency in Microbiology and Virology. As part of the work towards his Ph.D., he studied the effects of amyloid beta (Aβ) on progenitor cells from the adult brain. Prior to joining the New York Stem Cell Foundation, he worked at the Buck Institute for Age Research in Novato, California, from 2007-2008, and at the University of California, Davis/Shriner Hospital in Sacramento, California, from 2008-2010, where he conducted a study on epigenetic changes involved in oligodendrocyte differentiation and drug discovery. In 2011, he joined the joined the University of California Davis Mind Institute in Sacramento where he studied changes in the mitochondria respiratory chain in activated microglia. In 2012 he joined the New York Stem Cell Foundation, where he is currently working on generating an in vitro model of demyelinating diseases.

Brian Campos (Research Technician)

Brian Campos (Research Technician)

Brian joins NYSCF as a Research Technician after graduating from Harvard University in May 2012 with a BA in Neurobiology and citations in Mandarin and French. After a successful 2011 summer internship at NYSCF, working on Alzheimer's disease modeling, Brian will further his experience in stem cell research by working on related projects in the NYSCF laboratory. Other previous scientific experience includes an internship at Dr. Donald Pfaff's laboratory at Rockefeller University in 2008 and a summer at Dr. Jean Mariani's laboratory at Université Pierre et Marie Curie in Paris in 2010. In his spare time, Brian enjoys watching and playing soccer and learning about foreign cultures.

Stephen Chang (Vice President of Research and Development)

Stephen Chang (Vice President of Research and Development)

As the Vice President for Research and Development at The New York Stem Cell Foundation, Dr. Stephen Chang has overall responsibility for planning, coordinating, and managing the activities of the research department. In this role, he provides senior leadership in the areas of research and development, oversight of short and long term projects with regulations and policies related to administration and business units, partnerships with industry and other research institutions, and monitoration and evaluation of projects.

Prior to joining NYSCF, Dr. Chang served as Chief Scientific Officer of Stemgent upon the company's founding in 2008. He was previously the CEO of Multicell Technologies and continues as a director of this company.

Dr. Chang is president of CURES, a coalition of patient advocates, biotechnology companies, pharmaceutical companies, and venture capitalists dedicated to ensuring the safety, research, and development of innovative lifesaving medications. He is also a board member of Histogen, Inc., a privately held company in regenerative medicine.

Dr. Chang received his PhD in biological chemistry, molecular biology, and biochemistry from the University of California, Irvine. Areas of research interest include translational applications of basic science to pharmaceutical products.

Giuseppe Maria de Peppo (Postdoctoral Research Fellow)

Giuseppe Maria de Peppo (Postdoctoral Research Fellow)

Dr. de Peppo's current research focuses on engineering vascularized bone substitutes using human embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells for reconstructive therapies of the skeletal system. In 2007 he was awarded a Marie Curie fellowship at the Department of Biomaterials at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, where he received his PhD. The understanding of how biomaterial properties influence cell behavior has been central to his work. He received a BSc Degree in Biotechnology at La Sapienza University in Rome and a MSc degree in Medical Biotechnology at Bicocca University in Milan, during which he conducted research at the Biomaterial Engineering Department at Politecnico di Milano. Dr. de Peppo was awarded the best prize for his doctoral thesis in 2011 at the University of Gothenburg.

Panos Douvaras (Postdoctoral Research Fellow)

Panos Douvaras (Postdoctoral Research Fellow)

Panagiotis joined NYSCF on May 2011 after a short post-doc at Mount Sinai School of Medicine studying hematopoiesis and the induction of pluripotency in primitive erythrocytes. He received his PhD from Edinburgh University, where he studied the effects of age and Pax6 haploinsuficiency on limbal stem cells (adult stem cells maintaining the cornea of the eye). He also did an MSc by research at the Institute for Stem Cell Research in Edinburgh University where he used lineage tracing to detect multipotent progenitor populations in vivo. His current interests are focused on using human embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells to model the defects and identify possible treatments for multiple sclerosis.

Carmen Dusenberry (Laboratory Coordinator)

Carmen Dusenberry (Laboratory Coordinator)

Carmen Dusenberry currently focuses on generating induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells from Alzheimer's patients in order to further study the disease to identify opportunities for new treatments. Previously, she worked in health care, publishing, and hospitality. She earned a BS degree in Biological Sciences at Fordham University, where she presented research on ZFN mediated gene disruption and the effects of polyphenols on the cardiovascular system.

Kevin Eggan (Chief Scientific Officer)

Kevin Eggan (Chief Scientific Officer)

Kevin Eggan became NYSCF's Chief Scientific Officer in 2006 and is a founding member of NYSCF's Medical Advisory Board. He is Associate Professor of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology at Harvard University and a Principal Investigator of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute. Dr. Eggan is also an Assistant Investigator of the Stowers Medical Institute and a MacArthur Fellow.

In 2008, he received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers from President Bush. He is a 2006 MacArthur Fellow.

After receiving his PhD in Biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dr. Eggan went to Harvard University as a Junior Fellow in the Harvard Society of Fellows.

Dieter Egli (Senior Research Fellow)

Dieter Egli (Senior Research Fellow)

Dieter Egli's research in the NYSCF laboratory currently focuses on the generation of therapeutically relevant cells for diabetes. His work has relevance for the use of stem cells to study disease, screen for new drugs, and cell replacement therapy. His research creating patient-specific stem cells using the DNA of patients with type 1 diabetes, first published in Nature in October 2011, was named the #1 Medical Breakthrough of 2011 by TIME magazine, which also named him one of 2011's People Who Mattered. Dr. Egli earned his PhD at the University of Zurich, Switzerland. He received his postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Kevin Eggan at the Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology, Harvard University, studying reprogramming after nuclear transfer. Dr. Egli is also an Adjunct Associate Research Scientist in the Division of Molecular Genetics, Department of Pediatrics, Columbia University, and has a collaborative relationship with Columbia's Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center.

Eliana Forero (Human Subjects Research Coordinator)

Eliana Forero (Human Subjects Research Coordinator)

Eliana works as Human Subjects Research Coordinator and is responsible for the organization, coordination, and overall integrity of Human Subjects Research at the NYSCF laboratory. Her previous experience is focused in the fields of ethics and laboratory research in genome stability. She has worked as a researcher at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), where she also served as EMBL/EMBO council representative for Science and Society, The Rockefeller University and Columbia University Medical Center. She is currently enrolled in a Masters in Research Bioethics at Mount Sinai School of Medicine/Union Graduate College and received her BA from the prestigious Sarah Lawrence College, where she was named Schupf Scholar for the Advancement of Women in Science. Eliana also has previous experience in publishing and public relations. She continues to feed her passion for research by performing, non-human subjects related research at the NYSCF laboratory.

Valentina Fossati (NYSCF - Helmsley Investigator)

Valentina Fossati (NYSCF - Helmsley Investigator)

Valentina Fossati joined the NYSCF team as Helmsley investigator in January 2011. Her current interests include autoimmune diseases and particularly multiple sclerosis. She received her PhD at the University of Bologna. She joined Dr. Hans Snoeck's lab in 2006, while still a PhD student. She has been working on the development of the immune system, focusing on B lymphocytes first and, as a post doctoral fellow, on the generation of thymic epithelial cells from embryonic stem cells. She was the recipient of a NYSCF – Druckenmiller Fellowship in 2009.

Aana Hahn (Automation Engineer)

Aana Hahn (Automation Engineer)

Aana Hahn joined NYSCF in August 2012 as an Automation Engineer. She has previously worked at Merck Research Laboratories in New Jersey to develop and optimize assays into an automated format for screening small molecules for high throughput screening campaigns and lead optimization or lead identification phases of drug discovery. She joins the team at NYSCF that focuses on the automated integration of The NYSCF Global Stem Cell Array. Aana received a BS in Biosystems Engineering from University of Arizona and a MS in Biomedical Engineering from Rutgers University-Piscataway.

Haiqing Hua (Postdoctoral fellow)

Haiqing Hua (Postdoctoral fellow)

Haiqing Hua, PhD, joined NYSCF in 2009. He has also been appointed as a Postdoctoral fellow in Pedriatics & Molecular Genetics at Columbia University, in the group of Dr. Rudolf Leibel. He received his PhD from the University of Zurich, Switzerland. His interests include the generation of patient-specific stem cells and ß-cell differentiation.

Samson Jacob (Research Technician)

Samson Jacob (Research Technician)

Samson joined the NYSCF staff in the summer of 2010. He comes to us from Weill Cornell Medical College where he worked under Dr. John P. Moore studying HIV-1 viral entry and the development of inhibitory drugs for HIV-1. Samson graduated from SUNY-Binghamton with a BS in Cell Molecular Biology. His current research focus involves using iPS cells to model Alzheimer's Disease.

Premlatha Jagadeesan (Research Technician)

Premlatha Jagadeesan (Research Technician)

Premlatha graduated from University of Massachusetts, Lowell with MS in Biotechnology and Biomedical Engineering in 2011. She was working as an Intern, at a program sponsored by MLSC, at Energesis Pharmaceuticals where she was studying the function/proliferation of brown adipocytes precursors for the treatment of obesity before joining NYSCF as Research Technician in October 2011.

David J. Kahler (Director of Laboratory Automation)

David J. Kahler (Director of Laboratory Automation)

David Kahler directs the NYSCF Flow Cytometry Core Laboratory and is heavily involved in the development, implementation and optimization of laboratory automation in the NYSCF laboratories. He works closely with NYSCF Laboratory scientists to design protocols for derivation and characterization of stem cell lines using flow cytometery, fluorescence activated cell sorting and high throughput imaging. He earned his PhD in Molecular Medicine and Immunology from the Medical College of Georgia in the lab of Andrew Mellor, where he studied the phenotype, function, and lineage of a rare subset of immunomodulatory dendritic cells found in humans and mice. He earned dual BS degrees in Paper Science and Engineering and Chemical Engineering from the University of Washington in Seattle. He previously worked as a process engineer for Kimberly-Clark and Weyerhaeuser and as a scanning and transmission electron microscopist in an environmental and materials testing laboratory.

Hesed Kim (Automation Engineer)

Hesed Kim (Automation Engineer)

Hesed Kim joined NYSCF in October 2011 as an Automation Engineer. Her previous robotics experience comes from both academic and industry settings at Columbia University's High Throughput Screening Facility and the Genomic Technologies group at Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, where she worked on automating and optimizing high throughput assays on various robotic platforms. Her current project at NYSCF focuses on the automated integration of The NYSCF Global Stem Cell Array. Hesed received BS and M.Eng degrees in Bioengineering from Cornell University in Ithaca, NY.

Katie Krumholz (Project Manager)

Katie Krumholz (Project Manager)

Katie joined NYSCF in June 2011, following six years of managerial and hands-on assay development experience at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute's therapeutic screening facility, where she performed drug screenings on motor neurons she cultured and differentiated from both mouse and human embryonic stem cells. Prior to that, Katie worked at Curis, Inc., where she helped derive and characterize embryonic stem cell lines from a mouse model of Spinal Muscular Atrophy. She is excited to apply her background in large-scale biology in both academic and industry settings to managing the development and daily coordination of The NYSCF Global Stem Cell Array. Katie has a BS in Biology from Siena College.

Aiqun Li (Staff Scientist)

Aiqun Li (Staff Scientist)

Aiqun Li, PhD, joined NYSCF as a staff scientist in 2011. His current research includes the generation of dopamine neurons from Parkinson's disease-specific induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells for modeling and studying disease and therapeutic transplantation. Previously, he was a postdoctoral/research associate in Dr. Ching-Hwa Sung's lab at the Dyson Vision Research Institute at Weill Cornell Medical College. During his postdoctoral training, he explored the link between primary cilia and fate determination of neural stem cells in neocortex development. He received his PhD from Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences of Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2006. His thesis project focused on the mechanisms underlying the neuroprotective action of apomorphine, a promising drug for Parkinson's disease. He earned his MD from Nanjing Medical University in 2000.

Scott Lipnick (Director, Scientific Programs)

Scott Lipnick (Director, Scientific Programs)

Scott Lipnick, PhD joined the NYSCF team in Spring 2012 as the Director of Scientific Programs. He most recently served as an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science and Technology Policy Fellow at the National Institutes of Health Center for Regenerative Medicine (NIH CRM). At NIH CRM, he managed the intramural stem cell pilot grant program, performed oversight of intellectual property issues related to stem cell projects to ensure there would be a clear path to the clinic, and facilitated seminars and working groups to develop teams to translate stem cell technologies. Prior to his time at the NIH, Scott obtained his PhD in Biomedical Physics from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a BS in Physics and Economics from Brandeis University.

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