Training Grants for Postdoctoral Fellows

Pictured: CSCB Fellows

The Center for Stem Cell Biology (CSCB) was awarded a grant from the New York State Department of Health and the Empire State Stem Cell Board to support training in stem cell research. The grant sponsors five postdoctoral fellows who show exceptional potential for making significant contributions to the field of stem-cell-related research. Our trainees have the opportunity to take advantage of the unique resources available at Memorial Sloan Kettering, ranging from basic developmental biology and genetic lineage tracing to pluripotency, directed differentiation, stem cell engineering, chemical/genetic screening, and regenerative medicine, including clinical-grade cell processing.

Current Trainees

Pictured: Kosuke Funato
Kosuke Funato, PhD, Research Fellow, Department of Neurosurgery

Project Title: Human ES-based modeling of pediatric glioblastoma by histone mutations

Pictured: Yang Yu
Yang Yu, PhD, Research Fellow, Developmental Biology Program

Project Title: Mechanism of Ars2 in regulating neural stem cell development


Wang Q, Zou Y, Nowotschin S, Kim SY, Li QV, Soh CL, Su J, Zhang C, Shu W, Xi Q, Huangfu D, Hadjantonakis AK, Massagué J. The p53 Family Coordinates Wnt and Nodal Inputs in Mesendodermal Differentiation of Embryonic Stem Cells. Cell Stem Cell. 2016 Nov 9. pii: S1934-5909(16)30342-3. doi: 10.1016/j.stem.2016.10.002

Fattahi F, Steinbeck JA, Kriks S, Tchieu J, Zimmer B, Kishinevsky S, Zeltner N, Mica Y, El-Nachef W, Zhao H, de Stanchina E, Gershon MD, Grikscheit TC, Chen S, Studer L. Deriving human ENS lineages for cell therapy and drug discovery in Hirschsprung disease. Nature. 2016 Mar 3;531(7592):105-9. doi: 10.1038/nature16951 PMID: 26863197

Dreser N*, Zimmer B*, Dietz C, Sügis E, Pallocca G, Nyffeler J, Meisig J, Blüthgen N, Berthold MR, Waldmann T, Leist M. Grouping of histone deacetylase inhibitors and other toxicants disturbing neural crest migration by transcriptional profiling. Neurotoxicology. 2015 Sep;50:56-70. doi: 10.1016/j.neuro.2015.07.008. PMID: 26238599 *both authors contributed equally

Sisnaiske J, Hausherr V, Krug AK, Zimmer B, Hengstler JG, Leist M, van Thriel C. Acrylamide alters neurotransmitter induced calcium responses in murine ESC-derived and primary neurons. Neurotoxicology. 2014 Jul;43:117-26. doi: 10.1016/j.neuro.2014.03.010. PMID: 24726791

González F*, Zhu Z*, Shi ZD, Lelli K, Verma N, Li QV, Huangfu D. * co-first authors. An iCRISPR platform for rapid, multiplexable, and inducible genome editing in human pluripotent stem cells. Cell Stem Cell. 2014 Aug 7;15(2):215-26. doi: 10.1016/j.stem.2014.05.018. PMID: 24931489

Zhu Z, Li QV, Lee K, Rosen BP, González F, Soh CL, Huangfu D. Genome Editing of Lineage Determinants in Human Pluripotent Stem Cells Reveals Mechanisms of Pancreatic Development and Diabetes. Cell Stem Cell. 2016 Jun 2;18(6):755-68. doi: 10.1016/j.stem.2016.03.015. Epub 2016 Apr 28. PMID: 27133796

Zhu Z, Verma N, González F, Shi ZD, Huangfu D. A CRISPR/Cas-Mediated Selection-free Knockin Strategy in Human Embryonic Stem Cells. Stem Cell Reports. 2015 Jun 9;4(6):1103-11. doi: 10.1016/j.stemcr.2015.04.016. PMID: 26028531

Zhu Z, González F, Huangfu D. The iCRISPR platform for rapid genome editing in human pluripotent stem cells. Methods Enzymol. 2014;546:215-50. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-801185-0.00011-8. PMID: 25398343

Gao, P, Sultan, KT, Zhang, XJ, and Shi, SH. Lineage-dependent circuit assembly in the neocortex. Development. 2013 Jul;140(13):2645-55. doi: 10.1242/dev.087668. PMID: 23757410

Vera E, Studer L. When rejuvenation is a problem: challenges of modeling late-onset neurodegenerative disease. Development. 2015 Sep 15;142(18):3085-9. doi: 10.1242/dev.120667. PMID: 26395137

Studer L, Vera E, Cornacchia D. Programming and Reprogramming Cellular Age in the Era of Induced Pluripotency. Cell Stem Cell. 2015 Jun 4;16(6):591-600. doi: 10.1016/j.stem.2015.05.004. PMID: 26046759

Mondal, AM, Horikawa, I, Pine, SR, Fujita, K, Morgan, KM, Vera, E, Mazur, SJ, Appella, E, Vojtesek, B, Blasco, MA, et al. p53 isoforms regulate aging-and tumor-associated replicative senescence in T lymphocytes. J Clin Invest. 2013 Dec;123(12):5247-57. doi: 10.1172/JCI70355. PMID: 24231352

Miller, JD, Ganat, YM, Kishinevsky, S, Bowman, RL, Liu, B, Tu, EY, Mandal, PK, Vera, E, Shim, JW, Kriks, S, et al. Human iPSC-based modeling of late-onset disease via progerin-induced aging. Cell Stem Cell. 2013 Dec 5;13(6):691-705. doi: 10.1016/j.stem.2013.11.006.PMID: 24315443

Vera E, Bernardes de Jesus B, Foronda M, Flores JM, Blasco MA. Telomerase reverse transcriptase synergizes with calorie restriction to increase health span and extend mouse longevity. PLoS One. 2013; 8(1):e53760. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0053760. PMID: 23349740

Bernardes de Jesus B, Vera E, Schneeberger K, Tejera AM, Ayuso E, Bosch F, Blasco MA. Telomerase gene therapy in adult and old mice delays aging and increases longevity without increasing cancer. EMBO Mol Med. 2012 Aug;4(8):691-704. doi: 10.1002/emmm.201200245. PMID: 22585399

Vera E, Blasco MA. Beyond average: potential for measurement of short telomeres. Aging (Albany NY). 2012 Jun;4(6):379-92. PMID: 22683684

Vera E, Bernardes de Jesus B, Foronda M, Flores JM, Blasco MA. The rate of increase of short telomeres predicts longevity in mammals. Cell Rep. 2012 Oct 25; 2(4):732-7. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2012.08.023. PubMed PMID: 23022483.

Elvsåshagen T, Vera E, Boen E, Bratlie J, Andreassen OA, Josefsen D, Malt UF, Blasco MA, Boye B. The load of short telomeres is increased and associated with lifetime number of depressive episodes in bipolar II disorder. J Affect Disord. 2011 Dec;135(1-3):43-50. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2011.08.006. PMID: 21880373

Satlin MJ, Vardhana S, Soave R, Shore TB, Mark TM, Jacobs SE, Walsh TJ, Gergis U. Impact of Prophylactic Levofloxacin on Rates of Bloodstream Infection and Fever in Neutropenic Patients with Multiple Myeloma Undergoing Autologous Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation. Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2015 Oct;21(10):1808-14. doi: 10.1016/j.bbmt.2015.06.017. PMID: 26150022

Mansilla-Soto J, Riviere I, Boulad F, Sadelain M. Cell and Gene Therapy for the Beta-Thalassemias: Advances and Prospects.  Hum Gene Ther. 2016 Apr;27(4):295-304. doi: 10.1089/hum.2016.037. PMID: 27021486

Perna F, Vu LP, Themeli M, Kriks S, Hoya-Arias R, Khanin R, Hricik T, Mansilla-Soto J, Papapetrou EP, Levine RL, Studer L, Sadelain M, Nimer SD. The polycomb group protein L3MBTL1 represses a SMAD5-mediated hematopoietic transcriptional program in human pluripotent stem cells. Stem Cell Reports. 2015 Apr 14;4(4):658-69. doi: 10.1016/j.stemcr.2015.02.003. Epub 2015 Mar 5. PMID: 25754204

Di Stefano, B, Sardina, JL, van Oevelen, C, Collombet, S, Kallin, EM, Vicent, GP, Lu, J, Thieffry, D, Beato, M, and Graf, T. C/EBPalpha poises B cells for rapid reprogramming into induced pluripotent stem cells. Nature. 2014 Feb 13;506(7487):235-9. doi: 10.1038/nature12885. PMID: 24336202

van Oevelen, C, Kallin, EM, and Graf, T. Transcription factor-induced enhancer modulations during cell fate conversions. Curr Opin Genet Dev. 2013 Oct;23(5):562-7. doi: 10.1016/j.gde.2013.07.003. PMID: 23968684

González F, Huangfu D. Mechanisms underlying the formation of induced pluripotent stem cells. Wiley Interdiscip Rev Dev Biol. 2016 Jan-Feb;5(1):39-65. doi: 10.1002/wdev.206. PMID: 26383234

González F*, Zhu Z*, Shi ZD, Lelli K, Verma N, Li QV, Huangfu D. * co-first authors. An iCRISPR platform for rapid, multiplexable, and inducible genome editing in human pluripotent stem cells. Cell Stem Cell. 2014 Aug 7;15(2):215-26. doi: 10.1016/j.stem.2014.05.018. PMID: 24931489

Gonzalez, F, Georgieva, D, Vanoli, F, Shi, ZD, Stadtfeld, M, Ludwig, T, Jasin, M, and Huangfu, D. Homologous recombination DNA repair genes play a critical role in reprogramming to a pluripotent state. Cell Rep. 2013 Mar 28;3(3):651-60. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2013.02.005. PMID: 23478019

Drost J, Karthaus WR, Gao D, Driehuis E, Sawyers CL, Chen Y, Clevers H. Organoid culture systems for prostate epithelial and cancer tissue. Nat Protoc. 2016 Feb;11(2):347-58. doi: 10.1038/nprot.2016.006. PMID: 26797458

Wiesner T, Lee W, Obenauf AC, Ran L, Murali R, Zhang QF, Wong EW, Hu W, Scott SN, Shah RH, Landa I, Button J, Lailler N, Sboner A, Gao D, Murphy DA, Cao Z, Shukla, et al. Alternative transcription initiation leads to expression of a novel ALK isoform in cancer. Nature. 2015 Oct 15;526(7573):453-7. doi: 10.1038/nature15258. PMID:26444240

Hicks MJ, Funato K, Wang L, Aronowitz E, Dyke JP, Ballon DJ, Havlicek DF, Frenk EZ, De BP, Chiuchiolo MJ, Sondhi D, Hackett NR, Kaminsky SM, TabarV, Crystal RG. Genetic modification of neurons to express bevacizumab for local anti-angiogenesis treatment of glioblastoma. Cancer Gene Ther. 2015 Jan;22(1):1-8. doi: 10.1038/cgt.2014.58. PMID: 25501993

Funato K, Major T, Lewis PW, Allis CD, Tabar V. Use of human embryonic stem cells to model pediatric gliomas with H3.3K27M histone mutation. Science. 2014 Dec 19;346(6216):1529-33. doi: 10.1126/science.1253799. PMID: 25525250

Bangs FK, Schrode N, Hadjantonakis AK, Anderson KV. Lineage specificity of primary cilia in the mouse embryo. Nat Cell Biol. 2015 Feb;17(2):113-22. doi: 10.1038/ncb3091. PMID: 25599390

He M, Subramanian R, Bangs F, Omelchenko T, Liem KF Jr, Kapoor TM, Anderson KV. The kinesin-4 protein Kif7 regulates mammalian Hedgehog signalling by organizing the cilium tip compartment. Nat Cell Biol. 2014 Jul;16(7):663-72. doi: 10.1038/ncb2988. PMID: 24952464

Miura, P, Shenker, S, Andreu-Agullo, C, Westholm, JO, and Lai, EC. Widespread and extensive lengthening of 3’ UTRs in the mammalian brain. Genome Res. 2013 May;23(5):812-25. doi: 10.1101/gr.146886.112. PMID: 23520388

Dai, Q, Andreu-Agullo, C, Insolera, R, Wong, LC, Shi, SH, and Lai, EC. BEND6 is a nuclear antagonist of Notch signaling during self-renewal of neural stem cells. Development. 2013 May;140(9):1892-902. doi: 10.1242/dev.087502. PMID: 23571214

Andreu-Agullo C, Maurin T, Thompson CB, Lai EC. Ars2 maintains neural stem-cell identity through direct transcriptional activation of Sox2. Nature. 2011 Dec 25;481(7380):195-8. doi: 10.1038/nature10712. PMID: 22198669

Former Trainees

Pictured: Former CSCB Fellows

Pictured: Celia Andreu-Agullo
Celia Andreu-Agullo, PhD, Research Fellow, Developmental Biology Program

Project Title: Role of Arsenic-Resistant Protein 2 (Ars2) in the Regulation of Adult Neural Stem Cells

Pictured: Fiona Bangs
Fiona Bangs, PhD, Research Fellow, Developmental Biology Program

Project Title: The Role of Cilia and Centrosomes in Self-Renewal and Differentiation of Mouse Embryonic Stem Cells

Picutred: Dong Gao
Dong Gao, PhD, Research Fellow, Human Oncology & Pathogenesis Program

Project Title: Defining the prostate luminal stem cell and cell of origin of prostate cancer

Pictured: Federico González Grassi
Federico González Grassi, PhD, Research Fellow, Developmental Biology Program

Project Title: Understanding the Mechanisms That Govern the Reprogramming of a Somatic Cell to a Pluripotent State.

Pictured: Jorge Mansilla-Soto
Jorge Mansilla-Soto, PhD, Research Fellow, Molecular Pharmacology Program

Project Title: Gene Repair and Erythroid Differentiation Potential of Sickle-Cell-Anemia-Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

Pictured: Santosha Vardhana
Santosha Vardhana, MD, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow, Cancer Biology & Genetics Program

Project Title: Erk inhibition promotes Brd4-independent stemness and proliferation in mouse embryonic stem cells

Pictured: Elsa Vera
Elsa Vera, PhD, Research Fellow, Developmental Biology Program

Project Title: Accelerating in Vitro Neural Aging by Manipulations of Telomerase Function and Its Application for Modeling Late-Onset Disease

Qiong Wang, PhD, Research Scholar, Cancer Biology & Genetics Program

Project Title: The p53 Tumor Suppressor Family Integrates Nodal and Wnt Inputs Driving Mesendoderm Specification

Pictured: Xinjun Zhang
Xinjun Zhang, PhD, Research Scholar, Developmental Biology Program

Project Title: Accelerated Generation of Functional Cortical Neurons from Human Embryonic Stem Cells Using Combinatorial Small-Molecule Treatment

Pictured: Zengrong Zhu
Zengrong Zhu, PhD, Research Fellow, Developmental Biology Program

Project Title: Genome editing in human embryonic stem cells to study the genetics of neonatal diabetes and pancreatic development

Eric Kallin, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow

Project Title: Role of alternative polyadenylation in embryonic stem cell identity and differentiation

Pictured: Bastian Zimmer
Bastian Zimmer, PhD, Research Fellow, Developmental Biology Program

Project Title: Tailored hPSC-based cell therapy for hypopituitarism