Training Grants for Postdoctoral 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.

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

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

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: 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

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

Project Title: The role and mechanism of Bend5/6 in regulating neural precursor specification and neural development

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

Project Title: Tailored hPSC-based cell therapy for hypopituitarism


Deriving human ENS lineages for cell therapy and drug discovery in Hirschsprung disease. 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. Nature. 2016 Feb 10. doi: 10.1038/nature16951.

Mechanisms underlying the formation of induced pluripotent stem cells. González F, Huangfu D. Wiley Interdiscip Rev Dev Biol. 2015 Sep 18. doi: 10.1002/wdev.206. [Epub ahead of print] Review.

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

Lineage specificity of primary cilia in the mouse embryo. Bangs FK, Schrode N, Hadjantonakis AK, Anderson KV. Nat Cell Biol. 2015 Jan 19. doi: 10.1038/ncb3091. PMID: 25599390

Acrylamide alters neurotransmitter induced calcium responses in murine ESC-derived and primary neurons. Sisnaiske J, Hausherr V, Krug AK, Zimmer B, Hengstler JG, Leist M, van Thriel C. Neurotoxicology. 2014 Jul;43:117-26. doi: 10.1016/j.neuro.2014.03.010. Epub 2014 Apr 12. PMID: 24726791

Profiling of drugs and environmental chemicals for functional impairment of neural crest migration in a novel stem cell-based test battery. Zimmer B, Pallocca G, Dreser N, Foerster S, Waldmann T, Westerhout J, Julien S, Krause KH, van Thriel C, Hengstler JG, Sachinidis A, Bosgra S, Leist M. Arch Toxicol. 2014 May;88(5):1109-26. doi: 10.1007/s00204-014-1231-9. Epub 2014 Apr 2. PMID: 24691702

Use of human embryonic stem cells to model pediatric gliomas with H3.3K27M histone mutation. Funato K, Major T, Lewis PW, Allis CD, Tabar V. Science. 2014 Dec 19;346(6216):1529-33. doi: 10.1126/science.1253799. Epub 2014 Nov 20. PMID: 25525250

An iCRISPR platform for rapid, multiplexable, and inducible genome editing in human pluripotent stem cells. González F, Zhu Z, Shi ZD, Lelli K, Verma N, Li QV, Huangfu D. Cell Stem Cell. 2014 Aug 7;15(2):215-26. doi: 10.1016/j.stem.2014.05.018. Epub 2014 Jun 12. PMID: 24931489

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

A CRISPR/Cas-Mediated Selection-free Knockin Strategy in Human Embryonic Stem Cells. Zhu Z, Verma N, González F, Shi ZD, Huangfu D. Stem Cell Reports. 2015 Jun 9;4(6):1103-11. doi: 10.1016/j.stemcr.2015.04.016. Epub 2015 May 28. PMID: 26028531

The kinesin-4 protein Kif7 regulates mammalian Hedgehog signalling by organizing the cilium tip compartment. He M, Subramanian R, Bangs F, Omelchenko T, Liem Jr KF, Kapoor TM, Anderson KV. Nat Cell Biol. 2014 Jun 22. doi: 10.1038/ncb2988. [Epub ahead of print].  PMID: 24952464

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

Homologous Recombination DNA Repair Genes Play a Critical Role in Reprogramming to a Pluripotent State. Federico González, Daniela Georgieva, Fabio Vanoli, Zhong-Dong Shi, Matthias Stadtfeld, Thomas Ludwig, Maria Jasin, Danwei Huangfu. Cell Rep. 2013 Mar 28;3(3):651-60. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2013.02.005. Epub 2013 Mar 7.  PMID: 23478019.

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

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

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: 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

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