Human Islet Research Network
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Research Staff

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Amanda Ackermann, MD, PhD

Email: ackermanna@email.chop.edu

Center: University of Pennsylvania

Lab: Klaus Kaestner

Lucas Armitage

Email: lucasarmitage@ufl.edu

Center: University of Florida

Job Title: Graduate Research Assistant

Lab: Mark Wallet

Role on Project: Studying the role PTPN22 plays in dendritic cells and how it affects its interactions with β cells and cytotoxic CD8+ lymphocytes in type 1 diabetes.

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Elizabeth Butterworth

Email: ebutterworth@ufl.edu

Center: University of Florida

Job Title: Biological Student

Lab: Martha Campbell-Thompson

Role on Project: Manages the overall laboratory and has specific roles in islet laser capture microdissection, RNA extraction and analysis, and immunolocalization and microscopy of beta cells.

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Sean Campbell, PhD

Email: src2138@cumc.columbia.edu

Center: Columbia University

Job Title: Research Scientist

Lab: Megan Sykes

Role on Project: Dr. Campbell's role on the project is on Specific Aim 2 of the grant. He is working on the optimization of the in vivo functionality of the iPSC-derived beta-like cells. Also, is performing the in vitro studies to compare the immunogenicity of iPSC-derived beta-like cells from healthy controls and type 1 diabetic patients to natural beta cells.

Joseph Canzano

Email: jcanzano@ufl.edu

Center: University of Florida

Job Title: Bio Scientist

Lab: Martha Campbell-Thompson

Role on Project: Lab assays and data analysis.

Fabian Cardenas

Email: fcar@sas.upenn.edu

Center: University of Pennsylvania

Job Title: Graduate Student

Lab: Paul Gadue

Role on Project: Generation of functional and mature beta cells using hESCs.

Melanie Cash

Email: mcash@pathology.ufl.edu

Center: University of Florida

Job Title: Biological Scientist

Lab: Mark Wallet

Role on Project: Making cell lines to study the regulatory role of PTPN22 by introducing PTPN22 shRNA using lentivirus. In addition, I am assisting with the deleting of PTPN22 via CRIPSR and collection of human blood monocytes by counter-current centrifugal elutriation

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Jeffrey Davis

Email: jeffreydavis@fas.harvard.edu

Center: Harvard University

Job Title: Graduate Student

Lab: Doug Melton

Role on Project: Jeff Davis is a graduate student in the Melton lab. Jeff’s work focuses on stressing stem cell-derived beta cells in vitro and in vivo and analyzing changes in gene expression. Jeff then investigates the candidate genes as potential markers of beta cell stress in multiple diabetes-related stress environments.

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Elise Engquist

Email: eliseengquist@fas.harvard.edu

Center: Harvard University

Job Title: Research Assistant

Lab: Doug Melton

Role on Project: Elise is a research assistant in the Melton lab. Elise’s main focus is to optimize the protocols used to derive mature SC-Beta cells from human embryonic stem cells with the goal of making it more robust and efficient as well as enhancing the functionality of terminally differentiated cells. Elise also produces and distributes SC-beta cells to other members of the lab and external collaborators to be used in Beta cell characterization studies and in vivo transplantation experiments.

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Roberto Gaetani

Email: rgaetani@eng.ucsd.edu

Center: University of California at San Diego

Job Title: Research Scientist

Lab: Karen Christman

Role on Project: Biomaterial identification for Islet and hESCs 3D culture.

Yuqian Gao

Email: yuqian.gao@pnnl.gov

Center: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Job Title: Scientist

Lab: Tom Metz

Role on Project: She is an analytical chemist working on the development of targeted mass spectrometry assays to validate new biomarker candidates that are initially identified in untargeted mass spectrometry-based omics analyses.

Kerim Gattas-Asfura, PhD

Email: Kerim.GattasAsfura@bme.ufl.edu

Center: University of Florida

Lab: Cherie Stabler

Role on Project: Engineering biomimetic scaffolds to support the long-term health of islets or insulin producing tissues.

Maria Golson, PhD

Email: mgolson@mail.med.upenn.edu

Center: University of Pennsylvania

Job Title: Reserach Assistant Professor

Lab: Klaus Kaestner

Role on Project: Focus on beta-cell proliferation and function.

David Gonzalez

Email: david_gonzalez@harvard.edu

Center: Harvard University

Job Title: Research Assistant

Lab: Doug Melton

Role on Project: Working on developing and characterizing methods to differentiate embryonic stem cells into various endocrine cell types on the pancreas with the goal of engineering pancreatic islets of defined composition and structure. David is particularly interested in cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions and their contribution to regulated secretion of hormones. Along with Quinn Peterson, David is involved in a number of collaborations with the Karp and Parker lab to design technologies that will shed light on the biological importance of these interactions and hopes that his work will help improve clinical outcomes of patients with diabetes in the future.

Bryan Gonzalez

Email: bg2450@cumc.columbia.edu

Center: Columbia University

Job Title: Graduate Student

Lab: Dieter Egli

Role on Project: Bryan will work on beta cell generation for molecular comparison of iPS derived beta cells and islet derived beta cells of identical genetic origin.

Marina Gritsenko

Email: marina.gritsenko@pnnl.gov

Center: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Job Title: Scientist

Lab: Tom Metz

Role on Project: She has more than 20 years of experience in developing and applying methods in particular for proteomics analyses, including protein/peptide extraction/purification, fractionation of proteins/peptides using high performance liquid chromatography, and isobaric chemical labeling of peptides.

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Jennifer Hosford

Email: zorra@ufl.edu

Center: University of Florida

Job Title: Clinical Research Coordinator

Lab: Desmond Schatz

Role on Project: University of Florida Diabetes Research Program Coordinator

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Matthew Ishahak

Email: m.ishahak@umiami.edu

Center: University of Miami

Job Title: Graduate Student

Lab: Ashutosh Agarwal

Role on Project: Testing and fabrication of microfluidic microsystem to asses the health and viability of islets.

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Robert Jones

Email: jonesbob@stanford.edu

Center: Stanford University

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Yuong-Mo Kim

Email: yuongmo.kim@pnnl.gov

Center: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Job Title: Scientist

Lab: Tom Metz

Role on Project: He is an analytical chemist and expert in gas chromatography-mass spectrometry-based metabolomics analysis. He is performing metabolomics analyses of pancreatic islets.

Siddharth Kishore

Email: skishore@mail.med.upenn.edu

Center: University of Pennsylvania

Job Title: Graduate Student

Lab: Paul Gadue

Role on Project: Generation of functional and mature beta cells using hESCs.

Tatsu Kono, PhD

Email: konot@iu.edu

Center: Indiana University School of Medicine

Job Title: Assistant Research Professor

Lab: Raghu Mirmira

Role on Project: His interest is in islet function and calcium regulation. His work in the HIRN project at Indiana centers on the characterization of ER and ER calcium responses of human β cells to cytokine-mediated stress

Taiyi Diana Kuo, PhD

Email: tk2592@cumc.columbia.edu

Center: Columbia University

Job Title: Associate Research Scientist

Lab: Domenico Accili

Role on Project: Identify effectors of β cell dedifferentiation using the “omics” approach.

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Karla Leavens, MD, PhD

Email: LEAVENSK@EMAIL.CHOP.EDU

Center: Children's Hospital of Pennsylvania

Job Title: Endocrinology Fellow

Lab: Paul Gadue

Nataliya Lenchik

Email: nlenchik@uthsc.edu

Center: University of Tennessee

Job Title: Research Associate

Lab: Ivan Gerling

Role on Project: Conduct laser-capture of human islets. Obtain transcriptome profiles of laser-captured islets. Analyze and mine the data.

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Bernhard Maier, PhD

Email: bfmaier@iu.edu

Center: Indiana University School of Medicine

Job Title: Assistant Research Professor

Lab: Raghu Mirmira

Role on Project: His longstanding interest is in the area of β cell stress, and the molecular pathways that lead to β cell dysfunction. His work in the HIRN project focuses on isolation of pure populations of β cells from human islets using FACS and surface marker selection

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Grace Nauman

Email: gn2242@cumc.columbia.edu

Center: Columbia University

Job Title: PhD Student

Lab: Megan Sykes

Role on Project: Improving human antigen presenting cell reconstitution in the Personalized Immune Mouse system.

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Smit Patel

Email: smit31@ufl.edu

Center: University of Floria

Job Title: Graduate Research Assistant

Lab: Cherie Stabler

Ian Penkala

Email: ianpenk@vet.upenn.edu

Center: University of Pennsylvania

Job Title: Graduate Student

Lab: Ben Stanger

Role on Project: Analyze physiology of human islets in suspension or fibrin-hydrogels.

Greg Poffenberger

Email: greg.poffenberger@Vanderbilt.Edu

Center: Vanderbilt University

Job Title: Senior Research Specialist

Lab: Al Powers

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Siddarth Rawal, MD

Email: SRawal@miami.edu

Center: University of Miami

Job Title: Senior Research Associate

Lab: Ashutosh Agarwal

Role on Project: During the initial phase, to design the fluidic chips using CAD and then translate the design to a streamlined fabrication process using CNC machining, laser cutting and 3D printing. Once chips are fabricated and fully functional, will work with the team to establish long term islet cell cultures and develop experimental designs to test the health and viability of the islets as well as assess the metabolic properties of the islets.

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Howie Seay

Email: hrseay@ufl.edu

Center: University of Florida

Job Title: Biological Scientist II

Lab: Todd Brusko

Role on Project: Using FACS-purification, Howie isolates intra-islet CD4+ and CD8+ T cells to construct single-cell cDNA libraries using the Fluidigm C1 platform. RNA-seq is then performed on these cells to determine phenotype and TcR identity, which is compared to T cell populations found in the pancreatic-draining lymph node, spleen, and PBMC from the same tissue donor to discover cellular overlap and potential peripheral biomarkers of disease.

Bhupinder Shergill

Email: bdshergill@gmail.com

Center: University of California, Davis

Job Title: Laboratory Manager

Lab: Steven George

Kevin Shores

Email: kshores@g.harvard.edu

Center: Harvard University

Job Title: Graduate Research Assistant

Lab: Kit Parker

Role on Project: Modeling and design of the Islet-on-a-Chip platform

Dmitry "Dima" Shvarstman, Ph.D.

Email: Dmitry_shvartsman@harvard.edu

Center: Harvard University

Job Title: Senior Scientist

Lab: Doug Melton

Role on Project: Dmitry Shvartsman is the senior scientist in the Melton lab. Dr. Shvartsman’s main task is to manage to cell production group within the Melton lab and additionally, to manage external and internal collaborations, projects, and financial regulations and compliance.

Emily Sims, MD

Email: eksims@iu.edu

Center: Indiana University School of Medicine

Job Title: Assistant Professor

Lab: Raghu Mirmira

Role on Project: Focuses on the identification of cargo in extracellular vesicles extruded from stressed β cells, and to correlate this cargo to stages of T1D development.

Ruth Singer

Email: Ruthasinger@gmail.com

Center: Columbia University

Job Title: PhD Candidate

Lab: Lori Sussel

Role on Project: Student Researcher

Zhen Song

Email: sonzh@ohsu.edu

Center: Oregon Health and Science University

Job Title: Research Assistant

Lab: Hiroyuki Nakai

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Alejandro Tamayo-Garcia

Email: atamayogarcia@med.miami.edu

Center: University of Miami

Job Title: Research Associate

Lab: Peter Buchwald

Role on Project: Conduct rodent islet isolations, in vitro quantitative islet assessment assays, and in vivo rodent experiments.

Sarah Tersey, PhD

Email: stersey@iu.edu

Center: Indiana University School of Medicine

Job Title: Research Associate Professor

Lab: Raghu Mirmira

Role on Project: Manager of the Islet and Translation Cores of the Indiana Diabetes Center, and in the HIRN her work centers on biomarker assay development and standardization.

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Christine Yoon

Email: cjyoon@bu.edu

Center: Boston University

Job Title: Graduate Student

Lab: Chris Chen

Role on Project: Bioengineering approaches to controlling vascular interactions and perfusion with parenchymal cells.

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