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Rich Sherwood

Background: I’m originally from New York. I went to Stanford University as an undergraduate. I fell in love with science there, skipping a good deal of classes to work in Irv Weissman’s lab all four years. I worked on adult stem cell plasticity (or mostly the lack thereof) and prospectively isolated adult muscle stem cells. I then grudgingly moved away from the California sun to Cambridge where I got my PhD at Harvard University in Doug Melton’s lab. Having grown frustrated by how committed adult stem cells were, I worked on embryonic development, researching how cells decide what to become and focusing primarily on endodermal organ specification. After graduating, I moved across the river to Boston, performing an independent fellowship at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School with mentorship from Dick Maas and David Gifford. I used lessons from my graduate work to improve embryonic stem cell differentiation toward endodermal lineages and researched the transcriptional mechanisms underlying differentiation. I now run a lab at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School focusing on the intersection of genomics, genome editing, stem cell biology, and computational biology.

Lin Lin

Background: I am from Shantou, a coastal city in southern China. I received my Bachelor’s degree in biotechnology from Sun Yat-sen University. And then I did my PhD in neurobiology at Genome Institute of Singapore and National University of Singapore. I like travelling, watercolor painting, comics and writing/reading sci-fi stories.

Project: I am a postdoctoral researcher. I am working on MERA screening in human cancer cell lines to understand the expression regulatory mechanism for tumor-related genes. I am also particularly interested in Bioinformatics analysis on gene expression and co-expression network.

Name one hobby. Foreign language learning.

Name one thing that is not a hobby of yours. Ghost hunting.

What are your favorite transcription factors? Hox genes. In my opinion, their spatial and temporal colinear expression patterns during development represent the most organized biological order.

Heysol Bermudez Cabrera

Background: I was born in El Salvador (Central America), moved to Brooklyn, NY when I was 15 years old. I earned my Biology degree from Hunter College. In May 2019, I obtained my Ph.D from the NIH-Brown University graduate program in Neuroscience.

Project: I’m a post-doctoral research fellow developing high-throughput CRISPR screening platforms to identify cell essential exons or genetic variants that give cells a proliferation advantage using human cancer cell lines. I’m also working on identifying small molecules that can influence CRISPR/Cas9 editing outcomes toward precise genotypes and using these to validate findings from CRISPR screening.

Name one of your career goals. Make a meaningful contribution in generating therapies for patients with psychiatric disorders and educate the general public about them.

Name one of your life goals. Become a salsa dancer pro

Ersin Akinci

Background: I am from Izmir/Turkey.  After completing my BS in Biology at Ege University and MSc in Molecular Biology at Izmir Institute of Technology in Izmir, I got my PhD at University of Minnesota in Prof. Dr. Jonathan M. W. Slack`s laboratory at the Stem Cell Institute by working on direct differentiation of different cell types into pancreatic beta cells. I started as a postdoc in the Sherwood lab in 2019. 

Project: I have been working on identification  of possible transcriptional activator and repressor peptides by using CRISPRa tool and will use them to study pancreatic programming of pluripotent stem cells. 

Name one hobby. Watching sci-fi.

Name one thing that is not a hobby of yours. Listening to politicians, watching romantic movies.  I am not sure which one is my least favorite.

What is your proudest lab moment? I caught the mouse that was eating my MSc project (Barley leaves) in the tissue culture room and I released that little guy which wasted my six months.

What is your most embarrassing lab moment? When I injected a mouse (not the one eating my MSc project) with chloroform instead of anesthetic. I still do not know who put that chloroform tube next to anesthetic tubes.

Mia Hamilton

Background: I grew up in Northeast Ohio, but I was born in Iowa. Recently, I graduated from Colby College where I studied biochemistry and Spanish. During my undergrad, I worked as a barista/coffeehouse manager for four years, so I love making coffee.

Project: I am working on creating cellular assays to detect changes in cellular LDL uptake using CRISPR/Cas9. Our goal is to improve our understanding of the large amounts of GWAS data available by determining the effects of non-coding and coding SNPs on blood serum lipid levels.

Name one of your career goals:To get my PhD!

Name one hobby. Knitting.

What new animal would you make with CRISPR? Chocolate milk cows with GFP.

Sam Barkal

Background: I was born in Iowa, lived abroad for six years in Tokyo and Rome, and moved back to Portland, Oregon. I graduated with a degree in Biochemistry and Cell Biology from UCSD, and aspire to become a physician-scientist involved in cancer research and treatment.

Project: I am developing and validating a macro-scale pipeline that can identify skippable exons within essential genes. I am also applying this pipeline to evaluate clinically-relevant exons and genes, and investigating the efficacy of ASOs in mitigating these diseases.

What is your most embarrassing lab moment? Realizing that vacuums had to be emptied, and that it took me so long to wonder where all of the liquid went.

Name one of your life goals. To make a difference, and be happy while doing it.

Name one hobby. I enjoy organizing daily lab trips to one of the surrounding coffee shops, in order to get supercharged for afternoon experiments.

Minsun Cha

Background: I grew up in South Korea and moved to the states at the age of 16. I graduated from University of Florida  and received my bachelor degree with a major in Microbiology and Cell science in 2019.

Project: I am currently working on a project seeking to improve the efficacy of cancer immunotherapy by using the combinatorial potential of innate immune pathways, and another project establishing HDL uptake as a phenotype for high-throughput CRISPR screening.

Name one hobby. Watching cooking YouTube videos (but not actually cooking).

Name one thing that is not a hobby of yours. Cooking.

James Fife

Background: I grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah before moving to the east coast. I graduated from Brown University with a degree in computational biology

Project: I’m working on a project examining methods to induce exon skipping.

Name your hobbies.Skiing, running, and cooking. 

Name one thing that is not a hobby of yours. I’m not a very good football player, but I’m a great fantasy football player. 

Larissa Zanetti

Background: I am from São Paulo, Brazil. I have a BSc in biomedical Science at Federal University of Goias with an exchange period at Michigan State University. I fell in love with science and cell biology during my undergrad and now I am a PhD candidate at the Albert Einstein Jewish Hospital. Currently, I am visiting the Sherwood lab as a research trainee.

Project: My PhD project is about the gene regulation of MLKL, the driver of necroptosis cell death. I am doing a high throughput screening using the CRISPR/Cas9 and CRISPRi system to elucidate some of the regulatory elements of MLKL promoter.

Name one of your career goals: Currently…defend my thesis! Then, become a PI.

Name one of your life goals: Travel the world (or most of it).

What is your proudest lab moment? When my first cloning worked.

What is your most embarrassing lab moment? My first western blot, it was a mess.

Victoria Pouille

Background: I’m currently an undergrad at Boston College double majoring in International Studies and Biology! I was raised in Florida, but my family is from France and I’m fortunate enough to be able to go back to France every year to visit family.

Project: I’ve been working on a Single Cell RNA SPLiT-Sequencing project that would provide the lab with a lost-cost and high-throughput method to profile single cells. I’ve also been helping some of the Post-Docs a little with their projects, such as using CRISPR to study cell differentiation.

Name one of your life goals: It’s my goal to travel to every place on Earth that I share my name with, ex. Victoria Falls in Africa; Victoria, Canada; Victoria, Australia; etc.

Name one of your career goals: To become a Physician and participate in Doctors Without Borders.

Name one hobby: I enjoy watercolor painting when I have the time!

Pets

Acorn

Background: I am a female leopard gecko born in 2011 who can’t help but buzz my tail at the sight of a good cricket or waxworm. 

Carrot

Background: I am a male leopard gecko born in 2011. I have an oddly large head and a complicated love/biting relationship with Acorn.

Alumni

Qing Chen

Budhaditya Banerjee

Rikita Jodhani

Sannie Culbertson

Celine Qi

Zakir Tahiry

Tomasz Szczesnik

Oscar Juez

Lendy Chu

Ariella Gifford

Daniel Shen

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