The Quertermous Laboratory  

Group Members

TQ is currently the William G. Irwin Professor of Medicine and Director of the Research in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine at Stanford University. He completed clinical training in cardiology at the Massachusetts General Hospital and research training in molecular genetics in the Department of Genetics at the Harvard Medical School. Dr. Quertermous established an independent laboratory in the Cardiac Unit at the Mass General in 1987. He was recruited to Vanderbilt University in 1991 as Chief of Cardiology and Professor of Medicine and Molecular Physiology and Biophysics. Dr. Quertermous moved to Stanford University in 1997 where he assumed leadership of the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine. Research in the Quertermous laboratory has employed genetic approaches for the study of vascular disease as a primary focus. Currently, research studies employ large-scale human genetics efforts to better understand the genetic basis of atherosclerosis and related risk factors such as hypertension and insulin resistance. Ongoing efforts include genome-wide association studies in multiethnic cohorts with coronary heart disease, and these efforts are integrated with other worldwide efforts aimed at conducting definitive association based analyses. Variation identified through these studies is further investigated at the molecular level to better understand the basic mechanisms of atherosclerotic heart disease.

 

Ivan is a Postdoctoral Fellow in Cardiovascular Medicine. He completed his undergraduate studies at Barcelona Autonomous University in Spain, from which he received a B.S. in Biology (with highest academic recognition- final year "extraordinary" prize). He received his PhD from the University of the Basque Country (Spain), where he carried out studies related to signaling pathways regulating the balance between self-renewal and differentiation of human mesenchymal stem cells. During his first postdoctoral appointment he directed a PhD thesis focused on the characterization of human cord blood-derived hematopoietic stem cells and the improvement of in vitro expansion systems. His scientific background lies both in cell and molecular biology, with a focus on gene expression modulation through the use of lentiviral vectors and RNA interference. Through the GENESIPS project in the Quertermous lab, he is now involved in study of insulin resistance and the development of in vitro models by means of induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) technology.

 
Indumathi Chennamsetty

Indu is a post doctoral fellow in cardiovascular medicine studying insulin resistance, validating candidate genes identified in a genome-wide association study of insulin resistance. She received her Ph.D. in Molecular Biology studying transcriptional regulation of Lipoprotein(a) from the Institute of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, Medical University of Graz, Austria, under the guidance of Prof. Gerhard M. Kostner. She completed her bachelor’s and master’s degree in Microbiology from India. Her research interests are insulin resistance, lipid and lipoprotein metabolism, nuclear receptors and cell signaling.

 
Pei Han

Pei received her PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Peking University, China in 2009. She studied developmental mechanisms of stem cells using the Arabidopsis model. Before joining the Quertermous lab, she was a postdoc fellow working with Dr. Ching-Pin Chang in Cardiovascular Medicine investigating mechanisms of myocardial development and disease. Her major interest is epigenetics including chromatin remodeling, histone modification and long noncoding RNAs. She has joined the Quertermous lab to broaden her research horizons to a genome-wide and high-throughput level.

 

The overall theme of Josh's work is to understand the genetic basis of complex cardiovascular diseases such as coronary disease and insulin resistance. Currently, he is involved in genome-wide association (GWA) studies of coronary disease through the NIH-funded ADVANCE study and of insulin resistance through the international GENESIS project. After using the GWA approach to discover and validate interesting candidate genes, he hopes to explore the biology underlying these genes and pathways using cell culture and in vivo model systems. He also has a strong interest in developing tools to help translate newly emerging genetic data into clinical practice. A clinical trial has recently begun to see if risk factor profiles in patients can be improved by supplying them information about their inherited risk of cardiovascular disease (ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01406808).

 
Yoko Kojima

Yoko holds an MD and a PhD degree in Molecular Biology from Kobe University in Japan. She has performed post-doctoral research training programs at both Stanford and Yale University where she focused on pathological vascular conditions such as restenosis, atherosclerosis and molecular pathways relevant to smooth muscle cell dysfunction. She is now focused on defining the vascular biology of pathways responsible for heart disease and leads efforts focused on translating genome-wide significant associations into mouse models of human vascular disease. In particular, she studies molecules responsible for cardiovascular risk at the 9p21 locus.

 
Ramendra Kundu

Ramen holds a position of Life Science Research Associate at Stanford University and has a PhD degree in Biochemistry from Calcutta University. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Chicago in the Biochemistry of Fatty Acids related to Reye's Syndrome. This experience was followed by 8 years of research in the field of transgenic and knockout mouse development where his expertise grew in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at USC, Los Angeles. He has worked in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine at Stanford University since 1999. Since joining the lab he has generated various gene knockout constructs and successfully created a variety of gene targeted knockout mice. In addition he has develop skills in molecular biology, immunohistochemistry, animal husbandry and small animal surgery. His extensive research has helped him to earn authorship on over 35 papers in various scientific journals over the years.

 
Hope Lancero

Hope completed her PhD at UCLA in 2003 studying signal transduction in soil bacteria . After a post-doc at UCSF studying primary cardiac myocytes and stem cells in culture she worked for several years in industry as a research scientist at Pathologica. She returned to academics and worked with Dr. Michael Conti at UCSF on problems related to vascular biology before coming to Stanford in 2011 largely to be closer to her family. In addition to acting as a lab manager, Hope is involved in several projects related to the study of insulin resistance and its relationship with vascular biology including a large NIH-funded GENESIPS study where we are developing in vitro models of insulin resistance using induced pluripotent stem cell technology. When not in the lab, Hope enjoys following NBA and college basketball as well as restoring her vintage Karmann Ghia convertible.

 

Nick is an Assistant Professor of Vascular Surgery and Cardiovascular Medicine. He holds degrees with honors in Chemistry and Medicine from the University of Chicago, and completed his Internal Medicine training at the University of California, San Francisco. Nick joined the Clinical Investigator Pathway at Stanford University in 2005, and served as the Division's Chief Cardiovascular Fellow in 2007. His academic interests focus on pathological vascular processes such as atherosclerosis, vessel inflammation, endothelial cell dysfunction, and aneurysm formation. In particular, he is interested in investigating the genetic mechanisms of heritable cardiovascular diseases as well as translational Vascular Medicine.

 

Clint is a Postdoctoral Fellow in Cardiovascular Medicine and an NRSA Fellow in Myocardial Biology. He grew up in Ellicott City, Maryland, where he studied neuroscience at the University of Maryland – Baltimore County and also trained at Johns Hopkins University. He received his PhD in Pharmacology from the University of Rochester in snowy upstate New York, where he researched cyclic nucleotide signaling networks in cardiac and vascular remodeling. Clint has been a consultant for a Bay Area start-up, and since arriving at Stanford, is defining causal mechanisms of regulatory variants associated with coronary heart disease. When he's not in lab he enjoys trail running, biking, and noodling on his guitar.

 
Vivek Nanda

Vivek is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Vascular Surgery. He completed his undergraduate studies in Bioinformatics from the Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, New York, following which he joined the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston as a research technician. After gaining a couple years of experience he moved back to wintery Rochester to pursue his PhD in Pharmacology from the University of Rochester, New York. As a predoctoral candidate he defined the expression and transcriptional regulation of a rather understudied gene called Leiomodin1 and thereafter began investigating its function in cultured smooth muscle cells. He simultaneously also designed a targeting vector to inactivate the Leiomodin1 locus in mice. Upon joining Stanford, he has been actively working on investigating the function of genes located on the 9p21 locus, which are now known to be involved in coronary heart diseases. When away from lab, he plays racquetball and enjoys swimming.

 

James is a fellow in Pediatric Cardiology funded by the Pediatric Scientist Development Program. He holds two undergraduate degrees with highest honors from Oberlin College, worked in the laboratory of Eddy Rubin at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory where he earned an MA prior to completing his MD at Stanford. He completed his residency at Seattle Children's Hospital and the University of Washington in general pediatrics where he was awarded extramural funding to investigate the role of copy number variation and congenital heart disease. His current research interest is in the application of next generation sequencing technologies to the genetic basis of sporadic and familial congenital heart disease.

 

Olga received a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Northwestern University in 2005 and a PhD from Boston University in 2011. Her dissertation work studied the effect of substrate mechanics on vascular smooth muscle cell behavior in the context of atherosclerosis. Her current research is focused on the application of bioinformatics tools to study the genetic basis of coronary heart disease, specifically the activity of the transcription factors in coronary artery smooth muscle cells. She is also co-advised by Russ Altman in the Bioengineering Department. Outside of the lab, Olga enjoys travel, farmers' markets, and the science fiction section of her local used book store.

 

Mohammad graduated as the top Cellular and Molecular Biology student of University of Tehran in 2007. He was subsequently awarded the IGS A*STAR scholarship to persue his graduate studies at National University Singapore. During his PhD, he contributed to development of techniques for genetic modification and clonal expansion of human pluripotent stem cells and their derivatives. His current focus is modeling of insulin resistance at cellular level. He enjoys amateur astronomy and reading of classic sci-fi whenever he gets some spare time.

 
Yiqing Xiong

Yiqin is originally from China and she obtained her Medical degree and Master’s degree in Physiology from Shandong University School of Medicine, China. She came to U.S. in 2003 and got her Ph.D in Neurobiology from University of Kentucky Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Research Center. Upon graduation in 2008 she joined Stanford University as a postdoctoral fellow studying multiple projects, including the epigenetic regulation in hair follicle stem cells, neural crest cell proliferation and migration in heart development, nicotine effects on congenital heart disease, and the role of Dyrk1a in Down’ s syndrome pathogenesis. At Stanford, she was awarded the “Oak Foundation Fellowship”, “American Heart Association Postdoctoral Fellowship” and she is also the recipient of “Pediatric Research Fund” from Stanford School of Medicine. She is currently a research associate participating in the study of TCF21 in coronary arterial disease in the lab. In her spare time, she enjoys singing, cooking and reading.

 

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