CIRM trainees (postdocs)

Rut Molinuevo (Hinck lab)

Rut's research focuses on mechanisms that determine how lineage-restricted mammary progenitor cells expand during pregnancy to facilitate milk production. Rut aims to understand the molecular mechanisms that regulate the balance between alveolar progenitor proliferation (AVP), endoreplication and differentiation. Insight into these mechanisms will aid in the efficient treatment of two major health concerns: 1) lactation insufficiency, impeding women and children from obtaining the benefits of breastfeeding and 2) pregnancy associated breast cancer, arising preferentially from the AVP population during pregnancy or within one year post-partum.

The Hinck lab studies signaling pathways and cellular interactions during breast organogenesis and tumorigenesis.

Chuan Yu (Wang lab)

Chuan researches the cell of origin for bladder cancer and aims to determine how different cells of origin influence bladder cancer outcomes. It is increasingly recognized that the “cell of origin”, defined as a normal tissue cell that can give rise to a tumor upon transformation, can heavily influence the course of cancer development. Chuan will combine genetic lineage tracing with CRISPR-based mouse bladder cancer models to test the hypothesis that cell-of-origin is an important factor influencing bladder cancer progression.

The Wang lab studies mechanisms of basal stem cell plasticity in homeostasis and diseases, the role of androgen regulation in prostate stem cells, and novel mouse bladder cancer models.

Alka Gupta (Sharma lab)

Alka's research addresses how the environment, including lifestyle and diet, dictates the epigenetic signature of germ cells – the ultimate stem cells - and how this information modulates the development of the next generation. Alka's project aims to investigate the process of biogenesis of tRNA fragments in mature sperm and how dietary habits and lifestyle regulate the levels of these small RNAs in sperm. Understanding the mechanism of paternal small RNA-mediated transgenerational transmission of traits will deepen our understanding of the transmission of such diseases.

The Sharma lab is interested in studying how environmental conditions modulate specific epigenetic marks in germ cells and how those marks influence the development of offspring. They are using a unique combination of genomic, molecular, cellular, and reproductive approaches to address this question.

Neda Bidoki (Shariati and Jönsson labs)

Neda's goal is to 1) Characterize pluripotent stem cell lineage commitment by time-resolved single cell multiomic and imaging measurements and 2) Develop robust and scalable computational methods to provide greater insights into the evolution of pluripotent stem cell regulatory networks.

Neda's research will advance our understanding of the transcriptional regulatory networks that control differentiation of pluripotent stem cells, and may facilitate the development of new technologies enabling the propagation and lineage differentiation of embryonic stem cells (ESCs) for regenerative medicine applications.

The project is a collaboration between the labs of Professors Jönsson and Shariati. The Jönsson Lab aims to understand how the immune system evolves in the context of human disease. They develop mathematical models and build computational methods for the analysis of high throughput genomic and immunological data. The Shariati lab studies the molecular feedback between the cell cycle and pluripotency.

CIRM award: EDUC4-12759