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Principal Investigator

Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte

Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte graduated from the University of Valencia, Spain with a Bachelor's degree in Pharmacy and Science and a Master's degree in Pharmacology and received his Ph.D. from the University of Bologna, Italy and the University of Valencia, Spain in 1987. After postdoctoral stages at the EMBL in Heidelberg, Germany, and UCLA, Los Angeles, USA, in 1993 he moved to the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California where he is currently a professor in the Gene Expression Laboratories. Since 2005 he is also the Director of the Center for Regenerative Medicine in Barcelona.

Dr. Izpisua Belmonte’s research interests are focused on the understanding of stem cell biology, organ and tissue development and regeneration. He has helped to uncover the role of some homeobox genes in limb patterning and specification, as well as the identification of the molecular mechanisms that determine how the different cell type precursors of internal organs are organized spatially along the embryonic left right axis. During the last few years, he has concentrated on studying the molecular basis implicated during organ regeneration in higher vertebrates, the differentiation of human stem cells into various tissues, and the molecular basis underlying aging and somatic cell reprogramming. He has published over 300 articles in internationally peer reviewed journals and book chapters in these areas. The ultimate goal of his research is to apply this knowledge towards the development of cell and gene based therapies as well as new molecules for the treatment of diseases.

Research Associates

Aitor Aguirre

Aitor Aguirre, Ph.D., graduated in 2003 with a B.S. in Biology, followed by a M.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in 2006, from the University of the Basque Country, Spain. In 2010 he obtained his Ph.D. in Tissue Engineering from the Technical University of Catalonia, Spain. Aitor joined Belmonte Lab in 2011.

Araoka

Toshikazu Araoka, M.D., Ph.D. received a M.D. from Ehime University in 2001. In 2010 he obtained his Ph.D. in nephrology from Graduate School of Medicine, University of Tokushima. He was a postdoctoral fellow at Center for iPS Cell Research and Application (CiRA), Kyoto University from 2010-2013. He joined the Belmonte Lab in 2013 as a Research Associate.

Chang

Chan-Jung Chang (CJ), Ph.D., graduated with a B.S. in 2001 and a M.S. in 2004 in Microbiology from Soochow University, Taipei, Taiwan. He worked at the Stem Cell Research Center at National Health Research Institute in Miaoli, Taiwan, for three years. In 2013, he obtained his PhD at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, USA. His Ph.D. research was focused on site-specific correction of hemoglobinopathies in iPSCs. CJ joined the Belmonte Lab in 2013 as a Research Associate. [CV]

Jacky Chen

Chien-Hung (Jacky) Chen, Ph.D., graduated with a B.S. in Chemistry from National Taiwan University. After he received his M.S. in Biochemistry from College of Life Science at National Tsing-Hua University, he worked at National Health Research Institutes, Taiwan. In 2012, Chien-Hung graduated with a Ph.D. in Cancer Biology from University of Texas at Houston-MD Anderson Cancer Center. During his Ph.D. training, he focused on the regulation of the mTORC2 signaling pathway. He joined the Belmonte lab in 2013 as a Research Associate.

Ilir Dubova

Ilir Dubova, MD (Staff Researcher) graduated with Doctor of Medicine degree from Ege University, Faculty of Medicine in 1996. After practicing medicine for 4 years, he joined Professor Izpisua-Belmonte's lab in 2000, and is currently working as a Staff Researcher. [Publications]

Tomoaki Hishida Tomoaki Hishida, Ph.D., graduated with a B.S. From Nagoya City University in 2003. He then completed an M.S. in 2005 and received his Ph.D. in 2008, also from Nagoya City University. From there, he joined the lab of Professor Okuda Akihiko at Research Center for Genomic Medicine, Saitama Medical University, as a Postdoctoral fellow. He joined the Belmonte lab in 2012 as a Research Associate. [CV]
Hsin-Kai (ken) Liao Hsin-Kai (Ken) Liao, Ph.D., graduated with a B.S. in Marine Resources from National Sun Yat-Sen University, Taiwan. After received his M.S. in Biochemistry from College of Medicine in National Taiwan University, he worked in Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan. In 2011, Hsin-Kai graduated with a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Iowa State University, and then he joined the Belmonte lab for his postdoctoral research.
Mo Li Mo Li, Ph.D., graduated with a B. S. in Cellular biology and Genetics, 2001 from Peking University, China.  He graduated in 2007 with a Ph.D. in Cellular Biology from the University of Georgia. Mo joined the Belmonte Lab in 2010.
Zhongwei Li Zhongwei Li, Ph.D., graduated in 2007 with a B.S. in Biotechnology from Sichuan University, China. In 2012, he obtained his Ph.D. in Cell Biology from Tsinghua University, China. Thereafter, Zhongwei joined the Belmonte lab as a Research Associate.
Li Ma Li Ma, Ph.D., graduated with a B.S. in Biology, 2002 and a M.S. in Biochemistry Genetics, 2005, from Xuzhou Normal University, China. She then received her Ph.D. in Pharmacology, 2008 from Fudan University, China. She Joined the Belmonte lab in 2013 after three-year postdoc training at Sanford-Burnham medical research institute.
Shigeo Masuda Shigeo Masuda, M.D., Ph.D., received an M.D. from University of Tokyo in 1996, and a Ph.D. in hematology from Graduate School of Medicine, University of Tokyo. He was an assistant professor and an associate professor at Jichi Medical University, Japan, from 2007-2012, and also joined the Shin-ichi Nishikawa Lab at RIKEN CDB in 2011. Shigeo joined the Belmonte Lab in 2012. [CV]
Alejandro Ocampo Alejandro Ocampo, Ph.D., graduated in 2002 with a B.S. in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, followed by a M.S. in Biotechnology in 2004, from the University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain. In 2012, he obtained his Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Miami-Miller School of Medicine for his work on the role of mitochondria in neurodegenerative proteinopathies and aging. Alex joined Belmonte Lab as Research Associate in 2013.
Daiji Okamura Daiji Okamura, Ph.D., graduated with a B.S. in 1998, and a M.S. in 2000 in Medical Life Science from the Tottori University, Japan. He then obtained his Ph.D. in 2004 from the Osaka University, Japan. He was an assistant professor at Tohoku University from 2005-2012. He joined the Belmonte Lab in 2012 as a Research Associate.
Pradeep Reddy

Pradeep Reddy, Ph.D., graduated in 2002 and completed a Masters in Biotechnology in 2004 in India. He obtained his Ph.D. from Umea University, Sweden in 2010. Later he did a postdoc at Stanford University 2010 – 2013 before joining the Belmonte lab as a research associate in 2013.

Concepcion Rodriguez Esteban Concepcion Rodriguez Esteban, Ph.D. (Staff Researcher) graduated with a B. S. in Arts in 1986, a M.S. in Art Conservation in 1988 and a PhD in 1990 from the Polytechnic University of Valencia, Spain. In 2004 she entered a PhD program in Medicine and obtained a second PhD from the University of Santander, Spain in 2006. She joined the Belmonte Lab in 1993 and is a Staff Scientist.
Ignacio Sancho-Martinez Ignacio Sancho-Martinez (Nacho), Ph.D. graduated with a B. S. in Biology and a M.S. in Genetics and Biotechnology in 2002 from the University of Oviedo, Spain.  While in his home University, he entered a PhD program in Oncology and obtained his Advanced Professional Degree in 2004. In 2006, Ignacio moved to the German Cancer Research center in Heidelberg in which he focused on the elucidation of signaling pathways controlling cell survival and apoptosis and graduated in 2009 with a Ph.D. in Mathematics and Natural Sciences from the University of Heidelberg, Germany. Ignacio joined the Belmonte Lab in 2010.
Keiichiro Suzuki Keiichiro Suzuki, Ph.D. graduated with a B.S. in 2000, with a M.S. in 2002 and with a Ph.D. in 2005 from the Saitama University, Japan. He was a postdoc and assistant professor at Saitama Medical University from 2006-2010. Kei joined the Belmonte lab in 2010.
Yuta Takahashi Yuta Takahashi, Ph.D. graduated with a B.S. in 2006, with a M.S. in 2008 and with a Ph.D. in 2011 from the University of Tsukuba, Japan. He was a postdoc at Life Science Center of Tsukuba Advanced Research Alliance, University of Tsukuba from 2011-2012. Yuta joined the Belmonte lab in 2012.
Yuji Tsunekawa

Yuji Tsunekawa, Ph.D., obtained his Ph.D. in 2010 from the Tohoku University, Japan. He then worked as a research fellow at The Scripps Research Institute from 2010-2013 before joining the Belmonte Lab in 2013.

Jun Wu Jun Wu, Ph.D. graduated with a B.S in Medicine in 2001 from Shandong University Medical School, P.R China. He obtained a Ph.D. degree in 2008 from Genome Science and Technology, a joint program between University of Tennessee and Oak Ridge National Lab. After working in the lab of ProfessorMartin Pera, the founding director of the Eli and Edythe Broad Center for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at University of Southern California as a postdoctoral research associate for three years, Jun Joined the Belmonte Lab in 2012.
Min-Zu (Michael) Wu Min-Zu (Michael) Wu, Ph.D., graduated with a B.S. in Life Science from Chung Shan Medical School, Taiwan in 2002 and obtained his Ph. D in 2011 from National Yang-Ming University, Taiwan. In his Ph.D. program, he focused on the effect of hypoxia on promotion of cancer metastasis. He joined to Belmonte Lab in 2012 as Research Associate.
Yun Xia Yun Xia, Ph.D. graduated with a B. S. in Biology in 2003 from China Agricultural University, Beijing. In 2004, Yun moved to Singapore and joined the Ph.D. program in the Department of Biological Sciences at National University of Singapore in which she studied signaling pathways controlling cancer cell responses to environmental stress and graduated in 2010 with a Ph.D. Yun Joined the Belmonte Lab in 2010.

Research Assistants

April Goebl April Goebl graduated with a B.S. and M.Sc. in Biology and Molecular Biology, respectively from the University of Victoria, BC, Canada.  She joined the lab in February 2011.
Yuriko Hishida Yuriko Hishida graduated with a B.S. from Mukogawa Woman's University in 2007. She then completed an M.S. in 2009 from Nagoya City University. She joined the Belmonte lab in 2012 as a Research Assistant.
Na Young Kim Na Young Kim, graduated with a B.S. in Chemical Biology from Stevens Institute of Technology and received a Masters in Biomedical Engineering from Cornell University. After being a lab manager at Cornell University for a year, she joined the Belmonte Lab in November of 2011.
Rupa devi Soligalla Rupa devi Soligalla has been a Research Assistant in the Belmonte Lab since August 2010. Prior to joining the Belmonte Lab, she completed a Masters in Microbiology from Sri Krishnadevaraya University, India and taught undergraduate biology students.  Rupa is currently working with human embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent cells.
Emi Suzuki Emi Suzuki graduated with a B.S. in Faculty of Applied Bio-Science, Tokyo University of Agriculture, Japan.  She joined the Belmonte lab as a Research Assistant in 2012.

Lab Coordinators

May Schwarz May Schwarz graduated with a B.S. in microbiology and molecular genetics from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2000.  She joined the Belmonte lab as a Research Assistant in 2000 before moving on to her current position as Lab Coordinator in 2005.
Peter Schwarz Peter Schwarz graduated with a B.S. in Applied Mathematics and Economics from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1999.  He joined the Belmonte lab in 2011.