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Tim Chai, MD/PhD Student (joint with Irv Weissman's lab)
BS, University of California, Los Angeles

Tim began his never-ending MD/PhD candidacy in 2016. He did not seriously consider a career in research until joining Owen Witte’s lab at UCLA in 2012. There, he realized that he was not good at memorization and needed another way to make a living. Jointly mentored by Irv Weissman and Kyle Loh, he is interested in T cell dysfunction within the tumor microenvironment and T cell maturation for the eventual development of cancer therapies. Outside of the lab, Tim enjoys pestering Warriors “fans.” Tim is supported by the Stanford Medical Scientist Training Program.

Carolyn Dundes, PhD Student
BA, Wesleyan University

Carolyn is a Ph.D. Student in Stanford’s Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine program, and they are wholeheartedly captivated by developmental neurobiology. They completed their undergraduate degree at Wesleyan University, where they worked in the lab of Dr. Laura Grabel to derive inhibitory interneurons from human embryonic stem cells. At Stanford, Carolyn seeks to understand how we can more accurately model early human brain development in vitro. Throughout their Ph.D. studies, Carolyn aspires to be the #1 stem cell parent. When they are not in lab, you can find them gleefully walking dogs around Palo Alto. Carolyn is supported by the Ford Foundation Predoctoral FellowshipStanford Graduate Fellowship and Stanford DARE Fellowship, and has been recognized by the Stanford VPGE Academic Achievement Award.

Jonas Fowler, PhD Student
BA, University of Chicago

Jonas is interested in understanding the role of stem cells in the development and maintenance of tissues at different stages of life, from early embryonic development to adulthood. Understanding how these processes vary could ultimately allow for researchers to better harness the potential of stem cells for treating disease through regenerative efforts. However, stem cell treatments inherently face the problem of immune tolerance, which is another area of interest for Jonas and why he specialized in Immunology when obtaining his Bachelor’s Degree in Biological Sciences at the University of Chicago. Outside of the lab, Jonas enjoys being outdoors either swimming, hiking, climbing or snowboarding. Jonas is supported by the National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship and the Stanford Bio-X Honorary Ph.D. Fellowship, and was also selected for the National Science Foundation's Ph.D. fellowship.

Rayyan Jokhai, MD/PhD Student
BA, Johns Hopkins University

Rayyan is from Queens, New York and is pursuing an M.D./Ph.D. from Stanford School of Medicine. He is interested in developmental neurobiology and understanding the maturation process of neural cells, beginning at the embryonic stem cell stage. He hopes to apply this knowledge clinically and ultimately use regenerative medicine to treat neurodegenerative diseases. Rayyan completed his undergraduate degree in chemistry at the Johns Hopkins University, where he worked in the lab of Dr. Thomas Lectka to develop novel fluorination methods for biologically-relevant compounds. At Stanford, Rayyan hopes to better understand how we can selectively drive neural differentiation and improve patient care. Outside of the lab, Rayyan enjoys watching basketball, going bowling, (mini)golfing, and playing ping pong. Rayyan was supported by the Stanford Medical Scholars Research Program, and has been recognized by the Stanford Chi-Li Pao Foundation-AOA Student Research Fellowship.

Kyle Loh, Faculty
PhD, Stanford University; BA, Rutgers University (CV)

Kyle enjoys learning about developmental biology and using this knowledge to exert control over stem cells. He was a beneficiary of public schools (County College of Morris and Rutgers University) and conducted research at the Genome Institute of Singapore (with Bing Lim) and Stanford University (for his Ph.D., with Irv Weissman), with fellowships from the Hertz FoundationU.S. National Science Foundation and Davidson Institute for Talent Development. He then continued as a Siebel Investigator and later, as an Assistant Professor and The Anthony DiGenova Endowed Faculty Scholar, at Stanford. Kyle is a Packard FellowPew ScholarHuman Frontier Science Program Young Investigator and Baxter Foundation Faculty Scholar, and has been recognized by the NIH Director's Early Independence AwardForbes 30 Under 30Harold Weintraub Graduate AwardHertz Foundation Thesis Prize and the A*STAR Investigatorship. In his spare time, Kyle goes road biking, enjoys science fiction, and indulges his new fascination with biosafety level 4 viruses. 

Liying Ou, Administrative Associate (joint with Phil Beachy's lab and Lay Teng Ang's lab)
MA, University of Ottowa; BS, North China Electric Power University

Liying is an administrative associate at the Ang, Beachy and Loh labs in Stanford’s Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine. After earning a M.A. degree in Public Administration at the University of Ottawa in 2010, she is currently pursuing a preliminary teaching credential and probably an accounting certification. Although a busy working parent of a rabbit son and a human daughter, Liying enjoys volunteering, reading non-fiction medieval history books, experimenting in the kitchen, and grocery shopping as a competitive sport.

Yimiao Qu, Postdoctoral Fellow
PhD & MS, Peking University; BA, Shandong University

Yimiao obtained her Ph.D. from Peking University where she discovered a molecular mechanism whereby a cell evaluates and keeps a memory of its environment to make a better decision for when to subsequently proliferate. From then on, she has been fascinated by the molecular mechanisms underlying how a cell’s environmental history could reprogram its behavior. A cell’s environmental history also shapes its identity during development. She is now beginning to study whether and how the history of environmental signals can direct the trajectory of the cell differentiation over time during mammalian development. Yimiao believes her research will unveil the molecular mechanisms underlying the landscape of cell differentiation trajectories during early mammalian development. Outside of the lab, she enjoys watching movies (Marvel movies are the best) and travelling around. Yimiao has also developed a new hobby of observing wild animals since she moved to the Bay Area. Yimiao is supported by the Stanford School of Medicine Dean's Postdoctoral Fellowship.

Alicia Wong, Research Professional
BS, University of California, Los Angeles

Alicia received her B.S. in Biochemistry at the University of California – Los Angeles. Since her undergrad, she has been trained as a molecular biologist with a focus on cancer biology. In her previous lab, she worked on creating genetically defined models of bladder cancer that better recapitulated human disease. She really enjoys learning about new research fields and different experimental techniques and is excited to pursue a new interest in stem cell biology and virology. During her spare time, she enjoys beer tasting and attempting to garden.

Sherry Zheng, PhD Student
BS & BA, University of California, San Diego

Sherry is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Developmental Biology at Stanford. She is fascinated by the mechanisms that coordinate pattern formation and maintenance during early organismal development. Her undergraduate research (conducted in the labs of Andrew Chisholm at UC San Diego and Dan Starr at UC Davis) centered on the patterning of structural components in the C. elegans extracellular matrix. At Stanford, she aims to understand how vascular-derived signals influence the development of various organ systems. Outside of the lab, Sherry enjoys visiting the ocean, eating sandwiches, and watching F1 auto racing. Sherry is supported by the Stanford Graduate Fellowship and the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.