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Team

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Shuibing Chen, Ph.D.

Principle Investigator

Email: shc2034@med.cornell.edu

Shuibing Chen received her B.S. and M.S. in Chemistry from Tsinghua University in China, and her PhD with Dr. Peter G. Schultz at the Scripps Research Institute. After graduation, she joined Dr. Douglas Melton’s laboratory at Harvard University to study the directed differentiation of human embryonic stem cells toward pancreatic lineage. She is currently the Kilts Family Professor and Director of Diabetes Porgram in the Department of Surgery and Department of Biochemistry at Weill Cornell Medical College.

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Romulo Hurtado, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology Research in Surgery
Email: roh2002@med.cornell.edu

Myogenic, or involuntary, muscle activity is essential for normal function of vital visceral organs, including those of the cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, respiratory, and genitourinary systems. The focus of my research is to better understand the mechanism controlling normal and pathological myogenic muscle contractility. I currently use two clinically relevant model systems: the heart and the upper urinary tract (UUT). Indeed, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the US, whereas congenital UUT abnormalities are the most commonly observed birth defects in newborns. For my studies of the cardiac system, I am using human pluripotent stems cells as a platform to study cardiac conduction system development, and to elucidate novel diagnostics and therapies for cardiac dysrhythmias. In the UUT, I’ve developed novel live imaging techniques to study the pacemaker mechanisms triggering autonomic contractions, in both lower order and higher order mammals. Strikingly, my studies have revealed that several ion channels known to regulate cardiac pacemaker activity, including T-type calcium and HCN ion channels, also regulate UUT pacemaker activity. I was recently awarded an NIH R21 grant to expand on my ion channel findings in the UUT. 

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Angie Chi Nok Chong, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Associate
Email: chc2062@med.cornell.edu

Angie earned her bachelor's degree from St. John's University in New York City in 2006 and received her doctorate degree from Columbia University in 2014. Her PhD research project focused on studying the role of hypothalamic insulin and leptin signaling in regulating energy metabolism. She joined Dr. Shuibing Chen's lab in March 2014 to study beta cell dysfunction using humanized mouse models.

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Zeping Zhao, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Associate
Email: zez4001@med.cornell.edu

Zeping received his B.S degree in Department of Animal Science , China Agricultural University in 2012. Then he joined Department of Animal Science in Cornell University to continue his academic career and earned his P.h.D degree in 2018. During his time in Cornell, he focused on understanding the mechanism of high selenium intake in inducing obesity and insulin resistance and the role and mechanism of anti-inflammatory protein Reg3beta in regulating insulin resistance development. In Chen lab, he focuses on applying CRISPR genome editing approach to screen beta cell survival related genes contributing to type 1 diabetes development and identify SNPs contributing to the correlated phenotypes.

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Yuling Han, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Associate
Email: yuh4002@med.cornell.edu

Dr Yuling Han earned his PhD under the mentorship of Dr Guangxia Gao at the Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Science, China, where he studied the mechanism of viral-host interaction. Currently, Yuling continues and expands his research interests on pluripotent stem cell derived cells/organoids-based disease modeling and drug screening. He started his academic research to try to dissect the pathogenic mechanism of viruses and alleviate the suffering of patients. Outside the lab, he likes eating and playing video games.

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Liuliu Yang, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Associate
Email: liy4003@med.cornell.edu

Dr. Liuliu Yang received her B.S. from Shandong University, China and pursued her PhD degree under the mentorship of Dr. Zusen Fan at Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Science, China. After graduation, she joined Dr. Shuibing Chen’s laboratory to study immune-host interaction during disease conditions. Dr Liuliu Yang’s major research interests involve creating immune-host organoids and understanding of the impact of immune cells on host tissues in disease conditions, such as COVID-19. She started her academic research to try to dissect the mechanism of human diseases and alleviate the suffering of patients.

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Jiajun Zhu, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Associate
Email: jzh4006@med.cornell.edu

​Dr. Jiajun Zhu received his B.S. from Wuhan University and a second B.S. from Huazhong University of Science and Technology.  He got his PhD degree under the mentorship of Dr Jiangyun Wang at the Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Science. After graduation, he joined Dr Shuibing Chen’s lab at Weill Cornell Medicine to study pacemaker cell differentiation and related application. Dr Zhu’s major research interests involve using pacemaker and cardiomyocytes model to investigate the drug toxicity and virus infection mechanism. In Chen lab, he also analyses the bulk RNA sequencing data and single cell RNA transcriptome data. 

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Dongxiang Xue, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Associate
Email: dox4001@med.cornell.edu

​Dongxiang received her B.S. from Shandong University in 2014. She was then accepted to join the joint PhD graduate program of ShangahiTech University and Shanghai institute of materia medica, Chinese academy of sciences and obtained her Ph.D degree in 2020. In Chen lab, she mainly focuses on research exploring how genetic factors contribute to type 2 diabetes progression. She is trying to establish a hPSC-based multiplex platform for interrogation of diabetogenic interactions of GWAS-identified genes.

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Xiaohua Duan, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Associate
Email: xid4001@med.cornell.edu

​Xiaohua duan received her B.S. from Shanxi Medical University in 2014. He was then accepted to join the joint PhD graduate program of ShanghaiTech University and Shanghai institute of nutrition and health, Chinese academy of sciences and obtained her Ph.D degree in 2020. In Chen lab, he mainly focuses on modeling disease with different organoid models including colon, lung and pancreas organoids and high content drug screening. 

Tiankun Lu, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Associate

Email: lutiankun3000@outlook.com

Tiankun completed his Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, in June 2021, following his Bachelor's degree in Biotechnology from Dalian University of Technology in 2016. During his graduate research, he made significant contributions to understanding the role of 5-HT (5-hydroxytryptamine) in regulating self-renewal in intestinal stem cells and colorectal cancer stem cells. He also optimized functional assays for intestinal stem cells, including organoid formation assays and lineage tracing assays. Currently a Research Assistant in Dr. Pingping Zhu's laboratory at Zhengzhou University, Tiankun is actively involved in pioneering high-content image-based screening on mouse intestinal organoids, advancing our knowledge of cell fate decisions and regeneration in the field of molecular biology.

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J. Jeya Vandana, B.Sc.

Graduate Student
Email: jjv4001@med.cornell.edu

Jeya is a PhD student in the Tri-Institutional Program in Chemical Biology (TPCB). She completed her B.Sc. in Chemistry and Biological Chemistry at the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore where she worked on the structure solution of DNA G-quadruplexes. As part of the Chen lab, she works on developing genetic strategies to promote beta cell maturation of human embryonic stem cells as well as on high throughout chemical screening to identify compounds that promote beta cell maturation.

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Sally Lee, B.Sc.

Graduate Student
Email: sl2767@cornell.edu

Sally is a PhD student in the Biomedical Engineering Program at Cornell University. She received dual degrees in Biology from Emory University and Biomedical Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology. As part of the Chen lab, she focuses on investigating the molecular mechanisms behind aging of pancreatic beta cells and the role of pathogens on the progression of type 1 diabetes.

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Jerry Zihe Meng, B.Sc.

Research Technician

Email: zim4002@med.cornell.edu

Jerry is a research technician in Chen Lab. He earned his Bachelor's degree in Biological Science from Rutgers University-New Brunswick in 2021. He joined Chen Lab in Febuary, 2023 and studies insulin secretion and glucose homeostasis of beta cells with Angie. As a lab manager, Jerry is aim to run Chen Lab well-organized and efficiently. He is responsible for placing and managing lab orders and lab stock, coordinating with lab members for experimental equipment, etc.

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Jocelyn Perez 

Administrative Assistant
Email: jop2003@med.cornell.edu

Jocelyn attended Queensborough Community College and The Roxbury Institute for Medical Management. She provide administrative support to the team and place/manage lab orders for Dr. Chen lab.

Previous Members

Name                        Current Position

Xuming Tang                 Staff ScientistNational Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

Lauretta Lacko              Assistant Professor of Cell Biology Research in Medicine, Weill Cornell Medicine

Bo Li                              Senior Scientist, GlaxoSmithKline plc

Ting Zhou                      Director, SKI Stem Cell Research Facility

Su-Yi Tsai​                      Associate Professor, National Taiwan University, Taiwan

Zaniar Ghazizadeh       Cardiology Fellow, Stanford University

Brooke LaFlamme        Chief Editor, Communications Biology (Nature Press)
Hui Zeng                       Associate Professor, Xiangya Hospital,  Central South University, China

Min Guo                        Assistant Professor, Xiangya Hospital,  Central South University, China

Lingling Feng                Professor, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, China

Youfang Chen               Professor, Department of Clinical Medicine, Quanzhou Medical College

Der-I Kao                      Technology Commercialization Associate, Center for Biotechnology
​Jane Hon                      Clinical Resident, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
Senem Simsek             Senior Scientist, University of California San Diego

Suranjit Mukherjee       Biotech Equity Research Associate, Jefferies

Sadaf Amin                   Postdoctoral Fellow, Weill Cornell Medicine

Alice Giani                    Postdoctoral Fellow, Weill Cornell Medicine

Charles Min                  Graduate Student, Scripps Research

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