Developmental Biology Retreat

The Theunissen Lab attended the 4th Annual Joint Retreat of the Developmental, Regenerative, and Stem Cell Biology (DRSCB) Program, the Department of Developmental Biology, and the Center of Regenerative Medicine at Pere Marquette Lodge (September 6-7, 2022). Our postdocs Shafqat Khan and Rowan Karvas gave poster presentations. Exciting to share our latest work with our colleagues!

New arrivals

We recently welcomed two new members to our team: Brittany Meyer and Joey Zemke.

Brittany received her Bachelor of Science in Biology from Eastern Illinois University. She also received her Master of Science in Biology from Eastern Illinois University in 2019. She joined the Theunissen lab in August of 2022 as a Research Technician II. She previously worked as an Adjunct Biology instructor at Lake Land Community College in Mattoon, IL. Brittany is interested in researching stem cells and their applications in disease therapy and regenerative medicine. Brittany is an active member of the American Chemical Society and is a Women in STEM Mentor. Outside the lab, she spends time with her husband, daughter, and two huskies. In her free time, she loves to read!

Joey graduated from the University of Washington in 2019 with a degree in Biology. While at UW, they studied resource allocation in Brassica rapa and lateral root development in Arabidopsis thaliana in the laboratory of Professor Jennifer Nemhauser as both an undergraduate researcher and laboratory technician. The idea of plant cell plasticity and regenerative capacity lead them to pursue a PhD in the Developmental, Regenerative, and Stem Cell Biology program at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Joey joined the Theunissen lab in April of 2022. They are interested in stem cell pluripotency and using stem cells to create models of disease and early human development.

Recent departures

The Theunissen lab recently said goodbye to three lab members: Kyoung Mi Park, Chen Dong, and Brian Chew.

Kyoung served as Research Technician and subsequently as Senior Research Technician in the Theunissen lab from 2018 to 2022. She played a major role in starting the lab and contributed to our studies on naive pluripotency and trophoblast differentiation. She also collaborated closely with Dr. Jianlong Wang’s lab at Columbia University on the OCT4 protein interaction network in naive and primed hPSCs, identifying pluripotent-state-specific interactions with distinct subunits of the BAF chromatin remodeling complex. In 2022 Kyoung joined the Developmental, Regenerative, and Stem Cell Biology (DRSCB) PhD Program at WashU.

Chen was a graduate student in the Developmental, Regenerative, and Stem Cell Biology (DRSCB) Program from 2018 to 2022. His PhD thesis was focused on methods for deriving human trophoblast stem cells (hTSCs) and specialized trophoblast cell types from naive hPSCs. He also performed a genome-wide CRISPR screen in collaboration with Bo Zhang’s lab at WashU, identifying essential and growth-restricting genes in hTSCs. Chen holds the distinction of being the first student to graduate from our lab. In 2022 he joined the Boston Consulting Group as a Consultant.

Brian was a Research Technician in the Theunissen lab from 2020 to 2022. He contributed to our studies on naive pluripotency, working closely with Shafqat Khan, and 2D and 3D models of trophoblast development, working under supervision of Chen Dong and Rowan Karvas. In 2022 Brian joined the Interdisciplinary Biomedical Graduate Program at the University of Pittsburgh.

We thank them for the contributions and wish them all the best with their future endeavors!