Neurosurgery: Brain Tumor Stem Cell Lab Members

Principal Investigator

Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa

Dr. Alfredo Quiñones -Hinojosa, known by his patients as Dr. Q, received his undergraduate from UC Berkeley and earned his medical degree from Harvard with Honors. He did his residency at the University of California San Francisco, and currently works at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, Maryland. His titles include Professor of Neurological Surgery, Professor of Oncology, Director of the Brain Tumor Surgery Program at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, and Director of the Pituitary Surgery Program at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Dr. Q also oversees two labs in his efforts to discover the ability of stem cells to fight brain cancer. In his free time Dr. Q enjoys mentoring, training for his half-marathon fund raiser run, and spending time with his wife and three kids.

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Hopkins Faculty

Research Associate

Hugo Guerrero-Cazares

Dr. Hugo Guerrero-Cázares received his M.D. in September 2000 and a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences in February 2007 from the University of Guadalajara in Mexico. He moved to Baltimore, MD with his family to join the Brain Tumor Stem Cell Laboratory in March 2007 and is currently a research associate. Dr. Guerrero-Cazares participates in multiple research projects in the lab, particularly on studying the effects of Slit proteins on the migration of Brain Tumor Stem Cells. For this project he developed a model to evaluate the migration of human cells on human tissue. In 2013, Dr. Guerrero-Cazares was promoted to instructor at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Awards & Grant support: MSCRF (TEDCO)

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Postdoctoral Fellows

Sara Abbadi

Dr. Sara Abbadi received her B.S. in molecular biology from the University of Padova in Italy. She continued her studies in cellular and molecular biology at Ferrara University, Italy and Queen Mary University, London. She earned her Ph.D. degree from the University of Padova where she worked on brain tumor stem cells. In 2010, she joined the Brain Tumor Stem Cell laboratory directed by Dr. Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, Maryland. Currently, she is leading a project that focuses on the role of glucose metabolism and hypoxia on primary-cultured brain tumors, to evaluate the effects of 2-DG on proliferation, migration, speed of motility and tumor formation in an in vivo model.

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Paula Schiapparelli

Dr. Paula Schiapparelli, received her Biology and Biochemistry degree from University of Navarra in Pamplona, Spain. After obtaining her PhD degree in that same institution, she decided to continue her training as a post-doctoral research fellow at the Brain Tumor Stem Cell laboratory at Johns Hopkins University, under the mentorship of Dr. Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa.

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Kaisorn Chaichana

Kaisorn Chaichana, currently a 5th year neurosurgery resident at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, is completing a two year research fellowship funded by the National Institute of Health (NIH). Kaisorn received his B.S. in 2003 from the University of Utah and majored in Biology. Kaisorn joined the Brain Tumor Stem Cell Lab in June 2006. He is interested in studying the effects of epidermal growth factor (EGF) on the migration of normal neural stem cell and tumor stem cell migration. He is also trying to determine the phenotype of the invading brain tumor cells that make brain tumors resistant to treatment. He is also working on identifying ways to improve outcomes for patients with brain tumors following surgery.

Recipient:

•The Paul Ehrlich Young Investigator's Day Award
•The Henry Strong Dension Student Research Award
•Walter Dandy Clinical Research Award

Juan Carlos Martinez-Gutierrez

Juan Carlos received his MD in January 2013 from Monterrey Tec School of Medicine in Mexico. He first joined the Q-lab as a Research Scholar in January 2012 being awarded a prestigious year-long training position by the Mexican Ministry of Health. In January 2013, after receiving his degree, Juan Carlos was recruited as a full-time Postdoctoral Fellow. Juan Carlos is interested in studying the molecular mechanisms of brain cancer malignancy in search of novel targets for clinical therapeutics.

Mingxin Zhu

Mingxin Zhu is an Exchange Ph.D. student in the Department of Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He obtained M.D. degree in 2009 and licence for medical practice in China in 2010. He got Chinese Scholarship Council funding in Sep. 2012, which support him studying in U.S. for two years. Now he work in the Brain Tumor Stem Cell Laboratory directed by Dr. Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa. His works focus on the characteristics of migration of Neural Stem Cells and Mesenchymal Stem Cells in vitro and vivo. The long term goal is to choose a better cell resource for treatment of glioma.

Yun Feng

Dr.Feng Yun received her Ph.D. degree in Microorganic and Biochemical pharmacy from Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences & Peking Union Medical College(CAMS&PUMC), Beijing, P. R. China. In Feb 2013, she join the Brain Tumor Stem Cell laboratory at Johns Hopkins University, where she works as a research scholar, under the mentorship of Dr. Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa. Yun focused her research on the target therapy of gliomas.

Medical Students

Graduate Students

Sagar Shah

Sagar R. Shah is a doctoral student in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Sagar completed his BS in biological sciences and a minor in mathematical sciences with general and departmental honors in both disciplines at Clemson University in 2006 and was bestowed the university’s highest honor, the Norris Medal. Subsequently, he completed his MS in bioengineering at Clemson University in 2007 through a 5-year BS/MS program. He is a recipient of the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, and is interested in understanding the genetic controls of cancer cell growth and death. Sagar's interests range from understanding American public policy to mentoring at a local school.

Awards & Grant support: NSF

Roxana Magaña Maldonado

Roxana Magaña- Maldonado is an exchange PhD student ( Biochemical Sciences) from Institute of Biomedical Research, UNAM / Neuroimmunology and Neuro-Oncology Unit at National Institute of Neurology and Neurosurgery "Manuel Velasco Suárez", studying novel immunotherapy strategies to treat brain tumors. In December 2013, Roxana joined the Brain Tumor Stem Cell lab. She is working with Dr. Paula Schiapparelli on studying the role of the NKCC1 during the migration and invasion of the glioma brain tumor cells, and its relationship with actin cytoskeleton.

Olindi Wijesekera

Olindi Wijesekera is a recent graduate of the BA/MS program at Johns Hopkins University studying cellular and molecular neuroscience. In July 2011, Olindi joined the Brain Tumor Stem Cell lab. She works with Dr. Qian Li to characterize the interactions of adipocyte-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hAMSCs), brain tumor stem cells, and bone morphogenetic protein 4 (BMP4). In collaboration with Dr. Jennifer Elisseeff’s lab, Olindi is exploring the use of hydrogels as a delivery method for hAMSCs as a brain cancer therapeutic.

Akhila Denduluri

Akhila J. Denduluri, of Hyderabad, India, is a Masters (Thesis) candidate in the department of Biomedical Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. She studied for two years at Osmania University, India and completed her Bachelor of Science degree in Bioengineering from University of California Riverside in 2012. Akhila joined the Brain Tumor Stem Cell lab in October 2013. In collaboration with Jordan Green, PhD., Assistant Professor of Biomedical engineering, she is exploring the use of nanoparticle-transfected human adipocyte-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hAMSCs) as a potential brain tumor therapeutic. Her project involves the use of poly beta amino esters, brain tumor stem cells, hAMSCs, and bone morphogenetic protein 4 (BMP4).

Lab Technician

Sean Dangelmajer

Sean Dangelmajer received his undergraduate degree in Biology from Johns Hopkins University in 2012 with Academic, Departmental, National Neuroscience and National Biological Honors. He was previously awarded the Provost Undergraduate Research Award to study the hormonal regulation of the N-methyl-D-asparatate receptor and its role in vocalization and learning. Sean joined Dr. Q's lab in August of 2012 shifting his research focus to cancer. He will eventually pursue a degree in medicine.

Undergraduate Students

Gabrielle Drummond

Gabrielle Drummond is a third year undergraduate from Wappingers Falls, NY, majoring in neuroscience and psychology at Johns Hopkins University. She is working with Dr. Guerrero-Cazares, investigating the role of Slit proteins and Robo receptors in the migratory pathway of Brain Tumor Stem Cells. In her free time, she enjoys running, playing piano, reading, and spending time with friends and family.

Ernest Scalabrin

Ernest Scalabrin is currently a freshman undergraduate at Johns Hopkins University majoring in Biomedical Engineering from Northvale, New Jersey. With previous experience in synthesizing biocompatible nanoparticles while attending the Bergen County Academies, he joined the lab in September of 2013. He is currently working with Olindi Wijesekera to characterize the interactions of adipocyte-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hAMSCs), brain tumor stem cells, BMP4 and exploring the use of hydrogels as a delivery method for MSCs in brain cancer treatment. After graduating, he hopes to go on to medical school and become a surgeon.

Sural Ranamukhaarachchi

Sural Ranamukhaarachchi is currently a senior at Glenelg High School. He is working with Dr. Hugo Guerrero-Cázares in the lab, studying the effects of Slit proteins on the migration of Brain Tumor Stem Cells. He hopes to pursue a degree in neuroscience in the near future. In his spare time, Sural enjoys playing sports, creating music and spending time with friends and family.

Leslie Sibener

Leslie Sibener is currently a sophomore undergraduate at Johns Hopkins University, majoring in neuroscience and writing seminars. In January 2013, Leslie joined the Brain Tumor Stem Cell lab. In collaboration with Dr. Paula Schiapparelli, her research focuses on studying the role of the NKCC1 co-transporter in the migratory abilities of glioma brain tumor cells.

Collaborators

Dr. Curt Civin

Hematopoetic Stem Cells

Dr. Civin’s Laboratory is located at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. His laboratory focuses mainly on normal and malignant stem cells. Dr. Civin’s laboratory has created a NOD-SCID (non obese severe combined immunodeficiency disease) mouse that allows for engraftment of foreign cells.

Dr. Xingde Li

Dr. Xingde Li is a Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering at WSE and a Fellow of OSA, SPIE and AIMBE. His research interest centers on development of cutting-edge and translational biophotonics technologies that interface and bridge basic engineering research and medical diagnosis and intervention.

Dr. Steven Goldman

Dr. Goldman is the Chairman of Department of Neurology, Chief of Division of Cell and Gene Therapy, Glenn-Zutes Chair in Biology of the Aging Brain, and Professor of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Pediatrics at the University of Rochester Medical Center. Dr. Goldman collaborates with Dr. Quinones’s research laboratory in establishing a molecular atlas of the neural and glial progenitor cell populations of the adult human brain, as derived from both normal brain tissue and from primary brain tumors.
http://www.urmc.rochester.edu/goldmanlab/GoldmanSA.htm

Dr. Jose Manuel Garcia-Verdugo

EM World Expert

Dr. Garcia-Verdugo’s laboratory is based in the Instituto Cavanilles in the University of Valencia, Valencia, Spain. His focus is on adult neural stem cells and on their possible use for brain cell therapy.

Dr. George Jallo

CSF Proteins and Factors
Children’s Cancer Foundation (CCF) Collaborator

Dr. Jallo is an Associate Professor of Neurosurgery, Pediatrics, and Oncology at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Dr. Jallo's laboratory research is focused on the development of an animal model for brainstem and intramedullary spinal cord tumors. Dr. Jallo and Dr. Quinones collaborate through a grant from the Children’s Cancer Foundation to elucidate the putative role of the pediatric subventricular zone in the development of brain cancer stem cells.

Dr. Hongjun Song
Cell Migration
Dr. Song’s Laboratory is located in the Institute for Cell Engineering at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Dr. Song's laboratory is interested in the molecular mechanisms underlying neuronal development of adult neural stem cells in the adult central nervous system as well as the mechanisms involved in migration.

Dr. Oscar Gonzalez-Perez
EGF Cell Activation
Studies the mechanism of migration and invasion of transit-amplifying neurogenic precursors stimulated by Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF) in vivo.

Dr. John Laterra

John J. Laterra is a research scientist at Kennedy Krieger Institute. He is also a professor in the Department of Neurology, Neuroscience and Oncology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Kennedy Krieger Institute. He is the director of the Division of Neuro-Oncology in the Department of Neurology at Johns Hopkins.

Dr. Andre Levchenko

The Levchenko lab studies intraceullar signal transduction and cell-cell communication by combining molecular biology, microfabrication and imaging techniques and combining them with the state of the art modeling studies to investigate how living cells can sense their environment and how this sensing ability can help them establish communication leading to complex ensemble responses.

Dr. Jordan Green

Dr. Jordan Green is an Assistant Professor in the Biomaterials and Drug Delivery Laboratory at Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Green's Biomaterials and Drug Delivery Laboratory is acutely interested in biomaterials, drug delivery, gene therapy, nanobiotechnology, and cell engineering.

Dr. Peter C. Searson

Dr. Peter Searson is a Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, Physics and Astronomy, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and Oncology at Johns Hopkins University. His research interests include: Cell biophysics: photolithography, soft lithography, microfluidics, electrochemistry, live cell and fluorescence microscopy to study the role of physical interactions and mechanical forces in cell behavior; Quantum dots for biology and medicine: quantum dot synthesis and characterization, surface engineering, quantitative profiling of cancer biomarkers, tumor targeting in animal models.

Dr. Helim Aranda-Espinoza

Dr. Helim Aranda-Espinoza is an Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland. His research interests include the application of the theoretical and experimental machinery of physics and engineering to obtain a quantitative understanding of specific problems inspired by biological systems. Specifically, his long term aims are to develop a fundamental understanding on cell mechanics and the mechanisms by which motile cells adhere, spread, and crawl over adhesive substrata with a primary focus on neurons and cells involved in cardiovascular disease.

Dr. Alessandro Olivi

Dr. Alessandro Olivi, Professor of Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins, focuses on the surgical treatment of primary and metastatic tumors of the brain and spinal cord. He performs microsurgery on skull-based tumors, such as acoustic neuromas, meningiomas and vascular lesions. Additional clinical interests include cerebrovascular conditions and craniofacial reconstructions.