Wu Lab in the departments of Medicine & Radiology


Principle Investigator

Joseph Wu, MD, PhDJoseph C. Wu, MD, PhD
Professor, Dept of Medicine & Radiology
Director of Stanford Cardiovascular Institute

Academic Profile

Dr. Wu is Director of the Stanford Cardiovascular Institute and Professor in the Department of Medicine (Cardiology) and Department of Radiology at the Stanford School of Medicine. Dr. Wu received his medical degree from the Yale School of Medicine and completed his medicine residency and cardiology fellowship training followed by a PhD (molecular pharmacology) at UCLA. Dr. Wu has received several awards, including the ACC/GE Career Award in Cardiovascular Imaging, Burroughs Wellcome Foundation Career Award in Medical Sciences, Baxter Foundation Faculty Scholar Award, Douglas P. Zipes Distinguished Young Scientist Award, and NIH Director’s New Innovator Award. His research interests include stem cell biology, gene therapy, genomics, and molecular imaging.

Post-doctoral Fellows

JaredJared Churko, PhD
Post-doctoral Fellow

In 2011, Jared Churko received his Ph.D. from the University of Western Ontario, Canada where he studied gap junction biology. Dr. Churko joined the Wu lab in 2012 and he is currently studying human induced pluripotent stem cell derivation, cardiac differentiation, cardiomyocyte properties that change with age, and modeling hypertrophic and dilated cardiomyopathies.

Won Hee LeeWon Hee Lee, PhD
Post-doctoral Fellow

Won Hee Lee received her PhD in Biomedical Engineering and Sciences at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) and joined the lab in January 2011. Her research interests include studying effects of radiation on in vitro and in vivo models as well as stem cell and applying molecular imaging techniques in developing genetic therapy.

sangSang Ging Ong, MS, PhD
Post-doctoral Fellow

Sang Ging Ong Received Bachelors of Science (Hons) from University Technology of Malaysia in 2006; worked as a research student in Kyoto University, Japan in 2007, received Masters of Research from University of Manchester, UK in 2008, received PhD from University College London, UK in 2011. Research interests included hypoxia-inducible factor-1 (HIF-1) and ischemia-reperfusion biology. Joined Wu's lab in Dec 2011 and will be working on gene therapy and long non-coding RNAs in cardiovascular diseases.

Wenyi ChenWenyi Chen, PhD
Post-doctoral Fellow

JohannesJohannes Riegler, PhD
Post-doctoral Fellow

Johannes Riegler received his PhD in Bioengineering from the University College London, UK in 2012. He was working on cardiac magnetic resonance imaging of rodents and magnetic cell targeting. His research interests include the use of molecular imaging methods for the characterization of post-transplantation related cell death in the context of myocardial infarction, assessment of cardiac remodeling and methods for improved cell retention.

praveenPraveen Shukla, PhD
Post-doctoral Fellow

Praveen Shukla received his Bachelor of Pharmacy at Nagpur University, Nagpur, Masters of Science in Pharmacology & Toxicology at the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education & Research, Mohali, India, and Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences from North Dakota State University, Fargo, USA. His doctoral research work was aimed at elucidating the effects of melatonin on NO/cGMP/BKCa signaling pathway in coronary arteries. He also worked on hTRPA1 and TRPV4 channel drug discovery program at Neuronal targets and Heart failure discovery performance unit, GlaxoSmithKline R&D, Philadelphia, USA. He joined the Dr. Wu’s research lab in September 2012. He will be mainly working on a research project aimed at the electrophysiological characterization of iPSC-derived cardiomyocytes and their application as an in-vitro screening platform for cardiotoxicity assessment of NCEs and in regenerative medicine.

Nigel G. Kooreman, MD
Post-doctoral Fellow

Nigel Kooreman received his MSc and MD from the Leiden University School of Medicine, the Netherlands, where he was working on identifying risk factors influencing outcome after orthotopic liver transplantation. In 2012 he joined the Wu lab and is currently studying the tumorigenicity and immunogenicity of pluripotent stem cells and their derivatives in a transplant setting.

Kazuki Kodo, PhD
Post-doctoral Fellow

Kazuki Kodo obtained his Doctor of Medicine at Keio University School of Medicine in 1999 and his Doctor of Philosophy at Keio University School of Medicine in 2010. He joined Wu Lab in 2012. He is modeling cardiomyopathy and congenital heart diseases with human induced pluripotent stem cells.

Evangeline Tzatzalos, PhD
Post-doctoral Fellow

Evangeline Tzatzalos received her Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from Rutgers University, where she studied gene regulation in stem cells of the developing central nervous system. Her current research interests include cardiac contractile force generation in cardiomyopathy. She is investigating these biomechanical properties on a tissue level using a model system based on induced pluripotent stem cells.

Haodi Wu, PhD
Post-doctoral Fellow

Haodi Wu was granted his Ph.D. in Peking University, where he was working on the structural/functional remodelings and the underlying molecular mechanisms of cardiomyocytes in heart failure. Joined the lab in 2012, combining multiple functional imaging techniques, his current research is focusing on the beta adrenergic signaling regulation in normal and diseased hiPSC-CMs and the potential treatment of dialated cardiomyopathy.

LeeYingxin Li, PhD
Post-doctoral Fellow

Yingxin Li received his Ph.D. from Temple University, Philadelphia, USA, where he studied the roles of the T- and L-type calcium channels in heart rate generation, regulation and heart diseases. Dr. Li joined the Wu lab in 2013. He will mainly be working on the electrophysiology of stem cells using the patient-specific human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CMs) as a platform for drug discovery, cardiotoxicity screening, and pharmacological analysis.

Mingtao Zhao, PhD
Post-doctoral Fellow

Mingtao Zhao received his BS in Biological Science (2005) and DVM from Northwest A&F University (2010) in China. He then completed his Ph.D. under the mentorship of Dr. Randall Prather at the University of Missouri-Columbia in 2013, where he investigated DNA methylation and hydroxymethylation in mammalian gametes and early embryos. He joined Wu lab as a postdoc fellow in Jan 2014. He is interested in epigenetic modifications in cardiac differentiation and cardiovascular disease.

Yu Ma, PhD
Post-doctoral Fellow

Yu Ma received her PhD in Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine in China, where she studied disease-specific iPSCs and self-renewal of ESCs. She joined the Wu Lab in January 2014. She is interested in cardiovascular disease-specific iPSCs and cardiotoxicity screening based on iPSC-cardiomyocyte model.

Lu CuiLu Cui, PhD
Post-doctoral Fellow


Lu Cui received her Ph.D. in developmental biology from Institute of Health Sciences, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, and Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences in China, where she was working on illuminating the molecular mechanisms that regulate tumorigenesis of pluripotent stem cell-derived progenitor cells, and understanding the molecular mechanisms governing the self-renewal and differentiation of pluripotent stem cells. In 2014 she joined the Wu lab and is currently studying the cardiomyopathy modeling, cardiotoxicity screening and cardiovascular aging with human induced pluripotent stem cells.

Lu CuiIlanit Itzhaki, PhD
Post-doctoral Fellow


Ilanit Itzhaki received her PhD from the Technion Israel Institute of Technology where she worked on modeling familial arrhythmogenic syndromes (LQT and CPVT) using human iPSC-derived cardiomyocytes at Prof. Lior Gepsteinís lab. Itzhaki joined the Wu lab December 2014 and is currently studying electrophysiological cardiac maturation.


ebertAntje Ebert, PhD

Antje Ebert obtained her PhD in Biochemistry at University of Heidelberg, Germany. Her research interests are Adipose-derived iPSCs and non-viral reprogramming; epigenetic and proteomic approaches for elucidating reprogramming mechanisms; iPSC differentiation.

almeidaPaul Burridge, PhD
MIPS Profile

Paul Burridge received his PhD in human stem cell biology from the University of Nottingham in 2008. Dr. Burridge was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine from 2008-2011. Dr. Burridge joined the Wu lab in July 2011. His research interests include human induced pluripotent stem cell derivation, cardiac and hematopoietic differentiation of hiPSC, chemically defined media/matrices, direct reprograming, and using hiPSC-derived cardiomyocytes for cardiotoxicity analysis.

abilezOscar J. Abilez, MD, PhD

Oscar Abilez received his BS from UT-Austin (Mechanical Engineering), his PhD from Stanford (Bioengineering), and his MD from Cornell. His research interests are aimed at elucidating how various biophysical stimuli regulate cardiovascular development across time and length scales that span several orders of magnitude, using human pluripotent stem cells as a model system.

ioannisIoannis Karakikes, PhD

Dr. Karakikes received his PhD in Immunology from the University of Essex (UK). His postdoctoral studies at Imperial College London (UK) and Mount Sinai School of Medicine (New York, USA) were focused on the development of cell- and genebased regenerative therapies for the treatment of heart failure. He is a recipient of the Pathway to Independence Award (K99/R00) to study the role of microRNAs (miRNAs) in cardiac function and dysfunction. His research interests include: the role of miRNAs in the heart, cardiomyocyte differentiation from human pluripotent stem cells as well as the development of personalized therapies for cardiovascular disease.

Elena Matsa, PhD

Elena Matsa received her Ph.D. from the University of Nottingham, UK, where she studied the epigenetic mechanisms of induced pluripotent stem cell derivation. She then progressed to a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Nottingham working on cardiac differentiation of pluripotent stem cells and modeling of the cardiac arrhythmia syndrome known as long-QT. Dr. Matsa joined the Wu lab in 2012 and she is currently studying the molecular mechanisms of dilated cardiomyopathies.

Clinical Fellows

karimTimon Seeger, MD
Cardiovascular Medicine Fellow

Timon Seeger received his MD from the School of Medicine, University of Heidelberg, Germany and finished his internal medicine residency at the University Hospital of Frankfurt, Germany. His research was focussed on microRNA regulation in cardiac regeneration working at the Institute of Cardiovascular Regeneration, Frankfurt. He joined the lab in August 2014 and his research interest will include modeling cardiac diseases with iPSC derived cardiomyocytes  using genome editing technologies.  

karimKarim Sallam, MD
Cardiovascular Medicine Fellow

karimIan Chen, MD, PhD
Cardiovascular Medicine Fellow

Ian Chen received his BS/MSE in Biomedical Engineering at The Johns Hopkins University, followed by MD/PhD in Bioengineering at Stanford University, where he is obtaining additional clinical training in Cardiovascular Medicine. His research interests include multimodality molecular imaging, cardiac gene/stem cell therapy, and cardiovascular disease modeling using human induced pluripotent stem cells.

Graduate Students

arunArun Sharma
PhD Student
MIPS Profile

Arun Sharma received his BS in Cell and Molecular Biology, Chemistry, and Genome Sciences & Policy from Duke University. He is a Biosciences PhD graduate student at Stanford University. Arun's research focuses on the molecular mechanisms driving cardiovascular development, disease, and regeneration. He is also also interested in utilizing induced pluripotent stem cells for the in-vitro modeling of cardiovascular disorders.


ramanRaman Nelakanti

Raman Nelakanti is an undergraduate student at Stanford University majoring in Bioengineering. He has worked in the Wu lab since September 2012 and is interested in the intersection between immunology and stem cell therapy. One of his goals in the lab is to work towards a Bioengineering honors thesis by spring 2014.

Research Staff

Chunli ZhaoChunli Zhao, PhD
Research Staff


Chunli Zhao received her Ph.D in developmental biology and embryonic engineering from Institute of Zoology (Beijing), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), China in 2006.
She was working on the animal cloning(Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer), human and mouse ESC derivation, therapeutic cloning, transgenic animal model, human and mouse iPS reprogramming and gene&cell therapy in mdx mouse, a model of human DMD.  She joined the Wu lab in June 2014. She has been working on iPS Biobanking of cardiovascular disease and iPS cell differentiation.



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