Lab Members

Principal Investigator
George Q. Daley, M.D., Ph.D.

George Q. Daley, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and the Caroline Shields Walker Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, is an internationally recognized leader in stem cell science and cancer biology. 

Daley has been professor of biological chemistry and molecular pharmacology at HMS since 2010 and an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute since 2008. In July 2016, he became the Robert A. Stranahan Professor of Pediatrics and Professor of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology at HMS. He previously held, as its inaugural incumbent, the Samuel E. Lux, IV Chair in Hematology/Oncology at Boston Children’s Hospital.

A former chief resident in medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital (1994-95), Daley maintained an active clinical practice in hematology/oncology at Mass General and then at Boston Children’s, until assuming his administrative role as director of the the Pediatric Stem Cell Transplantation Program at Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center, a post he held until Jan. 2017.

He has served since 1995 as a member of the faculty of the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology (HST), since 2004 as a founding member of the executive committee of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, and since 2009 as an associate member of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and as a core faculty member of the Manton Center for Orphan Disease Research at Boston Children’s.

Daley’s research focuses on the use of mouse and human disease models to identify mechanisms that underlie blood disorders and cancer. His lab aims to define fundamental principles of how stem cells contribute to tissue regeneration and repair and improve drug and transplantation therapies for patients with malignant and genetic bone marrow disease.

Beyond his research, Daley has been a principal figure in developing international guidelines for conducting stem cell research and for the clinical translation of stem cells, particularly through his work with the International Society for Stem Cell Research, for which he has served in several leadership positions, including president (2007-08). He has also testified before Congress and spoken in forums worldwide on the scientific and ethical dimensions of stem cell research and its promise in treating disease.

After earning his bachelor's degree magna cum laude from Harvard in 1982, Daley went on to earn his PhD in biology (1989) at MIT, working in David Baltimore’s laboratory at the MIT-affiliated Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research.

He received his MD from HMS, graduating in 1991 with the rare distinction of summa cum laude. He then pursued clinical training in internal medicine at Mass General and was a clinical fellow at Brigham and Women’s and Boston Children’s hospitals. While running a laboratory as a Whitehead Fellow at the Whitehead Institute, he joined the HMS faculty as an assistant professor in 1995. He was promoted to associate professor in 2004, was named to an endowed chair at Boston Children’s in 2009 and became a full professor at HMS in 2010.

Daley's teaching efforts include serving as course director for the Molecular Medicine course at HMS and for an undergraduate course on stem cells in disease in the Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Earlier, for more than a decade, he led the Research in Health Sciences and Technology course in the HST program. He has trained dozens of graduate students and postdoctoral fellows and is a frequent participant in seminars and grand rounds at schools and hospitals in the Boston area and beyond. In 2012 he was recognized with the HMS A. Clifford Barger Excellence in Mentoring Award.

Important contributions from the Daley laboratory have included the creation of customized stem cells to treat genetic immune deficiency in a mouse model (together with Rudolf Jaenisch), the differentiation of germ cells from embryonic stem cells, the generation of disease-specific pluripotent stem cells by direct reprogramming of human fibroblasts, and demonstration of the role of the LIN28/let-7 pathway in cancer. In past research, he demonstrated the central role of the BCR/ABL oncoprotein in human chronic myelogenous leukemia, work that provided critical target validation for development of Gleevec, a highly successful chemotherapeutic agent.

Daley was an inaugural winner of the National Institutes of Health Director’s Pioneer Award for highly innovative research (2004). His numerous honors include the American Philosophical Society’s Judson Daland Prize for achievement in patient-oriented research, the American Pediatric Society’s E. Mead Johnson Award for contributions to stem cell research, the American Society of Hematology’s E. Donnall Thomas Prize for advances in human-induced pluripotent stem cells and the International Chronic Myeloid Leukemia Foundation’s Janet Rowley Prize for outstanding lifetime contributions to the understanding and/or treatment of the disease. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine and the American Society for Clinical Investigation, among other professional societies.

Administration
Michael Morse
Laboratory Manager

Mike received his Bachelor's in 2002 studying Chemistry / Biochem at Bridgewater State University. Since graduating he's worked under the tutelage of John Rinn and Cole Trapnell studying lincRNA biology, genomics and single-cell sequencing technologies. Mike has also worked in botulinum research, and spent time as a technician at the USDA in an entomology lab rearing a colony of invasive Asian Longhorned Beetles as well as field studies.


Publications
John Powers, Ph.D.
Senior Scientist

John received his Ph.D. in Molecular Genetics and Microbiology in 2006 on mechanisms of E2F1-induced apoptosis under the co-mentorship of Drs. Phillip Tucker and David Johnson.

Postdoctoral Fellows
Marcella Cesana, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow

Marcella earned her Ph.D. in 2012 from Sapienza University (Rome, Italy) under the supervision of Dr. Irene Bozzoni and is an expert in gene regulation via non-coding RNAs.

Areum Han, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow

Areum completed her phD in the laboratory of Prof. Douglas L. Black (University of California, Los Angeles, in 2013). Her doctoral work examined questions of alternative splicing regulation using both molecular biology and computational approaches. Areum joined the Daley lab in 2014, and currently she is studying molecular mechanism of RNA-binding proteins, and their action in development and cancer.



Publications
Li (Lisa) Hongmei, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow

Lisa received her master degree from Nagoya Institute of Technology and her Ph.D. from Shinya Yamanaka’s lab in Kyoto University, Japan. Her graduate studies focused on developing novel technologies to genetically engineer stem cells for gene therapy. She joined the Daley lab and the Kim lab and in July 2015 and is studying targets for cystic fibrosis using stem cell and gene editing technologies.


Publications
Deepak Jha, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow

Deepak completed his doctoral work under the supervision of Dr. Brian Strahl at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2014. He worked on the role of histone methylation and histone variants in genome maintenance. Deepak joined the Daley lab in 2015, and currently he is working on epigenetic regulation of hematopoiesis.


Publications
Melissa Kinney, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow

Melissa earned her Ph.D. in 2014 from Georgia Institute of Technology & Emory University under the supervision of Dr. Todd McDevitt. Dr. Kinney is an expert on the regulation of three-dimensional embryonic stem cell differentiation and morphogenesis by biophysical and biochemical signals.


Publications
Caroline Kubaczka, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow

Caroline earned her Ph.D. in Molecular Biomedicine from Bonn University (Germany) in December 2015. During her Ph.D. she analyzed mechanisms governing the lineage barrier between the somatic and extraembryonic lineage. She succeeded in the generation of induced trophoblast stem cells from murine fibroblasts. Caroline joined the Daley lab in 2016 to work on hematopoietic stem cell engineering from human induced pluripotent stem cells. Her postdoctoral research is supported by a fellowship from the “Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft”.   


Publications
Edroaldo Lummertz da Rocha, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow

Edroaldo earned his Ph.D from Federal University of Santa Catarina in 2014 under the supervision of Dr. Carlos R. Rambo. In 2012 Edroaldo was awarded a scholarship from the Brazilian “science without borders” program and spent one year at the Wyss Institute developing nanotherapeutics for breast cancer in the Donald Ingber’s lab and systems biology algorithms for stem cell engineering in the George Daley and James Collins labs. In 2015 his thesis received nation-wide awards from the Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES), Brazil, in recognition of his work on understanding nanoparticle-cell interactions using computational chemistry and systems biology approaches. His current research focuses on developing novel computational platforms for single-cell genomics and systems biology to study cell fate transitions, including hematopoietic stem cell differentiation, cell engineering and cancer.


Publications
Vanessa Lundin, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow

Vanessa earned her Ph.D. in 2014 under the supervision of Dr. Ana Teixeira at Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden. She is an expert in regulating cell fate using bioengineering approaches.
Pavlos Missios, M.D., Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow
Jihan Osborne, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow
R. Grant Rowe, M.D., Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow
Clara Soria Valles, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow
Ryohichi Sugimura, M.D., Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow

Rio earned his M.D. in 2008 from Osaka University and trained at Jun-ichi Miyazaki lab (pancreatic beta cell engineering, Osaka University) and Shin-ichi Nishikawa lab (pluripotent stem cell, RIKEN CDB). He obtained his Ph.D. in 2012 from Stowers Institute for Medical Research, Kansas City, MO under the supervision of Dr. Linheng Li. Rio is an expert on the regulation of hematopoietic stem cells in the heterogeneous niches by Wnt signaling. He joined to Daley lab in 2014. His current studies include 1) engineering hematopoietic stem cells from human pluripotent stem cells, and 2) comparative analysis of hematopoietic development in different species. He is a recipient of Uehara Memorial Foundation Fellowship (2015).


Publications
Doctoral and Medical Students
Jerry Lee, M.S., M.Phil
HHMI Rotation Student

Jerry is a Howard Hughes Medical Research Fellow from Duke University School of Medicine. He received a B.A with Honors in Human Biology and an M.S. in Biology from Stanford University, where he worked with Dr. John Cooke on human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived endothelial cells for the treatment of peripheral arterial disease. He also held the Gates-Cambridge Scholarship in 2013 and obtained an M.Phil. in Epidemiology from the University of Cambridge. His current research focuses on the lymphoid differentiation of engineered hematopoietic stem cells for clinical translation. Jerry won the American Society of Hematology HONORS award, the AMA Foundation Seed Grant, and is a junior inductee to the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society.


Publications
Mohamad Najia Ali

Mohamad is a graduate student in the Harvard-MIT Health Sciences & Technology PhD program and co-advised by Dr. Paul Blainey and Dr. George Daley. His research is focused on creating novel technologies for temporal single-cell transcriptomic profiling in order to understand the molecular landscape guiding hematopoietic stem cell ontogeny. He received is B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. While an undergraduate, he worked in Dr. Todd McDevitt’s lab developing microencapsulation technologies to modulate the microenvironment of pluripotent stem cells. Mohamad is a recipient of the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. 

Daniel Pearson, B.S.
Medical/Doctoral Student

Dan is a graduate student in the Harvard/MIT M.D., Ph.D.program. He received his B.A. from Willamette University in Biology in 2008 (Suma cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa). His thesis topic involved the study of genetic modifiers in Type I Gaucher disease (completed with Prof. Pramod Mistry, Yale University School of Medicine).

Tolulope Rosanwo
HHMI Rotation Student

Tolu is a Howard Hughes Medical Research Fellow and medical student at Case Western Reserve University. She completed her undergraduate education at the University of Chicago with honors. In Chicago, she worked with John M. Cunningham and wrote a thesis on the role of Krüppel-Like-Factor 1 in early erythropoiesis. In Cleveland, she developed the Sickle Cell Buddy Program at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital, a ​mentorship program between medical students and children with the disease. She also worked in the Biomanufacturing and Microfabrication Laboratory, led by Umut Gurkan and Jane Little​, which creates low-cost sickle cell newborn screening devices to be used in under-resourced communities. In the Daley Laboratory, her project focuses on modeling sickle cell anemia with induced pluripotent stem cells. She was inducted into the American Society of Hematology's Minority Medical Student Award Program in 2015 and became a HHMI medical fellow, joining the Daley Laboratory in 2016.


Publications
Kaloyan Tsanov, A.B.
Doctoral Student

Kal is a graduate student in the Harvard BBS PhD Program. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology from Harvard College, where he worked in Dr. Andy McMahon’s lab. His undergraduate research involved the development and application of a novel platform for functional characterization of transcriptional enhancers, with a focus on the Sonic hedgehog pathway in neural development. His interest in the commonalities between stem cells and cancer motivated him to join the Daley lab, where he is studying the post-transcriptional regulation of pluripotency and oncogenesis. Kal is a recipient of the Herchel Smith Graduate Fellowship and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute International Student Research Fellowship.


Publications
Linda Vo, B.A.
Doctoral Student

Linda attended the University of California, Berkeley where she was a Regents’ and Chancellor’s Scholar and McNair Scholar.  She obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology with a concentration in Genetics, Genomics and Development in 2010. While at Berkeley, she worked at Sangamo Therapeutics, a biotechnology company focusing on the research and development of engineered DNA-binding proteins for the regulation and modification of disease-related genes. Her interest in gene and cellular therapy compelled her to join Dr. Daley’s lab in 2012, where her Ph.D. thesis research is focused on defining the key developmental pathways that enable the efficient generation of clinically useful blood cells, such as red blood cells and T cells, from human pluripotent stem cells to model hematological disorders and identify novel therapeutics. She is a recipient of the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship and Albert J. Ryan Fellowship.


Publications
Alena Yermalovich, B.A.
Doctoral Student

Alena is a graduate student in Harvard University’s Public Health Program. 

Research Assistants
Jessica Barragan
Research Assistant I
Patricia Sousa
Research Assistant II, Mouse Colony Manager, Mouse Specialist
Visiting Scientists
Yu-Chung Huang, M.D.
Visiting Scientist

Yu-Chung received his medical degree from National Yang-Ming University, Taiwan. He completed his residency and fellowship in hematology and oncology at the Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taiwan.