...Stice’s work helps keep Georgia on the cutting edge. The state was ranked 7th in the nation by research firm Ernst & Young in its most recent report on the biotech industry, and life sciences has been labeled a strategic industry by Gov. Sonny Perdue’s Commission for a New Georgia.
Georgia Trend Magazine
Allison was raised in the small town of Tehachapi, CA where she grew up alongside the pigs she raised for fair through 4-H and FFA. After high school she attended California State University, Chico where she minored in Chemistry and majored in Animal Science with an emphasis in Livestock Reproduction. Grad school took her across the country to the University of Georgia where she worked and played in the laboratory of Steve Stice. While there she studied Livestock Cloning (cattle and hogs) and completed her Masters Thesis on the demethylation of DNA and reprogramming the genome in donor cells. While in the Sice Lab she was exposed to the intricacies of human embryonic stem cells and upon graduating Allison worked in Dr. Stice's lab on various projects involving Neural Projenitor Cells. Currently, Allison is working as a Research Scientist at the University of Washington in the laboratory of Randy Moon who is a leading researcher of the Wnt/b-Catenin pathway. Allison manages the lab's hESC facility where she maintains the lines, assits others with hESC experiments, and enjoys working independently on her own projects.
Resident Physician, PGY2
Department of Emergency Medicine
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Dr. Westin Amberge is working in emergency medicine. His current job entails working in a high volume level 1 trauma center emergency department, with the majority of time spent delivering clinical care to patients in the emergency department and various intensive care units throughout the hospital. Dr. Amberge also has a roll in the education of medical students and various research projects within the field of emergency medicine, with special interests in wilderness medicine, medical management, and pre-hospital care. He finds the most enjoyable part of his job is working in a team based environment with a diverse group of colleagues to deliver medical care to a diverse group of patients. The excitement of not knowing what will come through the door and the challenge of being ready for whatever that may be. Dr. Amberge’s expressed that his time spent at UGA was instrumental in building a foundation in the basic sciences, developing my research skills, and building a breadth of experiences that he finds himself still drawing on today. Working in the laboratory of Dr. Steve Stice was the cornerstone of his foundation. In this setting he was involved in numerous collaborative team based research projects, which helped solidify his research skills and prepare him for a rigorous medical education in the years to follow.
Professor, Agricultural Biotechnology Department
Faculty of Agriculture
Namik Kemal University, Turkey
Dr. Sezen Arat is a veterinarian and reproductive disease specialist who works in animal reproduction and genetics. She spent two years as a visiting scientist in Dr. Stice's lab learning the cloning process and developing technology to enhance genetic engineering. While at UGA, Dr. Arat helped develop some of the efficiency that led to cloning those first eight calves. She also contributed to developing technology that uses a marker gene - one that produces a green fluorescent protein - to verify that specific altered genes were passed on to cloned offspring. The procedure is a critical step in the long-term effort to develop transgenic livestock with disease resistance. Dr. Sezen Arat returned to her country to become the director of Animal Biotechnology Strategic Business Unit in GEBI of Marmara Research Center. She also established and coordinated the first National Gen Bank of Animal Genetic Resources in her country. When she went to her country, she started working on cloning of Native Turkish Cattle and cloned first Anatolian Grey Cattle as one male and four females in 2009 and 2010. She is working on productivity of cloned cattle and their progeny. Currently, Dr. Arat is working as Head of the Agricultural Biotechnology Department, Faculty of Agriculture at the Namik Kemal University.http://www.nku.edu.tr/en
Research Scientist, National Council of Scientific Research and Technology (CONCET)
Assistant Professor, National University of Rio Cuarto
I completed my PhD degree under Dr. Stice's guidance in July 2005. My doctoral work at UGA was aimed to isolate and characterize pig mesenchymal stem cells, and to develop transgenic methods for these adult pluripotent cells. Besides the technical and scientific skills learned during the time I spent in Steve's Lab, I had the opportunity to work in a stimulating environment leading to a highly rewarding personal experience. Upon finishing my Doctoral degree I returned to my home country where I set up my own Lab at the National University of Rio Cuarto, Cordoba Argentina. We are currently developing new strategies to introduce precise genetic modifications into the livestock genome; in particular we work with cattle as a model species. In this regard we use transposon systems (Sleeping Beauty, piggyBac, etc.) and other active vectors to modify the genome of cells and embryos of domestic animals for future use in agriculture and biomedicine. I combine my scientist career with teaching activities in undergraduate (Animal Physiology Course for vet students) and graduate courses.
Nolan L Boyd, Ph.D., is currently an assistant professor with the Department of Surgery and Cardiovascular Therapeutics Division of Cardiovascular Innovation Institute. His research revolves around the assembly of blood vessels from the earliest precursors to the mature functional system and the application of this biological knowledge to integrate with engineered technologies to perfuse ischemic tissues or develop vascularized organoids.
Pursuing Ph.D. in Stem Cell Biology
New York University School of Medicine
I enjoy finding clever ways to answer some important yet unknown biological questions by pulling from all the scientific fields I'm exposed to through classes and research. My education at UGA, and in particular the time I spent in Dr. Stice's Lab, has given me the knowledge and confidence to conduct research at the graduate level. I came into graduate school with the advantage of having an in-depth research experience through Dr. Stice's lab where I worked with induced pluripotent stem cells, and that has since become the crux of my research interests. My Cellular Biology major more than prepared me for the advanced coursework, and the skills I honed in Dr. Stice's lab are part of a tool kit I still rely upon to this day.
Senior Scientist, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR)
Division of Veterinary Biotechnology, Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI)
My primary job is to conduct independent research addressing basic and applied biomedical issues in animal and veterinary science. I am also involved in teaching MS and doctoral students and supervising their dissertations/thesis work. I enjoy supervising students, and preparing them for attaining their career goals. I also enjoy being involved in research and opportunities for being funded in new areas of research. With funding available from the National Fund for Basic Strategic and Frontier Application Research in Agriculture (NFBSFARA), I was able to develop a Stem cell Biology laboratory within a very short time period. My UGA experience was extremely helpful for getting me my current position. Most important is Steve's unconditional support. Spending time at his lab helped me to publish my own work, obtain patent, and also thereby helped me to become anindependent researcher in the field. It is great that he continues giving his full support still today. He is a great mentor, and UGA is a great place with huge facilities and infrastructure, where one may look forward to advancing their training in their career goal.
Senior Scientist, Stem Cell Biology Sigma-Aldrich
I am currently working on genetically engineering human induced pluripotent stem cells using zinc finger nucleases (ZFNs). I am generating cell lines where the endogenous genes are tagged with selection markers or mutated to model a disease. These cell lines can be potentially used for disease modeling, drug discovery, understanding embryonic development, and so on. I have developed extensive experience in molecular biology and stem cell culture techniques over the years at Sigma-Aldrich. In my current job, what excites me most is that I get to work with a cutting edge technology (ZFNs) to manipulate cells and come up with exciting results that are impossible otherwise. Moreover, I get to develop new cell lines and other molecular biology tools which can then be used by other researchers for drug development, disease modeling, and understanding cell signaling/differentiation pathways among others. My first experience working with stem cells was at Dr. Steve Stice's lab at UGA. It was an eye opening and exciting experience that further propelled me into the exciting world of stem cell biology. Dr. Stice's lab is the place where I first gained hands-on experience in culturing human embryonic stem cells, neural stem cells, and mesenchymal stem cells. I was able to author several publications in this new field and mentor several undergraduates and high school students, which further strengthened my knowledge. I will be always grateful for the amazing experience at UGA.
Biotherapeutics Sales Specialist
Life Science and Technology Division
Perkin Elmer, Inc.
I enjoy interacting with people. My current position, sales of research equipment into biotherapeutically-focused labs ofpharmaceutical and biotechnology companies and academic institutions within the Northeast U.S., allows me to engage with scientists to help advance their research within their respective fields. While under the guidance of Dr. Stice, my graduate research encompassed the study of new treatments for neurological disorders, such as Alzheimer's, Alexander's Disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, Lou Gehrig's Disease), glial tumors as well as central nervous system inflammation through the establishment of human embryonic stem cell-derived cell types (e.g., neural stem cells and astrocytes). The UGA experience provided me the confidence and knowledge base to pursue a career, whether on the bench or within the field. In addition, I developed important contacts within the scientific community.
My project started with differentiating mouse embryonic stem cells into motor neurons and subsequently co-culturing them with C2C12 muscle cells. I am currently trying to determine if the contractions observed in co-culture were due to acetylcholine release at the neuromuscular junction. I am going to control the rate of contraction by the addition of pharmacological agents that will inhibit or stimulate the acetylcholine transmission. By controlling the contractions, I will be able to determine if the contractions are spontaneous or in fact due to synaptic transmission.
Nanning City, China
Guangxi University, PhD, 2008
Dr. Yangqing Lu worked in the Stice's lab since 2009 as postdoctoral research associate and returned to China in 2013. Currently he is serving as full faculty at Guangxi University, China and adjunct assistant professor at the University of Georgia. Dr. Lu's research interests is focused on animal genetics and biotechnology, emphasis on generation of genetic modified animal with important agricultural or pharmaceutical use. These research are mostly funded by Guangxi Department of Science & Technology and Department of Education. Currently, he is also working together with Stice colleagues from UGA on projects supported by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to create disease resistant chicken and seeking other funding opportunities as from USDA or private companies.
The University of Georgia, PhD, Cellular Biology
My research interests include application of stem cell technology to understand mechanisms of neural differentiation and function. Recent and ongoing projects involve: devising strategies for directed and controlled differentiation of embryonic and induced pluripotent cells to specific neural fates; understanding the role of neuron-glial interactions in neural development and function; developing species and tissue representative high content cell based assays relevant to neurodegeneration and neurotoxicity.
Director of the Human Embryonic Stem Cell Laboratory at the Whitehead Institute
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Dr. Mitalipova was very interested in all aspects of embryonic stem cell culture from the time she worked on her thesis in Moscow in early 90th. Maya was one of the first to establish human embryonic stem cell lines. In 2001-2004, while working at Bresagen human ES cell company, she established human ES cell lines BG01, BG02, BG03, listed on NIHstem cell registry and widely used in early research on hESCs. She was the leader of the hESC training courses with Dr. Steve Stice at UGA, and then at MIT/Whitehead institute, with Dr. Rudolf Jaenisch.
Pursuing Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine
The University of Georgia
I am currently a candidate in the pursuit of a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine. I am learning about the great world of medicine and the physiology behind disease processes. I also am continuing research at the bench top with gene therapeutic viral design and production as well as cell tracking experiments in large animals in between my classes. I love the knowledge. There is nothing more wonderful than the pursuit of knowledge, and I hope that this additional information will make me a more successful researcher and allow me to approach biological problems with a unique angle though the combination of my education. I started in the lab doing research as a freshman and fell in love with the stem cell research. This encouraged me to pursue a Doctorate in Regenerative Medicine, and directed me to increase my knowledge in the body system so that I can better understand how we can use stem cells in the treatment of diseases.
Postdoc with Dr. Bali Pulendran
Emory University Vaccine Center
I enjoyed the chance to work in two other labs, through my PhD work at the NIH and the University of Cambridge, where everyone was willing to help me form ideas and learn new techniques. Academically, my UGA experience prepared me for many of the techniques I used during my PhD as well as what to expect from a lab atmosphere. I learned how to mentor from the graduate students I worked with at UGA, and I tried to emulate those skills with students I taught during my PhD. After completing my doctorate in Clinical Neuroimmunology, I moved to a postdoc at Emory University studying the role of innate immunity in vaccine development. I hope to collaborate again with the Stice lab again now that I am back in Georgia!
Kurinji was an undergraduate student in the Stice lab and spearheaded the founding and leadership of the UGA chapter of the Student Society for Stem Cell Research under the mentorship of Dr. Stice. Inspired by the exciting research in the Stice lab, she joined the the Human Genetics program at the Johns Hopkins University, School of Medicine to pursue a PhD in 2007. Kurinji's thesis work has been under the mentorship of Stephen Baylin,Virginia and DK Ludwig Professor of Oncology, and Peter A. Jones,a Distinguished Professor of Urology and Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, under the umbrella of the Stand Up to Cancer program. Her workhas focused on understanding the relationship between chromatin accessibility and DNA methylation and its therapeutic implications for cancer management using epigenetic modulators. Upon completion of her graduate work, Kurinji will join the Boston Consulting Group (Los Angeles) as a management Consultant. Kurinji lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Sebastien.
School of Engineering
Virginia Commonwealth University
My current responsibilities include research, teaching and service. I direct the research program in a stem cell engineering laboratory housed in the School of Engineering at Virginia Commonwealth University. I most enjoy the opportunity to interact with undergraduate and graduate students to train them on research approaches focused on biology and applications of stem cells. My UGA experience in the Stice lab and the Regenerative Bioscience Center prepared me very well for my current job. My experiences with researchers from different disciplines taught me the importance of interdisciplinary approaches in arriving at solutions in the fast paced field of stem cell engineering and regenerative medicine. An equally important lesson I learned was the importance of training the next generation of researchers through short courses and workshops.
Sr. Scientist, Life Technologies
I received my PhD degree while working in Dr. Stice's lab during the fall of 2004. The focus of my studies was on stem cell biology, especially on the characterization and differentiation toward neurons out of human embryonic stem cells. The skill sets and logical thinking that I developed during the courses have been a great asset and have enabled me to continue my work at NIH as a post doc, and now in the R&D department of one of the leading biotechnology companies. In my current position, I am working on developing all kinds of solutions such as cell-lines, reagents, and tools to enable researchers and pharmaceutical companies to reach their goals in a convenient and robust way.
Edgar L. Rhodes Center for ADS
University of Georgia
During his years at “The House,” Dr. West worked in the laboratory of Lawrence Blumer studying mate choice in bean beetles and on predatory wasps. He also participated in summer and winter internships at Princeton University in the laboratory of Jeanne Altmann researching Yellow Baboons and the effects of drought and hierarchy on glucocorticoid levels in males. Once graduating from Morehouse he joined the laboratory of Steve Stice as a PhD student studying regenerative medicine and stem cell biology. Dr. West’s research interests include the study of stem cell plasticity and neural differentiation, yet has focused primarily on germ cell differentiation. Dr. West is interested in cell-cell signaling pathways that result in the specification and differentiation of germ cells with emphasis on meiosis.http://www.westlaboratory.org/franklin-west
The University of Georgia, PhD, Cellular Biology
Dr. Amber Young left the Stice lab after completing her Ph.D. in neuroscience in December 2010 to pursue a postdoctoral fellowship at Emory University in Dr. Stephen Warren's Lab. Amber’s research focus within her new position is on discovering genetic mechanism for Fragile X and Down’s syndrome as well as genetic targets for drug developments.
My broad research interests focus on drug development for neurodegenerative diseases. My current research is on the characterization and differentiation of dopaminergic cells from human embryonic stem cells for use as a cell therapy or drug screen for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. My long term goals include the understanding of the development of neurodegenerative diseases for application towards better drug therapies for human diseases.
Guangxi University & The University of Georgia, PhD
I am currently working on a project which involves the creation of a new cell line, chicken induced pluripotent stem cells for helpful, high-efficiency production of viral vaccines.
National Center for Toxicological Research, Jefferson, AR
The University of Georgia, PhD, Regenerative Medicine
Dr. Xian Wu was born in Ningguo, a small town in southeast mountain area of China. He attended Anhui University where he majored in biotechnology. His early interest was in plants and animals, but after realizing the magic of Chinese medicine and attending East China Normal University for his master degree in biomedicine, Xian Wu become much more interested in the mechanism of medicine and curing human disease. Soon after graduation, Xian received the opportunity to work with Dr. Steven Stice in the stem cell lab, where he found a broad application for the use of embryonic stem cells as regenerative medicine. During five years training in the lab, Xian learned stem cell culture, differentiation and characterization. He also received practical participatory training in high content imaging, used for stem cells in vitro toxicity screening. After completion of his PHD thesis titled: “Neurotoxicity screening using human pluripotent stem cell derived neurons and astrocytes for adverse outcome pathway mapping,” and the accomplishments made from training in the Stice lab, Dr. Xian Wu now works in the US FDA - National Center for Toxicological Research. He is currently working on an in vitro mesenchymal stem cell model to mimic adipogenesis and evaluate nanoparticles toxicity, to provide risk assessment of nanomaterials added in food and cosmetics.