Songyang Ren, MD, PhD
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Songyang Ren, MD, PhD, earned his degrees from Shanghai Medical College and the graduate program of Fudan University, China. He was previously an orthopedic surgeon in China; his initial research involved bone-related diseases and vitamin D immunology. Subsequently, Ren joined the group of William Hardy, MD at Cedars-Sinai for developing an HIV vaccine based on foamy viral vector systems. His current research projects in the Arumugaswami Laboratory include developing a humanized mouse model for hepatitis C virus pathogenesis study and developing a transplantable recellularized liver graft by tissue engineering technology.
Seigo Hatada, PhD
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Seigo Hatada, PhD, research is focused on developing and applying novel gene targeting technologies, including zinc-finger nuclease and TALE nuclease to correct mutant genes and engineer therapeutic genes in stem cells. For more than 10 years, Hatada received postdoctoral training under the direction of Oliver Smithies, DPhil, MA, (recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2007) in applying gene-targeting techniques for gene correction. The gene targeted human pluripotent stem and progenitor cells can be used for regenerating disease affected organs. Hatada has currently developed an improved methodology for successful gene targeting in human stem cell lines.
Joseph Ignatius Irudayam, PhD
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Joseph Ignatius Irudayam, PhD, received his PhD in microbiology from MS University, Tamilnadu, India. His research in the Arumugaswami Laboratory is focused on establishing a TALEn based gene-knock down approach in human pluripotent stem cells for investigating HCV pathogen-host interactions.
Deisy Contreras, MS
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Deisy Contreras, MS, is a 2011 Cedars-Sinai graduate student. She earned her undergraduate degree in microbiology at California State University, Los Angeles (CSULA). Her graduate thesis study at CSULA was focused on Candida albicans and the effects of the YCK2 gene in response to 3 antimicrobial peptides, and she has completed an undergraduate thesis project on Acinetobacter baumannii. Contreras' predoctoral research at the Arumugaswami Laboratory is focused on developing attenuated hepatitis C viral vaccine candidates and constructing and evaluating a HCV subunit vaccine based on helper-dependent adenoviral vector.