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 © Longaker Lab, 2023.

Longaker, Michael T. earned his undergraduate degree at Michigan State University, (where he played varsity basketball and was a member of the 1979 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship Team) and his medical degree at Harvard Medical School. He completed his surgical residency at the University of California, San Francisco, a residency in Plastic Surgery at NYU and a craniofacial fellowship at UCLA. The majority of his research training took place while he was a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in the Fetal Treatment Program under Dr. Michael Harrison and in the laboratory of Dr. Michael Banda in Radiobiology, both at UCSF. In December 2003, Dr. Longaker earned his M.B.A. from University of California – Berkeley and Columbia University, in the inaugural class of their combined program. He was elected into Beta Gamma Sigma at Columbia Business School, which is analogous to Phi Beta Kappa for business programs. He is a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation, Association of American Physicians and the National Academy of Medicine. 

Dr. Longaker joined the Stanford University School of Medicine on September 1, 2000, as Director of Children’s Surgical Research in the Department of Surgery, Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and the Lucile Salter Packard Children’s Hospital. In 2003, he was named the Deane P. and Louise Mitchell Professor. As Director of Children’s Surgical Research, Dr. Longaker has the responsibility to develop a children’s surgical research program in the broad areas of developmental biology, epithelial biology and tissue repair, and tissue engineering. 

Dr. Longaker is the Co-Director of the Stanford Institute for Stem Cell Biology & Regenerative Medicine, as well as the Director of the Program in Regenerative Medicine, Director of Research in the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, and has been name Professor, by Courtesy, in the Department of Bioengineering, and Professor, by Courtesy, Department of Materials Science and Engineering. Dr. Longaker is Vice Chair of the Department of Surgery. 

Michael Longaker’s research experience focuses on wound repair and fibrosis. A second area of his research focuses on skeletal development and repair. His laboratory was the first to identify skeletal stem cells in both mouse and humans. Michael Longaker has published over 1300 papers. 

He is the recipient of numerous prestigious awards including the Flance-Karl award and the Medallion for Scientific Achievement from the American Surgical Association, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society for University Surgeons and had the Scientific Forum of the American College of Surgeons dedicated to him in 2015. He served as Treasurer and in 2007 served as President for the Society of University Surgeons

He is an inventor on over 100 issued or applied for patents and patent applications. Dr. Longaker has also funded several venture-backed start-up companies, including Neodyne Biosciences ( and Arresto Biosciences, which was acquired by Gilead (NASDAQ:GILD) in January 2011. Dr. Longaker is also a founding partner of Tautona Group (, an early-stage life science fund that has created novel biomedical technologies that have been sold to industry leading companies, such as Allergan (NYSE:AGN), Novadaq (NASDAQ:NVDQ), and Acelity/KCI (San Antonio, TX). 

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Akras, Deena is a Stanford undergraduate student from Cleveland, Ohio. She plans to major in Human Biology and minor in Art Practice, and hopes to eventually attend medical school. With experience in clinical research on breast reconstruction, she is interested in the fields of plastic surgery and dermatology and will be studying fibrosis and wound healing in the Longaker lab. In her free time, Deena enjoys painting portraits, traveling, and playing volleyball on the Stanford women’s club team. 


Bauer-Rowe, Khristian Erich is a second-year medical student at Stanford originally from Puerto Rico. He earned his BS in Mathematics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology while conducting research in the dietary regulation of intestinal stem cells. During his time in the Longaker Lab, Khristian Erich will investigate the role of the mesentery in intestinal fibrosis. In his free time, Khristian Erich enjoys playing the piano and organ, reading, and traveling. 

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Berry, Charlotte is a fourth-year medical student from Rochester, Minnesota. She attends Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, where she also earned her B.A. in global health in 2019. Previously, she completed a research fellowship with Mayo Clinic’s plastic surgery department studying regenerative exome therapies for myocytes and surgical techniques for flexor tendon repair. Charlotte has academic interest in regenerative medicine and plans to pursue a career in plastic and reconstructive surgery. Outside of work, she enjoys hiking, skiing, ceramics, and medical illustration. During her two years in the Longaker lab, she will study novel therapies for radiation-induced skin fibrosis and explore the role of fibroblasts in wound healing.


DiIorio, Sarah is a first-year MD/PhD student rotating in the Longaker laboratory. Sarah earned her BS in biological engineering from MIT, and spent one year in Eindhoven in the Netherlands as part of the Fulbright Fellowship. She has previously conducted research on drug delivery and tissue engineering solutions for cartilage repair. In her free time, she enjoys playing soccer, running, and reading.

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Fell, Gillian is a senior scientist in the Longaker lab and a pediatric surgeon at Stanford-affiliated Kaiser Permanente Hospital in Santa Clara. She completed her MD degree at Harvard Medical School and PhD degree in biological chemistry and molecular pharmacology at Harvard University. She completed general surgery residency at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, MA, as well as postdoctoral research studies at Boston Children’s Hospital. She completed pediatric surgery fellowship at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. In the Longaker Lab she focuses on hepatic development and fibrosis; as well as the role of extracellular matrix in pediatric solid tumors. Outside the lab, she most enjoys running, playing golf, skiing, and partnering with her husband in raising their daughter.

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Ford, Gina is Sr. Administrator to Dr. Longaker and his team. She relocated from Texas March 2018 having spent 17 years with the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. Her last role for ten years was Sr. Admin Assistant to the Director of Clinical Nutrition. Gina joined this department April 2019. She is gracious and excited to be a part of Dr. Longaker’s team.  Gina is passionate about her Vedic Philosophy studies which she continuously pursues through Bhaktivedanta College. On her free time, she enjoys outdoor activities, crafting, photography, volunteering and traveling in her Airstream.

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Guo, Jason is a Postdoctoral Scholar in the Longaker Lab. He completed his B.S. in Biomedical Engineering at Northwestern University and earned his Ph.D. in Bioengineering at Rice University, where he developed click functionalized hydrogels and scaffolds for osteochondral repair. In the Longaker Lab, he is studying the biological mechanisms of fibrosis and wound healing. In his free time, Jason enjoys powerlifting, making electronic music, and hanging out with his cat, Potato.


Griffin, Michelle is an UK academic plastic surgery resident from the University College London (UCL). After completing her PhD in tissue engineering, she is now taking some time to complete her postdoctoral training in the field of molecular biology. She will spend her time in the Longaker Lab investigating craniofacial wound healing. In her free time, Michelle enjoys skiing, playing golf and enjoying jazz music with her husband. 


Huber, Julika is currently a postdoctoral fellow at Dr. Longaker's Laboratory. She graduated from the University of Duesseldorf in 2017 and has since started her Plastic Surgery residency at the University Hospital Bergmannsheil in Bochum, Germany. Julika’s research focuses on investigating the role of stem cell-derived exosomes in bone regeneration. In her free time, she enjoys playing the cello, traveling and spending time outdoors, hiking, skiing and rock climbing. 

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Jing, Serena is a medical student at Stanford University. Serena earned her B.S. in Biomedical Computation at Stanford University. During her undergraduate, Serena pursued research in wound healing at the Stanford Wound Care Clinic and is excited to be continuing this interest she developed in the Longaker laboratory. In her free time, Serena enjoys running trails around the Bay Area, ceramics, and re-watching Seinfeld.


Dr. Januszyk, Michael is an Instructor in the Department of Surgery. He has spent his academic career working and studying in the fields of bioinformatics and computational biology. His areas of expertise include single cell multi-omics, wound healing biology, machine learning, and data mining of electronic health records. He has received numerous research grants from the NIH, NSF, DOD, and American Heart Association, among others, leading to more than 100 peer-reviewed publications. He performed his PhD studies at Stanford under the advisership of Dr. Atul Butte during which time he developed a computational framework for the analysis of complex tissue populations in heterogeneous disease states. He subsequently trained in reconstructive surgery at UCLA and completed an advanced wound care clinical fellowship at Stanford. 

Michael has successfully adapted his prior work on single cell transcriptomics (using multiplexed qPCR) to the modern landscape of next-gen sequencing, working closely with Stanford’s Functional Genomics Facility (SFGF) to pioneer new methods for the evaluation of cellular programming with spatial complexity, including the first ever platform for imputation of spatial epigenomics. He has applied these methods to expand our understanding of the complex wound environment, particularly as it relates to external mechanical forces, and identified a novel fibroblast subpopulation that is mechano-responsive and proliferates clonally to promote tissue regeneration in healing wounds.

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Korah, Maria is a general surgery resident at Stanford pursuing a PhD in Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine through the Advanced Residency Training at Stanford (ARTS) program. She completed her BS in Microbiology and Cell Science with minors in Bioinformatics and Spanish at the University of Florida, after which she completed her MD and Master of Health Science at Yale School of Medicine. As a graduate student in the Longaker Lab, she will be studying wound healing and tumor progression. In her free time, she enjoys reading, cooking, painting, and spending time with her friends and family. 

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Kuhnert, Maxwell is a Life Science Research Professional in the Longaker Lab. He grew up in East Lansing, Michigan and Graduated from Michigan State University with a B.S. in Neuroscience. As an undergraduate, he was a research assistant for a project on metabolic reprogramming due to polylactide degradation. He plans on continuing his education by going to medical school. He likes to travel, read, and play golf in his free time.


Li, Dayan (Jack) is a dermatology research resident and subsequently a post-doctoral scholar in the Longaker Lab. He completed his post-graduate training in the Harvard-MIT MD-PhD program and his dermatology residency at Stanford. For his PhD, he investigated the genetics of whole-body regeneration in planaria and is studying the cellular and molecular mechanisms of skin fibrosis in the Longaker Lab. For leisure he enjoys running, listening to Brazilian music, and growing rare orchids.

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Liang, Norah is a general surgery resident from the Massachusetts General Hospital who is a completing her Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Longaker lab. Norah is originally from Long Island, NY and graduated from Harvard University with her AB in Chemistry, and from UCSF with her MD. She has previously conducted translational research on targeted cancer chemotherapeutics, and outcomes research in cardiac and pediatric surgery. She is an aspiring pediatric surgeon, with a broad interest in understanding surgical applications of fibrosis. Outside of work, Norah enjoys running, baking, and exploring farmer's markets.

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Lu, John is a first-year MD/PhD student rotating in the Longaker laboratory. John earned his BS as a double major in chemistry and mathematics from Duke University. As a Marshall Scholar, he earned his MSc in Health Policy, Planning, and Financing from LSE/LSHTM and a MPhil in Biological Sciences from the University of Cambridge. In the Longaker laboratory, John is studying the molecular underpinnings of wound healing. In his free time, he enjoys hiking, traveling, and rock climbing.


Morgan, Annah is a Life Science Research Professional at the Longaker Lab. She grew up in Atlanta and graduated from the University of South Carolina in 2022 with a B.S. in Biology and Experimental Psychology. During her undergraduate studies she worked as a research assistant in The Early Social Development & Intervention Lab assessing infants’ social, language, and motor skills through the first two to three years of life with the goal of supporting earlier detection and intervention for Autism Spectrum Disorder. She plans to further her education and is considering medical school as well as various graduate programs. New to San Francisco, in her free time she enjoys exploring the Bay Area.

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Parker, Jennifer is a PhD student from Toronto, Canada in her first year of the Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine Program currently rotating in the Longaker Laboratory. Concurrently, Jennifer is a medical student at the University of Toronto, and is pausing her medical training in order to pursue her doctorate at Stanford University. Prior to this, she earned her BSH in Bioengineering from Stanford in 2019, where she also studied the step-by-step mechanism by which embryonic stem cells differentiate to early-stage skin. Outside of the lab, Jennifer loves spending time outside exploring the Bay Area, figure skating, and you may often find her reading at a coffee shop.

Pereira, Paulo is Dr. Michael Longaker's Laboratory Manager. Paulo was raised in Brazil and has been working for the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery since June, 2011. He also provides Program Management for the C-DOCTOR (Center for Dental, Oral & Craniofacial Tissue and Organ Regeneration) projects. Paulo was also involved in the establishment and development of the STARS (Science, Technology and Reconstructive Surgery) Internship Program at Stanford University which brought dozens of high-school students to experience life in a laboratory setting. Throughout his career, he has supported other PIs at Stanford including Drs. Jill Helms, DDS, PhD, and Derrick Wan, MD, a major collaborator of the Longaker Lab. Paulo has a passion for traveling the world and meeting people from different cultures. He has recently made his way back from the Kingdom of Jordan and Israel. 


Pham, Ben is a Life Science Research Professional in the Longaker Lab. He grew up in Lombard, IL before graduating from Carleton College with a B.A. in Biology and a Minor in Biochemistry. As an undergraduate, his notable research projects include a DEI public health assessment in the Portland VA system and a Pacific Ocean climate change study as part of the SEA Semester study abroad program. In the Longaker Lab, he will be studying the effects of mechanosensitive fibroblasts on stricture formation in Crohn's Disease. In his free time, he enjoys photography, learning how to cook, solving sudokus, and singing karaoke.

Quarto, Natalina is a Senior Scientist in Dr. Longaker's laboratory. She received her PhD in Biological Sciences from the University of Napoli Federico II and Specialization in Medical Genetic from the University of Roma "La Sapienza". She pursued her postdoctoral research at the New York University with a focus on FGF-2 Biology. In her research, Natalina successfully identified for the first time that there are three forms of Fibroblasts Growth Factor-2 (FGF-2), namely high molecular weight (HMW-FGF-2) and low molecular weight (LMW-FGF-2) with different sub cellular distribution and functions. She was able to unveil and define how these forms promote distinct biological outcomes. She then continued her research on FGF-2 signaling pathways at the University of Paul Sabatier in Toulouse, France.

After that, Natalina spent 3 years among the University of California in San Francisco (UCSF) and the Rockefeller University in New York where she dedicated her research time to cloning tissue-PA and LTBP1 genes from Xenopus and performing functional studies using this organism.

In 2000, she moved from New York alongside Dr. Michael Longaker to join him in his new laboratory at Stanford University. Since then, her major scientific interest is centered on skeletal biology and regenerative medicine. 

One of her main research interests focuses extensively on calvarial bones of different embryonic tissue origin, and on how different tissue origin impacts the osteogenic potential and skeletal repair of these bones.

This investigation focuses on the neural-crest derived frontal bone and paraxial-mesoderm derived parietal bone. It has unveiled significant and substantial differences between the two parietal bones highlighting a key molecular mechanism(s) responsible for the different osteogenic capacity and tissue repair observed between the two bones.

A second area of research is centered on the development and patterning of cranial sutures, specifically the posterior frontal (PF) suture (metopic in humans) - a fusing suture. She has identified the timing and process through which the PF suture closes demonstrating two things: this suture fuses through an endochondral ossification process, and that canonical Wnt signaling is a major player in controlling the patency of cranial sutures. Natalina's current major focus is to understand the molecular mechanism(s) underlying the premature closure of a suture, namely craniosynostosis. Current research on this topic is revealing novel bio-molecular aspects of the craniosynostosis which suggest that this pathological condition is an outcome of unbalance in stem and progenitor populations.

On her free time, Natalina enjoys sailing and growing orchids.

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Rockwood, Sarah is a second-year MD-PhD student currently rotating in the Longaker Lab. A Bay Area native, Sarah is from Orinda and attended UC Berkeley, where she studied neurobiology and researched neural stem cells and optogenetics in the Schaffer Lab. After graduating, she studied iPSC-derived cardiac tissue modeling in the McDevitt Lab at Gladstone/UCSF. In the Longaker lab, she is interested in studying the fibrosis and regeneration in the brain through the lens of stroke. In her free time, she loves trail running, cycling, swimming, cooking, creative writing, and outdoor adventure. 

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