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, with specific applications to the differences between fetal and post-natal wound healing, the biology of keloids and hypertrophic scars. Another area of his research focuses on skeletal development and repair. Most recently, his research has focused on multipotent mesenchymal cells derived from adipose tissue and their applications for tissue repair, replacement, and regeneration. Michael Longaker has published over 1200 papers.
He is an inventor on over 40 issued patents and patent applications. Dr. Longaker has also funded several venture-backed start-up companies, including Neodyne Biosciences (www.neodynebio.com) and Arresto Biosciences, which was acquired by Gilead (NASDAQ:GILD) in January 2011. Dr. Longaker is also a founding partner of Tautona Group (www.tautonagroup.com), 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).
Adem, Sandeep is a Life Science Research Professional (LSRP) in the Wan and Longaker laboratories. Sandeepgrew up in the Bay Area and earned his BS from Santa Clara University and MS from UC San Diego in Bioengineering. His current research focuses on the role of adipose-derived stromal cells in wound healing. In his free time, Sandeepenjoys hiking, watching sports, and reading manga.
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.
Borrelli, Dr. Mimi R, MBBS, MSc, BSc. Mimi is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Stanford University. Mimi started in Dr Michael Longaker’s laboratory in August 2017, after graduating from King’s College London in July 2017 with 3 distinctions in Medicine and Surgery. Her past degrees include a distinction in Cognitive Neuroscience Masters at University College London, and a 1:1 in Experimental Psychology, from Bristol University. Mimi is set on a career as a plastic and reconstructive surgeon and has a strong interest in academia and research. In the Longaker laboratory Mimi is working primarily on skeletal tissue engineering.
Chinta, Malini is a fourth-year medical student at the Boston University School of Medicine working in the Longaker laboratory. Malini grew up in the bay area, but moved to the east coast to join the accelerated seven-year medical program at Boston University where she earned her BA in Medical Sciences and minor in Psychology. During her time at the Longaker laboratory, Malini will be studying and learning to characterize fibroblast populations involved in scar formation and wound healing. Outside of the lab she enjoys running, traveling, trying new restaurants, and spending time with her friends and family.
da Silva, Oscar is a Stanford undergraduate student. Of Brazilian descent, Oscar grew up in Germany. He joined Stanford University in 2017 on an athletic scholarship to play varsity basketball. He is currently on the Biochemistry/Biophysics track and will be majoring in Biology. In 2018, Oscar joined the Longaker lab and works on finding out the role of fibroblasts in wound healing and scarring, and cancer associated fibroblasts.
Davitt, Michael is a categorical General Surgery resident at UCSF East Bay. He attended Pepperdine University, where he spent a year abroad in Florence, Italy, and graduated with a B.A. in Psychology. He earned his M.D. from UC Davis. He is interested in studying and characterizing the cell populations involved in fetal scarless healing and in scar formation. Outside of the lab and the hospital, he enjoys exploring the many trails through the redwoods in the East Bay, running races with his wife, photography, and skiing.
desJardins-Park, Heather is an MD/PhD student in the Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine program at Stanford and has been a member of the Longaker laboratory since 2017. Heather earned her AB in Chemistry from Harvard University, where she conducted research in organometallic catalyst synthesis. Currently, she investigates mechanisms of regenerative wound healing during embryonic development, with the ultimate goal of identifying novel targets for preventing fibrosis. In her free time, Heather enjoys singing (jazz and classical), surfing, and exploring the great outdoors.
Fahy, Evan is originally from Galway, Ireland but also lived in Massachusetts when younger. He completed his degree in Medicine at the National University of Ireland, Galway and subsequently worked in Plastic Surgery in Galway and Dublin. Most recently he served as the Clinical tutor in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery for the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, where he also completed a Masters dissertation on the adverse effects of perioperative hypothermia in DIEP flap patients. He is working on the study of wound healing at the Longaker Lab. In his spare time, he enjoys exercise via jogging and basketball, as well as drawing and multimedia design.
Fitzmorris, Audriana an undergraduate student at Stanford University pursuing a B.S. in Human Biology with a concentration in Environmental and Social Forces on Human Health and Development. She is currently in the Longaker laboratory working with the Wound Healing group aiming to study the cell populations involved in scar formation. Outside of the lab, Audrianacompetes with the Stanford Women's Volleyball team and enjoys hiking, travel, food, and spending time outdoors with friends.
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.
Foster, Deshka is a categorical General Surgery resident at Stanford. During her research years, Deshka is pursing a PhD in Cancer Biology in the Longaker Laboratory through the ARTS (Advanced Residency Training at Stanford) program. She is interested in characterizing cells involved in scar formation that also contribute to cancer stroma, with the aim of understanding the similarities between healing wounds and tumor proliferation as a potential therapeutic target. She is also working on projects concerning skin scarring and abdominal adhesions. Deshka attended Stanford University, majoring in Human Biology; she holds a master’s degree from Stanford in African Studies and earned her M.D. from Drexel University College of Medicine. In her spare time, she enjoys snowboarding, biking, and adventuring with her husband and dogs.
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.
Lopez, Michael started out in the Longaker lab as a CIRM Bridges Scholar. After his internship he decided to stay in the lab and was hired on as an LSRP. Michael graduated from Humboldt State with a major in microbiology and a minor in chemistry. As an undergrad he worked on mouse stem cells and elucidating novel pluripotency cell signaling pathways. His current work in the Longaker lab focuses on differentiating human induced pluripotent stem cells into bone for the isolation of human skeletal stem cells.
Marecic, Owen graduated from Stanford University in 2011, where he studied Human Biology with a concentration in Infectious Diseases. Following a career in the NFL, Owen joined the Longaker laboratory to study bone biology. His current work investigates the role of skeletal stem cells in bone development and healing and how these processes differ in diabetic and aged animal models. Owen plans to attend medical school in 2017 and in his free time enjoys mountain biking, skiing, and traveling.
Mascharak, Shamik is a Bay Area local from Santa Cruz, CA, and graduated from Stanford University in 2015 with a BS in Bioengineering. He is currently an MD/PhD student at Stanford Medical School. His research aims in the Longaker lab include characterizing and directing the behavior of fibroblast subtypes in dermal wounds,
towards the goal of scarless regenerative healing. Additionally, he is interested in harnessing skeletal stem cells to regenerate cartilage and aged bone. Outside of the lab, he enjoys biking in the Santa Cruz mountains, practicing martial arts (Tae Kwon Do, Muy Thai), playing
drums, and seeking out the best Tandoori chicken in the Bay.
Menon, Siddharth is currently a Life Science Research Professional (LSRP) in the Longaker Laboratory. He earned his Bachelors of Science in Biology from the University of California San Diego in 2008 and was a 4-year member of the men’s varsity water polo team. Prior to joining the Longaker Lab in 2014, Siddharth worked as Science Faculty and water polo coach at Scared Heart Preparatory in Atherton California, teaching AP Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Siddharth works in the craniofacial group together with Dr. Natalina Quarto and Siny Shailendra, primarily on calvarial repair and development. Siddharth’s research focuses on the role of skeletal stem cells in cranial suture development. In his free time Siddharth enjoys skiing, mountain biking, and camping.
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.
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.
Salhotra, Ankit is a current CIRM Scholar from California State University Fullerton interning in Dr. Michael Longaker’s Lab. His current research focuses on Skeletal Stem Cell biology. In specific, he is investigating how mechanical forces drive bone regeneration in the craniofacial skeleton using a mandibular distraction osteogenesis model. During his free time Ankit enjoys playing basketball, exercising, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Sanghera, Puneet is a student at San Francisco State University in the Professional Science Master program. She is currently a CIRM Bridges scholar. She received her Bachelor of Science in Molecular Biology with a minor in Chemistry from San Jose State University. At SJSU, Puneetconducted research on the effects of inflammation on spinal cord excitability. While at Stanford, her project will focus on the role of the hedgehog signaling in adipose tissue stem cell fate lineage determination. In her free time, she enjoys watching movies and creating new recipes.
Shah, Harsh is a PhD student at Stanford in the Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine program and a medical student at Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine. Harsh earned his BS in Biology and MPH in Health Care Organization and Policy from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Harsh has, previously, conducted research in alternative treatments for triple negative breast cancer and uncovering the genetic mechanisms underlying congenital heart disease. During his time in the Longaker lab, Harsh will study the cellular response in long bone distraction osteogenesis. During his free time, Harsh enjoys playing tennis, working out, and cooking food combining various cuisines.
Shen, Abra is a medical student at Harvard Medical School and a Sarnoff Fellow in the Longaker laboratory. Abra grew up in Toronto and graduated from MIT with a double major in Brain and Cognitive Sciences and Theater Arts. She is interested in understanding fibrosis and angiogenesis in the context of wound healing. Outside of the lab, she enjoys spending time at the archery range, seeing theatre shows, and singing.
Sokol, Jan studied Biomechanical Engineering as an undergraduate at Stanford and is pursuing an MS degree in Biomedical Informatics. Alongside his studies, one of the projects that he is working on in the Longaker Laboratory is to characterize fibroblast heterogeneity in human skin and find out its role in skin-scarring. He is Czech, grew up in Duesseldorf, likes to surf, read and eat spicy food.
Titan, Ashley is a categorical General Surgery resident at Stanford. She is interested in skeletal stem cell biology, fibrosis/scar formation, and tissue regeneration. Ashley attended Stanford University (where she captained the Division 1 Varsity Fencing Team)and majored in Philosophy with Honors in Ethics in Society; she earned her M.D. from Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Outside of medicine, she enjoy triathlons, marathons, backpacking, and hiking with her boyfriend and her adorable 10 year old dog, Molly.