Michael Longaker, MD

 © Longaker Lab, 2017.

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 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. 

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. 

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). 

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. 

Burcham, Austin is a CIRM Scholar from California State University of Fullerton. As an intern in the Longaker lab, his research focuses include cancer associated fibroblasts in mouse and human breast and pancreas cancer, as well as several projects exploring wound healing biology. In his free time, Austin likes to run, hike, and enjoy other outdoor hobbies.

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.

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.

Guardino, Nicholas is a recent graduate who is returning to the Longaker Lab after completing a B.S. in Biology at USC. As a Research Associate, he is currently exploring molecular and cellular mechanisms of fibrotic wound healing in several transgenic mouse lines. His goal is to identify and restrict pro-fibrotic healing mechanisms in order to predictably improve the regenerative healing of skin wounds. Outside of the lab, he enjoys hiking, skiing, and cooking. 

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. 

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.

Nguyen, Alan was a previous CIRM Scholar from California State University of Fullerton that returned to the lab. As a current research assistant in the Longaker lab, he is interested in characterizing and understanding the similarities between fibroblasts found in tumor stroma and healing wounds. In his free time, Alan likes to jog, hike, and keep up with the latest tech.    

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. 

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. 

Silva, Ogonna Nnamani recently graduated from the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine in 2020 where she was named a Regents Scholar and inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society. Prior to medical school, Ogonna was a professional volleyball player and is an Olympic silver medalist who represented the United States in the Olympic Games in 2004 and 2008. Ogonna earned her B.A. in Human Biology from Stanford University where she was a member of the indoor volleyball team. She is currently a postdoctoral research fellow in the Longaker Laboratory and investigates the mechanisms of craniofacial and tendon wound healing processes. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends laughing, knitting, cooking, and traveling. 

Tevlin, Ruth is a surgical resident here with the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Originally from Dublin in Ireland, Ruth initially took two years out of her residency training with the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland to complete postdoctoral research with Dr. Longaker from 2013-2015. During this time, she worked on characterization of the mouse skeletal stem cell as well as activation of stem cells in response to injury and in the setting of systemic disease. Her postdoctoral fellowship changed her career path significantly, inspiring her interest in regenerative medicine and tissue engineering. In 2017, Ruth moved back to the Farm and was delighted to restart residency training here at Stanford with the goal of becoming an academic Plastic Surgeon. Ruth is excited to be back in the Hagey lab this year, completing her Professional Development year under the mentorship of Dr Longaker. Her research is supported by a Plastic Surgery Foundation Fellowship Research Grant in addition to funding from the Transplant and Tissue Engineering Center of Excellence at Stanford University. Outside of the lab, Ruth enjoys spending time with her family and her friends, exploring the Bay Area, doing yoga, biking and working on her golf swing.