Aitor Aguirre, Ph.D.
Kristen Ball is a research assistant and laboratory manager for Dr. Aitor Aguirre’s biomedical engineering lab located at MSU's Institute of Quantitative Health Sciences and Engineering. She received her bachelors of science degree from the University of Michigan in April 2018 where she studied biology and philosophy. She currently studies bioactive lipids and their impact on cardiac development through the use of stem cells and murine models.
Lab Manager (2018-present)
I am a senior studying Biochemistry and Genetics and am very interested in advancing medicine and our understanding of many diseases. In the future I intend on getting an MD-PhD. Currently in the Aguirre Lab I am developing knockout stem cell lines using CRISPR/Cas9 to investigate the effect of oxylipins on human cardiovascular development. Future plans include generating human heart organoids from these cell lines, and observing their development as well as response to oxylipins.
Professional Aide (2019-present)
Aaron Wasserman is a Ph.D. student in the Cellular and Molecular Biology graduate program at MSU. Before coming to East Lansing, he obtained an M.S. in Physiology and a B.S. in Biology from the University of Michigan. Aaron’s research in the Aguirre lab is focused on neuroendocrine reprogramming of the epicardium during the process of heart regeneration. He aims to identify neurohormones and signaling pathways that activate epicardial cells in the injured heart and convert them to a stem cell state..
Yonatan (Yoni) Israeli has a Bachelor of Science degree in Biotechnology from RMIT University in Australia, and a Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Bristol in the UK. His research interests include regenerative medicine and the use of tissue engineering to create human disease models. Currently, Yoni is pursuing his Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering at the Aguirre lab, focusing on the fabrication of self-assembling cardiac organoids derived from human iPSCs to study cardiac development and to create disease models of the heart.
Renee Kinne is a junior studying Genomics and Molecular Genetics through Lyman Briggs. She is exploring the multitude of research possibilities in preparation for graduate school by utilizing the variety of techniques found in the Aguirre lab from cell culturing to mouse work. She is currently assisting Kristen in her research on bioactive lipids and their effect on cardiac development.
Mitchell Gabalski is a sophomore studying Biochemistry and Biotechnology through Lyman Briggs College. He is planning on furthering his education by obtaining his PhD. He is interested in studying the use of nanomaterials, such as viruses, for drug delivery. Currently working in the Aguirre Lab, he assists graduate students setting up and carrying out experiments
Amanda Huang is a senior studying Biomedical Laboratory Science and Human Biology with a minor in Chinese through Lyman Briggs College. She is interested in regenerative medicine and its potential to impact patients in the real world. She intends to go to medical school in the future, possibly pursuing an MD-PhD. In the Aguirre Lab, she utilizes human pluripotent stem cells and mouse models to study epicardial cell activation in the context of heart regeneration.
Michelle Lim is a senior pursuing a B.S. in Genomics and Molecular Genetics and a B.S in Human Biology with a minor in Health Promotion. Her interests lie in human disease, genetics, regenerative medicine. She hopes to further her education through graduate school one day. She is currently performing research into congenital heart defects using iPSCs and mouse models.
Jesús Ordoño is a visitor PhD student from Barcelona, Spain. He graduated with a B.S. in Biotechnology by University of Barcelona, and he developed his final bachelor thesis at Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium. He then coursed an M.S. in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology and in 2015 he started his graduate program in Biomedical Engineering at the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia and the Technical University of Catalonia. His research is focused on lactate-releasing biomaterials for cardiac regeneration, and he has presented his work at different conferences such as the Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine International Society World Congress held at Kyoto, Japan. He joined Aguirre lab on October 2018 where he focused on the effect of lactate on iPSC-derived cardiomyocytes
Graduate student (IBEC, Barcelona, Spain)