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)
Dr. Venkatesan obtained his B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Biotechnology at the Periya University and the Vellore Institiute of Technology (VIT) in India. In 2019 he obtained his Ph.D. in Medical Biotechnology at the Chettinad Acacdemy of Research and Education (CARE) working on the effect of marine sulfated polysaccharides in neurological disease in zebrafish. He has been awarded the Senior Research Fellowship from CSIR. Govt. of India. He currently studies the impact and importance of bioactive lipids on cardiac development and regenration using of human (iPSCs) stem cells, murine and zebrafish models.
Manigandan Venkatesan, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral researcher (2020-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.
Hailey Bond is a Sophomore studying neuroscience and bioethics through Lyman Briggs. Currently, she is passionately exploring laboratory-based biomedical research in hopes to not only prepare for graduate school, but also help further the field of medicine. Looking forward in her career, she sees herself pursuing an MD- PhD. She is currently assisting Kristen in the zebrafish facility found in the Aguirre lab specializing in tasks involving the husbandry of the fish.