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Dr. Eric Lagasse Lab Personnel

Dr. Eric Lagasse
Eric Lagasse, MD
Dr. Lagasse is an Associate Professor in the Department of Pathology and the Director of the Cancer Stem Cell Center at the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine.  In 1985, he received his Diplôme d’Etat de Docteur en Pharmacie from the University of Strasbourg, France.  In 1989 he completed his Ph.D. in Microbiology from the University of Basel, Switzerland.   His doctoral training was carried out at the Biocenter and the pharmaceutical company Ciba-Geigy.  Dr. Lagasse was in the Department of Developmental Biology and Pathology, Stanford University for post-doctoral studies from 1989 to 1997.  He then served as the Director of the Liver Stem Cell Discovery Program at StemCells Inc, Palo Alto, CA from 1997 until he joined the McGowan Institute in July 2004.
Flow Cytometry Facility
Lynda Guzik
Lynda Guzik is manager and chief operator of the Flow Cytometer at the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine.  Lynda graduated cum laude from Seton Hill University, Greensburg PA in 1978 with a B.A. in Biology.  Lynda joined the Immunologic Monitoring and Cellular Products Laboratory at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute in 1986 where she acquired skills in various laboratory techniques including flow cytometry and assay development.  She has also worked for UPMC in Critical Care Medicine and later at the Lupus Center for Excellence investigating changes in antigen expression in patients at various disease states.  Lynda joined the Lagasse Lab in 2005 where she has been responsible for the management and operation of a state-of-the-art cell sorter.  Her flow cytometry experience includes surface and intracellular staining, functional assays, and identification and purification of rare cell populations.
Maria Giovanna Francipane
Maria Giovanna Francipane is a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Pathology and a Member faculty in the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine. She received her BS in Biotechnology in 2004, her MS in Medical Biotechnology and Molecular Medicine in 2006, and her PhD in Immunopharmacology in 2010, at the University of Palermo, Italy. In 2011, she joined the Ri.MED Foundation, an international partnership between the Italian Government, the Region of Sicily, the Italian National Research Council, the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Through this program, she joined the Laboratory of Dr. Eric Lagasse for her post-doctoral training. After working on a project that investigated the modulation of the mTOR pathway to deplete cancer stem cells in human colorectal cancer, she later focused on lymph node’s ability to support the maturation of several embryonic tissues, including the kidney, as a new approach for bioengineering complex organs. During her academic appointment, she will focus on two aspects: 1) using the lymph node as a technology platform to assess the fate and the function of kidney organoids derived from mouse nephron progenitors and human induced pluripotent stem cells; and 2) advancing the knowledge of the lymph node microenvironment.
Bing Han
Bing Han is a Research Instructor in the Lagasse lab. He received an MD in 2004 and a PhD in Surgery in 2009 from Xi’an Jiaotong University School of Medicine. His research focuses on cell therapy in treating liver diseases. He is currently working on the following projects: 1) Elucidate the cellular and molecular mechanisms by which the ectopic livers are formed in the lymph nodes and other lymphatic tissues in mice. 2) Verify the efficacy and safety of hepatocyte transplantation into lymph nodes of large animal models with end-stage liver diseases.
Visiting Fellows
Fei Chen
Andrew Fei Chen is a Visiting Scholar (Postdoc) in the Lagasse lab. He is an Assistant Professor of Guangzhou Medical University. He received an BS in 2007 in Biology from Sanxia University and his PhD in Stem Cells and Tissue Engineering (Basic Medicine) in 2013 from Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, PR China. He is currently working on the ectopic liver organogenesis in lymphatic system in mice. His research interests also include the Safety Control for the Application of Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPSCs), Disease Modeling Using Patient-specific iPS Cells, and Tumor Stem Cells researches.
Undergraduate Students
Robert Kwiat
Robert Kwiat currently attends University of Pittsburgh where he studies bioengineering. He is researching the potential of the thymus to induce tolerance under Dr. Lagasse.
Eleni Parke
Eleni Parke is currently a Junior Bioengineering student in the Swanson School of Engineering at University of Pittsburgh. She is working towards a concentration in Cellular Engineering and striving towards making progress in the biomedical field. Eleni is working on the tolerance induction by transplanting thymus into the lymph nodes under advisement of Dr. Lagasse.
Julie Chandler
Aparna Rao
Junji Komori
Yaming Li
Aaron DeWard
Rohan Manohar
Lindsey Boone