ECIS School Graduates (October 2016)

ECIS Students October 2016

From left to right: Christian Renken- Applied BioPhysics, Randy Strauss- Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, Matthew Pennington- Cornell University, Wei-Sheng Chen- National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)

Matthew Pennington

Baker Institute for Animal Health, Cornell University

Research Focus: The Van de Walle lab focuses on the creation of ex vivo model systems to study ocular herpesvirus pathogenesis and for the evaluation of antivirals in a more physiologically relevant setting. We are currently exploring ECIS as a technique to aid in these studies. Additionally, we have utilized ECIS to study various aspects of mesenchymal stem cell biology.

Wei-Sheng Chen, Ph.D.

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)

Research Focus: As a Postdoctoral Fellow, Dr. Chen is responsible for exploring the biological mechanisms of the systemic capillary leak syndrome (SCLS), an ultra-rare orphan disease that is characterized by acute and severe recurrent attacks associated with a rapid fall in blood pressure. Currently, there is no cure for SCLS and the clinical management is primarily supportive.

Randy Strauss

Virginia Tech, TBMH Program - Dr. Gourdie Lab

Research Focus: There is a growing appreciation that the gap junction protein, Cx43, has both channel -dependent and -independent functions. Cx43 shares the actin-binding scaffolding protein Zonula Occludens 1 (ZO-1), with both calcium-dependent adhesions junctions and tight junctions. The commonality of ZO-1 raises the prospect of regulatory and functional cross-talk between different classes of intercellular junction. My current goal is to examine the effects of a Cx43 C-terminal mimetic peptide on barrier function.

ECIS School Graduates (June 2016)

ECIS Students June 2016

From left to right: Doug Chung - UCLA, Kaushali Thakore-Shah - UCLA, Christopher Turner - University of British Columbia, Cameron Oram - University of British Columbia, Chris Barrett - MIT

Doug Chung, Ph.D.

UCLA, The Stein Eye Institute

Research Focus: Affecting approximately 4% - 5% of the world population above the age of 40, the corneal endothelial dystrophies are a group of heritable bilateral disorders that lead to the visual impairment and discomfort through the development of corneal opacities and edema as a result of corneal endothelial cell dysfunction and/or cell loss. We are currently using ECIS to characterize corneal endothelial proliferation, migration, and cell barrier function in cell-based models of corneal endothelial dystrophies.

Kaushali Thakore-Shah, Ph.D.


Research Focus: My research focus is to find ways to improve the proliferation potential of corneal endothelial cells so that they may be used for regenerative cell therapy.

Christopher Turner, Ph.D.

University of British Columbia, Granville Lab, International Collaboration on Repair Discoveries (ICORD)

Research Focus: The Granville lab is focused on researching the role of granzymes in inflammation and disease. Our goal is to expand our current knowledge in granzyme biology and their role in pathogenesis. We also aspire to translate this knowledge to develop novel therapeutic approaches for management of chronic inflammatory disorders in which granzymes are involved.

Cameron Oram

University of British Columbia

Research Focus: Coming soon

Chris Barrett M.D.


Research Focus: My research focuses on the links between the inflammatory response and coagulation system after major traumatic injury. The goal is to develop early interventions that have both immediate benefits in coagulopathic trauma patients while also having additional protective effects further in the hospital course to prevent late deaths after major trauma (due to organ failure and sepsis).