Alumni

Zaw Htut Naing – MD student, Drexel University
Brenden W. Smith, PhD – Postdoctoral Fellow, Novartis Institute for Biomedical Research
Nicholas Skvir – Bioinformatics PhD student, Brown University
James Muriungi – PhD student, Columbia University
Sarah Rozelle, PhD – Postdoctoral Fellow, Mullally Lab, Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Liz Wang, MD – Resident, Urological Surgery, Boston Medical Center
Whitney Reid – MD student, Drexel University College of Medicine
Shirley Nah – MD student, University of Texas at San Antonio

Amy Leung, Ph.D

PhD: University of Oxford

My name is Amy, I’m currently a postdoc in the lab. I did my undergraduate studies at University College London (UCL) in Human Genetics, and then went onto the Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine in Oxford to study for a DPhil in developmental haematology. I am currently utilising disease-specific iPSCs to model an inherited protein misfolding disease -familial transthyretin amyloidosis- in vitro, with a view to understanding the basis of the disease and also for the testing of possible therapeutic compounds.

Kim Vanuytsel, Ph.D.

PhD: Biomedical Sciences, Molecular and Stem Cell Medicine (KU Leuven, Belgium)
Masters: Bioengineering (KU Leuven, Belgium)
Major: Cell and Gene Biotechnology
Hometown: Kasterlee, Belgium

Kim joined the lab in November 2014 after finishing her PhD at the Stem Cell Institute Leuven (SCIL), aimed at developing a human pluripotent disease model for Fanconi anemia. As a postdoc in the Murphy lab she continues her efforts to unravel hematopoietic disorders and primarily focuses on modeling β-Thalassemia using induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). Besides studying what can go wrong during red blood cell development, she is also exploring ways to scale up in vitro red blood cell production.

Outside the lab Kim enjoys running, soccer, good food (eating out as well as cooking), good music (or bad music in good company) and from time to time she gets creative with paint or pencils.

Richard Giadone

Undergraduate Education: University of Massachusetts Lowell
Major: Biotechnology, Philosophy
Hometown: Dracut, MA

Ricardo for fun, Rico for short, joined Murphy lab in May of 2016 as a PhD student within the Molecular and Translational Medicine program at BUSM. Evolving from Amy’s work, his project focuses on utilizing patient-derived iPSCs to model various aspects of transthyretin amyloidosis. He looks to develop novel therapeutics for treating the disease as well as elucidating the role of transthyretin protein in the context of neurodegeneration.

In his free time, Richard can be found trying to figure out how to update this website. He can also be seen running for fun (or away from Kim), eating pizza, listening to funk, or shamelessly promoting his Twitter account.

Taylor Matte, M.S.

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Graduate Education: University of Massachusetts Lowell
Undergraduate Education: University of Massachusetts Lowell
Major: Biology, Bioinformatics
Hometown: Dracut, MA

Taylor joined the lab in February of 2017 after receiving his master’s degree from UMass Lowell, where he studied spiders. His bestie Richard (see above) convinced him that stem cell biology would be a logical next step for him. He is currently working on single cell sequencing experiments and analysis in conjunction with other members of the CReM. In his spare time, Taylor can be seen drinking IPAs and listening to sad, sad music.

Sara Kumar

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Undergraduate Education: Mount Holyoke College
Major: Undeclared
Hometown: Sharon, MA

Sara, more formally known as “Zaw’s Deputy”, joined the Murphy lab as a summer student in May 2017. She is a rising sophomore at Mount Holyoke College with a love for science and journalism. Sara is currently trying to emulate Zaw’s impeccable technical skills and learn the basics of stem cell research. She has a particular interest in Sickle Cell Anemia and hopes to work on that in the future.

When Sara is not in lab (or commuting to lab), you can catch her reading, dancing, playing volleyball, or waiting for her Hogwarts letter to (finally) show up.

Spoorthi Davala

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Undergraduate Education: Boston University
Major: Medical Science
Hometown: Cupertino, CA

Spoorthi joined the Murphy lab as an undergraduate research assistant in September 2015. Even though George insists that Spoorthi is only 14 years old, she is currently a third-year student in the Seven Year Medical Program at Boston University. Spoorthi works alongside the very great and wonderful mentor, Kim, whose work focuses on understanding hematopoietic disorders.

Spoorthi is a Visual Arts minor at BU and loves painting and drawing in her free time. She also enjoys singing and is the co-president for BU’s South Asian fusion A cappella team, Suno.