Justin Blonigan

Class of 2015

Photo of Justin Blonigan
Education: Blended BS and MS in Biomedical Engineering


Justin was interested in stem cell research mainly because of the vast spectrum of medical ailments and diseases it has the potential to cure. When used in combination with biomedical technology, these stem cells will give people the opportunity to generate replacement organs and tissues that will change the way everyone looks at medicine. He was particularly interested in neural pathology research which uses stem cells to model neurodegenerative diseases so that people can better understand the etiology. Through this research, targeted gene therapies and replacement neural tissue can be developed to treat the underlying issues of these diseases. Once done with the program he wanted to continue doing research to advance the field of stem cells either in an academic research institution or with a company aimed in developing new and cutting edge therapies. If the opportunity is there he also wanted to pursue a PhD and further his education.

Justin was interning at the Palo Alto VA Hospital, in the Department of Neurology and Neurological Sciences at Stanford University School of Medicine, in the laboratory of Dr. Thomas Rando. The lab was developing and evaluating a treatment for Volumetric Muscle Loss, which renders a patient's muscle tissue unable to regenerate and repair damage. Justin was specifically evaluating the effectiveness of tissue-engineered muscle replacements by measuring muscle force production post implant. He was also exploring the potential benefits of a post-treatment rehabilitation program in improving muscle tissue function in patients.
After graduating, Justin continued working at Stanford University as a research associate in Dr. Rando's lab.

Justin, presenting his Internship Research at the 2015 CIRM Trainee Meeting.