Class of 2018
Education: Blended BS and MS in Biomedical Engineering at Cal Poly
Chris's interest in regenerative medicine stems from his belief that medicine should not just cure a patient's current illness but also improve a patient's overall health and lower their susceptibility to future diseases or disorders. Stem cell research and regenerative medicine have the potential to restore a patient's health to a far better state compared to his/her current health, and Chris's goal is to make this idea accessible to everyone. The area he is currently most interested in is tissue engineering, specifically manipulating cell differentiation into neurons or epithelial cells for implantation. Following the program, he plans to attend medical school to become a general surgeon and use his knowledge of regenerative medicine to provide unique insights in the clinical setting.Chris' internship site is the Thomas Rando Laboratory at Stanford University, and my PI is Marco Quarta. We are currently investigating the ability of the Yamanaka factors (Oct4, Sox2, Klf2, and c-Myc) along with Lin28 and Nanog to partially reprogram cells to rejuvenate them to a younger, more functional state. If cellular rejuvenation is possible, these factors could be made in to an anti-aging supplement to improve health in aged individuals. Chris is currently investigating cellular rejuvenation in fibroblasts by comparing functionality and aging markers between young and old cells, partially reprogramming old cells to rejuvenate them, and investigating if these reprogrammed fibroblasts resemble a young or old phenotype.