Mariana Acquarone de Sa Lopes, Ph.D.

Mariana Acquarone de Sa Lopes, Ph.D.

Staff Scientist

Mariana Acquarone was born and raised in Rio de Janeiro Brazil. She received her PhD degree in Morphological Science - Neuroscience at Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, focusing on stem cell therapy for Parkinson`s disease. She worked at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro and Pablo Olavide University (Spain) where she studied embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) as alternative sources for cell transplant in Parkinson and other neurodegenerative diseases. In 2022, she joined Dr. Karch's Lab to start working on microglia leveraging iPSCs and the generation of iPSCs-derived microglia and neurons to model the brain during neurodegenerative pathologies. Mariana is a dog lover and enjoys spending time with her loved ones, gardening, and dancing. 

Christian Andino

Christian Andino

Postbaccalaureate Researcher

Christian Andino received his B.S. in Cell & Molecular Biology from Ana G. Mendez University (Puerto Rico). Christian joined the Karch lab as a Postbaccalaureate in the summer of 2022 and is broadly interested in the functionality and maintenance of stem cells to better understand how diseases and conditions develop. In his free time, he likes to go to the gym, try a new restaurant, and explore green areas.

Roesha Andre, M.Sc

Roesha Andre, M.Sc

Research Assistant

Roesha Andre received her B.A. from Dartmouth College and her M.Sc from University of Michigan where she studied and monitored amyloid formation using fluorescence techniques. While completing her Masters, she gained expertise in molecular, cellular, and developmental biology, particularly with a focus on aging interventions and neurodegeneration. In the Karch Lab she will work to advance efforts around the mechanisms and characterizations of the relationship between MS4A genes, soluble TREM2 (sTREM2) and microglial function in Alzheimer’s disease. In her free time she enjoys cooking, exploring nature with her dog, and dancing.

Gargi Basu, Ph.D.

Gargi Basu, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Reshma Bhagat, Ph.D.

Reshma Bhagat, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Reshma Bhagat completed her Masters in Neuroscience and PhD in Neuroscience from National Brain Research Centre, India after completing her bachelors’ in Biochemistry from University of Delhi, India. Her doctoral work focused on delineating the mechanisms of Zika virus induced microcephaly. Reshma briefly studied the role of Zika Virus Envelope (E) protein in inducing quiescence in human neural stem cells and how a single viral protein disrupts the entire microRNA circuitry to reduce the overall cell population.

In the Karch Lab Reshma is working to understand the molecular and cellular mechanisms of Tauopathies by employing patient iPSC derived brain cells. More specifically she is investigating precise regulatory functions of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) in tau aggregation and progression of disease.

Read more about her work here.

In her free time, she loves to play Ping-Pong, Tennis, badminton or can be seen enjoying the company of her cat, Simba.

Sophia Bieser

Sophia Bieser

Research Technician

Bhagyashri Burgute, Ph.D.

Bhagyashri Burgute, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Bhagyashri Burgute completed her Ph.D from University of Cologne, Germany. During her scientific career, she has gained expertise in protein biochemistry, cell biology, molecular biology, and RNA biology. In the Karch Lab her research is focused on aging dependent neurodegeneration. Bhagyashri is interested in inducing aging phenotype in iPSC derived cellular models of AD to assess its impact on disease progression.

In her free time, Bhagyashri enjoys spending time with her family, outdoor activities, and music.

Cynthia Chen

Cynthia Chen

Undergraduate Student

Luca De Feo, Ph.D.

Luca De Feo, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Luca De Feo completed his Ph.D. at Health and Life University, San Raffaele, in Milan (Italy). He worked on developing remyelinating and neuroprotective strategies using murine Neural Stem/Progenitor Cells and Oligodendrocytes (OLs) in mice models of Multiple Sclerosis. Luca joined the Karch Lab through collaboration, he is currently working on developing hiPSCs-derived OLs to study the role of TREM-2 in oligodendrogenesis and myelination. In his spare time, he travels around the world, reads urban fantasy and thriller books, listens to all kinds of music, and enjoys time with his friends.

Fabia Filipello, Ph.D.

Fabia Filipello, Ph.D.

Staff Scientist

Fabia Filipello was born in Parma Italy, and received her PhD degree in Biotechnology Applied to Medical Sciences at the University of Milan, focusing on astrocytes and T cell interaction in multiple sclerosis. She worked in Switzerland at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine and at Humanitas University in Italy where she studied microglia and TREM2 receptor in physiology and in neurodevelopmental diseases. In 2018, she joined Dr. Karch's Lab where she followed up her studies on microglia leveraging patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells (IPSCs) and the generation of iPSCs-derived microglia, neurons and astrocytes to model the brain during neurodegenerative pathologies. Apart from her passion for research and neuroimmunology, Fabia loves singing and playing the guitar, reading books and spending time in nature.

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June He

Graduate Student

Simon Hsu

Simon Hsu

Research Technician

Jan Konrad

Jan Konrad

Administrative Assistant

Arthur Li

Arthur Li

Graduate Student

Arthur Li is a graduate researcher with a BS in BME and CS, and currently working on his MS in BME. His major interests include biomedical image processing, machine learning, cardiac electrophysiology, and bioinformatics. Arthur is currently working on the cellular deconvolution project concentrating on improving microglia results.

Gaolin Liu

Gaolin Liu

Undergraduate Research Student

Gaolin is a freshman at WashU majoring in Biology: Neuroscience and CS&Math, with a minor in Bioinformatics. He is currently working with Emma, using iPSC-Microglia and mouse models to understand the role of Ms4a4a in mitigating the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. As an INTJ, he has an enthusiasm and determination to unwind the mysterious mechanisms of AD. Outside of the lab, he enjoys listening to R&B, reading science fiction, thinking about philosophical questions, and finding new aesthetics in Saint Louis.

Sidhartha Mahali, Ph.D.

Sidhartha Mahali, Ph.D.

Staff Scientist

Sidhartha Mahali received his PhD at the Center for DNA Fingerprinting & Diagnostics, Hyderabad, India. His dissertation was focused on understanding Advanced Glycation End product (AGE)-mediated cellular responses. As a post-doctoral fellow at KU Leuven, Belgium, he studied the complex interplay of kinases and phosphatases that regulates microtubule-associated proteins. His current position in the Karch lab leverages his expertise in cell biology, microscopy and training in stem cell models of neurodegeneration to develop his research career in the field of neuroscience. 

Sidhartha’s current research focuses on the lysosomal machinery in iPSC-derived neural cells with FTD mutations. His findings suggest that mutations in MAPT, PSEN1 and PSEN2 are sufficient to cause impaired lysosome function and tau accumulation, which may drive disease pathogenesis.  

Apart from being a dedicated researcher, he is an avid reader, amateur birdwatcher, nature photographer and a practitioner of thoughtless meditation.  

Rita Martinez

Rita Martinez

Senior Scientist

Prior to working in Dr. Karch's lab, Rita worked in the GEiC (Department of Genetics, WUSTL) developing tools and protocols for iPSCs reprogramming, production, differentiations and genome editing.  The devolpment of iPSCs and genome edting techniques have been of keen interest to her research and the study of neurodegenerative disease. Previously, Ms. Martinez worked in the biotech industry utilizing human iPSCs which were then used to model ALS and Alzeheimers diseases. 

Matthew Rosene

Matthew Rosene

Graduate Student

Matthew is a senior PhD candidate in the Molecular Cell Biology program, his research focuses on the role of PLD3 in driving Alzheimer disease pathogenesis.

Ani Sivaraman

Ani Sivaraman

Research Technician

Ani performs various molecular biology techniques in the lab, and primarily oversees the maintenance, expansion, and characterization of iPSC lines. Ani received his Bachelors of Science from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Currently, he also works on a project aimed at elucidating the role of AGFG2 in various forms of familial Alzheimer's Disease.

Juan Torrecilla, Ph.D.

Juan Torrecilla, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Amanda Wu

Amanda Wu

Biostatistics Graduate Research Student

Amanda received her B.S in Biology from Boston College and is pursuing her M.S. in Biostatistics. She was previously involved in an induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) lab and is interested in applying her knowledge in Biostatistics to the topic of neurodegenerative diseases. Outside of the lab, you will find her reading mystery novels, at the gym, listening to R&B, or playing badminton.