Natasha Frank is a clinical geneticist and a physician-scientist in the Division of Genetics at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and VA Boston Healthcare System. Frank received her medical degree from the National Medical University, Kiev, Ukraine. She subsequently completed her clinical training in Internal Medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, followed by the fellowship in Medical Genetics at Harvard Medical School. Currently she serves as an Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, an Associate Member of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, and an Associate Member of the Dana Farber Cancer Institute’s Center for Cancer Genetics. Frank is an elected member of American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI). Her research endeavors are focused on dissecting the relationship of multipotent stem cells residing in diverse human tissues to genetic diseases and cancer, with a special emphasis on the relevant role of the ATP-binding cassette transporter and chemoresistance gene ABCB5.
Qin Guo received her PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Tsinghua University in 2005. After that, she worked in the Walter Fast Lab in the Division of Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Texas at Austin, focusing on dissecting enzyme catalytic mechanism, screening and developing small molecules to regulate human disease related enzyme function. In 2011, she joined the NY Frank Lab at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and is currently working on the role of ABCB5 in cancer development, progression and chemoresistance using combinatorial approaches including genetics, biochemistry, cell biology and mouse models.
Yuzuru Sasamoto received his MD from Osaka University Medical School in Japan in 2006. After completion of his medical training in ophthalmology, he received a PhD degree from Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine in 2016. During his PhD program, he worked on corneal regeneration using techniques such as direct reprogramming and induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell differentiation. He is currently an Instructor of Medicine at the Harvard Medical School and an associate geneticist at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Yuzuru is currently working on the comprehensive characterization of the ABCB5 positive limbal stem cells using next-generation sequencing approaches.
Catherine Lee received her PhD in Molecular, Cellular, Developmental Biology, and Genetics, her MS in Stem Cell Biology, and her MS in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. She joined the Frank Lab in the Division of Genetics at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in 2018. Her research focuses on developing novel regenerative medicine solutions for genetic diseases. She is particularly interested in the ability of ABCB5+ dermal immunoregulatory cells to transdifferentiate into corneal epithelial cells and is currently working on ways in which this can be used for the treatment of patients with limbal stem cell deficiency. She is the recipient of a Discover Brigham Research Excellence Award from Brigham and Women’s Hospital, an Early Investigator Travel Award from the NIH Chemical Countermeasures Research Program (CCRP), a Postdoctoral Excellence in Mentoring Award from Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and a Women in Eye and Vision Research (WEAVR) Travel Award from the The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO).
Svetlana Karpova received her MD from Nizhniy Novgorod State Medical Academy. From 2012 she worked at Harvard Medical School at Department of Psychiatry where she participated in the following projects: “Role of cortical interneurons in synchronization of brain electroencephalogram”, “Optogenetic resource for studying cerebral cortex network function”. Svetlana joined Frank’s Lab in 2016. Her projects include transgenic mouse colony maintenance, tumor initiation and therapeutic testing in preclinical models of colorectal cancer.
Shoko Kiritoshi received her MD from Kyoto University in 2015. She did her residency as an ophthalmologist in the Department of Ophthalmology at Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine in 2018. She is currently a research assistant in the Frank lab. She works on corneal limbal stem cells and investigates a new treatment for limbal stem cell deficiency using human corneal epithelial cells and mouse models.
Melanie Wu is a senior at Boston College majoring in Biochemistry and minoring in Bioinformatics and Finance. She joined the Frank lab as an undergraduate research assistant in April of 2019. She is the recipient of a Boston College Eagle Intern Fellowship.
Gabrielle has been a part of the Frank Lab since June 2019. She started as an intern with the Brigham Research Institute, then joined the lab full-time as a Technical Research Assistant after graduating from college. She received her Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology with a minor in Psychology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. During her senior year, she completed an honors thesis on proteins involved with epilepsy and autism phenotypes in zebrafish. Her main responsibilities in the Frank Lab include working in the mouse facility to maintain the lab’s mouse colony. She is responsible for breeding, genotyping, and monitoring the mice necessary for the lab’s experiments. She also helps with other lab projects by performing western blot, cell culture, and PCR. She has become skilled at editing and creating figures for Frank Lab publications. Gabrielle will be attending medical school starting in July 2021.
Lindsey Ramsdell is a sophomore at Harvard College. She joined the Frank Lab as an undergraduate research assistant in September of 2019. Her project works to characterize a subpopulation of posterior eye cells that express ABCB5. The research aims to determine their regenerative abilities and their potential as a treatment for retinal degenerative diseases.
Lauren Tucker is a sophomore at Harvard College majoring in Cognitive Neuroscience and Evolutionary Psychology and minoring in Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies. She joined the Frank lab as an undergraduate research assistant in June of 2019. She is the recipient of a Harvard College Research Project Grant.
Katya Karpova received her BS in Biomedical Engineering in 2021 from The George Washington University. She joined the Frank Lab as an undergraduate research assistant in June of 2019 as a Knowledge in Action Career Internship Fellow. Her current research investigates the use of a 3D bioprinter to mimic the limbal stem cell niche.