in Rare Diseases
- Dwi gave a talk and showcased our lab's work at Pitt's Aging Institute. Thank you for the invitation!
- Dwi moderated the American Society of Human Genetics Annual Meeting "Therapeutic Approaches for Mendelian Disorders" session in Los Angeles.
- Jia Qi presented his work at the European Society of Gene & Cell Therapy in Edinburgh.
- Congratulations Annie for an outstanding thesis committee meeting. On your way to a 2023 Ph.D. graduation!
- We bid farewell to Megan Perez, who is joining the Dept. of Psychiatry to work on the Genetics of Schizophrenia. Good luck, Megan!
- Our lab's R01 grant is active! Read the coverage on Pitt Pediatrics and the project on NIH Reporter.
- Dwi gave a talk about the Impact of the Children's Trust Grant on Early Career Faculty in front of the Board of Trustees of the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation!
- We bid a "see you later" to John Wang & Regan Brodine. John is back to his clinical duty & Regan is finishing up her last year!
- Dwi gave a talk at the Cell & Gene Therapy Collaborative, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Thank you for the invitation!
- Dwi, Seun, and Megan attended the Snyder-Robinson Foundation Conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where we showcased the lab's work on neurological deficits in the SRS mouse model.
- Dwi gave a talk at the Cure CMD conference in Nashville on the lab's latest data LAMA1 upregulation work!
- Welcome back Regan Brodine, our uber talented summer intern!
- Congratulations Jia Qi for passing the comprehensive exam with flying colors!
- Annie won the best graduate student poster at the Children's Hospital Research Symposium! Congratulations Annie!
- Anushe received a scholarship from Jax and a travel grant from the Disease Model and Mechanisms to attend the Human and Mammalian Genetics and Genomics: The McKusick Short Course at The Jackson Laboratory! Double Congratulations Anushe!
- We welcome Yonne Menezes, who will bring her passion and knowledge of immunology from M. tuberculosis infection to neuromuscular disorders.
- Congratulations to Megan Perez for receiving the C.C. & Clara Li Scholarship from Human Genetics.
- Seun Akinyele was selected to present his work at Society for Inherited Metabolic Disorders conference in Orlando and received the SIMD Founders Award Travel Grant. Congratulations Seun!
- We bid goodbye to our talented undergraduate student/research assistant Alex Azar, who is attending Case Western Reserve Medical School in Cleveland this year. Congratulations Alex!
Lab move is 90% done. We are extremely grateful for the support from Department of Pediatrics colleagues for this exciting transition.
- Dwi gave a talk at the MDA Clinical and Scientific Conference in Nashville.
- Megan Perez officially joins our lab to study the molecular signatures of neurodevelopmental deficits due to perturbations in polyamine metabolism. Hailing from Texas, she is adding [much-needed, ehm :)] Southern hospitality to our team!
On hiatus! The Kemaladewi Lab is relocating to the 7th floor of the Rangos Research Building! Stay tuned for our new and beautiful space!
Happy New Year!!! A lot of changes in our team:
- Welcome to Megan Perez, a rotation student from the Dept. of Human Genetics.
- Welcome back to John Wang, a resident under the Pediatric Scientist Development Program, who'll be spending 6-months away from the clinic to study the etiology of neuropathy in muscular dystrophy.
- Anushe Munir is re-joining our lab as a Ph.D. student to work on the genetic diversity project. Welcome to your new role!
Seun Akinyele is awarded a two-year postdoctoral fellowship from the RK Mellon Institute for Pediatric Research! Congratulations! Off we go to study polyamine metabolism in rare diseases!
We welcome undergraduate student Alexander Azar to our lab! Alex is a senior at Pitt Biological Sciences & an aspiring chef!!
- Dwi receives the NIH Director's New Innovator Award to work on Genetic Diversity in Muscular Dystrophy. Read the project on NIH Reporter, NIH press release, Pitt School of Medicine, and Pitt Pediatrics. We are hiring for this project; Join Us!
- Jia Qi is giving a platform presentation at the American Society of Human Genetics meeting! Catch our latest "mini-and-mighty" CRISPR activation work!
Congratulations Seun Akinyele for bagging the 2nd poster prize at the International Mouse Phenotyping Consortium: Mouse Genetics & Genomic Medicine meeting! Seun is leading the work on Snyder-Robinson syndrome in our lab. Well done, Seun!!
Regan Brodine finished her summer internship with us. She proudly presented her project at Rangos Summer Research Symposium. We are glad to welcome her back next year! Be good in school Regan!
TWO NIH GRANTS in the near future!!
- Our R01 grant received an awesome impact score and a percentile of 1! Thank you reviewers for the constructive criticisms that really escalated our project to the next level!
- Another awesome project was selected for NIH DP2 funding under the High-Risk, High-Reward program. Stay tuned!
A month full of celebration!!
- The full force of the Kemaladewi Lab is evident during the 2021 Rangos Research Day! :) Jia Qi gave a short talk on his work developing the mini-and-mighty system to modulate disease compensatory genes. Annie presented her project on human LAMA1 upregulation and Seun showcased his data on the characterization of the novel Snyder-Robinson syndrome mouse model! Go TEAM!
- We welcome Regan Brodine, a summer student under the Summer Research Internship Program.
- The lab received a two-year RAC Grant from the Department of Pediatrics. We are very grateful for the support!!
- We bid goodbye to Veronica Alday, who graduated from the Pitt Neuroscience program. Veronica is now working with the National Health Corps, Thomas Jefferson University, and Temple University to provide stroke and chronic disease prevention education to underserved populations in the city of Philadelphia. We are extremely proud of her!
- Jia Qi passed his qualifying exam with flying colors! His Ph.D. is launched with a rocket-speed trajectory!!!
- Dwi discussed the "Benefits of structural support for early-career researchers in the time of COVID-19" on Cell Stem Cell
Jia Qi was selected to give a short talk at the Keystone Symposia: Precision Engineering of the Genome, Epigenome, and Transcriptome!
New year, new lab member! We welcome Seun Akinyele to the lab! Seun received his Ph.D. in Pharmacology from the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. His thesis focused on the role of polyamines in breast cancer. As a postdoctoral associate in our lab, Seun will interrogate the molecular mechanism of polyamines in Snyder-Robinson syndrome, a rare neurological disease with skeletal muscle involvements.
Anushe Munir joined the lab as a Research Technician! Anushe recently graduated with MS in Human Genetics at the University of Pittsburgh. Her thesis was performed under the supervision of Dr. Quasar Padiath on functional characterization of a mouse model of adrenoleukodystrophy. Welcome, Anushe!
Happy month!! Collectively, our lab received FIVE grant rejections LOL, but also ... wait for it ... TWO successful grants! We are extremely grateful for the support from Cure-CMD and AFM-Telethon and excited to partner up with these amazing patient-driven organizations. Socially distanced celebration in order!
We are back in the lab, under strict COVID-compliant regulation. We're ramping up our research activities like nobody's business!
- We welcome Marie Johnson - our new lab manager! She has years of experience in the neighboring Nicholls Lab, working on multiple cool projects including the generation of minipig model of Prader-Willi Syndrome. Stay tuned for Marie's soon-to-be-out papers!
- Dwi presented another project that is currently "cooking" in the lab: "Skeletal muscle pathophysiology in a Snyder-Robinson mouse model: A journey from one rare disease to another" at the Snyder-Robinson Foundation Online Conference. Shout out to JiaQi who worked his magic behind the microscope, collected and analyzed data in a safe, COVID-compliant manner!
Very upsetting to see the world crumbles in front of us! Given the international nature of our lab, most of our families and loved ones live in other countries, which takes an extra toll on all of us! A few highlights during these weird times:
- Dwi was featured on Cell Stem Cells Introduction to the Community: Early-Career Researchers in the Time of COVID-19. Read here.
- Drs. John Williams and Stephanie Dewar hosted Dwi on That's Pediatrics Podcast. Listen here.
- Despite everything, Dwi submitted the lab's 1st R01 grant, with data collected by *Kemaladewi Lab* members! #ProudPI moment!
Shout out to our collaborators Drs. John Alcorn and Quasar Padiath, amazing mentors and colleagues at Children's who peer-reviewed the grant pre-submission, and the administration team working behind-the-scene! Virtual GROUP HUGS!
- Congratulations Caleb Kim, who graduated from Biological Sciences at Pitt. Caleb worked with Annie on LAMA1 upregulation in patient cells and will take a gap year in Seattle before going into Medicine next year. Annie replaced her "lab son" with a beautiful baby boy! Congratulations Annie and Remi! <3
March started in an extremely productive way!
- Annie wow-ed her committee members Drs. Padiath, Urban, and Conley and passed her comprehensive exam with flying colors!
- Dwi presented at the Cell Symposia Meeting for Gene- and Cell-based Therapy in San Francisco. Despite cool science overloads, the highlight was definitely being at the same dinner table as kickass-scientists like Jennifer Doudna, Viviana Gradinaru, and Yvonne Chen.
- Dwi then flew to Maryland to serve on the American Society of Human Genetics Membership Engagement Committee. We discussed strategies to make the ASHG an effective home society for human genetics researchers at all stages, all year long, everywhere. Read the Action Plans here!
PS: Some important connections were established during the two meetings above - to be continued :)
And then COVID-19 hits! You know the drill: the lab went on lockdown, mouse colonies were maintained to very minimum numbers, and everyone stayed home. The world turned grey! :(
February was a month full of celebration!!
First and foremost, the Kemaladewi Lab turned 1!! We have proven that we know how to survive, and now we are learning how to thrive!
Dwi presented the state-of-the-lab in front of the Children's Hospital Foundation (and toured their awesome new dig at TechMill 41!) and her tenure-track faculty mentoring committee members. And of course, a big birthday bash!
We threw a baby shower for Annie and Remi! The Division of Medical Genetics came together to wish the expecting parents all the best and gave their baby-related wise-words ( ... or occasionally, burns! :p). Check out some photos here!
Finally, we bid goodbye to Cynthia, who left for India to be closer to her family. Here is a photo of the farewell lunch!
Happy New Year! Our lab is now supported by a grant from the Dutch Duchenne Parent Project. Hartelijk bedankt!
Also, we received an "international shipment" in the form of ... a Ph.D. student! JiaQi Cheng Zhang received his MSc from Radboud University, Nijmegen, the Netherlands, and is now a Human Genetics Ph.D. student at Pitt Public Health. Welcome, JiaQi!
This is a month full of traveling. Dwi heads to the Netherlands to give seminars in several Universities.
- MDC1A: Road to Therapy hosted by Maastricht University and patient organization Stichting Voor Sara: Read here
- Radboud University Nijmegen, Center for Molecular & Biomolecular Informatics: Read here
- Leiden Network for Personalised Therapeutics Conference at Dwi's alma mater Leiden University: Read here
She will show some fresh, cool, and exciting data generated by the lab, discuss plans, and hopefully set up many new collaborations. It's important to not work in a silo!
We welcome Veronica Alday, a Neuroscience junior at the University of Pittsburgh (She's also THE ultimate mouse whisperer!) and Caleb Kim, a senior in Dept. of Biological Sciences, University of Pittsburgh. Both of them joined our lab as undergraduate research assistants.
- Salah finished his summer internship with us! He is now a PRO in cell culture & has generated strong foundations for multiple projects in the lab. He's also the voice behind our #SciComm video here. Salah is back at the University of Missouri for his MD study. Congratulations & thank you for your wonderful work!
- Welcome Annie Infancia Arockiaraj, a Human Genetics Ph.D. student from Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh. Annie completed her Master's thesis on "Epigenome-wide association studies in aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage patients" with Drs. John Shaffer and Daniel Weeks over at Pitt Public Health.
- Cynthia Francis, the "official" 1st hire of the Kemaladewi Lab officially starts as a Research Technician.
Dwi will be giving a talk at the Gordon Research Conference on Polyamines in Cancer Biology, Inflammation, Microbiome, Plants, and Pathogens at Waterville Valley, NH. Looking forward to sharing her research plans and get feedback from experts in the field.
- 3-months after Soft Opening, the Kemaladewi Lab is beautifully-stocked (Photos here, here, & here). Biosafety and Animal protocols have been approved. Future lab members have been hand-picked & are currently completing their paperwork. PS: She is extremely grateful to her personal coffee machine that has been keeping her sanity intact.
- The Kemaladewi Lab is now also supported by the Children's Trust. Thank you for the generous support!
- Dwi will be giving a talk at the 1st/Inaugural North American edition of the RE(ACT) International Congress on Research of Rare and Orphan Diseases in Toronto.
April 13-17, 2019: Dwi will head to Orlando to give a talk at the 2019 MDA Clinical & Scientific Conference as an MDA Scholar. The MDA Development Grant has been instrumental in supporting Dwi's transition to an independent investigator.
Feb 28, 2019: Dwi participated at NIH Rare Disease Day in Washington DC. See her live-Tweets of the event!
Feb 1, 2019: The Kemaladewi Lab is officially open! And the website is LIVE...