Dr. Wainger is Assistant Professor Neurology and Anesthesiology at Harvard Medical School and an attending physician at Massachusetts General Hospital. He studied molecular biology as an undergraduate at Princeton University and ion channel physiology in the MD/PhD program at Columbia University. He then completed medical residency in the Partners Neurology Program followed by a clinical fellowship in Pain Medicine at MGH and research fellowship with Clifford Woolf at Boston Children’s Hospital. His clinical expertise spans the intersection of neurology and pain medicine.
After completing a PhD in the Epigenetics of Neural Development in the Livesey lab, at the University of Cambridge, and a first post-doctoral position at Brigham and Women's Hospital/Harvard Medical School, Joao headed to the Wainger lab to focus on the neurobiology and pathology of ALS.
Dan received his undergraduate degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Otterbein University and his Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Brown University. For his doctoral work, Dan worked in the lab of Dr. Diane Lipscombe and studied the contribution of voltage-gated calcium channels to nociceptor function, inflammatory pain, and pain-related behaviors in mice.
Dan joined the Wainger lab in January 2018 with a primary interest in using human neurons to understand the cellular and molecular mechanisms that lead to chronic pain.
Paloma’s clinical and research interests are motor neuron disease and myopathies. She recently joined the Neurology Department at MGH as faculty. She spends her time in clinic taking care of patients with neuromuscular diseases and in Dr. Wainger's lab investigating the effect of mutated VCP in in vitro hiPSC-derived skeletal and motor neuron cell models.
After graduating with a degree in biotechnology engineering at Polytech Marseille, Christine completed her PhD in Neuroscience under the mentorship of Dr. Caroline Rouaux (INSERM U1118) at the University of Strasbourg. During her PhD, Christine deciphered the molecular mechanisms that selectively trigger CSMN dysfunction and degeneration during the course of ALS and improved characterization of the cortical pathology in this disease. She developed a protocol that allowed, for the first time, the transcriptomic analyses of pure populations of CSMN isolated from the cerebral cortex of adult wild type and Sod1G86R mice at different stages of the disease.
In July 2018, Christine joined the Wainger lab, where she is interested in applying stem cell biology to better understand the cellular and molecular mechanisms of protein spread involved in ALS.
Eugene joined the Wainger Laboratory as a research technician in 2016. He has a BS degree in Neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University, and does image analysis in the Wainger Laboratory. He is specifically writing programs to identify and track cell bodies.
Kevin joined Dr. Wainger's lab as a research assistant in July 2017. He received a BS degree in both Cellular & Molecular Biology and Economics from the University of Michigan. He is interested in investigating the health of iPSC-derived motor neurons from control and ALS patients and their response to various drugs in a high-throughput manner. Recently, he has studied inflammatory pain in mouse dorsal root ganglia and trigeminal ganglia through calcium imaging.
Patrick joined the Wainger Lab as a research assistant in June 2018 after graduating from Johns Hopkins University with a BS in Neuroscience. In the field of pain research, he is interested in the molecular mechanisms of pain sensitivity. He is also generally interested in neuronal energy metabolism, especially as it relates to ALS.
James joined the Wainger Lab as a research assistant in 2018. He received his undergraduate degree in Human Evolutionary Biology from Harvard University. He is interested in better understanding neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders using in vitro models.
Vignesh joined the Wainger Lab as a research assistant in July 2018. He is on co-op from Northeastern University, where he is completing a major in Behavioral Neuroscience. He's interested in learning more about ALS and how organoid models derived from human iPSCs can be used to better understand the pathologies involved. He is also interested in using qPCR to help characterize those models and ensure their validity. In addition, he is interested in the calcium imaging of cellular responses to different inflammatory compounds, as part of research into how the brain processes pain.
Visiting Research Assistant
Sophie joined the Wainger lab to write a review on iPSC use in ALS through her master’s program 'Molecular Neuroscience' at the University of Amsterdam. She holds a BS degree in neuro-genetics and is specifically interested in looking at current issues in ALS modeling from a genetic perspective.
WAINGER LAB ALUMNI
Petros holds a BA in Biochemistry from the University of Cambridge, UK and is continuing his clinical studies there to obtain a medical qualification. He joined the Wainger Lab during the summer of 2015 as part of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute Summer Internship Program. Under the supervision of Dr Joao Pereira, he worked on the transcriptional effects of SOD1 A4V overexpression in patient iPSC-derived motor neurons.
Jenny joined Professor Wainger's lab as a research assistant and was interested in studying the hyperexcitability phenotype of iPS-derived ALS motor neurons as well as investigating the effect of opioids on nociception at the cellular level. She received her bachelors degree in both Biochemistry and Neuroscience and Behavior from Columbia University, where she studied synaptic plasticity in Professor Eric Kandel's Lab. She is now currently a medical student at Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine.
Mary joined the Wainger Lab as a Co-op student through Northeastern University’s Cooperative Education program. While in the lab, she focused on the molecular biology and neurobiology of ALS. She is currently working toward a bachelor’s degree in behavioral neuroscience at Northeastern University and plans on going to medical school after she graduates.
Julian joined the Wainger lab as a research technician in September of 2014. His primary research focus was the development of anin vitro model for pain sensation using stem cell-derived nociceptor neurons. These nociceptor neurons, in comparison with primary mouse dorsal root ganglia neurons, will allow us to investigate the effects of opioids and chemotherapeutics on nociceptor excitability. Prior to joining the Wainger lab, Julian received his BA and MA degrees at Wesleyan University, where he worked in Dr. Laura Grabel’s lab and studied the interactions between stem cell-derived neural progenitors and brain microvascular endothelial cells in vitro. Julian is now a medical student at Rochester Medical School. The Wainger Lab has named their favorite fridge after Julian as commendment for his dedication.
Visiting Post-Doctoral Fellow
Haruhiko Banno is a clinical research fellow from Japan who has worked in many clinical trials. Prior to joining the Wainger lab, he has studied pathological markers of Kennedy’s disease, which is characterized by spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy. As a clinical neurologist, Haruhiko joined the Wainger’s lab to study the effects of drugs on patient-derived stem cells, which will be key to paving a better understanding of future clinical trials
Edouard is a medical student in Toulouse, France. He joined the Wainger Lab as a student researcher during summer 2017. Under the supervision of Dr João Pereira, his work was focused on the study of TDP-43, investigating on both its spread in Hek cells and its expression in mutated Hela cells. Edouard is looking forward to future opportunities to come back to the US either for research or clinical training.
Zhuonan (Jojo) is a rising senior at Johns Hopkins University. As a summer researcher in 2017, she was interested in the reciprocal relationship between spread of protein and neuronal hyperexcitability in upper motor neuron. Jojo aspires to become a physician scientist in the future.
Lab Manager/Research Assistant
Dan grew up in Falmouth, Massachusetts and then completed his Bachelor's and Master's degrees at Wesleyan University. There, he studied the maturation of pluripotent stem cell-derived cortical interneurons in the Grabel Laboratory. At Mass General, his project in the Wainger Laboratory involved generating a pharmacological profile of human and mouse motor neurons using microelectrode arrays. Now, Dan is a Ph.D. student in the bioinformatics program at Columbia University.
Joan joined the Wainger lab as a research assistant in September of 2016. Her primary focus is on applying her statistical background to analyze data such as MEA data that utilize iPS-derived motor neurons and primary mouse motor neurons as well as investigating in vitro model for pain sensation using primary mouse dorsal root ganglia neurons and stem cell- derived nociceptors neurons. Prior to joining the lab, she received her Bachelors degree in both Neuroscience and Applied Mathematics in Statistics from Johns Hopkins University.
After completing his undergraduate degree in Biology, Yechiam pursued a Ph.D in neurobiology in the lab of Yael Stern-Bach at the Hebrew University, where he studied the modulation of AMPA-type Glutamate Receptors by auxiliary subunits.
Yechiam joined the Wainger Lab in February 2016 with an interest in applying stem-cell biology to study the altered physiology function in pain and ALS.
Anna-Claire joined the Wainger lab in January 2016. She received her undergraduate degree from the National University of Ireland, Galway, where she majored in Anatomy.
During her PhD studies in the lab of Dr. Gareth Miles at the University of St. Andrews, she compared the electrical properties of iPSC-derived motor neurons from ALS patients and healthy controls to determine whether non-cell autonomous disease mechanisms contribute to the pathophysiology of ALS.
Her main research interest in the Wainger Lab is ion channel physiology, with a focus on how alterations in their function may lead to neurological diseases.