Jorge Di Paola, MD
Professor of Pediatrics & Molecular Genetics and Genomics
Elizabeth Finney McDonnell Chair in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology
Division Director, Hematology & Oncology
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Jorge Di Paola (Dee-Powl-la) is a Tenured Professor of Pediatrics at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis where he is the Division Chief of Pediatric Hematology Oncology. The Di Paola laboratory research focuses on the genetics of bleeding and thrombotic disorders and mechanisms of platelet activation. Over the years his lab has made discoveries on the genetics of von Willebrand disease, signaling pathways that contribute to the procoagulant response in platelets, novel roles for platelet mitochondria and the genetic variation of platelet receptors. His laboratory has found disease causing genes for thrombocytopenia disorders as well as a cancer predisposition syndrome. Specifically, that mutations in NBEAL2 cause the elusive Gray Platelet Syndrome and that mutations in ETV6 cause thrombocytopenia and predisposition to leukemia. More recently his research also focused on the effect of inflammation and ageing on megakaryopoiesis and platelet activation. He has trained > 25 graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, and is a mentor for several junior faculty. Outside of work, Jorge loves to spend time with his family and explore the outdoors.
You can read more about Jorge on the Division of Biology & Biomedical site.
Research Lab Manager
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Katrina Bark is the research lab manager in the Di Paola Lab. Bark’s research interests include platelet function and platelet-related disorders, micro-surgery, microfluidics, thrombo-inflammation and investigation of novel antithrombotics and thrombolytics. No one is quite sure what Bark does when not in the lab, but it is rumored that she is secretly a robot.
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
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Brooke Sadler is the co-director of a genetics and genomics core for a program project grant on the biology of von Willebrand Disease. She is engaged in performing bioinformatical analyses on large-scale exome and genome datasets. She is particularly familiar with rare-variant analysis strategies and copy-number variation analyses. In her free time Sadler enjoys collecting houseplants, science fiction and spending time with her kids.
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
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Tissue factor (TF) triggers coagulation, which is critical in hemostasis to abate bleeding, however, TF also contributes unfavorably to thrombosis, inflammation, infections and cancer diseases. Tom Girard studies the initiation and regulation of hemostasis and how hemostastic mechanisms influence disease. His investigation center on tissue factor pathway inhibitor (TFPI), which is the endogenous regulator of coagulation and the major inhibitor of TF activities. Girard’s weekend “hobbies” include gardening (aka yardwork) and construction.
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Nina Lasky is a Licensed Veterinary Technician responsible for managing a genetically modified and diverse mouse colony. She also assists in the technical aspects of performing experiments with these mice. Outside of work, her hobbies include exercising, reading, fashion and spending time with her extended family.
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Research Technician II
Renumathi Subramanian is a Research Technician in the Di Paola Lab. She has 25+ years experience in molecular and cell biology and is currently assisting lab members in cell culturing and the genotyping of genetically modified mice. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, gardening, and spending time with her family.
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Fan just got his Ph.D. degree in Cancer biology from the University of South Florida. He is studying the transcriptional, proteomic and functional alterations of platelets in MPN patients, especially in essential thrombocythemia and primary myelofibrosis. He is also very interested in learning bioinformatical analyses and coding. During spare time, he likes going hiking and trying novel foods around.
Postdoctoral Research Associate
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Lili received her PhD in Human and Statistical Genetics at WashU. Her research work and interests focus on the development and application of statistical methods, tools and pipelines for analysis and identification of genetic variants in large-scale genomic data.
Clinical Fellow in Pediatric Hematology and Oncology
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Irem joined the lab after clinically heavy first year fellowship in pediatric heme-onc. Patients with hemostasis problems inspire her such as thrombosis related to infection or congenital heart disease. Her research interest focuses on inflammation-hemostasis cross talk and role of TFPI in inflammation models. She is learning coagulation techniques in the lab and meeting with mice in the facility. Before coming to US, she completed medical school and pediatric residency in Turkey. She enjoys doing Pilates and dancing.
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Kimsey Platten is a graduate student in the Di Paola and Bark lab. His research interests center around the mechanobiology of hemostasis and thrombosis in the context of blood flow. Specifically, he focuses on understanding the dynamics of the mechanosensitive plasma glycoprotein von Willebrand Factor, and how it responds under physiological and pathological flow. When not in the lab, Kimsey runs table-top role-playing games (D&D, etc.), works through his ever-extending backlog of history and sci-fi books, and showers his adorable, fluffy cat (and sometimes his wife) with affection.
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Molly Brakhane is a gradute student in the Di Paola and Oh lab. Molly studies the role of calcium in hematopoiesis and development of myeloproliferative neoplasms and dysregulation of signaling in platelet dynamics, particularly on the effects on platelet production, function, and survival in vivo and in vitro. Molly is very passionate about representation in STEM and is on the executive councils of the WashU branch of Women in STEM and Science and Healthcare Abilities Coalition, which works for representation and advocacy for those with disabilities or chronic illness in STEM. Molly is born and raised around St. Louis, and enjoys being close to family and friends in the area while living with her two cats.
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Hyder, who has an M-Tech and PhD in Biotechnology, is a Post-Doctoral Research Associate in the Di Paola Lab. His work emphasizes on exploring the genetic and biological aspects of Kashmiri thrombocytopenia while conducting whole genome sequencing (WGS) and contributing to the bioinformatics analysis of the data. Hyder works on the functionalization of newly discovered gene variants by utilizing gene editing of CD34+ cells and differentiating them into megakaryocytes, in addition to the development of mouse models.
During his free time, Hyder enjoys using his camera lens to capture breathtaking sunsets. He has a passion for traveling and is a self-professed food enthusiast.
Clinical Fellow in Hematology and Oncology
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Josh is a clinical fellow joining from the adult Hematology and Medical Oncology fellowship program. He found his way to St. Louis from Philadelphia – by way of Rhode Island – and has joined the lab to investigate how megakaryocytes and platelets react to systemic disease in the development and bleeding and thrombotic disorders. Before completing medical school he trained under Dr. Valder Arruda in the development of gene therapy strategies for hemophilia, including defining gain-of-function Factor VIII and IX variants. In St. Louis he actively seeks out the many craft bars and restaurants, and carefully explores his neighborhood rock climbing gym.
Clinical Fellow in Pediatric Gastroenterology
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Shelley Choudhury joined the lab and world of hematology after developing an interest in hepatic venoocclusive disease as a pediatric gastroenterology fellow. Her research interest focuses on the mechanism of action of defibrotide, an antithrombotic and anti-inflammatory medication used to treat this disease, on platelets and endothelial cells. Outside of the lab, Shelley enjoys vintage clothes and antique shopping, working on house projects with her husband, walks with her dog, and traveling.
Shawn Jobe, MD, PhD 2003-2006
Keala Clark, MD 2005-2007
Kaelyn Wagner, MD 2006-2008
Larissa Bournikova, MD 2008- 2011
Shay Fabbro, PhD 2008- 2011
Tara White Adams, PhD 2009-2015
Brian Branchford, MD 2009-2013
Christopher Ng, MD 2012-2016
Heidi Cho, MD 2014-2016
Beth Warren, MD 2014-2016
Pavel Davizon Castillo, MD 2015-2019
David Bark, PhD 2016-2017
Kristin Maher, MD, PhD 2018-Present
Jesse D. Hinckley, MD, PhD 2008-2013
Leila Noetzli, MS, PhD 2012-2017
Maria Bortot, MS, PhD 2015-2019
Gregory Kirkpatrick, MD, PhD 2015-2018
Marlie Fisher, MS 2017-2021
Damian Illing, MD 2011-2015
Luke Law, MD 2012-2015
Gilbert Acevedo, MD 2014-2016