In this dynamic environment, we place an emphasis on fostering the scientific growth of our laboratory members. We provide a unique environment where fellows with either a medical or scientific background can work together on basic science and translational studies. These interactions provide tremendous opportunities for the formation of future leading academic surgeons and scientific investigators. We believe this is the key for a profound impact in our scientific community that will ultimately provide invaluable benefit to our patient population.
Associated Scientific Director
This position is currently open.
Yichuan Zhang, originally from Beijing, China, finished her Bachelor of Science in Biology at the Pennsylvania State University. She is now a master student studying Biomedical Engineering at the Johns Hopkins University. Her research interests are in translational medicine, and she is currently working on a project developing antigen-specific immunotherapy using nanoparticle delivery systems for Type 1 diabetes under the mentorship of Dr. Raimondi in the VCA lab.
Yichuan loves travel and photography, and she also enjoys playing the piano in her spare time.
Tom Harris is a postdoctoral research fellow in the peripheral nerve lab. He recently received his medical degree and a BSc in biomedical sciences focused in Anatomy from the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. His work in the lab focuses on both small and large animal models. His primary focus is on developing translational therapeutics to improve peripheral nerve regeneration following injury. In his free time, Tom enjoys soccer, fishing, and photography.
Richa Kalsi, M.D.
Richa is a general surgery resident at the University of Maryland Medical Center completing a post doctoral research fellowship with the VCA lab. Her work in the lab is predominantly with large animal models in line with her passion for translational research. She graduated from the University of Maryland College Park with a BS in Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics and a BA in Spanish Language and Literature. She then moved on to University of Maryland School of Medicine to complete her MD. In her free time, Richa enjoys illustrating (especially for science/medicine- related things), pottery, and cooking.
Alexander Komin, Ph.D.
Alex Komin is a postdoctoral research fellow in the VCA lab. He recently received his PhD in Materials Science and Engineering from Johns Hopkins University, where he researched drug delivery using peptides. He was awarded a prestigious F31 grant from the National Institutes of Health to support his PhD work. In the VCA lab, he is working on a number of projects that use cell therapy and biomaterials to prevent transplant rejection. In his free time, Alex is currently learning how to make pickles. He also enjoys reading, listening to podcasts, and spending time with his family and cat.
Marcos Iglesias Lozano, D.V.M., Ph.D.
Dr. Marcos Iglesias joined the VCA lab as a post-doctoral researcher four years ago. His educational background includes a Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M.) Degree from the University of Leon and a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology and Biomedicine from the University of Cantabria both earned in his home country, Spain. He initiated his research career studying the role of effector and regulatory T cells in the development of different autoimmune diseases. With an expertise in murine models of disease, cell culture, flow cytometry, and other imaging and molecular biology techniques, his current research at Johns Hopkins University focuses on investigating the role of pro-inflammatory mediators on T cell immune-regulation in the context of autoimmunity and transplantation.
In his free time, he enjoys exercising, traveling, watching movies, and being surrounded by family and friends.
Alison is a plastic surgeon from Canada who recently graduated from her residency training. She completed her undergraduate degree in neuroscience at Dalhousie University in Halifax and then went on to medical school and then residency there as well. During her residency Alison came to Johns Hopkins University to pursue a masters degree in biomedical engineering at the Center for Bioengineering Innovation and Design focusing on medical device design. She is studying the effects of chronic denervation as well as ways to improve nerve pain after amputation before becoming the hand surgery fellow at University of Maryland in the coming year. Alison has always loved running and traveling but right now her favorite thing is spending time with her new daughter.
Connor Glass is currently taking time away from his medical degree to perform a research fellowship in the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Department at Johns Hopkins where he studies surgical interventions for peripheral nerve injury and invasive neural integration with the peripheral nervous system. He has helped develop novel microsurgical techniques for pain management and intuitive prosthetic control following nerve injury, as well as led the development of implantable peripheral nerve interfaces. His primary interest lies in commercialization of neural integration technology. If all of this fails, Connor plans to go work as a cranberry farmer.
Yinan Guo is a medical student from Xiangya School of Medicine in Chang Sha, China. He has been part of the VCA lab for two years and is currently working toward earning his MD PhD. Yinan specializes in mouse transplant operations and flow cytometry and is one of the lab’s microsurgery experts. Yinan came in second in all of China in the national physics competition. In his spare time, he enjoys playing video games, going to the gym, and watching Rick and Morty (he identifies more with Rick).
Jiqiang is a visiting Ph.D. student at the Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, P.R.China. He has finished 5 years of medical bachelor degree and received 3-year surgery resident training in master degree. Now he is 3rd year Ph.D. candidate, taking 2-year research to complete the doctoral degree project. Jiqiang has done some basic and clinical research about perforator flap in his previous study and is familiar with microsurgical procedures. Moreover, he can perform different transplant models in the rat. He is looking forward to investigating novel immunomodulatory treatment strategies to eliminate the need for long-term immunosuppressant after vascularized composite allotransplantation. In his spare time, he likes to work out, read books, and travel around.
Originally from Ohio, Erica is a M2 at the Johns Hopkins SOM interested in nerve regeneration in the setting of reconstructive surgery. Prior to medical school, she completed a combined BS/MS degree in Neuroscience at the Johns Hopkins University with a minor in Visual Arts. Erica has worked under the guidance of Dr. Sami Tuffaha to assess the effects of growth hormone therapy on muscle reinnervation and atrophy as well as with Dr. Justin Sacks on a survey to analyze public perceptions of breast implants in light of the recent BIA-ALCL findings. She is looking forward to dedicating her summer to the creation of an informational tool addressing the various stages of the breast reconstruction process and its impact on body image. Outside of the lab, Erica spends most of her time relaxing in the company of her cat Charlie, creating new recipes, and choreographing dance numbers.
Jiaxin Lin received her bachelor’s degree in general biology from the University of California San Diego. She is now a biomedical engineering master student at Johns Hopkins University with a research focus on T cell immunity. Jiaxin joined the VCA lab in February 2019 and is now working on a project that aims to engineer a hybrid thymus to unravel the tolerogenic properties of vascularized composite allotransplants. In her free time, she enjoys dancing, traveling, and learning languages. She is also addicted to kitties.
Nicholas Von Guionneau
Renli is a visiting Ph.D. student from the Shenzhen Hospital, Southern Medical University, P.R.China. He has finished 5 years of medical bachelor degree and now is in 2nd year M.D. Renli specializes in mouse transplant operations and basic research methods. He is focusing on immunomodulatory strategies with dendritic cells to reach the goal of long-term immune tolerance after vascularized composite allotransplantation. In his spare time, he likes to swim and read books.