People

PI

Paul Tesar

Associate Professor

PhD
Oxford University

BS in Biology
Case Western Reserve University

Paul Tesar graduated with a B.S. in biology from Case Western Reserve University and his Ph.D. from the University of Oxford as a recipient of the prestigious NIH-Oxford Biomedical Research Scholarship. He continued his training as a postdoctoral fellow at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke at the National Institutes of Health before joining the CWRU School of Medicine faculty in 2010.

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Admin Staff

Lizzie Janniello

Department Assistant

Case Western Reserve University

Staff

Mayur Madhavan

Research Scientist

PhD
Miami Universtiy

BS in Genetics
University of Georgia

Mayur’s primary research interest is studying human cortical development and disease using 3D cortical spheroids. He received his Bachelor’s degree in genetics at the University of Georgia and PhD at Miami University studying various models of limb, lens and retina regeneration. He then trained as a post-doctoral fellow focusing his research on forebrain development in mice.

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Yuka Maeno-Hikichi

Research Scientist

PhD, University of Tokyo

MS, Osaka University

BS, International Christian University in Tokyo

All life boils down to molecules turning on and off, similarly to the digital world. However, the physiological outcome is more analog because of the spatial and temporal regulation and the thousands of coordinated acts. How is this possible without a leader commanding every move? Yuka is happy and excited to dive into solving the mysteries of life by observing cells and tissues under the microscope.

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Elizabeth Shick

Research Assistant

BS in Biology and Chemistry
Cleveland State University

Elizabeth arrived at the Tesar Lab in the fall of 2012 and manages the lab as well as works on a number of projects, including investigating myelinating disease through iPSC-derived brain organoids, chemical screens to identify factors in oligodendrocyte survival and myelination, and the roles of other glia cell types in disease and development.

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Post Docs

Ben Clayton

Post Doctoral Scholar

PhD
The University of Chicago

BS in Biology
University of Utah

Ben completed his Ph.D. in Dr. Brian Popko’s lab at the University of Chicago where he studied the role of the integrated stress response in hypoxia induced neonatal white matter injury.

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Graduate Students

Kevin Allan

Graduate Student

BS in Neuroscience
University of Rochester

Kevin Allan graduated from the University of Rochester in 2014 with a B.S. in Neuroscience. He is currently in Case Western's Medical Scientist Training Program pursuing an MD/PhD and his current interests include studying the process of oligodendrocyte precursor differentiation and the role of oligodendrocytes in psychiatric illness.

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Matt Elitt

Graduate Student

BA in Biology
Washington University in St. Louis

MD/PhD
Case Western Reserve University

Matt is interested in developing novel therapies for children who suffer from pediatric myelin disorders. His longterm goal is to bring disease modifying therapies to the children who suffer from these severe neurological disorders.

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Undergraduate and High School Students

Lucille Hu

Undergraduate Student

Case Western Reserve University

Lucille is a third-year Medical Anthropology and Biology major. She is working on earning her Master of Public Health at CWRU and attending medical school afterward. Lucille is interested in examining the processes of oligodendrocyte development and credits her time in the Tesar lab with giving her an appreciation for the innovative and interdisciplinary nature of scientific research.

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Baraa Nawash

Undergraduate Student

Case Western Reserve University

Baraa is a third- year student at Case Western Reserve University. She is majoring in Biology with a minor in Chemistry and hopes to peruse an M.D. after graduation. Her primary research interest is manipulating PLP1 expression to modulate disorders of myelin.

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Samuel Qian

Undergraduate Student

Case Western Reserve University

Sam is a second year student at Case Western Reserve University. He is currently on the pre-medical track, looking to pursue a major in Biology and minors in Cognitive Science and Finance. Sam is interested in the characterization of astrocytes, as well as the development and differentiation of oligodendrocyte precursors.

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Alumni

Lilianne Barbar

Undergraduate Student

2012-2018

Undergraduate Student

BA in Biology, Case Western Reserve University

Moved on to:
New York Stem Cell Foundation

Lili studied Biology at Case Western Reserve University and hopes to later pursue an MD/PhD degree. She spent four years in our lab mainly working on a project that involves using gene modulation to develop a potential therapeutic for Pelizaeus-Merzbacher disease (PMD).

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Carney Blake

High School Student

-

Orange High School

Christian Castro

PREP Scholar

2010-2011

Case Western Reserve University

Moved on to:
University of Puerto Rico

Leslie Cooperman

PSCF Manager

2009-2013

Moved on to:
A career in nursing at University Hospitals Lakeside 50. We'll miss you Leslie!

Leslie graduated from Reed College with a BA in Biology in 2005. While an undergraduate student, she studied the molecular mechanisms of enteropathogenic E. coli. She also spent several years studying Smith-Lemli-Opitz Syndrome (SLOS), a rare genetic sterol disorder, at OHSU in Portland, Oregon. In her free time Leslie enjoys rock climbing, horse back riding, and yoga.

Daniel Factor

Graduate Student

2011 - 2017

PhD
Case Western Reserve University

BA in Biochemistry
Hiram College

Dan earned his B.A. in biochemistry from Hiram College and his Ph.D. as a member of the Tesar lab in 2017. His work in the lab focused on the unique mechanisms of transcriptional regulation in pluripotent stem cells and oligodendrocyte progenitor cells.

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Noah Geller

High School Research Scholar

2012

Hawken High School

Sonia Godbole

Undergraduate Research Scholar

2012

Duke University

Austin Haynesworth

High School Research Scholar

2010

Beachwood High School

Moved on to:
Yale University

Robert Karl

Graduate Student

2011-2017

MS in Genetics
Case Western Reserve University

BS in Molecular Genetics
The Ohio State University

Bobby graduated from The Ohio State University with a BS in Molecular Genetics in 2010. While an undergraduate, he studied the cytoplasmic domain of the Drosophilia melanogaster protein Neurotactin. His work in the Tesar lab focused on the directed differentiation of human pluripotent cells to oligodendrocytes and the direct reprogramming of oligodendrocytes from fibroblasts using non-integrating methods.

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Angela M Lager

Graduate Student

2010-2015

Moved on to:
University of Wisconsin

Angela Lager graduated with a B.A. in biology from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota in 2010 where she studied the genetic variation between and within local Southeastern Minnesota populations of timber rattlesnakes. Currently, she is interested in generating gene-corrected oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs) from Shiverer (MBP-/-) mouse fibroblasts for the ... To read more, click my profile picture.

Tyler Miller

Graduate Student

2012-2016

MD/PhD, Case Western Reserve University

Moved on to:
Massachusetts General Hospital - Clinical Pathology Residency, Research Track

Tyler was a graduate student co-mentored by Drs. Paul Tesar and Jeremy Rich, and has now moved on to residency at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. His main PhD project was the development of a novel in vivo screening technique to identify new therapeutic targets in glioblastoma, the most common and aggressive primary brain tumor.

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Fadi John Najm

Research Scientist

2009-2015

Moved on to:
Harvard University

Fadi graduated with a B.A. in Chemistry from Case Western Reserve University in 2008 and went on to earn his M.B.A from Case Western Reserve University in 2012. His passion for science materialized in college when he studied a mutant model of Huntington's disease, creating a link between his efforts and potential therapies.... To read more, click my profile picture.

Kristen Navarro

PREP Scholar

B.S. in Biomedical Science
Rochester Institute of Technology

PREP Scholar
Case Western Reserve University

Kristen Navarro graduated from the Rochester Institute of Technology in 2015 with a B.S. in Biomedical Sciences. As an undergraduate, Kristen studied the potential relationship between endothelin nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) and endothelin-1 (ET-1) gene polymorphisms with Sickle Cell Disease in African-Americans. Kristen is currently in the Case Western Reserve University Post-Baccalaureate Research Education Program (PREP). Her current research interests are focused around understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying oligodendrocyte specification and differentiation..

Shreya Nayak

Undergraduate Research Scholar

2010-2011

Moved on to:
Ohio State University Medical School

Zach Nevin

Graduate Student

B.S. Biological Sciences
Stanford University

MD/PhD
Case Western Reserve University

Zach Nevin graduated with a B.S. in Biological Sciences from Stanford University and is currently pursuing his MD/PhD at CWRU School of Medicine. His primary medical interests are pediatrics, genetics, and neuromuscular disorders. His research interests broadly include stem cells and gene correction, and he is currently using iPS techniques to study CNS deficits in patients with Pelizaeus-Merzbacher disease.

Hannah Olsen

High School Research Scholar

2012-2015

Moved on to:
Washington University

William Qu

Undergraduate Student

2013-2016

Moved onto:
Emory University

Sue Roy

High School Research Scholar

2012-2014

Hathaway Brown High School

Irene Tsung

Master's Student

2010-2012

Case Western Reserve University

Moved on to:
Indiana University School of Medicine

Jonathon Wanta

Undergraduate Student

2011-2015

Moved on to:
Case Western Reserve School of Medicine

Jonathon Wanta is a second-year Psychology and Spanish major from Burr Ridge, Illinois. In addition to working with the Tesar Lab, Jonathon also holds a position on the Executive Board of Zeta Psi Fraternity and a chair position on the University Program Board. He plans to graduate in January 2013 and will be attending Case School of Medicine the following fall.

Shannon Wu

High School Research Scholar

2011

Orange High School

Moved on to:
Stanford University