Ashley Lab In the Department of Medicine

Our Team

Worth Noting

Recent publications from the Ashley Lab

Ashley Lab in the news

Ashley Lab photos


What's Happening Now

View our current Frontiers in Cardiovascular Science Seminar, held each Tuesday at noon in Li Ka Shing Center, Paul Berg Hall (2nd floor)

Principal Investigator: Dr. Euan Ashley


Researchers and Postdoctoral Fellows

Emilie AmaroEmilie Amaro: Emilie is a research assistant in the Ashley Lab studying the genomics of heart failure. Her primary project involves aiding in the expansion of the Heart Failure Tissue Bank through the harvesting of human myocardium tissue, which will be used to elucidate disease mechanisms. Emilie is a recent graduate of Stanford University with a BS in biomechanical engineering. During her undergraduate years, she was a varsity member of the cross country and track and field teams, specializing in the steeplechase. She looks forward to working with and learning from experienced researchers and physicians to expand her knowledge about cardiovascular medicine.


Rachel BentRachel Bent: Rachel is a Stanford Undergraduate majoring in Human Biology with a concentration in Disease and Human Health. She hopes to go to medical school and has a particular interest in cardiology. As a research assistant in the Ashley Lab, Rachel is working on a project to detect electrocardiographic differences between athletes and patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). The hope is that this analysis will reveal ECG characteristics unique to patients with HCM and will influence policy in the screening of athletes for this disease. In her free time, Rachel enjoys running, spending time with family and friends, and trying new things.

Frederick Dewey: Rick is a Cardiology Fellow in the Clinical Investigator Pathway at Stanford Hospital and Clinics and Postdoctoral fellow in the Ashley lab. He hails from Seabrook, Texas by way of Boston, where he studied chemistry and physics at Harvard prior to medical school and Internal Medicine residency at Stanford. His research focuses on the analysis of genetic programs of cardiovascular development and disease and high throughput approaches to analysis of whole genome sequence data. In his former life as an undergraduate, Rick was also a competitive swimmer, but is now content to simply enjoy the athletic feats of others. He enjoys spending time with his wife (a PhD candidate in Biochemistry at Stanford), rowing, hiking, and surfing.

Tom Finsterbach: Tom received his PhD from Stanford's Department of Molecular and Cellular Physiology working in the lab of Brian Kobilka. Tom earlier earned an MA from the University of Chicago in the program on the Analysis of Ideas and Study of Methods, an M.Arch from the University of California at Berkeley, and an M.Div from the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley's Graduate Theological Union. Tom teaches at Santa Clara University and serves as a Jesuit priest at a Catholic church in Silicon Valley. His current research projects focus on translating other studies into treatments for HCM.

Rachel GoldfederRachel Goldfeder: Rachel is a graduate student in the Biomedical Informatics PhD Program who is interested in clinical applications of next-generation sequencing and personal genomes. She grew up in Houston, Texas, and attended Washington University in St. Louis, where she double majored in Biomedical Engineering and Psychology.  After graduating, she continued her training at the National Human Genome Research Institute at the NIH as a Post-Baccalaureate Fellow. During this time, her research focused on identifying disease-causing genetic variants from analyses of exome sequencing data.  Currently, in the Ashley lab at Stanford, Rachel is developing methods for medical-grade variant detection, with the long-term goal of enabling the common use of genomic information in patient care. Outside the lab, Rachel enjoys spending time with friends, honing her photography skills, and exploring the Bay Area.

Megan GroveMegan Grove: Megan is a genetic counselor in the Ashley lab. While originally from Philadelphia, her family moved to California when she was in elementary school and she quickly realized her love for the Bay Area. She earned a B.A. in Human Biology and M.S. in Human Genetics and Genetic Counseling at Stanford, and she is thrilled to have the opportunity to continue to work at Stanford and with such an inspiring team. Her research focuses mainly on genome sequencing and genetic variant interpretation, specifically involving its application in genomic medicine. She is also involved in disease discovery efforts that aim to identify underlying causes of Mendelian cardiac conditions through the use of next-generation sequencing technologies. Finally, she is a member of the Stanford Center for Inherited Cardiovascular Disease, where she provides genetic counseling for patients with inherited cardiac conditions and their family members. She enjoys spending time with friends and family, traveling, and competitive sailboat racing.

Young KimYoung Kim: Young graduated with distinction from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto and completed postgraduate training in General Internal Medicine in Vancouver in which he was also appointed as a Stanford Visiting Scholar. He received a PhD in Translational Molecular Cardiology at the University of Oxford with work appearing in Circulation Research and JACC resulting in over 300 citations and dissemination to the American Heart Association and European Society of Cardiology. He is currently an American Heart Association Postdoctoral Fellow in Cardiovascular Medicine directing investigations in cardiac electrophysiology. 

Mikael MattssonMikael Mattsson: Mikael is a visiting scholar from The Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences, Stockholm, Sweden, where he holds a position as assistant professor in the department of Professors P-O. Åstrand and B. Ekblom. He received his Master's degree in physiology (2006) and his PhD in Medical Science - physiology (2011) from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden. He did his thesis on the physiology of ultra-endurance athletes (Adventure Racers). His research evolves in the area of endurance performance, exercise induced cardiac fatigue and circulatory adaptations. At the Ashley lab he is involved in the projects "extreme physiology" and "the Athlete Genome".


James PriestJames Priest: James is a Fellow in Pediatric Cardiology and a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Ashley and Quertermous labs funded by the Pediatric Scientist Development Program.  He grew up mostly in Portland, Oregon before attending Oberlin College followed by work in the laboratory of Eddy Rubin at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. After earning his MD at Stanford he completed his residency at Seattle Children's Hospital and the University of Washington in general pediatrics where he was awarded extramural funding to investigate the role of copy number variation and congenital heart disease. His current research interest is in the application of next generation sequencing technologies to the genetic basis of sporadic and familial congenital heart disease.

Steve PanStephen Pan: Steve is currently a Post-Doctoral Fellow in the department of Biomedical Informatics. He was born in New York but grew up in East Liverpool, Ohio. He returned to New York for his undergraduate studies in Biology and Computer Science at Columbia University, then received an MD from the University of Pittsburgh before making his way out west to California where he completed a medicine residency at Stanford Hospital & Clinics. He will be remaining in the Bay Area for many years to come as a Fellow in Cardiology at Stanford starting in 2011. He previously spent a year at the NIH in Bethesda, Maryland, under the auspices of the HHMI-NIH Research Scholars Program in the lab of Betsy Nabel, MD, working on a GWAS study looking for SNPs predictive of coronary in-stent restenosis. He is currently interested in pursuing further research in the analytical methods of examining genomic data.  In his spare time he enjoys swimming (although his skills have dwindled quite a bit from his college days as a lifeguard) and the occasional hike.

AleksAleksandra 'Aleks' Pavlovic: Aleks graduated from UC Irvine in 2004, she moved back to the Bay Area in order to get more experience conducting research. Currently she is managing the Stanford Heart Failure Tissue Bank and Database. Also she is working on a variety of heart failure genetics studies including “Dramatic Response to Pharmaceutical Therapy Study” and “Variation in Gene Expression in Patients Taking Ace Inhibitors”. She acts as a genetics liaison in our Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Clinic-offering genetic testing and information to patients with this condition. She has a strong interest in the genetics of peripartum cardiomyopathy and is working on a study involving this population.

Kristin ReeseKristin Reese: Kristin is a research assistant in the Ashley Lab. Her primary project involves expanding the Heart Failure Tissue Bank through harvesting of both failing and non-failing human hearts. Using integrative genomics, the project aims to elucidate disease mechanisms and novel mediators of heart failure. Kristin is a recent graduate of Stanford University where she earned a BA in Human Biology and ran varsity track for four years. She is very interested in public health and plans on applying to medical school next year. Kristin is excited to be a part of the Ashley Lab and learn more about cardiovascular medicine!


PabloPablo Sanchez-Cordero: is a graduate student in the Biomedical Informatics program. He comes from Mexico City, where he did his undergraduate studies in computer science. He did his senior thesis project on the analysis of non-coding RNAs in the genome of the Taenia Solium. Ever since, RNA structure and its role in evolution, regulation, and complexity have been a constant theme in his research. His interests also encompass areas such as whole genome analysis and graph compressibility. He is currently working on the genomic projects of the Ashley lab.


Yael ShmargadYael Shmargad: Yael was born in Kfar Saba, Israel, but spent most of her life growing up in the bay area. While attending UC Davis as a Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior major, Yael was a member of the Dance Team, a student research assistant at the Department of Neurological Surgery, and an intern at the Yolo Adult Day Health Center. Through her academics, Yael gained an interest in the physiological mechanisms of disease, in particular, those pertaining to the heart. At the Ashley Lab, Yael witnesses these first hand in her clinical data entry and analysis. She is also the Coordinator of RESET- a randomized exercise training study for patients with Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, aiming to quantify the benefits that moderate intensity exercise has on hypertrophic patients. She feels so fortunate to be a part of such an exceptional team, and ultimately hopes to utilize the knowledge and experienced gained here in her pursuit of an MD.

Matt Wheeler

Matthew Wheeler: is an Instructor in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine.  He comes to us from the Stanford Cardiology Fellowship Program and the Stanford Internal Medicine Residency and is a Clinical Investigator Pathway Cardiology Fellow.  He graduated from the University of Chicago with his MD and PhD after undergraduate work at Williams College. He is a native of Potsdam, New York.  Dr. Wheeler previously worked in the laboratory of Dr. Elizabeth McNally at the University of Chicago investigating the mechanisms underlying dilated cardiomyopathy in model systems of muscular dystrophy. His current research includes involvement in several ongoing Ashley lab projects: Pharmacogenetics of Heart Failure, Genetics of Familial Cardiomyopathies, Therapeutics of Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, and Preparticipation Screening of Student-Athletes.

Kathia ZaletaKathia Zaleta: is a postdoctoral fellow in Cardiovascular Medicine in the Ashley Lab. Kathia graduated from the University of Veracruz where she majored in Pharmaceutical Chemistry & Biology. She received her PhD in Biotechnology from CINVESTAV-IPN in Mexico City and completed her postdoctoral fellowship in Chemistry from Stanford University. She was working on the biosynthesis of non-ribosomal peptides (NRPS) and polyketides (PKS) during her PhD and postdoctoral career. Her current research project is “Allelic silencing of the MYL2-N47K mutation in cardiac myocytes using small interfering RNAs”.


AyyazAyyaz Ali: is a resident in cardiothoracic surgery at Papworth hospital based in Cambridge, UK.  He is currently undertaking a period of research aimed at evaluating whether non-heart beating donors can be utilized for heart transplantation.  He undertook his undergraduate medical training at the University of Leicester.  Prior to commencing his higher surgical training in cardiothoracic surgery he completed his general surgical training at Addenbrookes hospital, also based in Cambridge.  His research interests include organ donor physiology, clinical outcomes following aortic valve replacement and mechanical circulatory support.


ZiadZiad Ali: Ziad is a fellow in Cardiovascular Medicine. He trained in medicine and surgery in Cambridge, UK before joining the Department of Cardiovascular Medicine at the University of Oxford as a Wellcome Trust Clinical Training Fellow. Ziad’s research focuses on the exaggerated biological response to cardiovascular risk factors and cardiovascular interventions such as venous bypass surgery and percutaneous coronary intervention. He uses murine models of vascular injury, such as venous bypass surgery and his own recently developed murine model of balloon angioplasty and stenting, combined with systems-based biology and network analysis to investigate novel molecular mediators of the response to vascular injury. In spare moments, spread few and far between, he enjoys spending time with family and friends and shooting hoops.

David CharoDavid Charo: David is a Postdoctoral Fellow in Cardiovascular Medicine. He recently completed his Internal Medicine residency here at Stanford as part of the Clinical Investigator Pathway. He majored in molecular biology at Princeton University and received his medical degree at the University of Rochester in chilly New York. He is originally from the bay area and is excited to be back after spending almost a decade in the east coast. He previously spent a year as a Sarnoff Fellow working in the lab with Dr. Quertermous and Dr. Ashley. His research interests are with the apelin-APJ pathway and how this signaling system works to increase cardiac contractility.

GherardoGherardo Finocchiaro: Gherardo is currently a Post-Doctoral Fellow in the Ashley Lab. He was born in Udine (Italy) and graduated at the University of Trieste in 2007. He completed his fellowship in Cardiology in Trieste in April 2012, with particular interest in research on cardiomyopathies. His primary project is on sudden death stratification in Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, focusing in particular on echocardiographic and clinical predictors, dealing with the issue of selection of patients who could benefit from an ICD implantation for primary prevention. He is currently working on various imaging projects in Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy and athletes heart.

CarolynCarolyn Hayes: Carolyn is a recent graduate of Trinity College Dublin with a first class BA (mod) in Natural Sciences specializing in Physiology. She will be starting Graduate Medicine this September. She is a sports fanatic having represented her country in Swimming, Waterpolo and Triathlon. Carolyn "enjoys" marathons for fun. Her final year research project was on athlete based study investigating the recovery profile benefits of water immersion on cardiovascular responses and lactate clearance. This project was selected for an international undergraduate award shortlist. London 2012 was in the cards until her own cardiovascular diagnosis sparked an interest in specializing in cardiology. She was especially interested in Dr. Ashley’s Athlete Research. Carolyn is currently a student trainee with the Ashley Lab carrying out research in exercise physiology and cardiovascular medicine. Being Irish helps out a bit in the Ashley Lab. She hopes to learn as much as possible from her time here at Stanford and to indulge in as much sport as she can, even running an Ultramarathon while here in California.


Vy-Van Le: I graduated from the School of Medicine at the University of Sherbrooke (Sherbrooke, Province of Quebec, Canada). My Internal Medicine Residency and Cardiology Fellowship  were at the University of Montreal (Montreal, Province of Quebec, Canada). I am a Cardiology Research fellow at the VA Palo Alto and the Stanford Clinics in exercise physiology. I am trying to understand the mechanisms of exercise intolerance in the hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) population with the use of combined cardiopulmonary testing with stress echocardiography.

Maura MoranMaura Moran: Maura is a research assistant in the Ashley Lab aiming to contribute to current knowledge of the genomics of heart failure. Her work focuses on harvesting both severely failing and non-failing human hearts to elucidate disease mechanisms by integrating clinical phenotype data with whole-genome genotypes and gene expression. Maura is a recent graduate of Stanford University where she was a coxswain for the Women's Rowing Team and a Human Biology major with a focus on public health. She is excited to work with the Ashley Lab investigating such a prominent public health concern, and hopes to apply her knowledge to pursue an MD, MPH. When not missing the perfectly sunny weather of her hometown Scottsdale, Arizona, Maura loves baking, hiking, and pretending she knows how to play tennis.

MarcoMarco Perez: Although my formative years training in medicine were spent in chilly New England, the California-raised side of me could not resist returning to the Sunshine State for cardiology fellowship - not to mention world-class mountain biking, skiing and backpacking.  After completion of fellowship, I received an NRSA grant to study the familial aggregation of acquired atrial fibrillation.  Before I begin clinical training in electrophysiology later this year, my lovely fiancé and I will wed in the Andean country of Bolivia. Marco's research projects include pharmacogenomics and networks & arrythmia.

Xiumei QuXiumei Qu: Xiumei was born in Shanghai, China. She joined the Ashley Lab in February 2008. Before moving to California, with her husband, she worked in the Division of Organ Transplantation and Immunology at the University of Texas, School of Medicine. She performed various organ transplantation models in rodents and monkeys.


TunlewaOretunlewa Soyinka: Oretunlewa (known by most as Tunlewa or “T”) was born and raised in Southern California, but spent much of his young childhood growing up in Lagos, Nigeria. He is now a Stanford undergraduate student majoring in Human Biology and has developed a particular interest in cardiovascular physiology, an interest which he is now developing further with the Ashley Lab. His primary project involves aiding in the expansion of the Heart Failure Tissue Bank through the harvesting of human myocardium tissue, which will be used to elucidate cellular-level mediators of heart failure. As one of the newest members of the lab, he looks forward to learning from and working alongside the much more experienced and accomplished physicians and researchers. Though unsure of where his future will lead him, Tunlewa plans to eventually attend medical school after completion of his undergraduate studies.


JohnJohn Taghavi: is a resident in cardiothoracic surgery at Papworth Hospital based in Cambridge, UK.  He is currently undertaking a period of research aimed at evaluating whether DCD (Donation after Cardiac Death) donors can be utilized for heart transplantation, specifically looking at right ventricular function.  He has come to Stanford as the Gledhill Fellow from Cambridge. He undertook his undergraduate medical training at the University of Leeds.  Prior to commencing his higher surgical training in cardiothoracic surgery he completed his general surgical training within the Yorkshire School of Surgery.  His research interests include organ donor physiology and mechanical circulatory support. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with family and friends. He has a passion for cars and has survived the Nurburgring!

BobBob Turcott: Bob's earliest view of cardiac physiology was from the perspective of an electrical engineer using the tools of signal processing, particularly stochastic point process theory. After completing his doctoral work, he moved from gritty but invigorating pre-Giuliani Manhatten to the pleasantly surreal Stanford environment for medical training. As a student, he developed a consulting relationship with a local ICD company where he incorporated insights from nonlinear dynamical systems theory into computationally unintensive arrhythmia detection algorithms. The fundamental limitations of electrogram-based diagnosis soon motivated his search for a hemodynamic sensor suitable for use in pacemakers and ICDs. He identified an optical approach and developed working prototypes while in medical school, then took a brief hiatus from clinical training to pursue this work full-time. After successfully completing proof of concept studies he returned to Stanford for residency in Internal Medicine. He is presently focusing on hemodynamic assessment and device optimization as a post-doctoral Research Fellow. Long term goals include developing low-cost, noninvasive alternatives to conventional tools of cardiology and facilitating their adoption in underserved areas of the world. A fascinating area of focus of this work is Cuba, which has world-class medical expertise but extremely limited resources. When time allows, he enjoys slipping the surly bonds of earth, though recent weekends have found him battling his nemesis, incisitermes minor.


CliftonClifton Watt: is a post doctoral researcher in the Ashley Lab within Cardiovascular Medicine at Stanford University. He is a Bay Area native who studied computer systems engineering at Stanford University and then rode the Silicon Valley bubble as a software engineer at Sun Microsystems. He then went on to medical school in Chicago at the University of Illinois and completed his residency at the University of Southern California. His research interests include cardiovascular genetics and the application of biomedical informatics principles to cardiovascular research.

Chris WoodsChris Woods: is a fellow in Cardiovascular Medicine at Stanford Hospital and Clinics. After college at Tulane University, and then  UCLA School of Medicine where, as part of the Medical Scientist Training Program, he obtained his MD and PhD, he came to Stanford as part of the Stanford Clinical Investigator Pathway (SCIP). Here, he completed his internship and residency in Internal Medicine, and then continued in the Cardiology Fellowship here as well.  For Chris' thesis work at UCLA, he studied under biophysicist Dr Julio Vergara, the Distinguished Professor of Physiology at UCLA, and studied excitation-contraction coupling in muscular dystrophy, focusing on how calcium dysregulation can lead to muscle failure. Now, after finishing his clinical cardiology fellowship, and while being a current Chief Fellow, he is somehow spending well needed time at the bench where he will continue his interest in excitation-contraction coupling and disease, studying the role of excitation contraction coupling and mechano-electric feedback in the pathophysiology of Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy. In his free time....oh who are we kidding.  Just kidding. Every bit of it he enjoys spending with his lovely family.

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