Stanford Medicine

Our Team

Roll your mouse over a lab member's name for an overview of that person's research.

Euan Ashley

Euan Ashley MRCP DPhil

Associate Professor of Medicine and Genetics and, by courtesy, Pathology
Director, Stanford Center for Inherited Cardiovascular Disease
Director, Stanford Clinical Genomics Service
Co-Director, Training Program in Myocardial Biology

Born and raised in Scotland, Euan Angus Ashley graduated with 1st class Honors in Physiology and Medicine from the University of Glasgow. He completed medical residency and a PhD in molecular cardiology at the University of Oxford before moving to Stanford University where he trained in cardiology and advanced heart failure joining the faculty in 2006. His group is focused on the application of genomics to medicine. In 2010, he led the team that carried out the first clinical interpretation of a human genome. The paper published in the Lancet was the focus of over 300 news stories, became one of the most cited articles in clinical medicine that year, and is currently featured in the Genome Exhibition at the Smithsonian in DC. The team extended the approach in 2011 to a family of four and now routinely apply genome sequencing to the diagnosis of patients at Stanford hospital where Dr Ashley directs the Clinical Genome Service and the Center for Inherited Cardiovascular Disease. Dr Ashley is a recipient of the National Innovation Award from the American Heart Association (AHA) and a National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director's New Innovator Award. He is a Principal Investigator of the Myocardial Applied Genomics Network (MAGnet), a member of the leadership group of the AHA Council on Functional Genomics, and a member of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academy of Sciences Roundtable on Translating Genomic-Based Research for Health. He is a peer reviewer for the NIH and the AHA as well as journals including Nature, the New England Journal of Medicine, the Lancet and the Journal of Clinical Investigation,. He is co-founder of, and advisor to, Personalis, Inc, a Menlo Park based genetic diagnostics company.

Father to three young Americans, in his "spare" time, he tries to understand American football, plays the saxophone in a jazz quartet, and conducts research on the health benefits of single malt Scotch whisky.

More (for the curious or chronically sleepless):
How I got from there to here. I think.

Stanford Faculty and Researcher Profile

Emilie Amaro

Emilie 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 Bent

Rachel 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

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 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 Goldfeder

Rachel 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 Grove

Megan 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 Kim

Young 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 Mattsson

Mikael 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 Priest

James 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.

Stephen Pan

Stephen 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.

Aleksandra 'Aleks' Pavlovic

Aleksandra '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 Reese

Kristin 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!

Pablo Sanchez-Cordero

Pablo Sanchez-Cordero

Pablo 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 Shmargad

Yael 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.

Matthew Wheeler

Matthew Wheeler

Dr. Wheeler is an Instructor in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine. His areas of clinical expertise include inherited and infiltrative cardiomyopathies, neuromuscular disease associated cardiomyopathy, and mechanical circulatory support. His clinical research interests include investigating novel therapies for cardiomyopathy, including participation in multi-center randomized trials for cardiac amyloidosis, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, and mechanical circulatory support. He is the adult clinical lead and executive director of the Undiagnosed Diseases Clinical Site at Stanford, one of seven NIH-funded clinical sites of the Undiagnosed Diseases Network. In partnership with Dr. Francois Haddad, he is evaluating immune system dynamics in dilated cardiomyopathy and dystrophin-deficiency mediated cardiomyopathy. He is involved in several additional ongoing initiatives in cardiovascular genomics and genetics, including a study of microRNAs and DNA methylation and risk of atherosclerosis in the Women's Health Initiative. His prior work includes research on cost effectiveness of athlete screening, clinical interpretation of whole genome sequencing, and investigating exercise training in patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. In addition, he maintains active computational and basic research interests, with the goal of improving diagnosis and treatment options for patients with cardiomyopathy by leveraging next-generation sequencing technologies, rich bioinformatics datasets, and bench research in model systems of inherited cardiomyopathy. He is supervised by Dr. Euan Ashley and has collaborations with researchers across the School of Medicine and the University. Originally from upstate New York, Dr. Wheeler attended Williams College to study biology/physiology and history/foreign relations, while minoring in crew. He then completed his MD and PhD at the University of Chicago. In 2005 he came to Stanford for his postgraduate training in internal medicine, general cardiology, prevention research, cardiovascular genetics, and advanced heart failure, mechanical circulatory support and heart transplantation. He enjoys spending his free time biking, hiking, swimming and snow sports with his wife and sons.

Kathia Zaleta

Kathia Zaleta

Kathia 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".

Ayyaz Ali

Ayyaz Ali

Ayyaz 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.

Ziad Ali

Ziad 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 Charo

David 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.

Gherardo Finocchiaro

Gherardo 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.

Carolyn Hayes

Carolyn 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

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 Moran

Maura 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.

Marco Perez

Marco 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 Qu

Xiumei 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.

Oretunlewa Soyinka

Oretunlewa 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.

John Taghavi

John Taghavi

John 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!

Bob Turcott

Bob 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.

Clifton Watt

Clifton Watt

Clifton 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 Woods

Chris Woods

Chris 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.

Jennifer Wylie

Jennifer Wylie

Jennifer 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. Originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico, Jennifer is a recent graduate of Stanford University where she earned a BA in Human Biology and competed on the varsity diving team. Jennifer is excited to be a part of the Ashley Lab where she will working with experienced researchers and physicians to expand her knowledge about cardiovascular medicine!

Megan Fischer-Colbrie

Megan Fischer-Colbrie

Megan is a research assistant in the Ashley Lab studying the genomics of heart failure. 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. Megan is a recent graduate of Stanford University where she earned a BA in Human Biology and competed on the Varsity Women's Swimming Team for four years. She is very interested in human physiology and excited for the opportunity to learn more about cardiovascular disease in the Ashley Lab! Megan currently lives in Cupertino, California, and enjoys getting outdoors, spending time with family and friends, and exploring photography and painting.

Ching Shang

Ching Shang

Ching is a Research Associate and Lab Manager in the Ashley lab. She studies the molecular mechanism underlying cardiac diseases, supports other lab members' research work and also manages the day-to-day operations in the lab. Ching graduated from National Taiwan University majoring in Botany. She received her Ph.D. in Molecular and Cell Biology from UC Berkeley investigating protein-protein interactions involved in chromosome segregation. Interested in both environmental and medical research, Ching spent her first postdoctoral training deciphering the biochemical pathways in a novel microbe that detoxifies environmental pollutants. She moved to Stanford in 2005 and has been studying cardiovascular development and diseases since then.

Ayca Erbilgin

Ayca Erbilgin

Ayca is a postdoctoral fellow in the Ashley lab. Originally from Cupertino, she migrated south to UCLA for both her BS and PhD degrees. During her graduate work she studied the genetics of atherosclerosis, focusing on the gene expression of cell types present in the vascular wall during the initiation and progression of disease. Ayca's projects in the Ashley lab include validation of heart failure networks and the study of cardiac metabolism using genetics and rodent disease models. Although she has has so far managed to avoid moving out of California, Ayca is proud to have been a registered voter in five different congressional districts throughout the state. Her sports team loyalties are divided accordingly.

Dana Ben Tzur

Dana Ben Tzur

Dana graduated from UCLA in 2009 with a B.A. in Psychology and then completed UC Berkeley’s Extension Post-Baccalaureate Health Professions Program in 2012. During that time, she volunteered at the Highland's Emergency Department in Oakland, where she was first introduced to cardiovascular health while administering EKGs. She later began working at a Congestive Heart Failure Clinic as a health educator, teaching patients about heart failure, reviewing their medications, and encouraging them to maintain proper nutrition and exercise. As a research assistant Ashley's Lab, she is working on a data collection project with the goal of better understanding the epidemiology and genetic influences of various inherited cardiovascular diseases. In her free time, Dana enjoys hiking, dancing, dinning in San Francisco, and spending time with her friends, family, and her dog.

Colleen Caleshu

Colleen Caleshu

Colleen is the lead genetic counselor in the Stanford Center for Inherited Cardiovascular Disease and a Clinical Assistant Professor in medical genetics at Stanford University. She received her masters in genetic counseling from the Johns Hopkins University and the National Human Genome Research Institute. Colleen currently serves as the co-chair of the NSGC Cardiovascular Genetics SIG. Colleen also served on an American Heart Association working committee for a recent publication on policy recommendations for genetics in cardiology. At Stanford she lectures in the medical school and genetic counseling program, sits on the psychosocial curriculum committee of the genetic counseling program, co-directs the cardiovascular genetics course, and supervises clinical rotations for trainees from the genetic counseling program and the medical genetics residency program. Her research interests include interpretation and use of genetic and genomic tests in cardiology and psychosocial impact of hereditary cardiovascular conditions.

Mitchel Pariani

Mitchel Pariani

Mitchel Pariani is a genetic counselor at the Stanford Center for Inherited Cardiovascular Disease. He is a native of the East Bay and earned his BS in 2005 from UC Davis in Genetics and his MS in 2007 from CSU, Northridge in Genetic Counseling. He was a genetic counselor at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles before returning home to the Bay Area in 2014. At Stanford he co-teaches the Cardiovascular Genetics course in the genetic counselling program and his research interests include hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, familial hypercholesterolemia and aortopathies. Outside of Stanford Mitchel spends time hiking, skiing, and can be found in the mountains driving, then repairing his classic Ford Mustang.

Julian Homburger

Julian Homburger

Julian is a graduate student in the Ashley and Bustamante laboratories at Stanford. Originally from the East San Francisco Bay Area, he was very cold for four years at Cornell while earning a B.S in Biometry/Statistics and a B.S. in Biological Sciences before returning to the beautiful sun of Stanford. His previous research focused on understanding the genetics of domestic animals including dogs and horses. At Stanford, Julian is working on understanding the relationship between genetic ancestry, genetic mutations, and phenotypic variation in inherited diseases. Outside the laboratory, Julian enjoys spending time riding horses, skiing, and mixing cocktails.