Education & Certifications


  • Master of Science, Stanford University, BIOE-MS (2017)
  • Bachelor of Science, Cornell University, Bioengineering (2015)

Stanford Advisors


  • Joseph Wu, Doctoral Dissertation Advisor (AC)

All Publications


  • Identifying the Transcriptome Signatures of Calcium Channel Blockers in Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Cardiomyocytes CIRCULATION RESEARCH Lam, C., Tian, L., Belbachir, N., Wnorowski, A., Shrestha, R., Ma, N., Kitani, T., Rhee, J., Wu, J. C. 2019; 125 (2): 212–22
  • Progress, obstacles, and limitations in the use of stem cells in organ-on-a-chip models ADVANCED DRUG DELIVERY REVIEWS Wnorowski, A., Yang, H., Wu, J. C. 2019; 140: 3–11
  • A Premature Termination Codon Mutation in MYBPC3 Causes Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy via Chronic Activation of Nonsense-Mediated Decay. Circulation Seeger, T., Shrestha, R., Lam, C. K., Chen, C., McKeithan, W. L., Lau, E., Wnorowski, A., McMullen, G., Greenhaw, M., Lee, J., Oikonomopoulos, A., Lee, S., Yang, H., Mercola, M., Wheeler, M., Ashley, E. A., Yang, F., Karakikes, I., Wu, J. C. 2018

    Abstract

    BACKGROUND: Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is frequently caused by mutations in myosin binding protein C3 ( MYBPC3) resulting in a premature termination codon (PTC). The underlying mechanisms of how PTC mutations in MYBPC3 lead to the onset and progression of HCM are poorly understood. This study's aim was to investigate the molecular mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of HCM associated with MYBPC3 PTC mutations by utilizing human isogenic induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (iPSC-CMs).METHODS: Isogenic iPSC lines were generated from patients harboring MYBPC3 PTC mutations (p.R943x; p.R1073P_Fsx4) using genome editing and then differentiated into cardiomyocytes. Comprehensive phenotypical and transcriptome analyses were performed.RESULTS: We observed aberrant calcium handling properties with prolonged decay kinetics and elevated diastolic calcium levels in HCM iPSC-CMs compared to isogenic controls without structural abnormalities or contractile dysfunction. The mRNA expression levels of MYBPC3 were significantly reduced in mutant iPSC-CMs, but the protein levels were comparable among isogenic iPSC-CMs, suggesting that haploinsufficiency of MYBPC3 does not contribute to the pathogenesis of HCM in vitro. Furthermore, truncated MYBPC3 peptides were not detected. At the molecular level, the nonsense-mediated decay (NMD) pathway was activated, and a set of genes involved in major cardiac signaling pathways was dysregulated in HCM iPSC-CMs, indicating an HCM gene signature in vitro. Specific inhibition of the NMD pathway in mutant iPSC-CMs resulted in reversal of the molecular phenotype and normalization of calcium handling abnormalities.CONCLUSIONS: iPSC-CMs carrying MYBPC3 PTC mutations displayed aberrant calcium signaling and molecular dysregulations in the absence of significant haploinsufficiency of MYBPC3 protein. Here we provided the first evidence of the direct connection between the chronically activated NMD pathway and HCM disease development.

    View details for PubMedID 30586709

  • Crystallinity of hydroxyapatite drives myofibroblastic activation and calcification in aortic valves ACTA BIOMATERIALIA Richards, J. M., Kunitake, J. R., Hunt, H. B., Wnorowski, A. N., Lin, D. W., Boskey, A. L., Donnelly, E., Estroff, L. A., Butcher, J. T. 2018; 71: 24–36

    Abstract

    Calcific aortic valve disease (CAVD) is an inexorably degenerative pathology characterized by progressive calcific lesion formation on the valve leaflets. The interaction of valvular cells in advanced lesion environments is not well understood yet highly relevant as clinically detectable CAVD exhibits calcifications composed of non-stoichiometric hydroxyapatite (HA). In this study, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopic imaging was used to spatially analyze mineral properties as a function of disease progression. Crystallinity (size and perfection) increased with increased valve calcification. To study the relationship between crystallinity and cellular behavior in CAVD, valve cells were seeded into 3D mineral-rich collagen gels containing synthetic HA particles, which had varying crystallinities. Lower crystallinity HA drove myofibroblastic activation in both valve interstitial and endothelial cells, as well as osteoblastic differentiation in interstitial cells. Additionally, calcium accumulation within gels depended on crystallinity, and apoptosis was insufficient to explain differences in HA-driven cellular activity. The protective nature of endothelial cells against interstitial cell activation and calcium accumulation was completely inhibited in the presence of less crystalline HA particles. Elucidating valve cellular behavior post-calcification is of vital importance to better predict and treat clinical pathogenesis, and mineral-containing hydrogel models provide a unique 3D platform to evaluate valve cell responses to a later stage of valve disease.We implement a 3D in vitro platform with embedded hydroxyapatite (HA) nanoparticles to investigate the interaction between valve interstitial cells, valve endothelial cells, and a mineral-rich extracellular environment. HA nanoparticles were synthesized based on analysis of the mineral properties of calcific regions of diseased human aortic valves. Our findings indicate that crystallinity of HA drives activation and differentiation in interstitial and endothelial cells. We also show that a mineralized environment blocks endothelial protection against interstitial cell calcification. Our HA-containing hydrogel model provides a unique 3D platform to evaluate valve cell responses to a mineralized ECM. This study additionally lays the groundwork to capture the diversity of mineral properties in calcified valves, and link these properties to progression of the disease.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.actbio.2018.02.024

    View details for Web of Science ID 000431470300002

    View details for PubMedID 29505892

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5899951

  • 3-Dimensionally Printed, Native-Like Scaffolds for Myocardial Tissue Engineering CIRCULATION RESEARCH Wnorowski, A., Wu, J. C. 2017; 120 (8): 1224-1226

    View details for DOI 10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.117.310862

    View details for PubMedID 28408446

  • Real-time quantification of endothelial response to shear stress and vascular modulators INTEGRATIVE BIOLOGY DeStefano, J. G., Williams, A., Wnorowski, A., Yimam, N., Searson, P. C., Wong, A. D. 2017; 9 (4): 362–74

    Abstract

    Quiescence is commonly used to describe the inactive state of endothelial cells (ECs) in monolayers that have reached homeostasis. Experimentally quiescence is usually described in terms of the relative change in cell activity (e.g. turnover, speed, etc.) in response to a perturbation (e.g. solute, shear stress, etc.). The objective of this study is to provide new insight into EC quiescence by quantitatively defining the morphology and activity of confluent cell monolayers in response to shear stress and vascular modulators. Confluent monolayers of human umbilical vein ECs (HUVECs) were subjected to a range of shear stresses (4-16 dyne cm-2) under steady flow. Using phase contrast, time-lapse microscopy and image analysis, we quantified EC morphology, speed, proliferation, and apoptosis rates over time and detected differences in monolayer responses under various media conditions: basal media supplemented with growth factors, interleukin-8, or cyclic AMP. In all conditions, we observed a transition from cobblestone to spindle-like morphology in a dose-dependent manner due to shear stress. Cyclic AMP enhanced the elongation and alignment of HUVECs due to shear stress and reduced steady state cell speed. We observed the lowest proliferation rates below 8 dyne cm-2 and found that growth factors and cyclic AMP reduced proliferation and apoptosis; interleukin-8 similarly decreased proliferation, but increased apoptosis. We have quantified the response of ECs in confluent monolayers to shear stress and vascular modulators in terms of morphology, speed, proliferation and apoptosis and have established quantifiable metrics of cell activity to define vascular quiescence under shear stress.

    View details for DOI 10.1039/c7ib00023e

    View details for Web of Science ID 000399687400008

    View details for PubMedID 28345713

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5490251