Honors & Awards

  • National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Fellowship, NSF (Sept. 2008 - Aug. 2011)
  • Diversifying Academia, Recruiting Excellence Doctoral Stanford Fellowship, Vice Provost of Graduate Education (Aug. 2011 - Aug. 2013)
  • NIH National Research Service Award (NRSA) Parent F31-Diversity, NIH (April 2012)
  • Milton Safenowitz Post Doctoral Fellowship for ALS Research, ALS Association (2015 - 2017)

Professional Education

  • Master of Science, Stanford University, MED-MS (2014)
  • Doctor of Philosophy, Stanford University, GENE-PHD (2014)
  • Bachelor of Science, New Mexico State Univ, Las Cruces, Biochemistry (2006)

Stanford Advisors

  • Lei Qi, Postdoctoral Faculty Sponsor

Lab Affiliations

All Publications

  • Single-Cell XIST Expression in Human Preimplantation Embryos and Newly Reprogrammed Female Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells STEM CELLS Briggs, S. F., Dominguez, A. A., Chavez, S. L., Pera, R. A. 2015; 33 (6): 1771-1781


    The process of X chromosome inactivation (XCI) during reprogramming to produce human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), as well as during the extensive programming that occurs in human preimplantation development, is not well understood. Indeed, studies of XCI during reprogramming to iPSCs report cells with two active X chromosomes and/or cells with one inactive X chromosome. Here, we examine expression of the long non-coding RNA, XIST, in single cells of human embryos through the oocyte-to-embryo transition and in newly mRNA reprogrammed iPSCs. We show that XIST is first expressed beginning at the 4-cell stage, coincident with the onset of embryonic genome activation in an asynchronous manner. Additionally, we report that mRNA reprogramming produces iPSCs that initially express XIST transcript; however, expression is rapidly lost with culture. Loss of XIST and H3K27me3 enrichment at the inactive X chromosome at late passage results in X chromosome expression changes. Our data may contribute to applications in disease modeling and potential translational applications of female stem cells. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/stem.1992

    View details for Web of Science ID 000354882500008

    View details for PubMedID 25753947

  • Human germ cell formation in xenotransplants of induced pluripotent stem cells carrying X chromosome aneuploidies. Scientific reports Dominguez, A. A., Chiang, H. R., Sukhwani, M., Orwig, K. E., Reijo Pera, R. A. 2014; 4: 6432-?


    Turner syndrome is caused by complete or partial loss of the second sex chromosome and is characterized by spontaneous fetal loss in >90% of conceptions. Survivors possess an array of somatic and germline clinical characteristics. Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) offer an opportunity for insight into genetic requirements of the X chromosome linked to Turner syndrome. We derived iPSCs from Turner syndrome and control individuals and examined germ cell development as a function of X chromosome composition. We demonstrate that two X chromosomes are not necessary for reprogramming or maintenance of pluripotency and that there are minimal differences in gene expression, at the single cell level, linked to X chromosome aneuploidies. Formation of germ cells, as assessed in vivo through a murine xenotransplantation model, indicated that undifferentiated iPSCs, independent of X chromosome composition, are capable of forming germ-cell-like cells (GCLCs) in vivo. In combination with clinical data regarding infertility in women with X chromosome aneuploidies, results suggest that two intact X chromosomes are not required for human germ cell formation, qualitatively or quantitatively, but rather are likely to be required for maintenance of human germ cells to adulthood.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/srep06432

    View details for PubMedID 25242416