Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine

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  • Francisco Galdos

    Francisco Galdos

    MD Student, expected graduation Spring 2024
    Ph.D. Student in Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, admitted Summer 2017
    MSTP Student

    BioMy journey to pursue the physician-scientist track stems from an early fascination with biology and my family’s eight-year struggle to save my younger brother’s life. My brother was born with a complex congenital heart defect known as Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS). In 2003, my brother received a heart transplant, but despite this, he passed away in 2004. Growing up, I strived to find an explanation for my brother’s congenital heart defect and became interested in medicine at a young age. Looking to pursue this goal, I attended the Michael DeBakey High School for Health Professions, a top pre-health and science public school, and in 2011 I was accepted to Harvard University where I pursued a major in the department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology. During my college years I took classes in developmental and stem cell biology where I became interested in the use of these fields to understand congenital defects. I began my research career in Drs. Caroline and Geoffrey Burn’s lab studying the development of the great vessels of the heart in zebrafish, Throughout my time at Harvard, I was awarded numerous fellowships that supported my undergraduate research, including the prestigious Amgen Scholars Fellowship that supported summer research in Dr. Michael Longaker’s lab at Stanford University. I pursued my undergraduate honors thesis in Dr. Richard Lee’s laboratory where I identified the role of Apolipoprotein E as a factor necessary for maintaining mature beta cell gene expression. These experiences culminated in my decision to apply to the physician-scientist program at Stanford University where I am currently training to pursue a career in academic medicine with the ultimate goal of practicing as a pediatric cardiologist and a university professor with an active laboratory. Currently, I am a graduate student in Dr. Sean Wu’s laboratory where I study the development of ventricular development in the heart using both bioinformatic approaches such as scRNA-seq and human induced pluripotent stem cells to study the development of the left and right ventricles. Through my work, I aim to understand the mechanisms that give rise to single ventricle congenital heart defects with the hope of making a difference in the lives of children born with these diseases.