About Our Lab
Who We Are
Our lab culture is diverse, integrative and welcoming. We thrive when presented with scientific puzzles that challenge our intellect to find answers. We excel because we work together to overcome obstacles with integrity and perseverance.
Luisa Iruela-Arispe, PhD
Luisa Iruela-Arispe, Ph.D., is Stephen Walter Ranson Professor and Chair of the Department of Cell & Developmental Biology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.
Born in Spain, she immigrated to South America to attend school in Argentina and Brazil. She received her Ph.D. in 1989, followed by postdoctoral training at the University of Washington in Seattle. From 1994 to 1998, she was an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School. Arispe subsequently joined UCLA in 1998 before coming to Northwestern in 2019.
Her research focuses on the molecular mechanisms regulating angiogenesis during development and in pathological conditions. Arispe has communicated her work in more than 160 peer-reviewed publications, 30 reviews, and book chapters. She was the first recipient of the Judah Folkman award (2009) and was president of the North American Vascular Biology Organization (2006-2007). She has taught undergraduate students for 22 years and received the Distinguished Teaching Award and the Gold Shield Award, the most prestigious prizes given to a faculty at UCLA, for her exemplary teaching and didactic innovations.
Sam BuchananLaboratory Technician
Education: M.S., Department of Biochemistry, Rush University
I joined the Arispe lab in April 2020 with nine years of experience in research, 4 of those years being at Northwestern. Previously I graduated from Rush University with a Masters Degree in Biochemistry, my thesis focusing on intervertebral disc degeneration. I have worked on a variety of research projects including cervical cancer microRNA profiling, clinical informatics, and extensive IHC while working at the NU Mouse Histology Core (MHPL). I'm currently working on mouse retina imaging and quantification.
Vanessa GonzálezSr. Program Coordinator
Education: B.A. Political Science, UCLA
I've worked with Dr. Arispe and her laboratory research group since 2017, providing administrative support in various areas. As the main administrative point of contact for the Vascular Biology T32, I organized monthly seminars with external speakers and tracked students' progress and compliance with the training program requirements. Currently, I serve as the NAO for the Leducq ReVAMP Network.
Snezana MirkovResearch Lab Manager
Education: M.S., Biochemistry, University of Novi Sad, Serbia
I transferred to the Arispe Lab as a Research Lab Manager in March 2020 after 4.5 years of working for the Department of Neurological Surgery at Northwestern University. There I used to manage the research lab with the focus in brain tumor microenvironment. Prior to employment at Northwestern University I worked for 13.5 years as a Senior Research Technologist at The University of Chicago in a lab investigating pharmacogenetic of anticancer agents and drug-drug interactions. My current role in the Arispe lab involves managing daily operations, training new personnel, maintaining animal colonies and IACUC protocols, conducting experiments, just to name a few. My goals are to gain insights into molecular mechanisms underlying vascular development in both physiological and pathological conditions, become proficient in new technologies and provide additional support to our lab by applying my past research experience.
Ana Mompeón Campos, PhDPostdoctoral Fellow
Education: B.S., Biology, University of Valencia, Spain; M.S., Ph.D., Physiology, University of Valencia, Spain
I obtained my doctoral degree in Physiology from the University of Valencia in Spain in 2019. As a graduate student, my work focused on the role of circulating microRNAs in acute myocardial infarction and endothelial cell function. I also contributed to a research project focusing on the effects of estrogen in the regulation of endothelial-derived mediators and age-associated vascular dysfunction. It was at that time that I had the opportunity to collaborate abroad and I decided to re-direct my future training towards the interface between vascular and tumor biology. Along these lines, I chose to move to the US to advance my career in the area of vascular and cancer biology by joining the Arispe Lab at Northwestern in February 2020. As a postdoctoral fellow, over the last year I have become committed to advancing our understanding of the molecular cross-talk between endothelial and tumor cells during metastasis. My current research focuses on the molecular mechanisms that result in vascular malformations and angiosarcomas.
Hilfenhaus, G., Mompeón, A., Freshman, J., Prajapati, D., Hernandez, G., Freitas, V.M., Ma, F., Langenbacher, A.D., Mirkov, S., Song, D., Cho, B., Goo, Y.A., Pellegrini, M., Chen, J., Damoiseaux, R., and Iruela-Arispe, M.L. 2021. A high-content screen identifies drugs that restrict tumor cell extravasation across the endothelial barrier. Cancer Res. 81(3): 619-633. PMCID: PMC7916904.
For a full list of publications, visit Ana Mompeon's google scholar profile here.
Milagros Romay, PhDPostdoctoral Fellow
Education: B.S., Microimmunology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics (MIMG), UCLA; Ph.D., MIMG Program, UCLA
As a post-doctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Luisa Iruela-Arispe, my research focuses on understanding the function of the gene NOTCH3 in vascular smooth muscles and how NOTCH3 dysregulation contributes to the development of the familial stroke disorder Cerebral Autosomal Dominant Arteriopathy with Subcortical Infarcts and Leukoencephalopathy (CADASIL). As a graduate student at the University of California – Los Angeles, my research focused on utilizing systems genetics approaches to identify novel contributors to cardiovascular diseases such as atherosclerosis and congestive heart failure. During my training, I acquired extensive experience in molecular biology, systems biology, and bioinformatics. As a trainee in the Arispe lab, my research project has further enhanced my skillset in molecular biology and bioinformatics while expanding my knowledge of cell signaling and imaging in the context of vascular biology.
Ma, F., Hernandez, G.E., Romay, M., Iruela-Arispe, M. 2021. Single-cell RNA sequencing to study vascular diversity and function. Curr Opin Hematol. 28(3): 221-229. PMID: 33714967.
Romay, M.C., Toro, C., Iruela-Arispe, M.L. 2019. Emerging molecular mechanisms of vascular dementia. Curr Opin Hematol. 26(3):199-206. PMID: 30883434
Shirali, A.S., Romay, M.C., McDonald, A.I., Su, T., Steel, M.E., Iruela-Arispe, M.L. 2018. A multi-step transcriptional cascade underlies vascular regeneration in vivo. Scientific Reports. 8(1):5430. PMID: 29615716 PMCID: PMC5882937
Mack, J.J., Mosqueiro, T.S., Archer, B.J., Jones, W.M., Sunshine, H., Faas, G.C., Briot, A., Aragón, R., Su, Y.T., Romay, M.C., McDonald, A.I., Kuo, C., Lizama, C.O., Lane, T.F., Zovein, A.C., Fang, Y., Tarling, E.J., de Aguiar Vallim, T.Q., Navab, M., Fogelman, A.M., Bouchard, L.S., Iruela-Arispe., M.L. 2017. NOTCH1 is a mechanosensor in adult arteries. Nature Communications. 8(1): 1620. PMID: 29158473 PMCID: PMC5696341
Annmarie DominguezGraduate Student Researcher
Education: B.S., Chemistry, UC Santa Cruz; Graduate Student, Driskill Graduate Program (DGP), Northwestern University
I joined the Arispe lab in the summer of 2021, shortly after completing a rotation in the lab. I worked with Joceyln to study the effects of chromatin distribution in aortic endothelial cells of mice in regions experiencing different types of flow. I am currently completing an internship over the summer with Oak Ridge National Lab, where I am helping characterize the microbiome of Populus trees using metagenomic tools. I am looking forward to building my computational skills over the summer and joining the group in person again in the fall.
Aryana Famili-YouthMedical Scientist Trainee (MD 1)
Education: B.S., Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Brown University; Medical Scientist Training Program, MD Year 1, Pre-PhD
I joined the Arispe Lab in the fall of 2022 after completing a rotation in the summer of 2022. During my undergrad at Brown, I completed an honors thesis on defining pro-metastatic states with features of osteoarthritic disease processes in breast and pancreatic cancer by utilizing collagen type 10 and its associated coexpression networks. I then spent two years researching the oncolytic potential of various avian paramyxoviruses in the García-Sastre Lab at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. I am broadly interested in how the interactions between the tumor and its products and microenvironment contribute to cancer metastasis and immune evasion.
PublicationsJavaheri, A., Bykov, Y., Mena, I., García-Sastre, A., and Cuadrado-Castano, S. (2022). Avian paramyxovirus 4 antitumor activity leads to complete remissions and long-term protective memory in preclinical melanoma and colon carcinoma models. Cancer Res. Commun. 2, 602–615. doi:10.1158/2767-9764.CRC-22-0025
Katiannah MoiseGraduate Student Researcher
Education: B.A., Molecular Biology, Pomona College; Graduate Student, Driskill Graduate Program (DGP), Northwestern University
I am an upcoming second year student that mainly studied the protein components of the eggshell of the C. elegan embryo. A big worm nerd! I did a summer rotation in the research lab of Arispe working with Jocelyn on assessing cytoskeleton remodelling in the presence of flow of cellular monolayers of different confluencies. Right now, I am the first official Northwestern graduate student of the Arispe lab and I am studying the pathways and proteins associated with ligands BMP and TGF-B on acetylation of microtubules and cell shape/elongation of endothelial cells under flow.
Danielle PiMedical Scientist Trainee (G2)
Education: B.S., University of Pennsylvania; Medical Scientist Training Program Student, MD Year 3, PhD Year 2
I joined the Arispe Lab in the summer of 2021 after completing a summer rotation in 2020. I graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and studied intestinal malabsorptive diseases using an organoid model at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, before joining the Medical Scientist Training Program at Northwestern. I am broadly interested in the mechanisms that underlie vascular development and regeneration that can be potentially harnessed for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes.
Alan PoeMedical Physician Trainee (MD 2)
Education: B.S., Biomedical Engineering, Johns Hopkins University; Student, Feinberg School of Medicine, MD year 2
I joined the Arispe lab in the fall of 2021 as a part of the Area of Scholarly Concentration (AOSC) program. For my undergraduate training, I studied biomedical engineering at Johns Hopkins University with a focus on translational cell and tissue engineering. There, I researched the molecular mechanisms of age-related vascular stiffening and hypertension. I am interested in understanding the mechanisms driving vascular development and disease to develop therapeutics to treat and prevent conditions associated with vascular dysfunction. Currently, I am studying the effects of cytokines released during COVID-19 infection on endothelial cells.
Jocelyn SalvadorGraduate Student Researcher
Education: B.S., Biomedical Engineering, UC Irvine; Graduate Student, Driskill Graduate Program (DGP), Northwestern University
I began my PhD studies in the Molecular, Cellular & Integrative Physiology program at UCLA and am now a PhD student in the Driskill Graduate Program at Northwestern. I graduated from UC Irvine with a degree in biomedical engineering (B.S.) and then worked as a post-baccalaureate fellow in Dr. George E. Davis' lab where I focused on microtubule dynamics during endothelial morphogenesis using 3D matrices. I am interested in EC mechanobiology especially in the context of fluid shear stress, and in the Arispe lab I am able to combine my interests and expertise to study endothelial cytoskeletal dynamics and necessary post-translational modifications that occur under flow conditions in vitro and in vivo, as well as creating 3D bioprinted models to study mechanobiology in the vessel wall.
Salvador, J., Iruela-Arispe, M.L. 2022. Nuclear Mechanosensation and Mechanotransduction in Vascular Cells. Front Cel Dev Biol. 10. DOI: 10.3389/fcell.2022.905927.
Salvador, J.*, Hernandez, G.E.*, Ma, F., Abrahamson, C.W., Pellegrini, M., Goldman, R., Ridge, K.M., and Iruela-Arispe, M.L. 2022. Transcriptional evaluation of the ductus arteriosus at the single-cell level uncovers a requirement for vimentin for complete closure. ATVB.
Hernandez, G.E., Ma, F., Martinez, G., Firozabadi, N.B., Salvador, J., Juang, L.J., Zhao, P., Lopez, D.A., Ardehali, R., Beaudin, A.E., Kastrup, C.J., Pellegrini, M., Flick, M.J., Iruela-Arispe, M.L. 2022. Aortic intimal resident macrophages are essential for maintenance of the non-thrombogenic intravascular state. Nat Cardiovasc Res. 1:67–84
Hannah SunshineVisiting Scholar, Graduate Student Researcher (UCLA)
Education: B.S., Cell & Developmental Biology, CSU Fullerton; Graduate Student, Molecular, Cellular, and Integrative Physiology (MCIP) Program, UCLA; Visiting Scholar, Northwestern University
Prior to graduate school, I worked for three years at a small Biotech company in Irvine, California, isolating and studying human pancreatic islets of Langerhans. I joined the UCLA Arispe Lab in spring of 2016 while pursuing a PhD in Molecular, Cellular, and Integrative Physiology. There, I studied various factors that affect vascular endothelial homeostasis through the modulation of Notch signaling. Currently, I study molecular mechanisms involved in reprogramming quiescent endothelial cells to undergo neovascularization at the newly relocated Arispe Lab at Northwestern.
McDonald, A.I., Shirali, A.S., Aragón, R., Ma, F., Hernandez, G., Vaughn, D.A., Mack, J.J., Lim, T.Y., Sunshine, H., Zhao, P., Kalinichenko, V., Hai, T., Pelegrini, M., Ardehali, R., and Iruela-Arispe, M.L. 2018. Endothelial Regeneration of Large Vessels is a Biphasic Process Driven by Local Cells with Distinct Proliferative Capacities. Cell Stem Cell. 23(2):210-225. PMID: 30075129 PMCID: PMC6178982
Mack, J.J., Mosqueiro, T.S., Archer, B.J., Jones, W.M., Sunshine, H., Faas, G.C., Briot, A., Aragón, R., Su, Y.T., Romay, M.C., McDonald, A.I., Kuo, C., Lizama, C.O., Lane, T.F., Zovein, A.C., Fang, Y., Tarling, E.J., de Aguiar Vallim, T.Q., Navab, M., Fogelman, A.M., Bouchard, L.S., Iruela-Arispe, M.L. 2017. NOTCH1 is a mechanosensor in adult arteries. Nature Communications. 8(1): 1620. PMID: 29158473 PMCID: PMC5696341
Sunshine, H., Iruela-Arispe, M.L. 2017. Membrane lipids and cell signaling. Curr Opin Lipidol. 28(5): 408-413. PMID: 28692598 PMCID: PMC5776726
Cyrus AbrahamsonUndergraduate Student
Education: Undergraduate Student, Department of Neuroscience, Northwestern University
I joined the Arispe Lab in the winter of 2020 and am an undergraduate majoring in Neuroscience at Northwestern. I am working with Jocelyn on 3D bioprinting blood vessels and looking at the impact of blood flow.
PublicationsSalvador, J., Hernandez, G.E., Ma, F., Abrahamson, C.W., Pellegrini, M., Goldman, R., Ridge, K.M., and Iruela-Arispe, M.L. 2022. Transcriptional evaluation of the ductus arteriosus at the single-cell level uncovers a requirement for vimentin for complete closure. ATVB.
Yashoswini ChakrabortyUndergraduate Student
Education: Undergraduate Student, Biology Department, Northwestern University
I joined the Arispe lab in the fall of 2022 and am an undergraduate at Northwestern University, studying Biology and Global Health. I am currently working with Danielle to study large vessel development using the aorta as a model.
Lourdes Garcia OrtegaVisiting Scholar - Graduate Student
I am a 4th-year PhD student in Rui Benedito’s lab in Madrid (Spain). I am working on how Notch signalling impacts aorta and periaortic tissue. I joined the Arispe lab for a short-stay in 2023 Spring motivated by the aorta system projects and Notch pathway expertise the group has.
Sophia JohnstonBachelor of Science Graduate
Education: B.S. Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology, UCLA
I joined the Arispe lab in the summer of 2022 after graduating a year early from UCLA. I am currently working with Ana to study the molecular pathways and mechanisms that yield vascular malformations, during my gap year before applying to either medical school or graduate school.
Aya MasriUndergraduate Student
Education: Undergraduate Student, Biological Sciences Department, and Business Institutions Department, Northwestern University
I joined the Arispe Lab in the Fall of 2022, and am an undergraduate student studying Biological Sciences and Business Institutions at Northwestern University. I am currently working with Annmarie to study the transmembrane protein and transcription factor, Notch-1, and how it mediates mechanosensing in endothelial cells.
Aarya MehtaUndergraduate Student
Education: Undergraduate Student, Biological Sciences Department, Northwestern University
I joined the Arispe Lab in the Winter of 2022, and am an undergraduate student studying the Biological Sciences at Northwestern University. I am currently working with Katiannah in studying BMP signalling and its downstream signaling pathways that regulate microtubule organization in endothelial cells and are necessary in development of proper blood vessels.
Chloe SymonsHigh School Student
Education: Student, Lane Tech High School
I joined the Arispe Lab in the summer of 2022 as an intern in one of Northwestern's summer research programs, and I am a senior at Lane Tech High School here in Chicago. I am working with Hannah on her research about the molecular pathways that influence endothelial cell growth in the process of vascularization.
Andrew WangUndergraduate Student
Education: Undergraduate Student, Biology Department, Northwestern University
I joined the Arispe lab in the fall of 2022 and am an undergraduate majoring in biology at Northwestern. I am currently working with Millie to study the impact of regional diversity on vascular abnormalities and diseases.
View a complete list of lab alumni
5 Most Recent Postdoctoral Fellows
Melanie Uebelhoer, PhD
Training Period: 2015-2019
Current Position: Technological Platform at Artialis, BE
Austin Quach, PhD
Training Period: 2018-2019
Current Position: Co-Founder and CSO of Dalton Bioanalytics
Yalda Afshar, MD, PhD
Training Period: 2017-2019
Current Position: Faculty-in-Residence, MFM, DGSOM, UCLA
Sanna Vattulainen-Collanus, PhD
Training Period: 2017-2019
Current Position: Geneticist, Blueprint Genetics, CA
Emilie Rannou, PhD
Training Period: 2016-2019
Current Position: Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Zurich
5 Most Recent Graduate Students
Gloria Hernandez, PhD
Training Period: 2017-2020
Current Position: Postdoctoral Fellow, Genentech
Austin McDonald, MD, PhD
Training Period: 2012-2017
Current Position: Research Fellow, Cardiovascular Research Institute, Mass Gen Hospital
Safiyyah N. Ziyad, PhD
Training Period: 2010-2015
Current Position: Scientist, Juno Therapeutics, Inc.
Onika Noel, MD, PhD
Training Period: 2010-2014
Current Position: Physician, UC Davis
Courtney K. Domigan, PhD
Training Period: 2007-2014
Current Position: Director, Deallus Consulting
5 Most Recent Undergraduates
Training Period: 2022
Current Position: Research Tech & Undergraduate Student, Ardehali Lab, Northwestern University
Training Period: 2019
Current Position: Undergraduate Student, UCLA
Training Period: 2019
Current Position: Undergraduate Student, UCLA, Tarling-Vallim Lab
Training Period: 2019
Current Position: Undergraduate Student, UCLA, Ardehali Lab
Anhyo Jeong (AJ)
Training Period: 2018-2019
Current Position: Undergraduate Student, UCLA, Afshar Lab