Principal Investigator

Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte

Gene Expression Laboratory
Roger Guillemin Chair

Lab Assistant
May Schwarz

May Schwarz, B.S

Lab Manager

May graduated with a B.S. in microbiology and molecular genetics from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2000.  She joined the Belmonte lab in 2000.
Staff Scientists

Concepción Rodriguez-Esteban Ph.D.

Senior Staff Researcher

Conchi is a Senior Staff Researcher in the GEL-B laboratory. She joined the lab in 1993. Her scientific interest lies in the understanding of embryonic development: how a single cell becomes a human being. A better understanding of this process is helping us in the search of molecules, gene and cell treatments for diseases affecting mankind. Additionally, some of the concepts learned from the study of embryogenesis are guiding us to discover methodologies for inducing endogenous in vivo regenerative responses that may allow for tissue and organ  transplantation and regeneration, delaying  aging and aging associated diseases.
Hsin-Kai Liao

Hsin-Kai (Ken) Liao, Ph.D.


Hsin-Kai graduated with a B.S. in Marine Resources from National Sun Yat-Sen University, Taiwan. Later he received his M.S. in Biochemistry from College of Medicine in National Taiwan University, he worked in Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan. He graduated with a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Iowa State University, and then he joined the Belmonte lab for his postdoctoral research. He is interested in developing stem cell and genome targeting approaches in regenerative medicine.

Pradeep Reddy Ph.D.


Pradeep graduated in 2002 and completed master’s in biotechnology in 2004, India. He obtained his Ph.D. from Umea University, Sweden in 2010. He did his first postdoc at Stanford University and joined Belmonte lab in 2013. His work in the lab is focused on aging, genome edition and reprogramming topics.

Yuta Takahashi Ph.D.


Yuta received his B.Sc., M.Sc. and PhD from the University of Tsukuba, Japan. He joined the Belmonte lab in 2012 and has studied targeted DNA methylation editing.
Research Assistants
Mariana Morales Valencia

Mariana Morales, M.S

Research Assistant II

Mariana received her master’s degree in Biomedical Sciences from the Universidad de Antioquia, Colombia.  She joined the Belmonte Lab as a Research Assistant in 2015, since then she has been involved in different research projects mainly focused on embryonic development and epigenetics inheritance. Outside the lab, Mariana enjoys the beach, camping and hiking, and baking.
Postdoctoral Fellows

Sanjeeb Kumar Sahu Ph.D


Sanjeeb is a Research associate in the Lab of Dr. Juan Carlos Belmonte. Currently he is trying to understand the molecular mechanism underlying cellular and organismal ageing. He received his PhD degree from JGU, Germany on Neurobiology and cancer metastasis.
Reyna Hernandez-Benitez

Reyna Hernandez-Benitez. Ph.D.


Reyna received her PhD in Biomedical Science from Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM).  Main expertise in the fields of Neuroscience, Gene Editing, Metabolism.

Isabel Guillen-Guillen Ph.D


Isabel received her B.S in Pharmacy from the Universidad San Pablo CEU in Madrid (Spain). Later she finished her M.S at Universidad de Murcia (Spain), and her Ph.D in Nutrition, Technology and Food Safety at the Universidad Católica de Murcia (Spain). Her thesis was on the development of a highly specific lateral flow immunoassay (LFIA), showing no cross-reactivity to other chemically similar compounds to confirm the presence or absence of contaminants in food. She applied the LFIA for rapid screening of antibiotics residues in honey. After her Ph.D, she joined Belmonte lab as Postdoc. She is studying the role of chondrocytes and changes in the extracellular matrix of cartilage in Osteoarthritis disease. Besides science, she loves to enjoy time with her family and friends, cooking and spending time outdoors.
Fumiyuki Hatanaka

Fumiyuki Hatanaka Ph.D.


Fumiyuki graduated and completed his M.S. from Toyama Medical and Pharmaceutical University in Japan. Later he obtained his Ph.D. from Kyoto University in Japan. After he worked in Hiroshima University and RIKEN Brain Science Institute, he joined the Belmonte lab in 2015. His work in the lab is focused on aging in the brain and genome editing.

Verónica Lamas Ph.D


Veronica comes from Palencia, Spain. She completed her B. S in Biology and Biochemistry at the University of Salamanca in 2008. Later she received her M.S and a PhD in Neurosciences in the Auditory Neuroplasticity lab of the Institute for Neurosciences of Castilla y León. In 2014 she moved to Boston to work as a postdoctoral researcher in the Inner Ear Biology lab of the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary- Harvard Medical School, where she was focused in the development of new gene therapies to treat genetic deafness. She joined the Belmonte Lab in 2019. She is interested in regeneration of the inner ear, the development of new therapies for deafness and the Usher Syndrome. She has expanded her research interests also to age-related retinal diseases like Macular degeneration.
Ronghui Li

Ronghui Li Ph.D.


Ronghui obtained a master degree in Guangzhou Institute for Biomedicine and Health and finished his doctoral training in University of Wisconsin-Madison. Afterwards, he joined the GEL-Belmonte lab as a postdoc to explore the use of stem cells to create three dimensional models to study early embryonic development. He is also interested in applying stem cell biology into therapeutic development.
Zaijun Ma

Zaijun Ma Ph.D


Zaijun Ma graduated with a B.S. in 2014, and with a Ph.D. in Cell Biology from Shanghai Institute of Organic Chemistry, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2019, where he focused on investigating the role of histone modification and microRNA on Drosophila aging. Then, he joined Belmonte lab in 2020 as a Postdoctoral fellow, and now his research is focused on aging, ECM stiffness and epigenetic.
Yasuo Ouchi

Yasuo Ouchi Ph.D.


Yasuo received his Ph.D. degree in Medicine from the University of Tokyo, Japan. He joined the Belmonte lab in May 2018 and his project focuses on the molecular mechanism of longevity and age-related diseases, and the development of new clinically applicable strategies for cancer, genetic diseases and infectious diseases using CRISPR and cellular reprogramming technologies.

Yosu Luque Rincon

Postdoctoral Fellow

Yosu comes from San Sebastian, Spain. He is a nephrologist and worked in Tenon hospital (Assistance Publique – Hôpitaux de Paris, Paris, France) till 2020. He obtained his M.D. in 2013 and his Ph.D. in 2016 in Sorbonne Université (Paris, France) studying glomerular diseases in CoRaKid Lab (Tenon hospital, Paris, France). He joined the Belmonte Lab as a post-doctoral fellow in January 2021. His work in the lab is focused on kidney regeneration and gene editing.


Yanjiao Shao Ph.D.


Yanjiao received her PHD degree in Cell Biology from East China Normal University (ECNU) in 2018, where she focused on genome editing and gene therapy in mice and rats. Then, she joined Belmonte lab as a postdoc to optimize genome targeting tools for genetic diseases treatment.
Kensaku Shojima

Kensaku Shojima Ph.D.


Kensaku graduated from Hiroshima University in 2007, obtaining an M.D. degree. He completed his residency in internal medicine at Tokyo Metropolitan Komagome Hospital and received his Ph.D. in medical science from Osaka University.After working at Hashimoto Municipal Hospital, he joined the Belmonte lab in 2017. He is interested in regeneration and aging. He is engaged in the study of liver regeneration by using in vivo reprogramming.
Mako Yamamoto Tsuji

Mako Yamamoto Tsuji Ph.D.


Mako received her Bachelor and master’s degree in Life Sciences from Tottori university (Japan) and her Ph.D. degree in Medicine from Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine (Japan) in 2012. After obtaining her Ph.D., she came to San Diego and joined University of California (Department of Surgery) as a postdoctoral fellow studying cancer biology. In 2015, she started working in Belmonte lab. Currently, her work has been focused on aging and gene editing technology. Outside the lab, Mako likes baking cakes, surfing and sleeping.

Chao Wang Ph.D.


Chao got his PhD degree from Purdue University in 2017, where he studied genes or miRNAs regulating skeletal muscle development and regeneration.  He joined the Belmonte lab in 2018.  Here he is extending his studies from basic science to translational medicine.  He is utilizing CRISPR-mediated approaches to activate genes in skeletal muscle, aiming to enhance the motor and metabolic function of skeletal muscle.
Visiting Scientists
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Lab Technicians

Hilda Ayala

Lab Technician II

Jasmine Chavez

Jasmine Chavez


Cristina Alvarez

Cristina Alvarez


Padmini Gadireddy

Padmini Gadireddy


Nanami Kadota

Nanami Kadota


Hannah Tauchi

Hannah Tauchi


Lab Coordinator
Peter Schwarz

Peter Schwarz, B.S


Peter graduated with a B.S. in Applied Mathematics and Economics from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1999.  He joined the Belmonte lab in 2011.