Steven Blinka

Graduate Student
Medical College of WisconsinSteven Blinka
Department of Cell Biology, Neurobiology & Anatomy
8701 Watertown Plank Road
Milwaukee, WI 53226-3548

(414) 937-3878
(414) 937-6284 (fax)

BS, Molecular Biology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2010

Faculty Advisor: Sridhar Rao, MD, PhD

Research Area: Stem cell transcriptional regulation, epigenetics, hematopoiesis

As an undergraduate with an interest in developmental biology, I joined a research lab that studies the spatio-temporal transcriptional regulatory properties that control floral patterning in developing flower buds. After graduation, I enriched my research experience by studying a human induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) model at MCW. In Dr. John Lough’s lab, I induced cardiomyogenesis in human iPSCs based on our understanding of in vivo cardiac development. Our goal was to identify the earliest lineage specific cardiogenic markers. I rapidly developed an interest using transcription factor markers to map cell fate. As a MSTP student in the Rao lab, I’m currently unifying my expanding interests in stem cells and transcriptional regulation and studying them in clinically relevant model. Specifically, we are interested in a class of non-coding RNAs, enhancer transcribed RNAs (eRNA), and delineating their role in lineage specific gene expression during hematopoietic commitment of pluripotent stem cells.

In sum, I continue to admire the genetic complexities that make a flower beautiful, yet I very much want to use this knowledge and insight to help us better understand human biology and to improve human health.

Medical College of Wisconsin
8701 Watertown Plank Road
Milwaukee, WI 53226
(414) 955-8296
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