Cell Biology, Neurobiology & Anatomy

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Steven Blinka

Graduate Student
Department of Cell Biology, Neurobiology & Anatomy

BS, Molecular Biology, UW-Madison, 2010

Faculty Advisor: Sridhar Rao, MD, PhD

Mailing Address:
Department of Cell Biology, Neurobiology & Anatomy
8701 Watertown Plank Road
Milwaukee, WI 53226-3548

Phone: (414) 937-3878
FAX: (414) 937-6284
Email: sblinka@mcw.edu

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.

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Page Updated 12/30/2014