Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

Capell Lab

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OUR GROUP


PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR

Brian Capell, M.D. Ph.D.

Brian Capell, M.D. Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Dermatology and Genetics
 capellb@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Brian is a physician-scientist and practicing dermatologist. Following a B.S. from Boston College, Brian entered medical school at the NYU School of Medicine. While there, he was accepted to the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)-NIH Research Scholars Program, where he joined the lab of Dr. Francis Collins at the National Human Genome Research Institute. There, Brian studied the genetics of both normal and premature aging, in particular Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome, earning his M.D. and Ph.D. from NYU. Following the completion of his Dermatology Residency at the University of Pennsylvania, Brian began a postdoctoral fellowship with Dr. Shelley Berger studying basic mechanisms of epigenetics and gene regulation. Brian is currently an Assistant Professor of Dermatology and Genetics and core faculty member of the Penn Epigenetics Institute and member of the Abramson Cancer Center and the Penn Institute for Regenerative Medicine.


Lydia Bao

Lydia Bao
Undergraduate Researcher
 lydiabao@sas.upenn.edu

Lydia is an undergraduate student studying Biology in the College at the University of Pennsylvania. She joined the Capell Lab in 2022 and is interested in studying the effects of genomic regulation on carcinogenesis and skin diseases.


Carina D'souza

Carina D'souza
Lab Manager / Research Specialist
 carina.dsouza@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Carina graduated from Vassar College with a B.A. in Biochemistry. Her research interests are focused in identifying novel therapeutic targets for various diseases of the skin.


Sijia Huang, Ph.D.

Sijia Huang, Ph.D.
Bioinformatician
 Sijia.Huang@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Sijia joined the Capell Lab as a bioinformatician in May 2021. She obtained a M.S. in Biostatistics from the University of Florida and got her Ph.D in Bioinformatics from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Sijia is a member of the Penn Institute for Biomedical Informatics (IBI) and is widely interested in the regulation of the genome through the analysis of various NGS data.


Eun Kyung Ko, Ph.D.

Eun Kyung Ko, Ph.D.
Research Associate
 EunKyung.Ko@uphs.upenn.edu

Eun Kyung obtained a Ph.D in Molecular Medicine from the Medical College of Georgia in 2018. She has been interested in the relationship between epigenetic mechanisms and cancer since her earlier Master’s work where she studied DNA methylation changes that occur at the earliest stages of cancer. Now, as a Research Associate in the Capell Lab, Eun aims to define the role of several uncharacterized, but targetable, histone modifying enzymes in both normal skin function and carcinogenesis, employing both in vitro and in vivo model systems.


Nina Kuprasertkul

Nina Kuprasertkul
M.D.-Ph.D. student
 napasorn.kuprasertkul@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Nina is a M.D.-Ph.D. student in the Genetics and Epigenetics Program at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, with a B.S. from Duke University. She joined the Capell Lab in October 2021, and is broadly interested in studying the role of epigenetic modifiers in epidermal metabolism, differentiation, and carcinogenesis.


Alyssa Moore

Alyssa Moore
Graduate Student
 alyssa.moore1@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Alyssa is a graduate student in the Genetics and Epigenetics Ph.D. program at the University of Pennsylvania, with a B.S. in Microbiology and Cell Science from the University of Florida. She is broadly interested in the intersection between translational medicine and epigenetic regulation.


Gina Pacella

Gina Pacella
Graduate Student
 Gina.Pacella@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Gina is a graduate student in the Genetics and Epigenetics Ph.D. program at the University of Pennsylvania, with a B.S. from the University of Pittsburgh. She began her thesis work in the Capell Lab in July 2019, and is broadly interested in the regulation of the genome by epigenetic modifiers and enhancer dynamics. 


LAB ALUMNI:

 

Amy Anderson, M.S.

Amy was an integral member of the lab during its first 4.5 years serving as lab manager and playing key roles in virtually all of the labs ongoing projects. In 2022, Amy took advantage of an exciting job opportunity and we both wish her the best of luck and thank her for all that she contributed to our efforts!

 

Yann Aubert, Ph.D.

Yann made many important contributions to the Capell Lab as a postdoctoral fellow and bioinformatician from 2018-2020. He recently took an exciting new position as a bioinformatician back in his home of France at the Toulouse Institute for Infectious and Inflammatory Diseases.

 

Louisa Boateng, B.S.P.H.

Louisa is currently a Ph.D. student in the Genetics and Epigenetics Graduate group who rotated with our lab in the spring of 2023. Louisa graduated from the Gillings school of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a B.S.P.H. in Environmental Health Sciences and B.A. in Biology. She recently joined the lab of Dr. Alessandra Chesi.

 

Maria Carrera, B.S.

Maria is currently a graduate student at the University of Pennsylvania in the Blanco Lab. While an undergraduate at the University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez, Maria spent the summer of 2018 in the Capell Lab studying the role epigenetic modifiers in epidermal homeostasis and carcinogenesis. 

 

Sohyun Cho

Sohyun is an undergraduate student studying Biology and Health and Societies at the University of Pennsylvania. She joined the Capell Lab in 2021-22 and contributed important work detailing the role of SETD2 and H3K36 methylation in the skin.

 

Shaun Egolf, Ph.D.

Shaun was the lab's first graduate student and Ph.D. recipient. Shaun made fundamental discoveries regarding the roles of the major epigenetic regulators, MLL4 and LSD1, in skin biology and cancer, and the lab continues to follow-up on these exciting findings. In addition to his major publications in Cell Reports and Science Advances, Shaun was the recipient of our Department's T32 award as well as a prestigious NCI F99/K00. He is currently continuing his scientific career at AstraZeneca. 

 

Amy Gladstein, B.A.

Amy is a graduate student in the Genetics and Epigenetics Ph.D. program at the University of Pennsylvania, with a B.A. from Rutgers University-New Brunswick. She completed her first rotation in the Capell Lab in the Fall 2019. Amy is broadly interested in studying gene regulation in cancer and other diseases as a member of the Feldser Lab.

 

Katie Lattanzio, M.D.

Katie was a medical student at the Perelman School of Medicine with a B.A. from Northwestern University. She rotated in the Capell Lab in the Summer of 2019, contributing to a number of projects on transcriptional regulation of skin cancers. Katie is currently a surgical resident at Penn Medicine.

 

Jessica Lee, B.S.

Jessica is currently a medical student at the Thomas Jefferson Sidney Kimmel Medical College (SKMC) as part of Pennsylvania State University and SKMC's Accelerated BS/MD program. She did full-time research in the Capell Lab during the Spring of 2019.

 

Claudia Magahis

Claudia is currently an undergraduate student at the University of Pennsylvania studying Biology on the pre-med track. She began worked in the Capell Lab in 2022-23 on projects exploring the role of epigenetic regulators in epidermal differentiation, carcinogenesis, and epigenome-targeting therapies.

 

Alexandra Maldonado López, Ph.D.

Alexandra was a graduate student in the Capell Lab from 2019-2023, earning her Ph.D. in August 2023. Alex was awarded research support both from our Department's T32, as well as a NIH Diversity Supplement Award. Alex spearheaded the labs work on epitranscriptomics and made exciting discoveries not only demonstrating the essential role of the Mettl3-m6A epitranscriptome in skin homeostasis, but also revealing a critical role for Mettl3 in regulating the expression of numerous epigenetic histone methyltransferases. Alex is now continuing her scientific career at Kenvue.

 

Loreilys Mejias Rivera, B.S.

Loreilys Mejias Rivera is a graduate student in the Genetics and Epigenetics Program at the University of Pennsylvania, with a B.S. from the University of Puerto Rico Rio Piedras Campus. She did her first rotation in the Capell Lab from September-December 2021. She is interested in the epigenetics of cancer, as well as the role of epigenetics in genetic diseases.

 

Nivitha Murali, B.S.

Nivitha is a graduate student in the Cancer Biology Program at Penn. She is originally from India but completed a Masters in Biotechnology at Penn in December 2022. She did her first rotation in the Capell Lab in the fall of 2023 and is broadly interested in the interface of cancer biology with metabolism and epigenetics.

 

Jonathan Zou, B.S.

Jonathan Zou is a recent graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, and was the second member of the Capell Lab, starting as a sophomore at Penn as part of the Vagelos Program. Jonathan made important contributions to multiple projects, in particular to our work on MLL4 and LSD1 and their links to ferroptosis. Jonathan will be starting medical school at the University of Rochester in the summer of 2022.