Rompolas Lab

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Our Group


Principal Investigator

Pantelis Rompolas, PhD

Pantelis Rompolas, PhD
Assistant Professor of Dermatology
 rompolas@pennmedicine.upenn.edu
 215-573-4002

Pantelis earned a B.Sc. in Biology from the University of Athens, Greece. He then worked as a Laboratory Technologist at Ikonisys Inc, in New Haven CT. In 2009 he graduated with an M.B.A. in Management and a Ph.D. in Biomedical Science from the University of Connecticut Health Center, where he trained with Dr. Stephen M. King; studying the biology of dynein motor proteins in eukaryotic cilia. Pantelis then joined Dr. Valentina Greco’s laboratory at Yale University School of Medicine where he developed a system that established for the first time the ability to visualize stem cells in their native environment in mammalian skin. In 2016 Pantelis was recruited at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine as an Assistant Professor of Dermatology. 



Lab Members

Sixia Huang, PhD

Sixia Huang, PhD
IRM Postdoctoral Fellow
 sixia@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Sixia has a Ph.D. degree in Developmental Biology from Bio-X Institute - Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China. As a graduate student Sixia has studied: 1) the function of Wnt signaling in the development of hair follicles and epidermis and 2) the role of some transcription factors in obesity and diabetes. Her PhD work resulted in several peer reviewed publications, a National Merit Scholarship in 2013 and outstanding graduate student award in 2015. Sixia joined our lab as a postdoctoral fellow in the spring of 2016 and she is interested in elucidating the mechanism by which the niche microenvironment regulates stem cell activity in the adult skin.


Paola Kuri

Paola Kuri
AACR Postdoctoral Fellow
 pkuri@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Paola earned an International Baccalaureate from Technologico de Menterry and a B.Sc. from the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico. She then moved to Germany and the prestigious International Max Planck Research School in Gottingen where she earned a Master of Science in Molecular and Cellular Biology and gained research experience working in projects that involved model organisms such as Drosophila and yeast. In 2012, Paola was admitted in the highly competitive Ph.D. program of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory. At EMBL, Paola worked with Dr. Maria Leptin studying the molecular mechanism of a pro-inflammatory type of cell death called pyroptosis. Paola joined our lab in 2018 and is interested in uncovering the mechanism of tumorigenesis. She is supported by the American Association for Cancer Research, with the John and Elizabeth Leonard Family Foundation Basic Cancer Research Fellowship.


Olivia Farrelly

Olivia Farrelly
Graduate Student
 ofarr@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Olivia graduated in 2014 from Johns Hopkins University with a degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology. During her undergraduate studies, Olivia worked as a Research Assistant in the Halpern laboratory to investigate the roles of asymmetrically distributed cholinergic neurons using zebrafish as a model organism. After earning her degree, Olivia devoted two more years to further develop her research skills by working as a Research Fellow in the Weinstein laboratory at the National Institutes of Health. Olivia started her PhD at Penn in 2016 and is interested in studying the mechanisms of corneal regeneration. 


Gabriella Rice

Gabriella Rice
Graduate Student - NRSA Pre-doctoral Fellow
 Gabriella.Rice@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Gaby graduated in 2018 with a Biology major from the University of Texas San Antonio. There, she worked in Brian Hermann’s lab, studying spermatogonial stem cells (SSC)s in a mouse model. She also did research in Wei Tong’s lab at CHOP, where she studied regulators of Jak2 as modulators of hematopoietic stem cell expansion.  Gaby is interested in the regulation of identity and fate of stem cells in the skin. 


Kayla Purdy

Kayla Purdy
Graduate Student
 kayla.purdy@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Kayla graduated from Clarkson University in November 2020. At Clarkson she worked with Damien Samways on potassium ion channels present in cervical cancer cells. For graduate school Kayla is interested in stem cells, particularly tissue engineering and organogenesis. Kayla is currently working on a rotation project, studying the regulation of corneal stem cells. 


Rachel Bae

Rachel Bae
Research Specialist
 hyunjin.bae@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Rachel has a B.A. in Biology from the University of Pennsylvania. She worked as a research assistant in Henry Daniell's lab, where she studied the expression of protein drugs in plant cells to generate transplastomic lettuce. Rachel is fascinated by stem cell regeneration and activity and hopes to learn more about them before heading to dental school. 


Lana Salloum

Lana Salloum
Undergraduate Researcher

Lana is currently a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences at Penn. She is passionate about skin research and interested in pursuing medical training. In our lab Lana is investigating the cellular mechanisms of skin carcinogenesis. 


Adriana Blanco

Adriana Blanco
Penn SUIP Intern

Adriana is a student at The Pennsylvania State University majoring in Biomedical Engineering and pursuing the Biomaterials option of her major. Adriana was  selected to participate in the 2021 Penn Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SUIP) and is currently pursuing a project in our lab, studying tissue biomechanics in the skin.  



Alumni

Megan Brewster

Megan Brewster
Research Specialist

Megan has a B.S. in Biology from The College of New Jersey. There she worked under Dr. Nina Peel, where she studied the role of tubulin glutamylation in regulating microtubule severing. Megan worked in our lab from 2016-2019 and played an instrumental role in establishing our current research program. 


Yoko Horiuchi

Yoko Horiuchi
Research Scholar


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