A partnership like this involves collaboration from a multifunctional team of laboratory researchers and others at our facilities and at The Parkinson’s Institute. Meet our team:

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Birgitt Schuele, MD

The Parkinson’s Institute and Clinical Center
Birgitt is an Associate Professor and Director of the Gene Discovery and Stem Cell Modeling Program at The Parkinson’s Institute. She studied medicine at the Georg-August University in Göttingen and the Medical University in Lübeck, Germany. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford University before joining The Parkinson’s Institute in late 2005.

She heads a gene discovery program for Parkinson’s disease and has built a stem cell program developing novel “disease-in-a-dish” iPS models of Parkinson’s disease for studying disease mechanisms and the effects of environmental toxicants, and for developing new strategies of innovative drug discovery. Over the last two years, Her lab has been working with scientists at Life Technologies to optimize and improve current iPS models.

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Kun Bi, PhD
Life Technologies, Senior Staff Scientist
Kun focuses on building tools and products for stem cell applications. Prior to this role, she and her team developed and launched a large number of high-throughput compatible cellular assays for drug discovery applications.

She has a doctoral degree in cell biology from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. She did her postdoctoral research at the La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology, where she was involved in studying T cell receptor signaling.

Bonnie Hammer, PhD
Life Technologies, Senior Staff Scientist

Bonnie focuses on building tools and products for stem and neuronal cell applications. Prior to this role, she and her team developed and launched a large number of high-throughput compatible assays for G protein–coupled receptors as well as assays for various aspects of cell health.

She holds a PhD in Chemistry from the University of Oregon (Institute of Molecular Biology), where she studied protein-based methods for the identification and classification of mitochondrial disorders.

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Dave Thompson
Life Technologies, Staff Scientist

Dave is currently focused on TAL editing of iPSCs generated from Parkinson’s disease patients. Prior to this role, he was involved in molecular biology and the development of cellular assay platforms for drug discovery, including BacMam and Jump-In™ retargeting cell lines. He has a bachelor’s degree in Microbiology/Biology from the University of Wisconsin–LaCrosse.

Kurt Vogel, PhD
Life Technologies, Strategic Alliance Manager

Kurt manages external R&D partnerships and key commercial accounts within the Cell Biology and Stem Cell Systems business unit. Prior to this role, he was Director of R&D for the Discovery Assays and Services business, where his teams developed products and services for drug discovery. During this time, he also established external partnerships in the stem cell area that were focused on "disease-in-a-dish" modeling of Parkinson’s disease. He holds a PhD in Chemistry from Stanford University and performed his postdoctoral work at Stanford University Medical School.