top of page


Principal Investigator

Luis obtained his D.V.M. degree from the Universidad Veracruzana in Mexico in 1995 and worked for two years as a Veterinarian focusing in the reproductive medicine of bovines.  In 1999, he obtained his Master's degree from Lincoln University in New Zealand after studying the regulation of the luteinizing hormone by serotoninergic pathways in red deer hinds.  In 2004, he completed his Ph.D. studies on the role of the MAPK family members in the maturation of porcine oocytes from Kobe University, Japan.  After two post-doctoral fellowships at the University of Michigan departments of Ob/Gyn and Biologic and Material Sciences, he became faculty at the School of Dentistry of UoM.  In 2016, joined the Department of Biological Sciences of Oakland University as an Assistant Professor and faculty of the Bioengineering Department in 2019.
He teaches Comparative Physiology and Tissue Engineering.



Ph.D. candidate

Suraj completed his Master's degree from the B.P. Koirala Institute of Health Sciences in his home country of Nepal.  As a senior member of the lab, Suraj is involved in multiple projects to determine the role of integrin alpha6 in multiple stem cell populations, such as embryonic stem cells, induced-pluripotent stem cells, and mesenchymal stem cells.  He is also involved in the optimization of xeno-free and chemically defined culture conditions for human pluripotent stem cells and is the leading researcher in our group in microgravity studies.  In addition, Suraj is the only operator of the FACS Aria instrument in the Department of Biological Sciences.



Ph.D. student

Saul obtained his B.S. in 2015 from the New Mexico Highlands University, and worked as Research Specialist and Research Laboratory Manager at the Midwestern University and the University of Arizona, respectively.  One of his projects will be to determine the role of Integrin-Linked Kinase (ILK) in the self-renewal of human pluripotent stem cells.




Thea just graduated from Oakland University after completing her Honor College Thesis project and now is enrolled in a Master degree program at Johns Hopkins University.  Her project in the lab is to elucidate the role(s) of the Focal Adhesion Kinase (FAK) in the nuclei of human pluripotent stem cells.  Thea is also involved in microgravity studies to determine its effect on human pluripotent stem cells.




Agustin graduated in the Winter of 2020 from Oakland University program in Bioengineering. Currently, he is engaged in research to gain experience and in the future join a Post-graduate program. As a bioengineer his project relates to improving the culture of human pluripotent stem cells in xeno-free and chemically defined conditions.



Undergraduate Student

Jessica is a pre-Veterinarian student in the Honor College of OU. Her project involves the development of retinal organoids from human pluripotent stem cells intending to identify the stem cell population responsible for the development and maintenance of the neural retina.



Undergraduate Student

Paul is a pre-Medical undergraduate Honor College student. His project involves the identification of cardiac stem cells derived from human pluripotent stem cells using integrin alpha6, and to determine its role in cardiogenesis.

group photo in the lab.jpg


Graduate Students

  • Suraj Timilsina (Ph.D.)

  • Julia Czarnecki (Master of Science)

  • Daniel Czarnowski (Master of Science)

  • Daniela Avila (visiting PhD student from Instituto Nacional de Perionatologia, Mexico)

  • Gabriele Bigoni-Ordonez (visiting PhD student from Instituto Nacional de Cancerologia, Mexico)

  • Amina Ghorbel (visiting PhD student from Universite Pierre et Maire Curie, France).

  • Ana Gama 



Undergraduate Students

  1. Matthew McLure (Honors College Student; currently M.D. student at Michigan State University)

  2. Genna Wilber (Honors College Student; currently Ph.D. at Michigan State University)

  3. Joseph Bires

  4. Cody Howes (Honors College Student; currently Ph.D. student at Oakland University)

  5. Mason Yousif (currently D.D.S. student at University of Michigan)

  6. Christina Romatowski (Honors College Student; currently M.D. student at Wayne State University)

  7. Zenna Qirqayoz (Honors College Student; currently M.D. student at Western Michigan University)

  8. Brooke Shepard ((Honors College Student; currently Ph.D. student at University of Colorado)

  9. Schuyler Werth (Honors College Student)

  10. Kathie McCandliss (Honors College Student)

  11. Geraldina Bija (currently D.D.S. at University of Michigan)

  12. Christa Deban (Honors College Student; currently Research Assistant at Harvard Medical School)

  13. Joshue Adrian Fuentes-Martinez (currently Physiotherapy student at University of Michigan)

  14. Kadija Thomas (currently undergraduate student at Oakland University)

  15. Thea Kirsch (Honors College Student; currently Research Assistant at Wayne State University)

  16. Paul Kozlowski (Honors College Student; currently Research Assistant at University of Michigan)f

  17. Agustin Perez-Chavez (currently Master's student at University of Michigan)

  18. Jessica Bradford (currently DVM student)

Team: Our Team
bottom of page