Benjamin Lab Members

Ivor J. Benjamin MD, FAHA, FACC

Ivor Benjamin, MD, FAHA, FACC

Director, Cardiovascular Center
Chief, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine
Vice-Chair, Translational Research
Froedtert & Medical College of Wisconsin

Ivor J. Benjamin MD, FAHA, FACC, is a Professor of Medicine at Froedtert Hospital, and the Medical College of Wisconsin. A board-certified specialist and consultant in internal medicine and cardiology, Dr. Benjamin’s clinical interests are general cardiology, inheritable heart failure, and myocardial infarction.

ibenjamin@mcw.edu

Katie Mitzelfelt, MCW CVC Benjamin Lab

Katie Mitzelfelt

Graduate Student

I have a broad interest in the area of stem cells and regenerative medicine. My project in the Benjamin Lab is modeling myofibrillar myopathy induced by a mutation in a small molecular weight heat shock protein, αB-crystallin, using differentiation of patient-specific iPSCs to both cardiomyocytes as well as multi-nucleated myotubes in culture.

kmitzelfelt@mcw.edu


Qiang Dai, PhD, MCW CVC Benjamin Lab

Qiang Dai, PhD

Research Associate II

Our laboratory has longstanding interests in the role that stress response (HSF/HSP) pathways play in the development, progression, and, ultimately, the prevention of acquired and inheritable cardiac diseases. My studies of genetically engineered mouse models and somatic cell cultures are exploring the mechanisms underlying the effects of genetic, metabolic (e.g., redox), and other perturbations in ischemic cardioprotection and heart failure.

qdai@mcw.edu

Shuping Lai, PhD, MCW CVC Benjamin Lab

Shuping Lai, PhD

Research Associate II

My research project aims on modeling cardiac diseases in a culture dish by utilizing patient specimens. We are creating cardiomyocytes from human induced pluripotent stem cells, differentiate them into cardiomyocytes and use them as a means to mimic the disease in a dish. My major interests are drug-screenings and biochemical assays to exhibit different susceptibilities of cardiac cells to cardiac drugs, to predict adverse drug responses more accurately and to find best suitable drugs for cardiac diseases.

slai@mcw.edu

 

Michael Riedel, PhD, MCW CVC Benjamin Lab

Michael Riedel, PhD

Research Scientist II

My current scientific research project focuses on human induced pluripotent stem cells and their differentiation into cardiomyocytes. I am responsible for the production and maintenance of human iPS cells that are generated from somatic cells and tissues of patients and their differentiation into cardiomyocytes. We are currently in the process of using these cardiomyocytes to develop a state-of-the-art approach to mimic atrial fibrillation and other diseases in a cell/tissue culture model. Our work will hopefully lead to a fuller understanding of how diseases affect the cells in the heart and how they progress over time.

mriedel@mcw.edu

Melinda Choi, MCW CVC Benjamin Lab

Melinda Choi

Lab Technician

I am currently an undergraduate student at Marquette University. In addition to maintaining the lab and carrying out basic lab protocols, I'm interested in exploring projects studying aB-crystallin and utilizing mouse models.

melinda.choi@marquette.edu

 

Mai Thao, MCW CVC Benjamin Lab

Mai Thao

Postdoctoral Fellow

My project focuses on defining the parameters and conditions for reductive stress using a variety of model systems including cardiomyocytes and animals. By using analytical chemistry along with molecular biology techniques, I am able to determine the redox states of these model systems under certain conditions. Overall, this study will give us insight into the redox states of diseases so that we can properly treat cardiovascular diseases.

maithao@mcw.edu

Kurt Kolander, MCW CVC Benjamin Lab

Kurt Kolander

Postdoctoral Fellow

My current project is focused on studying atrial fibrillation. Using both transgenic rats, and human induced pluripotent stem cells, my goal is to develop systems to elucidate the mechanisms of atrial fibrillation and to test the efficacy of treatments for this disorder. This work will hopefully contribute to the development of personalized treatments for atrial fibrillation and other heart diseases.

kkolande@mcw.edu

 

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