Lab Members

Jun 2, 2019, Lab Party @Nakanos

Back (left to right): Dylan Valencia, Viviana Fajardo, Jonathan Zuo, Amish Jain, Jennifer Thompson. Philip Zhou

Front (left to right): Jamie Huang, Annabel Hou, Theresa Trieu, Jaylene Soto, Iris Feng, Austin Nakano, Christine Chow, Tiffany Chen, Haruko Nakano



Atsushi (Austin) Nakano

Dr. Nakano studies the art of cardiogenesis. He was among the first groups who uncovered the multipotency of cardiovascular progenitors, which is currently a widely-accepted concept in the field. He is expanding the discoveries of early developmental stages to the studies of lineage- and stage-specific programs of cardiogenesis: The idea of multipotency of cardiac progenitors has led to his recent discovery of ‘hemogenic endocardium’, which is conserved from fruit fly to mammals. Sln-Cre knockin mouse line that his team generated is the most specific and sensitive atrial-Cre line to date, and contributed to the dissection of lineage/stage-specific function of cardiac transcription factors. He translates the knowledge from mouse to human disease mechanism. His chemically-defined monolayer culture of hESC/iPSC-CMs uncovered that high glucose impacts fetal cardiogenesis through the pentose phosphate pathway. This work not only revealed the mechanism of pediatric cardiomyopathy associated with diabetic pregnancy but also implies that metabolic switch that fetal cardiomyocytes experience during perinatal stages is not merely a consequence but also a driver of cardiac maturation. These new concepts he established are gradually modifying our classical view of cardiogenesis and disease.  Dr. Nakano received MD and PhD from Kyoto University and postdoc training at UCSD/Harvard. He is currently an associate professor at UCLA.


Haruko Nakano


Viviana Fajardo

Postdoctoral Fellow

Gentian Lluri


Undergraduate Researcher

Vincent Huang


Undergraduate Researcher

Rana Hana Besada


Undergraduate Researcher

Sne Kanji

Alumni List:

Dr. Andy Harmon


Dr. Yaas Nakashima