Past Events

Thank you to all that attended! A terrific meeting followed by dinner with the keynote and invited speakers at Tandem Restaurant in Carrboro:


Keynotes and invited speakers dinner at Tandem Carrboro
Post meeting dinner with meeting organizers and invited speakers

2023 Triangle Regeneration Biology Symposium

Friday, October 6, 2023


UNC Friday Center


Keynote Speakers:

Dr. Haifan Lin

Dr. Haifan Lin, PhD

Yale University

Eugene Higgins Professor of Cell Biology, and Professor of Genetics, of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences, and of Dermatology; Director, Yale Stem Cell Center

Talk Title:

The Piwi-piRNA Pathway: a New World of Genetic Regulation in the Germline

Dr. Lin is the Eugene Higgins Professor of Cell Biology, Professor of Genetics, of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences, and of Dermatology; founding Director, Yale Stem Cell Center.

Dr. Lin studies the self-renewing mechanism of stem cells, stem cell-related cancers, and germline development.  He made key contributions to the demonstration of stem cell self-renewing division and the proof of the stem cell niche theory. He discovered the Argonaute-Piwi gene family and its function in stem cell self-renewal, germline development, and oncogenesis.  He is also a discoverer of Piwi-interacting RNA (piRNA), a discovery hailed by Science as one of the 10 Breakthroughs in 2006. Recently, he discovered two new paradigms of genome-wide regulation at epigenetic and post-transcriptional levels as mediated by the Piwi-piRNA pathway.

Dr. Lin received his BS degree from Fudan University, PhD degree from Cornell University, and postdoctoral training at the Carnegie Institution for Science. He joined the faculty of Duke University Medical School in 1994, where he rose to Full Professor. He founded and directed Duke Stem Cell Research Program (2005-2006) and moved to Yale in 2006 to establish and direct the Yale Stem Cell Center, building it from two labs to one of the largest stem cell research entities with currently 102 member labs. With Yale’s support, he served as the Adjunct Founding Dean of School of Life Science and Technology at ShanghaiTech University (2014-2022), building a world-class School with 74 faculty members.

Dr. Lin has played numerous leadership roles in the scientific community. He is the Past-President of the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR, 2023-2024). Previously, He served as President (2022-2023), President-Elect (2021-2022), Vice President (2020-2021), Director (2009-2019, 2020-present), Treasurer (2013-2016), and Chair of various committees (2009-present) of the ISSCR, as well as on the advisory boards/committees of more than 30 other academic and nonprofit organizations.

Dr. Lin received more than 30 awards in his career.  Recent ones include the NIH Director’s Pioneer Award (2010), the NIH MERIT Award (2012), the Ray Wu Award (2013), and the Society for the Study of Reproduction Research Award (2015), and The Chinese Association for Science and Technology, USA, Outstanding Science and Innovation Award (2019). He is a Member of US National Academy of Sciences, a Member of American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a Fellow of the American Association for Advancement of Science, and a Foreign Member of Chinese Academy of Science.


Li Qian

Li Qian, PhD

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Professor, Associate Director of the McAllister Heart Institute

Talk Title:

Programming and Reprogramming: What Does It Take to Make a Cardiomyocyte?

Dr.Qian received her undergraduate degree in biology from Fudan University in China and a Ph.D. in molecular and cell biology from University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She then pursued postdoctoral training in cardiovascular and stem cell biology at Gladstone Institute, UCSF. Currently as a Professor, and the Associate Director of McAllister Heart Institute at UNC-Chapel Hill, Dr. Qian is interested in developing innovative approaches to regenerate or repair an injured heart.  In addition, Qian Lab ( takes advantage of traditional mouse genetics, cell and molecular assays, biochemistry and the latest single cell omicstechnologies to investigate the fundamental events underlying cardiac cell programming and reprogramming. Dr. Qian’s contributions to the field of cardiovascular research and regenerative medicine have been recognized by many honors and awards, including the recent Emerging Investigator Award from NHLBI and Established Investigator Award from American Heart Association. Qian is also a passionate teacher and mentor who has received UNC’s “Outstanding Mentor Award” and “Faculty Award for Excellence in Doctoral Mentoring”.

8:15-8:55am Registration with coffee and light bites

Session One

Grumman Auditorium

Moderators: DRC/UNC trainees

8:55-9:00am: Welcome remarks-Lori O’Brien, UNC

9:00-10:00am: Keynote: Haifan Lin, PhD, Yale

“The Piwi-piRNA pathway: a new world of genetic regulation in the germline”

10:00-10:20am: Adele Moatti, PhD, NCSU

“The porcine model for studying regeneration in the inner ear”

10:20-10:35am: Break

10:35-11:00am: Elizabeth Ables, PhD, ECU    Elizabeth Ables

“Coordinating cellular asymmetry with cell division in the Drosophila germline”



11:00-11:20am: Jackson Hoffman, PhD, NIEHS

“BRG1 establishes the neuroectodermal chromatin landscape to restrict dorsal cell fates”

David Brown11:20-11:45am: David Brown, MD, PhD, Duke

“Sp transcription factors in appendage regeneration, from fins to feet”



11:45-12:05pm: Rebeccah Stewart, Duke

“Orb2 enables rare-codon-enriched mRNA expression during Drosophila neural stem cell differentiation”

Lunch Buffet

Trillium AB


Session Two

Grumman Auditorium

Moderators: DRC/UNC trainees

Guang Hu1:00-1:25pm: Guang Hu, PhD, NIEHS

Post-transcriptional gene regulation in stem cells – When the tail wags the dog”



1:25-1:45pm: Kevin Li, UNC/NCSU

“Minimally invasive delivery of synthetic cardiac stromal cells improves heart repair in pigs”

Berfin Azizoglu1:45-2:10pm: Berfin Azizoglu, PhD, UNC

“Vascularization principles of organ growth and size control”



2:10-2:30pm: Nitya Ramkumar, PhD, Duke

“ERK mediated oriented cell division facilitates periderm growth during rapid embryonic elongation”

Donald Freytes2:30-2:55pm: Donald Freytes, PhD, UNC/NCSU

“Harnessing the Extracellular Matrix to Study and Promote Tissue Regeneration”



2:55-3:10pm: Coffee Break

Session Three

Grumman Auditorium

Moderator: DRC/UNC trainees

Shyni Varghese3:10-3:35pm Shyni Varghese, PhD, Duke

“Designing therapeutic intervention to promote healing”



3:35-3:55pm David Lee, PhD, Duke

“Metabolomics of muscle stem cell activation for aged muscle regeneration”

3:55-4:55pm: Keynote: Li Qian, PhD, UNC

“Programming and reprogramming: what does it take to make a cardiomyocyte?”

4:55-5:00pm Closing remarks-Ken Poss, Duke

Reception and Poster Session

Atrium Center

5:00-7:00pm With heavy hors d’oeuvres and drinks


Triangle Regeneration Biology Symposium
October 27, 2022
Trent Seman’s Great Hall, Duke University Medical Center

Registration closes October 20!

Thank you to all of those who submitted abstracts for talks and posters. Although submissions are no longer being accepted, regular registration for meeting only attendance is open until October 20.

For those interested in participating, we will be having a bring or draw your own poster session from 4:30pm-6:00pm on the 6th Floor of Trent Semans. Please email Amy Jackson by October 20 to save your poster space!


11:30am-12:30pm Registration, Lunch (1st floor), Hang Posters
(6th Floor), Trent Semans

12:30pm-12:40pm Welcome and opening remarks: Ken Poss, Ph.D., Director, Duke Regeneration Center
Trent Semans Great Hall

Session One
Trent Semans Great Hall
Moderator: Archan Chakraborty

Ashley Brown, PhD

12:40pm-1:00pm Ashley Brown, Ph.D. Associate Professor, Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering, UNC and NC State. Talk Title: Fibrin-engaging colloids for tissue repair



1:00pm-1:15pm Selected talk: Gary Gerlach, Ph.D. Postdoctoral Fellow O’Brien Lab, UNC. Talk title: Uncovering the Podocyte Foot Process Proteome


Valentina Cigliola, PhD1:15pm-1:35pm Valentina Cigliola, Ph.D. Postdoctoral Fellow Poss Lab, Duke University School of Medicine.Talk Title: Deciphering innate mechanisms of spinal cord regeneration



1:35pm-1:50pm Selected talk: Fernando Alsina, Ph.D. Postdoctoral Fellow Silver Lab, Duke University School of Medicine. Talk Title: Dual regulation of RNA metabolism and cytoskeleton dynamics during neuronal maturation


Josh Currie, PhD1:50pm-2:10pm Josh Currie, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Biology, Wake Forest University
Talk Title: Developing regeneration: from limb bud to blastema



2:10pm-2:30pm Coffee Break

Session Two
Trent Semans Great Hall
Moderator: Yueyuan Xu/Saratchandra Khumukcham

Alon Greenbaum2:30pm-2:50pm Alon Greenbaum, Ph.D, Assistant Professor, Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering UNC Chapel Hill and NC State. Talk Title: Development of imaging techniques and in-vitro models to support drug delivery and cellular regeneration in the inner ear


2:50pm-3:05pm Selected talk: Ashley Rich, Ph.D. Postdoctoral Fellow Poss/DiTalia Lab Duke University School of Medicine. Talk Title: Dynamic ERK activity patterns process memory of skeletal size during zebrafish fin regeneration


3:05pm-3:20pm Selected talk: Helen Streff, Graduate student, Gersbach Lab, Duke University Pratt School of Engineering. Talk title: Epigenetic Engineering of Improved iPSC-derived Hepatocytes


3:20pm-3:35pm Selected talk: Rohan Bhattacharya, Graduate student, Musah Lab, Duke University Pratt School of Engineering. Talk title: SMAD2 Variants in Human iPS Cells Dysregulates Differentiation into Kidney Glomerular Podocytes


3:35pm-3:55pm Ravi Karra, M.D., Assistant Professor of Medicine, Duke University School of Medicine
Talk Title: Myovascular coupling during heart regeneration and disease



4:00pm Closing remarks, Don Fox, Ph.D., DRC Co-Director

4:30pm-6:00pm Poster session and reception, 6th Floor Trent Semans- Bring a poster or draw your poster and enjoy the cocktail reception with heavy hors oeuvres, beer, and wine (free alcoholic drink tickets required and will be available at registration desk)


Duke Regeneration Center Chalk Talks for DRC Faculty:

October 19, 2022, 1pm LSRC C144. Speaker: Josh Huang, PhD. Registration required and seats limited. Talk title: “Programmable RNI Sensing for Cell Monitoring and Manipulation”

November 16, 2022. 1pm, LSRC C144. Speaker: Michel Bagnat, PhD. Registration required and seats limited.

December 14, 2022, 1pm, LSRC C144 Speaker: David A. Brown, M.D., Ph.D. Registration required and seats limited.