Akiko Shimamura, MD, PhD Dr. Shimamura directs the Bone Marrow Failure and Myelodysplastic Syndrome Program of the Dana Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center. Her research focuses on translational studies spanning clinical through basic science investigations to understand the genetic and molecular basis of bone marrow failure, MDS, and leukemia predisposition with the goal of developing more effective and less toxic treatments. Dr. Shimamura had previously directed the Bone Marrow Failure Clinic at Boston Children’s Hospital and then at Seattle Children’s Hospital before returning to Boston Children’s Hospital in the fall of 2015.
Dr. Shimamura has mentored numerous students and post-doctoral fellows who have moved on to careers in academics, medicine, or the biotechnology industry.
Elissa Furutani, MD Instructor in Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School
Elissa grew up in Concord, MA before obtaining her BA in the History of Science at Princeton University. She received her MD from Dartmouth Medical School where she was inducted into Alpha Omega Alpha and the Arnold P. Gold Humanism Society. She worked in the laboratory of Dr. Richard Childs (NHLBI) as part of the HHMI-NIH Research Scholars program during medical school, then completed her Pediatrics residency through the Boston Combined Residency Program. She is currently a faculty member in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at the Dana-Farber and Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center.
Elissa is obtaining further training in clinical trial design with the goal of running clinical and translational trials for bone marrow failure disorders.
Alyssa Kennedy, MD, PhD Instructor in Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School
Alyssa received her BS degree in Molecular and Cell Biology from Haverford College. She then worked at the NHGRI in Francis Collin's lab on a project on multiple endocrine neoplasia before pursuing her MD and PhD at Drexel University College of Medicine and Fox Chase Cancer Center. Her decision to pursue pediatric oncology research was inspired by time spent in Dr. Jim Downing’s laboratory at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Her pediatrics residency was in the Boston Combined Residency Program at Boston University and Harvard Medical School. She is currently completing a hematology/oncology fellowship the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Boston Children's Hospital Cancer and Blood Disorders center.
Her interests in the Shimamura lab are to better understand the causative mutations and molecular features of Pediatric Myelodysplastic Syndrome and predisposition to Acute Myelogenous Leukemia using iPSC as a model system.
Yu Zhou Post-Doctoral Fellow, PhD
Yu got his Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Biology from Tulane University. He focused on transcriptomic and epigenetic analyses using bioinformatic tools during his Ph.D. period. He joined the Shimamura Lab in December 2019. Yu loves road trips on vacation.
Chris Reyes Research Assistant
While attending Boston University, Chris double majored in Marine Science and Earth and Environmental Science. He earned his BA and co-authored several manuscripts while working in a Marine Population Genomics lab. He joined the Shimamura lab shortly after graduating, in July 2019. In his free time, Chris enjoys baking, traveling, hiking, and finding new brunch places to eat at.
Gwen Muscato Research Assistant Gwen received her BS in Biology from Bates College, where she completed a senior thesis in a Molecular/Developmental lab. She joined the Shimamura Lab in June 2018, shortly after earning her degree. Gwen recently began her graduate studies in Genetic Counseling in Fall 2020, while continuing to work in the lab. In her free time, she enjoys skiing, running, traveling, and cooking.
Anna Deck Research Assistant
Anna received her BS in Biology from Tufts University and joined the lab in July of 2020. While in college, she worked in a tissue engineering lab and spent a summer studying Clear Cell Renal Cell Carcinoma. In her free time, Anna enjoys skiing, rollerblading, and spending time with her dog, Ren.
Chad E. Harris BS, MS Lab Manager
Chad received his BS then MS in Biology/Genetics and Molecular Biology respectively from Ball State University. He then started working in the Lab of David A. Williams MD, where he continues to manage. He is currently the chair of the Laboratory Safety Group (LSG) of the hospital, and is a member of the Institutional Biosafety Committee as well as the Gene and cell therapy scientific review committee. He is coming to the Shimamura lab to fill a management/technical training role.
Clinical Research Team:
Maggie Malsch Research Nurse Project Manager Maggie Malsch is currently the nurse project manager for the Bone Marrow Failure program at Boston Children’s Hospital. Her initial work with Dr. Shimamura was in the lab where she worked on Shwachman-Diamond Syndrome. Maggie then went back to school to get her nursing degree from Simmons College and her Masters in Clinical Trials from Drexel University. She worked as a bone marrow transplant nurse at Boston Children’s Hospital and eventually moved into the role of research nurse. When Dr. Shimamura returned to Boston Children’s, Maggie jumped at the chance to work with her again. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Leah Cheng Clinical Research Coordinator
Leah Cheng works on several of Dr. Shimamura’s bone marrow failure studies as a clinical research coordinator. She joined the team in June 2017 after working on other clinical research projects at Boston Children’s Hospital. Leah received her BA in Molecular Biology from Princeton University and her MA from Harvard University. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, reading, and playing board games.
Ashley Galvin Clinical Research Coordinator
Ashley received her BS in Exercise Science from the University of South Carolina and graduated with leadership distinction in clinical research. She joined the Shimamura Lab as a student in May 2017 and joined our team full-time after graduating in 2019. In her free time, Ashley enjoys running, baking, and playing with her dogs.
Katie Zheng Administrative Associate
Katie received her BA from Tufts University in International Relations and Global Health and began working with Dr. Shimamura in March 2020. She is interested in healthcare policy and specifically hospital administration. Katie also helps out with Dr. Shimamura's clinical research team. In her free time, Katie enjoys playing volleyball, baking, and hanging out with her pup Oscar.
Out and about as a team:
Past Trainees and Current Position:
John Svenson, PhD Faculty Associate, School of Mathematical and Natural Sciences, Arizona State University
Rebecca Leary, PhD Lab Head in Next Generation Diagnostics at Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research, Cambridge, MA
Karyn Austin, MD PhD Pediatric Resident at Boston Children’s Hospital
Karthik Ganapathi, MD PhD Assistant Professor of Pathology and Cell Biology Columbia University
Trisha Wong, MD Assistant Professor, Oregon Health Science University
Tomoka Nakamura, MSPH World Health Organization (WHO)
Michael Zhang Fellow in Radiation Oncology, UCSF
Sioban Keel, MD Assistant Professor in Hematology, University of Washington
Nicholas Burwick, MD Acting Instructor in Hematology, University of Washington
Phoenix Ho, MD Associate Medical Director, Clinical Development Seattle Genetics