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Meet Our Team

Principal Investigators

Read more about Joseph E. Italiano, Jr., PhD

Principal Investigator, Megakaryocytes to Platelets Research Group

Associate Professor, Harvard Medical School

Read more about Kellie Machlus, PhD

Principal Investigator, Megakaryocytes to Platelets Research Group

Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School

Lab Members

Adrian Wilkie, PhD Adrian Wilkie, PhD
Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Adrian earned his B.A. in molecular and cell biology from the University of California, Berkeley, and his Ph.D. in virology from Harvard University. During his graduate training in Donald Coen’s lab at Harvard Medical School, Adrian used biochemical, cell biological, and advanced imaging approaches to study the trafficking of human herpesvirus capsids in the host cell nucleus. Adrian maintains an interest in cellular dynamics as a postdoctoral fellow in the Italiano Lab, where he studies the cytoskeletal mechanisms that drive megakaryocytes to produce platelets.

Nathan Asquith, PhD

Nathan Asquith, PhD
Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Nathan was awarded his B.S. molecular and cell degree from the University of Huddersfield, U.K., in 2013, followed by his Ph.D. from the University of Leeds, U.K., in 2019. Nathan’s Ph.D., in the laboratory of Robert Ariёns, used recombinant protein expression, advanced biophysical methods, and imaging to study the role of extended knob-hole interactions in fibrin polymerization and how key residues affected fibrin clot formation in relation to thrombosis. Nathan’s current work in the Italiano Lab focuses on high-resolution live cell imaging of proplatelet formation processes within microfluidic devices. Nathan is also working toward recapitulating the bone marrow environment to investigate the migration of megakaryocytes across the endothelial barrier using micro-vascular networks. Nathan’s final project aims to underpin the roles of vascular thiol isomerases in thrombosis.

Maria N. Barrachina, PhD Maria N. Barrachina, PhD
Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Maria received her B.S. in biotechnology from the University of Valencia, Spain, in 2014, followed by her M.Sc in R&D drugs from the University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain, in 2015. After that, she conducted her Ph.D in the lab of Professor Angel Garcia at the Center for Research in Molecular Medicine and Chronic Diseases (CiMUS) in Santiago de Compostela. During her Ph.D, she studied the effect of obesity on platelet reactivity using a combination of proteomic, biochemical, and functional approaches in order to elucidate potential anti-atherothrombotic targets in this pathology. Moreover, she collaborated on other projects such as studying the CLEC-2 signaling pathway by phosphoproteomics, lipid rafts composition following CLEC-2 and GPVI activation, and identifying novel inhibitors against GPVI and CLEC-2 receptors. Maria’s current work in the Machlus Lab focuses on using omics to unravel megakaryocyte differentiation and maturation.

Isabelle Carlotta Becker, PhD Isabelle Carlotta Becker, PhD
Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Isabelle received her B.Sc. and M.Sc. in biomedicine from the University of Wuerzburg in Germany. She was awarded a fellowship by the Graduate School of Life Sciences and conducted her Ph.D. in the lab of Professor Bernhard Nieswandt at the Rudolf Virchow Center for integrative and translational Bioimaging in Wuerzburg, studying the megakaryocyte cytoskeleton during proplatelet formation as well as the participation of megakaryocytes in the pathogenesis of myelofibrosis using advanced imaging technologies. Her current projects in the Italiano Lab focus on elucidating functions of megakaryocytes beyond proplatelet formation, such as their role as secretory and intercommunicative cells.

Julia Tilburg, PhD Julia Tilburg, PhD
Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Julia received her M.Sc in Biology from Leiden University, Leiden, The Netherlands, in 2015. After that, she conducted her Ph.D. in the lab of Fr. van Vlijmen at the Department of Thrombosis and Hemostasis and the Einthoven Laboratory of Vascular Biology of the Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands. She studied the novel thrombosis susceptibility gene SLC44A2. Using murine mouse models for venous thrombosis, proteomic, and cell studies she showed that SLC44A2 does not affect hemostasis but influences venous thrombosis, with evidence for a mediating role of SLC44A2 in neutrophil/von Willebrand factor interactions. Julia’s current work in the Italiano Lab focuses on platelet and megakaryocyte extracellular vesicles.

Martina Slingsby, PhD Martina Slingsby, PhD
Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Martina received her B.S. in pharmacology at University College London, and her Ph.D. in pharmacology at Imperial College, London. Her Ph.D. was conducted in the laboratory of Jane Mitchell, studying the cardiovascular side effects of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. She then did a postdoctoral fellowship in platelet function and anti-platelet drugs with Timothy Warner at the William Harvey Research Institute, London. Martina then secured her own research funding in a second postdoctoral fellowship position studying the effects of physical activity on platelet function and effectiveness of anti-platelet drugs with Ylva Hellsten at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. She joined Joseph Italiano's lab in 2017, and her current area of research include drug-induced thrombocytopenia, with a particular focus on platelet side effects of antisense oligonucleotides (RNA-modifying drugs).

Andrew Stone, PhD Andrew Stone, PhD
Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Andy received his B.Sc in molecular cell biology from the University of York, U.K., completing a placement year with AstraZeneca in the oncology research team as part of his studies. Andy then undertook a Ph.D. in the laboratories of professors Paul Genever and Ian Hitchcock, where he used a panel of heterogeneous bone marrow stromal cells to study cellular heterogeneity in secreted factors and the role of these cells in the bone marrow microenvironment. Andy joined the Machlus Lab in January 2020 and will be continuing an exciting project on platelet and megakaryocyte extracellular vesicles.
Lillian Horin, PhD Lillian Horin, PhD

Candidate Lillian received her B.A. in biology at Pitzer College in Claremont, California, before starting her Ph.D. at Harvard, with joint supervision from Joseph Italiano Jr. and Tim Mitchison. Her thesis will involve studying maintenance and formation of the microtubule coil in platelets.

Farheen Fatima Farheen Fatima

Farheen received her B.S. in biology and computer Science from Hartwick College in Oneonta, New York. Her current interests include determining the cytoskeletal mechanisms that drive megakaryocytes to produce platelets.

Annie Tsai Annie Tasi
Research Assistant I

Annie received her B.S. from Taipei Medical University. Her current interests include determining mechanisms of drug-induced thrombocytopenia and visualizing platelet production by megakaryocytes under flow conditions

Thais Ferreria Nascimento Thais Ferreria Nascimento
Research Assistant II

Thais earned her B.A. in biotechnology and her M.Sc in biochemistry from the Federal University of Ceara, Brazil. Her current interests include how different Rho family inhibitors and their downstream targets contribute to platelet-derived extracellular vesicles (PEVs) and platelets formation and content.