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Lab Members

Lab Manager

Yangling Wang

Yanling Wang has been a Staff Research Associate in the Mikkola lab since September 2005. Before joining the Mikkola lab, she worked as a postdoctoral fellow in the Pharmacology Department at UCLA, focusing on molecular imaging in small animals. Yanling earned her Master’s degree in Microbiology and Genetics at Guangxi University in China, and further obtained a PhD in Molecular Biology at Sichuan University. She also worked as a professor at Sichuan University for ten years. Outside of lab, Yanling enjoys spending time with her family. She also enjoys traveling and participating in outdoors activities, like hiking, camping, and swimming.

Julia Aguade

Julia studied Pharmacy at the University of Barcelona. She obtained her PhD from the University Children’s Hospital Zurich, Switzerland, where she studied cell death mechanisms with the goal to overcome drug resistance and relapse in human leukemia. Julia joined the Mikkola lab in October 2018 to address clinically relevant problems from a molecular biology perspective, and she is investigating the mechanisms involved in the functional decline of HSCs during in vitro expansion and manipulation. Julia loves hiking and enjoys exploring the amazing National Parks of California.

Iman Fares

Iman Fares, Ph.D.

Iman completed her M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees at University of Montreal (Canada), where she used a high-throughput chemical screening and identified a small molecule, UM171 as an agonist for human HSC self-renewal (currently in clinical trial) and identified EPCR (CD201) as a first reliable marker to enrich for human HSC in culture. In 2019, Iman joined Dr. Mikkola’s lab as a postdoctoral fellow where she is exploiting epigenetics and mass spectrometry approaches to further characterize the role of MLLT3 (AF9) in human normal and leukemia stem cells.

Sandra Capellera-garcia

Sandra earned her B.S. degree in Biotechnology at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain, in 2011. That same year she moved to Lund, Sweden, to learn about stem cells, a subject she fell in love with while in high school. She stayed at Lund University to pursue her PhD, which she completed in 2018. Under the supervision of Dr. Johan Flygare, she studied the master regulators of erythroid and megakaryocytic lineages and uncovered the minimal set of transcription factors capable of reprogramming mammalian fibroblasts into erythroid progenitors. She joined the Mikkola lab in August 2018 as a Swedish Research Council postdoctoral fellow and is currently working towards understanding the mechanisms that regulate the specification and self-renewal of human hematopoietic stem cells. She is also very interested in communicating science effectively to both specialized and layman audiences. In her free time, she enjoys yoga, art and photography, and trying foods from around the globe.

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