Introducing StemJournal Associate Editor: Florian Merkle, PhD

Florian Merkle

9 Nov 2018 | Amsterdam, NL – In no particular order, we would like to introduce you to the people behind our new open access publication.

Amsterdam, NL – In no particular order, we would like to introduce you to the people behind our new open access publication.

Associate Editor of StemJournal Florian T. Merkle, PhD is a researcher at the Wellcome Trust – MRC Institute of Metabolic Science and affiliate member of the Wellcome Trust  MRC Cambridge Stem Cell Institute in Cambridge, UK. His research interests include CRISPR/Cas9-based gene editing, stem cell genetics and genomic integrity, and in vitro models of neurological diseases, with a particular focus on metabolic disease.

Florian received his BS in biology from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), which he attended on full tuition merit scholarship. He then pursued a PhD in neuroscience at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), where he studied adult neurogenesis in the laboratory of Prof. Arturo Alvarez-Buylla. His work revealed the embryonic origin of adult neural stem cells, overturned the widely-held belief that these stem cells are homogeneous and multipotent, and discovered several new types of adult-born cell types.

During his postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University, Florian worked with Prof. Alex Schier and Prof. Kevin Eggan to develop gene editing tools in human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) and to sequence and bank a large collection of hPSCs to facilitate disease modelling and transplantation studies. He developed novel methods to differentiate hPSCs into hypothalamic neurons that regulate essential physiological processes and are therefore pivotally important for human health, and whose abnormal function causes a range of diseases including obesity.

He currently leads a research group at the University of Cambridge where he is studying obesity and neurodegeneration using in vitro disease models and exploring the genetic stability of hPSCs. These studies are supported by the Wellcome Trust, Royal Society, Medical Research Council, Open Targets, and the Academy of Medical Sciences.

On joining the StemJournal editorial board, he states: "As an enthusiast of the well-known StemBook, I am delighted to be part of StemJournal as it makes its debut as a journal for innovative stem cell research and expert reviews." Welcome on board Florian!