Biomedical Research

Announcing the 2022 Catalyst to Independence Award Recipients 

September 26, 2022

This year, we launched the Catalyst to Independence Award to support early career scientists through their transition from a post-doctoral fellow to an independent, tenure-track faculty while focusing on single ventricle science. We recognize that the future of single ventricle research depends on the next generation of scientists, and are thrilled to announce the three outstanding early career investigators that were selected as part of the inaugural class! 

We are honored to present our 2022 Catalyst to Independence Award awardees!

Catalyst to Independence Award Recipients

Dr. Lay Teng Ang is a Siebel Scholar and Instructor for the Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine at Stanford University. As the mentee of Dr. Philip Beachy, her research seeks to overcome major challenges associated with utilizing regenerative tissue as a clinical therapy for single ventricle heart disease. Here, she will create a co-culture of endothelial, smooth muscle, and myocardial cells to build a vascularized heart organoid model. This platform will overcome a big bottleneck in cardiovascular tissue engineering by enhancing cell viability, further advancing our ability to manufacture cardiac tissues. Dr. Ang received her Bachelor of Engineering from the National University of Singapore and her PhD from the University of Cambridge. 

Dr. Hananeh Fonoudi is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Northwestern University. Under the mentorship of Dr. Paul Burridge, Dr. Fonoudi will expand our understanding of Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS) pathology. She will use HLHS patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells to create 3D organoids. By interrogating these organoids through imaging, genetic and cellular analyses, and high throughput drug screening, she will transform our ability to model HLHS and at the same time generate a new platform for target-based drug discovery. Dr. Fonoudi received her Bachelor and Master of Science from the University of Tehran and her PhD from the University of New South Wales. 

Dr. Sanjeev Ranade is a Staff Research Scientist at the Gladstone Institutes. As the mentee of Dr. Deepak Srivastava, Dr. Ranade will investigate how the misregulation of neural crest cells contributes to single ventricle etiology. Leveraging novel mouse models and human pluripotent stem cells, his work will uncover gene regulatory programs and spatiotemporal origins of impaired outflow tract development – ultimately adding to our understanding of regulatory mechanisms governing progenitor cell differentiation in normal cardiogenesis and in single ventricle. Dr. Ranade received his Bachelor of Science from James Madison University, his Master of Science from Northeastern University, and his PhD from Scripps Research. 

These awardees are the futureand their innovative, transformative research has enormous application to the understanding and treatment of single ventricle. Catalyst Awardees will receive up to $1.2M (USD) over the course of the award period (up to 6 years) with funds including stipend, annual research expenses, salary support for technical staff, and a supplement that can be used for health or family care. By fostering community and career development, our awardees will build a solid foundation for a sustainable independent research program, while also making major contributions to the field. 


To learn more about our Research Award Programs and all our Funded Studies, click here!