Undergraduate Jonathan Jou receives Harvard stem cell summer fellowship

Author: Rebecca Wingert

Jonathan Jou

Jonathan Jou, a junior biological sciences major, is the distinguished recipient of a fellowship to perform research this summer at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI) in Cambridge, MA. Jou was selected from a highly competitive applicant pool, open to current students at Harvard or any college or university across the United States and internationally, to participate in the HSCI Summer Internship Program (HIP).  


The fellowship program provides full funding for students to work for 10 weeks in the research laboratory of a Harvard faculty member. In addition, students are exposed to different professional options through a weekly stem cell seminar series that explores career paths in science and through a weekly interactive stem cell class.

Jonathan is a Glynn Family Honors and Biology Research Honors student at Notre Dame, and conducts his honors work under the mentorship of Rebecca Wingert,  Elizabeth and Michael Gallagher Family Professorship in Adult Stem Cell Research and assistant professor of biological sciences.  

Jou has performed independent research in the Wingert laboratory since 2012, having joined the group in his freshman year due to his interest in stem cell biology. Jou’s current research project in the Wingert lab is aimed at identifying the roles of Fibroblast growth factor (Fgf) signaling during zebrafish kidney regeneration. He has used gene expression analysis to identify the prospective sources of Fgf cytokine signaling and the kidney cells that receive the signal. Through his studies, Jou has created innovative approaches to labeling cells within the whole zebrafish kidney organ that allow novel analyses of the physical relationships between renal stem cells and damaged areas of the organ that they regenerate.

This summer, Jou will diversify his research expertise in the stem cell field at Harvard, and hopes to apply his new skills to further augment his upcoming senior thesis work at Notre Dame. The special opportunity to perform regeneration research at another institution will enable Jou to interact with leading stem cell scientists and learn additional cutting-edge techniques. Jou will work in the lab of Jenna Galloway, who uses zebrafish to delineate how the musculoskeletal system develops and regenerates, at the Center for Regenerative Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

“I am incredibly grateful for this exciting chance to expand my knowledge base in stem cells and interact with other students training in this field,” said Jou.  

“Jonathan is one of our best and brightest undergraduate researchers. Receiving this fellowship is a testament of his accomplishments to date and his outstanding scientific talents. I am very enthusiastic about this new prospect for Jonathan and look forward to hearing about his research exploits upon his return in the fall,” said Dr. Wingert.

This summer, Jou will also convene with the Wingert lab in June as they attend the 11th International Conference on Zebrafish Development and Genetics in Madison, WI, where he will present his novel kidney regeneration work.

Contact: Rebecca A. Wingert, 574-631-0907, rwingert@nd.edu

Originally published by Rebecca Wingert at biology.nd.edu on May 08, 2014.