Jessica Esseltine, PhD

Principal Investigator

Division of BioMedical Sciences
Assistant Professor of Cancer and Development
PhD (University of Western Ontario)

I grew up in a small town in south western Ontario made famous for killing Jumbo the Elephant. I completed my PhD at Western University studying GPCR signal transduction and protein trafficking. After a brief postdoctoral fellowship in Seattle, WA, I returned to Canada to study cell-cell communication. I discovered pluripotent stem cells quite late in my training and was blown away by the idea that they can become any cell type in the body and that they can be used for personalized regenerative medicine when generated from individuals with disease.

Since moving to beautiful Newfoundland I am tackling how cells communicate with each other during cell fate specification. Additionally, with the support of the sudden cardiac death team I will use patient-derived iPSCs in order to understand hereditary heart disease in Newfoundland.

Graduate Students

Rebecca Frohlich, BSc

I obtained my BSc in Biotechnology from Trinity Western University and spent the following 5 years working with stem cells in industry before starting the MSc program at Memorial University. I enjoy using human pluripotent stem cells to examine how cells communicate with one another as they become various tissues.

Grace Christopher, BSc

I came to St John's from the Fundy region of New Brunswick to complete my BSc in Cellular and Molecular Biology at Memorial University. My research interests revolve around the complex processes behind the behaviour of cells and microbes. Currently I am studying the role Connexins and Pannexins during early stem cell specification to the endoderm. I hope to continue this work and one day apply these findings to the development of Crohn's disease.

Hooman Sadighian, BSc

Undergraduate Students

Margaret Henley

I am an undergraduate student with a MUCEP position, as well as two SURA awards to complete research in the Esseltine Lab. I come from the department of Human Kinetics and Recreation, and have helped on many projects within the lab including studying TMEM43 in ARVC5 patients, running tests on OVCAR3 cells, and various small tasks for projects within the lab.

Mark Hemmings

I am an Honours student from the Department of Biochemistry, studying the pharmacological inhibition of GJIC in stem cells.

Former Lab Members

Robert Flemmer - Lab Manager

Ceilidh Wright - Undergraduate MUCEP

Hooman Sadighian, BSc - Graduate student