Hi! As you've probably already gathered, my name is Sean and I am a graduate student here in Berkeley Bioengineering. Enjoy your stay on my user page, feel free to browse through, and don't hesitate to contact me if you'd like to chat.
I was born and raised in rural Pennsylvania (Seisholtzville, to be exact), and spent much of my time as a youth outdoors exploring the surrounding countryside and side-stepping chores around the house. My parents both worked at a garden retailer (Herbein's), and my father maintained (and still maintains) a small ornamental tree nursery on our ~ 6 acre property. I went to school in the Upper Perkiomen district, and my progression of sports participation went basketball (1st - 7th grade) to soccer (5th grade - 12th grade) to running (11th grade to present).
After graduating, I enrolled in Clarion University of Pennsylvania's Molecular Biology / Biotechnology program and continued to run competitively in NCAA Division II cross country and track. I participated in research under the auspices of Dr. Douglas Smith, and came to find that I was hooked on the biological / medical field.
Since matriculating in the Berkeley / UCSF joint graduate group in bioengineering, I've completed one year of study and committed to work in the labs of Drs. Seung-Wuk Lee and Irina Conboy developing novel therapeutic approaches to aging in skeletal muscle. I also continue to run competitively as a member of the Strawberry Canyon Track Club, and have really enjoyed training in the much more clement Bay Area
Though I am largely 2-dimensional (research, running), I also enjoy a variety of other past times. These include sleeping, cooking (perhaps, even moreso, eating), and discussing / thinking / reading about life's many great mysteries.
Summarily, my research interests can basically be distilled into two related areas:
- From a basic science perspective, I am interested in understanding and elucidating the biology that underlies aging. Specifically, my work right now centers upon aberrant signaling which seems to misregulate the function of adult stem cells in normal tissue repair.
- From a more applied, engineering perspective, I am interested in using the growing body of knowledge about aging biology to begin developing therapeutic approaches addressing the associated pathologies. Here, I am mostly looking at employing small molecule and genetic methods to restore the signaling context adult stem cells perceive to a youthful level.