Authors on The Niche

The Niche has had many authors over the years, focusing on expertise in the biomedical arena and in particular related to stem cells. I’ve invited many authorities in particular areas to write posts.

Over the years I’ve written probably 99+% of the posts here on The Niche, but we’ve also had some great guest authors of important pieces. Although you are used to Paul Knoepfler (me) writing most of the pieces, we’ve also had many other authors. Before I give a small bio for each below, a little bit about me.

Paul Knoepfler, Ph.D., Professor UC Davis School of Medicine

Professor Paul Knoepfler, UC Davis School of Medicine.
Professor Paul Knoepfler, PhD, UC Davis School of Medicine.

I am a Professor in the School of Medicine at UC Davis in the Department of Cell Biology and Human Anatomy. I’ve been running my own research lab here for 14 years as of mid-2020.

My lab conducts research on stem cells and cancer, mainly from an epigenomic angle.

At the same time I’ve found time to do some ELSI type research, which is reflected in some of my posts. While I am not a physician, patients frequently contact me asking for perspectives about stem cell treatments. I take a cautious, but friendly, direct approach to interacting with them.

I’m widely quoted each year in major media like the New York Times, The Washington Post, LA Times, STAT News, reflecting my standing as an expert in stem cell research.

I’ve had NIH funding continuously for more than 15 years for my research along with other funding including from CIRM, the March of Dimes, Shriners Hospital, St. Baldrick’s, and Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation.

Regular The Niche Authors

Ricki Lewis

Ricki Lewis The Niche
About the author. Ricki Lewis has a PhD in genetics and is the author of several textbooks and many articles.

The author of several textbooks and many articles, Ricki Lewis has a PhD in genetics.

She wrote “The Forever Fix: Gene Therapy and the Boy Who Saved It,” writes the DNA Science blog at Public Library of Science.

She also contributes regularly to Medscape Medical News and Genetic Literacy Project.

Her first post for The Niche is here on loss of sense of smell in COVID-19 patients and the link with stem cells in the nose. You can find her other posts for The Niche here.

Ricki is well-known as one of the most respected science writers.

Also, check out her website which includes a fuller bio.

Mina Kim

Mina Kim, The Niche Blog
Author Mina Kim, intern on The Niche Blog.

Mina is a UC Davis student starting her sophomore year and an intern on The Niche here at UC Davis School of Medicine working with Dr. Knoepfler.

Her first post on The Niche was an overview of the four main kinds of stem cells and cell therapies being tested for COVID-19. You can read it here. 

Her second post was on the use of CRISPR gene editing in stem cells which had a great infographic. 

Stay tuned for more by Mina.

You can read more about her interests and background here on LinkedIn.

Suhas Sakamuri

Suhas Sakamuri
Suhas Sakamuri


Suhas is a sophomore a Reed College in Portland, OR.

He’s an intern for The Niche with Dr. Knoepfler. 

His first post is a great review on CAR-T cells here.

You can learn more about Suhas and his background here on LinkedIn.



Additional authors

Here is a list of our additional authors with a little information about each one. I’ve also included links to some of their guest posts. The authors are listed in alphabetical order by first name.


Aaron Levine

Aaron Levine
Aaron Levine

Aaron’s one piece so far here on The Niche was a great meeting review.

At other times I have quoted Aaron here on the blog about various bioethics and policy matters, which you can check out by searching for his name here on The Niche. I most recently quoted him about the AG of the State of Georgia filing suit against a stem cell clinic.

Aaron is an Associate Professor at Georgia Tech,


Aaron Goldmanaaron goldman MIT


His research interests include the tumor microenvironment. He authored this post here on The Niche: Cancer stem cells, shifting tides and an expanding understanding.


Agnes SoosAgnes Soos

Agnes is a biomedical engineer and PhD student at U of T.

She’s interested in stem cells, vascular tissue eng, microfluidics.

She wrote Highlights of ISSCR2017 – A Biomedical Engineer’s Perspective.


Anna EveretteAnna Everette

Anna is a student and Bicentennial Ambassador for the @NYASciences.

She has authored a couple posts published here on The Niche.


Arthur CaplanBioethicist Arthur Caplan

Dr. Caplan is the Drs. William F. and Virginia Connolly Mitty Professor of Bioethics, Department of Population Health.

He is widely considered one of the top bioethicists in the world.

He authored a guest post on human reproductive cloning.


beth roxlandBeth E. Roxland

Beth is an attorney with a very unique background of both legal and bioethics education as well as experience. In addition, she has extensive expertise in the stem cell and regenerative medicine sphere.

Beth is the Senior Advisor on Law, Policy and Bioethics at Roxland Consultants Ltd.


Caroline SimonsCaroline Simons

Caroline is an Irish attorney with an interest in human gene editing and genetics.

She is a knowledgable contributor to the dialogue on heritable human gene editing with CRISPR.

She has authored a few meeting review posts here.


Christopher Thomas Scottchristopher-scott_phd

Chris is a Professor at Baylor. He was the former Director of the Stanford University Program on Stem Cells in Society. He also has the distinction of having the Twitter handle @TheStemCell.

He authored this post here Christopher Thomas Scott–The Great CRISPR Controversy: What’s Next?

Claire HornerClaire Horner

Claire Horner is an Assistant Professor in the Center for Medical Ethics and Health Policy at Baylor College of Medicine and a Clinical Ethicist College of Medicine and a Clinical Ethicist at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center.

You can read more about her and her work here.

She wrote a The Niche post on lawsuits by patients against stem cell clinics and broader implications: Civil Lawsuits as a Public Health Strategy: Can Cases Brought by Injured Plaintiffs have a Broader Effect?

Dorothy SemenowDorothy Semenow PhD

Dr. Semenow was the first Ph.D. graduate of Caltech. She is now an educator and an inventor of a sort, including of games related to DNA and CRISPR (see image at right that she provided that has the DNA theme to it).

She wrote a post about one of her games here.

Her story is really inspiring.


Heather_MainHeather Main

Heather is a stem cell scientist with a wide variety of experience in academia and industry. You can see her publications on PubMed here.

She got her PhD at the Karolinska. She’s now doing communications at Centre for Advanced Medical Product.

She has written many posts here. One of my favorite posts she did was her perspective on the US stem cell arena: First impressions of the US stem cell environment from an Aussie.


Jeanne LoringJeanne Loring

Dr. Loring is the most frequent guest author here on The Niche. She is a professor emeritus at Scripps and is the CSO of the biotech Aspen Neurosciences. Here is her most recent post. She is a prolific scientist working in a number of areas including using IPSCs for Parkinson’s Disease.


Johnathon AndersonJohnathon Anderson

Johnathon is a colleague of mine here at UC Davis Health. You can learn more about him and his work here.

He’s an Assistant Professor in the Dept. of Otolaryngology.

He authored a guest post on exosome research in the regenerative space, which I highly recommend for both those laypeople interested in exosomes more generally and scientists.

ikemoto-lisaLisa Ikemoto

Lisa is another colleague of mine here at UC Davis as Martin Luther King Jr. Professor of Law at the law school, of course.

Read more about her work here.

She’s a scholar in reproductive and genetic technology uses, health care disparities, and public health law. She wrote a piece for The Niche that is a grea read: Lisa Ikemoto on Human Germline Genetic Modification.

Lisa Willemselisa willemse

Lisa is a long-time stem cell and regenerative medicine communications expert. She is Director of Communications & Public Affairs at Stem Cell Network. She is one of a few go-to people to get insights into stem cell and regenerative medicine happenings in Canada and more globally.

Her piece here on The Niche was focused on stem cell outreach: Super Cells exhibit and why we bother with public outreach.

Robert J. GellerRobert Geller

Robert is widely recognized as one of the world’s leading seismologists, but I’ve come to realize over many years that he has some interest in biology too in some ways and also the STAP cell mess in Japan.

Six years ago he authored a piece on that STAP cell scandal that provided some unique perspectives: A seismologist from Japan looks at the STAP cells mess


Sai VemulaSai Vemula

When I first met Sai he was a student at UC Berkeley and involved in the student society for stem cell research there. I went down to Cal a few times for the student-run stem cell meetings there.

I’m happy to see that he’s now a medical student at Rutgers. 

Sai’s piece here on the Niche had the great title of Stem Cells Meet Play Doh!

Samantha YammineSamantha Yammine

Samantha is stem cell biologist and extraordinary science communicator. She has mastered by science and communication in a way that few of us scientists can come close to at all.

She describes herself this way on her website as, “a Neuroscientist, Science Communicator, and Digital Media Producer who shares all kinds of brain-blowing science anywhere & everywhere.”

She also has almost 54,000 Instagram followers. I am too sad to say how many I have on Instagram.

Sam authored two pieces here on The Niche:

Seeing isn’t always believing: a cautionary tale on GFP transfer when trying to restore vision

Multiple filters for stem cell research at Canadian stem cell conference

Susan LimDr. Susan Lim

Dr. Lim in a pioneering surgeon and biomedical researcher.

Her website describes some of her accomplishments including, “Dr. Susan Lim’s 35 year career in surgery has focused on the new and disruptive innovations from transplantation to minimally invasive and robotic surgery. She was the first surgeon in Singapore, and the second woman in the world to have successfully performed a cadaveric liver transplant.”

She blogged ISSCR 2013 here on The Niche.


Zubin-MasterZubin Master

Zubin is on the faculty at Mayo. His interests, “broadly cover ethical and policy issues related to regenerative medicine and stem cell research, genetics, research ethics, and the responsible conduct of research.”

He wrote a guest post here on stem cell tourism and patient education.


Thanks to all of our authors. I hope to have many more in coming years. I may have missed a few authors from our decade plus here on The Niche so if I find some others I will update that page.