Lab Alumni: Where are they now?

Principal Investigator

Laura D. Wood, MD, PhD

Photo microscopeLaura D. Wood, MD, PhD is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pathology, Division of Gastrointestinal and Liver Pathology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. Wood received her BS in Biology from the College of William & Mary, graduating Summa Cum Laude with membership in Phi Beta Kappa. She then went on to earn both her MD and PhD from The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, with membership in Alpha Omega Alpha. She completed her PhD research in the laboratory of Dr. Bert Vogelstein, where she led the first whole exome sequencing studies in human cancers. Dr. Wood then went on to complete residency in Anatomic Pathology (serving as Chief Resident in her final year) and fellowship in Gastrointestinal and Liver Pathology at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. Now, she leads her own basic science laboratory focused on molecular characterization of pancreatobiliary cancers and their precursor lesions. In addition, she signs out clinical specimens on the Gastrointestinal and Liver Pathology services.

Postdoctoral Fellows

Wenjie Huang, PhD

Wenjie HuangWenjie received his bachelor’s degree and PhD from College of Life Science, Wuhan University in China.  He studied the pathogenic mechanisms of Human endogenous retroviruses in Dr Wu’s lab. He previously worked as a Research Assistant in Wuhan Institute of Virology, Chinese Academy of Sciences to study the effect HSV-2 infection on HIV-1 transmission. In Dr Wood’s lab, Wenjie is culturing pancreatic organoids in 3D model.

Waki Hosoda, MD, PhD

Waki HosodaWaki earned his bachelor of science from Department of Biology, Nagoya University in Japan. He then received his MD from Shinshu University School of Medicine and PhD from Nagoya University School of Medicine. He previously worked as a pathologist and researcher at Aichi Cancer Center Hospital in Nagoya, and since then his special interest lies in pathology and genetics of pancreatic tumors. In the Wood lab, he is working to characterize the genetic alterations in high grade precursors of pancreatic cancer.

Matthäus Felsenstein, MD

Matthäus FelsensteinMatthäus completed his MD at Charite University School of Medicine in Berlin, Germany. During this time, he completed an experimental thesis in the Department of Experimental Neurosurgery at Charite University in the field of tumor immunology of malignant glioma. He is completing a post-doctoral fellowship in the Wood lab before returning to Charite University for clinical training in pancreatic surgery. His current projects include development of novel in vitro culture models of normal pancreatic ductal cells, as well as genetic analyses of IPMNs and concurrent carcinomas.

Violeta Beleva Guthrie, PhD (co-mentored)

VBGuthrieVioleta earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Physics from Kent State University. During her PhD at Johns Hopkins University, in Dr. Rachel Karchin’s group, she developed residue coevolution network models for studying the evolution of new functions in proteins. Continuing as a post-doctoral fellow in the Karchin group, she is collaborating with Dr. Wood and her lab members to computationally model the genetic heterogeneity and evolutionary principles governing progression of IPMNs to pancreatic cancer. Violeta is co-mentored with Dr. Rachel Karchin from the Departments of Biomedical Engineering and Oncology in the Institute of Computational Medicine at Johns Hopkins.


Michaël Noë, MD

Michaël NoëMichaël received his MD from the University of Ghent, Belgium in 2012. During this time, he studied the pharmacokinetics of antibiotics in critically ill patients. Later, he worked as a research fellow in a laboratory for dermatopathology, and studied dermatopathological correlations of dermoscopic features of skin lesions. Michaël started his residency in Pathology in Ghent, but moved to The Netherlands to continue his residency at the University of Utrecht. Since October 2015, he has been part of the Wood Lab and is working to identify the genetic alterations associated with the progression of intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasm to pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma.

Georgios Gemenetzis, MD (co-mentored)

Georgios GemenetzisGeorgios received his MD from the Aristotle University School of Medicine in Thessaloniki, Greece. He previously worked as a military medical officer and as a chief resident of Surgery in Attikon University Hospital of Athens, Greece. He is currently a postdoctoral fellow in the Wood lab, and his work is focused on ex vivo proliferation and sequencing of circulating tumor cells in patients with pancreatic cancer. Georgios is co-mentored by Dr. Chris Wolfgang in the Department of Surgery at Johns Hopkins.

 Ross Beckman, MD (co-mentored)

Ross BeckmanRoss Beckman is a general surgery resident in the Halsted Surgery program at Johns Hopkins Hospital.  He has completed his third year of clinical residency and is now in a research fellowship in the Wood lab.  He attended Brown University for undergraduate and medical school before beginning his surgery training and plans to pursue a fellowship and career in surgical oncology.  His current research is investigating a genetic field defect in IPMN of the pancreas. Ross is co-mentored by Dr. Chris Wolfgang in the Department of Surgery at Johns Hopkins.

Graduate Students

Cathy Guerra, BS

Cathy GuerraCathy earned her B.S. in Veterinary and Biomedical sciences from Pennsylvania State University.  She conducted her undergraduate honors thesis research in bacteriology, focusing on vaccine development.  As a graduate student in the Pathobiology Program, Cathy is studying pancreatic precursors using next generation sequencing as a strategy for early detection and prevention of pancreatic cancer.

Yea Ji Jeong, DVM

Yea Ji JeongYea Ji earned her DVM from Konkuk University, Seoul South Korea in 2014. She previously worked as an associate veterinary pathologist at Animal and Plant Quarantine Agency, diagnosing veterinary infectious diseases and cancer. As a Pathobiology graduate student in the Wood Lab, she is excited to explore the new field of pancreatic cancer research.

Medical Students

Vincent Groot (co-mentored)

Vincent GrootOriginally from The Hague, the Netherlands, Vincent was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship and attended Lewis & Clark College (Portland, OR). After one year he transferred to Utrecht University to start his medical training and he completed his bachelor’s degree in 2013 and MD in 2016. During his time in Utrecht, Vincent’s research focused on recurrence patterns and follow-up methodology after resection for pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. As part of his Dutch PhD program, Vincent joined the Wood lab to focus on circulating tumor cells, a potential biomarker in pancreatic cancer. Vincent is co-mentored by Dr. Chris Wolfgang in the Department of Surgery.

Research Technologists

Peter Chianchiano, MS

Peter ChianchianoPeter Chianchiano earned his undergraduate B.A degree in Biology and French from Drew University in Madison, NJ. He then earned his M.S. in Biology from New York University. He conducted his Master’s thesis research in neuropathology at the NYU Langone Medical Center, focusing on Alzheimer’s disease therapeutics. Currently he is using next generation sequencing for investigations into various genetic mutations in pancreatic cancers.

Maria Alejandra Trujillo, BS (co-mentored)

Marie TrujilloOriginally from Medellin, Colombia, Maria Alejandra migrated to the United States to continue her education. Maria Alejandra acquired her undergraduate B.S. degree in Biology from High Point University in High Point, NC. During this time, her interest in cell and molecular biology led her to conduct research on membrane trafficking irregularities, which can lead to cancer and neurodegenerative diseases. Maria Alejandra’s current work focuses on organoid culture of pancreatic cancer and its precursor lesions. She is co-mentored with Dr. Nicholas Roberts in GI Pathology.