Associate Director, Division of Developmental Biology
Director, Molecular & Developmental Biology Graduate Program
Member, Division of Plastic Surgery
Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics
Samantha A. Brugmann, PhD, is a professor for the Divisions of Developmental Biology and Plastic Surgery at Cincinnati Children's within the UC Department of Pediatrics. She received her bachelors of science in cell and molecular biology from Tulane University in New Orleans, LA. She then obtained her PhD in genetics from George Washington University in Washington, DC where she studied cranial sensory placode development in Xenopus laevis. She performed her postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford University where her research focused on craniofacial development. While at Stanford she received a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards for Individual Postdoctoral Fellows (F32), a Pediatric Research Fund-Child Health Research Program Grant and a NIH Pathway to Independence Award (K99 / R00). She joined Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in January 2011 to study craniofacial development and disease.
Evan Brooks is a graduate student in the Molecular and Developmental Biology Ph.D. program at the University of Cincinnati and Cincinnati Children's Hospital. He received his B.S. in biological sciences with a concentration in molecular, cellular, and developmental biology from North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC, where he conducted research on the establishment of cardiac left-right asymmetry in Xenopus laevis. He joined the Brugmann lab in January 2019 to study the etiology of ciliopathic mandibular bone and cartilage malformations utilizing avian and mouse models. His research interests include cell signaling, neural crest cell biology, and craniofacial tissue development.
Kari received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology from Thomas More University in 1999. She joined the Brugmann lab as a Research Assistant IV in 2019. Prior to joining the lab, she worked in Internal Medicine/Pulmonary at the University of Cincinnati for 15 years studying the molecular pharmacology of polymorphic adrenergic receptors in cardiovascular disease. In 2014, she joined the Neonatology and Pulmonary Biology division at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital studying lung development and disease. She is interested in the role of primary cilia in craniofacial development and disease. Currently, she is using murine and hIPSC models to study the molecular mechanisms and genetic causes of craniofacial disorders. When she’s not in the lab, Kari enjoys living the country life with her family, dogs, and watching her girls play sports.
Dr. Chang received her PhD in Cell Biology from University of Alabama at Birmingham, where she studied the role of primary cilia in cartilage development in Dr. Rosa Serra’s lab. After she joined Dr. Brugmann’s lab, she continued her interest in the role of primary cilia with the focus on craniofacial development. She has been using murine, avian, and human iPSCs as models to study the etiology of ciliopathies.
Simon Han is an MD/PhD student in the Molecular and Developmental Biology PhD Program at the University of Cincinnati and Cincinnati Children's Hospital. He received his B.S. in Biochemistry with a minor in German Studies from the University of Michigan in 2016, where he studied signaling mechanisms of the spindle assembly checkpoint in budding yeast. Simon joined the Brugmann Lab in 2021 to study the genomic profiles of developing multipotent neural crest cells. When he's not in the lab, he likes going to the gym, eating good food, and watching reality TV (Survivor is his favorite).
Dr. Pimentel received her PhD in 2018 in human genetics and cell biology at Federal University of Pernambuco (Brazil), where she obtained training in DNA sequencing during the investigation of the genetic basis of familial brain calcification. During her postdoctoral at São Paulo University (Brazil), she applied CRISPR and other gene editing tools to develop a knockout and transgenic porcine cell line for further use in xenotransplantation in humans. As a research associate since 2023 at Dr. Brugmann’s laboratory, she is interested in understanding how mutations in ciliary genes impair cilia formation and leads to human ciliopathies by investigating the whole genome of patients with craniofacial malformations and modeling disease-related mutations in vitro using hiPSC. Additionally, she is utilizing murine models to understand how the lack of cilia impact crucial signaling pathways during embryo development.
Yanfen obtained her MD at Shanxi Medical University and later MS at Nanjing Medical University both in China. She joined Cincinnati Children’s Hospital in 2010. Prior to working in Dr. Brugmann’s lab in 2018, she worked in the Division of Allergy and Immunology where she utilized the mouse models of infection and allergy to understand the immuno-regulatory mechanisms. Now as a senior research assistant in Dr. Brugmann’s lab, in addition to managing the lab and mouse colonies, she currently mainly uses mouse model and neural crest cell culture to understand the role of primary in ciliopathies.
Brugmann lab celebrates Holidays at Taste of Belgium, 2019. Click to enlarge.