Research Stanic Lab

Stanic Lab

Stanic lab is focused on deciphering the role of Innate Lymphoid cells and immune cellular networks in the architectural organization of the maternal/fetal interface.

Dr. Stanic's research program is dedicated to unravelling the cellular networks underlying preeclampsia, intrauterine growth restriction, recurrent pregnancy loss and implantation failure in Assisted Reproductive Technologies.


Our lab employs both human and mouse models of reproductive physiology and disease. We use genetic targeting of immune cell development and function to dissect their role in reproductive tissue organization and disease. We collaborate closely with biostatisticians and computer scientists to develop novel workflows for analysis of our high-dimensional flow cytometry data sets and model the reproductive immune cell network.


Aleksandar Stanic-Kostic, MD, PhD


Dr. Aleksandar Stanic is an assistant professor in the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, divisions of Reproductive Sciences and Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility.

View Biosketch
Read more about Dr. Stanic

Dr. Stanic earned his MD and PhD (Immunology) at Vanderbilt University, where he also pursued post-doctoral fellowships in Microbiology and Immunology and Neurology. During his graduate work he studied molecular controls of natural killer T (NKT) cell development and glycolipid antigen recognition. He went on to complete a residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Brigham and Women's and Massachusetts General Hospitals, served as faculty at Harvard Medical School and completed a fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at Massachusetts General Hospital. While in Boston, he studied immune cell contribution to establishment and maintenance of endometriosis and the role of Toll-like receptors (TLR) and innate immunity in preeclampsia.

Stanic lab is focused on deciphering the role of Innate Lymphoid cells and immune cellular networks in the architectural organization of the maternal/fetal interface. His research program is dedicated to unravelling the cellular networks underlying preeclampsia, intrauterine growth restriction, recurrent pregnancy loss and implantation failure in Assisted Reproductive Technologies.

Favorite Quotation

“We're made of star stuff. We are a way for the cosmos to know itself.” Carl Sagan


Yan Li, PhD, MBBS


I was born in China, and finished my medical school in 2005, then I worked as a resident of Ob/Gynthe third affiliated hospital of Jiangxi medical school in China until 2008. I attended the Dept of Ob/Gyn in University of Wisconsin-Madison as a research assistant in 2009 to pursuit my PhD degree. I finished my PhD study on July,2015. After that, I joined in Dr. Stanic's lab as aresearchassociate in the department of Ob/Gyn in University ofWisconsin.

Read more about Yan

Project

The Role of Innate Lymphoid Cells in Murine Uterine & Decidual Function.

Project Description

My project focus ondedicated to deciphering the role innate immune cells play in reproductive processes necessary for the development of a normal pregnancy and their disturbance in major diseases of pregnancy. Our work spans the length of pregnancy –from the earliest biochemical and cellular recognition of pregnancy by the maternal immune compartment, thru decidual/placental vascular and architectural development, to mechanisms underlying the preterm and term onset of labor. Our approach is to: a) develop multiplexed analysis platforms (high-D flow cytometry, single cell sorting with seeding of functional 3D decidual models, and application of complex network analysis for modeling normal development and disease); b) employ parallel design –utilizing both mouse models and ready access to human pregnancy tissue bank to cross-inform experimental design in process; and, c) to collaborate with multiple groups with deep expertise in vascular biology and bioinformatics in order to fertilize each other’s research directions.

Grant Funded

2016 AAI Careers in Immunology Fellowships as a postdoctoral trainee.

Favorite Quotation

The longest journey begins with the first step.


Jessica Vazquez, MSC


I was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. I completed by undergraduate degree at California State University, Long Beach. After a year hiatus, I decided to go back to school, went back to my alma mater, were I completed a post-bacc certificate. From there, I went on to receive my Masters from California State University, Los Angeles and I am currently working towards my PhD in the Endocrinology and Reproductive Physiology program at UW-Madison.

Read more about Jessica

Project

Mapping Innate Immune Cells Underlying Pregnancy Physiology.

Project Description

My studies are focused on understanding how innate immune cells shape a pregnancy. Specifically, we’re interested in understanding what role type 3 innate lymphoid cells (ILC3s) have in establishing and maintaining a normal pregnancy. Furthermore, we’re interested in understanding the extent at which ILC3s are regulated by other immune cells, such as dendritic cells (DCs). To help us answer these questions, we are employing high-polychromatic flow cytometry, allowing us to phenotype the various immune subsets found at the maternal-fetal interface. We are also employing various dimensionality reduction algorithms to further cluster and classify the various immune cell populations.

Favorite Quotation

It’s better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it — Roger Smith


Gladys E Lopez


I was born in Bogota, Colombia. Got my Bachelor degree in Chemistry at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia. Thanks to a scholarship from the Colombian Government, I came to the United States to get my Master degree in Biochemistry at the University of New Hampshire. Since then I have been working in basic research.

Read more about Gladys

At the University of Chicago-Hospitals I was involved with a group studying brain cancer. Moved to Wisconsin and was part of a research team at the University of Wisconsin interested in early stages of in-vitro fertilization. When the lab was closed, I started working with coronary endothelial cells and shear stress and from then, transitioned to reproductive biology, and recently I am a member of a wonderful group doing research in reproductive immunology.

Project

Reproductive Immunology

Favourite Quotation

Live in the present moment, yesterday is gone and tomorrow is not here yet.


Melina Chavarria


I was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA. I graduated from high school in the spring of 2015. In the fall of 2015, funded by a full tuition leadership scholarship, I moved to Madison to complete my Bachelor's degree in Biology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. This year, will be my third year at UW-Madison. My plans are to graduate in the fall of 2019 and start medical school in the fall of 2020.

Read more about Melina

Project

Identification and Functional Analysis of MAIT cells in the maternal-fetal interface.

Project Description

My project is broken down into two aims. First, we aim to demonstrate that Mucosal associated Invariant T (MAIT) cells are present in the maternal-fetal interface. Second, we aim to understand the role of MAIT cells in this setting, specifically how MAIT cells contribute to maternal-fetal health and or proper placentation. We will further investigate aim two by measuring the cytokine production of decidual MAIT cells in response to a bacterial environment in vitro.

Favourite Quotation

‘If we knew what we were doing, it wouldn’t be called research, would it?’ - A. Einstein.


Nathan Karst


I am currently an undergraduate student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison studying biology and dietetics. After graduation, I plan on attending medical school and specializing in the fields of obstetrics and gynecology or pediatrics. Outside of academics, I have a wonderful job as a personal trainer on campus. Along with personal training, I live a fitness oriented lifestyle with my hobbies that include weightlifting and spending time outdoors.

Read more about Nathan

Project

Secretion of Immune Modulating Cytokines by Decidual Stromal Cells.

Project Description

My studies are focused on decidual stromal cell secretions and their interactions with immune cells. The interaction of the various cells present at the maternal-fetal interface impact the unique reconstruction of the decidua and affect the tolerance and defense of the maternal immune system. The importance of understanding the role of decidual stromal cells in pregnancy may lead to further understanding of immune defense and the pathways needed for a successful pregnancy.

Favourite Quotation

The past can hurt. But the way I see it, you can either run from it, or learn from it. - Walt Disney


Jenna Vogt


I am an undergraduate student at University of Wisconsin Madison, majoring in Biology with a certificate in global health. I am originally from a suburb of Chicago, which is what drew me to the big city feel of Madison. In my spare time I like to spend time in the sun, waitress, run and attend concerts. After I graduate from UW Madison, I will start applying to Medical/DO schools that are (hopefully) somewhere warm. Women’s health is very important to me, which is why I was so interested in this labs work.

Read more about Jenna

Project

TLR receptor activity throughout the duration of pregnancy.

Project Description

I am currently working on a project which is looking to establish a baseline of TLR activity throughout the duration of pregnancy. This baseline will allow for medical professionals to utilize a pregnant woman’s TLR activation levels to better understand/treat certain complications that may arise during pregnancy. I am working on analyzing the data in an appropriate manner, with hopes of constructing the paper with the team and eventually getting it out for publishing.

Favourite Quotation

Happiness is the only thing that multiplies when shared.


Luke Parrella


I was born in Massachusetts andmoved toIllinoiswhen I was five.In 2016, I began my undergraduate education at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. I am pursuing a major in Microbiologywhich I plan to apply to the field of Immunology. Other hobbies include playing the tuba in the marching band, studyingancient and classic literature, and attending a variety of performing arts.

Read more about Luke

Project

Dimensionality Reduction/programming

Project Description

I am focusing on learning dimensionality reduction techniques for advanced data analysis, particularly of Flow Cytometry data.

Favourite Quotation

Even a sheet of paper has two sides - Japanese proverb


Payton Linder


I was born and raised on a crop farm in Wisconsin Dells, WI. I am obtaining my undergraduate degrees from the University of Wisconsin - Madison in Biology and Classical Humanities. I work at UW- Hospital as a phlebotomist and thoroughly enjoy patient care. I plan to go to medical school to get my MD in a field that involves children (hopefully Obstetrics). In my free time I love doing hot yoga, long-distance running, knitting, and I enjoy the company of my friends and family. Lastly, go Badgers, go Packers, go Brewers.

Read more about Payton

At the University of Chicago-Hospitals I was involved with a group studying brain cancer. Moved to Wisconsin and was part of a research team at the University of Wisconsin interested in early stages of in-vitro fertilization. When the lab was closed, I started working with coronary endothelial cells and shear stress and from then, transitioned to reproductive biology, and recently I am a member of a wonderful group doing research in reproductive immunology.

Project

Immune Cell Transcript Enrichment in Human Endometriosis Lesions; Dynamic Remodeling of the Murine Immune Landscape at the Maternal Fetal Interface

Project Description

My first project, dealing with endometriosis lesions, involves analyzing the pre-existing RNA array data gathered from NIH and Array Express databases to compose an analysis of the types of immune cells present in these lesions. I will use CIBERSORT and R software to compare the tissue composition of endometriosis lesions compared to normal endometrium tissue.

I have also been working with Yan Li with his project that focuses on murine decidua to examine Innate Lymphoid cells and Dendritic cells by polychromatic flow cytometry. We identify immune populations using unbiased, operator-independent mapping via dimensionality reduction and cluster assignment by machine-learning.

Grants Funded

Summer Term Research Scholarship

Something Interesting About Me
  1. I can read and translate Latin to English and vice versa.
  2. I have four sisters and one brother, and all of our names start with "Pa". (Because I know you are curious: Paige, Payton, Parker, Paris, Paisley and Palynn. And no, unfortunately my parents names don't fit this trend.)
  3. My favorite song will always be Live Like You Were Dying by Tim McGraw.
Decidual-Placental Immune Landscape During Syngeneic Murine Pregnancy.

Li Y, Lopez GE, Vazquez J, Sun Y, Chavarria M, Lindner PN, Fredrickson S, Karst N, Stanic AK. Frontiers in immunology. 2018 Sep 19. pii: . 10.3389/fimmu.2018.02087. PMID: 302834412018/10/05 06:00.


NF-κB Protects NKT Cells from Tumor Necrosis Factor Receptor 1-induced Death.

Kumar A, Gordy LE, Bezbradica JS, Stanic AK, Hill TM, Boothby MR, Van Kaer L, Joyce S. Scientific reports. 2017 Nov 15. pii: 10.1038/s41598-017-15461-y. 10.1038/s41598-017-15461-y. PMID: 291422752017/11/17 06:00.


Computational flow cytometry analysis reveals a unique immune signature of the human maternal-fetal interface.

Vazquez J, Chavarria M, Li Y, Lopez GE, Stanic AK. American journal of reproductive immunology (New York, N.Y. : 1989). 2017 Oct 14. pii: . 10.1111/aji.12774. PMID: 290309002017/10/17 06:00.


Characterization and Functional Analysis of Mouse Semi-invariant Natural T Cells.

Kumar A, Bezbradica JS, Stanic AK, Joyce S. Current protocols in immunology. 2017 Apr 3. pii: . 10.1002/cpim.22. PMID: 283696822017/04/04 06:00.


Association between peak estradiol levels and ovarian torsion among symptomatic patients receiving gonadotropin treatment.

Romanski PA, Melamed A, Elias KM, Stanic AK, Anchan RM. Journal of assisted reproduction and genetics. 2017 Mar 15. pii: 10.1007/s10815-017-0901-y. 10.1007/s10815-017-0901-y. PMID: 282995502017/03/17 06:00.


View All Publications on PubMed
5 K12 HD 000849-28 (Program PI: K. Moley) 07/01/2013 – 06/30/2018

NIH/NICHD Reproductive Scientist Development Program (RSDP)

Project Role: Scholar

Title: The role of Innate Lymphoid Cells in Decidual Function

$125,000/yr

The goal of this project is to determine the role Innate Lymphoid Cells play in decidual vascular remodeling necessary for healthy placenta and pregnancy. Phase I – current – 2 years, Phase 2 – renewal – 3 years.


RSDP Research Support

Burroughs Wellcome Fund (BWF) 07/01/2016 – 06/30/2018

$25,000/yr

Funding associated with Dr. Stanic’s role as a Phase I RSDP Scholar


RSDP Research Supplement

March of Dimes (MOD) 07/01/2016 – 06/30/2017

$10,000

Supplement to funding associated with Dr. Stanic’s role as a Phase I RSDP Scholar


AAI Careers in Immunology Fellowship

American Association of Immunologists – 09/01/2016 – 08/31/2017

$45,444

Project Role: PI (Stanic) Funded fellow: Dr. Yan Li

Funding for AAI Trainee member (Dr. Li) postdoctoral salary in the laboratory of AAI Regular Member (Dr. Stanic). Title: Innate Lymphoid Cell – Dendritic Cell Axis Regulates Vascular Remodeling at the Maternal-Fetal Interface.

Stanic Lab News