Holly Wobma

Holly is an MD-PhD student at Columbia University in New York. She recently (2011) completed a Bachelor of Health Sciences Honours Degree from the University of Calgary, where she pursued research related to nanotechnology and regenerative medicine. In addition to research, she enjoys participating in science outreach roles. Previously, she contributed to an award-winning Nanoscience animation produced by the Science Alberta Foundation (“Do You Know What Nano Means?”), and served on the board of directors for the Canadian Institute for Photonic Innovations Student Network. Holly's lab tweets @GVNlab.

Posts by: Holly


Relay race to finish off inflammatory cells

Author: Holly Wobma, 07/12/17

I don’t have many distinct memories from childhood. Certainly not of global events. But given the sweltering weather, the recent Canada 150 celebration, and a cool new paper published in Cell Chemical Biology, my mind wandered back to the ’96 summer Olympics (Atlanta), when Donovan Bailey raced through the finish line with his arms in…Read more

What time zone is your heart tissue In?

Author: Holly Wobma, 06/19/17

Our lives our governed by our concept of time. Whether you are relatively spontaneous or a micromanager of your daily schedule, how we coordinate our work and interactions with other people comes down to the 24-hour clock we picture in our minds. Of course, this 24-hour clock is more than just a social construct. It…Read more

Filling the void: A scientist’s introduction to commercialization/clinical translation

Author: Holly Wobma, 04/26/17

For anybody who has invested a great deal of time into a research project, you probably feel a certain sense of expertise on the topic. Sure, it is impossible to know a whole field (every answer raises more questions), and lab work is rife with puzzlement and failures, but at the end of the day,…Read more

From organ survival to organ revival – how patients can regenerate their own donor lung prior to surgery

Author: Holly Wobma, 03/22/17

For most areas of medicine, the supply of a treatment can easily meet demand (access issues aside). Need an antibody? A steroid? Millions of pills are manufactured every day. The case could not be more different for solid organ transplantation, for which the list of patients with end-stage organ failure vastly exceeds the number of…Read more

Sculpted to a T: Synthetic T-cells for a more controlled immune response

Author: Holly Wobma, 10/18/16

I have a confession.  This is not a blog about stem cells. It is, however, a blog about cells with infinite possibilities of fate. Because we are entering the world of synthetic biology, where crafty cellular engineering has enabled a new level of control over immune cell function. This work comes out of Wendell Lim’s…Read more

A new style of MSC immunotherapy – Instructions included

Author: Holly Wobma, 09/22/16

If you have been following stem cell news lately, you know that there have been several recent Food and Drug Administration (FDA) meetings regarding how to classify stem cells, which ultimately affects if and how they will be regulated. There are many medical practitioners, scientists, and patients who would like to see these therapies on…Read more

Each vessel is special: Engineering kidney-specific microvasculature

Author: Holly Wobma, 08/29/16

As humans, it is natural to categorize our environment. Usually, these groups include perceptible differences. -The red shirt vs. the blue shirt (not the near infrared vs. far infrared shirt) -The quiet (to our ears) sound vs. the loud sound -etc. Since we don’t readily see or feel microscopic differences in our body, for most…Read more

iPS cell technology – kickstarting our ability to control cell identity

Author: Holly Wobma, 08/25/16

When you hear the word “stem cell,” I imagine this conjures up the image of cells that are special. Unlike most cells, stem cells can differentiate into other cell types. They hold the promise of curing many diseases, and thus they are continually the source of hype in mainstream and social media. Yet the above…Read more

Immunotoxins: a surprisingly less toxic approach to stem cell transplants

Author: Holly Wobma, 07/06/16

It is often the case that to produce something ‘shiny,’ new and better, we must first get rid of the old. This is true even in the case of stem cell therapies. Hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) transplants have been around since the mid-twentieth century and are used to treat a broad range of diseases such…Read more