Stem Cell Core


Barbara Corneo, PhD

Assistant Professor; Director, Columbia Stem Cell Core Facility


Stem Cell Core
650 West 168th Street
William Black Medical Research Building, BB-448
New York, NY 10032
United States


Scientist conduction research in a laboratory

The Stem Cell Core Facility is a multi-center facility at Columbia University Medical Center, created to help users take advantage of up-to-date resources in the stem cell field in a timely and cost-efficient way.

The Columbia Stem Cell Core Facility has two primary aims:

  1. To give our users access to quality-controlled pluripotent stem cells and stem cell-derivatives prepared using standardized approaches
  2. To offer genome editing services for the generation of custom-designed cell lines

The Stem Cell Core Facility also offers training sessions and informal interactions between scientists from multiple laboratories working on different stem cell models. Some reagents commonly used in stem cell labs, as mTeSR1 media and irradiated mouse embryonic fibroblasts, are also available at discounted price for our users.

We are connected to Stem Cell COREdinates, a consortium of pluripotent stem cell-focused core facilities, which allows us to take advantage of the sharing of the most updated and efficient protocols, expertise, and reagents.


Cell Production

The Cell Production section of the Stem Cell Core Facility offers to its users maintenance and supply of human ESC/iPSC; derivation and characterization of hiPSC from fibroblasts or blood; and differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells into functional, mature, highly purified progenies (including neuronal, cardiac, and retinal pigment epithelium). 

Gene Editing

The Gene Editing section of the Stem Cell Core Facility provides various services, including insertion of transgene and targeted single nucleotide modifications.


Stem Cell Equipment

Some equipment, including the picking hood, the Lonza Nucleofector 4D and the Life Technologies Neon, is available to users for rental. Please contact us for more information.


  • Barbara Corneo, PhD

    Assistant Professor; Director, Columbia Stem Cell Core Facility

    Barbara manages the daily activity of Columbia's Stem Cell Core Facility, bringing her knowledge of stem cell research and enthusiasm for collaborating and teaching to the Columbia stem cell community as well as external users. Barbara grew up in Italy and got a PhD in Immunology in Paris, France, working on severe combined immunodeficiency and V(D)J recombination. She then moved to the United States where she continued working on the effects that mutations in the Rag1 & 2 genes cause on the immune system. Barbara then joined Dr. Gordon Keller's lab at Mount Sinai, where she learned the basis of hESC biology and worked on endoderm differentiation and specification toward hepatic and pancreatic progenitors. She then joined the Neural Stem Cell Institute, directed by Dr. Sally Temple, to learn more about the nervous system. She worked on iPSC derivation from human ocular tissues and differentiation of hESC and hiPSC into retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). Barbara now directs the Stem Cell Core Facility, to provide support and to offer her expertise and help to any user interested in learning more about adult stem cells, embryonic stem cells, induced pluripotent stem cells, and their differentiated progenies.

  • Dario Sirabella, PhD

    Associate Research Scientist

    Dario is in charge of the Cardiac Core Facility unit, a key resource in the Stem Cell Core Facility for providing standardized preparations of human pluripotent stem cells as well as their differentiated progeny of cardiac lineages. Dario has a longstanding experience with stem cells. During his PhD at the University of Rome he extensively studied skeletal muscle-derived stem cells and fetal vessel-associated stem cells, with particular focus on multipotency and differentiation into different mesodermal cell types. In the first part of his postdoctoral work at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, NY, he investigated specific molecular mechanisms involved in the signaling cascade that controls myogenic differentiation. Later, he got interested in pluripotency and started to work on reprogramming skeletal muscle stem cells and their transdifferentiation into cardiac cells.

  • Alejandro Garcia Diaz

    Senior Staff Associate

    Alejandro obtained his BS in Biochemistry from the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, where his thesis was focused on identifying proteins interacting with the ribonucleoprotein of the influenza virus, under the supervision of Dr. Juan Ortin Monton. In 2004, he started working with Nobel Laureate Dr. James E. Rothman in a variety of projects that ranged from membrane trafficking to diabetes research. He then joined the Jenifer Estess Laboratory for Stem Cell Research at Columbia University in 2009, under the supervision of Drs. Christopher Henderson and Hynek Wichterle, where his research was aimed towards differentiating motor neurons from induced pluripotent stem cells, designing and production of lentiviruses and baculoviruses, designing of DNA constructs for constitutive or cell type-dependent expression, etc. Alejandro also served as a Columbia Science Honors Program teacher of Experiments in Genetics and Molecular Biology for 7 semesters. He is currently working on completing his MA in Biotechnology degree at Columbia Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

  • Achchhe Patel, PhD

    Senior Staff Associate

    Achchhe received his PhD from University of Delhi, India. He worked as a postdoctoral researcher at Wake Forest University School of Medicine, NC, to understand host-pathogen interactions of the intracellular parasite, Chlamydia trachomatis. He entered the field of stem cells by joining the laboratory of Ihor Lemischka at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai New York and was involved in the identification of gene networks in insulin resistance using patient-derived iPSCs. He worked in collaboration with Dr. Sunita D'Souza in the Mount Sinai stem cell core facility, where he was trained in the generation of iPSCs and development of protocols for differentiation and characterization of skeletal muscle cells and adipocytes. Achchhe joined Columbia's Stem Cell Core Facility in the summer of 2016 where he offers diverse services, including reprogramming and differentiation of motor neurons, hepatocytes, and skeletal muscle from hPSC.

  • Kate Oliver, MS

    Technician B

    Kate is a recent graduate of Lehigh University, where she earned bachelor’s degrees in Biology and Psychology and a master's in Molecular Biology. As a member of Columbia's Stem Cell Core Facility, Kate focuses on sensory neuron differentiation and the creation of their reporter cell lines.