Allison Songstad

Abilene Christian University
University of Iowa

Allison received her B.S. in biochemistry with a minor in Spanish from Abilene Christian University in 2012. Later that year she enrolled in the Molecular and Cellular Biology Ph.D. program at the University of Iowa and joined the Tucker Stem Cell Lab. During her graduate work, Allison established novel methods and systems to study age-related macular degeneration (AMD). In particular, she developed the first published methods to generate choroidal endothelial cells from mouse and human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). By using these novel methods, researchers in the field now have valuable tools to study AMD choroidal vasculature to further unravel AMD pathophysiology.

After graduating with her Ph.D. in 2016, Allison accepted a K12 Institutional Research and Academic Career Development Award and a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California - San Diego where she collaborates with several researchers at the Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine and the Salk Institute to study autism spectrum disorder using human iPSC, CRISPR genome editing, and RNA-seq technologies.