Gustavo Ramirez Calderon

Ph.D. Student



Bldg. 2, level 3, 3204 - 20


I’m a biologist with an M.Sc. in infectious diseases from the National University of Colombia. At the BSc stage, I extracted and quantified antibodies from chicken egg yolk against Leishmania infantum to propose an optimal antigen inoculation scheme for antibody production. Later in my MSc, I focus on the molecular biology of leishmaniasis, quantifying the dynamic expression and subcellular localization of Metallothionein 2 in U937-macrophages infected by Leishmania braziliensis. After my MSc, I participated in an antimalarial drug-screening project at the University of Antioquia. By 2017, I joined KAUST as a Ph.D. student at the Laboratory for Nanomedicine where I conducted tissue engineering and material science research. Finally, I joined the STEMD lab in 2019 to work with hPSC-derived cardiac and pancreatic cells as in vitro models of tissue maturation and metabolic disorders.

Research Interests

My main project in the STEMD lab in collaboration with the organic bioelectronic lab (BIOEL) focuses on the electrical stimulation of hiPSC-derived electroactive cells to change the fetal-like phenotype to an adult-like. We aim to trigger cell maturation by training cardiac and pancreatic cells with electrical stimulation. As a parallel project, I use a Saudi GLP1R-/-- hiPSC to understand how the loss of function of GLP1R confers a metabolic protective background that prevents the onset of hyperglycemia and cardiac dysfunction observed in GLP1R-/- mice models.

Selected Publications

  1. Astro V, Ramirez-Calderon G, Adamo A.STAR Protoc. 2023 Apr 13;4(2):102252. doi: 10.1016/j.xpro.2023.102252. Protocol to measure calcium spikes in cardiomyocytes obtained from human pluripotent stem cells using a ready-to-use media. Online ahead of print. PMID: 37060558. 
  2. Astro V, Ramirez-Calderon G, Pennucci R, Caroli J, Saera-Vila A, Cardona-Londoño K, Forastieri C, Fiacco E, Maksoud F, Alowaysi M, Sogne E, Falqui A, Gonzàlez F, Montserrat N, Battaglioli E, Mattevi A, Adamo A. Fine-tuned KDM1A alternative splicing regulates human cardiomyogenesis through an enzymatic-independent mechanism. iScience. 2022 Jun 23;25(7):104665. PMID: 35856020; PMCID: PMC9287196.
  3. Ramirez-Calderon G, Colombo G, Hernandez-Bautista CA, Astro V, Adamo A. Heart in a Dish: From Traditional 2D Differentiation Protocols to Cardiac Organoids. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2022 Feb 17;10:855966. PMID: 35252213; PMCID: PMC8893312.
  4. Ramirez-Calderon, G.; Susapto, H. H.; Hauser, C. A. E. Delivery of Endothelial Cell-Laden Microgel Elicits Angiogenesis in Self-Assembling Ultrashort Peptide Hydrogels In Vitro. ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 202113, 29281– 29292,  DOI: 10.1021/acsami.1c03787
  5. Z. Khan, K. Kahin, S. Rauf, G. Ramirez-Calderon, N. Papagiannis, M. Abdulmajid, C.A.E.Hauser. Optimization of a 3D bioprinting process using ultrashort peptide bioinks.


  • 2014 M.Sc. Tropical health and infectious diseases, National University of Colombia, School ofMedicine, Bogota, Colombia
  • 2010 B.Sc. Biology, National University of Colombia, Faculty of Science, Bogota, Colombia

Professional Profile

2019-Present: Ph.D. student, Laboratory of Stem Cells and Diseases, KAUST, Thuwal, Saudi Arabia

2017-2019: Ph.D. student, Laboratory for nanomedicine, KAUST, Thuwal, Saudi Arabia

2015-2016: Research assistant, Malaria Group, University of Antioquia, Medellin, Colombia

Scientific and Professional Membership

Tissue Engineering & Regenerative Medicine International Society

KAUST Affiliations

Biological and Environmental Science and Engineering Division (BESE)

KAUST Environmental Epigenetics Program (KEEP)