O'Roak Lab Members

ORoak copy

Brian J. O'Roak, PhD

I’m originally from California’s Central Valley. After earning a B.S. in Biology at CSU Fresno, I did my PhD studies at Yale University working with Dr. Matthew W. State in the Department of Genetics. I then went on for postdoctoral training in the Department of Genome Sciences at the University of Washington, under Drs. Evan E. Eichler and Jay Shendure. I joined the MMG faculty in Fall 2013.

Rebecca Barnard

Rebecca Barnard, PhD

I am originally from the Chesapeake Bay area in Maryland. I received my B.S. degrees in Biology and Biotechnology from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA. Afterwards, I moved to Fort Collins, CO where I spent two years at the Centers for Disease Control as a serologist for Plague and Tularemia diagnostics. I then attended Colorado State University for my PhD in Cell and Molecular Biology under the mentorship of Dr. Daniel Gustafson studying the autophagy pathway in the context of cancer treatment and development. I joined the O’Roak lab in March 2015 as a postdoctoral researcher. 

Brooke DeRosa

Brooke DeRosa, PhD

I grew up on Florida’s Space Coast, watching shuttle launches from my back yard. I earned my B.S. in Molecular Biology from the Florida Institute of Technology where I examined protein-protein interactions underlying the activation of PLC-ɣ during fertilization in the lab of Dr. David Carroll. I received my Ph.D. in Human Genetics and Genomics from the University of Miami under the mentorship of Dr. Derek Dykxhoorn. My thesis work involved using patient-specific induced pluripotent stem cells to study common molecular disturbances in autism that impact neuronal development. I moved Portland in 2016 to join the O’Roak Lab as a postdoctoral researcher.

Sara Evans

Sara Evans, BSc

Originally from LA County, I did my undergrad research in Neurobiology studying serotonin receptor protein interactions. After that I worked in human embryonic stem cell research under Dr. Nicole zurNieden at UC Riverside, and even dabbled a bit in biotechnology working in biofuels research & development before coming to Portland in December 2013 to join Dr. O'Roak's lab as a research assistant.

Taylor Mighell

Taylor Mighell, NGP Graduate Student

I am originally from Geneseo, a small town in northwestern Illinois. I earned a B.S. degree in Biology from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, where I worked on a research project studying the role of microRNAs in the developing mouse cerebellum. I entered the Neuroscience Graduate Program at OHSU in the fall of 2014 and came to Dr. O'Roak's lab in spring 2015 to investigate non-invasive techniques for detecting somatic mosaicism in the brain.

Ryan Mulqueen

Ryan Mulqueen, PMCB Graduate Student

Born and raised on Long Island, NY, I earned my B.S. degree in Interdisciplinary Biology from Stony Brook University. There I worked on a research project studying speciation and hybridization in the affinis clade of drosophilids. I joined OHSU’s Graduate program in Molecular and Cellular Biosciences in Fall 2014. In the Spring of 2015, I joined Dr. O’Roak’s lab to study the roles of somatic mosaicism and epigenetic factors in the developing brain.
Hadley Morotti

Hadley Morotti, M.S.

I grew up in the Pacific Northwest and earned a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Oregon.  I've worked on research projects ranging from empathic accuracy to risk assessment and decision-making to family and peer interactions.  Eventually, I returned to UO to earn my M.S. with a concentration in Social Psychology.  I joined the O'Roak lab in fall 2015 as a study coordinator.

 O'Roak Lab Alumni


Deidre Krupp, PhD

I'm originally from the Rogue Valley in Southern Oregon, and received B.S. degrees in Biology and Chemistry from Southern Oregon University. I completed my doctoral studies under the mentorship of Dr. Simon Gregory at Duke University, studying genetic, epigenetic, and environmental factors which may contribute to human neural tube defects.  I then returned to Oregon in Fall 2014 to join Dr. O'Roak's lab as a postdoctoral researcher.

Matt Pomaville

Matthew Pomaville, SFARI Intern

I'm currently a fourth-year undergraduate at California State University, Fresno where I worked in the Lent Lab studying the role of the central complex and mushroom bodies on spatial learning and memory in Periplaneta americana, the American cockroach. I joined the O'Roak lab as a summer intern through the SFARI Undergraduate Summer Research Program. Here I am working with Dr. Rebecca Barnard in her work on developing new animal models for studying autism.