Jim Goodman- Westminster College, BS in Biology


I'm from the great state of Utah, where I spent much of my time climbing mountains and exploring the outdoors. As an undergraduate, I attended Westminster College in Salt Lake City where I studied biology and chemistry. Somewhere along the way, I realized that a career combining medicine and science was the right vocation for me and I joined the MD/PhD program at OHSU in 2014. After the first half of medical school, I joined Dr. Jeff Iliff's lab to investigate the role of intracranial lymphatics in the pathophysiology of neurodegenerative disease. Upon completing my graduate studies, I will return to medical school and residency training, after which I hope to accept my first real job as a physician scientist at an academic institution.


Ilsa Kirby - Reed College, BA in Chemistry

Born and raised in the Willamette Valley wilderness, I was eventually deemed fit for general socialization and attended Reed College in Portland Oregon, where my initial focus on history and political science was quickly abandoned for my new found love of chemistry. While at Reed I taught organic chemistry labs, conducted research in organic synthesis, and completed my senior thesis work developing a series of host-targeted antiviral compounds. After graduating with a BA in Chemistry, I traded my lab coat for legal briefs and spend a year working for a law firm in Seattle before joining OHSU’s Program in Molecular and Cellular Biosciences in 2014. I joined Dr. Michael Cohen’s lab in the spring of 2015, where I have focused on designing and synthesizing chemical tools to investigate the biological role of a post translational modification known as ADP-ribosylation. Following my studies at OHSU, I hope to pursue an academic position at a undergraduate-focused institution.

Picture Kayly Lembke

Kayly Lembke - Scripps College, BA in Biochemistry

I was born an Army kid, my father being an officer in the U.S. Army. My family traveled all round the United States, moving from Alabama to Texas, Colorado to Hawaii, and Chicago to Oregon. My life in science began in high school, doing summer work as a Biological Aid with the USDA-ARS National Clonal Germplasm Repository in Corvallis, OR. I attended Scripps College, in Claremont, CA, and did undergraduate research on Prp43 and its role in rRNA metabolism. I received my Bachelors in 2010 and in 2011 entered the PMCB program at OHSU and the lab of Dr. David Morton. My project is currently centered on understanding how gene misregulation affects synaptic transmission in a Drosophila model of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. Currently, I am focused on successfully completing my qualifying exam. I am also a founding member of the Women in Science Organization here at OHSU, a contributor to the Student Speak blog, and am actively involved in student life.

Formal Photo - Rory K Morgan 6

Rory Morgan - University of Oregon, MS in Chemistry

I was born and raised in Canby, OR, a small town just south of Portland.  Although I grew up on a cattle farm and was involved in all things agricultural throughout high school, I chose a different path when I attended Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA to pursue a degree in biochemistry.  I conducted undergraduate research on parasitic metabolism elucidation to aid in the development of antiparasitic therapeutics.  Upon graduation in 2007, I debated graduate school and an industrial position, but found a balance in the Master's Industrial Internship Program in Organic Synthesis at University of Oregon, where I completed a MS degree in chemistry and a nine-month internship at the pharmaceutical research company Bend Research, Inc. in Bend, OR.  My internship progressed into a permanent position as a Research Chemist, where I was employed from 2008-2012, researching a variety of projects centered around drug delivery technologies.  With the realization that I was more interested in the early stages of drug development, I enrolled in the PMCB graduate program at OHSU in 2012 to pursue chemical biology research.  With my chemistry background, I joined the lab of Dr. Michael Cohen to investigate the biological role of the post-translational modification known as ADP-ribosylation using rationally designed chemical probes and chemical genetic strategies.  Upon completion of my doctoral studies, I hope to find a postdoctoral position to aid in my transition back to industry to pursue drug discovery research.


Erika Riederer –Skidmore College, BA in Chemistry

I grew up in central New Jersey and attended a small liberal arts college in upstate New York, Skidmore College, for my undergraduate education. Initially a neuroscience major, I found that chemistry, specifically biochemistry, held the potential answers to questions in which I was interested. At Skidmore, I was able to work in Dr. Reba Howard's lab investigating the effects of alcohols and anesthetics on a eukaryotic member of the pentameric ligand gated ion channel family, GluCl. After graduating with a Bachelor's in 2014, I joined OHSU's Program in Molecular and Cellular Biosciences the same year. Following my interest in membrane proteins and biochemistry, I joined the Valiyaveetil lab in Spring 2015 and have started research on elucidating the mechanism of transport of excitatory amino acid transporters (EAATs) with an archeal homologue, GltPh. As for after graduation, I plan to pursue a postdoctoral fellowship.  



Gabriel Romero –University of Minnesota, BS in Neuroscience

Before joining the Physiology and Pharmacology department at OHSU in 2014, I spent three years conducting research at the University of Minnesota. During this time I investigated the role of D-serine as an NMDA receptor coagonist in both the mammalian retina and prefrontal cortex with Dr. Robert Miller and Dr. LiLian Yuan. I then studied the glia-mediated modulation of neuronal signaling in the hippocampus with Dr. Alfonso Araque. It is during this time that I developed a fascination for sensory systems and synaptic transmission. In the summer of 2015, I joined the lab of Dr. Larry Trussell to explore neuronal communication by taking advantage of the unique electrical properties and circuitry of the auditory system. After graduating from OHSU, I plan on pursuing a career as an academic investigator.


Elizabeth Swanson - Carroll College, BA in Chemistry

I grew up in Bozeman, MT and attended Carroll College (Helena, MT) for my undergraduate education. After graduating with a degree in chemistry in 2008, I moved to Portland where I worked as a laboratory technician at OHSU for five years. During this time, I realized what I value most about scientific research is the potential to make a positive impact on human health. With this in mind, I entered the OHSU MD/PhD program in 2013. After completing two years of medical school, I joined the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology and decided to pursue my thesis research in the lab of Dr. David Ellison. Following graduation, I plan to complete residency and fellowship training in urology before pursuing a career as a physician scientist in academic medicine.

Sarah Wicher

Sarah Wicher - University of Idaho, BS in Microbiology

I grew up in southeastern Idaho.  In 2008, I graduated from the University of Idaho with a Bachelor of Science degree in Microbiology. Prior to entering the OHSU Graduate Program in Molecular and Cellular Biosciences, I gained research experience working in Dr. Arrizabalaga's laboratory at the University of Idaho. In Spring 2012, I joined Dr. Allison Fryer's laboratory and am researching the systemic effects of ozone exposure on asthma. Specifically, I am interested in the role of eosinophils in airway hyperreactivity following ozone exposure. Ultimately, I would like to pursue a career in research at the university level.