Students

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Rachel Drake - University of Minnesota, BS in Biochemistry

I grew up in White Bear Lake, MN and attended the University of Minnesota for my undergraduate degrees in Biochemistry and Spanish. While at Minnesota I worked in the Visible Heart Lab with Paul Iaizzo on mapping out the human coronary venous system to improve medical device design. I realized that my favorite part about science was the application to human health and what excited me most about medicine was the basic science. This is what drove me to pursue a career as a physician scientist as an MD/PhD student at OHSU. After the first two years of medical school I joined Kent Thornburg's lab where I am studying cardi-omyocyte lipid uptake throughout fetal and neonatal development. Following graduation, I will continue to residency and eventually seek aposition at an academic institution as a clinician scientist.

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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.

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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.

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Alina Krollenbrock –Northeastern University, MS in Chemistry

I grew up in the eastern foothills of the Rocky Mountains in Fort Collins, Colorado. My first laboratory job was filling pipette tip boxes for 25 cents each in my mother's plant biology lab when I was eight years old (I seem to have been unaware of minimum wage and child labor laws at the time). Both of my parents are scientists and I have inherited the family business. My first academic paper was a co-authorship with my mother on reproductive barriers in wild tomato species. I went to Reed College for my undergraduate degree where I majored in chemistry and worked at the Reed Research Reactor. After graduating I worked in the Xiao lab at OHSU performing anti-cancer assays, followed by the Vasdev lab at Massachusetts General Hospital designing and testing PET radiotracers for the in vivo imaging of Alzheimer's Disease. I got my Master's Degree from Northeastern University in Boston, where I worked on organic synthesis of novel antibiotics. I joined the Riscoe lab at OHSU in the Fall of 2016, where I am pursuing my PhD developing new medicines for malaria.

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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.

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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.

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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.  

 

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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.

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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.

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Hannah Sanford-Crane – Johns Hopkins University, MS in Biotechnology

Growing up, my family moved to New Hampshire, Arizona, Oregon, and Maryland. I finished high school in Maryland and went on to do my undergraduate degree at the University of Maryland, College Park; where I majored in animal sciences. While at UMCP I worked as an undergraduate research assistant at the Gudelskey Veterinary Center testing the efficacy of poultry infectious laryngotracheitis recombinant vaccinations. I also spent a summer as an advanced research intern at Dow Electronic Materials where I investigated the transport properties of Chemical Mechanical Planerization Pads. Although Dow was a great internship, I decided to pursue a career more biologically based and went to work for Sigmovir Biosystems as a laboratory operations manager. While working at Sigmovir, I decided to obtain my MS at the Johns Hopkins University. I received my MS in Biotechnology with a focus on epidemiology and public health. I then decided to leave my career and continue my education with a Ph.D. at Oregon Health & Sciences University where I am currently working in the Xiangshu Xiao lab in the Physiology & Pharmacology Department. My research is focused on using a combinational chemical genetic and small molecule approach to further understand the function of nuclear lamins. Lamins are involved in a variety of diseases and disorders, including cancer and premature aging, so understanding the function of lamin signaling has great potential for the development of future therapeutics.