Current Lab Members & Staff

Wayne S. Zundel, Ph.D.

Director, Division of Molecular Radiation & Cancer Biology

Dr. Zundel obtained his BS in Chemistry from Montana State University in a three year period. He obtained his Ph.D. in Cancer Biology in Amato Giaccia's laboratory at Stanford also within three years. Dr. Zundel  has held scientific positions in the federal government and within the pharmaceutical industry prior to academic appointments. He serves on various national and international grant study sections and has been an invited speaker at various international events such as Keystone Symposia, AACR Workshops and Gordon Conferences.

Dr. Zundel studies the lack of oxygen (hypoxia) primarily in cancer progression and therapeutic response but also looking for applications in other ischemic pathophysiologies such as  pulmonary disorders, aging, cardiac and vascular disorders, diabetes, infection, obesity, and various other aging-related disorders. The Zundel laboratory examines the molecular mechanisms by which altered extracellular oxygenation mediates diverse effects in mammalian tissues. These responses are serendipitously uncovering novel aspects of basic cellular functions, such as energy metabolism, protein turnover by ubiquitylation, translational arrest, IRES-mediated translational initiation, mRNA stability, and the stem cell biology. A combination of functional genetics, genomics, and proteomics is utilized to examine the molecular architecture underlying oxygen-sensing and response mechanisms. By defining the molecular responses to hypoxia, it will be possible to target these regulatory pathways with greater specificity. This will ultimately lead to the identification of stage-specific diagnostic and prognostic markers and the development of novel therapies that manipulate these processes.

Jing Huang, MBA, PhD

Research Associate & Lab Manager, Radiation Medicine, OHSU

Jing was born and raised in Northeast China and moved to Oregon for graduate school in 1992 and received her doctorate degree in Genetics from Oregon State University in 1998. During her first postdoctoral fellowship, she studied several proteins involved in the G1/S and G2/M checkpoints in Matt Thayer's lab at The Vollum Institute, OHSU.   Jing has also had extensive training using diverse clinical  & translational approaches while conducting research in Elliot Epner's and Craig Okada's labs at OHSU. From 2004-2008, Jing entered the biotechnology industry as a staff scientist at ProteoGenix Inc. & during this time gained an MBA in Finance from Portland State University. She says that her experience in the business aspect of the biosciences has expanded her mindset in general toward the applied sciences.

Since joining the Zundel Lab., Dr. Huang has begun a systematic exploration of oxygen-responsive cellular processes & is currently developing models that differentiate patterns in hypoxic & ischemic gene regulation allowing her to distinguish oxygen-regulated responses in different tissues, stages of oncogenic progression and non-oncogenic ischemic pathologies. Within this framework (jokingly dubbed the Hypoxeome), she is identifying critical non-redundant signaling nodes & characterizing the molecular roles of the proteins in the context of altering specific hypoxic/ischemic phenotypes during tumor progression or enhancing current therapeutic methodologies.

During Jing's spare time, she enjoys spending time with  her family, taking classes in the gym, watching local & national news & sports, & keeping current on the Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, and Fortune magazine.

Barbara Stedman, M.S.

Grants Administrator, Radiation Medicine, OHSU.

Barbara grew up in Germany and obtained her Master's Degree in History from the University of Bonn, Germany. Before moving to Portland with her American husband she worked for 6 years in the German National Liaison Office for the European Research Program where she helped scientist get funding from the EU and administer their grants. Mrs. Stedman came to OHSU in 2006 and first started in the University Research Grants and Contracts Department, working as a Grants Administrator in the West Campus Office. Since May 2008 she works as a Grants Administrator in Radiation Medicine. During her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her two adorable daughters and husband (a Professor of Biology at PSU), hiking, gardening, camping and traveling.

Ryan Bjerke

Dan Tupper, BS, MAIS

Information Quality Manager, Radiation Medicine, OHSU.

Born and raised in the Willamette Valley of Oregon,  Dan graduated from Oregon State University with degrees in Anthropology, and Computer Science, and now works as the primary IT contact for the Department of Radiation Medicine.  In his spare time he enjoys sailing on the Columbia River, and spending time with his Wife and 2 daughters.

Jamie Harrel, BA, MBA

Revenue Cycle Manager/Fiscal Manager, Radiation Medicine, OHSU.

I was born and raised a military brat in the United Kingdom until we finally moved to Arizona in 1994.  After graduation high school, I attended the University of Arizona where I earned degrees in Finance and Economics.  I recently completed my MBA at Portland State University, and I believe education is a continual process so I will go back at some point.  Married in 2004, my family and I moved to Oregon where I held the post of VP of Finance for Evergreen Helicopters until 2006.  After many years of traveling 200+ days a year and the birth of my first child and the anticipated arrival of my second, I moved to greener and more stable pastures.  In late 2006, I joined OHSU as a financial analyst and have since risen to my current position as Revenue Cycle Manager/Fiscal Manager for Radiation Medicine. 

Tricia Thompson 


Former Lab Members & Staff

Katherine Shumate Richardson, Ph.D.

Graduate student, Pharmacology & Toxicology.

Currently doing a postdoc at the University of Louisville.

Ashraful Islam, MD, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellow.

Currently a Senior Research Associate at the University of Louisville.

Dr. Islam was born and grew up at a small northern city in Bangladesh and received his college degree from Govt. Pabna Edward College Bangladesh. After completion of a Medical degree from Dhaka Medical College, Dr. Islam was honored by obtaining Japanese Government Scholarship for graduate program in the University of Tokyo. He successfully finished his graduate training in Chiba Cancer Center Research Institute, Japan under the supervision of Dr. Akira Nakagawara. Before moving to the NCI, he received his doctorate in biology in 2001 from The University of Tokyo. At the NCI, Dr. Islam worked on a research team in the field of Molecular and Cellular Biology with Dr. Carol J Thiele of the Pediatric Oncology Section and continued his research in Cancer Biology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School Cancer Center under the supervision of Dr. Dario C Altieri. Dr. Islam then moved to the department of Radiation Oncology at the University of Louisville, KY and began studying the regulation and characterization of novel proteins associated with hypoxic response under the supervision of Dr. Wayne Zundel. Following his work with Dr. Zundel, Ashraful began work on translational medicine in the laboratory of Paula Bates at the University of Louisville. Dr. Islam is married and a proud father of two children. He spends most of his leisure time with his family and loves to read.

Peter Mikus, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellow

Current position unknown

Dr Mikus was born in Slovakia (the former Czechoslovakia).  After graduation from Comenius University, he worked for several years at the Slovak Academy of Sciences.  Peter also spent some time as a visiting researcher at Umea University in Sweden and at Stanford University. Peter then moved to Sweden where he obtained his Ph.D. at Umea University.  For postdoctoral training, he moved to UC Berkeley at the Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease and at UCSF.  His training and broad research experience allowed him to work on many different projects, from classical biochemistry to various areas of cell and molecular biology and new -omics approaches. Dr. Mikus was then recruited to the Zundel lab at the J.G. Brown Cancer Center in Louisville, KY.   Here, Peter became involved in studies of protein functions and interactions in the context of complex molecular networks.  Dr. Mikus spent 6 months in the lab of Marc Vidal && David Hill at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute performing high-throughput yeast-2-hybrid (HT-Y2H) on hypoxia -regulated genes, thus laying the groundwork for the "hypoxeome" which is a major portion of ongoing research in the lab.

Tatulya "Joey" Tawari, M.D.

Lab. Technician

Currently in private practice.

Joey was born in Gwalior, India and immigrated to the United States of America in 1988, at the time he was six years of age.  Joey resided in Louisville, Kentucky since that time and attended Michigan State University as an undergraduate.  In December of 2003, he graduated from MSU with honors and earned a B.S. in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics.  Before getting involved in research, Joey enrolled in an Environmental Studies program in Costa Rica as part of a study abroad through MSU.  This experience sparked a research interest in plant biology. 

Joey was privileged to conduct research for two years in Dr. Katherine Osteryoung's laboratory as an undergraduate. The primary goal of that laboratory is to identify and investigate proteins critical to chloroplast division.  Joey's project goals included insertion of an inducible promoter system over-expressing T-DNA of critical plastid division proteins into the Arabidopsis thaliana genome. Some of his other projects involved sequencing of genomic DNA of transgenic plants as well as for AtMinD, a protein critical to division site selection. In May of 2004, Joey was awarded a prestigious Fogarty International Research Fellowship administered by the National Institute of Health to conduct biomedical research at an over-seas training institution.  Joey carried out research in Grenoble, France under the direction of Dr. Michael Haertlein and the Institut Laue-Langevin in collaboration with the European Molecular Biology Laboratory. This project enabled Joey to provide evidence for plasmid instability in isotopically (deuterated) labeled E.coli cells.

Mr. Tiwari  then joined the Zundel lab where he briefly worked on validating novel interactions of putative proteins in the oxygen sensing pathway of mammalian cells that are linked to formation of cancer. Joey then moved to a collaborator's lab at Stanford (Nic Denko) where he studied hypoxia-inducible genes. Joey was accepted into medical school at the University of Louisville where he recently graduated. Aside from his research experience, Dr. Tawari teaches and coaches tennis to players that range in experience from novice to nationally ranked.  His other hobbies include hanging out with his family and going to see movies on the weekend.    

Jonathan Feist

Undergraduate summer student, Biology.

In collaboration with Paula Bates lab, Mr. Feist participated in a short summer program in which he began to evaluate the possibility that the drug AGRO100 would sensitize cells to radiation and that this effect would be altered by hypoxia.

Bennett Jones

Junior high school student

Bennet t came to Dr. Zundel with his own idea for studying bystander effects in irradiated cells. This was very impressive in such a young man to say the least. He joined the lab for a short time in which he performed several experiments isolating conditioned media from irradiated cells and examined them for cytotoxicity in unirradiated cells. He presented his work at local, state and regional science fairs.

Karen Guan

Summer high school student.

Miss Guan spent a summer in the lab in which she began the design of our initial database of hypoxia-regulated genes and linking them to international protein and genomic databases. Her work was the beginning of our "hypoxeome".

Neil Davie, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow

Currently Early Candidate Medical Director at Pfizer

Dr. Davie obtained his Ph.D. in Pulmonary Vascular Disease from the Imperial College in London. He worked in collaboration with the Zundel lab when he joined Kurt Stedman's group at UCHSC. He later became an Assistant Professor of Pediatric Cardiologyat UCHSC before becoming the Head of Cell & Molecular Biology - Pulmonary Hypertension Research Group  & Director of Scientific Affairs at Encysive.

Most recently, Neil is the Early Candidate Medical Director for Pfizer.

Barbara Frederick, Ph.D.

Research Associate

Currently an Asst. Professor of Radiation Oncology at UCHSC.

Barbara obtained her graduate degree from Montana State University. Dr. Frederick joined the Zundel lab at UCHSC as a Research Associate and was responsible for overseeing much of the research  performed during that time. Her main area of research was the isolation of the pVHL tumor suppressor complex and identification of novel associated proteins.  After Dr. Zundel left UCHSC, Dr. Frederick began her own lab and is an assistant professor in the Division of Radiation and Cancer Biology at UCHSC. Her own research interests are developing biomarkers to predict patient response to targeted agents and radiation therapy, sequencing combinations of targeted agents and radiation, the induction of miRNAs by radiation, and epigenetic events that drive tumor progression

Lynne Bemis, PhD.

Visiting Professor

Currently as UCHSC Associate Professor of Medicine.

Dr. Bemis joined the Zundel lab as an independent investigator in which she investigated multiple projects including the interaction of the COP9 Signalosome catalytic subunit CSN5 with the pVHL tumor suppressor and the oxygen-mediated regulation of a RING-H2 and its novel interaction with other proteins.  Lynne also lectures on Genetic Education for Native Americans (GENA) in association with the National Human Genome Research Institute. She is currently an Associate Professor of Medicine at UCHSC.

Satyan Krishna Bindiganavale, M.D.

UCHSC summer medical student

Currently a neurological surgeon in private practice

Dr. Bindiganavale spent several month in the lab during a summer research project. He cloned several genes into expression vectors for future studies. Satyan subsequently acquired his M.D. and a neurologic surgery fellowship. He currently is a surgeon in private practice. 

Tonya Jorgenson, Ph.D.

UCHSC summer undergraduate student

Currently a postdoc at UW-Madison

Tonia was born in Plymouth, MN and received a bachelor's of science degree from Colorado State University in Psychology, and Clinical Laboratory Science from Minot State University.

She began her career working in hospital and clinic billing offices assisting patients with their medical claims. Following the death of an important father figure of melanoma, she began taking steps to pursue a career in cancer research.  Tonia was fortunate to find Dr. Heidi Super as a mentor at Minot State University. Working in her laboratory on a microbiology project further fueled her desire to pursue research science. Tonia was privileged to join the laboratory of Dr. Wayne Zundel as part of The Graduate School Summer Training Program at The University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. Here, her project consisted of engineering mammalian retroviral expression constructs regulated by hypoxia-responsive elements.

From there she felt honored to be accepted into the doctoral program in cancer biology in the laboratory of Dr Norman Drinkwater at The University of Wisconsin-Madison, McArdle Laboratory of Cancer Research. The work involved mapping modifiers by linkage analysis using multiple inbred strains of mice genetically susceptible and/or resistant to pancreatic cancer. She received her doctorate in May 2010.  She is currently a postdoctoral researcher in the laboratory of Dr. Fotis Asimokopoulos at The University of Wisconsin-Madison, Wisconsin Institutes for Medical Research. She will be focusing her research efforts on the genetics of multiple myeloma. Aside from her research, Tonia enjoys traveling, visiting with friends and family, hanging out with her German Shepherd dogs, running and triathlons.