Kurre Lab Members

Kurre Lab May 2017

 Peter Kurre

Peter KurrePeter Kurre earned his medical degree from Aachen University (RWTH), Germany. He completed his pediatric residency at the University of Chicago followed by fellowship training in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at the University of Washington and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Dr. Kurre remained at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center for his post-doctoral training in transplantation and stem cell biology.

Dr. Kurre joined the faculty at Oregon Health & Science University in 2004 with joint appointments in the Departments of Pediatrics and Cell and Developmental Biology. He is a member of the Papé Family Pediatric Research Institute and the OHSU Stem Cell Center.

His research program places emphasis on the mechanisms by which cells interact with the surrounding microenvironment in the bone marrow. This involves studies on Fanconi Anemia, a disorder where the lab investigates the developmental programming of stem cell attrition and bone marrow failure. The laboratory also has longstanding expertise in retroviral gene transfer to hematopoietic stem cells where receptor specific and non-specific attachment profoundly influence retroviral gene transfer efficiency. These studies aim to develop new gene therapy approaches for Fanconi Anemia. Additional recent research investigates cell-cell interactions in the hematopoietic microenvironment where microvesicle trafficking appears to promote the leukemia progression and the development of therapy resistance.

Dr. Kurre’s clinical research interest is in bone marrow failure syndromes, including Aplastic Anemia and Fanconi Anemia, an area where he has published numerous papers.

John Butler

John ButlerJohn Butler graduated summa cum laude with a B.S. in Medical Laboratory Science from University of Rhode Island, and worked as a Medical Laboratory Scientist at Rhode Island Hospital. Prior to working in clinical diagnostics, John spent many years as a Research Associate in the lab of Jeanne Lawrence at UMASS Medical School. In the Lawrence Lab, John worked to optimize the cultivation of human embryonic stem cells, and studied their nuclear structure and epigenetic changes that occur during early stages of differentiation. John joined the OHSU's Medical Scientist Training Program in 2015. His work in the KurreLab will focus on visualizing the uptake and fate of extracellular vesicles within target-cells, and understanding target-cell type tropism of leukemia derived extracellular vesicles. His hobbies include knowing things, learning things, taking tests on things, and microscopy. He used to have other hobbies but since starting his doctoral training he cannot seem to remember what they are.

Mithila Handu

MithilaMithila Handu received her doctoral degree in Biochemistry in 2015 from Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Pune, India. Her Ph.D. thesis focused on understanding the regulation of innate immune responses by SUMO post-translational modification in Drosophila melanogaster. The study lead to identification and characterization of novel SUMO modified proteins. Mithila received several prestigious fellowships from Government of India to support her doctoral research. Most recently, she worked in the lab of Dr. Charles Roberts at the Oregon National Regional Primate Center, studying diet-induced transcriptional changes in fat and adipose tissue and epigenetic memory via histone modifications. Mithila joined the Kurre lab in January 2017 and will be studying fetal liver hematopoiesis. 

Lotte Tholen

LotteLotte Tholen graduated from the Radboud University in the Netherlands in 2016 with a B.S. in Medical Biology. As a bachelor student she studied the mitochondrial RNA metabolism and its nuclear encoded proteins involved. Currently she is enrolled in a Molecular Mechanisms of Disease Master's program at the Radboud University. As part of her curriculum Lotte will join the lab for a 6 months externship to attain her degree. In the lab she will work on a better understanding of exosome and miRNA biology involvement in leukemia.

Sherif Abdelhamed

Sherif_AbdelhamedSherif received his Ph.D. in Cancer Biology from the University of Toyama, Japan, in 2014. Throughout his Ph.D. he focused on anticancer drug-resistance with emphasis on activation of cell-autonomous death and survival pathways in cancer cells. His Ph.D thesis focused on overcoming the TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) resistance in cancer and the development of combination therapies from natural products to improve efficacy. During his first year as a postdoc at the university of Toyama, he investigated the cancer immuno-resistance with the goal of developing targeted therapies to sensitize the immune system recognize cancer. Sherif published a number of papers from this work and received several scholarships to support his studies. Sherif joined the lab in September 2015 and will help us gain a deeper understanding of cell-cell crosstalk in the leukemic bone marrow environment.

Young Me Yoon

Young Me Yoon

Young me Yoon graduated with the highest distinction from University of Wisconsin-Madison with a B.S. in Biology and Economics in 2014. She was a recipient of the Frits Went Undergraduate Research Fellowship, William and Kennelly Leadership Scholarship, and Achievement Scholarship in the past. Her undergraduate research experience in Dr. David Baum's lab includes investigating evolutionary developmental genetics of Arabidopsis and Leavenworthia using the transgenomics approach to study the molecular mechanism of speciation. Young-me joined the lab in March 2015.

Ben Doron

Ben Doron

Ben Doron graduated from Oregon State University in 2010 with a B.S. in Biology and a minor in Chemistry. As an undergraduate he worked in the laboratory of Dr. Tom Wolpert studying the biochemical interactions between the fungal pathogen Cochliobolus victoriae and its cereal hosts. His post-baccalaureate training included two years under the mentorship of Dr. Eric Cambronne in the Molecular Microbiology and Immunology department at OHSU, where he studied the host-pathogen interactions of the bacterium Legionella pneumophila. His current interests as a graduate student in the Kurre lab involve deciphering mechanisms by which leukemias manipulate the bone marrow microenvironment to establish a proliferative niche. His projects include exosome trafficking of miRNA and the effects of this transcriptional influence on hematopoietic stem cells and BM stroma, as well as uncovering epigenetic modifications resulting from leukemic influence. He hopes to continue researching cancers beyond his pre-doctoral training.

Santhosh C. Verghese

Santhosh Verghese

Santhosh received his Ph.D. in Applied Biology in 2009 from Mumbai University for the studies on HIV-2 based lentiviral vector development at Advanced Centre for Treatment Research and Education in Cancer (ACTREC), Navi Mumbai, India. The focus of the research was the design of a 3rd generation LV with user-friendly MCS and post delivery biodistribution enhancement by trafficking the protein products to neighboring cells. The vector is currently under use in different labs. With strong research interest in retrovirology and vector biology, Santhosh joined Dr. Martin Malcolm’s Lab at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Deceases (NIAID), NIH, Bethesda as a postdoctoral fellow and received training in the field of S/HIV development and generation of shuffled expression libraries of HIV envelopes as a vaccine candidate. Santhosh received the prestigious Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) and Senior Research Fellowship (SRF) from Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, (CSIR) India.

Santhosh joined the Kurre laboratory in December 2011.

Kurre Lab Alumni:

Fatema M Fareh

FatemaFatema is a 2012 graduate of Portland State University, receiving a BS degree in Molecular Biology. After a brief stint working in the laboratory of Dr. Alan Rein at NCI-Frederick she joined Dr. Soren Impey's lab at OHSU, investigating the epigenetic mechanisms that regulate DNA methylation and ultimately differential gene expression.

Fatema joined us in May 2016 and will help us understand the paracrine mechanisms of stem cell regulation in the bone marrow. In her spare time, she enjoys reading mystery fiction books (Elizabeth Haynes, Agatha Christie and John Grisham).

Jianya Huan

Jianya Huan

Jianya Huan received his Ph.D. degree from the Oregon State University. He did his postdoc training at the Oregon health & Science University with NRSA fellowship. Dr. Huan worked as a research assistant professor at the department of Neurology with the strong research interests in studying the pathogenesis of the autoimmune disease and to develop specific therapies for rheumatoid arthritis and celiac disease. He obtained several grants from the regional foundations as well as NIH and published numerous papers in these areas. Dr. Huan joined the lab as a research assistant professor in May of 2011 and is focusing on studying exosome and microRNA biology and their biofunctions in acute myeloid leukemia.

Kelsie Storm

Kelsie Storm

Kelsie graduated Summa Cum Laude with a B.A. in Biology from Seattle Pacific University in 2003. She received her M.D. from Loma Linda University in 2008. Kelsie joined OHSU in 2008 for her Pediatric Residency and subsequent Chief Residency, and is presently completing her Pediatric Hematology Oncology Fellowship. Clinically, Kelsie is interested in inherited bone marrow failure syndromes and bone marrow transplantation. Kelsie joined the lab in 2013 and is investigating developmental hematopoiesis in Fanconi Anemia to gain insight into the etiology of bone marrow failure in this disease. 

Natalia Goloviznina

Natalia GolovizninaNatalya Goloviznina graduated from Oregon State University in 2011 with a B.S. in Microbiology and a minor in Chemistry. As an undergraduate, she worked in Dr. Hiro Nonogaki’s lab at OSU studying seed biology, focusing primarily on seed germination and dormancy. She is the past recipient of many scholarships and undergraduate research grants including the Howard Hughes Medical Institute summer research grant and the Undergraduate Research, Innovation, Scholarship and Creativity grant from OSU.

Natalya joined the laboratory in October 2011.

Shelton Viola

Shelton ViolaShelton earned his Medical Degree from Eastern Virginia Medical School in 2006 as a recipient of the United States Navy Health Professions Scholarship Program. He completed his pediatrics residency at Naval Medical Center, San Diego, in 2009, after which he joined the Department of Pediatrics at Naval Hospital, Camp Lejeune, as a general pediatrician until 2012. In July 2012 Shelton began fellowship training in pediatric hematology-oncology at OHSU. Shelton is primarily interested in how bone marrow stromal cells from leukemia patients differ from normal bone marrow stromal cells, and how this difference influences leukemia persistence and disease relapse. He continues to receive funding for fellowship training through the Navy and remains active duty as a Lieutenant Commander. Shelton joined the lab in July 2013. 

Noah Hornick

Noah HornickNoah graduated in 2002 with a BS in Computer Science from the Rochester Institute of Technology, where he was supported by a presidential scholarship.  He pursued a career in commercial software development for a number of years before developing an interest in biological sciences, which led him to seek additional education. He returned to RIT, receiving a post-baccalaureate certificate in basic sciences. He subsequently worked in the laboratory of Dr. Charles Duffy at the University of Rochester, studying the contributions of neurons in higher-order visual cortex to the perception of movement in order to better inform the diagnosis and management of patients with Alzheimer's Disease. During the course of this work, Noah became committed to the pursuit of translational research, and enrolled in OHSU's Medical Scientist Training Program.

Noah is an M.D./Ph.D. student in the Program for Molecular and Cellular Biosciences at OHSU. 

Ashley Kamimae-Lanning


Ashley Kamimae-Lanning graduated in 2008 from George Fox University (Newberg, OR) with a B.S. in Biology and minors in Art and Chemistry. She is a Bill and Melinda Gates Millennium Scholar and has received numerous scholarships in the past. As an undergraduate, she worked in the laboratory of Dr. Trent Smith at George Fox, investigating whether Spring beauty latent virus can suppress the defensive mechanism of RNA interference in Arabidopsis thaliana. She later worked in Dr. Peter Spencer's Toxicogenomics laboratory at the Center for Research on Occupational and Environmental Toxicology in Portland, OR, examining the common gene expression profile across brain and testis tissues in a mouse model for manganese exposure, in order to further elucidate how this dual toxin affects both tissues simultaneously.

Ashley is a graduate student in the Program for Molecular and Cellular Biosciences at OHSU and is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Ashley joined the laboratory in April 2009. 

Amy Skinner

pk_AmySkinnerJul2006Amy Skinner graduated cum laude with a B.A. in Biology in 1998 from Concordia University in Portland, OR. In her subsequent graduate studies at Oregon State University/ Oregon Health & Science University, she worked with Dr. Mitchell Turker on the aspects of mismatch repair after oxidative and/ or UV damage in mammalian cells. Her curriculum includes appointments as Graduate Research Assistant at OHSU and Mathematics Instructor at ITT Technical College in Portland, OR. She is the past recipient of numerous scholarships and awards. Amy received her PhD from Oregon State University/ Oregon Health & Science University in 2006.

Amy is a member of the Society of Toxicology, Pacific Northwest chapter (PANWAT), and Science of Aging Knowledge Advancement (SAGE-KE).

Amy joined the laboratory in July 2006.


Thomas Russell

Thomas RussellThomas graduated from the University of New Mexico (UNM) with a B.A. in Biochemistry in 2001 and a M.D. in 2006.  He completed his pediatric residency at the University of New Mexico Hospital (UNMH) prior to starting his Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Fellowship here at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU).  Clinically, Thomas's interests include hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) and graft versus host disease (GVHD).

Thomas joined the lab in the fall of 2010 and is developing new methods of targeted cellular therapy.  

Andrea McBeth

pk_Andrea_McBethAndrea McBeth graduated in 2008 with a B.A. in Biochemistry from the University of San Diego Honors College. As an undergraduate, she worked within the comparative immunology laboratory of Dr. Valerie Hohman at the University of San Diego, characterizing polymeric immunoglobulin receptor (pIgR) in lower vertebrates. She then went on to work in the laboratory of Dr. David Checkley at The Scripps Institution of Oceanography, aiding in a study examining the diet of albacore tuna. She finished her undergraduate education with an honors thesis, analyzing the isotopic fingerprints of albacore tuna livers, and the fingerprints of their prey's tissue in relation to their relative trophic levels.

Andrea joined the laboratory in August 2009.


Josh (Yung-Wei) Pan (BSc) 

Josh PanJosh majored in Chemistry/ Forensics Science and earned his Bachelor of Science Degree from Oregon State University (OSU) in Corvallis, OR. His undergraduate curriculum included a semester spent abroad at Lancaster University in Lancaster England. Mr. Pan was a 2003 OSU McNair Scholar, National Merit Scholar, OSU Dean's list and graduated with Summa Cum Laude.

In his undergraduate work Mr. Pan focused on plant virology and worked as a student research assistant in the Laboratory of Valerian V Dolja in the Department of Botany and plant virology at OSU. He published his findings on closterovirus membrane protein movement in the Journal of Virology and has made major contributions to subsequent work on Beet Yellow Virus.

Mr. Pan is an active member of the Asian Pacific American Student Union. He joined the laboratory in August 2004.

Josh joined the Graduate Program in Molecular and Cellular Biology at University of Washington / Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in the fall of 2006

Tammy Luoh (B.S.)

Tammy LuohTammy majored in Biochemistry with a minor in Economics and graduated in June 2005 with a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Oregon in Eugene, Oregon. She is the recipient of a number of academic Scholarships including the John Jay Rogers Pre Med Memorial Scholarship, the Joseph K, Starr Scholarship and the Diversity Building Scholarship. Ms. Luoh is a member of National Society of Collegiate Scholars and a Student Affiliate of the American Chemical Society.

She served as publisher and program coordinator for the Univ. of Oregon Chinese Student Association.

During her undergraduate studies, she received the University of Oregon Summer Student Research Award that allowed her to participate in toxicology research studies by Dr. Lloyd and McCullough at the OHSU Center for Research on Occupational and Environmental Toxicology. As part of her research, she was involved in setting up research studies on mitochondrial DNA repair mechanisms.

She has also worked with Dr. Guillemin at the Institute of Microbiology at the University of Oregon to print the heliobacter pylori DNA microarrays.

Ms. Luoh joined our laboratory in October 2005

Tammy is a member of the OHSU Medical School class of 2010.

Lee O'Neill (B.A.)

Lee O'NeillAfter receiving an Associate of Arts Degree in Business Administration in August, 2003 from Clark College in Vancouver, Washington, Lee O'Neill (B.A.) majored in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and graduated in May, 2006 from Reed College in Portland, Oregon. Lee graduated with Highest Honors from Clark College and was awarded a Commendation for Academic Excellence in Scholarship from Reed College in May, 2006. She was also awarded an Arwen Isaac Scholarship in 2006.

As an undergraduate, Lee worked in the laboratories of Dr. Richard Brennan and Dr. Maria Schumacher at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston,Texas researching the QacR protein, a protein involved in conferring bacterial resistance to antimicrobials in S. aureus. Her research in Houston, Texas was supported by a Reed College Initiative Grant.

Lee joined the laboratory in August, 2006. Lee is a member of the OHSU Medical School class of 2013.

Matthew Shurtleff

Matthew ShurtleffMatthew Shurtleff graduated from Cal Poly State University (San Luis Obispo, CA) with a B.S. in Microbiology and minors in Biotechnology and Psychology in 2006. He continued his education at Cal Poly earning his M.S. with Honors in Biological Sciences in May 2009. At Cal Poly, Matthew's research interests lay primarily in the field of gastrointestinal microbiology. His thesis research was under the mentorship of Dr. Michael Black and involved the genetic engineering of probiotic bacteria to treat celiac disease. After earning his M.S., Matthew traveled to the University of Otago in New Zealand where he worked on utilizing high-throughput sequencing technologies for metagenomic and metatranscriptomic analysis of the human intestinal microbiome. He is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Matt joined the 2011 matriculating class at the University of California Berkeley in the Molecular and Cell Biology Program.

Josha Woodward

Josha WoodwardJosha's interest in biomedical research began after completion of an undergraduate internship at Colorado State University in 2006. There, his research investigated the effect of omega-3:omega-6 fatty acid dietary supplementation towards decreasing the prevalence of cardiovascular disease in America. Josha continued his omega fatty acid research at Oregon State University the same year, as his honors thesis centered upon establishing the effect of maternal omega-3 fatty acid dietary supplementation on the production of Immunoglobulin Y in Broiler chicks. Josha was a member of Oregon State University's Honors College, graduating from OSU with a B.S. in Microbiology, A.S. in Chemistry, and A.A. in English Literature. He has received numerous academic scholarships throughout his undergraduate curriculum and plans to pursue a career in medicine.

Josha left the laboratory in April 2010.