Graduate students of the Cell and Developmental Biology program

Jason Kent

Jason Kent
B.S., biochemistry, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
Heinrich Lab

Jason grew up in Santa Clarita, California and attended Cal Poly SLO where he earned a B.S. in Biochemistry. At Cal Poly, he worked in the lab of Dr. Michael Black investigating the use of prolyl endopeptidases in the treatment of Celiac Disease. In the fall of 2016, Jason joined the Program in Molecular and Cellular Biology, and the lab of Dr. Michael Heinrich in the spring. He is currently studying the biology of mitochondrial dysfunction observed in Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors. 

Sarah Catherine Baker Photo

Sara Cate Baker 
B.S., Biological Sciences, English Literature, University of Notre Dame
M.S., Global Health, Trinity College, Dublin
J. Saugstad Lab

Sarah Catherine Baker grew up in northern Indiana. She received a B.S. in biological sciences, as well as a second degree in English literature, from the University of Notre Dame. As an undergraduate, she worked in the lab of Dr. Robert Stahelin on the biochemistry of Ebola viral infections. She went on to obtain a Master's degree in global health from Trinity College Dublin, conducting research on the epidemiology of malaria in rural Ethiopia. She began her Ph.D. at OHSU in the fall of 2019 and shortly after joined the lab of Dr. Julie Saugstad. Now,  her research focuses on the role of extracellular vesicles in neurodegeneration. Outside of the lab, Sarah Cate is passionate about science policy and has dabbled in science communication.  She also loves traveling, hiking, and all things literature.

Lauren Miller Photo

Lauren Miller
B.S., Biochemistry, Portland State University
A. Nechiporuk Lab
Lauren grew up in Oregon and graduated from Portland State University, where she received her BS in Biochemistry. At Portland State, Lauren worked with Dr. Jeff Singer investigating the role of the E3 ubiquitin ligase CUL3 in the proteasomal degradation of the neuronal scaffold protein SHANK3. After completing her undergraduate studies, Lauren worked as a Research Assistant in the Ellison and McCormick Labs at OHSU, where she studied renal salt regulation in the distal nephron of the kidney and its influence on blood pressure. Currently, Lauren is pursuing her Ph.D. in Alex Nechiporuk’s lab where she studies molecular mechanisms of axon extension during sensory nervous system development. Outside of the lab, Lauren enjoys cooking, hiking, and playing with her dogs – a golden retriever named Teal and a malamute named Whammy.

Alec Peters Photo

Alec Peters 
B.S., Biochemistry/Biophysics, Oregon State University
B.S., Bioresource Research, Oregon State University
L. Sherman Lab

Alec was an undergraduate researcher at Oregon State where he generated histone methyltransferase and acetylase knockout strains using homologous recombination. This work formed the basis of his Honors thesis and will be submitted for publication. In 2014, he joined Xiaolin Nan’s lab at OHSU, where he used CRISPR to knock out genes in NIH-3T3 cells as well as many quantitative molecular biology and cell culture techniques to study dynamics of Ras dimerization as a driver for Raf and PI3K pathway activation.
Alec is now a graduate student in Dr. Larry Sherman’s lab on the OHSU West Campus where he studies extracellular matrix remodeling in the healthy and diseased central nervous system. His focus is on the extracellular matrix glycosaminoglycan hyaluronic acid, and how different sizes of hyaluronic acid influence processes such as oligodendrocyte progenitor cell differentiation.

Benjamin Woodruff Photo

Benjamin Woodruff 
B.S., Cellular and Molecular Biology, Humboldt State University
A. Nechiporuk Lab

Ben Woodruff lived most of his life in Humboldt County, CA. There, he attended and graduated from Humboldt State University with a Bachelor of Science in Cellular and Molecular Biology and a minor in Chemistry. After undergrad, Ben spent two years at Stanford University in Dr. Stefan Heller’s lab researching stem cell biology and regeneration as they relate to inner ear biology. Ben is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Cell and Developmental Biology at OHSU. In March of 2020, Ben joined the lab of Dr. Alex Nechiporuk where he researches the earliest stages of peripheral nervous system development and utilizes zebrafish as a model organism. Ben enjoys video games, taking care of his bonsai trees, science fiction, camping, and trying different restaurants and cuisines.

Name Year Degree Track Mentor(s)
Colin Coleman 2023 M.S. Ian Martin
Matthew Pomaville 2023 Ph.D Kevin Wright
Erin Helms 2022 Ph.D Mara Sherman
Sudarshan Iyer 2022 M.D./Ph.D Monika Davare
Saundra Schlesinger 2022 Ph.D Ronen Schweitzer

Name Year Degree Track Mentor (s)
Chris Cheng 2019 Ph.D Philip Streeter
Anna Mammel 2019 Ph.D Fred Robinson
Sweta Ravisankar 2020 Ph.D Jon Hennebold & Shawn Chavez

 Name Year Degree Track Mentor
Courtney Betts 2018  Ph.D. Pepper Schedin
Brittany Daughtry 2018  Ph.D. Shawn L. Chavez
Quinn Roth-Carter 2018 Ph.D. David Jacoby
Amber Bannon 2017 Ph.D.  Michael Heinrich
Laura D. Healy 2017 Ph.D.  Owen McCarty 
Yuhan Wang 2017  Ph.D.  Markus Grompe
Bora Lee 2016  Ph.D.  Jae Lee 
Aaron Wortham 2016 M.S.  Molly Kulesz-Martin
Derek K. Zachman 2016 M.D., Ph.D. William Fleming
Kang Wang 2015  Ph.D.  John Adelman 

 Name Year Degree Track Mentor
Asako Itakura (Hayakawa)  2014 Ph.D. Owen McCarty
Ashley Kamimae-Lanning  2014 Ph.D. Peter Kurre 
Alison Macleod  2014 Ph.D. Michael Heinrich
Matthew McCarroll  2014 Ph.D. Alex Nechiporuk
Branden Tarlow  2014 M.D., Ph.D. Markus Grompe
Andrew Terker  2014 M.D., Ph.D. David Ellison
Christal Worthen 2014  Ph.D. Caroline Enns
Huilan Yao 2014 Ph.D. Gail Mandel
Katelyn Mae Atkins 2013  M.D., Ph.D. Gary Thomas
Rachel Clemens Grisham 2013 Ph.D. Teresa Nicolson
Nathan Donley 2013 Ph.D. Matt Thayer
Weike Mo 2013 Ph.D. Teresa Nicolson
Kathryn Van Hook 2013 Ph.D. Charles D. Lopez
Jinzhi Wang 2013 Ph.D. Peter Mayinger

Name Year Degree Track Mentor (s)
Vincent T. Bicocca 2012 Ph.D. Brian Druker
Theodore P. Braun 2012 M.D., Ph.D. Joseph Weiss
Trevor Levin 2012 Ph.D. Melissa Wong
Nicole Paulk 2012 Ph.D. Markus Grompe
Gregory D. Scott 2012 M.D., Ph.D. David Jacoby
Zhongya (Roger) Wang 2012 Ph.D. Markus Grompe
Ruth Aroon White 2012 M.D., Ph.D.
Liangqu Xie 2012  Ph.D.
Chao Zhang 2012 Ph.D. Roger Cone/Alex Nechiporuk
Katannya Kapeli 2011 Ph.D. Peter Hurlin
Melanie B. Laederich 2011 Ph.D.
Yun Xin Lim 2011 M.S. Amanda McCullough 
 Julia Maxson 2011 Ph.D. Caroline Enns
 Ruth White 2011 M.D., Ph.D. Xiao-Jing Wang

Name Year Degree Track Mentor (s)
Chelsea Bahney (Shields) 2010 M.D., Ph.D. Brian Johnstone
Sophia Bornstein 2010 M.D., Ph.D.
Kristina E. Hoot-Young 2010 M.D., Ph.D.
Chang Liu 2010 Ph.D. Phil Stork
Mizuho Mimoto 2010 M.D., Ph.D. Jan Christian
Anne E. Powell 2010 Ph.D. Melissa Wong
Philip Owens 2009 Ph.D.
Daniel W. Sherbenou 2009 M.D., Ph.D.
Nicole A. Vasilevsky 2009 Ph.D. Andy Weinberg
Jeff Y. Chen 2008 M.D., Ph.D. Joseph Weiss
Thomas Matthew Coate 2008 Ph.D. Philip Copenhaver
Gokhan Dalgin 2007 Ph.D. Jan Christian
Sandra L. Fernandez 2007 M.S. Peter Hurlin
Sean Nathaniel Wolfson 2007 M.S. Teresa Nicolson