Students

Graduate students of the Cell and Developmental Biology program

Chris Cheng

Christopher Cheng
B.S., biology, Gonzaga University
M.S., Molecular and Cellular Biology, Oregon State University
Streeter Lab

I’m a native Portlander that completed my B.S. in Biology with a minor in General Business at Gonzaga University in 2008. During my undergraduate career I was a research assistant at the Sleep Performance Research Center at Washington State University under Drs. Hans van Dongen and Gregory Belekenky to study the effects of sleep deprivation on higher cognitive functions. After graduating from Gonzaga, I spent a year working in the biotechnology industry before entering the Professional Science Master’s program in Applied Biotechnology at Oregon State University (OSU). While at OSU, I also conducted research in the laboratory of Dr. Emily Ho to study the synergistic effects of various cancer-preventative compounds on prostate and breast cancer. I received my M.S. in Molecular and Cellular Biology in 2010 after completing a graduate internship at Kashi Clinical Laboratories, Inc. (KCL) in Portland, where I developed and managed a new drug-screening department towards operational status and federal laboratory compliance. After my internship, I was awarded full-time employment at KCL to operate the drug-screening department and market its services to new clients, and I later transitioned into KCL’s histocompatibility diagnostics department. In 2013, I returned to graduate school at OHSU to join Dr. Philip Streeter’s team of researchers, where I am currently working to identify and characterize novel subsets of human lung stem cells and their mechanisms of activation. When away from the lab, I enjoy playing/watching basketball, weight training, and exploring my hometown’s restaurant/bar scene.

Sudarshan Iyer

Sudarshan Iyer
B.S.E., biomedical engineering, Arizona State University
Davare Lab

Originally from Phoenix, Arizona, I completed a B.S.E in Biomedical Engineering at Arizona State University in 2015. During that time I was a volunteer researcher at Barrow Neurological Institute under the guidance of Dr. Neil Crawford and worked to develop patient-specific surgical aids and refine a novel spine surgical simulator. I also worked with a neurosurgeon, Dr. Yashar Kalani, to publish unique and complex neurosurgical cases. After graduating from ASU, I matriculated into the M.D./Ph.D program at OHSU and am currently working with Dr. Monika Davare to understand aberrant receptor tyrosine kinase signaling and oncogenic fusion proteins in the context of the ROS1 receptor. My hobbies when I’m not in the lab include music (trained vocalist, budding guitarist), cooking and exploring, both locally and internationally. 

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. 

Anna Mammel

Anna Mammel
B.S., genomics and molecular genetics, Michigan State University
Robinson Lab

Anna grew up in a small town in northern Michigan, and attended Michigan State University where she earned a B.S. in Genomics and Molecular Genetics. As an undergraduate student she worked in the lab of Dr. Ian Dworkin studying sexual selection using Drosophila melanogaster as a model organism. She continued working in the Dworkin lab as a laboratory technician after college conducting a Genome Wide Association Study (GWAS) to generate a phenotype to genotype model of complex traits using Drosophila wing shape as a read-out. In 2013 Anna began her graduate training at Oregon Health and Science University with the hope of utilizing her genetics background to study complex diseases. She joined the lab of Dr. Fred Robinson where she now investigates the mechanisms underlying the inherited peripheral neuropathy Charcot – Marie – Tooth disease. Her work focuses on how membrane trafficking through early endosomes regulates Schwann cell myelination. When she’s not in lab, Anna can be found trying new baking recipes, rock climbing, or playing board games.

Matt Pomaville

Matt Pomaville
B.S. biology, California State University, Fresno
Wright Lab

Matt grew up in Fresno, California and attended California State University, Fresno to complete his Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. While at Fresno State, Matt worked in the lab of Dr. David Lent exploring the basic elements of learning and memory through a variety of insect models. During his junior year at Fresno State he was selected for an internship with Dr. Brian O’Roak in the Department of Medical and Molecular genetics at OHSU. There he worked on developing a rapid CRISPR/Cas9-based gene editing protocol. Matt is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Cell and Developmental Biology in the lab of Dr. Kevin Wright in the Vollum Institute, studying the biological cues which regulate the development and organization of low-threshold mechanoreceptive neurons in mammals. Outside the lab, Matt enjoys skiing, hiking, beer tasting, and board games. 

Sweta Ravisankar

Sweta Ravisankar
B., tech biotechnology, D. Y. Patil University, India
M., tech biotechnology, SRM University, India
M.A., biological sciences, San Jose State University, USA 
Chavez Lab

Originally from India, I moved to US after my bachelors and Masters in Biotechnology. My prior experience from interning at a fertility research clinic in India gave me a head start into fertility research. Here I observed the fertilization of the oocytes with sperm isolated from freshly collected semen sample for in vitro fertilization and with a single motile sperm for intra cytoplasmic sperm injection in patients with infertility due to endometriosis. In the US, I pursued a masters in Biological sciences at SJSU, CA. During this period, I worked at Stanford University, CA on a full-time CIRM Bridges Fellowship for a year. Further, the scholarship gave me an opportunity to study human and mouse pre implantation embryo development. I worked on the analysis of human blastocysts using the third generation sequencing to develop a complete set of data on the transcriptome of preimplantation embryos.

I am currently a graduate student in the Chavez lab and the Hennebold at the primate research center. I am working on a project to detect small molecules via high-throughput metabolomics analyses of the follicular microenvironment and correlate their levels to the potential of the resident oocyte to successfully fertilize, undergo cleavage divisions, and progress to the blastocyst stage. In the big picture, I see myself involved in research associated to a fertility research clinic and also teach.

Outside of the lab, I am a professional Bharatanatyam (Indian Classical dance) dancer and perform throughout the US and in India. This along with crocheting and movies are my all-time stress busters!!

Saundra Schlesinger

Saundra Schlesinger
B.S., biology, Arizona State University
Schweitzer Lab

Saundra grew up in the Phoenix valley where she received her B.S. in Genetics, Cell, and Developmental Biology from Arizona State University in 2010. As an undergraduate she worked in the lab of Dr. Jon Harrison studying the impact of hypoxia on fruit fly fecundity and growth. After her undergraduate studies she joined the lab of Dr. Peter Chen at the University of Washington as a research technician studying the role of the protein Syndecan-1 in lung cancer and injury. Saundra entered Oregon Health and Science University as a student in the graduate Program in Molecular and Cellular Biosciences in 2014. She joined the Cell and Developmental Biology program and lab of Dr. Ronen Schweitzer in 2015 where she now studies the process and mechanisms of tendon elongation during development. When not in the lab she enjoys dancing, sewing, and playing video games.

 Name Year Degree Track Mentor Last Known Position
Courtney Betts 2018  Ph.D. Pepper Schedin OHSU
Brittany Daughtry 2018  Ph.D. Shawn L. Chavez OHSU
Quinn Roth-Carter 2018 Ph.D. David Jacoby OHSU
Amber Bannon 2017 Ph.D.  Michael Heinrich Disease Area Manager, Oncology Resource Group
Laura D. Healy 2017 Ph.D.  Owen McCarty  Postdoc Researcher, Scrips Research Institute
Yuhan Wang 2017  Ph.D.  Markus Grompe Janelia Research Campus, Postdoc
Bora Lee 2016  Ph.D.  Jae Lee  Postdoctoral Researcher, OHSU
Aaron Wortham 2016 M.S.  Molly Kulesz-Martin OHSU, Researcher, Enns Lab
Derek K. Zachman 2016 M.D., Ph.D. William Fleming Residency, Duke University, North Carolina
Kang Wang 2015  Ph.D.  John Adelman  Postdoctoral Researcher, OHSU
 Name Year Degree Track Mentor Last Known Position
Asako Itakura (Hayakawa)  2014 Ph.D. Owen McCarty Medical Scientific Expert, Novartis
Ashley Kamimae-Lanning  2014 Ph.D. Peter Kurre  Postdoc Scientist, MRC Lab Molecular Biology
Alison Macleod  2014 Ph.D. Michael Heinrich Research Analyst,BioMedical Insights
Matthew McCarroll  2014 Ph.D. Alex Nechiporuk UCSF, Postdoc Fellow
Branden Tarlow  2014 M.D., Ph.D. Markus Grompe Internal Med Resident, UT Southwestern Med Ctr
Andrew Terker  2014 M.D., Ph.D. David Ellison Resident, Vanderbilt UMC
Christal Worthen 2014  Ph.D. Caroline Enns Scientist, Universal Cell
Huilan Yao 2014 Ph.D. Gail Mandel Biomarket at H3 Biomedicine, Scientific Investigator 
Katelyn Mae Atkins 2013  M.D., Ph.D. Gary Thomas Harvard Radiation Oncology Program 
Rachel Clemens Grisham 2013 Ph.D. Teresa Nicolson Commercial Innovation Manager, Center for the Advancement of Science in Space
Nathan Donley 2013 Ph.D. Matt Thayer Senior Scientist, Center for BioDiversity
Weike Mo 2013 Ph.D. Teresa Nicolson Freelance Consultant, Clinical Lab Consulting, LLC
Kathryn Van Hook 2013 Ph.D. Charles D. Lopez Visiting Assitant Prof, Univ of Portland
Jinzhi Wang 2013 Ph.D. Peter Mayinger Washington University in St. Louis, Senior Scientist
Name Year Degree Track Mentor (s) Last Known Position 
Vincent T. Bicocca 2012 Ph.D. Brian Druker Postdoc Fellow, University of Oregon 
Theodore P. Braun 2012 M.D., Ph.D. Joseph Weiss/Daniel Marks Fellow, OHSU, Hem/Onc
Trevor Levin 2012 Ph.D. Melissa Wong Chief Executive Officer, Urology Diagnostics
Nicole Paulk 2012 Ph.D. Markus Grompe Assistant Adj. Professor, University of California, SF 
Gregory D. Scott 2012 M.D., Ph.D. David Jacoby Resident, Stanford 
Zhongya (Roger) Wang 2012 Ph.D. Markus Grompe Senior Scientist, Intellia Therapeutics
Ruth Aroon White 2012 M.D., Ph.D. MD/PhD program, OHSU
Liangqu Xie 2012  Ph.D. Postdoc Fellow, UC Berkeley
Chao Zhang 2012 Ph.D. Roger Cone/Alex Nechiporuk Postdoc Research Fellow, Vanderbilt
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 OHSU, Assistant Professor 
 Ruth White 2011 M.D., Ph.D. Xiao-Jing Wang Columbia University Medical Center, Clinical 
Name Year Degree Track Mentor (s) Last Known Position 
Chelsea Bahney (Shields) 2010 M.D., Ph.D. Brian Johnstone Assistant Professor, UCSF, Orthopedic Trauma Institute
Sophia Bornstein 2010 M.D., Ph.D. Director of the Division of Translational Research, Assistant Professor, OHSU
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. Assistant Professor, University of Colorado
Daniel W. Sherbenou 2009 M.D., Ph.D. Assistant Professor, University of Colorado
Nicole A. Vasilevsky 2009 Ph.D. Andy Weinberg
Jeff Y. Chen 2008 M.D., Ph.D. Joseph Weiss Internist, St. Charles Medical Center, Bend, OR 
Thomas Matthew Coate 2008 Ph.D. Philip Copenhaver Assistant Professor, Georgetown University 
Gokhan Dalgin 2007 Ph.D. Jan Christian Staff Scientist, University of Chicago
Sandra L. Fernandez 2007 M.S. Peter Hurlin
Sean Nathaniel Wolfson 2007 M.S. Teresa Nicolson