Sam Berk - Virginia Tech, B.S. Biochemistry
Sam works to elucidate mechanisms of extracellular matrix regulation in relation to primary open angle glaucoma. Specifically, he works with kinase regulation of matrix metalloproteinases involved in the breakdown of the extracellular matrix associated with the trabecular meshwork (TM). This region of tissue is responsible for aqueous humor outflow, and by varying said outflow rate by modulating matrix thickness and composition the TM can or in the glaucomatous disease state fail to control and maintain intraocular pressure.
Veronica Cochrane - University of California, Santa Barbar, B.S. Cell and Developmental Biology
Veronica grew up in a small town outside of South Lake Tahoe in California. She received her BS in Cell and Developmental Biology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. As an undergraduate she worked in Dr. Thomas Turner's evolutionary genetics lab researching the genetic basis for behavior and the molecular mechanisms driving evolutionary variation. She then joined Dr. Marcel Wehrli's lab at Oregon Health and Science University investigating the Wnt/β-catenin signaling mechanism and how it differs depending on cellular context and developmental stage. Veronica is now a graduate student at OHSU under the mentorship of Dr. Show-Ling Shyng. Her work in Dr. Shyng's lab focuses on understanding the molecular and cellular mechanism by which leptin regulates trafficking of KATP channels in pancreatic beta-cells and how disruption of this signaling can lead to type II diabetes.
Jonathan Flores - Concordia University, B.A. General Biology; University of California, San Francisco, M.S. Biochemistry
I grew up in the tiny farming town of Dayton, Oregon and attended Concordia University in Portland for my undergraduate studies. I majored in General Biology, minored in Chemistry and worked as a lab assistant for several lab courses. My first exposure to laboratory research was in the CROET summer research program at OHSU, where I worked in the ab od Doris Kretzschmar. I worked with then-graduate student Jill Wentzel on elucidating the function of PKA-C3, a neuron-specific kinase involved in age-related neurodegeneration. I spent a second summer in the lab of Wendell Lim at the University of California, San Francisco where I worked with then-graduate student Scott Coyle on understanding the evolution of regulatory motifs in the yeast scaffold protein Ste5. After graduating Concordia, I went UCSF to work in the lab of Dr. David Morgan on how phosphorylation regulates the activity of the Anaphase-promoting Complex, a ubiquitin ligase that is the master regulator of the metaphase-anaphase transition during mitosis. I obtained my Master of Science degree in Biochemistry from UCSF before joining the MCB program at OHSU to work on my PhD in Steve Reichow's lab. In the Reichow lab, we are interested in the intermolecular interactions between proteins lead to conformational rearrangements, and how these rearrangements lead to regulatory changes. Currently, we are working on understanding how the calcium-regulated signaling protein calmodulin regulates permeability of the water channel Aquaporin-0.
Outside of the lab, I'm a football (soccer) fanatic and if I'm not in the lab on weekends, I'm usually playing/watching/attending football matches. That, or camping in the gorge.
Sigrid Noreng - University of Oslo, B.S. Physics
Sigrid graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Physics from University of Oslo in 2014. She spent one year of her undergraduate studies as an exchange student at the University of Oregon where she took classes and worked in the Parthasarathy lab. She assisted a graduate student in his research project that involved calculating the rigidity of biological membranes using light sheet fluorescence imaging. Sigrid joined the Baconguis lab June 2015 as a PhD student and her research is focused on the function and structure of sodium channels.
Rich Posert - Reed College, B.A. Biochemistry
Rich earned his BA in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology just across the river at Reed College in 2015. He spent two years working toward a structure of open GIRK bound to small molecules or G-proteins in Matt Whorton's lab at the Vollum Institute as a research assistant. He then joined OHSU's Program in Molecular and Cellular Biosciences (PMCB) in 2017 and the Baconguis lab in April 2018 to study the structure of ENaC in complex with regulatory proteins. When he's not in lab he can be found riding his bike or playing with his cat, Nooch.
Jon Savage - University of California, Santa Cruz, B.S Molecular, Cell & Developmental Biology
Jon grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area of Northern California, where he attended the University of California, Santa Cruz, graduating in 2011. He spent his first two years at the UCSC blissfully unfocused, taking courses in political science, writing, and obscure natural science courses in geology and astronomy until he discovered a passion for molecular biology, which has since been his educational focus. His first research efforts came as an assistant to a graduate student in the lab of Phil Crews in the Chemistry department, investigating the structure of novel marine natural products isolated from the Malbranchea fungus. After graduating from UCSU, Jon spent three years in industry research before returning to academia at OHSU, joining the lab of Ujwal Shinde in 2015. His research area is focused on mechanism of proprotein convertase regulations and inhibition, with special attention to developing selective markers and inhibitors, which can differentially target the highly conserved members of the convertase family.
Anthony Shumate - University of Missouri-Columbia, B.S. Biochemistry
Anthony grew up in the Midwest, where he attended the University of Missouri-Columbia in pursuit of a degree in biochemistry. During his time at Mizzou, Anthony studied the molecular interactions that connected the plant immune system to the photoreceptors responsible for leaf orientation and chloroplast dynamics. After graduating, Anthony briefly worked in industry, performing trace elemental analysis on developing drug products. Upon attending OHSU, Anthony found that the research done by the Farrens Lab combined his favorite aspects of past experiences while also presenting him with exciting new challenges. Employing approaches in molecular biology, biochemistry and spectroscopy, Anthony now studies the structure and conformational dynamics of the GPCR rhodopsin, the dim-light photoreceptor of the rod cells in the retina.
Michael Berry- University of California- Berkeley, MS in Translational Medicine
Matthew Blake- Oregon State University, BS in Microbiology
I grew up in the beautiful Pacific Northwest and attended Oregon State University where I studied Microbiology and Chemistry. My undergraduate thesis work focused on dissecting the links between circadian rhythm disruption and Alzheimer's disease. Following my undergraduate studies I spent two years working at the Baxter Lab of Stem Cell Biology at Stanford University studying cell fate changes that control muscle stem cell differentiation and aging. I decided to come to Oregon Health and Science University because I loved the research environment and missed the forests and mountains of the northwest. I joined the lab of Beth Habecker in the winter of 2017 where we study the mechanisms governing sympathetic axon regeneration.
Gina Calco- University of Michigan- Ann Arbor, BS in Engineering
I grew up in Kalamazoo, MI (yes, there really is a Kalamazoo!) and attended the University of Michigan, where I obtained my undergraduate degree in Biomedical Engineering. During my undergraduate education, I joined Brian Pierchala's lab and worked on neurotrophic factors and their role in the development, maintenance and regeneration of the peripheral nervous system. It was in this lab that I recognized my desire to pursue biomedical research. Following graduation, I became a post-baccalaureate fellow at the National Institutes of Health in Richard Leapman's lab investigating new scanning electron microscopy methods for structural and cellular biology applications. During this time, I decided that I would pursue the career path of a physician scientist working at the intersection of medicine and research. I began the MD/PhD program at OHSU in 2016, and after the preclinical years of medical school I joined David Jacoby's lab, where I am studying the molecular pathways and factors contributing to obesity-related asthma. Following graduation, I will continue through residency and intend on pursuing a career in academic medicine as a physician scientist.
Julia Doh- University of Washington, BS in Microbiology
I received my B.S. in Microbiology from the University of Washington, where I worked in Dr. Wendy Thomas's lab in the Department of Bioengineering. My undergraduate thesis was studying tensile properties in E. coli fimbraie, a model of catch-bonding. Catch-bonds are bonds that strengthen under applied tension, much like a Chinese finger trap. These make E. coli well-suited for colonizing tracts with high flow like the urethra. My project involved mutagenizing key proteins in the fimbrial coil to modify the extension properties of the fimbria. My interest in microbiology originally brought me to OHSU to study infectious disease, where I joined Dr. Kimberly Beatty's lab to develop enzymatically-activated chemical tools for profiling M. tuberculosis. However, my original research background in biochemistry and protein engineering drew me to Dr. Beatty's other research, the development of protein tags for imaging. My thesis research has been developing VIP (Versatile Interacting Peptide) tags, a highly customizable peptide-based protein tag that enables both fluorescence and electron microscopic imaging. Thanks to this project I have developed a very unique breadth of imaging skills and hope to pursue further research in protein engineering and advanced microscopy.
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 cardiomyocyte lipid uptake throughout fetal and neonatal development. Following graduation, I will continue to residency and eventually seek a position at an academic institution as a clinician scientist.
Scotty Farley, Reed College, BA in Chemistry
Growing up, my family lived in Washington, Georgia, and Massachusetts, but my love always went first and foremost to the Northwest, so I moved to Portland to pursue an undergraduate degree in chemistry at Reed College. After college, I felt the need to do something concrete with the great teaching I had benefited from, and I joined the Peace Corps, which sent me to Mozambique for two years to teach high school math and chemistry. Those two years I cannot hope to encompass in a paragraph;suffice to say I was filled with a passion for addressing medical questions that have been largely left behind by western science, especially the devastation caused by infectious tropical diseases. This brought me back to OHSU to supplement my background in chemistry with pharmacology and chemical biology, where I started in the PMCB program in 2016. I am now being jointly mentored by Carsten Schultz and Fikadu Tafesse, and between their two labs I am developing chemical probes to characterize sphingolipid involvement in Zika and Dengue infection.
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.
Samuel Huang- University of Rochester, BA &BS in Neuroscience, Psychology
Sunil Joshi- University of California-Berkeley, BA in Molecular Cell Biology
Kaya Keutler- Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, MS in Biochemistry and Biophysics
Χαίρετε (chaírete, greek for hello),
My name is Kaya Keutler and I was born in the north-west of Germany. However, my parents have left the country for many years to live abroad and therefore I grew up on a small island in Greece, where I spent a great childhood and still feel deeply connected to the sea and the sunshine. However, as a curious nature and after my diagnosis as a diabetic, I early decided to become a scientist - in later stages this idea shaped up and I decided to study biochemistry. My studies took me back to Germany, where I finished my bachelors in the small city of Tübingen, working on the purification and functional characterization of an anti-apoptotic protein in the Garcia-Saéz Lab. However, I realized that even though I enjoyed any research field, I had the desire to focus on diabetic research. That brought me to Freiburg, where I started my master studies in biochemistry and biophysics. Through the university of Freiburg I had the chance to perform an internship followed by my master thesis in the lab of Carsten Schultz in Heidelberg. There I worked on Insulin secretion and the signaling factors regulating that process. After a rather short journey I finally arrived in the research field I was aiming for. During my PhD here at the OHSU Schultz lab, I will continue working on insulin secretion trying to unravel the influence of autocrine signaling and the importance of a particular class of signaling factors called "trace amines".
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.
Katy Michaelis- University of Colorado at Boulder, BA in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology
Kim Montaniel- University of Minnesota- Twin Cities, BA in Biology Society & Environment
Brennan Olson- Augustana College, BA in Biology
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.
Kelsie Rodriguez- California State University, BS in Biology
I received my B.S. in Biology (emphasis in molecular biology) from California State University, Monterey Bay in 2015. During my undergraduate career, I participated in research programs at UC Berkeley, University of Oregon, and UC Santa Cruz. During these experiences I developed a passion for chemical biology and biochemistry. I began graduate school at OHSU in 2015 in the program in cellular and molecular Biology and quickly decided to join the Cohen Lab to study ADP-ribosylation. While in the Cohen Lab I have worked on several projects including identification of sites of ADP-ribosylation, synthesis of NAD+ analogs, and my current project is focused on identifying protein targets of several PARPs. After graduate school I hope to move back to California and pursue a post-doctoral fellowship followed by a career in teaching, ideally at a primarily undergraduate institution.
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.
Alix Thomas- Paris 7 Diderot University, MS in Biochemistry
I received my BA in chemistry from Paris 5 Descartes University in 2015 and then started a master in Biochemistry with a focus on the structural biology of proteins. During this master I worked on developing a protein-protein interaction assay based on UAAs incorporation and small chemical probes in the lab of Terrence Strick at the Jacques Monod Institute. I then did my master thesis in the lab of Mario Pende in the Necker Institute where I was mentored by Ganna Panasyuk. There I worked on biliary atresia, focusing on the molecular mechanisms driving autophagy. I then joined the lab of Carsten Schultz in Heidelberg for a small internship followed by a PhD here at the OHSU Schultz Lab. I am currently working on developing a FRET biosensor-based imaging platform to study the effect of combinatorial drugs on the signaling network in human cell.