Students

Sam Berk

Sam Berk - Virginia Tech, B.S. Biochemistry
T. Acott Lab

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.

Jonathan Flores

Jonathan Flores - Concordia University, B.A. General Biology; University of California, San Francisco, M.S. Biochemistry
S. Reichow Lab

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.

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Triona Matheson - University of Portland, B.S. Chemistry
D. Farrens Lab

Rich Posert

Rich Posert - Reed College, B.A. Biochemistry
I. Baconguis Lab

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.

Anthony Shumate

Anthony Shumate - University of Missouri-Columbia, B.S. Biochemistry
D. Farrens Lab

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.

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Weekie Yao -
D. Farrens Lab

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Daniel Bejan- Washington State University, B.S. Biology
M. Cohen Lab

Matthew Blake

Matthew Blake- Oregon State University, BS in Microbiology
B. Habecker Lab

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

Gina Calco- University of Michigan- Ann Arbor, BS in Engineering
D. Jacoby Lab

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.

Jacqueline Emathinger Photo

Jacqueline Emathinger- San Diego State University, B.S. Biology
S. Gurley Lab

Jackie is an MD/PhD student who joined the Gurley lab in summer 2019. She is currently investigating the protective role of ACE2 in acute kidney injury. Outside of the lab, Jackie devotes her time to reading, rowing on the Willamette river, and raising her puppy Willa.

Emma (Scotty) Farley

Scotty Farley- Reed College, BA in Chemistry
C. Schultz & F. Tafesse Labs 

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.

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Mason Handford- University of California- Santa Cruz, B.S. Chemistry
M. Riscoe Lab

Ryan Hecht Photo

Ryan Hecht- University of Rochester, B.S. Microbiology
C. Morgans Lab

Originally from Maryland, I attended the University of Rochester in upstate New York where I earned my B.S in Microbiology. During that time I studied the ontology of innate-like T cells in the lab of Dr. Jacques Robert. After volunteer teaching in Guatemala for one year, I enrolled in OHSU’s Program in Molecular and Cellular Biosciences where I joined the lab of Dr. Catherine Morgans. My thesis research is dedicated to understanding the etiology of an autoimmune disorder known as Melanoma Associated Retinopathy (MAR) which causes Congenital Stationary Night-blindness (CSNB). Outside of my life as a researcher, I dedicate my time to playing/writing music, cooking, snowboarding, hiking, and spending time with my cats. 

Julia Huey Photo

Julia Huey- Georgia Institute of Technology- Atlanta, BS Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, BS Biochemistry
A. Janowsky Lab

My name is Julia Huey, but mostly folks call me Juli. I spent my formative years in Georgia, which can be blamed for my excessive use of the word "y'all" and firm belief that fried okra is the best vegetable. At Georgia Tech, I worked in the M.G. Finn lab in support of projects to characterize and modify virus-like particles for in vivo applications. After college, I worked as an industrial process engineer in various chemical plants and manufacturing facilities. I found my heart was still in the lab, so I decided to pursue a graduate education. At OHSU, I discovered my interest in central nervous system pharmacology and joined the lab of Aaron Janowsky. Here, I am studying the G-protein coupled receptor trace amine-associated receptor 1 (TAAR1). I am fascinated by the molecular mechanisms underpinning psychiatric disorders including addiction, and hope to better understand how chronic methamphetamine use affects TAAR1 signaling and trafficking. When I'm not in the lab, I can be found hiking the glorious Northwest with my husband Ike and our dog Cashew, or cozied up on the couch with a good podcast, our cats Blini and George, and a knitting project.

Kaya Keutler

Kaya Keutler- Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, MS in Biochemistry and Biophysics
C. Schultz Lab

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

Alina Krollenbrock –Northeastern University, MS in Chemistry
M. Riscoe Lab

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.

Kim Montaniel

Kim Montaniel- University of Minnesota- Twin Cities, BA in Biology Society & Environment
A. Maloyan Lab

Kelsie Rodriguez

Kelsie Rodriguez- California State University, BS in Biology
M. Cohen Lab

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.

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Ivan Rodriguez Siordia- The Center for Biological Research of the Northwest, M.S. Biotechnology
M. Cohen Lab

Gabriel Romero

Gabriel Romero –University of Minnesota, BS in Neuroscience
L. Trussell Lab

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.

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Daniel Sanderson- California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo, B.S. Biochemistry
M. Cohen Lab

Alix Thomas

Alix Thomas- Paris 7 Diderot University, MS in Biochemistry
C. Schultz Lab

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.

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Janelle Tobias- Santa Clara University, B.S. Biochemistry
J. Frank Lab

Name Year Degree Track Program Mentor(s) Last Known Position
Katherine Michaelis 2019 M.D./Ph.D. PHPH Daniel Marks OHSU M.D. Program
Jim Goodman 2019 M.D./Ph.D. PHPH Jeffrey Iliff OHSU M.D. Program
Sigrid Noreng 2020 Ph.D. BMB Isabelle Baconguis Genentech
Julia Doh 2020 Ph.D. PHPH Kimberly Beatty University of California, San Francisco
Veronica Cochrane 2020 Ph.D. BMB Show-Ling Shyng University of California, San Francisco
Jonathan C. Savage 2021 Ph.D. BMB Ujwal Shinde OHSU, Research Associate
Rachel Drake 2021 M.D./Ph.D. PHPH Kent Thornburg OHSU, MD/PhD program
Samuel J Huang 2021 M.D./Ph.D. PHPH Nakai, Hiroyuki OHSU, MD/PhD program
Sunil Joshi 2021 M.D./Ph.D. PHPH Brian Druker OHSU, MD/PhD program
Erika Riederer 2021 Ph.D. PHPH Francis Valiyaveetil University of Pennsylvania
Kelsie Rodriguez 2021 Ph.D. PHPH Michael Cohen Univesity of California, Monterey Bay
Gabriel Romero 2021 Ph.D. PHPH Laurence Trussell Harvard Medical School