Graduate Students

Shannon Babcock

Shannon Babcock

Shannon Babcock grew up at the base of the Rocky Mountains in Monument, CO before receiving a B.S. in Biochemistry from Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA. While at Gonzaga, she worked as an undergraduate researcher in Dr. Jennifer Niven Shepherd’s lab elucidating the biosynthetic pathway of rhodoquinone in Caenorhabditis elegans. After graduating, Shannon worked for two years as a lab technologist at Paw Print Genetics, a canine genetic diagnostic laboratory, before starting in the Program of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences at Oregon Health and Science University in 2019. In 2020, Shannon joined the Gillingham Laboratory in the Molecular and Medical Genetics Department where she studies the molecular mechanisms involved in the chorioretinopathy seen in patients with a rare fatty acid oxidation disorder, long-chain 3-hydroxyacyl-CoA dehydrogenase deficiency (LCHADD). In her free time, Shannon enjoys playing tennis and hiking with her dog

Zinab Doha

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Zinab Doha grew up in the high mountains of Makkah, Saudi Arabia. In 2012, Zinab graduated from King Abdul-Aziz University with a B.Sc. degree in Medical Laboratory Science, with excellence, first class honors, qualifying her to get a government scholarship to pursue her postgraduate studies abroad. She joined the Human Genetics department at McGill University in Canada, where she did her M.Sc. work focusing on correcting the trafficking defect mutants that cause a fetal genetic disease called the Infantile systemic Hyalinosis, where she have shown potential therapeutic targets for treating ISH. She have done so using different molecular biology techniques, proteomic as well as mass spectrometry. Currently, Zinab is pursuing a Ph.D. degree at the department of Molecular and Medical Genetics at OHSU where she will continue following her passion of investigating the molecular underpinnings of diseases with the final aim of identifying druggable targets. During her time at OHSU, Zinab is looking forward to contributing to the institution in terms of her research, providing a different perspective and advancing the field. Outside of OHSU, Zinab loves to spend time with her friends, family, her husband and her three lovely kids.

Michael Heskett

Michael Heskett Oct 2019

Michael grew up in the hilly suburbs of San Francisco, California and studied biology at UC Santa Barbara. Returning to northern California, Michael completed a masters degree focusing in molecular endocrinology at the University of San Francisco and briefly worked in electronic medical devices and web optimization software before joining OHSU as a graduate student in Molecular and Medical Genetics. Michael is a member of the Spellman Lab and is interested in understanding the cancer genome as well as supporting development of computational approaches to incorporate many types of high dimensional data into fundamental biological analyses. In addition to his devotion to science, Michael enjoys competitive cycling and classical guitar. 

Eve Lowenstein

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Eve Lowenstein graduated from Lewis & Clark College in 2017 with a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics and Biochemistry & Molecular Biology. She completed an honors thesis that focused on synaptogenesis in the neuromuscular junction of Drosophila melanogaster. In 2018, she started in the Program of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences at Oregon Health & Science University. She joined Dr. Andrew Adey’s lab in the Department of Molecular and Medical Genetics. The Adey lab works to develop technology to understand the epigenetic landscape at a single-cell resolution. She plans to study at the interface of neurodevelopmental diseases and genetics.

Kevin MacPherson

Kevin MacPherson

Kevin MacPherson spent most of his early life in Fremont, CA, moving to New Orleans after high school to study at Tulane University. As an undergraduate, he pursued a double major in Cell and Molecular Biology and Philosophy and later continued his education in the former to a Master’s degree. As a Master’s student, he learned about the molecular and genetic basis of cancer, sparking his present-day research interests in tumor heterogeneity, cancer genomics, and precision medicine. After graduating in 2015, Kevin joined J. Michael Cherry’s lab at Stanford University to learn more about genomics, bioinformatics, and knowledge bases as a biocuration scientist for the Saccharomyces Genome Database project. He also gained initial skills in using python for genomics applications. As an upcoming OHSU graduate student, Kevin is dedicated to acquiring the skills and experience necessary to tackle provocative questions in cancer biology and genomics from a bench perspective and a computational one. His long-term goals are to build a successful academic career and become a leader in the personalization of cancer therapy. Kevin’s hobbies include baking, motorcycling, martial arts, and listening to music.

Michael Martinez

Michael Martinez

Michael received a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Biochemistry from Humboldt State University in 2017. After completing his undergraduate studies, Michael joined the laboratory of Dr. Anders Persson at UCSF as a California Institute of Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) Bridges Fellow, where he studied the role of the IDH1 mutation in the formation of low-grade gliomas. In 2019, he began his graduate studies in the Program in Molecular & Cellular Bioscience at OHSU and joined the laboratory of Dr Cary Harding. His current research is focused on investigating new strategies to improve gene editing by targeting vital steps in the HR and NHEJ DNA repair pathways. This research specifically seeks to find a permanent cure for the debilitating lifelong disease phenylketonuria (PKU), which is caused by mutations in the phenylalanine hydroxylase gene. In his free time, Michael enjoys playing tennis poorly, grilling, and exploring the greater Portland area.

Casey Thornton

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Casey Thornton graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 2015 with a B.S. in Bioinformatics and Molecular Biology. Her interest in computational biology started in her home state of Maine, where she studied genetic contributors to the complex trait of Type II diabetes at the Jackson Laboratories. In her undergraduate research she developed algorithms for DNA motif recognition with Dr. Jacque Fresco at Princeton University and Dr. Eline Luning-Prak at University of Pennsylvania and designed split-GFP biosensors under the direction of Dr. Chris Bystroff at Rensselaer. Following her undergraduate work, Casey developed treatments for neurodegenerative retinal disorders at UC Berkeley in the Kramer Lab. In 2018, she joined the Adey lab in the Program in Molecular and Cellular Biosciences at OHSU for her graduate studies. Broadly, Casey is interested in developing and using computational tools that contribute to the advancement of precision medicine. Her work in the Adey lab is focused on spatially resolving epigenetic characteristics of single cells in the brain.

Anne Vonada

Anne Vonada

Anne Vonada graduated from Whitman College in 2017 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biochemistry, Biophysics, & Molecular Biology. After graduating she joined Dr. Markus Grompe's lab at OHSU as a research assistant, working on a project aimed at developing methods to selectively expand gene-edited hepatocytes in vivo.  She joined the Program in Molecular and Cellular Biosciences in 2019 and returned to the Grompe lab as a graduate student. Her work so far has helped to characterize a system to selectively expand gene-edited hepatocytes in vivo using the common medication acetaminophen. Her thesis research will expand upon the gene & cell therapy applications of this method.

Ryan Mulqueen

Ryan Mulqueen

Ryan Mulqueen graduated from SUNY Stony Brook University in 2014 with a B.S. in Interdisciplinary Biology. While in his undergraduate studies, he had varied research interest. He began his research career studying the formation of social hierarchies in African cichlids in the lab of Ivan Chase, Ph.D., where he helped develop the system to codify behaviors of dominance. He then moved on to study the speciation of native drosophilids under the instruction of Walter Eanes, Ph.D. This work became the focus of his undergraduate thesis, in which he analyzed the morphology of drosophila sex-combs intraspecifically, interspecifically, and in previously undocumented interspecies hybridizations. Ryan joined OHSU's graduate program in Molecular and Cellular Biosciences in the fall of 2014. In the spring of 2015, Ryan became a member of the labs of both Brian O'Roak, Ph.D. and Andrew Adey, Ph.D., under a joint-mentorship program. Ryan is interested in studying the roles of somatic mosaicism and epigenetic factors in the developing brain. To this end, Ryan's ongoing work involves the improvement of high-throughput single-cell epigenetic protocols and enhanced neuronal population targeting in transgenic lines.

John Powers

John Powers

John Powers received his Bachelors of Science in Biology with minors in chemistry and molecular biology from Washington State University in 2011. Following his undergraduate studies, he worked as a research technician in Dr. Grant Trobridge’s lab studying putative engraftment genes through lentiviral modification of human hematopoietic stem cells in the NOD scid gamma mouse model. He began his graduate studies at OHSU in 2013 through the Program in Molecular and Cellular Biosciences, later joining the Molecular and Medical Genetics Department. His research with viral vectors has continued at OHSU, including projects evaluating methods to identify optimal adeno-associated viral vectors for their use in the treatment of retinopathies, as well as his current research on the application of adenoviral vectors in vaccination approaches. As a member of Dan Streblow’s lab at the Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute at the Oregon National Primate Research Center his research focuses on vaccination strategies against Mayaro, Una, Chikungunya, O’nyong’nyong and Venezuelan equine encephalitis alphaviruses.

Daelyn Richards

Daelyn Richards

Daelyn was raised in Sugar Land, Texas and moved to the Pacific Northwest when she was a senior in high school. She received her Bachelors of Science with honors from Portland State University in 2014 and quickly matriculated into the Program of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences here at Oregon Health &Science University. She joined the Harding Laboratory in the Molecular and Medical Genetics Department and is passionate about improving therapies for people with rare disorders. Her primary focus is centered around gene therapy efforts for the treatment of phenylketonuria, the most common inborn error of metabolism, which is currently treated with life-long dietary management. When patients go off of this arduous diet, they suffer severe neurological complications. For her thesis, she aims to address the current limitations of PKU gene therapy to help facilitate its movement into the clinic. In her spare time, she likes to compete in triathlons and marathons, explore nature around her home in Camas, and play with her five Labrador Retrievers, Cordelia, Dallas, Lily, Marley, and Abigail.

Jimi Rosenkrantz

Jimi Rosenkrantz

Jimi Rosenkrantz received a Bachelors of Science degree in Molecular, Cell & Developmental Biology in 2010 from the University of California, Santa Cruz. After completing her undergraduate studies, Jimi worked as a research technician in the laboratory of Dr. David Haussler. In 2014 she began her graduate studies through the Program in Molecular & Cellular Bioscience at OHSU. In January 2015, she joined the Molecular and Medical Genetics Department as a graduate student in Dr. Lucia Carbone & Dr. Shawn Chavez's laboratories. Her current research is focused on investigating the level, mechanism and consequences of somatic aneuploidy and retrotransposon activity in the developing embryo and in the adult brain. Jimi is interested in pursuing a career as an independent researcher focused on better understanding humans and human disease using DNA sequencing technologies and comparative genomic studies, with an ultimate goal of advancing molecular diagnostics and therapeutics options available clinically. In her free time, Jimi enjoys exploring the Pacific Northwest, socializing with friends, and drinking a beer on her front porch with her cat, Jaspurr, by her side.

Kristóf Törkenczy

Kristóf Törkenczy

Kristóf was born in Budapest, Hungary. There he received his Bachelor of Science degree in physics from Eötvös Loránd University in 2011. Subsequently, his interests shifted towards evolutionary biology and he got his Master of Science degree from the University of Edinburgh in 2012. For his final project there he studied the "faster X" effect in populations undergoing recent bottlenecks. In parallel he completed a Master's degree at Eötvös Loránd University in Biophysics, where he earned his degree in 2014. His thesis project involved modeling speciation in segragated populations using adaptive dynamics, a branch of frequency dependent population genetics. Following that he came to OHSU for his graduate studies within the Program in Molecular & Cellular Biosciences. He joined the Adey Lab in June 2015, where he currently analyses single cell sequencing data to study structural variation in normal and diseased tissues.