O'Roak lab members

Brian J. O'roak

Brian J. O'Roak, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

I’m originally from California’s Central Valley. After earning a B.S. in Biology at CSU Fresno, I did my Ph.D. studies at Yale University working with Dr. Matthew W. State in the Department of Genetics. I then went on for postdoctoral training in the Department of Genome Sciences at the University of Washington, under Drs. Evan E. Eichler and Jay Shendure. I joined the MMG faculty in Fall 2013.

Brooke DeRosa

Brooke DeRosa, Ph.D.

I grew up on Florida’s Space Coast, watching shuttle launches from my back yard. I earned my B.S. in Molecular Biology from the Florida Institute of Technology where I examined protein-protein interactions underlying the activation of PLC-ɣ during fertilization in the lab of Dr. David Carroll. I received my Ph.D. in Human Genetics and Genomics from the University of Miami under the mentorship of Dr. Derek Dykxhoorn. My thesis work involved using patient-specific induced pluripotent stem cells to study common molecular disturbances in autism that impact neuronal development. I moved Portland in 2016 to join the O’Roak Lab as a postdoctoral researcher.

Sara Evans-Dutson

Sara Evans-Dutson, B.Sc.

Originally from LA County, I did my undergrad research in Neurobiology studying serotonin receptor protein interactions. After that I worked in human embryonic stem cell research under Dr. Nicole zurNieden at UC Riverside, and even dabbled a bit in biotechnology working in biofuels research & development before coming to Portland in December 2013 to join Dr. O'Roak's lab as a research assistant.

Lindsay Wourms

Lindsay Wourms, B.Sc.

Raised in Europe and Washington state, it was at University of the Pacific in Stockton, CA where I earned my B.S. in Biological Sciences and was a four year letterman for the women’s cross-country and track teams. During my time at UOP I worked under Dr. Ryan Hill studying the evolutionary ecology of Lepidoptera as it relates to biological diversification. Following college I worked for plant geneticist Dr. Peter Cousins at the E&J Gallo Winery where I helped to discover a novel fruit color trait. In the Spring of 2017 I returned to the Pacific Northwest to join the O’Roak lab as a research assistant.

Hadley Morotti

Hadley Morotti, M.S.

I grew up in the Pacific Northwest and earned a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Oregon.  I've worked on research projects ranging from empathic accuracy to risk assessment and decision-making to family and peer interactions.  Eventually, I returned to UO to earn my M.S. with a concentration in Social Psychology.  I joined the O'Roak lab in fall 2015 as a study coordinator.

Taylor Mighell

Taylor Mighell, NGP Graduate Student

I am originally from Geneseo, a small town in northwestern Illinois. After studying cellular neuroscience at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska I entered the Neuroscience Graduate Program at OHSU in the fall of 2014 and joined Dr. O'Roak's lab in spring 2015. Here, I am developing massively parallel experimental paradigms to understand the effects of mutations involved in neurological disorders. 

Contact me: 

Ryan Mulqueen

Ryan Mulqueen, PMCB Graduate Student

Born and raised on Long Island, NY, I earned my B.S. degree in Interdisciplinary Biology from Stony Brook University. There I worked on a research project studying speciation and hybridization in the affinis clade of drosophilids. I joined OHSU’s Graduate program in Molecular and Cellular Biosciences in Fall 2014. In the Spring of 2015, I joined Dr. O’Roak’s lab to study the roles of somatic mosaicism and epigenetic factors in the developing brain.

O'Roak lab alumni

Dominica Cao

Dominica Cao, Vollum Institute Summer Fellow

As an intern Dominica spent the summer of 2018 helping the O'Roak team examine the brain structure of CRISPR-edited mice with autism-associated patient-specific mutations in Tbr1. Among other things, she verified genotypes as well as implemented immunostaining to visualize neuronal markers and assess how these mutations may be affecting neurodevelopment. Her efforts awarded her the Best Poster award at OHSU's 2018 Research Internship Poster Symposium.

Rebecca Barnard

Rebecca Barnard, Ph.D.

I am originally from the Chesapeake Bay area in Maryland. I received my B.S. degrees in Biology and Biotechnology from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA. Afterwards, I moved to Fort Collins, CO where I spent two years at the Centers for Disease Control as a serologist for Plague and Tularemia diagnostics. I then attended Colorado State University for my Ph.D. in Cell and Molecular Biology under the mentorship of Dr. Daniel Gustafson studying the autophagy pathway in the context of cancer treatment and development. I joined the O’Roak lab in March 2015 as a postdoctoral researcher. 

David Degnan

David Degnan, Murdock Scholar Intern

I grew up near the Puget Sound watching salmon swim up the creek in my backyard. Currently I'm a fourth-year undergraduate at George Fox University in Newberg, Oregon. I joined the O’Roak lab in the summer of 2017 as a Murdock Scholar through the MJ Murdock Trust. Under the guidance of Dr. Rebecca Barnard I’m exploring the functional effect of synonymous mosaic mutations in ASD.

Hannah Rudolph

Hannah Rudolph, Summer Intern

Hannah joined the O'Roak lab for the duration of Summer 2017, working closely with Dr. Brooke DeRosa to characterize iPSC-derived cerebral organoids for modeling neurodevelopment disorders such as Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Maya Adams, Murdock Scholar Intern

An undergraduate student of John's Hopkins University, Maya joined the O'Roak lab for the duration of Summer 2016 as a research intern. She worked alongside Dr. Brooke DeRosa building a DIY mini bioreactor for cerebral organoid development and generating models of ASD patients with de novo variants in TBR1 using CRISPR-Cas9 genome engineering technology.

Matthew Pomaville

Matthew Pomaville, SFARI Intern

Matt joined the O'Roak lab for Summer 2015 as part of the SFARI Undergraduate Summer Research Program while still an undergraduate at California State University, Fresno. He worked closely with Dr. Rebecca Barnard developing new animal models for studying neurodevelopment disorders and went on to be accepted into OHSU's graduate program in Molecular & Cellular Biosciences.

Deidre Krupp

Deidre Krupp, Ph.D.

Deidre originally hails from the Rogue Valley in Southern Oregon and received B.S. degrees in Biology and Chemistry from Southern Oregon University. After completing her doctoral studies under the mentorship of Dr. Simon Gregory at Duke University, she joined Dr. O'Roak's lab in Fall 2014 as our first postdoctoral researcher and worked on elucidating the role of mosaic mutations in ASD before eventually returning to Southern Oregon.