BMB Graduate Students

Sam BerkSam Berk

B.S. Biochemistry - Virginia Tech
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.

VeronicaVeronica Cochrane

 B.S. Cell and Developmental Biology - University of California, Santa Barbara
 Shyng Lab
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.

Jon FloresJonathan Flores

B.A. General Biology - Concordia University
M.S. Biochemistry - University of California, San Francisco
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.


Coyle, S.M., Flores J.A., Lim, W.A. Exploitation of latent protein allostery enables evolution of novel and divergent modes of MAP kinase regulation. Cell, 154,875-887.

Sigrid NorengSigrid Noreng

B.S. Physics - University of Oslo
Baconguis Lab
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. 


Loftus, A.  F., et al. (2013). "Robust measurement of membrane bending moduli using light sheet fluorescence imaging of vesicle fluctuations." Langmuir 29(47): 14588-14594.

B.A. Biochemistry - Reed College
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.

Link to Baconguis Lab

Jon SavageJon Savage

B.S. - Molecular, Cell & Developmental Biology, University of California, Santa Cruz
Shinde Lab
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.


Lind EF, et al. (2015) "miR-155 Upregulation in Dendritic Cells Is Sufficient To Break Tolerance In Vivo by Negatively Regulating SHIP1." J Immunology 195(10):4632-40.

Anthony Shumate

Anthony Shumate

B.S. - Biochemistry, University of Missouri-Columbia
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.