Student Directory

Mayra Alejandra Betancourt Ponce
betancourtpo@wisc.edu
Barroilhet/Patankar Lab
Education:
BS, University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus
Research:
In the Barroilhet/Patankar Lab, we study ovarian cancer through different approaches. My work will focus on elucidating the effects of oxidative phosphorylation inhibition in the ovarian tumor microenvironment, looking at effects on both cancer and immune cells.
Joshua Brand
jabrand2@wisc.edu
Huy Dinh Lab
Education:
BS, Biology, SUNY Geneseo
Research:
In the Dinh Lab we apply computational methods to high dimensional technologies such as single cell RNA sequencing to understand immune heterogeneity of various cancers. We are interested in finding predictive markers of progression, novel therapeutic targets, and understanding interactions that define tumor immune microenvironments.
Beniah Brumbaugh
bbrumbaugh@wisc.edu
William Sugden Lab
Education:
BS, University of Vermont
Research:
Our Lab studies two human, oncogenic Herpesviruses: Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) and Kaposi’s Sarcoma Virus (KSHV). Using molecular approaches and biological imaging, I propose to examine viral processes that can be targeted to prevent viral replication.
Stephan DaRodda
Profile
darodda@wisc.edu
Dan Loeb Lab
Education:
UC Davis
Research:
I study Hepatitis B virus and the role of the envelope proteins in viral secretion by examing and comparing Duck Hepatis B virus to other Avihepadnaviruses, such as Snow goose Hepatitis B virus.
Caleb Dillingham
Profile
cdillingham@wisc.edu
Sridharan lab
Education:
BS, Cellular Biology, 2013 University of Georgia
Research:
Our laboratory studies the epigenetic mechanisms regulating somatic stem cell reprogramming. I am particularly interested in the enzymatic activity of histone demethylases and the roles they play in reprogramming.
Kim Edwards
Profile
kedwards22@wisc.edu
David Gamm Lab
Education:
Indiana University
Research:
Choroideremia (CHM) is an X-linked recessive disorder characterized by progressive and irreversible vision loss as a result of degeneration of photoreceptors and retinal pigment epithelial cells (RPE).
Billy Erazo
berazo@wisc.edu
Laura Knoll Lab
Education:
BS, Industrial Microbiology, University of Puerto Rico
Research:
Our lab studies the host/pathogen interaction of protozoan parasites, including Toxoplasmas gondii, the causative agent of toxoplasmosis, and T. gondii’s diarrhea-causing cousins Cryptosporidium parvum and Entamoeba histolytica. My research focuses on finding which host genes involved in cell death pathways affect the invasiveness of E. histolytica.
Evan Flietner
Profile
eflietner@wisc.edu
Jing Zhang Lab
Education:
UW Madison
Research:
Multiple myeloma (MM) is a hematological malignancy of mature plasma cells in the bone marrow. Successful MM treatment is dependent on CD8+ cytotoxic T cell responses against myeloma cells, but CD8 T cells from myeloma patients have been shown to be dysfunctional and unable to enact a proper immune response against the disease. My research focuses on restoring CD8 T cell function in the context of aggressive RAS-driven myeloma using combination immunotherapy.
Julia Gambardella
Profile
gambardella2@wisc.edu
Marina Emborg Lab
Education:
Salve Regina University, RI
Research:
I am interested in the role of the neuronal protein tau in neurodegeneration. My research uses nonhuman primate models of disease, specifically an MPTP neurotoxin model of Parkinson’s disease (PD), and a MAPT R406W mutant model of frontotemporal dementia. I am currently mapping endogenous tau and phosphorylated tau distribution in the brains of healthy and diseased rhesus macaques using postmortem immunostaining methods and in vivo PET imaging.
Trey Gilpin
Profile
tgilpin@wisc.edu
Zsuzsanna Fabry Lab
Education:
California State University – San Marcos, San Marcos, CA
Research:
I’m studying the migration of mycobacterium infected dendritic cells from the lung and adhesion molecules and chemokines that regulate dendritic cell migration across the blood brain barrier.
Cole Gilsdorf
Profile
cgilsdorf@wisc.edu
Josh Lang Lab
Education:
BS, 2017 Biology, UW Madison
Research:
The Lang lab utilizes circulating tumor cells (CTCs) found in the peripheral blood as a liquid biopsy for cancer. My research revolves around identifying biomarkers found on CTCs that can be used to diagnose cancer type and stage, predict treatment response, or offer insight into the prognosis for a patient based on their specific biomarker profile.
Kirstan Gimse
Profile
gimse@wisc.edu
Saha Lab
Education:
University of Wisconsin – Parkside, Kenosha, WI
Research:
Investigating signaling pathways involved with age associated cognitive decline.
Athena Golfinos
Profile
agolfinos@wisc.edu
Huy Dinh Lab
Education:
BS, 2017 Biology, UW Madison
Research:
My research is focused on assessing the translational value of various mouse models of head and neck cancer (HNC) compared to their clinical counterparts. I am also interested in using both model organisms as well as clinical samples to assess differences in the tumor immune microenvironment (TIME) in different varieties of HNC.
Olivia Harwood
Profile
osayer@wisc.edu
Shelby O’Connor Lab
Education:
BS, Biology, 2016, Colorado Mesa University
Research:
Our lab is interested in understanding the effects of N803, an IL-15 superagonist complex, on viremia and immune cell activation in SIV infection. Specifically, my research focuses on the role of vaccination in priming T cells to control SIV viremia after N803 treatment, and also the potential for N803 in combination with vaccination to elicit broadly neutralizing antibodies.
Marienela Heredia
Profile
heredia3@wisc.edu
Laura Knoll Lab
Education:
John Jay College of Criminal Justice NYC
Research:
Our lab’s research is focused on understanding the complex host/pathogen interactions of human enteric parasites. My project centers around the parasitic amoebozoan, Entamoeba histolytica, which infects 10% of the global population and is the causative agent of amebiasis and amebic dysentery. My research entails developing and characterizing novel murine models of both commensal and pathogenic Entamoeba infection via oral challenge, with the goal of making possible the study of the entire Entamoeba life cycle in vivo.
Margo Heston
Profile
mheston@wisc.edu
Barbara Bendlin Lab
Education:
BS, 2015, Biomedical Engineering, Johns Hopkins University
Research:
Margo Heston studies how modifiable factors such as diet and living environment may impact the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. She uses computational tools to understand patterns among data sets including intestinal microbiota profiles (16S rRNA sequencing), metabolomics (mass spectroscopy) and sociodemographic data, and to identify their relationships with pathological biomarkers measured in and around the brain.
Anna Hoefges
Profile
hoefges@wisc.edu
Paul Sondel Lab
Education:
BS, Biology, University of Bonn, Germany
Master of Science in Molecular Medicine, Uppsala University, awarded in 2016
Research:
Our lab focuses on cancer immunotherapy in childhood cancers and melanoma. One of my projects focuses on investigating KIR and KIR-ligand interactions and how the KIR genotype can affect the outcome of the administered cancer immunotherapy.
Rebecca Hutcheson
Profile
rhutcheson@wisc.edu
William Sugden lab
Education:
BS, 2015, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Mercer Universtiy, Macon, GA
Research:
Our lab studies Epstein Barr Virus (EBV) to understand its molecular contributions to certain cancers. My work involves identifying cellular mutations within EBV positive Burkitt Lymphoma cells that provide growth advantages to tumor cells.
Michelle Koenig
Profile
mkoenig5@wisc.edu
Thaddeus Golos Lab
Education:
BS, 2013, Environmental Biology, Beloit College
Research:
I study the immune environment of the uterus during pregnancy. I focus on the role that the uterine immune system plays in Zika Virus infection and how it contributes to congenital pathologies.
Christopher Lee
cclee8@wisc.edu
David Evans Lab
Education:
BS, University of California, Los Angeles
Research:
“The Evans Lab is investigating lentiviral mechanisms for counteracting tetherin-mediated eradication of infected cells. My work centers on how neutrophils use antibody-mediated effector functions like ADCC and ADCP to eliminate HIV-infected cells, as well as on the role tetherin plays in upregulating these antibody-dependent immune functions.”
Andrew Lynch
Profile
arlynch2@wisc.edu
Mark Burkard Lab
Education:
UW Eau Claire
Research:
Chromosomal instability (CIN), or gains and losses of chromosomes through missegregation, is a hallmark of human cancer and generates significant intratumoral genomic heterogeneity. However, the relevant rates of chromosome missegregation and the mechanisms by which cancer cells respond to these massive shifts in gene dosage are not well defined. My research focuses on answering these fundamental questions about the role of CIN in cancer progression using a combination of computational, cell biological, and single cell genomics approaches.
Sara Maloney
smmaloney4@wisc.edu
Adam Bailey Lab
Education:
BS, University of California, Riverside
Research:
Some of the research in the Bailey lab focuses on factors that lead to coagulopathy during viral hemorrhagic fever. My project aims to understand the mechanisms that upregulate and/or activate Tissue Factor during Ebolavirus infection and how that can result in coagulation abnormalities.
Morgan Mann
Profile
mwmann@wisc.edu
Allan Brasier Lab
Education:
BS, University of Oklahoma
Research:
My graduate research in Dr. Allan Brasier’s Laboratory focuses on the role of Bromodomain-containing Protein 4 (BRD4) in the transcriptional activation of airway inflammation and the Epithelial-to-Mesenchymal Transition (EMT) observed in Airway Remodeling. In the course of this research, I use a variety of methods – including Cell Culture Immunofluorescence and Mass Spectrometry – to probe for alterations in signaling pathways induced by BRD4 activation and to study the role of BRD4 Protein Interaction Partners.
Steven Mayerl
Profile
mayerl@wisc.edu
David Gamm lab
Education:
BS, Biology, 2014 Humboldt State University, Arcata, CA
Research:
Work in our lab focuses on using stem cell technology to explore the cellular and molecular events that occur during human retinal differentiation and development as well as the generation of cells for human retinal disease modeling.
Ivy McDermott
imcdermott@wisc.edu
Nate Sandbo Lab
Education:
BS, Molecular/Cellular/Developmental Biology, University of Colorado Boulder
Research:
I study the role of macrophages in the development of pulmonary fibrosis in mice treated with bleomycin and mice treated with a novel potential therapeutic. Our therapeutic targets fibronectin specifically, but some preliminary data demonstrates that there may be unintended consequences in immune cell numbers. I propose to investigate if macrophage numbers remain untrained following treatment and if the phenotype of these macrophages changes in treated mice compared to untreated mice.
Nicole Muench
Profile
nmuench@wisc.edu
Robert Nickells Lab
Education:
University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point
Research:
My research focuses on targeting the apoptotic activity of the BAX protein. We hypothesize that targeting BAX therapeutically will substantially reduce RGC and optic nerve degeneration after optic nerve injury.
Jenna Nagy
Profile
jnagy2@wisc.edu
Raunak Sinha Lab
Education:
Ohio State University
Research:
First, I propose to characterize the influence of synaptic and circuit mechanisms, such as presynaptic inhibition, on retinal circuit function. Second, I propose to characterize the influence of molecular factors, such as Synaptotagmin 17, on retinal circuit function and formation.
Hemanth Potluri
Profile
hpotluri@wisc.edu
Douglas McNeel Lab
Education:
Research:
The McNeel lab focuses on prostate cancer immunotherapy. Specifically, my work focuses on studying the immunomodulatory effects of Targeted Radionuclide Therapy (TRT). My goal is to design rational combination therapy approaches with TRT, prostate-specific cancer vaccines, and checkpoint blockade.
Trent Prall
prall@wisc.edu
David O’Connor Lab
Education:
BS Genetics, UW Madison
Research:
Our research centers around the investigation of immune receptor gene families such as the Major Histocompatibility Complex and Leukocyte Receptor Complex. Immunogenetic regions exhibit high amounts of interhost and intrahost genetic diversity. Furthermore, the copy number variation within a single individual can vary substantially. This complex genomic architecture suffers from the challenges of short read assembly. Therefore, our understanding of the large-scale genetics of these regions is limited despite their importance in pathology.
Hunter Ries
hries@wisc.edu
Thomas Friedrich Lab
Education:
BS, University of Wisconsin – Madison
Research:
Work in the Friedrich Laboratory leverages deep sequencing to elucidate the evolutionary mechanisms shaping RNA virus emergence. I study viral genetic changes within and between hosts, and how these changes impact pathogenicity and transmissibility. We work closely with clinicians and public health officials to translate our findings and investigate real-world cases.
Anna Marie Rowell
Profile
arowell2@wisc.edu
Ted Golos Lab
Education:
University of Oklahoma
Research:
Listeria monocytogenes (Lm) causes a mild infection in healthy adults but is associated with serious pregnancy complications, including miscarriage, stillbirth, preterm birth, neonatal sepsis and meningitis. However, the effect and mechanism of Lm pathogenesis during pregnancy at the maternal-fetal interface and impact on the host microbiome are not understood. Emerging studies have found connections between overall health and patient microbial diversity, which may link causation for susceptibility to disease and inflammation. To adapt this concept to a non-human primate model, current 16S bacterial rRNA sequencing techniques will be utilized to define the changes in microbial diversity in response to listeriosis in pregnancy.
Kaetlyn Ryan
ktryan2@wisc.edu
Mostafa Zamanian Lab
Education:
BS, Biochemistry/Chemical Engineering/Human Biolgy, North Carolina State University
Research:
Our lab studies neglected tropical diseases caused by parasitic worms. My project focuses on developing assays and measuring specific phenotypes such as motility and protein secretion as proxies for drug response. This work involves a combination or wet lab and computational approaches that we hope will result in discoveries that improve diagnostics through the identification of specific protein markers of infection and that will further drug screening methods for anti-parasitic compounds.
Kjell Sandstorm
ksandstrom2@wisc.edu
David Evans Lab
Education:
BS, Biochemistry, University of Minnestoa-Twin Cities
Research:
David Evans’ lab studies host-pathogen interactions in HIV and SIV infections. Specifically, I study the natural killer cell receptors KIR and NKG2/CD94, their engagement with MHC class-I ligands, and the effect of presented HIV/SIV peptides on receptor/ligand interactions.
Lauren Sarko
sarko@wisc.edu
Kris Saha Lab
Education:
BS, Biological Sciences, Pennsylvania State University
Research:
The Saha Lab focuses on a wide variety of research topics with the goal to advance stem cell and gene therapies. My project specifically focuses on using novel non-viral Chimeric Antigen Receptor T cells (CAR T) for the development of a senescence associated therapy to reduce Brain tissue dysfunction.
Phoenix Shepherd
pshepherd@wisc.edu
Robert Kirchdoerfer Lab
Education:
BS, Biology, UW Madison
Research:
Coronavirus entry into host cells relies heavily on the structural spike protein (S). The structural biology of S plays important roles in pathogenesis and immune-system recognition during infection. My work investigates the dynamic, structural, and immunoevasive functions of feline coronavirus S proteins to better understand viral disease.
Mason Shipley
mashipley@wisc.edu
Donna Neuman Lab(Twitter)
Education:
BS, University of Idaho
Research:
Our lab studies the epigenetic mechanisms regarding chromatin remodeling and insulator protein functions/interactions that regulate HSV-1’s latency and reactivation in neuronal cells. My work focuses on investigating the roles of the enhancer element located in the 5′ exon of the Latency Associated Transcript (LAT) during HSV-1 reactivation, and the effects this enhancer has on the non-canonical reactivation gene cascade with the intent of identifying new therapeutic targets that specifically treat viral reservoirs.
Soniya Tamhankar
soniya.tamhankar@wisc.edu
Eric Shusta Lab
Education:
MS, Pennsylvania State University
Research:
Our lab is interested in developing in vitro models of the Blood-Brain Barrier (BBB) that accurately mimic the in vivo characteristics of the BBB. An in vitro BBB model would enable the combinatorial screening of drug candidates and drug-targeting strategies, a process that is not amenable to an in vivo system.
Vaibhav Vemuganti
vvemuganti@wisc.edu
Federico Rey Lab
Education:
MS Biotechnology, Jawaharlal Nehru Tech. University, India
Research:
My work revolves around using interdisciplinary techniques in unraveling nuanced features of complex biological systems involving the gut. Specific flora in gut communities was shown to posses varied propensity to alter alzheimer’s pathology for the better or worse, hence studying metabolic profiles of these gut communities might help in learning pathology through the lens of microbiology and identifying novel disease mitigating systems for therapeutic targets.
Benjamin Wancewicz
Profile
wancewicz@wisc.edu
Ying Ge Lab
Education:
BS, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, UC Davis, 2014
Research:
My research focuses on understanding the metabolic dysfunction present in diabetic cardiomyopathy using mass spectrometry-based metabolomics and proteomics.
Szu-Tsen Yeh
syeh8@wisc.edu
Dhanansayan(Dhanu) Shanmuganayagam Lab
Education:
UC San Diego
Research:
I am currently working on the characterization of genome engineered Wisconsin Miniature Swines (WMS) that are developed for human compatible tissue or organs. We use novel strategies to achieve the classic triple knockouts in swine and are currently exploring knockin of different genes for better humanization of the tissues. I am helping the development of screening and monitoring protocol for pig-to-primate xenotransplantation as well as screening for previously unknown targets to prolong xenotransplantation-graft survival.
Katie Zarbock
Profile
kzarbock@wisc.edu
Federico Rey Lab
Tyler Ulland Lab
Education:
St. Catherine University, St. Paul, MN
Research:
My research centers on the intersections between diet, the gut microbiota, and microbial metabolites in the context of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). As certain risk factors for AD (e.g. obesity, insulin resistance) are causally impacted by the gut microbiota, and as there are significant differences between the diversity and taxa of the gut microbiota of individuals with AD as compared to cognitively normal age- and sex-matched controls, I strive to elucidate roles that specific microbial taxa, genes, or metabolites play in the pathogenesis, exacerbation, and amelioration of AD pathology.
Qijun Zhang
Profile
qzhang333@wisc.edu
Federico Rey Lab
Education:
University of Science and Technology of China
Research:
My research focuses on integrating genomics, metagenomics, transcriptomics, and metabolomics by systems genetics approaches to understand complex traits and identify host genetic elements that control gut microbial functions and metabolism in genetically diverse mouse populations.