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Graduate Student Directory
PhD Student
Research Lab: Dr. Jason Hansen

Research Description: We study redox biology in zebrafish and cellular models using redox sensitive probes and antioxidant transcription factor reporter constructs that are compartmentally localized in the cell. Through these and other techniques, we can determine the redox states in phases of development for different organs and various cell types and how the signaling pathways are regulated during development and differentiation.

Contact:
daviesbrandonm@gmail.com
PhD Student
Research Lab: Dr. Paul Reynolds

Research Description: It is well established that exposure to tobacco smoke induces many detrimental health effects, particularly in the lung. We study the role of receptors for advanced glycation end-products (RAGE) in the inflammation induced by exposure to smoke or vapor from electronic cigarettes. We examine the effects of RAGE induction and inhibition in the adult lung and in the developing fetus.

Contact:
kelseyhirschi.6@gmail.com
PhD Student
Research Lab: Dr. David Busath

Research Description: I research the influenza A/M2 protein, which is a key target in blocking viral replication. Specifically, I use electrophysiology techniques (two-electrode voltage-clamp) to measure the proton current blocked by novel organometallic compounds developed by our research group. As well, I use molecular dynamics, quantum mechanics, and quantum mechanic/molecular mechanic hybrid simulations to show the mechanism of block by the organometallic compounds.

Contact:
mcg05004@byui.edu
PhD Student
Research Lab: Dr. Jeff Edwards

Research Description: I am investigating the role of GABA neuron plasticity in the VTA. GABA cells inhibit dopamine cells which signal reward. I perform whole-cell patch clamping on VTA GABA neurons in adult and adolescent rodents exposed to THC or cocaine. These experiments investigate the mechanism of GABA plasticity and their role in mediating reward and addiction and if age modifies this mechanism.

Contact:
isaac.ostlund@gmail.com
PhD Student
Research Lab: Dr. Jason Hansen

Research Description: Birth defects are the leading contributor to infant mortality during the first year of life. Unfortunately, the mechanistic origins of most birth defects remain largely unknown. Recent research suggests, however, that certain teratogens elicit their harmful effects primarily through oxidative stress. I study how manipulation of specific antioxidant pathways combats teratogen-induced redox disruptions, decreasing the prevalence of birth defects in the developing embryo.

Contact:
ted.piorczynski@gmail.com
PhD Student
Research Lab: Dr. David Kooyman

Research Description: Osteoarthritis (OA) is an inflammatory pathology that occurs with several other disease states, including Alzheimer’s disease, insulin resistance, numerous ciliopathies, and age-related macular degeneration. The Kooyman lab is focused on elucidating the pathogenesis of OA as well as studying the interactions between OA and other inflammatory disorders. In so doing, we hope not only to find successful treatments for OA, but minimize the impact of related diseases.

Contact:
brose04008@gmail.com
PhD Student
Research Lab: Dr. Michael Stark

Research Description: I am a fourth year graduate student with the dream to teach science in a way that excites students and encourages them to pursue a career in science! I love the human body, particularly reproduction and development. My research focuses on embryonic development and the effects of maternal environment on early brain patterning.

Contact:
micahmross@gmail.com
PhD Student
Research Lab: Dr. Benjamin Bikman

Research Description: I'm interested in the effects of the ketogenic diet on learning and memory, specifically long term potentiation at the hippocampus.

Contact:
ersaito3@gmail.com
PhD Student
Research Lab: Dr. Jonathon Hill

Research Description: Determine the genome-wide occupancy and gene regulation patterns for Tbx2a, Tbx2b, and Tbx3 to determine the level of functional divergence between these proteins (downstream targets), to examine how amino-acid substitutions we have identified in Tbx2a and Tbx2b affect their protein-protein interactions (binding partners) and to classify 161 gene pairs we have shown have similar temporal expression patterns in the embryonic zebrafish heart as having divergent or conserved spatial expression patterns in the embryo.

Contact:
missy.dmc@gmail.com
PhD Student
Research Lab: Dr. Juan Arroyo

Research Description: A pattern of damaged DNA accumulation in disease placentas has been linked to poor pregnancy outcomes and undesired conditions for the fetus. The nuclear isoform of the receptor of advanced glycation end-products (RAGE) has recently been described on its vital role in DNA damage response. We sought to determine the role of nuclear RAGE in human placental DNA repair.

Contact:
karyyftsai@gmail.com
PhD Student
Research Lab: Dr. Paul Reynolds

Research Description: The mesolimbic system is not only essential for learning and motivation-associated behaviors, but it is also affected and remodeled by addictive drugs. GABA neurons in the VTA provide local inhibition of dopamine neurons. In our lab, we use a combination of electrophysiology, pharmacogenetic and optogenetic manipulations to study how VTA GABA neurons regulate reward and aversion-related learning.

Contact:
jie_jiegr@hotmail.com
MS Student
Research Lab: Dr. Jason Hansen

Research Description: We study the role that superoxide dismutase play in valproic acid induced reactive oxygen species. We take large scope approach to measure superoxide dismutase activity within a cell. We use epinephrine assays to measure whole cell superoxide dismutase activity and O2 respirometry to see the effects on the electron transport chain.

Contact:
smarclucas@gmail.com
MS Student
Research Lab: Dr. David Thomson

Research Description: My primary focus is receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) signaling and its role in skeletal muscle stem cell function. My current work is directed towards the necessity of RTK signaling for normal activation, proliferation, and differentiation of these stem cells during regeneration. My hope is to better understand how optimal regeneration occurs and how we can maintain that functionality throughout aging.

Contact:
marcmatsum@gmail.com
MS Student
Research Lab: Dr. Marc Hansen

Research Description: I study the expression pattern of TRP (Transient Receptor Potential) channels in the developing chick embryo. These channels are cation specific and can be activated by ligands, stretch, temperature, ions themselves, and membrane voltage. Determining their expression in a developmental model will help clarify their role in epithelial remodeling events and potentially clarify their role in disease states.

Contact:
waddelltrinity@gmail.com
MS Student
Research Lab: Dr. Benjamin Bikman

Research Description: Our research looks into the effects of various compounds on mitochondrial uncoupling in skeletal muscle, neurons, and adipose. Some of the compounds we have studied include β-Hydroxybutyrate, Myriocin, and SGI-1252. We study the degree of uncoupling via respiration studies, western blots, and qPCR.

Contact:
chase.m.walton@gmail.com
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