Moriarity Lab Members

 

Research Staff

Jason Bell, bellx059@umn.edu: Jason is a Research Scientist and joined the lab in August 2020. He has a BS in Biology from the University of North Dakota. He has had the opportunity to work with great researchers over the years including Dr. Perry Hackett, Dr. Scott McIvor, Dr. David Largaespada, and Dr. Branden Moriarity, contributing to several areas of research. His current focus in the Moriarity/Webber labs is the sequencing and data analysis from the MiSeq sequencing system.

Jacob Bridge, bridg245@umn.edu: Jacob originally joined the lab as a freshman undergrad in August 2020, while pursuing a double major in Biochemistry and Genetics, Cell Biology and Development, along with a minor in Chemistry.  Now an independent researcher, he primarily focuses on engineering gamma delta T-cells for use in cancer immunotherapy.  In the future, Jacob plans to pursue a PhD in biochemistry, through which he hopes to develop improved treatment options for age-associated diseases.

Nathan Carroll, carro453@umn.eduNathan joined the lab in March 2020.  He works with induced pluripotent stem cells and is currently assisting with projects investigating the genetic conditions that may lead to the development of bone cancers osteosarcoma and Ewing’s sarcoma.  He holds a BA in chemistry from Carleton College.

Andrew T. Craneatcrane@umn.edu. Andrew joined the lab as a researcher in May 2021 after completing a postdoctoral fellowship in the lab of Dr. Walter Low at the University of Minnesota. Andrew was awarded his MS and PhD in Neuroscience from Central Michigan University focusing on cellular therapies for neurodegenerative disorders. Currently, Andrew is taking advantage of established cell-to-cell communication as a means for delivering gene editing tools. When not in the lab, Andrew is spending time with his family or outside cycling.

Anthony P. DeFeo, apdefeo@umn.eduTony is a research scientist who joined the lab in December of 2018 after spending the prior decade in the Tolar lab collaborating with Dr. Webber.  He has multiple graduate degrees including Masters degrees in Secondary Education and Genetics from SUNY New Paltz and a Masters’ degree from NYU School of Medicine in Molecular Oncology.  He has held research positions at NYU, and Cornell in addition to spending 8 years as a Visiting Assistant Professor at Mercy College.  His projects in the lab include the Tumor Infiltrating Lymphocyte (TIL) clinical trial, and the T-Cell and iPSC Cancer Modeling teams.  Tony bike commutes all year long.

Lage von Dissen, lage@umn.edu:Lage joined the lab as a researcher in November of 2021. Prior to this, he had been working for over 14 years as a process engineer and an electro-mechanical systems specialist for the U of MN’s MN Nano Center (MNC). While at the MNC, working on Micro/Nano/Bio-fabrication and characterization, he went back to school to earn his B.S. in Genetic, Cellular, and Developmental Biology. After graduation, he joined the Webber/Moriarity lab and is now working on using engineered iPSCs to produce T cells, CAR-T cells, and other immune cells for cancer-based immunotherapies. Lage enjoys reading, fishing, bushcraft, and spending time with his family.

Micki Diers, Lab Manager, mddiers@umn.eduMicki is a Research Scientist and the Moriarity Lab Manager. She has a combined 24 years of research experience at the UMN. She has had the opportunity to work with some great doctors over the years including Dr. Scott McIvor, Dr. David Largaespada, Dr. Brenda Weigel, Dr. Bruce Blazar, Dr. Branden Moriarity, and Dr. Beau Webber, contributing to several areas of cancer research. Her current focus in the Moriarity/Webber labs is T-cell work, engineering T-cells for enhanced cancer immunotherapy. She loves dogs, spending weekends at the lake, and traveling.

Timothy Folsom, folso013@umn.eduTim is a research scientist who joined the lab in November, 2020. Prior to joining the lab, he worked in the Department of Psychiatry in the lab of Dr. S. Hossein Fatemi where he studied the origins of neurodevelopmental disorders, primarily autism and schizophrenia. Tim has a B.S. in biology from San Francisco State University and a M.S. in zoology and neuroscience from Iowa State University.

Tim Hinkel, hinke002@umn.edu: Tim is a research scientist who joined the lab in November 2020. He is involved with the Tumor Infiltrating Lymphocyte (TIL) clinical trial. He has a B.S. in Biochemistry from the U of M and a M.S. in Biology from Minnesota State University. Tim enjoys mountain biking and spending time with his family.

Jake Jensen, jens1153@umn.edu: Jake Joined the lab in 2021. Prior to joining the lab, Jake worked in clinical research with the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation. Currently, Jake is working on engineering primary lymphocytes as potential therapeutic agents to treat enzymopathies.

Matt Johnson, joh02946@umn.eduMatt, a research scientist, joined the lab in March 2016 and works on the B cell, Dendritic cell, and T-cell projects. Prior to joining the lab he researched methods of HIV vaccination as a post-doc at the Emory Vaccine Center. He completed his PhD in Microbiology and Immunology as a member of Dr. Richard Koup's lab in the Vaccine Research Center at the NIH through Georgetown University. He has a BSc in Medical Microbiology from the University of Wisconsin - Madison.

Jihyun Kim, kim01663@umn.edu: Jihyun, a research scientist, joined the lab in November 2021 and works on tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) project. Prior to joining the lab, she obtained her ph.D in functions and characterizations of exosomes and exosome isolation kit development as a member of Dr. Gho’s lab in POSTECH, Korea. She loves spending time with her family, cooking, and camping when not in the lab. 

Joshua Krueger, krueg969@umn.edu: Joshua joined the lab in October 2020. He works with Dr. Jae Woong Chang in optimizing NK cell activation and cloning genes for use in vitro. He hopes to translate these approaches to clinical therapies in the future. Joshua holds a BS in Health Sciences from University of Northwestern-Saint Paul and wants to pursue a PhD in the future. He enjoys swimming and snowboarding in his free time.  

Walker Lahr, wslahr@umn.eduWalker joined the lab in December of 2016 and works with primary human T, B, and NK cells to further develop base editor and varioius HDR techniques. He has a BS in Biology from the College of Holy Cross. His research has the goal of creating clinical products for therapy. Walker is working towards a career in medicine and hopes to deliver translational therapies to interested patients.

Rebecca Madden, madd0239@umn.eduRebecca joined the lab in May 2019 and works on induced pluripotent stem cell cancer modeling. She completed her Master's research at the University of Minnesota Medical School in Duluth, and her BS in Molecular and Cellular Biology at the University of Minnesota Duluth. She loves dogs, biking, skiing, and autosports!

Madeline McCormick, mccor521@umn.edu: Madeline joined the lab in May 2022 and works mainly on T cell projects for cancer immunotherapy. She has a BS in molecular biology and geographic information science from the University of Redlands, CA and is planning on pursuing a PhD in the future. She likes canoeing, roller skating, and hanging out with her pets. 

Nicholas Slipek, slip0009@umn.edu: Nick joined the lab in the fall of 2018 to work on several projects developing better T-cell therapies. He has a BA in biology from the College of Holy Cross. Nick is looking forward to attending medical school and hopes to focus his career on improving clinical trial design and participation as well as medical ethics. Nick loves to ski and will take you skiing any time you want!

Erin Stelljes, eschnepp@umn.edu: Erin joined the lab in June 2021 and assists with mouse projects for developing improved cancer therapies. She is a certified veterinary technician and worked as a research veterinary technician at the University of Minnesota for 3 ½ years before transferring to the lab. Outside of the lab, Erin loves spending time with her two senior pets – a Pomeranian named Minnie and a cat named Charlie.

Bryce Wick, wickx181@umn.edu: Bryce joined the lab as a researcher in the spring of 2021, and had been volunteering as an undergraduate since the fall of 2019. His work involves exploring safer and more efficient ways to genetically edit T cells to fight cancer. Bryce's future plans involve pursuing a PhD to further his experience in cancer immunotherapy.

Post-Doctoral Staff

Joseph Skeate, skea0006@umn.eduJoey is a post-doc that joined the lab in August 2020 and is involved in multiple cell-based immunotherapy projects. Before joining the team, he obtained his PhD in Medical Biology with a focus on human papillomavirus-driven cancers at the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine in the laboratory of Dr. Martin Kast. He also holds a MS in Molecular Microbiology and Immunology from USC and a BSc in Biochemistry from the University of Minnesota. Outside of the laboratory he’s an outdoor guy that enjoys cycling (even in the winter) and remotely teaches 6-12th grade science classes with the USC McMorrow Neighborhood Academic Initiative Saturday academy in an effort to foster the next generation of young scientists.

Jae-Woong Chang, jwchang@umn.edu: Jae-Woong is a research associate in the Moriartiy lab. His primary focus is generating and optimizing CAR-NK cells for treatment of AML as well as generating artificial systems for effective expansion and activation of NK cells. Prior to joining the lab Jae-Woong researched pre-mRNA processing under growth factor signaling pathway and calcium-mediated cell death and autophagy in neuron. 

Yumeng McDaniel, zhan4408@umn.edu: Yumeng is a post-doc and joined the lab in January 2022. Her research focuses on enhancing immunotherapy of cancer or other human diseases through gene engineering. Before joining the team, she obtained her PhD in Veterinary Medicine with a focus on virology at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities in the laboratory of Dr. Louis Mansky. Her PhD studies provide critical information for the application of lethal mutagenesis on virus extinction. She received her bachelors in Veterinary Medicine and masters in Preventative Veterinary Medicine at the Huazhong Agriculture University in Hubei, China.  She enjoys belly and flamenco dancing and is really good at cooking Chinese food.

Brett Napiwocki, napiw002@umn.eduBrett is a post-doc and joined the lab in April 2020. His primary work focuses on developing iPSC differentiation protocols that produce T cells, NK cells and Monocytes. These iPSC-immune cells are then engineered with chimeric antigen receptors for cancer-based immunotherapies. Prior to joining the lab Brett obtained his PhD with Dr. Wendy Crone at UW-Madison where he created cardiac constructs using iPSC-derived myocytes and fibroblasts.

Joseph Peterson, pet01059@umn.eduJoe joined the lab in January of 2019 while pursuing a BS in Microbiology from the University of Minnesota. Now graduated, he works to assist Kanut Laoharawee and Evan Kleinboehl in genetic engineering of B and T lymphocytes. Outside of lab, he enjoys literary fiction and hiking.

PhD Students

Kelsie Becklin, kbecklin@umn.eduKelsie is a second-year graduate student in the Comparative Molecular Biosciences (CMB) program. Her research focuses primarily on generating new cancer models using induced pluripotent stem cells and genetic engineering techniques such as CRISPR/Cas9. Kelsie hopes these models will provide an improved platform to screen cancer therapies prior to clinical testing and aid in the investigation of the genes and pathways that lead to cancer initiation, progression, and various drug responses. 

Patricia Claudio Vázquez, claud034@umn.eduPat is a third-year graduate student in the Molecular, Cellular, Developmental Biology and Genetics (MCDB&G) PhD Program. She has a BS in Biology from the University of Puerto Rico at Cayey. Her research is focused on the genetic correction of SCID-A, a form severe combined immunodeficiency, using Cas9 base editors. When not in the lab, Pat loves cooking, baking, practicing aerial and petting any and all dogs, including her very own pup named Oliver.

Rih-Sheng Huang, huan2380@umn.edu: Rih-Sheng is a second-year PhD student in the MICaB program. He has a BS in Life Science from National Taiwan Normal University and an MS in Biochemical Sciences from National Taiwan University. His research projects focus on identifying immune checkpoints of NK cells for enhanced cancer immunotherapy. He is interested in synthetic biology and how to better control immune cells' function. A 100% motorcycle lover, action movie addiction, and foodie.

Even Kelinboehl, klein801@umn.edu: Evan joined the lab in 2020 as a graduate student in Molecular, Cellular, Developmental Biology and Genetics (MCDBG) Program.  He has a B.S. in biotechnology from Minnesota State University, Mankato.  His primary research is in engineering primary lymphocytes to create clinical products for treating human genetic inherited diseases.

Kanut Laoharawee, laoha002@umn.eduKanut is a third-year graduate student in the Molecular, Cellular, Developmental Biology and Genetics (MCDBG) Program. His research focuses on engineering primary human B lymphocytes (a.k.a. B cells) to create clinical products for treating human genetic inherited diseases. Kanut's long-term goal is to engineer B cells for cell-based protein/enzyme replacement therapies.

Ella Eaton, leex8363@umn.eduElla is a PhD candidate in the Molecular, Cellular, Developmental Biology and Genetics (MCDB&G) program in the fall of 2020. She holds a BS in Microbiology and Biotechnology from South Dakota State University. Her research projects focus on in vivo delivery of gene editing reagents. Her long-term goal is to make in vivo gene editing safe and effective for the clinic to treat genetic diseases. Outside of lab, Ella enjoys spending time with her fiance and her dog Charlie. She can also be found helping/playing with the goats and pigs at her parents' hobby farm.

Tanvi Mathur, mathu096@umn.edu: Tanvi joined the lab as a Master's student in the Molecular Pharmacology and Therapeutics (MPAT) program in the April of 2021.  She is now starting her second year as a Ph.D. in the fall of 2022 and is continuing her research in the lab. Her research focuses on developing an intervention that will lead to durable remission of HIV infection using CAR NK cell immunotherapies in rhesus macaques. Outside the lab, she enjoys baking, cooking, and traveling.  

Gabrielle Robbins, robbi264@umn.eduGabrielle is a third-year DVM PhD student in the Comparative Molecular Biosciences (CMB) program. Her research aims to modify primary human NK cells by knocking-out inhibitory genes and integrating novel NK cell chimeric antigen receptors in order to improve their potential as an effective treatment against osteosarcoma. Gabbie’s long term goal is to become a physician scientist focused on harnessing the power of the immune system in order to develop more effective and safe treatments against cancer. Outside of the lab, Gabbie enjoys hiking with her dogs, cooking, gardening, and scuba diving. 

Chris Sipe, sipex027@umn.edu: Chris is a second-year graduate student in the Molecular, Cellular, Developmental Biology, and Genetics (MCDB&G) PhD Program. He has a BS in Cellular and Molecular Biology from the University of Minnesota-Duluth and a MS in Stem Cell Biology from the University of Minnesota. His research is focused on the genetic correction of Fanconi anemia, a rare bone marrow failure disorder, using Cas9 base editors. Outside of lab, Chris likes to travel, attend music festivals, watch horror movies, get tattoos, and eat Taco Bell.

Minging (Molly) Wang, wang5229@umn.edu: Molly is a third-year graduate student in the Molecular, Cellular, Developmental Biology and Genetics (MCDBG) Program. She has a BS in Laboratory Medicine & Pathobiology and Immunology from University of Toronto. Her research involves engineering primary human NK cells with the goal of creating clinical products for treating cancer, especially aggressive variant prostate cancer (AVPC). Molly is also an aviation enthusiast. She loves airplanes, airplanes, and more airplanes. 

Sophia Wenthe, wenth010@umn.edu: Sophie is a 2nd year PhD student in the Comparative Molecular Biosciences (CMB) program. She has a BA in Biology, Society, & Environment and a math minor from the University of Minnesota. Her research focuses on the development of iPSC cancer organoids and their use in establishing tumor-immune models. Outside of the lab, she enjoys running, reading, and being with family and friends.

Undergraduates

Sanjana Arji,arji0001@umn.eduSanjana joined the lab as an undergraduate in the fall of 2020 as a second year Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development major at the College of Biological Sciences. Her work involves finding efficient ways to genetically edit natural killer (NK) cells to fight prostate cancer cells. Sanjana’s hopes to practice medicine and/or pursue medical research in the future. 

Paige Carlson, carl6267@umn.edu Paige joined the lab in May of 2022 at the end of her second year majoring in Cellular & Organismal Physiology in the College of Biological Sciences. She works with Chris Sipe on his projects involving the genetic correction of Fanconi anemia, a rare bone marrow failure disorder, using Cas9 base editors. Paige plans to pursue a career in medicine in the future.

Lewis Holmberg, holmb272@umn.edu: Lewis joined the lab in May of 2021 at the end of his first year pursuing a major in Biomedical Engineering at the school of Science and Engineering. He works in the Tumor Infiltrating Lymphocyte (TIL) clinical trial group under Anthony DeFeo. Lewis hopes to both practice medicine and continue to research in the future to pursue treatments for cancer and other genetic diseases.

Jaron Magstadt, jmagstad@umn.edu: Jaron joined the lab in November of 2020 as a first-year undergraduate majoring in Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development and minoring in Sociology. He works with Gabrielle Robbins on her projects involving the editing of natural killer cells. Jaron hopes to attend medical school in pursuit of a career as a pediatric oncologist. 

Ethan Niemeyer, nieme098@umn.edu: Ethan joined the lab in October of 2021 as an undergraduate student majoring in biology in the College of Biological Sciences. He works with receiving packages, stocking lab supplies, and other general lab duties. Ethan plans to attend medical school in pursuit of a career in family medicine.

Alex Nilsson, nilss051@umn.eduAlex joined this lab as an undergraduate in May of 2021 as a third year Neuroscience major in the College of Biological Sciences. He works with receiving supplies, taking inventory, stocking, and benchwork. Alex plans to study neuroendocrinology and pursue a career in transgender health/research.

Yueting Zhao, zhao1455@umn.edu: Yueting joined the lab in September of 2021 as an undergraduate majoring Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development at the College of Biological Sciences. Her current work involves finding efficient ways to genetically edit natural killer (NK) cells against cancer cells and exploring RNase expression profiles in NK cells. Yueting hopes to pursue biomedical research regarding cancer immunotherapy in the future.

Administrative Team

Rick Jacobson, Administrative Support, rickj@umn.edu (612-626-5501)

Selena Arellano, Principal Accounts Specialist, arell068@umn.edu

Past Lab Members

Researcher

  • Kenta Yamamoto (May 2019 - May 2021)
  • Kyle O'Connor (March 2020 - May 2021)
  • Xiaohong Qiu (June 2019 - August 2020)
  • Blaine Rathmann (December 2018 - August 2020)
  • Cara-lin Lonetree (2017-2020)
  • Mitchell Kluesner (June 2017 - June 2021)

Post Docs

PhD

  • Emily Pomeroy (August 2016 - May 2021)
  • Branden Smeester (July 2015 - May 2020)

Masters Students

  • Hanna Thueson (May 2019 - May 2021)
  • Tianxia Lan

Undergraduate Students

  • Aneesha Andrew (May 2019 - June 2021)
  • Kenta Yamamoto (September 2018 - May 2019)