Moriarity Lab Members
Jason Bell, firstname.lastname@example.org: 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, email@example.com: 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, firstname.lastname@example.org: Nathan 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.
Jae-Woong Chang, email@example.com: 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.
Andrew T. Crane, firstname.lastname@example.org. 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, email@example.com: Tony 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, firstname.lastname@example.org: 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, email@example.com: Micki is a Research Scientist and the Moriarity Lab Manager. She has a combined 33 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 and traveling.
Timothy Folsom, firstname.lastname@example.org: Tim 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.
Alexandria Gilkey (Alex), email@example.com: Alex joined the lab in November 2022 and assists with mouse projects for developing improved cancer therapies. Before transferring to the lab she worked as a lab animal care trainer with the University of Minnesota for 4 years, teaching lab members handling and technical skills on a variety of species. Outside of the lab, Alex loves boxing, rock climbing and spending time with her pets - two cats and two ferrets.
Jake Jensen, firstname.lastname@example.org: 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.
Jihyun Kim, email@example.com: 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, firstname.lastname@example.org: 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.
Rebecca Madden, email@example.com: Rebecca 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, firstname.lastname@example.org: 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.
Brett Napiwocki, email@example.com: Brett is a senior research scientist and expert in the field of human stem cell biology. His primary work focuses on developing a novel feeder-free monolayer iPSC-CD34 differentiation protocol that can be used to 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, firstname.lastname@example.org: Joe 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.
Nicholas Slipek, email@example.com: 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!
Anthony (Zeb) Trombetta, firstname.lastname@example.org: Zeb joined the lab in April 2022 as an undergraduate student before graduating with a B.S. in Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development. Prior to joining the lab, Zeb was working part-time as a Cell Isolation Technician specializing in perfusion cell isolation from donated human livers and kidneys for research purposes. As a full-time researcher, Zeb primarily works on optimizing gene-editing and engineering iPSCs and using iPSCs to produce immune cells for cell-based therapies. Zeb enjoys climbing and hiking with his dog Stella.
Young Vue, email@example.com: Young joined the lab in July 2022. He works closely with PhD student Rih-Sheng Huang on his projects in engineering CAR-NK cells for cancer immunotherapy. He has a BA in Information Technology & Management, a BS in Biology, and a Minor in Chemistry from Concordia University-Saint Paul. He was originally set on becoming an IT professional, but found an interest in medicine just before completing his BA. Throughout his BS he participated in an undergraduate research program at Concordia under Dr. Mong-Lin Yang's guidance which rekindled his love for the sciences and sparked a passion for research. He now has his goals set on an MDPhD with a focus in the field of Immunology. When he has free time, he enjoys playing video games, baking when stressed, and appreciating the easily missed beauties in life such as fluffy clouds, a clear night sky, and the smell of air. People think he is weird because of his love for Traditional Western Blots.
Bryce Wick, firstname.lastname@example.org: 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.
Kelsie Becklin, email@example.com: Kelsie is working as a post-doc in the Webber Lab where she is continuing her PhD thesis work. Her studies focus on creating bottom-up pediatric sarcoma models, using induced pluripotent stem cells and genetic engineering techniques. Specifically, these models have untapped potential in understanding how cancer initiates and the early stages of transformation, in a way previously unavailable. Kelsie hopes this work leads to new pathways for personalized therapeutic development to treat these devastating diseases. Outside the lab, Kelsie enjoys watching her son play sports, going horseback riding, and dining throughout the city.
Yumeng McDaniel, firstname.lastname@example.org: 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.
Sampy Mishra, email@example.com: Sampy is a post-doc and joined the lab in November 2022. Her primary work focuses on using iPSCs to understand how ancestry affects the incidence of Ewing sarcoma and its underlying molecular mechanisms. Prior to joining the lab, Sampy obtained her PhD in Dr. Dan Levy’s lab at the University of Wyoming where she utilized microscopy techniques to decipher the roles of nuclear F-actin in regulating nuclear morphology during development.
Colette Rogers, firstname.lastname@example.org: Colette is a post-doc that joined the lab in January 2023 and her primary research focus is in vivo genetic correction of Fanconi anemia (FA) patient mutations. Before joining the team, she obtained her Ph.D. in Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Biophysics studying DNA damage response pathways, including the FA pathway, in Drs. Eric A. Hendrickson and Anja-Katrin Bielinsky’s laboratories at the University of Minnesota. She also holds a B.S. in Biology with a certificate in Gender & Women’s Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Outside of lab, Colette enjoys trail running, going to breweries, gardening, and cuddles with her orange tabby cat.
Joseph Skeate, email@example.com: Joey is a postdoctoral T32-fellow 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. Outside of the laboratory, he’s an outdoor guy that enjoys cycling (even in the winter) and puts forward a continuous effort to foster the next generation of young scientists.
Prateek Thenge, firstname.lastname@example.org: Prateek is a master's student in the Molecular Pharmacology and Therapeutics (MPaT) program; he joined the lab in November 2022. He has a BS in pharmacy from Pune University in India. His primary focus in the lab is using engineered iPSCs to produce NK cells and also to engineer iNKs with the goal of creating therapeutics for treating cancer and cancer-based immunotherapies. Prateek enjoys talking, reading, traveling, stand-up comedy, and being a foodie.
Patricia Claudio Vázquez, email@example.com: Pat is a PhD candidate in the Molecular, Cellular, Developmental Biology and Genetics (MCDB&G) PhD Program. She has a BS in Biology from Universidad de Puerto Rico en Cayey. In the Moriarity lab, her research focuses on finding a genetic therapy for Severe Combined Immunodeficiency in Athabaskan-speaking Natives (SCID-A) using adenine base editor. When not in the lab, Pat likes spending time with her dog Oliver, watching movies & TV, reading and/or listening to books, cooking, crocheting, bouldering, and trying out new hobbies.
Ella Eaton, firstname.lastname@example.org: Ella 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, email@example.com: 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.
Amanda Rieffer, firstname.lastname@example.org: Amanda is a fifth-year graduate student in the Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Biophysics (BMBB) PhD Program. Though technically in the Harris Lab (now located at UTHSA), she has been warmly welcomed into the Moriarity Lab while she finishes her studies. She has a BS in Biochemistry from the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, Minnesota. Her research is focused on characterizing the dinucleotide biases of CBEs and utilizing assays to test in cellulo inhibitors of mutagenic APOBEC enzymes. When not in the lab, Amanda loves crocheting, anything horror-related, boardgames, gardening, and spending time with her two cats, Laszlo and Tig.
Gabrielle Robbins, email@example.com: Gabrielle 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.
Minging (Molly) Wang, firstname.lastname@example.org: 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, email@example.com: 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.
Sanjana Arji,firstname.lastname@example.org: Sanjana 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, email@example.com: 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.
Katelyn (Katie) Fitzgerald, firstname.lastname@example.org: Katie joined the lab in January of 2022 as a volunteer researcher. She works with Gabrielle Robbins on her projects designing CAR-NK cell therapies for osteosarcoma. Katie graduated with a B.S. in biomedical engineering and a genetics minor in Spring 2022, and will graduate with an M.S. in biomedical engineering and a biostatistics minor in Spring 2023. In her free time she enjoys running, bouldering, and reading.
Lewis Holmberg, email@example.com: 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.
Ethan Niemeyer, firstname.lastname@example.org: 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.
Amy Wang, email@example.com: Amy joined the lab in May of 2022 at the end of her first year majoring in Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development in the College of Biological Sciences. She works with Ella on her projects involving in vivo delivery of gene editing reagents. Amy hopes to pursue medical research or clinical laboratory science in the future.
Yueting Zhao, firstname.lastname@example.org: 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.
Rick Jacobson, Administrative Support, email@example.com (612-626-5501)
Leah Mackenzie, Accountant, firstname.lastname@example.org
Ordering Team Specialists, email@example.com
Past Lab Members
- Erin Stelljes (June 2021 - February 2023)
- Tim Hinkel (November 2020 - November 2022)
- 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)
- Walker Lahr (December 2016 - August 2022)
- Kanut Laoharawee (Left August 2022)
- Emily Pomeroy (August 2016 - May 2021)
- Chris Sipe
- Branden Smeester (July 2015 - May 2020)
- Hanna Thueson (May 2019 - May 2021)
- Tianxia Lan
- Aneesha Andrew (May 2019 - June 2021)
- Jaron Magstadt (November 2020 - May 2022)
- Alex Nilsson (May 2021 - September 2022)
- Kenta Yamamoto (September 2018 - May 2019)