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.

Celine Bogner, bogne004@umn.edu: Celine joined the lab in May 2021 after graduating from the University of Minnesota with a B.S. in Psychology and Neuroscience. She works with PhD student Gabrielle Robbins to knock out inhibitory genes and integrate novel chimeric antigen receptors in human NK cells to improve their efficacy as a treatment for osteosarcoma. Celine plans to pursue a PhD in neuroscience and explore her main research interests, which include genetic engineering, neuroplasticity, and neurodegenerative disease. Outside of the lab, she enjoys backpacking, gardening, attending concerts, and making art.

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.

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.

Matt Johnson: Matt, 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.

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: Walker 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 the induced pluripotent stem cell projects. She has a BS in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the University of Minnesota Duluth, and a MS in Integrated Biosciences with a focus in biomedical sciences from the University of Minnesota. She loves animals, biking, cross country skiing, ice skating, and autosports!

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. 

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.

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.

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.

Tanvi Mathur, mathu096@umn.edu: Tanvi is currently a Masters’ student in the Pharmacology program. She joined the lab in April 2021. Her research focuses on developing an intervention that will lead to durable remission of HIV infection using CAR NK cell immunotherapies in rhesus macaques along with Matthew Johnson. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Pharmacy from Osmania University, India. Outside of the lab, she enjoys spending time baking, cooking, and traveling. Tanvi plans to pursue a Ph.D. and continue to research in the field of immunotherapies for the treatment of cancer and other diseases.

Ella Lee, leex8363@umn.eduElla started as a PhD student 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. 

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. 

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. 

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.

Shannon Koperski, koper014@umn.edu: Shannon joined the lab in June 2021 as a CBS undergraduate student majoring in Microbiology and minoring in Mathematics and Public Health. She works in the Natural Killer cell project under Dr. Jae Chang. Shannon plans on going to graduate school for Epidemiology.

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. 

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.

Joseph Peterson, pet01059@umn.eduJoe joined the lab in January of 2019 while pursuing degrees in Microbiology and Russian. He helps graduate student Kanut Laoharawee in his experiments for monocyte and B-cell genome engineering. Joe's plans for the future optimistically include a graduate degree of his own.

Administrative Team

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

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

Shavontay Keomany, Account Specialist, thom2293@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)