Former O'Donnell Lab Students

Collin Krasowski

Originally from: Buffalo, NY

B.S. in Biological Sciences from Duquesne University (May 2016)

Present in Lab: May 2015 - July 2016

Currently attending Daemen College PA School in Amherst NY

 

Collin is a former undergraduate researcher from the O'Donnell lab and was focused on understanding how α-arretins contribute to trafficking of the mammalian potassium transporter, Kir2.1. Kir2.1 is important for maintaining potassium homeostasis in cardiac cells and so this project has important clinical implications. Collin is attending the Daemen College PA School in Amherst NY as of the fall of 2016.

 

Tova Finkelstein

Originally from: Baltimore, MD

Present in Lab: January 2015 - August 2017

Currrently pursoing a Biochemistry Major at Barnard College of Columbia University

Tova was one of the first high school students to work in the O'Donnell Lab, using a computational approach to identify potential cargo pairs with the α-arrestin Ldb19. During her time in lab Tova successfully cloned multiple new GFP-tagged cargo for α-arrestins and defined many new α-arrestin-regulated cargoes. She is pursuing a major in biochemistry at Barnard College, with the ultimate goal of pursuing a Ph.D. within scientific research.

 

Hilary Serbin

Originally from: Pittsburgh, PA

Present in Lab: August 2015 - August 2016

Currently pursuing a Biology Major at the University of Pittsburgh

 

Hilary was a high school student working in the O'Donnell Lab, and used a computational approach to identify potential cargo pairs with the α-arrestins Aly1 and Aly2.  Hilary's data clearly defined two new cargo for Aly1 and Aly2 and has lead to a new model for Aly1- and Aly2-mediated cargo selection. She is currently studying biology at the University of Pittsburgh in hopes of later pursuing a MD.

Taylor Robinson

Present in Lab: May 2016 - August 2016

Currently attending The Ellis School

 

Taylor was a high school student working in the O'Donnell Lab for the summer of 2016, and used a computational approach to identify and clone potential cargo pairs for the α-arrestin Ldb19.  She is currently a senior at The  Ellis School.

Joshua Pirl

Present in Lab: January 2015 - June 2015

Currently attending Brown University

 

Josh was a high school student working in the O'Donnell Lab, and during his time in lab he worked on identifying the role of ubiquitination in regulating a-arrestin function. Josh recently returned to the URP program at Duquesne in the summer of 2016 and worked in Nathan Clark's lab at the University of Pittsburgh on a collaborative project to use computational approaches to identify cargo recognition motifs for α-arrestins. He is currently a sophomore studying biology at Brown University.

Beatrice Milnes 

Present in Lab: May 2016 - November 2016

Currently attending Taylor Alderdice High School

 

Beatrice was one of the high school students working in the O'Donnell Lab, using a computational approach to identify and clone potential cargo pairs for the α-arrestin Ldb19. 

Devin Greene 

Present in Lab: September 2016 - December 2016

Currently pursing a Biology major, Minors in Math and Biochemistry at Duquesne University

 

Devin was one of the  O'Donnell Lab undergraduate volunteers (geared towards gaining experience within a lab setting).

 

 

Present in Lab: January 2016 - December 2016

Currently pursing a Biology Major at Duquesne University

Patrice was an undergraduate researcher in the O'Donnell Lab, and used a computational approach to identify potential cargo pairs with the α-arrestin Ldb19.

 

 

Patrice Clemenza 

Alexiy Nikiforov- Rotational Student

Originally from: Minsk, Belarus

B.S. in Biology from University of Pittsburgh, Greensburg Campus (2010)

Currently pursuing his Ph.D. in Biological Sciences Duquesne University

Present in Lab: January 2017 - April 2017

 

Alexiy was the O'Donnell lab's  rotational graduate student for the spring of 2017. His rotational project focused on using a computational approach to identify potential cargo pairs with the α-arrestin Ldb19.

Gretchen Pratt

Originally from: Erie PA

Currently pursing a Biomedical Engineering Major and Math Minor at Duquesne University

Joined the lab: September 2016

Gretchen is one of the O'Donnell Lab undergraduate volunteers and was involved in quantifying microscopy images and learning about statistical analyses as part of a larger project aimed at defining new arrestin cargoes.

 

 

Benjamin Robinson- Research Technician I

Originally from Pittsburgh, PA

B.S. in Biological Sciences from the University of Pittsburgh (2015), Minors in Chemistry, Theater (Acting)

Present in lab: January 2016-September 2017

 

Ben was the first lab technician for the O'Donnell Lab and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. at Drexel University in the Spiliotis Lab. During those rare times he was not doing science, he enjoyed theater and film critiquing, tea sampling, and card magic.

 

 

Jackson Moore 

Present in Lab: June 2017 - August 2017

Currently attending Taylor Alderdice High School

 

Jackson was one of the high school students working in the O'Donnell Lab, using a computational approach to identify and clone potential cargo pairs for the α-arrestin Ldb19. 

Lan Anh Le 

Present in Lab: June 2017 - August 2017

Currently attending SciTech

 

Lan Anh was one of the high school students working in the O'Donnell Lab, helping to create gene deletions to understand the regulation of the potassium channel Kir2.1. 

Mike Hall

Present in Lab: May 2016 - August 2017

Mike Hall joined the O'Donnell lab for the summer of 2017 following his completion of the Cell and Molecular Biology 2 Lab course.  He continued investigating the top candidates from the genetic screen performed during the lab course as well as assisting in replicating the screen itself.  Mike was also able to pitch in on the Evolutionary Rate Covariation project by quantifying image data and providing support to lab members during his time.  

 

Kaitlyn Michalow 

Originally from: Washington PA

Currently pursuing a Biology Major and Minor in Biochemistry at Duquesne University

Present in lab: September 2015-December 2017

 

Kaitlyn was a current undergraduate researcher in the O'Donnell lab and was using a computational approach to identify potential cargo pairs with the α-arrestin Ldb19. She plans to attend medical  school after graduation, and would like to specialize in cardiology. When not in the lab, she engages in a variety of active (volleyball, running, and gym workouts) and inactive (professional Netflix and food connoisseur) pursuits, all while finding time to play classical music on her violin.

 

Originally from: Istanbul, Turkey

B.S. in Biology from Hacettepe University (2007)

M.S. in the Department of Medical Biology and Genetics from Gazi University (2016)

Currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Biological Sciences Duquesne University

Present in lab lab August 2017-December 2017

Emine was working on the Evolutionary Rate Covariation (ERC) project helping to validate new α-arrestin cargos by assessing the localization and abundance of GFP-tagged cargo proteins lacking specific α-arrestins. Before Duquesne she worked as a middle school science teacher several years. She loves hiking and discovering nature and new places.

Emine F. Kahveci- Rotational Student

Faba Malik 

Originally from: Pittsburgh, PA

Currently pursing a Biology Major, Minors in Arabic and Spanish at Duquesne University

Present in Lab: January 2015- July 2018

 

Faba was the senior undergraduate researcher in the O'Donnell lab and was focused on the role of ubiquintation in regulating Aly1- and Aly2-mediated protein trafficking. Her future plans include pursing a D.MD/Ph.D  program, with the goal to join Doctors Without Borders and ultimately open her own clinic. When not in the lab, she enjoyed learning two additional languages to add to the four she already knows, simultaneously reading books while listening to bad pop music, or preparing for the great power and responsibility she will possess as one of next semester's RAs.

 

 

Abdullah Malik 

Originally from: Pittsburgh PA

Currently pursing a double major in Biology and Entrepreneurship at Duquesne University

Joined the lab: May 2016

 

Abdullah joined the O'Donnell Lab in May of 2016 after serving as the Student Assistant. He is working on the Evolution Rate Covariation (ERC) project helping to validate new α-arrestin cargos by assessing the localization and abundance of GFP-tagged cargo proteins lacking specific α-arrestins.  

Abdullah plans to enroll in either medical school or graduate school after completing his undergraduate work. He has a twin sister, roots for the Patriots despite his location in Pittsburgh, and is in the process of writing his first book (details are sketchy, but the rumor is it involves a post- apocalyptic civil war on future-earth).

 

 

Originally from: Wilkes-Barre, PA

Currently pursing a degree in Neuroscience and Spanish at Dickinson College

Joined the lab: May 2018

Justina became part of the lab as a Neuroscience Fellow through the Summer NURE program at Duquesne. She assists graduate student Natalie Hager on a portion of her project that seeks to understand the role of alpha arrestins in the regulation of the mammalian potassium transporter, ROMK, which is expressed in the kidney. Her future plans include pursuing an MD/PhD to hopefully be an orthopedic surgeon with a PhD in Neuroscience that will give insight about post-surgery pain management. When not occupied with science, Justina likes to ride horses, paint, and eat BBQ chips.  

 

 

 

Justina Warnick 

Originally From: Pittsburgh PA

Currently attending University of Pittsburgh

Joined the lab: July 2016

 

Uthman was a high school student who worked in the O'Donnell Lab, and used a computational approach to identify potential cargo pairs with the α-arrestin Ldb19. Uthman currently attends the University of Pittsburgh pursuing research and premed. When not in the lab, he enjoys watching and playing basketball (in both the virtual and real world), computer coding, and learning more about subjects like physics and math.

Uthman Fadu 

Austin Summers 

Originally From: South Carolina 

Currently attending Sci-Tech High School

Joined the lab: June 2018

 

Austin is a high school student working in the O'Donnell Lab, and helping graduate student Wes Bowman analyze candidates from his ScUbI screen. Austin intends to pursue either a masters degree or PhD in biology. When not in the lab, he enjoys drawing and playing soccer. 

Originally from: Pittsburgh, PA

B.S. in Biological Sciences from University of Pittsburgh (2010)

Currently pursuing his Ph.D. in Biological Sciences at Duquesne University

Present in the lab: April 2018-December 2018

Dave worked on the Evolutionary Rate Covariation (ERC) project helping to validate new α-arrestin cargos by assessing the localization and abundance of GFP-tagged cargo proteins lacking specific α-arrestins. Future plans include doing a post-doc, and then running his own research lab. In his spare time  Dave enjoys skiing, playing the guitar and piano, kayaking, and spending time with his wife and new born son. 

Dave Macar 

Max Dahlen

Originally from: Poolsville Maryland

Currently pursuing a degree in biochemistry with a minor in chemistry and American history at the University of Pittsburgh

Joined the lab: January 2019

Max joined the lab in January of 2019 during his senior year. He worked on the Evolutionary Rate Covariation (ERC) project that validates new α – arrestin cargos by analyzing and quantifying the localization and saturation of GFP-tagged cargo proteins lacking specific α – arrestins. When Max was not quantifying he likes to salsa dance and read a good book. 

Karandeep Chera (Junior)

Originally from: Pittsburgh, PA

Currently pursing a degree in Biology with a minor in mathmatics at Duquesne University

Joined the lab: January 2018

Karandeep joined the lab in January of 2018 during his sophomore spring semester at Duquesne University. His current focus is aiding graduate student Ray Bowman in completing a screen of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae Ubiquitin Interactome (ScUbi) gene deletion library as well as investigating candidates from previous screens of the same library. a-Arrestins play a pivotal in the selection redistribution of proteins, often in response to cues from the extracellular environment. This library helps to identify specific a-arrestin regulators associated with the ubiquitination, a post-translational modification which plays a role in modifying a-arrestin function. Thus, ScUbi contains all of the non-essential genes annotated as important for ubiqutination and ubiqutin interaction. 

Karandeep plans to enroll in medical school after completing his undergrad work. He is a huge Steelers fan, which you could easily tell by walking into his dorm. When not in the lab he likes to play basketball, football, and soccer. However, when he is feeling lazier he is a movie fanatic. 

Originally from Newtown, PA

B.S. in Neuroscience from the University of Pittsburgh (2018)

Joined lab: March 2018

David is the lab's second technician and joined the lab full time in May 2018. After graduating from University of Pittsburgh, he wanted to grow his molecular biology experience as well as give himself time between undergraduate and graduate studies. David is considering either going to graduate school to pursue a PhD in neuroscience or attending seminary to become a pastor. Currently, David is working to find how hexose transporters interact with alpha arrestins under different conditions as well as making sure the lab doesn't burn down. Outside of lab David enjoys running, hiking, reading, and finding new restaurants in Pittsburgh to try. 

 

 

 

David Augustine- Research Technician I

Joseph Crooks 

Originally from: Bucks County, Pennsylvania

Currently pursuing a degree in Biological Sciences and a Certificate in Conceptual Foundations of Medicine

Joined the lab: January 2019

Joseph joined the lab in January 2019 during his sophomore year after spending a year as a Research Assistant at Boston Children’s Hospital and attending Northeastern University. He has not yet been assigned to a research project in the O’Donnell lab but has been assisting on many, and he will soon be paired with a graduate student based on his research interests. In the future, he plans to attend medical school after completing his undergraduate studies. In his free time, he is training to become an EMT and plays intramural soccer at the University of Pittsburgh. Joseph also loves the TV show Brooklyn Nine-Nine and enjoys reading books on astrophysics when he is not working in the lab.

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Jameson Davis - Research Technician III

Originally from Bethesda, MD

B.S. in Molecular Biology from the University of Pittsburgh (2019)

Joined lab: June 2019

Jameson was a research technician in our lab. After graduating from the University of Pittsburgh, he joined us full-time in June 2019. Jameson plans to pursue graduate studies in cell and molecular biology in the future. He worked to define novel functions for the alpha-arrestins that have emerged as a result of our Evolutionary Rate Covariation (ERC) analysis. Outside of lab, Jameson likes sailing and playing chess.  

 

 

 

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Originally From: Pittsburgh

High School: Taylor Allderdice

Currently attending Carnegie Mellon University

Joined the lab: October 2018

Sara was a high school student working in the O’Donnell Lab investigating possible analogous function between mammalian and yeast a-arrestins through transforming mammalian a-arrestins into yeast cells. She is currently applying to colleges, and intends to pursue a master’s degree or PhD in biology or physics. Outside of the lab, Sara enjoys working on the school newspaper, playing ultimate frisbee, and spending time with her dog.

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Sara Liang (12th Grade)

Ceara McAtee

Originally from: State College, PA

Currently pursing her PhD at Yale University

College: degree in Biology with a minor in chemistry at the University of Pittsburgh

Joined the lab: August 2018

Ceara worked with Natalie Hager in the lab, defining how ROMK, a mammalian renal potassium channel, is regulated by alpha-arrestins.  The O'Donnell lab has show that alpha-arrestins regulate another mammalian potassium channel (Kir2.1) expressed in yeast.  Alpha-arrestins promote intracellular sorting of Kir2.1 to the cell surface, which is important in cardiac function.  ROMK maintains potassium homeostasis in the kidneys.  Understanding how alpha arrestins regulate intracellular sorting and endosomal recycling of ROMK has important biomedical implications.  Ceara will be working on defining the role of alpha arrestins in controlling ROMK, determining other molecular players involved in alpha-arrestin related sorting pathways, and developing tools for imaging potassium channels and other transmembrane proteins at the cell surface.

Ceara plans to go to graduate school after Pitt. When she's not in lab, she loves the fiber arts -- knitting, crocheting, spinning yarn, lucetting, and felting. Ceara also enjoys reading, baking, and learning Irish.

Kenny Callahan 

Originally from: East Granby, CT

Currently pursuing his PhD at Brown University

College: Degree in Chemistry and Mathematics at Marlboro College.

Joined the lab: May 2018

Kenny enjoys playing pool, spending time in the woods, and listening to 90's rap. Kenny currently worked with David and Dr. O'Donnell on elucidating the function of the alpha arrestin Rog3 in the hexose transporter 4 pathway. In the future he would like to pursue a PhD in biology and bioinformatics so that he can approach problems from both a wet-lab and mathematical modeling standpoint.

 

 

 

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