Student Handbook

Detailed information about the program, program curriculum, student requirements, policies, and procedures can be found in the Molecular Biology Student Handbook.


 NameResearch InterestDegreeMentor
Chris AldermanChristopher AldermanDetermine the MOA of a small molecule compound 8430 targeting eIF3eBS, Biochemistry/Molecular Biology, Emporia State University, 2017Zhao, Rui
Raisa BailonRaisa Bailon  The molecular genetics controlling vertebrate skeletal appendage formationBS, Molecular Biology, Stetson University, 2017Nichols, James
Chloe Barrington-HamChloe Barrington-HamWorking towards engineering nucleases to measure genome-wide diffusion dynamicsBS, Cellular and Molecular Biology, University of North Carolina, 2014Rissland, Olivia
Kathryn BartholomayKathryn Bartholomay  Investigating the RNA binding protein Muashi-2 and its implications for steroidogenesis. BA, North Dakota State University,  2019Mukherjee, Neelanjan
Cameron BennettCameron Bennett2nd Year MOLB StudentBS, Genomics, Michigan St University, 2021Sagerstrom, Charles
Giovana Breda VeroneziGiovana Breda Veronezi  MS, Cell Biology, Universidade Estuadual de Campinas, 2017Ramachandran, Srinivas
Chloe BrineyChloe Briney, T32 Appointee


BA, Biochemistry, Grinnell College, 2017Rissland, Olivia
Michael BrownMichael Brown1st Year MOLB StudentBS, Molecular Biology, Colorado College, 2022Rotating
Brandon BuckBrandon Buck, INCLUDE 32 Awardee

Characterizing and detecting cancers through the use of subnucleosomal and nucleosomal cell-free DNA found in blood plasma.

BS, Biological Sciences, Florida State University, 2017; MS Cell and Molecular Biology, Florida State University 2020Ramachandran, Srinivas
Abbie BurtisAbbie Burtis, T32 Appointee2nd Year MOLB StudentBS, MCDB, University of Michigan, 2020Burchill, Matthew
Julia CeglowskiJulia CeglowskiBolie ScholarDetermining the role of TTLL12 and the tubulin code during mitosisBA, Biology, Colgate University, 2016Prekeris, Rytis
Benjamin CoopermanBen CoopermanPolarization during sporulation and germination of budding yeast.BA, Biology, California State University - Northridge, 2015; MS, Molecular Pharmacology and Technology, University of Southern California, 2018McMurray, Michael
Kristin Dahl

Kristin Dahl

mTOR regulation of oligodendrocyte cytoskeleton rearrangement during myelinationBS, Zoology, Ohio State University, 2007Macklin, Wendy
Destiny DeNicolaDestiny DeNicola2nd Year MOLB StudentBS, Biochemistry, University of Arizona, 2019Burchill, Matthew
Arely DiazArely Diaz, Bolie ScholarINCLUDE 32 AwardeeRNA-binding protein function in fat metabolism using Drosophila melanogasterBS, Microbiology, University of Texas, El Paso, 2018Reis, Tania
Kaiah FieldsKaiah Fields, T32 Appointee  Determining the immune cell intrinsic role of Eya3 in triple-negative breast cancer progression.BS, Biochemistry, Azusa Pacific University, 2017Ford, Heide
Placeholder silhouette of a personGinny Fogg1st Year MOLB StudentBS, Molecular Biology, University of Texas at Dallas, 2022Rotating
Thomas FormanThomas FormanRNA in muscle biology and its implications in health and disease.BS, University of OregonFantauzzo, Katherine
Annika GustafsonAnnika Gustafson, T32 AppointeeMy research focuses on the differential regulation of SIX1 in normal muscle development and the pediatric cancer, rhabdomyosarcoma. BA in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology from the University of Colorado, BoulderFord, Heide
Grace GustafsonGrace Gustafson1st Year MOLB StudentBS, Biological Sciences, Arizona State University, 2022Rotating
Evan HarrisonEvan Harrison2nd Year MOLB StudentBS, Biochemistry, Michigan State University, 2020Tucker, Chandra
MOLB Katie HoffKatie HoffBolie ScholarThe regulation of microtubule networks in migrating neurons

BS, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, 2018

Moore, Jeff
Roy Khair

Roy Khair, T32 Appointee


Investigating the effect of ethanol intoxication and burn injury on pulmonary antimicrobial peptides and designing stem-cell-based therapeutic interventions to treat lung inflammation.BS, State University of New York, Stony Brook, 2016Kovacs, Elizabeth
Divya KolakadaDivya Kolakada Exploring Mechanisms That Limit Truncated Proteins In The CellBS, Rollins College, 2017Jagannathan, Sujatha
Rachael KosteleckyRachael Kostelecky1st Year MOLB StudentBS, Biology, Metropolitan State University, Denver, 2018Rotating
Placeholder silhouette of a personRaymundo Lerma1st Year MOLB StudentBS, Molecular Biology, University of Denver, 2016Rotating
Grant LoGrant LoStudies general mechanisms of RNA localization to the centrosome and how mislocalization contributes to cancerBA, Washington University, 2015Taliaferro, Matt
Joelle LoJoelle Lo

Investigating hnRNPA2/B1 mediated RNA localization mechanisms in neuronal cells

BS, Western Washington University, 2019

Matthew Taliaferro
Mlana LoreMlana Lore, T32 Appointee2nd Year MOLB StudentBS, Biology, Eckerd College, 2021Jagannathan, Sujatha
Alyssa MargolisAlyssa Margolis, T32 Appointee

Understanding the role of arginine metabolism in Salmonella pathogenesis and resistance to oxidative stress.

BS, Microbiology, Colorado State University 2015Vasquez-Torres, Andres
Placeholder silhouette of a personCharlotte Marchioni1st Year MOLB StudentBA, Biology, Hendrix College, 2016Rotating
Bailey McCurdyBailey McCurdy2nd Year MOLB StudentBS, Cell & Molecular Biology, Western Washington University, 2019Pearson, Chad
Cassie MinneCassie Minne1st Year MOLB StudentBS, Microbiology, University of Alabama, 2022Rotating
Charlie MoffattCharlie Moffatt, INCLUDE 32 AwardeeIn depth characterization of the molecular determinants of RNA localization to neural projections using high throughput techniquesBA, Biology, University of California Santa Barbara, 2020Taliaferro, Matthew
MOLB Evan Morrison

Evan Morrison, HHMI Gilliam Fellow

Primary protein sequence regulates gene expressionBS, Chemistry, BA, Philosophy, Metropolitan State University Denver, 2016Rissland, Olivia
Oscar MunozOscar Munoz, T32 Appointee2nd Year MOLB StudentBS, Physiology, UC San Diego, 2021Jagannathan, Sujatha
Katia NinoKatia NinoUnderstanding how chronic inflammation drives hematologic malignancies.BS, Biological Sciences, California State University Fullerton, 2019Pietras, Eric
MOLB Catherine NicholasCatherine NicholasUsing nucleic acid-protein conjugates as molecular trackers.BA, Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology, University of Colorado Boulder, 2015Hesselberth, Jay
Andrew NeumannAndrew Neumann, T32 Appointee2nd Year MOLB StudentBS, Cell & Molecular Biology, George Fox University, 2021Prekeris, Rytis
Natasia PaukovichNatasia Paukovich, INCLUDE 32 Awardee Characterizing the structure and function of inherently disordered proteins via NMR.BS, Biochemistry, University of Denver, 2015 Vogeli, Beat
Placeholder silhouette of a personMegan Pockalny1st Year MOLB StudentBS, Biology, University of California, San Diego, 2018Rotating
Graduate Student Deviyani RaoDeviyani Rao, INCLUDE 32 AwardeeUsing Giardia as a model organism to understand the evolution of translation.BA, University of Colorado Boulder, 2012Rissland, Olivia
Rachel SachsRachel Sachs2nd Year MOLB StudentBS, Biology, Quest University, 2017Prekeris, Rytis
Dylan SarbaughDylan Sarbaugh Understanding the role of Chd4 in the development and function of pancreatic beta cells.BS, Biotechnology, City University of New York, City College, 2017Sussel, Lori
Kate SegarKate Segar, T32 Appointee2nd Year MOLB StudentBS, Molecular & Cellular Biology, University of Puget Sound, 2019Kieft, Jeff
Magdalena SoteloMagdalena Sotelo1st Year MOLB StudentBA, Molecular Biology, Colorado College, 2021Rotating
MOLB Luuli TranLuuli TranUnderstanding the gene regulatory networks that drive neural progenitors in the dorsal forebrain towards an oligodendrocyte fate.BS, Neuroscience, Indiana University, 2017Franco, Santos
Katie VaethKatie Vaeth2nd Year MOLB StudentBS, Biology & Mathematics, Saint Louis University 2021Taliaferro, Matthew
Taylor ValliereTaylor Valliere2nd Year MOLB StudentBS, Biology, Regis University, 2021Rissland, Olivia
Linnea WethekamLinnea WethekamTubulin proteostasis in budding yeastBS, Denison University, 2016Moore, Jeffrey
Art WolinArt WolinThe role of EYA2 in multiple brain cancer models.MS, Biochemistry, University of Michigan, 2015 Ford, Heide
Randi YeagerRandi Yeager

Post-transcriptional control of mating-type gene expression in Saccharomyces cerevisiae spores

BS Biology, Franciscan University, 2015

McMurray, Michael


Name Thesis Title Mentor Year GraduatedWhere To? 
Rachel JonesUnderstanding the structural and biochemical properties of viral exoribonuclease-resistant RNA structures in distant FlavivirusesKieft, JeffreyPhD 2022 
Johnathon SchaferMechanism by which PD-L1 can affect signaling into stromal cells critical for immune system functionTamburini, BethPhD 2022 
Roberto Castro-GutierrezEvading the immune system: Designing pancreatic beta cells to treat autoimmune diabetesRuss, HolgerPhD 2022 
Sara EspinosaHuman PRPF39 a new alternative splicing factor recruiting U1 snRNP to weak 5' splice sitesZhao, RuiPhD 2022 
Raeann GoeringInvestigating Mechanisms of RNA Localization Across Cell TypesTaliaferro, MatthewPhD 2022Postdoc, CU Anschutz
Harry ParkTherapeutic Resistance to FLT3 Inhibition in Acute Myeloid Leukemia Cells is Driven by a Novel ATM/MTOR Pathway Regulating Oxidative PhosphorylationDeGregori, JamesPhD 2022CU Anschutz School of Medicine
James TillMetabolic Determinants of Aminoglycoside LethalityVazquez-Torres, AndresPhD 2022Test Method Development Scientist, Watchmaker Genomics
Laura WhiteDirect detection of RNA repairHesselberth, JayPhD 2022Research Associate, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus
David KitzenbergStrategies to potentiate antibiotics against tolerant and persister bacteriaColgan, SeanPhD 2022Founder & CEO, Primer Pharmaceuticals Corp.
Joseph ClevelandSynthetic Control of Protein Activity through Reconstitution and FragmentationTucker, ChandraPhD 2022Testing Personnel, Home Genetics (CO)
Emily DuncanRegulation of small GTPases during cell migrationPrekeris, RytisPhD 2022Scientist I, Birch Biosciences (OR)
Claire GilletteInvestigating the Role of RNA-binding Proteins in Fat Storage RegulationReis, TaniaPhD 2022Postdoc, CU Anschutz Medical Campus, Scott Cramer Lab
Stephan RamosElucidating the Cellular and Molecular Requirements for the Generation of Functional Human Thymic Tissue from Pluripotent Stem CellsRuss, HolgerPhD 2022Postdoc, Stanford University, Dr. Seung Kim Lab
Justin RobertsInvestigation of the RNA Modification m6A in the Context of Breast CancerJohnson, AaronPhD 2022Postdoc, University of South Alabama College of Medicine, Mark Gillespie Lab
Kimberly WellmanThe RNA-binding Protein ZFP36L2 Regulates Human Adrenocortical Steriodogenesis Through Post-Transcriptional ControlMukherjee, NeelanjanPhD 2022Scientist, A-Alpha Bio
Danielle BilodeauUnusual features of post-transcriptional regulation in Giardia lambliaRissland, OliviaPhD, 2021Postdoc, Université Sainte-Anne, Shawn Craik Lab
Laura GeorgeDevelopmental Bioelectricity: Investigating the Role of Ion Channels in DevelopmentBates, EmilyPhD, 2021Circle of Care Colorado
Ashley DenneyThe role of molecular chaperones in folding and oligomerization of human tumor suppressor p53 and budding yeast septinsMcMurray, MichaelPhD, 2021University of Colorado School of Medicine, Further Training
Cayla JewettMembrane trafficking pathways in cell polarization and lumen formationPrekeris, RytisPhD, 2021Postdoc, Johns Hopkins, Andrew Holland Lab

Rachel Ancar


RNA cleavage and processing in innate immunity

Hesselberth, Jay

PhD, 2021

Medical Student, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Further Training

Marlie Fisher


ETV6 in megakaryopoesis

Di Paola, Jorge

PhD, 2021

Medical Student, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Further Training

Eric Jaffe


Non-neural ectoderm and neural tube closure

Niswander, Lee

PhD, 2021

Science Teacher, Philadelphia, PA

Gabriella Li


Intrinsic control of microtubule dynamics

Moore, Jeff

PhD, 2021

Postdoctoral Fellow National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL)

Erik Linklater


Regulation of cancer cell migration and invasion by Rab40b.

Prekeris, Rytis

PhD, 2021

Sr. Scientist at PPD

Johannes Menzel

Development of REREPSEQ to Investigate DNA Replication as a Source of Gene Amplifications

Black, Joshua

PhD, 2021

Postdoctoral Fellow, James DeGregori Lab

Ruth Wang


Understanding the role of the microbiota in intestinal mucosal homeostasis.

Colgan, Sean

PhD, 2021

Medical Student, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Further Training

Stephen Wu


piRNA driven heterochromatin formation

Johnson, Aaron

MS, 2021

Associate Scientist, Karyopharm Therapeutics Inc.

Katie Yergert


Molecular Mechanisms Underlying mRNA Localization to Myelin Sheaths

Appel, Bruce H.


Postdoctoral Fellow at Emory University

Amanda Richer

Single Cell Analysis of Biochemical Phenotypes.

Hesselberth, Jay R.2020Research Scientist, University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus
Emmanuel Rosas

Developing an unbiased synthetic nucleoside Bromodeoxyuridine incorporation technique that can enrich genomic regions that experience re-replication.

Richer, Jennifer K.2020Postdoctoral Fellow, ASERT-IRACDA Program, University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center
Kim Callahan (MS)Investigating the RNA binding protein, TRUB1, that negatively regulates human steroidogenesis Mukherjee, Neelanjan2020 Genomics Lab Research, National Jewish Health
Casey Troy Simoes (MS)Developing a method to block protein-peptide interactions using a small molecule Tucker, Chandra L.2020 Contract Writer, Valnet
Tessa Arends The role of alternative splicing in B cells Hagman, James R. 2019 Postdoctoral Fellow, Fred Hutchinson Center
Patrick Cherry RNA processing regulates the Unfolded Protein Response Hesselberth, Jay R. 2019 Scientist 1, Zymergen
Ariel Hernandez Smad4 mutantion in small-cell carcinoma Wang, Xiao-Jing 2019Medical Student, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Further Training
Molly Kingsley The role of DOT1L in acute myeloid leukemia _x005F with IDH1/2 mutations Bernt, Kathrin 2019 Postdoctoral Fellow, CHOPs (Philadelphia)
Jennifer Rabe Interests involve understanding molecular mechanisms through which cell-intrinsic and microenvironmental deregulations in hematopoiesis collaborate to drive the pathogenesis of blood cancers. Pietras, Eric 2019Biomedical Research, Trumansburg, NY
Ryan Sheridan The Role of RNA Polymerase II Elongation Control in Transcription Dynamics Bentley, David L. 2019 Postdoctoral Fellow, Rbi Informatics Fellow, University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus, Further Training
Margaret Balas Long noncoding RNAs in heterochromatin establishment and maintenance Johnson, Aaron M. 2018 Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus, Further Training
Michael Cortazar-Osorio Regulation of premature transcriptional termination Bentley, David L. 2018 Postdoctoral Researcher, Jagannathan Lab, University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus, Further Training
Cassi Estrem Dynein regulation by its microtubule track and its influence on microtubule dynamics to properly position the mitotic spindle in budding yeast.Moore, Jeffrey 2018 Postdoctoral Fellow, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Further Training
Alexis Zukowski Sirtuin heterochromatin influence on DNA replication initiation Johnson, Aaron M. 2018 Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus, Further Training
Biniam Adane Mechanisms controlled oxidative state of leukemia stem cells Jordan, Craig T. 2017 Postdoctoral Fellow, Pediatric Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Further Training
Kelsey Hazegh My research focuses on determining the method and mechanism by which split ends and alan shepard contribute to fat regulation in Drosophila and whether it has a conserved role in mammalian cells. Reis, Tania2017 Research Associate, Vitalant Research Institute, Research Related
Anthony Mangan The role of cingulin in apical lumen formation in epithelial cells Prekeris, Rytis 2017 Visiting Assistant Professor, Le Moyne College
Eric Nguyen The role of long noncoding RNAs in epigenetic gene silencing Johnson, Aaron M. 2017 Medical Student, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Further Training
Daniel Rossbach Cdc7 Kinase regulation Sclafani, Robert A. 2017 Forensic Scientist 1, Minn Bureau of Criminal Apprehension
Hannah Scarborough Targeting lung cancers DeGregori, James V.2017 Medical Student, University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine, Further Training
Timothy Tapscott Regulation of RNA polymerase by oxidized DksA in Salmonella pathogenesis Vazquez-Torres, Andres 2017 Product Development Scientist, Integrated DNA Technologies, Research Intensive
Rebecca Vartuli Examining the role of Eyas in controlling immune responses, and their relationship to breast tumorigenesis Ford, Heide L. 2017 Senior Research Associate, Gates Biomanufacturing Facility (Uni of Colorado), Research Intensive
Leon Zheng The function of G protein receptors in colon epithelial cells and whether they are regulated by hypoxia in Dr. Sean Colgan's lab Colgan, Sean P. 2017 Medical Student, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Further Training
Alexandra Antonioli Determining the roles of factor H-Related proteins in Complement Regulation Holers, V. Michael 2016 Medical Student, University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine, Further Training
Louis Cicchini Innate Host Immune Recognition during Human Papillomavirus Infection Pyeon, Dohun 2016 Cell Separation and Immunology Specialist, STEMCELL Technologies, Research Intensive
Lydia Heasley Septin Dynamics and Functions During Meiosis in Saccharomyces Cerevisiae McMurray, Michael A. 2016 Postdoctoral Trainee, Colorado State University, Further Training
Abitha Jacob Targeting of MMPs to the invadapodia during breast cancer cell invasion Prekeris, Rytis 2016 Cell Therapy Process DeVelopment Scientist, PACT Pharma, Research Related
Deepika Neelakantan Non-cell autonomous role of six1 in crosstalk between metastatic and non-metastatic cells in breast cancer Ford, Heide L. 2016 Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Oklahoma HSC, Further Training
Sally Peach Legends of the Hidden Terminus: Analysis of RNAs with 5´-hydroxyl termini and their degradation by kinase-mediated decay Hesselberth, Jay R. 2016 Pediatrics Resident, Seattle Children’s Hospital, Research Related
Juliette Petersen Gene-enrionment interactions influence on the risk for neural tube defect Niswander, Leed2016 Aaas Science & Technology Fellow, Osd Health Readiness Policy & Oversight, U.S. Department of Defense, Research Relate
Christina Towers The Six1 oncoprotein represses translation of p53 via concomitant regulation of RPL26 and microRNA-27a Ford, Heide L. 2016 Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Further Training
Seth Welsh The functions of Early B Cell Factor 1 (EBF1) in transcriptional repression and human leukemia Hagman, James R.2016 Postdoctoral Fellow, DePt. of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Arizona, Further Training
Debra Bryan Genome-wide mapping of the DNA modification uracil and its mechanism of incorporation into DNA Hesselberth, Jay R. 2015 Scientist 2, Illumina, Research Related
Becky Fusby The role of human SPT6 in transcription regulation by RNA polymerase II Bentley, David L. 2015 Biosafety Scientist, NAMSA, Research Related
Yumeng Hao Biophysical and Functional Studies of pRNA: A Self-Associating RNA Kieft, Jeffrey S. 2015 Postdoctoral Researcher, Biophysics, Johns Hopkins University, Further Training
Michael Holliday Allosteric Communication Networks and Enzymatic Regulation as Mediated by Conformational Dynamics in the Cyclophilin Family of Peptidyl-Prolyl Isomerases Eisenmesser, Elan Z. 2015 Postdoctoral Fellow, Genentech Inc., Further Training
Laura Hudish microRNA Control Of Neural Progenitor Maintenance And Specification Appel, Bruce H. 2015 Postdoctoral Trainee, Lori Sussel Lab, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Further Training
Marisa Ruehle Exploring the dynamic mechanism of IGR IRES-driven translation using single-molecule FRET Kieft, Jeffrey S. 2015 Postdoctoral Fellow, Pearson Lab, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Further Training
Julie Woodman The role of phosphorylation in regulating the Scc2 cohesin deposition factor Megee, Paul C.2015 Assistant Professor, Colorado Christian University, Research Related
Kristopher Brannan Molecular analysis of transcriptional termination by human RNA polymerase II Bentley, David L. 2014 Postdoctoral Fellow, Dr. Gene Yeo, University of California, San Diego, Further Training
David Drasin MicroRNA-424 promotes a mesenchymal-like phenotype while inhibiting breast cancer stem cell-like properties Ford, Heide L. 2014 Senior Manager, Amgen, Inc., Research Related
Laura Harmacek Epigenetic Proteins Function in Neural Tube Closure and Neural Tube Defects Niswander, Lee A. 2014 Laboratory Researcher, National Jewish Health, Research Related
Justin Holt Metastasis Selects for Tumor Cell Sensitivity to the Autophagy Inhibitor Chloroquine Thorburn, Andrew M. 2014 Resident Physician, Oregon Health & Science University, Research Intensive
Terra-Dawn Plank The mechanisms of translation initiation by the leader of HIV-1 Kieft, Jeffrey S. 2014 Postdoctoral Scholar, Miles Wilkinsen Lab, University of California, San Diego, Further Training
Tyler Robin Novel mechanisms of chemoresistance and oncogensis in Ewing's sarcoma. Ford, Heide L. 2014 Resident Physician, Radiation Oncology, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Research Related
Melanie Scully Determining the effects of estrogen signaling on the endometrial microenvironment. Jackson, Twila 2014 Scientist, Thrive Bioscience, Research Related
Johnny Sena Development of an HRE-GFP reporter system for the identification of HIF regulatory effectors. Hu, Cheng-Jun 2014 Laboratory Coordinator, National Center for Genome Resources (NCGR), Research Intensive
Myrriah Tomar Chromatin Dynamics and Genomic Instability during Replicative Aging Tyler, Jessica K. 2014 Director, Office of Science & Technology, New Mexico Economic Development Department
Amanda Crunk McManaman, James2013Postdoctoral Associate, University of Pittsburgh
Roberto Perales Bentley, David L.2012Senior Scientist in Technology Development, Shape Therapeutics, Seattle, WA, USA
Vida Melvin Edwards, Dean2002Associate Professor, Metropolitan State University of Denver

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