STUDENTS

Current Students

NameThesis AdvisorResearch Interest
Alexandra BornBeat Vogeli, PhDAllosteric and dynamic relationships driving the mitotic regulator Pin 1
Alexis CatalaAngelo D’Alessandro, PhDBiotechnological reprogramming of viruses into therapeutic agents & investigations into dynamic multiparametric metabolic responses of living systems remodeled by pathophysiologic stimuli and/or genetic modifications.
Mark ConnollyRotatingMy primary research interest is the structural characteristics of chromatin that regulate cellular process such as gene transcription, cellular differentiation and replication.
Megan Cullinan
John Bankston, PhD
Structural dynamics of acid-sensing ion channels using biophysical and biochemical approaches
Rachel Culp-HillAngelo D’Alessandro, PhDConventional chemotherapy for acute myeloid leukemia eliminates most proliferating bulk tumor cells, but some of the leukemia stem cell population remains. These remaining cells can lead to disease progression and relapse; targeting them would result in better outcomes or even curative therapy for AML patients. Currently, I am working to characterize the aberrant fatty acid metabolism in leukemic stem cells using metabolomics and mass spectrometry, but my research also focuses on characterizing metabolic perturbations in leukemia, how altered pathways contribute to their phenotype, and how they can be targeted for therapeutic use.
Sara EspinosaRui Zhao, PhDMy research interest is understanding the molecular mechanism of pre-mRNA splicing and gene expression using biochemical, genetic, and structural approaches
Harrison FuchsCatherine Musselman, PhDI am interested in the mechanisms of chromatin signaling in the context of the nucleosome. Specifically, I'm currently working to learn about the conformational dynamics of the histone tails in the context of the nucleosome and how post-translational modifications alter these dynamics. Further, I am interested in understanding the implications of the histone tail dynamics on the read-out of chromatin signaling by histone reader domains. 
Alya HussainBeat Vogeli, PhDMy interests include functional receptor expression, cryo- EM, and neuroscience.
Aaron IssaianKirk Hansen, PhDInvestigating the function of Olduvai protein domains
Jeffrey KrallRotatingI am interested in protein structure and function, specifically, I want to understand how the structure of a protein affects its function.
Ian LaCroixRotatingMy research interest is currently driven by computation, while I work from home due to the COVID19 pandemic. I am very interested in research involving athletic performance optimization, metabolism dynamics, hypoxia. The list of my research interests goes on and on, but is centralized by mass spectrometry. Overall, I am interested in the fundamentals and theory of how a mass spectrometer operates, how to make hardware/method improvements, application of mass spectrometry to answer important biological questions. Furthermore, intelligent data acquisition seems like the future for TMT quantification, and I am interested in the opportunity to facilitate its development.
Conner LangebergJeffrey Kieft, PhDRNAs form diverse and complex tertiary structures which relate to their function in cells where many RNA interacting proteins recognizing these folds. My interests relate to these protein-RNA interactions in the context of highly structured non-coding RNAs.
Eli MartzAaron Johnson, PhDI am primarily interested in studying chromatin structure.
Maxwell McCabe
Kirk Hansen, PhDI am interested in using proteomics to characterize the composition and architecture of the extracellular matrix (ECM) across different organs with a focus on would healing. I am currently working to compose an organ-specific ECM Atlas, characterize the mechanisms of scarless wound-healing in Acomys cahirinus, and determine pro-regenerative components of decellularized ECM scaffolds. In the future, I hope to use this information to improve the rational design of ECM scaffolds for use in regenerative medicine. 
Kilsia MercedesRotatingMy research interests include protein structure and dynamics, specifically those involved in inflammatory processes.
Parker NicholsBeat Vogeli, PhD, Co-M Jeffrey Kieft, PhDI am interested in understanding how RNA molecules fold and function at a structural level
Ruben Rosas OspinaMair Churchill, PhDMolecular recognition of DNA by chromatin assembly factor 1
Lauren SchmittKirk Hansen, PhDLauren's work in the Hansen Lab focuses on characterizing the structure of blood clots through identification of FXIIIa cross-links. Our method utilizing cross-linking mass spectrometry (CL-MS), will allow for the rapid identification of these cross-links and improve our understanding of the structure of a blood clot.
Cassandra SmithDavid Jones, PhDStructural analysis of the regulation of mitochondrial trafficking in metastasis
Abby TrouthRotatingMy research interests are in epigenetics and chromatin regulation, along with RNA biology and structure.
Anna VanKeurenRotatingI have John Bankston and his lab to thank for my interest in the field of ion channels and their structure.
Natalie YoungFrancisco Asturias, PhDMolecular electron microscopy analysis of mouse mediator

Alumni

NameThesis AdvisorResearch InterestGraduated
Joshua AbbottDaniel LaBarbara, PhDStructure based drug design targeting transcription factors that regulate epithelial to mesenchymal transition.2020
Schuyler Lee

Gongyi Zhang, PhD

Role of JMJD5 and JMJD6 in regulating transcriptional pausing

2019
Stephen Pollard

David Pollock, PhD

Biophysics, protein evolution mechanisms and modeling.

2019
Vishantie Dostal
Mair Churchill, PhDMitochondrial transcription.
2018
Erik Hartwick

Jeffrey Kieft, PhD

Understanding the structural basis of RNA manipulation of ribosomes by IRES RNAs

2018
Alexander Barrett

Kirk Hansen, PhD

My research interests involve studying tissue remodeling associated with metastatic and non-metastatic tumors and how these changes are reflected in the composition of the extracellular matrix.

2017
Travis Nemkov

Kirk Hansen, PhD

Suffocating the oxygen carriers: Implications for physiology and transfusion medicine

2017
Ryan Hill

Kirk Hansen, PhD

Advances in Extracellular Matrix Proteomics: Applications towards Regenerative Medicine and Disease

2016
Michael Holliday

Elan Eisenmesser, PhD

Determination of the Full Catalytic Cycle among Multiple Cyclophilin Family Members and Limitations on the Application of CPMG-RD in Reversible Catalytic Systems

2016
​Agnieszka (Aga) Kendrick

Elan Eisenmesser, PhD

CD147 reprograms pancreatic cancer metabolism via its interaction with small molecule transporters

2016
Ryan Walsh

Mark Duncan, PhD

Quantitative Analysis of Human Tear Fluid

2016
Melanie Blevins

Rui Zhao, PhD

Recipient of the University of Colorado Cancer Center Paul Sandoval Pancreatic Cancer Research Scholarship, "Targeting the Six1-Eya Interaction for Pancreatic Cancer Therapeutics" Targeting protein-protein interactions for potential anti-cancer therapeutics.

2015
Candice Wike

Jessica Tyler, PhD

Functional Analysis of Phosphorylation of Histone H3 on Threonine 118

2014
Ying-Chih Chi

Changwei Liu, PhD

Understanding of the Structural and Functional Effect of H50Q alpha-synuclein

2014
Jacek Klepacki

Uwe Christians, PhD

Kidney Disfunction Biomarkers for the early Detection of Allograft Injury

2014
Sten Wie

Mary Reyland, PhD

Identifying Non-Receptor Tyrosine Kinases which regulate the pro-apoptotic function of PKC delta

2014
Aaron Krueger

Rui Zhao, PhD
Identification and characterization of specific inhbitors of Eya2 phosphatase

2013
J. Paul Kirwan

Robert Hodges, PhD

A Stability Control Region in Tropomyosin Transmits Long-Range Effects to Provide Optimum Stability

2012
Jennifer Schlegel

Douglas Graham, PhD

Cellular Receptors in Cancer: CD147 and Mer

2012

Are you a Structural Biology and Biochemistry alumnus? We'd love to stay in touch!