Medical College of Wisconsin
Department of Cell Biology, Neurobiology & Anatomy
8701 Watertown Plank Road
Milwaukee, WI 53226-3548
(414) 955-6517 (fax)
BS, Chemistry and Biology, University of South Dakota, 2009
Faculty Advisor: Stephen A. Duncan, D Phil
Research Area: Stem-cell based characterization of Maturity Onset Diabetes of the Young
During my undergraduate years at the University of South Dakota, I studied the expression of cadherins in embryonic chick limb development, and I became fascinated with the study of development and regeneration. I graduated from USD in 2009 and chose to come to MCW for the Medical Scientist Training Program in order to achieve the experiences I felt necessary to succeed as a physician and scientist.
During my PhD years at MCW, I will utilize induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells generated from the fibroblasts of patients that have Maturity Onset Diabetes of the Young (MODY), a monogenic form of diabetes mellitus. Patients with MODY exhibit a range of clinical symptoms based on a variety of autosomal dominant mutations in specific transcription factors and in glucokinase. Utilizing up to 6 different mutations in 3 different genes, I plan to form hepatocytes and characterize the transcriptional and functional alterations in these cells under normal and abnormal conditions. Further work may include evaluation of the response of these abnormal hepatocytes to injury, compensation of hepatocyte function with drug screening, or evaluation of the alterations in glucose-responsive and insulin-producing beta-like cells produced from these iPS cells.