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CURRENT GRADUATE STUDENTS (2011-2012, total of 24 Ph.D./M.S. candidates)

Name & E- mail

Year & Advisor
Academic Background
Research & Personal Statement

Maria Angeles Baker




B.S. Clinical Laboratory Science, Univeristy of Wisconsin Milwaukee May 2000, MBA University of Wisconsin Milwaukee December 2008

During my senior year in the Clinical Laboratory Science Program, I conducted research in immunology – investigating whether a complement-dependent immune adherence receptor was expressed on erythrocytes from rainbow trout.  Details of the experiments can be found on a later publication (Molecular Immunology 43 (2006) 1595–1603).


After graduation, I worked for ten years in the clinical laboratory at Columbia Hospital in Milwaukee.  During that time, I continued my association with UW-Milwaukee, first as an instructor in the Clinical Laboratory Science Program and later as a student at the Lubar School of Business. I earned an MBA in December of 2008, and I took a position at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin where I served as the Laboratory Quality Improvement and Education Coordinator for two years before joining the physiology department at the Medical College of Wisconsin.

Andrea Lowing






Graduated in 2011 from Grand Valley State University with a B.S. in Biomedical Science

As an undergrad at GVSU I had the opportunity to perform research in the Biomedical Science Department under Dr. Sylvester.  In his lab I performed isolated arterial ring studies, looking at the effects of different drugs on vascular tone.  During this time my passion for science and research grew and I decided to continue my education.  I joined the Physiology Department here at the Medical College of Wisconsin because of its strong reputation in the field of cardiovascular physiology and look forward to contributing further to our understanding in the coming years.

Bradley Endres




Graduated in 2010 from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with a B.S. in Biochemistry
As an undergraduate, I began working at MCW as a research technician in Dr. DJ Sidjanin’s lab. I started off with very little lab experience and just helped out with everyday lab maintenance. After working in her lab for a few months, I began to conduct my own experiments and take on my own project. In Dr. Sidjanin’s lab, I studied the role of the transcription factor, heat shock factor 4 in cataract formation. My experiences in Dr. Sidjanin’s lab helped me figure out that I enjoyed being in the research field and that I should apply for graduate school. I chose to apply to the MCW Physiology program because of the high-quality research and its multidisciplinary focus.  I chose Dr. Aron Geurts as my mentor and I hope to learn more about the genetic manipulation approaches to studying physiology.

Danielle Twaroski (Kreye)





Graduated in 2009 from University of Wisconsin River Falls with B.S. in Biochemistry and a minor in Biology.
I was involved in several research projects throughout my undergraduate career most of which were focused in chemistry. One project I was involved with was a synthetic organic chemisty research project involving the synthesis of Rhuscholide A. This molecule is medically very important due to its anti-HIV properties. I spent several years on this project as well as many other side projects. I became very intrested in physiology when I took the course as an undergraduate. After researching the field, I determined that I wanted to pursue a Ph.D. in physiology and found that MCW was well suited to my interests.

Jessica Olson




Graduated in 2007 from Northern Illinois University with a B.S. in Biological Sciences; 2011 with an M.S. in Virology

While at Northern Illinois University, I studied Brome Mosaic Virus (BMV), a plant virus that infects agriculturally important plants such as wheat, oats, maize, barley, and rye. By introducing a segment of viral genome into the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana, I was able to create a transgenic strain of plant that was immune to BMV.  I joined the Physiology Department at Medical College of Wisconsin because of the wide range of exciting and translational research opportunities, and the collaborative environment amongst faculty and students.

Nathan Rudemiller




Graduated in 2008 from Auburn University with a B.S. in Biomedical Sciences

After my undergraduate career, I contemplated attending pharmacy school.  I am glad now to have chosen graduate school because I find scientific research interesting and rewarding.  I joined the Department of Physiology at MCW because of the cooperative environment and forward-thinking research.  I am a student in Dr. Mattson’s laboratory and am currently investigating the role of the adaptive immune system in the development of and sustained presence of salt-sensitive hypertension

Bryce Schuler




Graduated in 2009 from Lawrence University with a B.A. in Biology
I've know for a long time that I wanted to be an MD, but while I was studying the role of the macrophage-mediated inflammatory response to human rhinovirus in the exacerbation of asthma at Lawrence University, I realized that a profession that combines medical practice with scientific research would be more suitable to my varied interests. As such, I joined the Medical Scientist Training Program at MCW. Following the first two years of medical school, I am working on using Next Generation Sequencing technology to identify the genetic predisposition to kidney disease in a human population. My goals are to more fully characterize the pathophysiology of the specific kidney disease in this population and to contribute to the advancements in the use of DNA sequencing technology in individualized medicine.

Brittany Wade




Graduated from Northern Illinois University in 2009. With a Bachelor's Degree in Biochemistry and a minor in Biology.
During my undergraduate years at Northern Illinois University I developed a strong interest in the physiological aspects of science. I obtained various internships and research projects, including one here at MCW studying vascular reactivity. The experience was very rewarding and educational. After that internship I knew MCW would be a good place for me to attend graduate school. Now, I am a member of Dr. Mattson’s lab working on projects that involve investigating how immune cells effect kidney function.

Nan Cher Yeo




Graduated in 2010 from University of the Ozarks, AR, with a B.S. in Biology and Chemistry minor

When I was in college, I studied the role of yeast transcriptional factors in oxidative stress regulation, specifically the interaction between the transcriptional activator Yap1p and Glutathione S-Transferase activity in the maintenance of redox homeostasis in the Saccaromyces cerevisiae. In 2009, I was a summer student in Dr. Mingyu Liang’s lab in the Physiology Deptartment at MCW. Under Dr. Liang’s guidance, I learned about the role of microRNA in renal function and diseases. My project was to analyze renal cortical and medullary expression of microRNA-29b (miR-29b), in normotensive and hypertensive rats in response to high-salt diet, using RT-PCR. My previous training helped me to develop great interest in biomedical research using molecular biology and genetic techniques. I chose MCW Physiology because of its high-quality research and multidisciplinary focus and approach.

Scott Bugenhagen


4 [MSTP]


Graduated in 2007 from Milwaukee School of Engineering with a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering

My background is in engineering, and I have completed the first two years of MCW's medical school curriculum as part of the MSTP. My graduate school training here in the Department of Physiology is focused on the computational modeling of physiological systems. I am interested in developing and applying quantitative mechanistic models to better understand the physiology and genomics underlying complex cardiovascular diseases.


Jamie Genthe




 Graduated in 2007 from University of Wisconsin – Madison with a B.S. in Biology


As an undergrad I worked in a chemical engineering lab using nanotechnology to improve bone implants materials and batteries.  After I finished my undergrad, I worked for a pharmaceutical research company called Covance for a year.  There I studied the effects of new drugs and treatments for several different diseases.  I next spent a year at MCW as a technologist in the Microbiology department working on antibiotic resistance of gram positive bacteria.

After spending a lot of time in different sectors of research, I decided I wanted to go back to school. I wanted to learn how to ask the important questions and then how to look at those questions in the research setting.  I choose to go to MCW because of its excellent physiology program and the strong emphasis of translational research.  Here at MCW I hope to study cardiovascular physiology.

Gary Mouradian





Graduated from Carthage College with a B.A. in Neuroscience and Psychology

During my undergrad I experienced small scientific projects such as identifying underpinnings of visual field inhomogeneities and the behavioral affects on rats after injections of the beta amyloid protein into their hippocampi.  Also, I was granted a summer internship position here at the Medical College of Wisconsin where I completed an 8 week project regarding respiratory physiology. 

Having completed these projects, I solidified my decision to pursue further scientific training here in the Department of Physiology at the Medical College of Wisconsin.

Clarissa Muere




University of Toronto, 2008, B.S. specializing in Neuroscience

As a student in the Neuroscience Co-op Program at the University of Toronto, I was involved in both laboratory and clinical research.  At the university's Department of Physiology, I conducted pilot studies on Drosophila melanogaster larvae investigating mutational dosage effects on locomotory behaviour.  As a clinical research assistant at West Park Healthcare Centre, I worked with a multi-disciplinary respiratory research team.  Our subject population was COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) patients. 

Academics and the pursuit of knowledge have always been important to me, and so graduate studies were a natural choice.  Here at the Department of Physiology at MCW, I hope to contribute to its legacy of world-class research as a student in Dr. Forster's lab studying respiratory neurobiology.

Jessica Priestley




I graduated from Michigan State University in 2008 with a B.S in Human Biology and a specialization in Bioethics, Society and the Humanities. 


As an undergraduate at MSU, I had the opportunity to perform research in the Pharmacology & Toxicology Department under Dr. Stephanie.  In her lab, I studied the role serotonin plays in contributing to vascular tone.  More importantly, I developed a passion for science and an appreciation for interdisciplinary research.  I decided to pursue these interests and continue my education by joining the Physiology Department here at the Medical College of Wisconsin.  My encounters with many enthusiastic faculty and students at national meetings, as well as the Department’s strong reputation for its multifaceted approach to the study of cardiovascular physiology made my decision an easy one.  I look forward to contributing to our understanding of the cardiovascular system over the coming years.


Sandra Brown-Ford




Graduated 1993 from UW-Milwaukee with a B.S. in Chemistry and a minor in German, then in 1997 at UW Madison with a Masters in Biomolecular Chemistry

I am coming out of the Biotechnology area of industry.   The majority of my work experience has been in large scale protein and plasmid purification from a variety of sources ranging from bacteria to mammalian cells.  I have developed an interest in the study of the genetics of disease.

Scott Canfield




Graduated 2006 from Northland College with a B.S. in Chemistry and a minor in Biology.

While I attended Northland I was both a Teacher’s Assistant and a Research Assistant.  I worked on water quality projects involving Lake Superior watersheds and fish consumption studies linking birth abnormalities to heavy metal concentration in certain species of Pacific Salmon.

After graduating I spent the last two years volunteering as an Activities Coordinator at the Golden Living Nursing Center and at the St. Vincent DePaul.  I have a strong interest in medicine and research.  I chose the Medical College of Wisconsin Physiology Department because of the translational research being conducted here.

Justin Miller




Graduated 2007 from Northern Illinois University with a B.S. in Biology and a minor in Chemistry. 

During my undergrad, I worked as a personal trainer focusing on rehabilitation and special populations.  This experience gave me an opportunity to help people with chronic disease and injuries improve their quality of life.  Seeing the drastic improvements people were able to make was instrumental in developing my interest in how the body works.


My main goal as a physiologist is perform research that will have an impact on how a chronic disease or injury is treated.              

Koryn Carver




Graduated 2001 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a B.S. in Biology.

After graduating I worked as a technician in the Microbiology Department at MCW for two years and then as a Production Associate for Invitrogen Corporation for three years.  Throughout my life I’ve known people with many different kinds of sleep issues and I continue to deal with my own sleep problems everyday, which is what led to my interest in studying sleep.  I believe there are components of sleep that contribute to the ideal function of many physiological processes, which is why I chose to come to the Department of Physiology.  I will be working in Dr. Harder’s lab and will be studying how changes in cerebral blood flow during sleep may contribute to the increased incidence of stroke in the early morning.  I also hope to study the circadian regulatory mechanisms that may be involved in these blood flow changes.

Allison Sarkis




Graduated 2004 from University of Wisconsin Whitewater with a B.S. in Biology

After working as a technician in the Physiology Department for three years, I decided to continue my education.  As a student in the Jacob Lab, I am studying genetic components of resistance to myocardial infarction using congenic rats.   I am currently looking for a gene on chromosome six that protects Brown Norway rats against myocardial infarction.


Ogugua Anene-Maidoh


4+ [MSTP]


Graduated 2005 from Lincoln University, PA with a B.A in Biology & Computer Science.

I joined the MCW Medical Scientist Training Program in 2005 due to my dual interest in medicine and translational research. After completing the first two years of medical school, I started work in Dr. Greene's lab where I am currently studying angiogenesis. My research project is focused on signaling pathways activated by different angiotensin peptides. I joined the Physiology Department because of the outstanding work that is done here and its excellent faculty and students.



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