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Group Members

Postdoctoral Researchers


Dr. Lee S Parsons

SUNY Upstate Medical University, NY, USA (PhD, Biochemistry)
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities (BS, Biochemistry)

Quantitation of mitophagy-related ubiquitination of proteins.

I am implementing methodologies to characterize ubiquitinated proteins using antibodies targeting ubiquitination signatures and SILAC-based quantitative proteomics.

Graduate Students

Ryan Clark

University of Missouri - Columbia (BS, Chemistry / BA, Biology)

Reactive oxygen species detection in C. elegans.

I am developing methods to measure reactive oxygen species abundance and rates of production in C. elegans' models of aging.These methods are primarily based on capillary electrophoresis with laser-induced fluorescence detection. 

Heather Grundhofer

College of St. Scholastica, MN, USA

Novel labeling strategies for mass cytometry.

My goal is to expand the sensitivity and target range of mass cytometry using novel high-capacity lathanide chelating polymers and to develop mass cytometry labels based on aptamers. These strategies will be applied to investigate relationship between autophagy and insulin resistance.

Michelle Henderson

Luther College, IA, USA

Quantitative proteomics of autophagy- and mitophagy-inhibited model systems.

I am interested in studying the proteome changes with autophagy and mitophagy inhibition in myoblast cells and C. elegans model systems. I use a quantitative proteomics approach (stable isotope labeling by amino acids in cells culture, or SILAC) to metabolically label these systems and then analyze them by high mass accuracy mass spectrometry. I also use a new technique call mass cytometry to look at changes in a large panel of proteins simultaneously on the single cell level. This allows me to see the heterogeneity of cellular responses to autophagy and mitophagy inhibition.


Elyse Krautkramer

St. Norbert College, WI, USA

Monitoring Redox status in cellular systems using luminescent probes.

I am designing and synthesizing peptide-based probes for the determination of mitochondrial redox status.  Luminescence detected in bulk or by capillary electrophoresis with laser-induced fluorescence will be used for quantification of matrix redox status changes in response to biological oxidizers like reactive oxygen species.  This approach will help answer questions about how mitochondrial redox status is related to the onset and progression of age-related neurological conditions.

Deirdre Manion-Fischer

Kent State University, OH, USA

Quantification of mitochondrial DNA damage.

My project aims to monitor mitophagy selectively by analysis of individual organelles by capillary electrophoresis with laser-induced fluorescence detection. Using molecular biology techniques, I aim to characterize the abundance and type of damage in mitochondrial DNA.

Katie Muratore

University of Wisconsin - Madison, WI, USA

Autophagy-dependent prenylomes.

A goal of my research is to profile prenylated proteins in autophagy altered cell culture and animal models of Alzheimer’s disease. To pursue this goal, I am developing a method using a combination of metabolic labeling with alkyne containing isoprenoid analogs, click chemistry enrichment, and SILAC quantitative proteomics. To characterize alterations in autophagy systems I am also designing a capillary electrophoresis coupled to laser induced florescent detection based on immunolabeling of autophagy related organelles.

Marzieh Ramezani

Sharif University of Technology, Tehran, Iran

Profiling lipids in organelles involved in autophagy.

My goal is to compare organelle-specific lipids under conditions of normal and altered autophagy to understand the role that lipids play in autophagy-related diseases. Currently, I am developing methods for the selective isolation of phagophores, autophagosomes, lysosomes, and autolysosomes. These organelle contents are then analyzed by liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry operated in an MSE mode.

Thane Taylor

Concordia College, MN, USA

Organelle binding aptamers.

The primary goal of my research project is to develop aptamers, ssDNA ligands, against targets expressed on the surface of intact mitochondria.  To achieve this goal, we employ a variety of techniques, including aptamer development via Systematic Evolution of Ligands through EXponential enrichment (SELEX), fluorescent ligand characterization via capillary cytometry, and other protein and ezymatic assays used to characterize mitochondrial yield and function. Developed aptamers may be be used to: explore mitochondrial function in disease states, provide tools for mitochondrial imaging, develop enriched mitochondria fractions.

Erik Tyrell

Erik Tyrell

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities, USA

Capillary electrophoretic strategies for analysis of mixed organelle types and co-existing reactive oxygen species.

I am developing instrumentation and techniques to use capillary electrophoresis with laser induced fluorescence for the simultaneous characterization of four types of individual organelles involved in autophagy. I am also developing techniques for the simultaneous quantification of the reactive oxygen species superoxide anion, hydrogen peroxide and hydroxyl radical in mitochondria using micellar electrokinetic chromatography with laser induced fluorescence.

Undergraduate Researchers


Arielle Anderson

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities, USA

Monitoring Redox status in cellular systems using fluorescent proteins.

I'm interested in the development and use of chemical probes for redox state and reactive oxygen species (ROS) detection in cellular systems, particularly for use in non-model organisms or in a clinical setting.


Bernard Brooks

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities, USA

Hydrogen peroxide detection in biological systems.

The goal of my research is to quantitate the rate at which hydrogen peroxide is produced by mitochondria. Currently, I am assessing the use of MitoPy 1 as a hydrogen peroxide reporter, which forms a fluorescent product detected by capillary electrophoresis with laser induced fluorescence detection.


Daniel Esping

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities, USA

Longitudinal profiling of mitochondrial membrane potential in C. elegans.

I am creating a Perl program to analyze longitudinal profiles of mitochondrial membrane potential of Caenorhabditis elegans with use of a ratiometric fluorescent probe monitored via COPAS sorting. This program will define regions in which mitochondrial membrane potential changes with age.


Matthew Keefe

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities, USA

Multi-channel devices for parallel analysis of single muscle fibers.

I am working on a microfluidic device that can capture large quantities of single, isolated muscle fibers in separate channels for imaging and analysis. Currently the focus of my work is on maximizing the capture efficiency of the device by changing geometrical aspects of the device and muscle fiber isolation techniques. Techniques used for this device are device design using AutoCAD, soft photolithography in the Minnesota Nanofabrication Center, and cell culture processes.


Alexander Nelson

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities, USA

Electroporation at the single fiber level.

My goal is to create a microfluidic device to perform electroporation of single muscle fibers captured within a channel microfluidic device.  

Former Group Members

Maggie Donoghue
Vratislav Kostal
Marian Navratil 2004-2008 Postdoc
Christopher Eddy 2004-2006 Postdoc
Guogua Xiong 2001-2005 Postdoc
Richard Walsh 2002-2005 Postdoc
Hossein Ahmadzadeh 2002-2005 Postdoc
Ciaran Duffy 2000-2001 Postdoc
Thane Taylor 2008-2014 PhD
Greg Wolken
Chad Satori
Joseph Katzenmeyer
Yaohua Wang
Xin Xu
Dmitry Andreyev 2001-2007 PhD.
Juan Feng 2004-2007 PhD.
Christofer Whiting 2002-2007 PhD.
Bobby Poe 2001-2007 PhD.
Danni Li-Meany 2002-2007 PhD.
Yun Chen 2002-2006 PhD.
Angela Eder 2002-2006 PhD.
Nilhan Gunasekera 1999-2003 PhD.
Adrian Anderson 1999-2003 PhD.
Kathryn Fuller 1999-2003 PhD.
Lucas Ulmer 2013-2014 M.S.
Shu Luan
Scott Rose
Rongxiao Sa

Distinguished Undergraduates who authored peer-reviewed publications


Year of first publication

Sheik Gafoor 2001
Angela Strack 2001
Jamie Gergen 2002
Abraham McEathron 2002
Chanda Ciriacks 2003
Andrew Presley 2003
Ryan Johnson 2004
Jennifer Chen 2006
Jennifer Hong 2009
Kiara Levar 2011
Mark Swift 2011
Erik Skillrud 2011
Mark Chapman 2011
Benjamin Fossen 2013
Ayoung Noh 2013
Brandon Meyer 2014