MEET THE LAB



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Anne Carlson, Ph.D.

Principal Investigator

I received my Ph.D. from the University of Washington, and worked with Bertil Hille and Donner Babcock studying the preparation of sperm for fertilization. For my postdoctoral studies, I focused ion channel structure and function in the laboratory of William Zagotta.  I am now interested in the earliest signaling events of fertilization as well as the regulation of Cl- channels including the Ca2+-activated Cl- channel TMEM16a. Recently, I received the 2018 Paul F. Cranefield Award from the Society of General Physiologists.


Wase Tembo

Graduate Student

Wase graduated from Lake Forest College in 2015 with a B.A. in Neuroscience and Biology. Her undergraduate research focused on the role of alpha synuclein mutations in Parkinson’s disease pathology using yeast as a model. Her current research focuses on understanding how acidic phospholipids, such as PIP2, regulate gating of the Ca2+-activated Cl- channel TMEM16a. Wase has been awarded an American Heart Association Predoctoral Fellowship to support her graduate studies. Additionally, Wase received Student Research Achievement Award at the 2019 Biophysics Meeting. Finally, Wase was the recipient of a fellowship to attend the 2018 Center for the Physics of Living Cells Summer School, a Travel Grant to attend the Annual Meeting of the Biophysical Society, and an Outstanding Presenter award from the Pitt Grad Expo.


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Rachel Bainbridge

Graduate Student

Rachel graduated from West Virginia University in 2017 with a B.S. in Biology and a B.A. in Psychology. Her undergraduate research focused on plant response to abiotic stressors. Her current research focuses on uncovering the cascade of events that occurs when the sperm meets the egg. 


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Joel Rosenbaum

Research Assistant Professor

Joel received his Ph.D. in 2011 working with Dr. Rich Gardner at the University of Washington. His dissertation studies uncovered a role for San1 in protein quality control. For his postdoctoral studies, he worked with Dr. Rachel Klevit using NMR to study small heat shock proteins. He continued his postdoctoral work collaborating with Dr. Kara Bernstein and Dr. Andy Vandemark to characterize a novel form of DNA repair. His current researches uses biochemical and structural biology to study ion channels


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Dominique Summerville

Research Technician

Dominique graduated from Princeton University in 2019 with a B.A in Biology. His undergraduate research focused on quorum sensing in bacteria. Currently Dominique specializes in molecular biology and various biophysical assays to study fertilization and ion channels


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Madison Boehm

Undergraduate Researcher

Madison is a junior at Pitt and joined the lab spring semester of 2019. Together with Madelyn and Catherine, Madison is examining the role of transition metals in Xenopus laevis fertilization and early embryonic development.


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Madelyn Czekalski

Undergraduate Researcher

Madelyn is a junior at Pitt and joined the lab summer of 2018. Together with Kavya and Meghan, Madelyn is examining the role of transition metals in Xenopus laevis fertilization and early embryonic development. Madelyn was funded by a HHMI summer research fellowship, a Chancellor's Undergraduate Research Fellowship (CURF) Spring 2019, and was the 2018 recipient of the Bentley-Kephart outstanding freshman award!


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Meghan Hanson

Undergraduate Researcher

Meghan is a Senior at Pitt and joined the lab fall of 2017. Together with Kavya, Meghan is studying the role that transition metals may play in fertilization and early embryonic development in Xenopus laevis.


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Ethan Lorence

Undergraduate Researcher

Ethan is a sophomore at Pitt and joined the lab fall of 2019. Together with Joe, Ethan is on the biochemistry team.


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Catherine Luu

Undergraduate Researcher

Catherine is a Junior at Pitt and joined the lab fall of 2018. Catherine is on the transition metal team!


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Kavya Pasumarthy

Undergraduate Researcher

Kavya is a senior at Pitt and joined the lab spring of 2018. Together with Meghan, Kavya is examining the role of extracellular ions in Xenopus laevis fertilization and early embryonic development. Kavya is currently funded by an HHMI summer research fellowship.