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Team

MacKeigan Laboratory

Most people say that it is the intellect which makes a great scientist. They are wrong: it is character.”                
-Albert Einstein

Our lab consists of driven students, postdoctoral fellows, and staff who are committed to advancing research and holding themselves to high professional standards. Despite different backgrounds, career paths, and personalities, MacKeigan Lab members share five common values: creativity, impact, motivation, collaboration, and optimism. Our lab philosophy is something along the lines of “work hard, play hard.” Although we can be intense about our research, we don’t take ourselves too seriously!

 

Aditi Bagchi, M.D.
VAIGS graduate student

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Aditi received her M.D. from Kasturba Medical College in Mangalore, India, and completed her residency at the Brooklyn Hospital Center in New York. She started a Pediatric Hematology/Oncology fellowship at Spectrum Health Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in 2012, and also enrolled in the Ph.D. program at VAIGS. She joined the MacKeigan Lab in 2013 and her dissertation research investigates autophagy in the context of medulloblastoma.

Stephanie Celano, M.S.
Research associate

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Stephanie earned a B.A. in chemistry from Hope College in 2009, and received her M.S. in cell and molecular biology, biotechnology, PSM from Grand Valley State University. While completing her M.S. in 2013, she became a research technologist at Michigan State University in the Paumier Lab, where she studied neuroprotective therapeutics in a novel model of alpha-synucleinopathy. In 2015, she joined the MacKeigan Laboratory as a research associate and focuses on therapeutic targets of autophagy in non-small cell lung cancer.

Nicole Doppel, B.S.
Research department administrator

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Nicole graduated from Aquinas College in 2006, with a B.S. in business administration. She started at VAI in 2007, where she worked in the grants and contracts office. She joined the MacKeigan Lab in 2012, and uses her expertise to drive the team’s grant strategy and oversee proposal development. Nicole manages the administrative aspects of the lab’s research, and assists with implementing and attaining lab goals.

Katie Martin, Ph.D.
Scientific project leader

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Katie received a B.S. in biology from Grand Valley State University in 2006. She attended graduate school at Michigan State University where she earned her Ph.D. in cell and molecular biology. During her doctoral studies, Katie focused on PI(3)P signaling and autophagy using RNAi, in silico virtual library screening, and mathematical modeling. Katie has been a scientific project leader in the MacKeigan Lab since 2011, where she helps guide and implement the lab’s research strategy. Katie has a significant role in laboratory training, grant writing, and manuscript development.

Nate Merrill, B.S.
VAIGS graduate student

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Nate graduated from the University of Michigan with a B.S. in biochemistry and a minor in mathematics in 2012. He spent two years working in Dr. Mi Hee Lim’s lab investigating the role of metals in Alzheimer’s disease and focused on bifunctional small molecule design. Nate joined the MacKeigan Lab in 2013 as a graduate student, and is investigating how PI3K isoforms function in autophagy.

Abigail Solitro, B.S.
VAIGS graduate student

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Abbey is a VAIGS graduate student pursuing a Ph.D. in cell and molecular genetics. Prior to graduate school, Abbey received her B.S. in biotechnology and forensic biology from Ferris State University and conducted research at the MD Anderson Cancer Center. Her dissertation work focuses on elucidating novel therapeutic strategies for KRAS-driven non-small cell lung cancer, with an emphasis on targeting autophagy dependence.

Megan Van Baren
Student intern

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Megan is earning her B.S. in biology at Calvin College and plans to attend pharmacy school after undergrad. She joined the MacKeigan Lab in 2015, and is working on a chemical screen in tuberous sclerosis cell lines.

Jeanie Wedberg
Senior administrative assistant II

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Bio coming soon.

Lisette Yco
Guest student

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Bio coming soon.

Lab Alumni

Cheri Ackerman
Student intern
Annalise Bowen
Student interns
Danielle Burgenske, Ph.D.
VAIGS graduate student
Lucas (Chun-Yuan) Chan, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral fellow
Joe Church
Student intern
Ryan Davis
Research assistant
Alyse DeHaan
Student intern
Elissa DeVos
Research assistant
Kristin Dittenhafer-Reed, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral fellow
Leland Dunwoodie
Student intern
Megan Goodall, Ph.D.
MSU graduate student
William Hanrahan
Student intern
James Hogan
Student intern
Andrew Howard
Student intern
Danielle Hutchings
Research assistant
Vanessa Fogg, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral fellow
Jonathan Karnes, M.S.
VAIGS graduate student
Audra Kauffman
Laboratory manager
Jennifer Kordich, M.S.
Laboratory manager
Matt Kortus, M.S.
Research associate
Geoff Kraker
Student intern
Nanda Kumar Sasi, B.S.
MSU graduate student
Nate Lanning, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral fellow
Brendan Looyenga, Ph.D.
Research scientist
Christina Ludema
Research assistant
Brett May
Research assistant
Michelle Minard, B.S.
Senior administrative assistant I
Natalie Niemi, Ph.D.
VAIGS graduate student
Anna Plantinga
Intern, Calvin College
Juliana Sacoman, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral fellow
Aaron Sayfie, B.S.
Research assistant
Josh Schipper, Ph.D.
Research scientist
Michael Shaheen
Medical student
Kellie Sisson, B.S.
Research associate
Jennifer Webb
Clinical program coordinator
Laura Westrate, Ph.D.
VAIGS graduate student
Jonathan Zande
Medical student