LAB MEMBERS

Our lives are not our own. We are bound to others, past and present, and by each crime and every kindness, we birth our future. David Mitchell

Angelo D'Alessandro, PhD

Principal Investigator

Angelo D’Alessandro, PhD is a tenured Associate Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics at the University of Colorado Denver – Anschutz Medical Campus. He is also founder and director of the Metabolomics Core of the School of Medicine and Colorado Cancer Center. He received his PhD at the Tuscia University (Italy) under the aegis of the Italian National Blood Center. His postdoctoral career focused on Mass Spectrometry-based Omics technologies at Bruker Daltonics (Bremen, Germany), the Beatson Institute for Cancer Center (Glasgow, Scotland) and the University of Colorado Denver (Aurora, USA). He also serves as Linda Crnic Investigator for the Linda Crnic Institute of Down Syndrome. He is a founder and CSO of Omix Technologies Inc. and Altis Biosciences LLC. He serves as Associate Editor for the journal Blood Transfusion. He has been awarded the 2015 Scott Murphy lectureship by the Biomedical Excellence for Safer Transfusion (BEST) group, the Early Career grant by the National Blood Foundation (2016), the 2017 Webb-Waring Early Career grant by the Boettcher Foundation, NBF Scholar (2018), Jean Julliard Award by ISBT (2020) and NBF Innovation Award (2020). Age 37, he has published over 350 papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals and two books.

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Julie A. Reisz Haines, PhD

Research Assistant Professor

Julie is originally from Pittsburgh, PA and received her PhD in Chemistry from Wake Forest University where she used NMR and MS to investigate the reactivity of nitrogen oxides with organophosphines and thiol- and heme-containing enzymes. Her postdoctoral work at Wake Forest School of Medicine (Section on Molecular Medicine) focused on redox modifications of protein cysteines, particularly in the peroxiredoxin family, using MS-based proteomics approaches. She next taught undergraduate level chemistry and managed the MS facility at Wake Forest, then joined the University of Colorado in 2015 where she utilizes high throughput metabolomics to profile metabolic responses occurring in numerous diseases and physiological perturbations. Her specific research interests include metabolic responses along the spectrum from hypoxia to oxidative stress and investigating RBC protein oxidation during storage. Outside of science, Julie enjoys hiking with her family and running half marathons.

Travis Nemkov, PhD

Research Assistant Professor

After completing his BA at the University of Colorado, Travis helped to jump start operations as the first employee at a new start-up company, AmideBio, where he developed methods to produce notoriously difficult peptides with high purity and efficiency. Four years later, he left to pursue a PhD in Dr. Kirk Hansen’s lab at the University of Colorado Denver where he developed high-throughput methods for metabolomics to study RBC responses to hypoxia and storage and published more than 40 papers in the process. Having already worked closely with Angelo on these projects, Travis decided to stick around as his first post-doctoral fellow where he has been focused now on high-throughput proteomics. In addition, he is interested in understanding the role of metabolism in blood cell development throughout the arc of life, from primitive embryonic erythropoiesis to chronic anemia of inflammation seen later in life. Born and raised in Colorado, Travis refuses to leave if he doesn’t have to, and just prefers to travel the world instead. 

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Monika Dzieciatkwowska, PhD

Proteomics Core Manager

Monika is our local mass spec expert, in that she can disassemble and reassemble any of our "toys" in the lab. Her expertise and analytical skills are essential to the routine operations of the Hansen and D'Alessandro Labs, as well as of the Cores they direct.

Aaron Issaian, PhD

Research Associate

Aaron graduated in Structural Biology and Biochemistry in the Hansen Lab. During his PhD he developed techniques to perform protein-protein interaction studies through chemical cross-linkers in multiple samples through TMT approaches. He also developed thermal proteome profiling and PISA assays to probe protein-protein or metabolite-protein interactions. His main current project is on the role of band 3 in RBC biology.

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Fabia Gamboni, PhD

Research Instructor

Fabia Gamboni has joined the lab in 2019, after over 25 years of work in the Trauma group in the CU Anschutz Trauma Research Center. Though her main expertise is in fluorescent and confocal microscopy, she has recently approached mass spectrometry-based metabolomics and will carry out metabolomics measurements within the framework of the RM1 project on Trauma-induced coagulopathic and inflammtory complications. Owing to her expertise and protective personality, she has accepted her unofficial position as the Lab's mom!

Daniel Stephenson, PhD

Research Associate

Daniel recently joined the lab as a senior staff member in the metabolomics core. As part of his PhD work and training he specialized on lipidomics analyses via mass spectrometry, though his solid analytical chemistry skills were readily transferable to metabolomics and ICP-MS applications. 

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Rachel Culp-Hill, M.Sc.

Graduate Student

Rachel Culp-Hill is a PhD student in the Structural Biology and Biochemistry program, where she uses mass spectrometry to study the unique metabolome of leukemic stem cells in acute myeloid leukemia. Her previous training applied metabolomics to numerous projects including metabolic alterations in Down Syndrome, sickle cell disease, breast cancer, hemorrhagic shock, red blood cell storage and transfusion medicine. In addition to earning a M.S. in Microbiology from the University of Florida, her undergraduate training included majoring in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Michigan State University while using mass spectrometry to develop a method for the detection of pyrethroid pesticides at the MSU Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory. When she’s not in the lab, Rachel enjoys hiking, embroidering, and spending time with her dog Kelby.

Francesca Cendali, MSc

Graduate Student

Francesca graduated from Colorado College with a BSc in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry where she focused on effects of RNA binding and cancer research on Jurkat Cells. She spent a year and a half after college working with antiviral drug adherence at CU School of Pharmacy. She is new to the metabolomics lab and am excited to start working on projects. Outside of the lab she enjoys playing basketball, traveling and spending time with family.

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Ian Lacroix, M.Sc.

Graduate Student

Ian recently joined the lab as a graduate student. His goal is to develop and grow a thesis project focused on Trauma research using a multi-omics approach. Improve my mass spectrometer maintenance and troubleshooting skills. Take programming courses that will prepare me to leverage data visualization and machine learning to mine metabolites, proteins of interest. Establish inter-disciplinary collaborations, centralized around the use of mass spectrometry. For instance, I’m interested in learning more about immunology, sports performance, high altitude hypoxia. Hoping to jump on a project involving some of the listed areas. Additionally, I plan to participate in outreach, particularly in underserved communities surrounding the Anschutz Medical Campus. Present a poster or talk at a conference, for example ASMS. Intern with a private company or travel to a collaborator’s lab, for ~3months. At the end of 5 years, my goal is to Post Doc (industrial or university) or go straight into industry somewhere in Europe.

Keisha Alexander, MSc

Graduate student

Keisha is a graduate student in the Pharmaceutical Sciences program at the CU Anschutz School of Pharmacy. After an experience in the industry, Keisha decided to further her training in mass spectrometry-based analyses of small molecules. As part of her project in the D'Alessandro Lab, she is investigating the impact of sex and gender-defining hormones on systems metabolism, with a special focus on red blood cell biology and storability.

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Rebecca Wilkerson (maiden Burgoyne), MSc

Professional Research Assistant

In five years from now, I see myself continuing to research and study in metabolomics and biochemistry. I hope to be working for this lab under the direction of Dr. Angelo D’Alessandro and to be able to participate in the new discoveries that are benefitting our understanding of health. It is my hope to be a part of discovering the biological imprints that abnormalities in the body leave on red blood cells. There is much to learn and do and I plan to return to school for my Ph.D. in biochemistry to continue my education so that I may be more helpful in this field of research. I find exercising my mind to be extremely important as I seek to raise a new family simultaneously.

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Davide Stefanoni, MSc

Graduate Student

Davide trained as a Professional Resaerch Assistant in the lab, while currently he is focusing on finalizing his PhD work at the Istituto San Raffaele di Milano. His current main project is on the role of BRAF V600E mutation on cell metabolism and disease.

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Lorenzo Bertolone, MSc

Postdoc

Lorenzo obtained his at the University of Verona, Italy - where is currently a postdoc under the supervision of Drs. Annalisa Castagna and Domenico Girelli. As part of his visiting studentship training, he has been performing metabolomics studies of plasma and urine from patients suffering from primary aldosteronism. After a break back in Italy during the COVID-19 pandemic, he will join back the lab in 2022 as a a postdoc.

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Micaela Roy

Professional Research Assistant

I am excited for the opportunity to continue my work in the group for the next year or two, with the long-term goal of pursuing an M.D. or M.D./Ph.D. degree. So far, it has been great working in the Core, and I feel lucky to be part of such a stimulating academic community. In the lab, I plan to continue learning about metabolomics and solidify my conceptual understanding such that I can eventually contribute more to method development and experimental design. Though it may be a longshot, if time and resources allow, I would love the opportunity to spearhead my own experiment. My past areas of interest have been in reproductive health, particularly ovarian steroidogenesis, and I would love to apply some of my skills in that field (cell culture, dissection, etc.) to my work in the lab. In the meantime, I look forward to gaining expertise with the instruments, fortifying my understanding of cellular metabolism, and hopefully publishing findings along the way!

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David Nerguizian

Senior Professional Research Assistant

David recently joined the Metabolomics Core from Pete Anderson's lab at CU Anschutz School of Pharmacy

ALUMNI

Thank you for everything and best of luck for your future long and successful careers

 

Professional Research Assistant

Alexander Barrett, PhD
Alexis Catala, PhD
Benjamin Brown
Changhan Chen, MD
Connie Zheng
Devin P Champagne, PhD
Evan J Morrison
Matthew J Wither
Sarah Gehrke

 

Extended Family - the HANSEN Lab

Daily partners and friends. Like in Hebb's postulate, we fire together - wire together

Kirk C. Hansen, PhD

Associate Professor and Proteomics Core Director

Friend and mentor, Dr. Kirk C. Hansen is a world leading expert in the field of quantitative and extracellular matrix proteomics. Former UCSF and CalTech alumnus, over the past decade Dr. Hansen and his Lab have invested on the development and translational application of analytical strategies for the detection and quantification of proteins in health and disease, with a particular focus on the extracellular matrix component. Kirk has been a great mentor and friend (Angelo has Post-doc'ed in Kikr's Lab). Dr. Hansen also Directs the Proteomics Core of the School of Medicine at the University of Colorado Denver.

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Max McCabe

Graduate Student

After graduating from Rollins College with a degree in Biochemistry, Max McCabe spent time working as a research associate in the medical field before pursuing his PhD in the Hansen Lab in 2017. Max is using proteomics to characterize the composition and architecture of the Extracellular Matrix across different organs, with the ultimate goal of composing an organ-specific ECM Atlas. Outside of the lab Max enjoys hiking, playing and seeing music, and cooking. 

Lauren Schmitt

Professional Research Assistant

Lauren is a young and talented Professional Research Assistant in the Hansen Lab. Her research activity focuses on the expression of quantitative concatamers, 13C-lysine or arginine-labeled recombinant chimeric proteins containing up to 40 concatenated proteotypic (unique reporter) peptides for protein isoforms of interest. 

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