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 an Assistant Professor and founder and director of the Metabolomics Core of the School of Medicine at the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, University of Colorado Denver – Anschutz Medical Campus. 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) and the 2017 Webb-Waring Early Career grant by the Boettcher Foundation. Age 33, he has published over 160 papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals.

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

Post-doc

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. 

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.

Benjamin Brown, M.Sc.

Professional Research Assistant

Ben Brown defended his thesis at Iowa State University in December of 2017 with a Master’s degree in biochemistry.  He used metabolic engineering and CRISPR/Cas9 to engineer rice, exploring its innate defense mechanisms against plant pathogens.  He used GCMS and LCMS to isolate and quantify the diterpenoids involved in plant defense. 

After defending his thesis Ben worked as an adjunct chemistry professor at Des Moines Area Community College for a semester.  He joined the metabolomics core in September 2018. 

Devin Champagne, PhD

Post-doc

Devin is originally from Lockport, Louisiana and joined the D’Alessandro Lab as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in October of 2018. Prior to joining, he received a PhD in Cellular, Molecular, and Biomedical Sciences with a focus on Immunology from the University of Vermont. During his doctoral studies, he examined the effects of methylation controlled J protein (MCJ, also known as DNAJC15), a master regulator of mitochondrial metabolism, on the immune responses of cytotoxic T cells during an infection with Influenza. Prior to his doctoral studies, he earned an MS in Biological Sciences and a BS in Biochemistry, both from Southeastern Louisiana University.

Sarah Gehrke, B.Sc.

Senior Professional Research Assistant

Sarah is a native of Colorado where she received her B.Sc. in Chemistry from the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs.  There, she used CE to investigate novel methods for measuring neurotransmitters in human urine for application to disease monitoring.  After receiving her degree, she worked as a research scientist in a team researching fly ash remediation and CO2 capture. There, she honed her bench technique and analytical skills, including utilizing various instrumentation, particularly ICP-MS and IC, among others.  She next worked with a highly skilled team as an analytical chemist, researching biomass conversion to industry-important chemicals.  During her time there, she continued to polish her analytical skills in a high-throughput research laboratory setting, chiefly utilizing TOC, LC and IC.   Her current research focuses on the development of new metabolomics approaches for high-throughput and metabolic tracing applications, especially in the fields of cancer metabolism and mammalian hibernation. 

Evan J Morrison, M.Sc.

Graduate Student

Evan J. Morrison is a Ph.D. student in the Molecular Biology Program (T32 fellowship recipient), where he studies the metabolome of red blood cells in the context of aging and disease. Evan earned his B.S. in Chemistry and B.A in Philosophy at the Metropolitan State University of Denver, where he used chemical probing to determine higher order lncRNA structures in 3’ untranslated regions in a family of nepoviruses, and how higher order folding directed non-canonical translation initiation.  Additionally, Evan trained in analytic philosophy and studied Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, as well as the role of metaphors in cognitive linguistics. After completing his degrees,  Evan became a laboratory researcher at National Jewish Health, where he researched the epigenetics of metabolic disorders and explored the role of exosomes in the pathogenesis of Diabetic Nephropathy, Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease, Sarcoidosis, and Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis. Outside of the lab, Evan still can be found brooding about philosophy.

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!

Alexis Catala, MSc

Graduate Student

Alexis Catala is a graduate student in the Structural Biology and Biochemistry Program. She has joined the lab in 2019, where she has been working on studies bridging the D'Alessandro and the Catalano Labs at CU Anschutz. As part of her project, she has been working extensively on the impact of erythrophagocytosis on macrophage metabolism and viral infection (e.g., Zika, Dengue and Chikungunya) on red blood cell biology.

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.

Lorenzo Bertolone, MSc

Visiting student

Lorenzo is a visiting student from the University of Verona, Italy - where is attending the third year of his PhD training under the supervision of Dr. Annalisa Castagna. As part of his visiting studentship training, he will be performing metabolomics studies of plasma and urine from patients suffering from primary aldosteronism.

Former LAB MEMBERS

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

Matthew Wither, M.Sc.

Professional Research Assistant

Matthew worked with us for ~2.5 years, bringing his enthusiasm, professionalism, and dedication to the table. His work here earned him an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, which he is now utilizing at the University of Washington in Seattle. His research there is focused on uncovering mechanisms that control the fate of naive T-cells following activation. He also has a strong interest in human metabolism and its importance to health and fitness. Best of luck Matt!

Connie Zheng, M.Sc.

Professional Research Assistant

Connie is a young, motivated PRA who joined the lab full time starting from September 2017. She graduated from Colorado College with a BSc in Neuroscience and received her MSc in Biomedical Sciences from Regis University.  Since joining the lab, her research activity focuses primarily on cardiovascular disease and pulmonary hypertension. In her free time, Connie enjoys reading, dancing, and spending time with friends and family. Connie recently joined Medical School at the Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences.

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Alexander Barrett, PhD

Post-doc

Alex is former Postdoctoral fellow at the University of Colorado School of Medicine in the Tumor Fibrosis and Translational Pulmonary Vascular Biology performing research in Drs. Angelo D'Alessandro and Kirk Hansen's laboratories . I have an ardent research interest in the development and application of translational research that can be used as preventative and diagnostic tools to treat solid tumors and diseases characterized by fibrosis and stromal remodeling. Currently, Alex works as a Clinical and Research Liaison for Tempus inc.

 

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.

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.

Ryan C. Hill, PhD

Research Associate

Ryan received his doctoral degree in the Hansen lab in July of 2016 and currently works as a member of the Biological Mass Specrometry Facility. Ryan continues to pursue advancing technologies aimed at understanding the Extracellular Matrix with a focus on driving progress in the field of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine.

Aaron Issaian

Graduate Student

Aaron is a talented graduate student in the Hansen Lab, with a strong expertise in classic  protein biochemistry (protein expression, purification, etc.). Though not the most talkative member of the group, Aaron has an innate sense of humor that, combined with his often perfect comedic timing, make him the perfect buddy over a beer (especially since he won't drink any alcohol).

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. 

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. 

 

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