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
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 36, he has published over 280 papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals and two books.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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!