Lab Members

Post Docs

Zufan Debebe

Our lab recently discovered the expression of the Ror family tyrosine kinase receptor, Ror2, in renal cell carcinoma and that expression is correlated with invasive cell growth. My project involves studying the biological function of Ror2, in particular the kinase activity, to elucidate its involvement in the non-canonical as well as canonical Wnt signaling cascade. The project targets development of compounds that inhibit Ror2 activity and serve as drug leads by utilizing high-throughput drug screening to identify compounds active against Ror2. This part of the project aims to 1) develop assays using cell cultures to measure Ror2 activity; 2) using established in vitro assays as well as the cell based assay developed in aim 1, to screen a large set of known kinase inhibitors to identify Ror2 inhibiting compounds.

Graduate Students

Kate Hacker
MD/PhD Student
Alex Arreola
Graduate Student, Genetics and Molecular Biology

My thesis project is to elucidate what early genetic events following von Hippel-Lindau tumor suppressor gene mutation/loss may be critical for renal cell carcinoma tumorigenesis. I employ the use of various conditional mouse models and derived primary neonatal epithelial kidney cells to characterize at the cell and molecular level, what cells are more prone to tumorigenic events.
Neal Rasmussen
Graduate Student, Genetics and Molecular Biology
Samira Brooks
Graduate Student, Toxicology
Catherine Fahey
MD/PhD Student

Catherine is working with a chemical synthetic inhibitor screen to identify small molecules which selectively act in SETD2 deficient cells. We will then study the effect of these compounds on chromatin organization and cell phenotype.


Adam Sendor
Research Technician

Undergraduate Students

Oishee Sen
Undergraduate Student, Majoring in Anthropology
Sudarshan Mohan
Undergraduate Student, Majoring in Biostatistics and Quantitative Biology