Pharmacogenomic Trainees

 

Josiah Allen

Josiah AllenJosiah Allen is a member of the PharmD class of 2022.  Prior to pharmacy school, Josiah worked for 10 years in clinical research and medical affairs in pharmacogenomics at Mayo Clinic, Assurex Health, and OneOme.  He also serves as Founder and Principal Consultant for Medigenics Consulting LLC, a personalized medicine consulting company that provides commercial laboratories and other stakeholders with market assessment, scientific product development, and medical affairs services.  Josiah's research focus is on clinical implementation of pharmacogenomics, with a focus in mental health.  His current work involves development of a psychometrically-validated pharmacogenomic knowledge assessment for use in clinical and research settings. 

Asmaa Ferdjallah

Asmaa FerdjallahI received my undergraduate degree at the University of Tennessee followed by a medical degree from the George Washington University School of Medicine in D.C. I am currently a 2nd year Pediatric Hematology/Oncology/BMT Fellow here at the University of Minnesota. I am interested in pharmacogenomics, bone marrow transplant, and global health. I am excited to obtain lab experience studying the relationship between lncRNAs and response to certain chemotherapeutic agents.

Katelyn France

Katelyn FranceKatelyn J. France is pursuing a B.S. in Biochemistry and a B.A. in German Studies at the University of Minnesota Duluth. She is the founder and CEO of Scientists Making Your Life Easier (SMYLE) LLC, a medical technologies and mentorship-focused company that produces accessible life-saving medical equipment while also providing opportunities for networking and assistance for students pursuing STEM projects and careers. She is currently working with Dr. Jacob Brown of the University of Minnesota - Duluth School of Pharmacy on a pharmacogenomics project assessing sertraline concentrations in children stratified by their CYP2C19 genotype.

Robert Gruener

Robert GruenerI received my undergraduate degree in Biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and am currently a graduate student in the Committee on Cancer Biology at the University of Chicago. My research involves using drug screening and genomic data to predict drugs that may be effective in treating cancers that have limited treatment options, particularly triple negative breast cancer. After generating these predictions, the compounds will then be tested for efficacy in appropriate cell line and mouse models.

Megan Hundertmark

Megan HundertmarkMegan Hundertmark is a fourth-year pharmacy student on the Duluth campus interested in advancing pharmacy practice to ensure that patients are able to access and afford medications best suited for them. For her research emphasis, she has been working with Jacob Brown, PharmD. MS to research the implementation of pharmacogenomic testing. She published a survey, Primary Care Clinicians Attitudes and Knowledge of Pharmacogenetics in a Large, Multi-state, Healthcare System, which showed that primary care clinicians think pharmacogenomics is important for practice and that pharmacists are the best suited to take on the task. Currently she is working on another survey that was administered to pharmacists to determine if post-graduate education and board certification has an impact on a pharmacist’s opinion of pharmacogenomics.

Adam Lee

Adam LeeThe focus throughout my research career has been in the identification and validation of genetic and epigenetic mechanisms involved in variable drug response and disease susceptibility. I received my doctoral degree in Pharmacology and Toxicology from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) in 2009. My post-doctoral fellowship research at Mayo Clinic, Rochester MN, focused on identifying and characterizing dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase gene variants associated with severe 5-Fluorouracil toxicity. As a principal scientist within the University of Minnesota Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology department, I am responsible for the daily operations of our laboratory unit including experimental design and execution, equipment procurement and maintenance scheduling, generation of standard operating procedures, laboratory safety compliance and training, and supply and biospecimen inventory. My future research interests are in the application of modern genomic methods in the clinical setting to develop more effective molecular tests for disease prognosis and treatment prediction.

Lauren Lemke

Lauren LemkeOriginally from small-town Wisconsin, I completed undergraduate coursework at the University of Minnesota where I am now in my third year of the Doctor of Pharmacy program. My research in the Huang Lab is centered around identifying and validating biomarkers for anticancer drug resistance and sensitivity. I am interested in both somatic and germline pharmacogenomics as well as their implementation into clinical practice.

Alex Ling

Alex LingI come from the prairielands of Minnesota where I got an AA and an AS from the local community college before doing my BS in Biochemistry at Northern Michigan University. I took two years off to farm with my Dad before joining the Ph.D. program in Cancer Biology at the University of Chicago and joining Stephanie's lab. While still a UChicago student, I followed Stephanie when she moved her lab to UMN in the Fall of 2017. My current research is focused on developing algorithms that use data from cancer cell line montherapy screens to predict the clinical effectiveness of combination therapies.

Tiana Luczak

Tiana LuczakTiana Luczak is a 2018 College of Pharmacy, Duluth graduate. After graduation, she completed her post-graduate year one residency training at St. Luke's Hospital in Duluth, MN. She is a post-doctoral fellow that is shared between the College of Pharmacy and Essentia Health in Duluth under the mentorship of Drs. Jacob Brown and David Stenehjem. Tiana's research thus far has focused on implementation of pharmacogenomics, bringing a pharmacist-managed pharmacogenomics service to a large, rural health system.

Joshua Mentzer

Joshua MentzerMy name is Josh Mentzer, and this is my first semester in the Huang Lab! I am in the first year of my doctoral program through the Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology department in the College of Pharmacy. I have an undergraduate education in Genetics from Iowa State University, only two hours west of Cedar Rapids, where I grew up. I will be primarily exploring all of the current projects in the lab to later determine the focus for my thesis. I am excited to see all of the work being done by the other lab members over these next few months!

Zach Rivers, PharmD

Zachary RiversAs our understanding of the clinical impact of pharmacogenomics continues to expand, the uptake of this technology into clinic has not matched the growth of our knowledge. My research focuses on identifying and translating clinically valid pharmacogenomic data into patient care, with an emphasis on overcoming financial and reimbursement barriers. Additionally, I am examining how provider training impacts their willingness to integrate pharmacogenomics into their clinical practice, especially providers working in hematology and oncology.

Yuting Shan

Yuting ShanI received my undergraduate degree at Peking University Health Science Center, China. My major during undergraduate was Pharmaceutical Sciences. Now I am a PharmD student at the U and also a research volunteer in Dr. Huang’s lab. I am currently working on finding the relationship between lncRNAs and the response to certain anticancer drugs.

Jay (Ya-Feng) Wen

Jay WenMy current research interests include using pharmacogenomics and pharmacometrics approaches to optimize medication therapy and exploring health system registries to enhance patient’s treatment experience. One of the projects is the continuation of a study of Genetic Basis of Gout in a Hmong Population at Risk, an adjunct study of pharmacokinetic, pharmacogenetic and pharmacodynamic data collected by the Genetics Of HyperUricemia Therapy in Hmong (GOUT-H) study to explore the genetic basis of gout in a under-served and under-studied population, the Hmong population at risk during.

Second project focuses on the determination of known genetic variations within very important pharmacogenes (VIPs) in the Hmong population which brings local, state-wide and regional relevance to the nationally supported NIH “All of Us” program.

Lusi Zhang

Lusi ZhangI am in the Research Emphasis Track under the mentorship of Dr. Jeff Bishop in the Department of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology for my ongoing research training. My research focuses include psychiatric genetics, pharmacogenomics, and psychopharmacology. I am currently investigating the interaction between polygenic susceptibility of CVD and cardiovascular medication use in relation to cognitive performance in patients with psychotic disorders. This project is funded by ACCP Foundation Futures Grant during the period of 2019-2020. My long-term goal is to identify genetic associations with cognitive impairment in the context of medication exposures in order to inform preventive strategies and treatment decisions to reduce cognitive burden.

Yuqi Zhou

Yuqi ZhouI received my undergraduate degree of Biochemistry at University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. I am currently a Pharm.D. student and will be working as a volunteer for pharmacogenomic research with Dr. Huang. My research will focus on lncRNA and its relationship with cancer.