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, MD

Asmaa FerdjallahAsmaa Ferdjallah is a Pediatric Hematology/Oncology/BMT Fellow at the University of Minnesota.  She received her undergraduate degree at the University of Tennessee followed by a medical degree from the George Washington University School of Medicine in D.C. She is interested in pharmacogenomics, bone marrow transplant, and global health and is obtaining 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.

Yingbo Huang

Yingbo Huang, seatedYingbo is a graduate student in Dr.Stephanie Huang's lab. He received his BS in Pharmaceutical Science at China Pharmaceutical University and MS at the University of the Pacific, major in Drug Targeting and Delivery. Yingbo is interested in developing in vitro and in vivo translational models for cancer research, specifically in bridging the molecular features of cancers and the drug response together. Currently, his research is focusing on analyzing sex differences on genomic & transcriptomic levels of both malignant and healthy tissue, and exploring the pharmacogenomic relevance of these differences.

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, PharmD

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 MentzerJosh Mentzer is a member of the lab of Stephanie Huang.  He is in the PhD program in Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology. He has an undergraduate education in Genetics from Iowa State University, only two hours west of Cedar Rapids, where he grew up. He is exploring all of the current projects in the lab to determine the focus of his thesis.

Tam Nguyen

Tam NguyenTam Nguyen is pursuing a Doctor of Pharmacy Degree at the University of Minnesota, College of Pharmacy. She received a Bachelor of Science in Genetics, Cells Biology, and Development at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities - College of Biological Science in May 2017. She is involved in a translational pharmacogenomics research at the University of Minnesota Medical Center - East Bank Fairview Hospital with Dr. Jacobson and Dr. Skaar. The purpose of this research is to investigate how genetic variations affect ICU patients' responses to sedative medications. This research will also improve sedative management in the ICU by helping clinicians to accurately and quickly determine appropriate drugs and doses without titrations.

Rachael Pearson

Rachael PearsonRachael Pearson is a PharmD student at the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development also from the University of Minnesota.  Over the past 5 years, Rachael has gained experience in basic, translational, and clinical research settings. She is currently studying under Dr. Pamala Jacobson and is enrolled in the Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology Research Emphasis Track. Rachael’s most recent research includes determining the frequency of actionable pharmacogenomic variants in a large transplant cohort as well as evaluating the role of pharmacogenomics in the response to post-transplantation medications in human subjects.

Zach Rivers, PharmD

Zachary Rivers Zach Rivers is a PharmD graduate of the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy and a PhD candidate in Social and Administrative Pharmacy. His research focuses on identifying and translating clinically valid pharmacogenomic data into patient care, with an emphasis on overcoming financial and reimbursement barriers. Additionally, he is 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.

Tyler Stevens, PharmD

tyler stevens bioTyler Stevens is the PGY2 resident in Clinical Pharmacogenomics at Children’s Minnesota.  His residency is focused on enhancing clinical skills in pharmacogenomics and developing expertise in clinical implementation of pharmacogenomics into the electronic health record.  Specifically, he helped with implementation of the recent Clinical Pharmacogenetics Implementation Consortium Guideline for CYP2C9 and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Prior to his residency at Children’s Minnesota, Tyler completed a PGY-1 at CentraCare through the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy Residency Program.  His residency project was to implement a process of pharmacist interpretation of pharmacogenomics test results ordered by behavioral health providers.  Tyler received his PharmD at the University of Minnesota.

Jay (Ya-Feng) Wen, PharmD

Jay WenJay Wen is a PharmD graduate of the University of Minnesota and PhD candidate in Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology.  His 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.

His 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 ZhangLusi Zhang is a University of Minnesota PharmD candidate in the Research Emphasis Track under the mentorship of Dr. Jeff Bishop in the Department of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology for her ongoing research training. HJer research focuses include psychiatric genetics, pharmacogenomics, and psychopharmacology. She is 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. Her 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.