Student Directory

Current Students

Colaruotolo, Kayla PhD  
Ha, Herena PhD  
Han, Min Seok PhD  
Hawkins, Diana PhD  
Holland, Evan MS  
Inda, Kari PhD  
Komori, Cady MS  
Lee, Katie PhD My project studies cardiac metabolism before and after a heart attack, focusing on a key protein that generates energy and is subsequently important for heart function and contraction. We have identified potentially novel roles for this protein in regulating glycolytic flux and the cellular oxidative state in cardiomyocytes. Using this knowledge, we hope to modulate this protein to become more efficient in its functions after a heart attack to prevent further injury.
Levy, Abigail PhD  
Komori, Cady MS  
Nagata, Michelle PhD  
Nelson, Luke PhD I am interested in using biophysical/biochemical tools to understand cell-sorting diseases. The movement of cell cargo in and out of the cell is crucial to cell survival and serves as a nexus for disease intervention and therapeutic discovery. I hope to learn the specific players and their roles implicated in neurologic and metabolic diseases and help contribute to drug discovery in the future.
Nicholson, Jessica PhD I am a doctoral researcher in Dr. Marla Berry’s lab studying the effects of stress hormones on antioxidant proteins in the brain. Chronic stress hormone exposure can cause many detrimental effects in the brain, which is highly susceptible to stress. Selenoproteins, produced from dietary selenium in cells, are important in the body for their antioxidant function. Therefore, we believe that chronic stress may affect the levels of important selenoproteins in the brain making it more prone to damage. This has implications in nutrition and could provide valuable insight into the importance of maintaining dietary selenium levels as a way to protect the brain from damage.
Nilsson, Anna PhD I am a graduate student in the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology at UHM, working in the lab of Dr. Kathryn Schunke. Our lab studies mechanisms of cardiometabolic and autonomic dysfunction in different models of disease. My project is focused on understanding a central nervous system (CNS)-driven cardiovascular complication of type 2 diabetes called cardiac autonomic neuropathy, in which parasympathetic tone in the heart is compromised. We utilize a rat model of diet-induced type 2 diabetes to identify functional and transcriptional changes in the brain and heart to study both the mechanism of disease and potential therapeutic pathways of the CNS-oxytocin axis to address autonomic disruption. Research to understand the heart in diabetic states and avenues for intervention is important and translationally relevant as the leading cause of mortality in the diabetic population is cardiovascular disease.

Sampige Phaniraj, Suhas

Sasuclark, Alex PhD  
Schuller, Connor PhD My research focuses on the role of intracellular trafficking in regulating cardiac muscle metabolism.
Suechting, Bryan PhD  
Sullivan, Hillary PhD  
Tanaka, Chelsea MS Chelsea is a 2nd year MS student working with Dr. Lenora Loo at the UH Cancer Center. Her research project is focused on early-stage non-invasive breast cancer called ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS). She is utilizing bioinformatic tools to characterize genome-wide gene expression profiles of DCIS tissue samples to identify differentially expressed genes associated with DCIS that develop into invasive breast cancer versus cases that do not.
Tran, Christopher PhD Hello, my name is Christopher Tran, and I am a graduate student in the Cell and Molecular Biology Department, working in the Owens lab at the Institute for Biogenesis Research at UH Manoa. I work on research developing transposase-based DNA editing tools, through rational design and directed evolution methods.
Watanabe, Marissa PhD  
Yamamoto, Brennan PhD  

Completed Ph.D. Dissertations

Name Graduation Date Dissertation Title
Martinez Rodriguez, Verena 2024 Phosphoglucomutase 5 and hepatocellular carcinoma
Shontell, Ruth Mariko 2024 The Neuroprotective AβCore Rescues Full Length Aβ42 – Linked Alterations in Dendritic Spine Structure , Synaptic Density, and Glutamate Receptor Expression
Allan, Nina Picher 2024 Diet-associated epigenetic modulation of phenotypes relevant to autism spectrum disorders
Shontell, Ryan 2023 Activity and Centromere Targeting of a Maize Retrotransposon Integrase
Giannakopoulos, Stefanos 2023 In vitro and in vivo investigation of SARS-CoV-2 associated injury and functional impairments in the testis.
Lantz, Megan 2021 Investigation of the Protective Role of the N-Terminal Beta Amyloid Fragments Against Beta Amyloid-Induced Gliotoxicity in Neuroinflammation
Elston, Marlee 2020 In-vivo Non-viral Placental Gene Modulation
Xue, Jiaming 2020 Asbestos Induces Mesothelioma Cell Transformation via HMGB1-Driven Autophagyid Fragments Against Beta Amyloid-Induced Gliotoxicity in Neuroinflammation
Pang, Alina 2020 Investigation of Hyperglycemia's Impact on the Immune System in Type 2 Diabetes
Kuwabara, Jill 2020 Role of the Fibroblast in Structuring the Cardiac Microenvironment
Yap, Jonathan 2019 Overexpression of Chitotriosidase-1 Modulates Macrophage Function and Alters Plaque Morphology in Hyperlipidemic Mice
Marciel, Michael 2019 Genetic deletion and inhibition of selenoprotein K reduces melanoma growth and metastasis by altering intracellular calcium
Ivey, Malina 2019 Differential Roles of PDGFRalpha in Maintenance and Activation of Cardiac Fibroblasts
Sanstrum, Bethany 2018 Delineating avenues for a novel disease modifying therapy for Parkinson's Disease Using Advanced Fluorescence Microscopy Techniques
Robles, Michael 2018 Regulation of Hippocampal NMDA Receptor Signaling, Memory and Synaptic Plasticity by the JIP1 Scaffold Protein
Forest, Kelly 2018 Characterizing the Protection of an N-Terminal Active Core Peptide Within β-Amyloid Against β-Amyloid Neurotoxicity
Alfulaij, Naghum 2017 Neuroprotective Potential of the N-terminal Beta Amyloid Peptide Fragment in the Neurodegeneration, Synaptic Dysfunction and Memory Deficits in the Models of Alzheimer’s Disease
Kremer, Penny 2017 Sex specific brain auditory and motor tract neurodegeneration and seizure development in mice with a deficiency in micro-nutrient selenium metabolism
Nguyen-Wu, Elizabeth 2017 Distinct Roles of Selenoproteins in Facilitating Synaptic Plasticity for Learning and Memory
Ogawa-Wong, Ashley 2017 The role of selenocysteine lyase in pancreatic islet physiology and it’s sex-specific regulation of energy metabolism
Shimada, Briana 2017 The role of mTOR in Cardiac Function
Torres, Daniel 2017 The Role of Selenium in Dopamine Transmission and Modulation by Methamphetamine
Fredericks, Gregory 2016 The Role of Selenoprotein K in DHHC6-Mediated Protein Palmitoylation and the Impact on Immune Cell Function
Lee, Amanda 2016 Exocyst dysfunction leads to defects in urothelial differentiation in a novel mouse model of congenital ureter obstructions
McDermott, Mindy 2016 HIV and its Treatment lead to Metabolic Disturbances as a Result of Disrupted Cellular Respiration and Lipotoxicity
Norton, Robert 2016 Selenoprotein K and Promotion of FC-GAMMA Receptor Mediated Phagocytosis
Pickering, Anna 2016 Mitochondrial Oxidative Damage, Base-Excision Repair, and Antiretroviral Therapy
Young-Robbins, Shirley 2016 The regulation of Integrin Activation and Recycling by RSK2 Promotes Cancer Migration and Invasion
Jansen, Chad 2015 Biophysical Characterization of Zebra Fish transient Receptor Potential Cation Channel, Subfamily M, Member 7
McCurdy, Sara 2015 Modulating Macrophage Inflammation to Reduce Atherosclerosis
Anderson, Cynthia 2014 Nonviral Vector Strategies for Ultrasound Targeted Microbubble Destruction-Mediated Hepatic Gene Therapy
Caliva, Maisel 2014 Regulation of Integrin Trafficking by PEA-15
Lawrence, James 2014 N-Terminal Beta Amyloid Fragments Regulate Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors
Owens, Jesse 2014 Novel piggyBac transposase vectors for safer gene addition into mammalian genomes
Rose, Aaron 2014 Inflammation Associated Cancers and Potential Therapeutics
Seyedali, Ali 2014 Mechanistic Regulation of Selenoprotein mRNSs During Selenium Deficiency
Wilcox, Christie 2014 Molecular Investigators of the Pteroinae: Insights into the Invasive Lionfishes from the Native Range
Anderson, Lynn 2013 The Effects of Chemotherapeutic or Antiretroviral Drugs on Mitchodrial Function
Arora, Komal 2013 Impact Of Sustained Exposure To ?-Amyloid On The Regulation Of Synaptic Function And Cell Integrity In A Model Nerve Cell System Expressing ?4?2 Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors
Diller, Karl 2013 FOXP2 and the Evolutionary Genetics of Language
Dominguez, Kenneth 2013 Identification of DNase II in Mouse Spermatozoa and Luminal Fluid From the Epididymis and Vas Deferens
Higa, Jason 2013 Inflammation and Breast Cancer Prevention with Phyllostwachys Edulia Extract
Pang, Xiaosha 2013 HIV-Induced Redox Changes and Inflammation in the Central Nervous System and Modulatory Factors
Sato, Brittany 2013 Steroid Metabolism, Nitrosative Stress and Inflammation: Mechanisms for Placental Dysfunction in Assisted Reproduction
Cochrane, Kimberly 2012 The Role of Connexin43-Interating Protein, CIP85 in the Trafficking of Connexibn43
Darrow, April 2012 The Endothelial Response to Diabetes Reveals a Role for Galectin-3
Raman, Arjun 2012 Utilization of Selenium in the Mouse Brain: Implications for Neurological Disease
Seale, Lucia 2012 The Selenium Recycling Enzyme Selenocysteine Lyase: Regulation and Physiological Role in Glucose and Lipid Metabolism
Wong, Mayee 2012 Investigations of Leptospira in Small Mammalian Hosts Species in the Hawaiian Islands
Reeves, Mariclair 2011 Characterization of the Neuroprotective Mechanism of Selenoprotein M
Sharma, Amrish 2011 Novel Role of RASGPR1 in RAS Activation in Keratinocytes: Implications for Skin Carcinogenesis
Agsalda, Melissa 2010 Determining the Role of HIV-DNA in Relation to Activated Monocytes in the Development of HIV-Associated Neurocognitive Disorders
Barnhill, Jason 2010 A Protective Role of Transmembrane Channel Like Proteins in Human Papilloma Virus Infection
Gawecka, Joanna 2010 PEA-15 and RSK2 Signaling in Cancer Mortality Regulation
Haines, Bryan 2010 The Role of Uncoupling Protein 2 in Neuroprotection and Validation as a Drug Target
Hew, Brian 2010 Human C3/Cobre Venom Factor Hybrid Protiens: Tools for a Structure-Function Study of Complement Component C3
Horton, Jaime 2010 An Inflammatory Role of Relaxin at the Maternal-Fetal Interface
Kim, Courtney 2010 Human C3/Cobre Venom Factor Hybrid Protiens: Tools for a Structure-Function Study of Complement Component C3
Naeole, Chrystie 2009 DNA Arrays for Species Identification and Genotyping within Complexes of Closely Related Species
Pitts, Matthew 2009 The Central Amygdala, Corticotropin-Releasing Factor, and Contextual Fear Memory
Takeuchi, Ken 2009 Transcriptional Regulation of the MYCN Oncogene
Teeters, Kelsa 2009 The Role of Caveolin-1 in Inflammation and Airway Remodeling
Campora, Cara 2008 Evaluating the Risk of Ciguatera Fish Poisoning from Reef Fish in Hawaii: Development of ELISA
Cogbill, Jolene 2008 The Drosophila ATP-binding Cassette Transporter Gene dMRP is Related to the Human Multidrug Resistant-associate Protein(MRP) Family and functions as a Xenobiotic Transporter"
Coussens, Matthew 2008 Effects of SIRT1 and Telomerase on Stem Cells
Downs, Craig 2008 Mechanisms of Coral Bleaching in Response to Various Environmental Stressors
Linnolt, Michael 2008 A Novel and Flexible Methodology for Rapid Computational Ab-initio Protein Structure Prediction
Squires, Jeffrey 2008 SBP2 Binding Affinity is a major Determinant in Differential Selenoprotein MRNA Translation and Sensitivity in NMD
Hu, Qirui 2006 Fibulin-5 interaction with elastic fibers in Cutis Laxa.
Molnar, Janos 2006 Function and Role of Scavenger Receptor Cysteine - Rich Domain - Containing Lysyl Oxidases in Drosophila
Szauter, Kornelia 2006 Microfibril Associated Novel Fibrotic Disorder With Marfanoid Features: Involvement of Lox and LoxL
Umylny, Boris 2006 Analysis of Alu and B1 Sequences in Human and Mouse Genomes and Transcriptomes
Burgess, Sarah 2005 Phylogeography and Conservation Genetics
Ding, Chaonan 2005 Cellular and Molecular Mechanisms of Enhanced Neuronal Damage in Hyperglycemic Ischemia.
Fogelgren, Benjamin 2005 Discovery of Protein-Protein Interactions of the Lysyl Oxidase Enzyme: Implications for Cardiovascular Disease, Cancer, and Fibrosis.
Killebrew, Deirdre 2005 Activated Macrophanges: Implications in HIV-Associated Disease Pathogenesis

Completed M.S. Degrees

Name Graduation Date Thesis Title
Delgado, Donovan 2022 Characterizing the morphological and cellular effects of amyloid-beta on oligodendroglia and myelination
Head, Tony 2022 Epigenetic Targets and Downstream Effects of Noni Aqueous Extract on Anti-Cancer Activity."
Sachs, Rachel 2021 Intracellular Trafficking of APP by the Exocyst Complex: Mechanisms in Alzheimer’s Disease and Insulin Signaling
Riggsbee, Kara 2020 The Role of TCF21 in Fibroblasts During Cardiac Development
Corpuz, Austin 2019  
Taketa, Ruth 2019  
Lieu, Suzanna 2019 Sec10 Inactivation Results in Cell Death and Upregulation of Fn14 During Ureter Development
Oshiro, David 2018  
Goo, Brandee 2017 ARC in AMPA Receptor Endocytosis: Direct Evidence Indicating ARC as a Scaffolding Protein
Ogawa-Wong, Ashley 2017  
Reyes, Amanda 2017  
Swonger, Jessica 2017  
Waddell, Donald 2017  
Zitello, Emory 2017  
Byrns, China 2014  
Chang, Carrow 2013  
Darrow, April 2013  
Bettis, Jaclyn 2012  
Fay, Jeffrey 2012 Investigation of Selenoprotein K Function and Association proteins
Khemmani, Mark 2012  
Nguyen-Wu, Elizabeth 2012 Novel Insights on the Role of Selenoprotein P in Sperm Viability
Thakore, Manoj 2012  
Dee, James 2011  
Gilman, Christy 2011 Mechanistic Studies on the Inhibitory Effect of Bamboo Extract on the Proliferation of Breast Cancer Cell Lines
Young, Shirley 2009 Characterization of patA in Cell Differentiation
Archer, Crystal 2008 A Study of Syrbactins, A New Class of Proteasome Inhibitors with Anti-Cancer Activity
Dominguez, Ken 2008 Mouse Sperm EGTA Dependent Nuclease
Hara, Cynthia 2008  
Moikeha, Nickol 2008  
Zhou, Dan 2008  
Cochrane, Kimberly 2007 Interaction of Creatine Kinase with the TRPA1ion channel n
Eischen, Malia 2007  
Loeffler, Jorik 2007 RNAi knockdown of the flightless-I transcript in Drosophila melanogaster
Walls, Alison 2006  
Howard, James 2005 Cancer Vaccines
Kanemaru, Kelli 2005