Alex Muir, PhD

About me: Hey there! Originally from Arizona, completed my graduate work at UC Berkeley and postdoctoral training at MIT.

Science interests: All the projects in the lab. Also, the vault. What does it do?

Contact: amuir []

Juan J. Ápiz Saab

About me: Got my BSA in Biology from the University of Puerto Rico and I’m now pursuing a PhD in Cancer Biology.

Science interests: How the extra cellular micro-environment and cell-cell interactions affect tumor cell metabolism and survival.

Contact: japizsaab []

Lindsey Dzierozynski

About me: Hello!  I’m a long time Chicago Surburbanite currently working as the Muir Lab laboratory technician.  I spent four years in the corn fields of Urbana-Champaign’s University of Illinois where I received my BS in Biochemistry. I am currently loving my research work and plan to pursue Higher Education in the future.

Science interests: I have always been very passionate about how living (and non-living) organisms learn to adapt to dynamic environments. Even at the molecular level, cancer cells, viruses, and bacteria alter their metabolic networks to survive. For example, in the 1950’s a lethal rabbit virus known as Myoxma Virus was introduced into Australia as means to deplete numbers of a non-native, invasive species of rabbit. Instead of controlling the population, the rabbits became resistant to the virus. These passions fuel my excitement to now be studying the tumor micro-environment and how it influences cancer cell metabolism survival.    

Contact: ldzier []

Moses Oh

About me: Hi! I am currently a third-year undergraduate at the University of Chicago. I am pursuing a B.S. in Biological Sciences and a specialization in Immunology.

Science interests: I am interested in cancer research, and the different ways we can treat tumors more effectively. In particular, I am fascinated by the altered metabolism and microenvironment of cancer cells compared to healthy cells, what that means for how we look at cancer and how we would go forward in treating them. Another broad area of interest is how metabolism can affect the relationship between the immune system and cancer cells, specifically, how we could exploit this for treatment.    

Contact: mosesoh19 []

Riona Chen

About me: Second year majoring in psychology at the university of Chicago. Also pre-med.

Science interests: If and how Ass1 plays a significant role in providing arginine for PDAC cells in a nutrient deprived microenvironment.  

Contact: rionachen125 []

Chufan Cai

About me: Hi everyone! Originally from Hefei China, and spent two years at China Agricultural University and two years at Purdue University. Currently, I am a second year graduate student from CCB!

Science interests: PDAC tumor; whether and which metabolite(s) in TME cause immunosuppression to T cells; Stress response: whether ATF4 is important for cancer growth

James Martin II, PhD

About me: Hello good people! I represent South Florida and South Jersey, the best only region of NJ with any significance. I received my BS in Molecular Biology from Florida Atlantic University and my PhD from Princeton University. Catch me in the lab rocking my snap back #scienceinasnapback

Science interests: I love understanding how things work. In tumors, I want to understand how changes in the tumor microenvironment can change the response of that tumor to therapy. I am also interested in using our understanding of the tumor microenvironment to develop a better pipeline to identify more effective cancer treatments.

Contact: jkmartin1 []

Colin Sheehan

About me: Born in the Chicago suburbs & received my BS in biological sciences from Notre Dame. Currently, I’m a graduate student with the committee on cancer biology. In my free time, you’ll catch me running up & down the Chicago lakefront trail!

Science interests: I am most interested in understanding how solid tumor cells solve bioenergetic & other metabolic problems, created by stressors inherent in the tumor microenvironment. I’m also fascinated by intercellular communication, and how different cell types coordinate to support cancer cell proliferation.

Contact: csheehan3 []

Patrick Jonker

Hey team! I’m a PhD student in the CCB, originally from Grand Rapids, Michigan. I did my undergraduate degree in biochemistry at Calvin College (now it’s a University… but I refuse to adapt). In my free time I like to play the cello and guitar, listen to music, read (a little!), run (less than Colin!), and spend time in nature. Some fun facts about me: I love dogs and cats equally; I have read Harry Potter three times (I’m a proud Hufflepuff); my cat’s name is Soup.

Science interests: I’m interested in the way immune populations are affected by tumor microenvironmental nutrient stress. I’m particularly interested in tumor associated macrophages in pancreatic cancer. What causes macrophages to trend towards helping cancer cells in the tumor microenvironment rather than killing them? I’m otherwise interested in how the various cell types in the tumor microenvironment talk to each other. How do they each support each other’s proliferation and survival?

Contact: pbjonker []