Lab Personnel

Personnel – Amherst

Dr. Elizabeth Vierling  – Principal Investigator  – Rm 329N LSL

ORCID number:

Administrative Assistant

Rebecca Fricke – Rm 335N LSL

Postdoctoral Researchers – 340N LSL

Patrick Treffon – I am analyzing the biochemical properties of the GSNOR protein, including protein-protein interactions and their impact on NO-dependent signaling.  The functional characterization of gsnor– knock out plants is also one focus of my research.


Nathan Perry – Applied Molecular Biology – Working on the ATAD3 biochemistry

Research Assistant

Salma Akther – Rm 340N LSL


Katelyn Belmore – Working on creating TRAP and WT mutants for the ATAD3 homologue A2 to trap interacting substrates. I am also screening CRISPR-Cas and quick change mutagenesis mutant plants for the transgene. My goal is to foster healthy and happy plants that yield transgenic seeds! (Began Spring 2023)

Haofeng Lin – Working on the two classes of cytosolic small heat shock proteins (sHSPs) (Class I and II).  His goals for both are to perform phenotypic analysis in order to know the impact of heat shock protein on plants. For CI he hopes to accomplish 6 mutant lines and for CII I he hopes to perform at one set of phenotypic analysis. (Began Spring 2023)

Alina Shkurikhina – Learning new lab techniques, including genotyping and selection of transgenic plants. Working on chloroplast small heat shock proteins (sHSPs). (Began Fall 2023)

Nicole Steinmeyer – Learning new lab techniques, how to interpret data, and collaborating with others to design experiments.  (Began Spring 2023)


Former Lab Members

Visiting Research Scientists:
Dr. Alejandra Covarrubias – Biotechnology Institute of the National University of Mexico (Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico – UNAM
Dr. Eman Basha– Associate Professor at the Biology Department, Taif University, Ta’if Saudi Arabia (June ’13 – August ’13)Kishor
Dr. Gaikwad, Research Scientist, Indian Agricultural Research Institute, Pusa, New Delhi, India
Dr. Huiru Peng, Professor, China Agricultural University, Beijing, China.
Dr. Joel Stafstrom, Associate Professor of Plant Sciences, NIU, IL
Dr. Shengbao Xu, Associate professor in Northwest A&F University of China

Research Fellow – 

Dr. Minsoo Kim

Post Docs:

Dr. Ricardo Azpiroz, Instructor, Richland College, Richland, TX
Dr. Kim Giese, RN Princeton, NJ
Dr. Damian Guerra, Post Doc, University of Colorado Denver
Dr. Andy Hausrath, Assistant Professor, UA
Dr. Ken Helm, Professor, Siena College, NY.
Dr. Indu Santhanagoplan  – PhD Indian Institute of Science, India.
Dr. Suk-Whan Hong, Associate Professor, Chonnam National Univ., Gwngju, South Korea
Dr. Jane Larkindale, Research Program Coordinator, Muscular Dystrophy Association, Tucson, AZ
Dr. Gary Lee former Monsanto  Scientist,currently fine guitar builder,
Dr. Ung Lee, True Light Institute of Agricultural Development in Northeast Asia, Yan Ji, China.
Dr. Fionn McLoughlin, Postdoctoral research fellow in Richard Vierstra’s lab at Washington University in St. Louis
Dr. Heather O’Neil, Caris Life Sciences
Dr. Kathy Osteryoung, Professor Michigan State University, MI
Dr. Kerstin Petersen
Dr. Elizabeth Waters, Associate Professor, San Diego State University, CA
Dr. Colin Watson, Medical Director at GE Health Care in Tucson, AZ

PhD Students:

Dr. Keith Ballard – Small heat shock proteins (sHSPs) and related vertebrate α-crystallins are a ubiquitous class of ATP-independent molecular chaperones with a monomeric molecular mass of 12-42 kDa.
Dr.Qiang Chen, Associate Professor, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ
Dr. Amy DeRocher, Staff Scientist, Seattle Biomedical Research Institute, Seattle, WA
Dr. Kenneth Friedrich, Associate Professor, Portland Community College, Portland, OR
Tienxiang Liu – Northwest Agriculture and Forestry University, Yangling, China
Dr. Nomalie Jaya, Senior Scientist, Seattle Genetics, Bothell, WA
Dr. Teri Suzuki, Research Scientist-Sanofi-Aventis, Tucson, AZ
Dr. Nadja Wehmeyer (Anderson), Biotech Project Coordinator, Tucson, AZ

MS Students:

Eli Gordon – Graduated Fall 2021

Sam Zelman – Scientist III at Merck Research Labs Boston in the Immuno-oncology Department
Parth Patel – University of Central Florida Medical School
Nathen Bopp – University of TX, PhD program
Mary Fowler – New England Biolabs
David Kim High School Science Teacher, Albuquerque, NM
Deanna Willett, MIddle School Science Teacher and Teacher Training, Tucson, AZ
Ian Truebridge – How nitrosation and pH affects the activity of S-(hydroxymethyl) glutathione reductase (S-HMGSH)
Yichen Zhang, Rutgers University
Liyuan Zhang – China Agricultural University, Beijing, China.

Research Technicians:

Stephanie Craig
Angela Blais
Lisa Lauzon
Adam Geach, DMD, California
Sharon Pennington
Julie Bordowitz
Susanna Brettschneider Student Umea, Sweden,
Debbie Raynes – Senior research Technician, Tucson, AZ

Former Undergraduates:

Aurora Ahmed, Jesse Arsenault, Umaru Barrie, Johnathan Barricelli, Julie Bordowitz, Thi Bui,Elana Carleton,J. T. Caroll, MD, Belmund Catague (MD), Jennifer Corrigan (PharmD), Samuel Del’Olio, Mindy Escobar (MS), Olena Gross, Philipp Guettler, Nora Haggerty, Lorraine Hernandez, Senior Research Scientist, Erica Hummell (Pharmacist), Corey Isgur, Yadwinder Kuar, Samhitha Satish Kumar, Lisa Miller, Dylan McLaughlin, Alyssa McQuillan, Chirag Mehta, Jillian Moore, Esther Oh, Shannon Parrington, Parth Patel, Prem Patel, Vijay Patel (Dentist), Megan Paul (MD), Kostantinos Papathanasiou, Emma Peterson, Benjamin Rizkin, Astha Parmar, Fabian Suri-Payer, Puneet Singh, Ariel Toledo (Pharmacist), Elli Walker (Dialysis Technician), Chris Wie (MD), Ben Williams (MD), Justin Wong (MD), Kelsey Avery, Logan Robinson, Kara Samsel (MD), Lauren Velie

Former High School Students:
Elizabeth Ortiz, Amherst High School

Zoe Langsdale, Amherst High School

CG Elliott, Amherst High School