Dean Pontius

Dean graduated from Case Western Reserve University in 2016 with a B.S.E. in Chemical Engineering. As an undergraduate, Dean performed research developing high-throughput tools for cartilage tissue engineering in the lab of Dr. Harihara Baskaran. After graduation, he worked on pre-clinical drug development for osteoarthritis at Merrimack Pharmaceuticals in Cambridge, MA, where he was successfully bitten by the biomedical research bug. He matriculated at the Molecular Medicine PhD program at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University, where he joined the Scacheri lab in Spring of 2018. Dean is interested in the role transcription factors play in mediating osteosarcoma metastasis. When not in the lab, he likes to bike (slower than Pete), bake, and try all the different restaurants around Cleveland.

Ellen Hong

Ellen graduated with a B.A. in Biological Sciences from Cornell University in 2017. As an undergraduate, she studied the RAD9-RAD1-HUS1 (9-1-1) DNA checkpoint clamp in Dr. Robert Weiss’s laboratory at Cornell. She also investigated the molecular mechanisms leading to pulmonary metastasis in osteosarcoma in Dr. Chand Khanna’s laboratory at the NIH. After graduation, Ellen entered the CWRU MSTP in 2017, and she is excited to finish her preclinical years and begin working full-time in the Scacheri laboratory in the spring of 2019. Ellen is interested in the intersection of metabolism and epigenetics. Outside of lab, she enjoys watching TV, listening to Korean pop music, and running.

Jaret “Mac” Karnuta

Mac graduated with a B.S. in Chemistry with distinction from Duke University in 2016. As an undergraduate, he performed analytical biochemistry research with Dr. Michael Fitzgerald investigating protein thermodynamics and worked as a research intern with Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics. After graduation, Mac joined the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University as a Healy and Loop scholar, where he is also working towards an MS in bioinformatics. He is currently investigating the genetic and epigenetic profile of osteosarcomas, with interest in the role of enhancers in osteosarcoma formation and metastasis. In his spare time, Mac enjoys cooking Indian food, playing with his dog (Tucker), spending time with friends and family, and working on his clinical research interests.

Devin Neu

Devin graduated with a B.S. in Biology from Syracuse University where she also continued to complete a M.S. degree in the laboratory of Dr. Roy Welch. Her primary thesis work focused on factors influencing cellular differentiation and how populations of cells interact under starvation conditions in the bacterium Myxococcus xanthus. Devin entered the CWRU BSTP program in 2016, and became a member of the Scacheri lab in January 2017. She is currently studying the role of transcription factors in the maintenance of enhancer activity in colon cancer. Outside of lab, she enjoys playing tennis, running, and cooking.

Andrew Morton

Andrew graduated from Michigan State University with a B.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in 2014.  As an undergraduate, he had several research experiences including exploring the effects of plant metabolites on colon cancer and investigating the molecular basis of epileptogenesis.  After graduation, he entered the CWRU MSTP in 2014, and began work full-time in the Scacheri laboratory in 2016.  Andrew is co-mentored by Dr. Jeremy Rich of the Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute, and he is currently working on a joint project between the two labs to uncover genomic alterations in cancer can disrupt epigenetic regulation.  Outside of the laboratory, he enjoys exploring all that Cleveland has to offer, including frequenting Playhouse Square, the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, and Mitchell’s Ice Cream.

Zach Faber, PhD

Zach graduated with a BA in biology from St. John’s University (MN) and received a Ph.D. from Tulane University in molecular and cellular biology. In his graduate work he focused on the control of retrotransposons by the cellular DNA repair machinery. During his postdoctoral work in the lab of Dr. James Downing at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Zach was a part of the Pediatric Cancer Genome Project and investigated the molecular pathology of acute leukemias. Currently, he is working to understand how changes in the enhancer landscape lead to disease. When not in the lab, Zach is a middle-of- the-pack runner and a BBQ aficionado.

Katreya Lovrenert

Katreya graduated with a B.S. in Physics from Case Western Reserve University in 2001. After working in IT in San Francisco for a number of years, she decided to make a career switch to biology. As part of City College of San Francisco’s stem cell technology program she did an internship in the laboratory of Dr. Benoit Bruneau at the Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease in 2012 where she worked on cardiac differentiation of TBX5-haploinsufficient human iPS cell lines. She managed the Gladstone Institutes’ stem cell core facility from 2012 until 2016 when she joined the Scacheri lab. Currently, she is working on the epigenetic regulation of gene expression in the context of cancer. Outside of lab, Katreya enjoys glass blowing, cooking, reading, and exploring new and interesting places.

Ian Bayles

Ian graduated with a B.S in Biology from Carnegie Mellon University in 2012. He performed his undergraduate research in breast cancer biology at the University of Pittsburgh studying the effects of omega-3 fatty acids on tumor growth. After graduating from CMU he studied the transcription elongation factor ELL2 in the context of plasma cell development under Dr. Christine Milcarek at the University of Pittsburgh. After two years Ian was accepted into the BSTP program at Case Western and joined the Scacheri lab in December 2014. He currently studies changes in 3D chromatin architecture in the context of diseases, particularly in osteosarcoma and colon cancer. Outside of lab, Ian enjoys a wide range of intramural sports including soccer, softball, and flag football. He also indulges his technophile urges by keeping up with the latest and greatest gadgets and has already upgraded half of the labs computers.

Stevephen Hung

Stevephen graduated from the University of Maryland with a B.S. in Bioengineering in 2011. He credits his early interest in research to formative summer internships in the laboratories of Dr. Donald Rau (NIH), and Dr. Carl Simon Jr. (NIST), which allowed him to explore the fields of biophysics and tissue engineering, respectively. After college he developed his interest in genomics working as a post-bac in Dr. Henry Levin’s lab (NIH), where he screened for genes important in heterochromatin formation using a DNA transposon to create mutations in the yeast genome. Stevephen joined the CWRU MSTP in 2013, and has been a member of the Scacheri lab since 2015. Working with others in the lab, he is currently investigating the effect of common somatic mutations in enhancers on the development of colorectal cancer. In his free time, Stevephen likes to listen to music, watch TV, read, and play basketball.

Cynthia Florence Bartels

Cindy has a B.S. in biology from the University of Michigan and an M.S in plant pathology from Michigan State University. She worked on studies of butyrylcholinesterase and acetylcholinesterase pharmacogenetics both in the University of Michigan’s Pharmacology department and then at the University of Nebraska Medical Center before coming to Case Western Reserve to work on the genetics of bone diseases. She has been with the Scacheri Lab since its beginning in 2006, developing and optimizing methods for DNA deep sequencing, cloning, and gene expression and regulation. Current work is focused on epigenomic profiling of regulatory elements in colon cancer and other common diseases. Outside interests include the growing of edible plants – the more bizarre the better – hiking/camping, puzzles and games, and reading.

Alina R Saiakhova

Alina has a B.S. in Computer Science from Case Western Reserve University. She joined the Scacheri Lab in the summer of 2010, as a college senior, developing several computational tools for the analysis of high throughput DNA sequencing data prior to graduation. She then transitioned to her full-time position as an analyst programmer. Her primary responsibilities include but are not limited to: assisting graduate students with the computational aspects of their projects, data management as well as statistical and bioinformatics analyses of genomic data. Her current work is focused on finding functionally relevant somatic mutations in regulatory elements in colon cancer. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, doing yoga, indoor rock climbing, and exploring the outdoors.