Tennessen Lab
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Jason Tennessen PhD

Assistant Professor of Biology 

2001-2007 Ph.D. in Molecular, Cellular, Developmental Biology and Genetics University of Minnesota.

Bachelor of Arts in Biology, magna cum laude Lawrence University.

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Madhulika Rai PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow

Madhulika obtained her Masters from BITS-Pilani, India and her PhD degree from the University of Pompeu Fabra- Barcelona, Spain under the supervision of Dr. Cayetano Gonzalez.

Currently, she is interested in understanding the role of lactate in normal development and in tumor progression by using Drosophila melanogaster as the model system.

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Nader Mahmoudzadeh

Graduate Student

Nader completed his undergraduate work at the University of Houston. He is a graduate student, and is interested in the response to hypoxia in the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, and the possible role of the oncometabolite L-2-hydroxygluterate (L2HG) in this process.

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Yasaman Heidarian

Graduate Student

Yasaman completed her undergraduate and master work on signaling pathways in ovarian cancer at the University of Tehran. She then joined Cancer Research Center of Iran where she worked on Oxytocin role in breast cancer. She is a graduate student studying L-2HG role in a Drosophila model of renal cancer.

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Melody Maniex

Graduate Student

Melody completed her Bachelor of Science in Cell and Molecular Biology and postbaccalaureate degree in Biotechnology at California State University, Long Beach. She studied fly metabolism in her undergraduate lab, then spent a year as an intern at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles studying ALS in human iPSCs. She is a second year graduate student studying the Drosophila Estrogen Related Receptor and it’s role in the fly.

 
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Kylie Lyons

Research Assistant

Kylie completed her Bachelor of Science degree at Indiana University Bloomington with a major in Human Biology and concentration in Human Health and Disease along with a minor in Psychology. She is a research assistant and currently does not have a project of her own, but focuses on helping other lab members with their projects and maintaining/managing the lab.

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Ariadna Cairo

Research Associate

Ari is from Barcelona Spain, she came to the US with a tennis scholarship from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, where she got her microbiology bachelor’s degree. Afterwards, she got her Master’s degree at the University of California Merced in Environmental Sciences, focused on Marine Microbiology. She is currently working on two projects. The goal of the first project is to overexpress D2HGDH mutation to characterize the phenotype associated with it. The focus of the second project is the response of larvae and KC 167 cells to different pH, especially to acidic pH.

Undergraduates

Undergrad researchers and support staff are essential to our work in the Tennessen Lab.  If you are interested in research experience or a part time job please contact us.

Sarah Carter’s project focuses on the characterization of the expression of  dLdh  in different cells in growing tissues under normal and hypoxic conditions.

Sarah Carter’s project focuses on the characterization of the expression of dLdh in different cells in growing tissues under normal and hypoxic conditions.

Liam Mungcal is a junior majoring in neuroscience. He is assisting Yasaman with her experiments exploring the affects of L-2HG on renal cancer cells in  Drosophila .

Liam Mungcal is a junior majoring in neuroscience. He is assisting Yasaman with her experiments exploring the affects of L-2HG on renal cancer cells in Drosophila.

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Alex Fitt is a junior undergraduate in the lab, and his current project studies how the pH of the diet affects the accumulation of L-2HG in  Drosophila  larvae.

Alex Fitt is a junior undergraduate in the lab, and his current project studies how the pH of the diet affects the accumulation of L-2HG in Drosophila larvae.

Lunch break in the greenhouse!

Lunch break in the greenhouse!

Sarah Doherty, is a third year senior studying Neuroscience and Chemistry on a pre-med track. In the lab she helps maintain fly stocks and the crosses of multiple researches. She also prepares standard and specialized media for some of the researchers, and facilitates in general lab upkeep.

Sarah Doherty, is a third year senior studying Neuroscience and Chemistry on a pre-med track. In the lab she helps maintain fly stocks and the crosses of multiple researches. She also prepares standard and specialized media for some of the researchers, and facilitates in general lab upkeep.

Olivia Krygowski is a third year biology major graduating this May, 2020. She is an undergraduate researcher working with Yasaman Heidarian. They are studying the role of L-2HG in a  Drosophila  model of renal cancer.

Olivia Krygowski is a third year biology major graduating this May, 2020. She is an undergraduate researcher working with Yasaman Heidarian. They are studying the role of L-2HG in a Drosophila model of renal cancer.

Madeline Kane is an undergraduate junior majoring in Biology and minoring in Molecular Life Sciences and Swahili. She assists Melody in uncovering the role of the  Drosophila  Estrogen Related Receptor gene.

Madeline Kane is an undergraduate junior majoring in Biology and minoring in Molecular Life Sciences and Swahili. She assists Melody in uncovering the role of the Drosophila Estrogen Related Receptor gene.

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Lab Alumni

 
 
 
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Geetanjali Chawla, Ph.D.

Formerly an Associate Scientist with the Tennessen Lab, Geetu is currently working as Wellcome-DBT India Alliance Intermediate Fellow at Regional Centre for Biotechnology.

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Alex Hurlburt

Formerly a Research Associate with the Tennessen lab, Alex is currently a Sequencing Research Associate at Kallyope.

 
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Maria Sterrett

Formerly a Researcher Associate with the Tennessen lab.

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Hongde Li, Ph.D.

Formally a Postdoctoral Fellow

Hongde completed his undergraduate work Huazhong University of Science and Technology, and received his PhD from the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences in Analytical Chemistry. Hongde studied the putative oncometabolite L-2-hydroxyglutarate (L-2HG) under physiological conditions and how L-2HG is regulated in vivo using a Drosophila model with multiple methods including biochemistry, genetics, molecular biology and metabolomics.

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Lucía García

Fourth year graduate student in the PhD program at the Institute of Neuroscience of Alicante Spain in Prof. María Dominguez Lab. She is interested in studying the role of energetic stress and metabolic reprogramming in Notch-Akt tumorigenesis.

Undergraduate work at the University of Alicante (degree in Biology)

Master work at the Institute of Neuroscience of Alicante (master in Neuroscience)

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Rose Massey

Rose completed her undergraduate work at Austin College in Sherman TX. She got her Masters Degree in Dr. Tennessen’s lab studying the effect of metabolism on early eye development.