Lab Members

 
 Weimer Lab - 2017

 

    

Jill Weimer, PhD
Jill is an Associate Scientist in the Pediatrics and Rare Diseases Group and Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the Sanford School of Medicine, USD. Before joining the Pediatrics and Rare Disease team at Sanford, Dr. Weimer completed a BS and PhD in Neuroscience at the University of Rochester and a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill in the Neuroscience Center.
 

 

 

Jacob Cain, PhD
Jacob graduated from the University of North Dakota in 2014 with his PhD. His doctoral work at UND looked at the role of Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A isoforms in neural and vascular development. His focus in the Weimer lab is to understand the impact that various guanine exchange factors have on regulating the proliferation of intermediate progenitors (ie., basal/multipolar progenitors) in the developing cerebral cortex. 

   

Derek Timm
Derek earned his Bachelor’s Degree in chemistry from South Dakota State University. As an undergraduate, he worked in the residue analysis laboratory under the supervision of Dr. Duane Mathees, testing plant and animal samples for pesticides.After graduating in 2008, Derek joined Dr. Qiangrong Liang whose lab focuses on cardiovascular disease. Derek provided support for studies on resveratrol, diabetic cardiomyopathy, and caloric restriction as well as an independent study focused on Doxorubicin induced cardiotoxicity. He transitioned to the Weimer lab in 2013, where his research focuses on identification of novel autoantibodies associated with Batten disease and characterization of novel mouse models of this family of disease.

   

Katherine White

Katherine graduated from the University of Missouri in 2014 with a BS in Animal Sciences. During her undergraduate career she worked on a project intended to improve porcine in vitro embryo production. As a Research Associate in the Weimer lab she works on a variety of projects, including assisting in the characterization of swine models of neurofibromatosis type 1.

   

Samantha Davis
Sammy graduated from University of Northwestern - St. Paul in 2014 with a B.S. in Biology. During her undergrad she worked with stream macroinvertebrates and their pollution tolerances to determine stream water quality. As a Research Associate in the Weimer lab she does mouse behaviors on both the CLN6 and CLN3 projects. She also helps with maintenance of the animal colony including genotyping of transgenic mice.

   

Jon Brudvig
Jon isworking on his PhD in Neuroscience through the Basic Biomedical Sciences program at The University of South Dakota. After completing his Bachelor of Science in Biology at USD, he joined the Weimer Lab to study the molecular mechanisms of cortical development. Jon uses a variety of molecular approaches including transgenic mice, in utero electroporation, and BioID to study how myristoylated alanine-rich C kinase substrate (MARCKS) influences polarity and signaling in developing neurons.

   

David Sturdavent
David graduated from Augustana University with a Bachelor’s degree in chemistry. During his junior and senior years, he was a protein research intern at POET, exploring and implementing methods to recover and purify proteins from POET’s co-products including analysis of the proteins functional properties. After graduating in worked for South Dakota Innovation Partners as a research associate, collaborating with both Cyanosun Energy and Prairie AquaTech. His focus in the Weimer lab is small molecule drug screening on patient fibroblasts who are affected by Batten’s disease.

   

Tyler Johnson
Tyler graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in August, 2016 with a PhD in Cellular and Molecular Biology. During his PhD work, Tyler studied the effect of post-translational modification of DNA-binding proteins on gene expression in extreme hyperthermophilic archaea. Among other projects he also characterized vesicle biogenesis and catalytic function in metal-oxidizing acidophilic organisms. His projects in the Weimer lab focus on gene therapy efforts in Batten disease mouse models and utilizing BioID to determine protein interacting partners of CLN3, CLN6 and CLN8 in vitro and in vivo.

   

Kayla Knutson
Kayla is an undergraduate student at Augustana University working toward a BA in Biology and Spanish. After graduation, she plans to attend medical school. Kayla joined the Weimer lab in summer 2016 as an intern, and helps to examine the therapeutic potential of repurposed pharmaceuticals and other small molecule drugs in CLN6 Batten disease.

   

McKayla Poppens
McKayla is currently an undergraduate student at Augustana University working on a Bachelor’s degree in biology with an emphasis in cell and molecular biology. During high school she completed a semester internship with the PROMISE lab and the Vitiello lab. As a research assistant in the Weimer lab, McKayla currently helps with mouse colony management and genotyping of transgenic mice.

    Brandon Meyerink
Brandon is a laboratory technician who helps with our animal colony maintenance and behavior analysis. He graduated from the University of South Dakota in 2017 earning a Bachelor’s Degree in medical biology and psychology. During this time, Brandon works with in vivo small molecule drug screenings to find effective therapies to battle Cln6 batten disease
    Steven Ortmeier
Steve is a part-time laboratory technician and full-time biology teacher at Lincoln High School in Sioux Falls. He graduated from Concordia College (Moorhead) with a Bachelor of Arts in biology/German, St. Cloud State University with a Bachelor of Science in biology and South Dakota State University with a Master of Science in biology (Thesis: Flood tolerance mechanisms of two soybean lines). Before joining the Weimer Lab, Steve worked on numerous projects at Sanford Research including post-myocardial infarction revascularization, lipid metabolism and omega-3 fatty acids, atherosclerosis and the immune response and membrane trafficking and endocytic mechanisms. His current focus in the Weimer Lab is histology and image analysis to further the short-term drug studies and gene therapy treatments of the Cln6 mouse model.
    Christina Swanson
Cristina graduated from the University of Parma, Italy with a Bachelor of Science in biotechnology in 2016. For her undergrad thesis she focused on hematopoietic stem cells from patients affected by primary myelofibrosis and essential thrombocythemia. As a technician in the Weimer Lab she helps with mouse behavior testing and genotyping of transgenic mice.
    Clarissa Staton
Clarissa graduated from the University of South Dakota in 2018 with her Master of Science in biology, neuroscience specialization. Her master's work focused on the role of Orexin 2 receptors in the brain during social stress in a mouse model. In the Weimer Lab, Clarissa will be involved in mouse neurobehavior testing and colony management.
    Vicki Mosher Swier
Vicki is a staff scientist in the Weimer/Pearce lab. Before joining the lab in October 2017, she attained a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in biological sciences at South Dakota State University, a PhD in zoology from Texas Tech University, a postdoctoral fellowship at Creighton in the biomedical sciences, and a Research Assistant Professorship at Creighton in clinical and translational sciences. Vicki will be focusing on the development of the NFI model in microswine; and completing the characterization of the CLN2 and CLN3 microswine model. She looks forward to working at Sanford Research and hopes to be a productive member of the Sanford family.
    Colby Davis
Colby graduated from Central Methodist University in 2017 with a Bachelor of Science in biology. For her undergraduate thesis she studied the effects Bisphenol A has on memory formation in Drosophila model. As a lab technician she helps to examine the therapeutic potential of repurposed pharmaceuticals and other small molecule drugs in CLN6 Batten disease.

 

Lab Alumni:

Ryan Geraets – 2013 – 2017 - MD/PhD Student; Current: Medical Student
Rachel Laufmann - 2013-2017 - Laboratory Technician; Current: PhD Candidate, USD Basic Biomedical Sciences
Jasmine Miller – 2016-2017 - Laboratory Technician
Rebecca VandeBraak- 2014-2016 PROMIS and SPUR intern; Current: Undergraduate at Augustana College
Seung-Yon Koh- 2010-2016 Postdoctoral Fellow; Current: Postdoctoral Fellow at Columbia University
Nicole Ellis – 2015-2016 PhD Rotation Student for Biochemistry Program at SDSU
Caleb Willis – 2015 NSF REU Program at Sanford; 2016 Senior Thesis Project; Current: Undergraduate at Mayville College
Ryan Patrick – 2015 Live Learn/Sanford Program for Undergraduate Research; Current: Undergraduate at Harvard University
Caeden Tinklenberg – 2015 Sanford Program for Undergraduate Research; Current: Undergraduate at Dordt College
Darren DeNeui – 2015 Science Educator Research Fellowship Program; Current: High School Science Teacher at Platte-Geddes
Brittany Kuhl – 2015 PROMISE Scholar; Current: High School Senior at West Central
Helen Magee – 2010-2015 Research Associate and Graduate Student; Current: Technical support at Arizona State University
Keegan Mechals – 2015 SSOM Summer Research Intern; Current: Medical Student at The University of South Dakota
Alyssa Odgen – 2014-2015 Intern and Research Associate; Current: Undergraduate at Augustana University
Ryan O'Toole – 2012-2014 Research Associate; Current: Graduate Student at Dartmouth University
Brooklyn DeVries – 2014, PROMISE Scholar; Current: Undergraduate at Augustana University
Spencer Duncan –  2013, 2014 PROMISE Scholar and SPUR Summer Intern; Current: Undergraduate at the University of Minnesota
Jared Drenkow – 2012 USD-Sanford School of Medicine Summer Scholar; Current: Medical Student at The University of South Dakota
Sam Everson – 2012 BRIN Summer Scholar; Current: Medical Student at The University of South Dakota
Jeremy Morgan – 2010-2012 USD Basic Biomedical Science Masters Student; Current: Clinical Research at Sanford Health
Tiffin Duffy – 2010-2012 Research Technician; Current: Technical support at POET
Rachel Thornton – 2011 PROMISE Scholar
Austin Reno – 2011 USD-Sanford School of Medicine Summer Scholar; Current: MD/PhD Student at The University of South Dakota
Nicole Ellis – 2015-2016 PhD Rotation Student for Biochemistry Program at SDSU
Caleb Willis – 2015 NSF REU Program at Sanford; 2016 Senior Thesis Project; Current: Undergraduate at Mayville College
Ryan Patrick – 2015 Live Learn/Sanford Program for Undergraduate Research; Current: Undergraduate at Harvard University
Caeden Tinklenberg – 2015 Sanford Program for Undergraduate Research; Current: Undergraduate at Dordt College
Darren DeNeui – 2015 Science Educator Research Fellowship Program; Current: High School Science Teacher at Platte-Geddes
Brittany Kuhl – 2015 PROMISE Scholar; Current: High School Senior at West Central

 

Weimer Lab - 2011 Weimer Lab - 2012

 

   

 

Weimer Lab - 2014 Weimer Lab - 2015
 

 

 
Weimer Lab - 2016