Lab Members

W. Keith Miskimins, PhD

Dr. Miskimins is a Scientist in the Cancer Biology & Immunotherapies at Sanford Research. He is the PI on the NIH funded Cancer Biology Research Center of Biomedical Research Excellence. His research focus is the protein inhibitor of cell cycle progression that is commonly down-regulated in cancer cells. He holds a bachelor’s degree in zoology from the University of Wyoming, and earned his master’s degree in genetics and doctoral degree in cell and developmental biology from the University of Arizona. He also completed post-doctoral training in cell and developmental biology at the University of Arizona and biology at Yale University.

Shanta Messerli, PhD
Staff Scientist

Shanta graduated from Purdue University with a Ph.D in Neuroscience and performed postdoctoral training at Massachusetts General Hospital/ Harvard Medical School. Prior to coming to Sanford she taught Biology at Northern State and Bridgewater State University and was an Assistant Research Scientist at Marine Biological Laboratory. Her focus in the Miskimins lab involves evaluating the efficacy and therapeutic effect of small molecule inhibitors in murine models of breast and brain cancers.


Alex Verma
MD/PhD Student

Alex Verma received a B.S. in Biochemistry from Colorado State University in 2009. He is currently in the research phase of the M.D./Ph.D. program at the University of South Dakota. His current project investigates the connection between metabolic alterations and expression of immune checkpoint inhibitors in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.




Noah Keime

Noah is a senior at Dakota Valley High School. After graduation, he will pursue undergraduate degree in biology, though he isn't sure where yet. After college, he hopes to attend medical school. In the summer of 2017 he was selected as a PROMISE Scholar and completed research in the Miskimins lab, examining the effects of a novel stroke drug on breast cancer.