Lab Members

Haotian Zhao PhD, Principal Investigator

Dr. Haotian Zhao joined the faculty in the Sanford Children’s Health Research Center at Sanford Research and the Department of Pediatrics at the Sanford School of Medicine of the University of South Dakota in 2010.  He came from a postdoctoral fellowship at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, TN. Dr. Zhao obtained his doctoral degree from The Ohio State University.

Katie Picotte joined the Sanford Children’s Health Research Center at Sanford Research in 2011 as a research associate.  She received her Master’s Degrees in Science Education and Neuroscience from the Florida State University. Katie obtained her Bachelor’s degrees in Biology and Psychology from Michigan State University. 



Ryan Nimick is an undergraduate majoring Biochemistry in South Dakota State University. Mr. Nimick joined the Zhao laboratory for summer research in 2011.

Brian Westerhuis is currently a medical student in Sanford School of Medicine University of South Dakota. Mr. Westerhuis would like to become a neurosurgeon and is interested in brain tumor study. He spent the summer of 2011 conducting research in the Zhao laboratory. He plans to come back in 2012 for more research time.