Lab Members

 Weimer Lab - 2014


Jill Weimer, PhD
Jill is an Associate Scientist in the Children’s Health Research Center and Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the Sanford School of Medicine, USD. Before joining the Children’s Health Research 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.
Sanford Research Seung-Yon Koh, PhD   
Seung-Yon Koh, PhD
Seung-Yon completed a Masters in Animal Science at Dan Kook University in Chonan, Korea before coming to South Dakota to pursue her PhD.  Her doctoral work at SDSU in the laboratory of Dr. David Francis focused on the characterization of the receptor binding domain of enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli K88ad.  Her 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. 
  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.

Helen Magee
Helen graduated from Reed College in Portland, OR in 2009 with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology. Helen joined the Weimer Lab shortly after graduating as the laboratory manager and has been integrally involved in several research projects, including defining a role for MARCKS in regulating neuronal polarity in the developing brain. In 2012, Helen began her doctoral training at the University of South Dakota in the Basic Biomedical Science program and is focusing on translational therapies and neurobehavioral deficits associated with a rare family of lysosomal storage disorder called Batten Disease.
    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.
    Ryan Geraets
Ryan graduated from South Dakota State University (‘09) with a Bachelor’s degree in biology and microbiology.  He then joined the Pearce lab as a Research Associate (‘10-‘11) where he focused on NCL biomarker discovery.  In August 2011, he entered the MD/PhD program at the University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine.   He is currently working on his PhD within Dr. Pearce’s laboratory.  His projects focus on discovering pharmacotherapeutic options for various forms of Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinoses (NCL).  Due to the nature of Ryan’s projects, he also works closely with Dr. Weimer’s laboratory.
    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.
    Rachel Laufmann
Rachel Laufmann is an undergrad from the University of South Dakota working on a Bachelors in Molecular Biology and a minor in Chemistry. She is a former REU student and has worked on evaluating the effectiveness of LKE treatment on Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis (NCL) mouse models. Currently she is working on her senior thesis; comparing the broad pathology of mutant and wild type mice to determine if there are notable differences outside of the CNS that could lead to future combinatorial treatments
    Alyssa Ogden
Alyssa Ogden is a junior biology major at Augustana College. She has interned in the Weimer lab since summer of 2014. She supports a variety of projects and has been primarily involved in the characterization of a novel mouse model of demyelination disorders.
    Rebecca Vandebraak
Rebecca is a high school student at Washington High School and is planning on studying biochemistry. She joined the Weimer team as a PROMISE scholar in the summer 2014. Rebecca continues to help in the lab by identifying the role of Cln6 in developing neurons during neurogenesis

 Lab Alumni:

Ryan O'Toole – 2012-2014 Research Associate
Spencer Duncan –  2013, 2014 PROMISE Scholar and Summer Intern
Jared Drenkow – 2012 USD-Sanford School of Medicine Summer Scholar
Sam Everson – 2012 BRIN Summer Scholar
Jeremy Morgan – 2010-2012 USD Basic Biomedical Science Masters Student
Tiffin Duffy – 2010-2012 Research Technician
Rachel Thornton – 2011 PROMISE Scholar
Austin Reno – 2011 USD-Sanford School of Medicine Summer Scholar


 Weimer Lab - 2012  Weimer Lab - 2011