Lab Members

 


 Weimer Lab - 2016

 

 

    

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.
 

 

 

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.

   

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 graduated from the University of South Dakota in 2016 with a BS in Molecular Biology. For her undergraduate thesis she investigated changes in the peripheral pathology of a CLN6-Batten disease mouse model, the Cln6nclf mouse. As a technician in Weimer Lab she is following up on findings from her undergraduate thesis and she does a majority of the mouse behavior assessment in our Batten disease preclinical therapeutic development studies. In addition she is investigating how mutations in sec24D affect collagen transport in a mouse model for Cranio-lenticulo-sutural-dysplasia (CLSD).

   

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 is working 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.

   

Jasmine Miller
Jasmine graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 2015 with a  BS in Neuroscience and Behavior. During her undergraduate time she conducted electrophysiological studies investigating lipid second messengers’ effect on the amygdala and PAG as it relates to pain management and fear conditioning. She joined the Master of Science in Analytics program at Dakota State University in the fall of 2015 and will graduate in May 2017. Combining her neuroscience background with current course work, she is helping the Weimer lab to analyze high-content screening data using RStudio. 

   

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.

     

 

Lab Alumni:

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