2018RigorRepro About 2018 R&R Instructors & Mentors Information

2018 R&R Workshop/Course Speakers/Mentors/Instructors
(listed in alphabetical order by last name; Updated: 03.23.18)   

Josie Chandler, PhDJosephine (Josie) Chandler, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Molecular Biosciences at The University of Kansas.  Dr. Chandler's research is focused on understanding how bacteria communicate and cooperate with each other to carry out complex group behaviors. She primarily studies a cell-cell communication system in bacteria called quorum sensing.
Scott Lovell, PhD
Scott Lovell, PhD, joined The University of Kansas in 2008 as the Director of the Protein Structure Core Laboratory (PSL).  The PSL is supported by an NIH-COBRE grant. The goal of this grant is to mentor junior faculty as they develop a quality, externally funded research program. The main objective as Director of the PSL is to provide assistance to COBRE investigators, and other researchers throughout Kansas and surrounding regions, in performing structural studies of their proteins using X-ray crystallography.

Prior to joining KU, Dr. Lovell  managed a structural biology group in industry and was responsible for overseeing all areas of client gene-to-structure projects which included; initial construct design, expression, purification, crystallization, X-ray data collection, structure solution and refinement of the final structural model.

Dr. Lovell earned his B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Nebraska at Omaha, Omaha, NE in 1994 and in 2000 received his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN.
Noraida Martinez-Rivera, PhDNoraida Martinez-Rivera, PhD, completed a bachelor degree in Coastal Marine Biology at the University of Puerto Rico- Humacao. She continued graduate studies in Ecology and Neurobiology at the University of Puerto Rico- Rio Piedras, conferring her doctoral degree in 2015. Her research focused on mechanosensory receptors and their role in the modulating an innate sexually dimorphic behavior. Dr. Martinez-Rivera has served as the course manager of the Immunohistochemistry and Microscopy course offered at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA (http://www.mbl.edu/education/special-topics-courses/immunohistochemistry-and-microscopy-ihcm/) since the spring 2010.  In the fall 2015, she joined the lab of Dr. Eduardo Rosa-Molinar as a postdoctoral researcher at The University of Kansas, Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology (https://pharmtox.ku.edu/rosa-molinar-lab). Her research is focused on axo-somatic mixed synapses, a poorly studied synapse that combines the features of both chemical and electrical synapses (i.e., gap junction) on sensory (i.e., supramedullary and spinal cord dorsal neurons) neurons within the spinal cord. To this end we are developing, testing, and applying innovative approaches and technologies, that will enable new and radial insights of synaptic geometry.
Mario Rivera, PhDMario Rivera, PhD, is the inaugural William A. Pryor Chair in Chemistry at Louisiana State University (LSU). The chair honors the legacy of Professor Pryor’s research in the field of oxidative biology and free radicals. The primary criterion for the chair is that research interests lie at the interface of chemistry, biology and medicine, with clear relevance to human health.

Dr. Rivera received his Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry from the Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara in 1984. He came to the USA to attend graduate school at the University of Arizona where he worked with the late Quintus Fernando (Chemistry) and H. Vasken Aposhian (Toxicology) on the complexation properties of molecules targeted for lead detoxification in humans, which resulted in a dissertation titled, “Complexing Properties of 2,3-Dimercaptosuccinic acid and its Monomethyl and Dimethyl Esters.” He stayed on at the University of Arizona, working with F. Ann Walker, also in the field of bioinorganic chemistry, developing skills to merge recombinant DNA methodology and NMR spectroscopy to study paramagnetic heme proteins.

In 1994, Assistant Professor Rivera began his independent career at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, OK. He moved to The University of Kansas in 2003 and was promoted to Full Professor in 2006. His teaching has included standard courses in general chemistry, analytical chemistry and graduate classes in NMR spectroscopy and electrochemistry. Since 2015, he has been involved in steering the General Chemistry lecture sequence offered to science majors.

Throughout his career, Professor Rivera has been involved in investigating structure function relationships in heme proteins and in elucidating the molecular mechanisms of heme-iron acquisition and iron homeostasis in bacteria. His publications have contributed to shape current understanding of heme-iron utilization and iron metabolism in the opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa. His current direction is on understanding the fate of iron in the bacterial cytosol, with emphasis on the roles played by iron storage proteins, such as bacterioferritin. These studies have led him to propose the hijacking of iron storage/mobilization from bacterioferritin as a potential avenue for the development of small molecule probes for the rational perturbation of bacterial iron homeostasis and possibly the development of new antibacterial agents. Earlier this year he published a review titled, “Bacterioferritin: Structure, Dynamics and Protein-Protein Interactions at Play in Iron Storage and Mobilization” (Acc. Chem. Res. 2017, 50, 331-340).

Professor Rivera has served his former Departments well, with special interests in graduate student recruiting, junior faculty mentoring and various aspects of equipment acquisition and management. He has retained funding from both NSF and NIH through tough times over two decades and is well-known in the bioinorganic community for his service on review panels and conference organization and participation.

Eduardo Rosa-Molinar, PhDEduardo Rosa-Molinar, PhD, is the Director of the Microscopy and Analytical Imaging Resource Core Laboratory (http://mai.ku.edu/eduardo-rosa-molinar-phd6), Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology and Neuroscience Graduate Program (http://pharmtox.ku.edu/all-faculty7; http://neuroscience.ku.edu/faculty-members8), and Professor of Anatomy and Cell Biology (http://www.kumc.edu/school-of-medicine/anatomy-and-cell-biology/secondary-appointment-faculty.html9) at the University of Kansas and the University of Kansas Medical Center respectively.  He is also a Whitman Scientist at the Whitman Center, Marine Biological Laboratory (http://www.mbl.edu/research/mbl-scientists/10) and Course Director of the Immunohistochemistry and Microscopy, a special topic course taught at the Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA (http://www.mbl.edu/education/special-topics-courses/immunohistochemistry-and-microscopy-ihcm/11).  Until June 2015, he was a tenured Professor of Integrative Anatomy and Neurobiology, University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras, San Juan Puerto Rico.

His research focuses on “neural microcircuits", a specific pattern of interconnections between neurons and synapses within a specific region of the central nervous system (i.e., spinal cord); he images and studies the three-dimensional (3-D) nano-scale architecture of “mixed synapses”, a poorly studied synapse that combines the features of both chemical and electrical synapses (i.e., gap junction).  To this end, he develops quantitative immuno-correlative photon- and electron-based imaging technologies required to image and analyze in 3-D the nano-scale membrane organization of mixed synapses’ pre-and post-synaptic membrane proteins.  The way in which the 3-D the nano-scale membrane organization of mixed synapses’ pre-and post-synaptic membrane proteins present therein, structural and topographical information is critical to guide structure-based drug design and discovery.

Anabel Soldano, PhDAnabel Soldano, PhD, is a postdoctoral researcher in the Rivera Research Group at Louisiana State University.
David Vigerust, PhD David Vigerust, PhD, is Chief Scientific Officer for MyGenetx Clinical Laboratories in Franklin TN and Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Neurological Surgery at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. Dr. Vigerust was born and raised in El Paso, Texas and is a first generation Mexican-American. Dr. Vigerust received his BS in Biology and chemistry from UTEP, an MS in Immunology and Microbiology from Texas Tech University and his Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Pathology from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.  Dr. Vigerust completed postdoctoral fellowships at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Pediatric Infectious Disease. Dr. Vigerust was formerly full time faculty at Vanderbilt and a Health Research Scientist for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.  Dr. Vigerust currently maintains an active role in research and development, entrepreneurship and education to foster and promote young people who have an interest in science and technology. Dr. Vigerust is an an active mentor for Life Science Tennessee and a preceptorship mentor for pharmacy students.

Dr. Vigerust’s research interests focus around areas of healthcare including pharmacogenomics, molecular diagnostics, imaging, infectious disease, oncology, innate immunity, traumatic brain injury, neuro-oncology (meningioma and glioma), neuroinflammation, neurodegeneration (ALS, Multiple Sclerosis, Muscular Dystrophy and Spinal Muscular Atrophy) and polymicrobial approaches to improved biofuels.

Todd D. Williams, PhDTodd D. Williams, PhD, is the Director of the Mass Spectrometry Laboratory and the Analytical Proteomics Laboratory.  He has had the appointment since starting his career at The University of Kansas in 1991.

Prior to join The University of Kansas, he was a Postdoctoral Associate from 1989 to 1991 at the University of California-Berkeley.

Dr. Williams earned his B.A. in Chemistry/Biology from Middlebury College in 1979.  In 1985 he earned his M.S. in Chemistry and in 1989 he earned his Ph.D. in Chemistry both from the University of Maine. 

In 2013, Dr. Wililams received the KU ‘Leading Light Award’ given to principal investigators or co-principal investigators on grants of $1M or more.