Current Lab Members:

Jocelyn McDonald

P1050212 edit4
Associate Professor

B.S. Marquette University

Ph.D. University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Postdoctoral Fellow. Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

More about Dr. McDonald: McDonald Biosketch, faculty web site, ResearchGate, Google Scholar

Research Interests: Collective cell migration, cell polarity, cell adhesion, kinases and phosphatases in cell migration, non-muscle myosin II, tissue morphogenesis, mechanobiology, tumor invasion and metastasis

Yujun Chen

Postdoctoral Fellow

B.S. Hainan University, China

Ph.D. Tongji University, Shanghai, China

Research Interests: Serine-threonine Protein phosphatase complexes in border cells and collective migration, live imaging techniques, optogenetic tools


Nirupama Kotian

Graduate Student

B.Sc. KETs V G Vaze College of Arts, Science and Commerce, Mumbai, India

M.Sc. KETs V G Vaze College of Arts, Science and Commerce, Mumbai, India

Research Interests: Cell adhesion proteins, regulation of adhesion in collectives and tumors, applications to cancer

Luke Messer

Luke Messer

Graduate Student

B.S. University of Alabama in Huntsville

Research Interests: Regulation of Rap1 activity in collective migration and cell morphogenesis, tissue-collective interactions, signaling pathways in migration

Emily Burghardt

Graduate Student

B.A. Northern Michigan University

Research Interests: Dynamic collective cell migration in a growing tissue, RNA-sequencing, genetic regulation of border cell motility

Caleb Kutz

Undergraduate Research Student

Biology Major

Research Interests: Kinases in collective cell migration and cancer

Funding: JCRC Cancer Research Award (Spring 2022)

Gibson Hoefgen

Undergraduate Research Student

Fisheries and Wildlife Major

Research Interests: Rap1 small GTPase function and regulation, applications to cancer and human health

Funding: K-INBRE Semester Scholar (past: OURCI research award)

Claire Richardson

Undergraduate Research Student

Biology Major, Nutrition Major

Research Interests: Nuclear shape and its influence on collective cell migration, applications to cancer and human health

Funding: Arts & Sciences Undergraduate Research Award Fall 2021, JCRC Cancer Research Award Spring 2022 (past: OURCI research award)

Sydney Tobis

Undergraduate Research Student

Biology Major

Research Interests: Genetic regulation of cell migration, applications to cancer and human health

Funding: K-INBRE Freshman Scholar

Tom Colling

Fly Food Prep ‘Chef’

BME Major

Hayley Peck

Lab Prep Worker and Fly Food Prep Technician

Animal Sciences Major


Juliet Her, KS-LSAMP RiPS Student 2021 (Virtual). Currently an undergraduate student at Donnelly College, Kansas City, KS.

Matthew Ho, Summer Intern (2021). Currently an undergraduate student and researcher at Harvard University, Cambridge, MA.

Hannah Coggeshall (Arts & Sciences Fellowship, OURCI Fellowship, JCRC Cancer Research Awardee, 2020, 2021, KSU Undergraduate Research Student, 2018-2021). Currently a medical student at the University of Kansas, Kansas City, KS.

Manuel Garcia (KSU Undergraduate Research Student, 2018-2021). Currently a medical student at the University of Kansas, Kansas City, KS.

Carmen Del Real (KSU-LSAMP RiPS 2017, KSU-Bridges to the Future 2018, KSU Developing Scholar, JCRC Cancer Research Awardee 2020, K-INBRE Semester Scholar 2020-2021; KSU Undergraduate Researcher 2018-2021). Currently applying to medical schools.

Elijah Gardner (KSU-LSAMP RiPS 2019). Currently applying to medical professional programs.

Marissa Komp (KSU Undergraduate Research Student, JCRC Cancer Research Awardee, 2017-2019). Veterinary Medicine Student, Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine, 2019-present.

Loan Tang (KSU Undergraduate Researcher, K-INBRE Freshman Scholar, 2016-2018). Currently a consultant.

Oshadhi Athukorala Arachchige (KSU Research Technician 2017-2018) – currently a graduate student and technician in Sri Lanka.

Kevin Preuss (KSU Lab Manager 2017-2018) – currently in business school, San Antonio, TX and Program Integrator at Texas Biomedical Research Institute.

Adelina Parral (KSU Bridges/DSP student 2017-2018) – currently a graduate student at Denver University, master of international human rights program.

Ketki Sawant (CSU Graduate Student 2010-2015/KSU Postdoctoral Fellow 2016) – currently a Research Scientist and Postdoctoral researcher at Cellf-Bio, Winston-Salem, NC and Wake Forest University.

George Aranjuez (CWRU Graduate Student 2010-2015) – currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Central Florida.

Ashely Burtscher (Research Technologist at Cleveland Clinic 2011-2015) – currently a Research Technologist in the Department of Cancer Biology, Cleveland Clinic.

Sushmita Mukherjee (Postdoctoral Fellow at Cleveland Clinic 2009-2011) – currently a Clinical Project Manager in the Oncology group at Quintiles, Inc.

Pralay Majumder (Postdoctoral Fellow at Cleveland Clinic 2009-2013; Visiting Scientist at KSU 2016) – currently an Assistant Professor, Presidency University

Kelly Shibuya (Medical Student, Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine, 2014) – currently a medical resident in Hawaii.

Lauren Knox (2016-2017 Undergraduate Research Student) – currently a medical student at Drexel University Medical School.

Heather Foy (Intern 2016) – currently working in healthcare.

Kristen (Hylen) Curren (2016 summer student K-State SUROP program: from Benedictine College) – currently working in health care.

Mouktika Ayyagari (2013 Undergraduate Researcher: from Case Western Reserve University).

Joanne Berry (2013 Visiting Undergraduate Volunteer: from Ohio Northern University).

Elizabeth Kudlaty (2010-2011 Undergraduate Researcher: from Northwestern University) – currently a medical resident at Northwestern University, Department of Medicine.

Derek McCalla (2011 Undergraduate Researcher: from Oakwood University) – currently a physician.

Emily Lewis (2010 Undergraduate Researcher: from Ohio State University) – received M.S. in Plant Biology/Conservation from Northwestern University.

Connie Tzou (2008-2010 Undergraduate Researcher: from Case Western Reserve University) – PhD from University of Washington School of Public Health.

Nicole Molander-Barraza (2012 Undergraduate Researcher in Case Western Reserve University ACES program: from Florida International University).