In Vitro Animal Cell Sciences Section Officers

Kolla Kristjansdottir

Midwestern University

Kolla is a protein biochemist by training and completed her BSc and MSc degrees in Biochemistry from the University of Iceland in Reykjavik. She then obtained her PhD in Biochemistry from Duke University in Durham, NC. She completed 7 years of postdoctoral training in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology at The University of Chicago, IL. She is currently an Associate Professor with tenure in the Biomedical Sciences Department at Midwestern University in Downers Grove, IL. She teaches graduate level courses to students in the Masters in Biomedical Sciences and students in other healthcare-related programs and run her research laboratory. Her current research program is centered on proteins that contribute to the progression of cancer and the lab is currently focused on neuroblastoma, a pediatric cancer. They are currently studying the role of the protein NPM1 in migration and proliferation of neuroblastoma cells using a variety of techniques including mass spectrometry, protein overexpression, siRNA, inhibitors, and mutagenesis. She has also been involved in several collaborative projects including using mass spectrometry to explore changes in the interactome of Hsp70 and to study the role of topographical surfaces on enhancing peripheral nerve regeneration in mice. In addition to her involvement in SIVB, she is currently the president of the Chicago Mass Spectrometry Discussion Group (CMSDG).
Mae Ciancio
Vice Chair – Meeting
Midwestern University

Mae is a tenured Associate Professor in the Biomedical Sciences Program at Midwestern University. She’s been an active member of SIVB for 5 years, serving on student discussion panels, co-convening several plenary sessions, presenting posters and promoting student participation in the society. Mae is passionate about empowering students to become engaged in laboratory research as a means to contribute to scientific progress and improved clinical care. Mae became interested in academic research during her junior year of college, when she volunteered as a student researcher in the laboratory of Dr. Lawrence Gilbert, measuring the release of ecdysone by the prothoracic glands of Manduca sexta. Upon graduation from Northwestern University with a degree in Chemistry, she worked for two years as a laboratory technician in Northwestern University’s Center for Endocrinology, Metabolism and Nutrition (CEMN), performing radioimmunoassays and examining the effects of insulin on progesterone and cAMP production from porcine granulosa cells. Mae earned her PhD in Physiology at Loyola University, under the mentorship of Dr. James P. Filkins, examining the glucoregulatory effects of tumor necrosis factor in the pathophysiology of septic shock. Her post-doctoral training was conducted at the University of Chicago in the Department of Medicine/GI in the laboratory of Dr. Eugene B. Chang, investigating the role of endotoxin on intestinal epithelial cell function and the cytoprotective role of inducible heat shock protein 70. Mae joined the faculty of Midwestern University’s Biomedical Sciences program, under the Directorship of Dr. Michael Fay, in 2008. Mae’s laboratory actively trains Biomedical Sciences, medical and dental students in animal and cellular physiology. Her lab currently is investigating the role of inducible heat shock protein in preventing diet-induced obesity, with special reference on the role of intestinal microbial balance. She also has an oral squamous cell carcinoma model active in her lab, designed to allow dental students an opportunity to perform discipline-specific research. Mae teaches Research Design and Methodology to Biomedical Sciences, Physical Therapy, Physician Assistant and Dental students at Midwestern University. She offers an elective course on the role of intestinal microbial balance in health and disease, as well as providing pathophysiology lectures to Biomedical Sciences Students and Physical Therapy students.Mae is also a member of the American Physiological Society, the American Gastroenterology Society, and AAAS.
Andrew Truman
Vice Chair – Membership
University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Andrew’s research group at UNC Charlotte is interested in the basic understanding of how protein folding is connected to pathologies seen in cancer and neurodegenerative disease. Specifically, they are interested in how molecular chaperones such as Hsp70 and Hsp90 are controlled by phosphorylation. Specialties include protein biochemistry, molecular biology, proteomics, protein-protein interactions, protein folding, CRISPR-CAS9, bacterial and yeast genetics, cancer, signal transduction, phosphorylation, Hsp70, Hsp90, cell cycle, DNA damage response. His lab webpage is
Matthew Desrosiers
Worchester Polytechnic Institute

Mr. Desrosiers is a PhD candidate at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in the lab of Dr. Pamela Weathers. In the Weathers lab, Matt studies the differences in bioavailability of the antimalarial drug artemisinin when it is delivered as dried leaves of Artemisia annua versus in its purified form. He has studied several key factors that determine the bioavailability of artemisinin including solubility as well as intestinal permeability and is now focusing on the role secondary metabolites from A. annua play in modulating liver enzymes to enhance artemisinin bioavailability. He aims to go into industry after completing his PhD with the goal of working in new drug development. Matt has been involved with the SIVB since he attended his first meeting in Tucson in 2015. Since then, he has served as the IVACS Student Co-chair for the meeting in San Diego in 2016 and has won several awards including two Cellular Toxicology Awards, The Honor B. Fell Award, The Wilton R. Earle Award, and two Student Travel Awards.

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