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Alumni News 2002

This has been a really adventurous year in the lab. We’ve seen new developments on all fronts. People in the lab keep telling Alan that the lab needs more students and post-docs. Yet, the lab has already outgrown its space and will soon move to the newly-outfitted 5th floor of our new building. There, we’ll have a diabetes/obesity lab and a cholesterol lab. As all the programs grow, Alan wonders if there is anything he would drop in order to limit growth. So far, there isn’t anything he wants to not do!

Sam Nadler graduated in June and became a 3rd-yr Medical Student; he’ll have the combined degree completed by next year. He still hasn’t chosen a specialty and is testing the waters as he goes from one clinical rotation to the other. Jonathan Stoehr is next in line, with plans to graduate this June. Jon is very hot on the trail of both an obesity and a diabetes QTL. He hopes to have at least one of them cloned before he defends his thesis. He will follow Sam into the clinic. Phil Raess, another MD/PhD student will join the lab in July and likely join Pete Leland on our protein kinase project.

Once again, Trine Ranheim came back to Madison from the University of Oslo, Norway. Trine thinks that she’s addicted to the Biochemistry environment and the attractive scientific and social atmosphere she always finds there. As usual, her visit was too short, just 3 months, and was just in the middle of many exciting experiments when she had to go home and join the rest of her family.

Angie Tebon continues to fill her time outside of the lab doing as much as possible. In addition to her frequent travels and sports activities, she has taken up sign language, the cello, swing dancing, and hockey playing/spectating (thanks to her new found love). And if that isn't enough, she spends time with her new little sister, through the Big Brothers Big Sisters Program. Needless to say, sleep is not a priority. In the lab, she continues to juggle as many projects as possible, in hopes of one day being given an honorary PhD.

Igor Boronenkov joined the lab this year. Igor comes from Ekaterinburg, a city in the Ural Mountains of Russia, a center for heavy industry and rich in history of gemstone mining. After getting his B.S. in chemistry from Moscow State University he pursued his Ph.D. studies on phosphoinositide kinases here in Madison. He is about to complete his crash course in physiology of diabetes and obesity now and is determined to apply his molecular biology skills in this field. He is an avid music listener (with a sweet tooth towards more electronic flavors) and is somewhat of a film buff. He enjoys that he gets to stay after bed time a lot lately, but regrets that he does not have time enough to think more about what he's reading.

Susie Clee joined the lab this past fall after a highly productive Ph.D. in Vancouver studying ABCA1. She was eager to move away from her past cholesterol work so she took the plunge into obesity/diabetes and is helping us to positionally clone our QTL’s.

It has been a year of milestones and setbacks for Matt Flowers. Now in his third year of graduate school, Matt has passed his preliminary exams and finished classwork and now has no excuse why he doesn't have any new data. Fortunately, the dynamic duo of Matt and Jake Mulligan have brought the WHAM chicken out of the closet, dusted it off, and are in the process of making it a superstar in the world of ABCA1 and cholesterol metabolism. The chicken is currently holding out for a multi-year contract, but Matt is negotiating with the chicken's agent to settle for a one year deal. In the non-scientific world, Matt is facing the reality of becoming old. Formerly the youngest in the lab, he has now been displaced and is holding the third-youngest position until Phil joins in the summer. Currently in denial his 26 long years, Matt is attempting to regain his youthful figure by spending long hours at the Natatorium and may attempt his second marathon of his life in Chicago in October, trying to shatter his Madison debut of 3:30, assuming his legs don't fall off due to recurrent injury. In the spirit of Salt Lake City 2002 and the return of olympic skeleton racing, Matt has invented a new sport coined "lab skeleton." Currently in the qualifying rounds and gaining interest with each passing day, it may become the new yardstick for true achievement in the scientific community.

Donnie Stapleton worked in the lab as an undergraduate student. His hobbies include playing indoor/outdoor soccer, running, reading, and is currently learning how to play the guitar. He currently works with Mark Gray-Keller and also with Paul Bates and Don Gillian-Daniel on the LDLR project.

Dawn Brasaemle is making progress convincing the world that, "no, lipid droplets are not inert", and, "yes, they really do have proteins!" Most of her lab continues to work on perilipins, giving her a little freedom to explore other lipid droplet-associated proteins. She is looking forward to a 6 month sabbatical in 2003, when she will travel across the Hudson River to the laboratory of her collaborator, Larry Shapiro, at Columbia University, to push a new project on characterizing the adipose lipid droplet proteome forward. She has expanded her lecture circuit to include foreign countries like Texas, where she caught up with her old pal Joyce Repa (sorry Joyce, but it IS foreign), and Argentina. Of course, once she got to the Southern hemisphere, she couldn't resist taking a trek in Chilean Patagonia. Another highlight of the last year was the visit of Alan to Rutgers; but all of you Attie lab alumni, be forewarned! He brings photos...and uses them!

Pat Uelmen and Greg Huey commemorated their dog Eleanor's second hip replacement surgery with the birth of their second son, Robert Joseph, on June 15, 2001. Since Ellie only had two hips to begin with, this presumably is the last addition to their family. Pat is currently dividing her time between Emory University, Georgia State University, and the Atlanta VA Medical Center, where she is finishing up a VA Research Career Develoment Award and an AHA Beginning Grant-in-Aid this year.

Dan Gretch continues to work as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biological and Physical Sciences at Montana State University-Billings. He and Darla moved to a new house in Billings which they share with their two Golden Retrievers and two sons, Brice (now 11 years old) and Brad (now 8). Evenings and weekends are usually spent with elementary school homework and projects... football, wrestling, baseball and basketball practices or games... or enjoying the outdoors in wide-open Montana. If you are passing through Billings, let them know. They would love the visit.

Kimberly Dirlam-Schatz just started her fourth year at UW-Fox Valley where she teaches introductory chemistry and biochemistry. The big news for Kim and husband Todd last year was the birth of their daughter, Natalie Claire, on June 30, 2001. They really enjoy being parents and are constantly amazed at how much Natalie can grow and change in such a short period of time.

Scott and Amy Cooper continue to enjoy the "quiet life" on their property in western Wisconsin. Last year saw several construction projects, including a 20 x 40 foot pole barn roof over Amy's dog kennel and additions to the gardens. They are now down to nine dogs, two new puppies were added in the fall and a few other dogs were sold. Scott has been doing well at the university and was awarded tenure this year. Now he just needs to work on Full Professor.