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Permanent Members of the Lab

Distinguished Scientist

Photo of Mark KellerMark Keller
Mark has been in the lab since 1998. He is involved in project management, bioinformatics analyses, oversees many collaborations with other laboratories, as well as two drug development projects. His background is in pharmacology of G-coupled protein receptors. Mark grew up in Oregon and earned his B.S. at the University of Oregon and his Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.


Photo of Kathy SchuelerKathy (Kiki) Schueler
Kathy joined the lab in 1995 after working for seven years at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center with Helen Hobbs. There, Kathy sequenced many new alleles of the LDL receptor that were collected by Nobel Laureates Mike Brown and Joe Goldstein. Kathy has been the secret to the success of our mouse genetics program. She has been responsible for all the breeding, genotyping, and record keeping that are essential for a successful genetics program.

Photo of Donnie StapletonDonnie Stapleton
Donnie joined the lab in 1999 where he worked on projects related to lipid and lipoprotein metabolism and metabolism and obesity. Most recently, he worked with post-doctoral fellow Chen-Yu Wang on the role of Tsc2 in hepatic steatosis. He is now working on projects related to β-cell function and β-cell proliferation. He is also responsible for a drug development project aimed at treating hepatic steatosis.

Photo of Shane SimonettShane Simonett
Shane joined the lab in 2015. He is studying a transcriptional pathway driven by Nfatc2. We have discovered that this transcription factor controls the expression of many genes involved in type 2 diabetes.

Post-doctoral Fellows

Photo of Nicolas CaloNicolas Calo
Nicolas is working on two projects related to lipoprotein metabolism. 1) He is studying a small molecule inhibitor of PCSK9 developed by our collaborator, Weiping Tang. PCSK9 targets the LDL receptor for degradation and causes serum LDL levels to rise. 2) Nicolas is working with Kelly to understand the role of Sortilin in LDL metabolism, insulin signaling, and metabolic disease.

Photo of Emily CushingEmily Cushing
Emily earned her Ph.D. at the University of Iowa studying the regulation of lipoprotein lipase and fatty acid transport. She is now investigating a novel gene that determines whether a mouse will become obese on a Western-style diet.

Photo of Chris EmfingerChris Emfinger
Chris earned his Ph.D. at Washington University working on ATP-dependent potassium channels. He is currently working on a transcription factor that we identified in one of our genetic screens that regulates insulin secretion.

Graduate Students

Photo of Sid DickeSid Dicke
B.S. from Hamline University
Sid joined the lab in 2018. He is investigating the role of human islet amyloid polypeptide (hIAPP) on islet function in transgenic mice. 

Photo of Kelly MitokKelly Mitok
B.S. from University of Wisconsin Madison
Kelly joined the lab in 2014. She is investigating the role of the Vps10 protein Sortilin in pancreatic beta cell function.

Photo of Ziyue WangZiyue Wang
Ziyue is a graduate student in Statistics with Christina Kendziorski. Her thesis project is focused on using our mouse genetic data to discover the role of sequence variation non-coding DNA in diabetes.

Photo of Ka YangKa Yang
Ka is a graduate student in Pharmacy working with Weiping Tang. He is working on a joint project with us to develop a novel drug to inhibit PCSK9, a protein that raises LDL levels.