Lab of Jacob Schwartz

Dept. of Chemistry and Biochemistry,
University of Arizona

  • Jacob C. Schwartz

    (Asst. Prof) In 2010, Jacob earned his Ph.D. in Molecular Biophysics from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and in the lab of David R. Corey. He then completed his postdoctoral work in the lab of Tom Cech at CU Boulder. His broad training covers molecular biology, biochemistry, RNA biology, computational biology, neuroscience, oligonucleotide therapeutics, and medical research. He brought to his new lab experience in basic biochemistry, next-generation sequencing techniques, mammalian cell culture, neuronal cell culture, and related molecular biology technologies.

  • Valery Thompson

    Valery Thompson (scientist) Val brings to the lab years of expertise in biochemistry and molecular biology. She has developed techniques to purify and visualize cellular droplets of FUS, hnRNPA1, hnRNPA2B1, TDP-43, and RNA Pol II. She has also biophysically characterized these droplets, providing an in vivo perspective to the work studying these in the test tube. Moreover, she has purified these from ALS patient samples in order for us to determine how the mutations in these proteins disrupt the function of the molecular scaffolds they comprise. Finally, Val’s dogs, Jeldi and Smokey, proud athletes in the agility arena, have been inducted as honorary lab members.

  • Tetsuya Kawaguchi

    Tetsuya Kawaguchi (Post-doctoral researcher) Tetsuya received his PhD in 2012 from Tokyo Medical and Dental University in the lab of Tetsuro Hirose. There he studied the assembly of nuclear bodies, such as paraspeckles. Now he studies the role of FUS and TDP-43 in DNA damage repair and the mechanisms by which this activity may be involved in ALS pathology.

  • Andres Morera

    Andres Morera (PhD student) Andres received his B.S. in Biotechnology from Indiana University in 2009. He is studying the role of TDP-43 in regulating transcription genome-wide and isolating the mechanisms and domain involvement, in order to understand this protein’s role in ALS. Andres employs tools including Next-Generation Sequencing technologies, mammalian cell culture, CRISPR/Cas9, Flp-In™ stable cell lines. He has also been awarded a Ruth Kirchstein NRSA award before joining the Schwartz lab, while working on drosophila models of TDP-43 in the Zarnescu lab.

  • Mahta Moinpour

    Mahta Moinpour (PhD student) Mahta received her B.Sc. in Chemistry from Sharif University of Technology. She has contributed to our studies of the interactions of FUS and TDP-43 involved in DNA damage repair. Now, she is developing chemical probes to identify the changes in FUS and TDP-43 structure indicative of their pathological aggregative state.

  • Nasiha Ahmed

    Nasiha Ahmed (PhD student) Nasiha received her B.A. in Biology and Sociology/Anthropology from St. Olaf College in the frozen tundra of Minnesota. Now in Tucson, she has led and contributed to our study the role of RGG/RG domains in regulating RNA binding, specifically for the FUS protein. Now she is investigating the mechanism of FET-fusion proteins to regulate transcription in Ewing’s sarcoma.

  • Matt Rollins

    Matt Rollins (PhD student) Matt received his B.A. in biochemistry from Washington and Jefferson College in 2014. He is heading two projects directed at the mechanisms underlying Ewing’s sarcoma. First, he is probing the mechanism by which translocations in FUS or EWSR1 cause defects in DNA damage repair, using small molecule screens. Second, he is testing if FET and FET fusion proteins for protein scaffolds that direct folding of chromatin in the nucleus, using HiC and CHIA-PET protocols.

Current Undergraduate Researchers:

Charis Springhower (2016 – present) Biochemistry, UBRP Fellowship

Meilani Liu (2016 – present) Biochemistry

Max Staskauskas (2016 – present) Biochemistry

Emma Harrell (2017- present) Molecular Cell Biology, UBRP Fellowship

Kaitlyn Pickrel (2017-present) Biochemistry

Daniel Wieland (2017-present) Biochemistry

Former Graduate Students:

Matthew Swan (2014 – 2015) MS in Biochemistry Currently: Graduate School in Nursing

Former Undergraduate Researchers:

Sarah Bolanos (2015 – 2017) Molecular Cell Biology and Biochemistry

Connor White (2014 – 2017) Molecular Cell Biology and Biochemistry

Rishab Srivastava (2015) Molecular Cell Biology and Biochemistry UBRP fellowship

Grant Collins (2017 – 2017) Biochemistry

Conner Kisiel (2016 – 2017) Biochemistry

Lucas Harrell (2016 – 2017) Molecular Cell Biology and Biochemistry UBRP fellowship

Victor Ruiz (2016 – 2017) Biochemistry

Nicholas Bowman (2016 – 2017) Biochemistry

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