Hoerter Lab - Research Personnel



    Alexandria Casillas, B.S. NIH Post-Baccalaureate Fellow (casilla@ferris.edu)

               The focus of my research in Dr. Hoerter’s lab is to incorporate the use of neocuporine and ultra violet light to determine the effects of UVA upon melanocyte stem cells, melanoblasts, and developing melanocytes.  Neocuporine is a chemical that works to ablate adult melanin containing melanocytes within the zebrafish skin, leaving behind the precursor population to be radiated with UVA.  Any damaging effects can be determined through pattern changes within the regenerating melanocyte population.  After completing my NIH research fellowship I will be attending the graduate program at San Diego State University in pursue of a PhD in Molecular and Cell Biology.


Danielle Chambers

 Danielle Chambers, B.S. Research Assistant (chambed5@ferris.edu)


Lauren Clements, Undergraduate Research Assistant (clemenl3@ferris.edu)


Andrew Laseck, Undergraduate Research Assistant (lasecka1@ferris.edu)



Ashley W

  Ashley Wachowicz, Undergraduate Research Assistant (wachowa@ferris.edu)

                  As a biology/pre-medicine student, I am very interested in the role stem cells play during melanoma development. My research focuses on the effect UVB light has on adult melanocytes that have previously been damaged by UVA light. I use the chemical neocuproine to ablate the adult melanocytes after UVA treatment. This forces the cells to regenerate from precursors before being irradiated with UVB. Effects of treatment can be observed as changes in the natural striping pattern of the zebrafish. I also plan to run additional trials of Alex’s experiment when her fellowship ends. 


alec hapman

      Alec Hapman, Undergraduate Research Assistant (hapmana@ferris.edu)



 Patrick Bradley

         Patrick Bradley, B.S. Lab Manager (bradlep@ferris.edu)

                     I am very interested in the role that stem cells and their attributes play in the maintenance and repair of tissues and organs and how disruption of these pathways can have a role in cancer formation. Major research focused on clinical use of adult stem cells has allowed for the field to grow rapidly and at the same time there are many basic questions surrounding stem cell function left to be answered.

 What defines ‘stemness’?

 How is the balance between cancer and regeneration maintained?

 What are the ways that our environment signals, damages, and interacts with our stem cells?  

               I enjoy working with a very bright group of lab members in order to see how many viewpoints can contribute to understanding the paradigms and ideas involved. While working with zebrafish as a model for melanoma development via stem cell damage, we are also able to explore the basic ideas at the core of stem cell function. I feel that many of these basic questions are more available and at the same time more exciting to undergraduate researchers.