Alumni

Dr. Maher's lab has helped advance the training of numerous graduate students and research fellows.

David H. Tse

John A. Smestad

  • 2011-2013: Maher lab post-baccalaureate
  • 2015-2019: Maher lab Ph.D. phase of M.D.-Ph.D. Program
  • 2019-2021: M.D.-Ph.D., Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine
  • 2021-present: Residency, University of Iowa Health Care, Iowa City, Iowa
  • Email: smestad.john@gmail.com

Lauren S. Mogil, Ph.D.

  • 2011-2016: Maher lab
  • 2016-2018: Postdoctoral fellow, Departments of Biology and Computer Science, Heather Wheeler Lab, Loyola University Chicago
  • 2018-present: Bioinformatics scientist at Tempus Labs
  • Email: lauren.s.mogil@gmail.com

Yeng F. Her, Ph.D.

  • 2011-2015: Maher lab
  • 2015-2017: Mayo Clinic Medical Scientist Training Program
  • 2017-present: Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation residency: UCSF Fresno and University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Email: yher@fresno.ucsf.edu

Estefania Mondragon, Ph.D.

  • 2011-2015: Maher lab
  • 2015-present: Postdoctoral Fellow, Barry Stoddard lab, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Washington
  • Email: mondrage85@gmail.com

Justin P. Peters, Ph.D.

  • 2008-2012: Maher lab
  • 2012-2018: Postdoctoral Fellowship, Maher lab, Mayo Clinic Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • 2018-present: Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, Iowa
  • Email: justin.peters@uni.edu

John Paul Bida, Ph.D.

  • 2006-2011: Maher lab
  • 2011: Postdoctoral Fellowship, Mayo Clinic Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology
  • 2011-2012: Postdoctoral Fellowship, Department of Physics, Stanford University
  • 2012-2016: Vice President, Spark Pay Analytics, San Francisco, California
  • 2018-2022: Data Scientist, Stripe Data Science, San Francisco, California
  • Email: bida.john@gmail.com

Susan Wurster, Ph.D.

  • 2005-2009: Maher lab
  • 2009-2010: Mayo Clinical Laboratory Fellowship in Laboratory Medicine and Pathology
  • 2011-2015: Medical technology program and adjunct faculty in biology, Austin Peay State University, Clarksville, Tennessee
  • 2015-present: Staff, Hematology Section, Centennial Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee
  • Email: swurster@my.apsu.edu

Emily Smith, Ph.D.

  • 2002-2007: Maher lab
  • 2007-2008: Postdoc — Maher lab
  • 2008-2011: Mayo Clinical Laboratory Fellowship in Laboratory Medicine and Pathology
  • 2017-present: Illinois Department of Public Health Newborn Screening Laboratory; NxGen MDx variant curator
  • Email: emsk2011@gmail.com

Kasandra Riley, Ph.D.

  • 2002-2007: Maher lab
  • 2007-2012: Postdoc — Department of Biophysics & Biochemistry and HHMI, Yale University.
  • Adviser: Joan Steitz
  • 2012-present: Assistant Professor — Department of Chemistry, Rollins College, Winter Park, Florida
  • Email: kasandrariley@gmail.com

Robert J. McDonald, M.D., Ph.D.

  • 2002-2006: Maher lab
  • 2006-2008: Medical Scientist Training Program
  • 2008-2009: Internal Medicine Preliminary Year, Mayo School of Graduate Medical Education
  • 2009-2011: Clinician Investigator Training Program, Mayo School of Graduate Medical Education
  • 2011-2015: Diagnostic Radiology Residency, Mayo School of Graduate Medical Education
  • 2015-2016: Neuroradiology Fellowship, Mayo School of Graduate Medical Education
  • 2016-present: Assistant Professor and Senior Associate Consultant, Mayo Clinic Department of Radiology
  • Email: mcdonald.robert@mayo.edu

Laura A. Cassiday, Ph.D.

  • 1998-2002: Maher lab
  • 2002-2005: Postdoctoral Fellow — University of California-San Francisco. Adviser: Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn
  • 2005-2015: Freelance science writer and editor
  • 2015-present: Associate Editor, Inform, the magazine of the American Oil Chemists' Society (AOCS)
  • Email: lauracassiday@yahoo.com

Phil Hardwidge, Ph.D.

  • 1998-2002: Maher lab
  • 2002-2005: Postdoctoral Fellow — Biotechnology Laboratory, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Adviser: Dr. Brett Finlay
  • 2005-2009: Assistant Professor — South Dakota State University
  • 2009-2012: Assistant Professor — Department of Microbiology, Molecular Genetics & Immunology, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, Kansas
  • 2012-present: Associate Professor — Department of Diagnostic Medicine/Pathobiology, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas
  • Email: phardwidge@kumc.edu

Paula Rodrigues Hoyne, Ph.D.

  • 1997-2001: Maher lab
  • 2001-2003: Postdoctoral Fellow — Mayo Medical Ventures, Rochester, Minnesota
  • 2003-2008: Contracts Manager — Mayo Clinical Trial Services
  • Email: prhoyne@gmail.com

Eric D. Ross, Ph.D.

  • 1996-2001: Maher lab
  • 2001-2005: Postdoctoral Fellow — NIH/NIDDK, Bethesda, Maryland. Adviser: Dr. Reed Wickner
  • 2005-present: Associate Professor — Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado
  • Email: eric.ross@colostate.edu
  • Visit Dr. Ross's website

Nicole A. Becker, Ph.D.

  • 1995-1999: Maher lab
  • 1999-2002: Postdoctoral Fellow — Department of Experimental Pathology, Mayo Foundation, Rochester, Minnesota. Adviser: Dr. David Smith
  • 2002: Postdoctoral Fellow — Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Mayo Foundation, Rochester, Minnesota. Adviser: Dr. Jim Maher
  • 2003-2007: Senior Research Technologist III — Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Mayo Foundation, Rochester, Minnesota. Adviser: Dr. Jim Maher
  • Present: Professional Associate in Research and Assistant Professor — Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Mayo Foundation, Rochester, Minnesota. Adviser: Dr. Jim Maher
  • Email: becker.nicole@mayo.edu

Lori Lebruska, Ph.D.

  • 1995-1999: Maher lab
  • 1999-2001: Postdoctoral Fellow — Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, California. Adviser: Dr. Martha Fedor
  • 2002-2005: Research Scientist — Research & Development, Invitrogen Corp., San Diego, California
  • 2005-2007: Science Writer — Illumina Inc., San Diego, California
  • 2007-2008: Assistant Director — Development Manufacturing, Ibis Biosciences, Carlsbad, California
  • 2008-2009: Assistant Director — Training, Ibis Biosciences, Carlsbad, California
  • Email: lebruska@gmail.com

Garrett Soukup, Ph.D.

  • 1993-1997: Maher lab
  • 1997-2000: Postdoctoral Fellow, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut. Adviser: Dr. Ron Breaker
  • 2000-present: Professor and Associate Dean for Medical Education, Creighton University School of Medicine, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Omaha, Nebraska
  • Email: gasoukup@creighton.edu

Juliane Strauss-Soukup, Ph.D.

  • 1993-1997: Maher lab
  • 1997-2000: National Institutes of Health Postdoctoral Fellow — Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut. Adviser: Dr. Scott Strobel
  • 2000-present: Professor — Creighton University Chemistry Department, Omaha, Nebraska
  • 2013-present: Director – Creighton University Center for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship
  • Email: jksoukup@creighton.edu
  • Visit Dr. Strauss-Soukup's website

Wendy Olivas, Ph.D.

  • 1992-1996: Maher lab
  • 1996-2000: Postdoctoral Fellow — Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona. Adviser: Dr. Roy Parker
  • 2000-present: Associate Professor and Chair — Department of Biology, University of Missouri-St. Louis
  • Email: olivasw@umsl.edu