Meet the Team

Bingkun K. Chen, Ph.D., M.B.A.
Program Manager
Assistant Professor of Medicine

Bingkun K. Chen, Ph.D., M.B.A., is a pathologist by training and developed all of the axonal tracing studies (DiI, DiO and fast blue) that are currently used in the lab. He has expertise in biochemistry, microscopy, and the cell and molecular biology of the nervous system.

Dr. Chen has experience working with a variety of spinal cord injury models and surgery, polymers, cells, histological and biological evaluation of tissue, functional evaluation of spinal cord-injured animals, and animal care. He is involved in teaching and training fellows, postdocs and students.

Jane M. Meyer
Supervisor, Research Operations

Jane Meyer is responsible for administrative management activities within the research group and oversees management of external research collaborations

Jarred J. Nesbitt
Research Technologist

Jarred Nesbitt maintains cell lines and isolates primary neurons, glial cells and neural stem cells. He has experience working with tissue engineering techniques and has developed the majority of cell-loading techniques used in the spinal cord injury studies.

Mr. Nesbitt has experience conducting cell assays for the neurotoxicity and cell compatibility studies. He is a member of the spinal cord-injured animal care team.

Jewel L. Podratz
Senior Research Technologist II
Research Associate
Lab Manager

Jewel Podratz has been studying cellular mechanisms and prevention of chemotherapy-induced neurotoxicity in dorsal root ganglion neurons and Drosophila melanogaster. Her studies use a novel model system developed in our laboratory to study chemotherapy-induced neurotoxicity in drosophila.

Ms. Podratz has expertise in cell and tissue culture, biochemistry, molecular biology, oxygen biology and mitochondrial studies in rodents as well as various Drosophila techniques. She is involved in teaching fellows, postdocs and students.

Michael J. Polzin
Research Technologist

Michael Polzin has expertise in cell and molecular biology. He is involved in studies to genetically modify human stem cells to overexpress cell markers that can be used to trace the cells within the human body and to overexpress factors that protect the health of nerve cells.

Ann M. Schmeichel
Senior Research Technologist

Ann Schmeichel is a histologist involved in immunohistochemical assays with a wide variety of antibodies and fluorochromes. She has extensive experience in morphometry and stereology and is an expert in resin embedding and thick and ultrathin sectioning of tissue for electron microscopy examination.

Ms. Schmeichel also performs microsurgery, perfusion and harvesting of tissue. She is actively involved in teaching fellows, postdocs and students.

Shuya Zhang
Research Technologist

Shuya Zhang has expertise in pathology and histology of the nervous system. She has worked for more than 20 years in immunohistochemistry and has experience with both paraffin and cryo-embedded tissue. Ms. Zhang is a member of the spinal cord-injured animal care team.