OCEDP Team

Researchers

Amy P.N. Skubitz PhD, Director OCEDP

Amy P.N. Skubitz PhD, Director OCEDP

Director Amy Skubitz

Amy P.N. Skubitz, Ph.D. graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park in the field of Biochemistry. She received a Ph.D. from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in the Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. She did her post-doctoral training at the University of Minnesota in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology where her research was focused on cellular proteins that promote the adhesion, migration, invasion, and metastasis of cancer cells. Currently, Dr. Skubitz is a Professor in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology and an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Women’s Health. Dr. Skubitz established the University of Minnesota Tissue Procurement Facility over two decades ago to facilitate the transfer of waste tissue from the operating room to researchers in order to expedite discoveries for the diagnosis, treatment, and cure of human diseases.

Dr. Skubitz serves as the Director of the Ovarian Cancer Early Detection Program at the University of Minnesota. The main focus of Dr. Skubitz’s research is on the discovery and validation of biomarkers for the early detection of ovarian cancer. Dr. Skubitz’s work spans a variety of technologies ranging from gene microarrays to proteomics. Most recently, she has been examining the residual Pap test fixative from patients’ samples in order to identify ovarian cancer biomarkers. Her long term goal is to develop the methodology to detect early stages of ovarian cancer at the same time that women are tested for cervical cancer with their annual Pap test. Dr. Skubitz has published over 110 peer-reviewed manuscripts, 36 book chapter/reviews, and 240 abstracts.

To view Dr. Skubitz's collected publications,please see the following PubMed list: AP Skubitz on PubMed.

Professor, Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology
Adjunct Professor, Dept Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Women's Health
University of Minnesota
MMC 395
420 Delaware Street, S.E.
Minneapolis, MN  55455
skubi002@umn.edu

Kristin L.M. Boylan, PhD, Assistant Director OCEDP

Kristin L.M. Boylan, PhD, Assistant Director OCEDP

Kristin Boylan, PhD Kristin Boylan received her B.S. in Biology and her Ph.D.  in Molecular, Cellular, Developmental Biology and Genetics from the University of Minnesota.  She has extensive experience in the field of molecular biology, and has contributed to numerous peer-reviewed publications. Her expertise in the methods of molecular biology and cancer biology are essential to all aspects of the OCEDP.

To view Doctor Boylan's collected publications, please see the following PubMed list: KL Boylan on PubMed

Anna Rogers

Anna Rogers

PhD Candidate Anna Rogers

Anna Rogers graduated with a B. S. in Microbiology from Kansas State University.  Currently, she is a Ph.D. student in the Microbiology, Immunology, and Cancer Biology program at the University of Minnesota.  Prior to joining the Skubitz lab, she worked in the lab of Dr. Jieya Shao at Washington University School of Medicine, where Anna investigated the role of valosin-containing protein in DNA damage and repair in breast tumor cells.  In the Skubitz lab, Anna is working on advancing the feasibility of using Pap tests to detect ovarian cancer.  Using current proteomics and mass spectrometry techniques, this project aims to identify biomarkers specific to early stage ovarian tumors that can be used to screen the general population.

Rory Manion

Rory Manion

Rory graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2015 with a BS in Biochemistry. Rory's initial interest in cancer biology stemmed from previous lab work related to the intersection of virology and cancer, specifically Kaposi's sarcoma herpesvirus. At the OCEDP, he performs experiments related to cellular adhesion and differential expression of proteins in human cancer cell lines. Rory intends to pursue a career in bioinformatics. 

Heena Shah

Heena Shah

Heena ShahHeena Shah is a junior in the College of Biological Sciences obtaining a B.S. in Genetics and Cell Biology and a minor in Philosophy. She plans to attend medical school upon graduating and is considering surgical oncology as a topic of interest. Heena is involved in the comparative analysis of the effectiveness of chemotherapy on normal and modified ovarian cancer spheroids. This project ultimately aims to find methods to increase the effectiveness of chemotherapy treatment for ovarian cancer.

Recent Researchers in the OCEDP

Petra Buchanan, PhD

Petra Buchanan, PhD

Petra Buchanan earned her Masters in Biology and her Dr. rer. nat. in Biology from Friedrich-Alexander University in Erlangen-Nuernber Germany.  Since then, she has been involved in a diverse array of oncological research activities. As a postdoctoral researcher in California, she investigated extracellular endosulfases as potential biomarkers in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), as well as screening novel inhibitory compounds in NSCLC. At the OCEPD, Petra has produced cell lines that overexpress to potential biomarker Nectin-4 and has investigated the role of ADAM 10 and 17 proteases in the shedding of Nectin-4.

Kelly Braumberger

Kelly Braumberger

Kelly BraumbergerKelly graduated from the University of Minnesota in May 2016 with a B. S. in Biology. After graduating, she plans to continue her education by attending nursing school. In the lab, she studies a cell adhesion protein called Nectin-4. Nectin-4 has been previously found by the Skubitz lab to be present at elevated levels in ovarian tumor tissues, as well as in the serum of ovarian cancer patients, demonstrating its potential role as an ovarian cancer biomarker. By studying the dynamic roles of Nectin-4 in ovarian cancer, Kelly and other members of the OCEDP aim to gain insight into the molecular mechanisms used by ovarian cancer cells to achieve growth and metastasis.

Aaron Grad

Aaron Grad

Aaron is an undergraduate majoring in Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development at the University of Minnesota. After graduation, Aaron intends to continue working with the OCEDP before applying to medical school. Aaron performs the vital task of screening and consenting patients for the OCEDP studies into proteomic detection of biomarkers in patient serum samples, without which progress would be slowed dramatically. Aaron is fascinated by the diversity of cancers and the vast array of biomarkers that each unique cancer presents, as well as the influence of a patient's genome on their response to chemotherapeutic treatment.   

Dip Shukla

Dip Shukla

Dip is currently a medical student at the University of Minnesota interested in the clinical delivery of patient care, as well as the development of our understanding of the cancer disease process in a cross-disciplinary manner. With the skills and experience he developed at the OCEDP, he aspires to pursue physician scientist residency training post medical school. Dip has been integral in the preparation of modified cell lines necessary to characterize candidate biomarkers. His interest in ovarian cancer research stems from the hope that early detection will lead to better treatment options for, and potential prevention of, many forms of cancer. 

Cody Bruggemeyer

Cody Bruggemeyer

Researcher Cody BruggenmeyerCody obtained a Bachelor's degree in Biomedical Engineering with an emphasis in biomaterials from the University of Minnesota. After graduation, Cody began attending medical school at the University of Kansas with an emphasis on oncology. Cody has focused on determining the role of Nectin-4 in ovarian cancer functional behavior. He has helped to characterize the effects of this potential biomarker on ovarian cancer cell proliferation and migration. Cody is interested in discovering more about the mechanism of Nectin-4 cellular signaling pathway and its impact on future treatment options.

Kate Geschwind

Kate Geschwind

Kate Geschwind

Kate graduated from the University of Minnesota with dual degrees in Genetics and Cell Development as well as Spanish. She is attending medical school at the University of Minnesota, and considers oncology to be one of her top specialization options. Kate is integral to the Multiplex Array project, and conducts statistical analysis on patient serum samples in hopes of identifying candidate biomarkers. Kate is particularly enthusiastic about the diagnostic potential of ovarian cancer biomarkers, and believes that preventative medicine is a key component of future oncological treatment protocols. 

Research Projects

Meet the Team

Facilities at UMN

Facilities at UMN

Research Funding Support

Research Funding Support

Funding for the OCEDP has been provided by:

National Institutes of Health / National Cancer Institute

Department of Defense Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs

Minnesota Ovarian Cancer Alliance 

Cancurables Foundation

Charlene's Light 

University of Minnesota

Recommended Resources

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Contact Us

Contact Us

Contact the Director:

Amy P.N. Skubitz, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology
Adjunct Professor, Dept Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Women's Health
University of Minnesota
MMC 395
420 Delaware Street, S.E.
Minneapolis, MN  55455
skubi002@umn.edu

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