Yuzhou Zhang

I am the team lead of the functional diagnostic group in the Molecular Otolaryngology and Renal Research Laboratories. The lab offers unique complement tests to help clinicians / patients to understand complement-mediated renal diseases. My team performs routinely many lab-developed tests and reports results within a short turnaround time.

Hidekane Yoshimura

My research in the MORL is focused on the functional analysis of identified novel genes responsible for hereditary hearing loss using massively parallel DNA sequencing. In addition, I am working on the development of viral-mediated RNA interference gene therapy for the treatment of autosomal dominant progressive hearing loss.

Xue Xiao

My research is focused on discovery of novel genetic cause of DDD and C3GN and focused on how to rescue the disease. I am now trying to explain how CFHRs genes rearrangement would cause disease in familial cases. I am also working on gene therapy through delivering complement regulator genes to correct the pathology of DDD and C3GN murine model.

Donghong (Maggie) Wang

I joined the MORL in December of 2013 and have over 17 years of molecular biology experience at the University of Iowa. My work in the Clinical Diagnostics Division focuses on the OtoScope panel to detect mutations related with hearing loss. Along with my colleagues, I prepare patient samples for next generation sequencing (NGS) and perform confirmation testing by Sanger sequencing.

Mallory Tollefson

I am a Biomedical Engineering student on the BS/MS fast track program through the College of Engineering here at the University of Iowa. My interest is in helping predict and identify disease-causing variants implicated in hearing loss via development of molecular biophysics software. For the Molecular Otolaryngology Renal Research Laboratory Clinical Diagnostics I assess the effects of genetic variants through simulation and analysis of protein crystal structures.

Maysam Takapoo

My responsibilities at the Molecular Otolaryngology Renal Research Laboratory Clinical Diagnostics as a Research Assistant are running tests like C5b9 and CH50 activity on renal patient’s samples. I am also currently learning other techniques and tests which I am hoping my 14 years background in research would help me to learn them as quick as possible so I could help the lab in a more efficient way.

Erika Takanami

I am a Research Assistant working in the Molecular Otolaryngology Renal Research Laboratory Clinical Diagnostics. I perform next generation sequencing for TMA Panel tests using Zephyr and MiSeq.  I also work on genetic screening on CFH, CFI, and MCP kidney genes. In addition, I extract DNA from whole blood samples that we receive in the lab.

Christina Sloan

My research is focused on discovery of novel genetic causes of deafness, using a custom designed targeted capture and massively parallel sequencing. Using a targeted panel allows me to utilize smaller families that would be inefficient for use in exome sequencing. I am also working on functional validation of suspected deafness causing variants identified using next generation sequencing technologies.

Dingwu Shao

I am a Research Assistant working in the Molecular Otolaryngology Research Laboratory Clinical Diagnostics. I am currently doing several functional assays for serum complement activity of patients with C3 Glomerulopathies and atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome.

Paul Ranum

I am a graduate student researcher in the interdisciplinary graduate program in Molecular and Cellular Biology at the University of Iowa.  My research in the MORL is focused on the identification and characterization of non-coding genetic elements contributing to deafness.  Additionally, I am working on the development of gene therapy approaches to treat dominant progressive forms of deafness.

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