Dr. Wendy Gordon
Associate Professor in the Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Biophysics at the University of Minnesota - Pew Biomedical Scholar - Director of Graduate Studies (BMBB PhD Program) - Notch your average PI
Email: wrgordon (at) umn.edu
Current Lab Members
Andrew’s research is focused on the mechanobiology of the Notch receptor through the application of tools such as phage display biopanning and molecular tension sensors. His goal is to better understand how dynamic tensions sensed by Notch correspond to its regulation of cell fate as well as its role in disease.
Dr. Lidia Limón
Lidia's research focuses on the utilization of HUH-endonucleases (HUH-tags) as novel fusion tags for biotechnology applications reliant on protein-DNA bioconjugation. Her goal is to mine the natural diversity of HUH-endonucleases for orthogonality by looking at reps in other viral families, specifically Smacoviridae and Genomoviridae, to allow for their use in multiplexing applications.
Mike uses structural and biochemical techniques to understand how the mechanoreceptor protein dystroglycan is affected in cancer cells and contributes to metastasis. He hopes this information can be used to understand how mechanosensation contributes to cancer growth and metastasis.
Matt's research focuses on the development and use of molecular tension sensors. He aims to use these tools to study forces that contribute to cancer metastasis. He hopes that these tools will uncover novel thereupeutic targets.
Adam's research is focused around directed evolution of HUH-endonucleases towards novel substrate specificity, sequence specificity, and enhanced cleavage reaction efficiency. His goal is to expand the orthogonality of these nucleases for application in highly multiplexed ssDNA labeling applications. Adam also runs this website, feel free to email him with any questions, comments, or concerns at Smile073@umn.edu.
Natalia S. Babilonia-Díaz
Natalia is a first-year graduate student in Wendy's lab and her research focuses on engineering novel protein based tools to modulate and perturb cellular tensions, forces, and signaling cascades.
Erin is a first-year graduate student co-mentored by Dr. David Largaespada and her research focuses on developing in vivo applications for the tools we develop in lab for therapeutic or diagnostic purposes.
Dr. Klaus Lovendahl
For his PhD, Klaus did the initial development of the HUH tags as bioconjugation tools - identifying promising proteins, showing that they function as fusion proteins in vitro and in cells, and using them for imaging and single-molecule experiments. He is currently a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Washington, where he is using hydrogen-deuterium exchange mass spectrometry to study the structural dynamics of viral proteins.
Dr. Amanda Hayward
Amanda's research in the Gordon Lab focused on dystroglycan disease mutations and mechanobiology protein technology development. She identified the impact of disease mutations in dystroglycan's proteolysis domain, and also created a toolkit for interrogating cell surface receptor proteolysis (SNAPS). Amanda is currently at the University of Minnesota and divides her time between being a Grant Coordinator for the Department of Surgery and an Assistant Program Manager for the Institute of Engineering in Medicine's Center Accelerator program.
Dr. Eric Aird
Eric’s research in the Gordon Lab focused on technology development in the fields of both genome editing and mechanobiology. He developed a unique strategy to tether genome editing DNA templates directly to Cas9 via a fused HUH-endonuclease, and also created a molecular tension sensor based on bioluminescence resonance energy transfer (BRET). Eric is currently a postdoctoral researcher in Jacob Corn’s Lab at ETH Zurich.
Dr. Kassidy Tompkins
Kassidy applied both structural and experimental techniques to uncover the molecular basis of single-stranded DNA recognition and cleavage by HUH-tags - our fusion protein bioconjugation technology. His aim was to further enhance and engineer orthogonality, specificity, and flexibility into HUH-tag based applications.
Karen is the former Gordon lab manager, and thus she did all of the regular and not so regular odd jobs that come up from day to day in an effort to keep everything running smoothly. She learned a lot about everyone's research and biochemistry in general during her time in lab.
Dr. María Paz Ramirez
Maria was co-advised by Dr. James Ervasti, and her research focused on the mechanobiology of muscular dystrophy using molecular tension sensors, based on Bioluminescence Resonance Energy Transfer (BRET). After a brief postdoctoral fellowship here at UMN, she has accepted a position at Olympus.
Dr. Marcus Kelly
Marcus’ research focused on the biomechanics of cell migration in glioblastoma across external factors such as the extracellular matrix (ECM) and substrate stiffness. His goal was to use cancer migration modeling to better understand cancer development and metastasis.
Blake Everett - Graduate student at Northwestern University in the Prindle lab
Andrew Nelson - Graduate student at Harvard in the Liu lab
Jamie DeBruyckere - Preparing to apply to medical school
Leland Pornschloegl - Graduate student at the University of Minnesota in the Smanski lab
Amy Dao - Incoming pharmD student at the University of Minnesota
Jacob Rugloski - Preparing to apply to graduate school
August Krueger - Incoming PhD student at Brandeis University
Dr. Robert Evans
After working in the Gordon Lab for three years as a Postdoctoral Fellow, Bob became an Assistant Professor in the BMBB Dept. He remains active in the Gordon Lab, mentoring undergraduates, principally, in the physical science and work-flow behind x-ray crystallography. Bob’s heart is in mentoring and teaching (he and his wife taught high school math and science for a number of years at the George Washington Academy, Casablanca, Morocco). Bob has a MS Ed degree, along with a PhD in BMBB that he earned right here at the UMN. Bob loves exploring the “physics of the chemistries of life” and enjoys designing/building instrumentation for aiding in those studies. Bob is a member of the BMBB Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee. He and his wife, Karen, enjoy camping, exploring, biking, decorating birthday cakes, making maple syrup, and spending time with their family (which includes 8 grandchildren!)