People

Photo of  Matthew Gentry
Matthew Gentry
Principal Investigator University of KentuckyBiochemistry

Dr. Gentry received his B.S. from the University of Evansville in 1996. He then studied yeast cell cycle regulation via protein phosphatase 2A at Syracuse University in Dr. Richard Hallberg’s lab, receiving his Ph.D. in 2003. He was a postdoctoral fellow at UC-San Diego with Dr. Jack Dixon where he discovered glycogen and starch phosphatases and how they are integral for both human and plant energy metabolism.

He began his independent career in 2008 and he is currently a Professor in the College of Medicine at the University of Kentucky where he oversees projects on both Lafora disease and biofuels research. The lab focuses on the regulation of specific phosphatases and E3 ubiquitin ligases in both human glycogen and plant starch metabolism utilizing in vitro biochemical and structural techniques; in situ cell culture models; and in vivo mouse, algal and plant models. Dr. Gentry has been continuously funded by NINDS since 2006, he is an NIH K99/R00 Pathway to Independence Award recipient, he received the NIH Young Investigator IDeA Maciag Award, he is an NSF CAREER awardee, and PI of both a NINDS R01 and P01. He is a Journal of Biological Chemistry Editorial Board member, he is on the Executive Committee of the ASBMB Public Action Advocacy Committee (PAAC), and he is a member multiple study sections.

Current Lab Members

Kyle Auger
Research Assistant University of KentuckyBiochemistry

Kyle obtained a BS in Biochemistry from the University of Kentucky in 2016. He is currently working in the lab full time as a technician, and is in the process of applying for med school.

Photo of  Katy Brewer
Katy Brewer
Graduate Student University of KentuckyBiochemistry

Katy was raised in Wilder, Kentucky and received her B.S. in Biology from the University of Kentucky. She worked for Dr. Gentry as an undergraduate student until she joined the IBS program in August 2013. She is now a graduate student in the Gentry lab.

Corey Brizzee
Graduate Student University of KentuckyBiochemistry
Shane Emanuelle
Postdoctorate University of KentuckyBiochemistry
Bobby Murphy
Graduate Student University of KentuckyBiochemistry

Bobby grew up in Louisville, KY where he obtained his B.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Bellarmine University. After working as a lab technician at a small pharmacogenetics company in Louisville, he joined the IBS program at the University of Kentucky in 2015 and joined the Gentry Lab in May 2016.

Photo of  Madushi Raththagala
Madushi Raththagala
Postdoctorate University of KentuckyBiochemistry

Madushi obtained her BS in Biochemistry and Molecular biology from University of Colombo, Sri Lanka. She came to USA in 2004 to pursue her graduate studies. She attended Wayne State University and Michigan State University to receive her PhD in Chemistry. Her PhD work was focused on understanding the roles of erythrocytes in sickle cell disease and diabetes.  Madushi wishes to apply her knowledge of chemistry and biology to understand the structural dynamics of glucan phosphatases.

Photo of  Zoe Simmons
Zoe Simmons
Graduate Student University of KentuckyBiochemistry

Zoe obtained a B.S. in Biology: Neuroscience from SUNY Stony Brook. She joined the University of Kentucky Integrated Biological Sciences program in August 2015 and joined the Gentry lab in May 2016.

Ben Turner
Undergraduate Student University of KentuckyBiochemistry

Ben is currently a Junior at Berea College studying Chemistry. He joined the lab as an REU student for the summer of 2014. After obtaining his undergraduate degree, Ben hopes to pursue a PhD in Biochemistry.

Alumni

Photo of  Travis Bridges
Travis Bridges
Research Assistant University of KentuckyBiochemistry

Travis Bridges was born and raised in Piner, Kentucky. He graduated from the University of Kentucky with a B.S. in Biology. He is currently attending medical school at Campbell University.

Photo of  Vikas Dukhande
Vikas Dukhande
Postdoctorate University of KentuckyBiochemistry

Vikas Dukhande has studied BS (Pharmaceutical Sci.) from Mumbai University Institute of Chemical Technology, a prestigious Institute in India. He went on to work for a year in the Cell Biology Department of Unilever Research India. Next, he earned his Ph.D. in Pharmacology from Idaho State University studying molecular mechanisms of neurodegeneration prior to joining Dr. Gentry lab.

Photo of  Satrio Husodo
Satrio Husodo
Graduate Student University of KentuckyBiochemistry

Satrio grew up in Indonesia before moving to the US, where he obtained a B.S. in Agricultural Biotechnology from the University of Kentucky. He did research in the structure and function of glucan phosphatases, which regulate starch degradation in plants, and malin, an E3-ubiquitin ligase that regulates glycogen metabolism.  After obtaining a Masters degree he is currently studying Computer Science at UK.

Mary Beth Johnson
Alumni - Undergraduate University of KentuckyBiochemistry

Mary Beth is currently in medical school at the University of Louisville.

Photo of  Richard Jones
Richard Jones
Alumni - Undergraduate

Richard joined the lab during the summer of 2010 as an REU student.

Photo of  Dave Meekins
Dave Meekins
Graduate Student University of KentuckyBiochemistry

Dave Meekins was born and raised in Northern Ohio. He obtained his B.S. from Bowling Green State University in Ohio in Biology with a minor in Chemistry. He joined the University of Kentucky IBS program in August 2009 and joined the Gentry Lab in April 2010. He obtained his PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Kentucky in 2014 and is now a Postdoctoral Fellow at Kansas State University.

Brie Meffert
Undergraduate Student University of KentuckyBiochemistry

Brie is from Owensboro, Kentucky. She is a sophomore at the University of Kentucky, majoring in English with minors in biology and neuroscience. She joined the Gentry Lab in the spring of 2013. She is currently working with a Psychology professor at the University of Kentucky.

Photo of  Makeda Mesquitta
Makeda Mesquitta
Alumni - Undergraduate

Makeda joine d the lab during the summer of 2011 as an REU student. She is currently attending graduate school at the Mayo Clinic.

Photo of  Brad Paasch
Brad Paasch
Senior Laboratory Technician and Research Assistant University of KentuckyBiochemistry

Brad Paasch joined the Gentry lab as an undergraduate in 2011.  He obtained a dual degree in Agricultural Biotechnology and Biology from the University of Kentucky in May 2012. He is currently attending graduate school at Michigan State University.

Rachel Pace
Lab Technician University of KentuckyBiochemistry

Rachel joined the lab during the 2008-2009 semester, and graduated from the University of Kentucky with a B.S. in Nursing. She is currently attending medical school at the University of Kentucky.

Photo of  David Patterson
David Patterson
Research Assistant University of KentuckyBiochemistry

David Patterson was raised in California and Kentucky.  He received his B.S. in Chemistry with a minor in Biology in 2012 from Morehead State University.  He joined the Gentry Lab during the summer of 2012. He is currently attending medical school at the University of Louisville.

Photo of  Devin Rodgers
Devin Rodgers
Alumni - Undergraduate University of KentuckyBiochemistry

Devin is currently in medical school at Georgia Health Sciences University.

Photo of  Nazeer Shaikh
Nazeer Shaikh
Undergraduate University of KentuckyBiochemistry

Nazeer Shaikh was raised in Kentucky and is currently a sophomore studying biology at the University of Kentucky.  He joined the Gentry Lab in August 2012.   After graduating, Nazeer plans on attending medical school. He is currently working with glucan phosphatases.

Photo of  Amanda Sherwood
Amanda Sherwood
Graduate Student University of KentuckyBiochemistry

Amanda was born in Texas and raised in Danville, KY. She received her B.S. in 2008 from Centre College. Amanda is currently supported by a T32 NIH training through the University of Kentucky Center for Clinical and Translational Science. She is studying structure-function of glucan phosphatases as well as developing a biomarker for Lafora disease.

Photo of  Adam Taylor
Adam Taylor
Lab Technician University of KentuckyBiochemistry

Adam Taylor grew up in Simpsonville, South Carolina. He received his B.S. from Appalachain State University in Boone, Noth Carolina. Adam joined the Gentry Lab in August of 2009.

Photo of  Rasia Tikhtman
Rasia Tikhtman
Research Assistant University of KentuckyBiochemistry

Raisa graduated in May 2014 from Transylvania University with majors in Biochemistry and French. She joined the lab in August of 2014. In August of 2015 she began attending the Medical School at the University of Cincinnatoi with the intent of constructing a career around these passions. Raisa was supported by an NSF EPSCoR Powering the Kentucky Bioeconomy for a Sustainable Future. She worked closely with Drs. David Rodgers, Matt Gentry and Craig Vander Kooi on a variety of biofuel-based projects.

Photo of  Cory White
Cory White
REU Student University of KentuckyBiochemistry

Cory White was born and raised in Newnan, Georgia. He is graduated with a B.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Mercer University in Macon, GA in 2014. He joined the Gentry lab in May 2012 through the NSF-REU summer program in the biomedical sciences. He is currently attending graduate school at The Johns Hopkins University.

Becca Williams
Laboratory Technician University of KentuckyBiochemistry

Currently attending graduate school at the University of Kentucky Department of Biology.