People

current lab personnel

MATTHEW J. SIKORA, PHD

Principal Investigator

  • Postdoctoral Research, Breast Cancer - Women’s Cancer Research Center, University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, Pittsburgh, PA (2011-2016)

  • PhD, Pharmacology – University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI (2011)

  • BS, Genetics and Molecular Biology – University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI (2006)

Matt was born and raised in the Detroit area, and spent 9 years in Ann Arbor during his undergraduate and graduate training – Michigan football may or may not have been a slight draw to stay in AA for as long as he did. The conclusion of his time in Michigan was frantic, as Matt defended, got married, finished his dissertation, and left for his postdoc in Pittsburgh within the span of ~2 months. After 5 years in Pittsburgh, Matt heeded the call of Horace Greeley to “Go West, young man” and took his family to Colorado, joining the Department of Pathology in August 2016.

Twitter: @mjsikora

JOSEPH SOTTNIK, PHD

Research Associate, ​Lab Manager

  • Ph.D., Cell and Molecular Biology – Colorado State University (2010)

  • M.S., Biomedical Sciences – Colorado State University (2005)

  • B.S., Biological Sciences – Colorado State University (2004)​

Joe was raised in what is now part of Centennial, CO. Joe’s drive to cancer biology was initiated while working with Sky High Hope Camp – a week long summer camp for pediatric cancer patients, survivors, and their siblings. He received his undergraduate and graduate training at Colorado State University. Joe pursued a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Michigan prior to returning to Colorado.

Outside of the lab, Joe enjoys spending time with his wife, Kelli, and two daughters, Isla and Norah. The family enjoys going to the zoo, the mountains, and various activities around the front range. In what little spare time exists, Joe enjoys photography, gardening, cooking, and the occasional movie.

MADELEINE SHACKLEFORD, BS

Professional Research Assistant

  • B.S., Chemistry; B.S., Cellular, Molecular, and Biomedical Sciences – University of Hawai'i at Hilo (2019)

​Maddy grew up in Arlington, WA. From a young age she’s held an interest in life sciences, which led her to pursue her BS in Cellular, Molecular, and Biological Sciences, and a second BS in Chemistry, from the University of Hawai'i at Hilo. During this time, Maddy was introduced to (and fell in love with) cancer biology via her undergraduate research in the Ko‘omoa Lab.

When not elbow deep in immunoblots , Maddy enjoys spending her time reading, listening to music and attending concerts, hanging out with her cat Po, and watching terrible movies with her spouse Troy. She’s looking forward to exploring the Colorado outdoors, the Denver social scene, local breweries and bands, and applying to graduate school to obtain an advanced degree.

​​Twitter: @madshackless

LAUREN PITZER, BA

Medical Student

  • B.A., Molecular Biology - Colgate University (2018)

Lauren was born and raised in Colorado and, after leaving for college, was determined to come back. She is currently a medical student at CU Anschutz, interested in a variety of different fields. She participated in Wnt research in college and during a gap year before medical school. When she isn’t studying, she enjoys backcountry skiing and hiking with her dog.

SUMMER STUDENTS

  • Marie Feliu, 2021 CREU Fellow. Florida International University.


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Accepting students from the Cancer Research Experience for Undergraduates (CREU).

See a complete list of CU Anschutz Summer Research Programs.

Mark your calendar! Most application deadlines are in December-February.

ROTATION STUDENTS​

Accepting students for 2021 rotations!

LABORATORY ​ALUMNI

Staff

  • Deviyani Rao (PRA, 2017-2019). Currently a graduate student, CU Anschutz Biomedical Sciences Program / Molecular Biology

Graduate Students

  • Evelyn Bordeaux, MS (2018-2020)

Rotation Students

  • 2016 class: Haydan Smith, Cancer Biology

  • 2017 class: Randi Yeager, Hannah Hicks, and Ashley Ward, Cancer Biology

  • 2018 class: Lisa Wood and Claire Ihle, Cancer Biology; Christophe Langouet-Astrie, Pharmacology

  • 2019 Class: Katia Niño, Biomedical Sciences Program; Emelia Smith, Pharmacology

  • 2020 Class: Michelle Foreman and Regan Miller, Biomedical Sciences Program

Summer Students

  • 2017: Safa Mechergui (CU Denver), CU Denver Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities Program

  • 2017: Crosby Gaeta (Denver Academy), Emperor Science Award Research Program

  • 2018: Jazmyn Mosqueda (University of Northern Colorado), CU Anschutz Cancer Research Summer Fellowship Program - see news article on Jazmyn here.


Hey, we do fun things

The 2017 Hormone-Dependent Cancers GRC Metastasis Dance

Video: Becca Riggins (@Prof_Riggins)

Concept, Choreography, and Narration: Chris Sweeney (@ChrisSweens1)

Featuring: Luca Magnani as 'The Bone' (@MagnaniLab_ICL)

...and some poor sap as the metastasizing ER+ breast cancer cell


The 2019 Hormone-Dependent Cancers GRC Metastasis Dance

Video: Becca Riggins (@Prof_Riggins)

Concept, Choreography, and Narration: Chris Sweeney (@ChrisSweens1)

Featuring: Dan Frigo (@DanielFrigo) and Alex Swarbrick (@dralexswarbrick) as the big, bad Killer T cells

Also featuring: Lab alum Evelyn Bordeaux, keeping the T cells at bay as an immune suppressive signal.

...and some poor sap as the cancer cell doomed to destruction at the hands of modern cancer medicine!