meet our team
current lab personnel
MATTHEW J. SIKORA, PHD
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.
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.
MAGGIE MUSICK, PHD
B.S., Biology - Lipscomb University (2014)
PhD, Biological Sciences - Clemson University (2022)
2022-23 CU Anschutz Cancer Biology T32 Trainee
Maggie grew up in Wyomissing, PA, and lived in the Southeast for 10 years before moving to Colorado. Maggie’s passion for cancer biology began in high school when her dad was diagnosed with fourth stage non-smoker's lung cancer. She was and is determined to reduce the physical, mental, and emotional hardships for families affected by cancer through research, outreach, and education. During her last year of graduate school, Maggie became a mom, defended her dissertation, and moved with her family across the country to begin a new exciting journey in the Sikora Lab.
During free time, Maggie enjoys being outside- whether she’s training for a triathlon, going for walks (with her husband, Geoff, and son, Quill), or relaxing on the back porch.
MICHAEL BOYSEN, BS, MS
B.S., Mechanical Engineering - Iowa State University (2017)
M.S., Biomedical Engineering – University of Minnesota (2019)
Michael was born and raised in Iowa City, Iowa for the first 18 years of his life. Through his desire to help others and solve problems through the application of math and science, Michael initially began his career in mechanical engineering. However, throughout his time in undergraduate, the pull to medicine was constant and always in the back of his mind, eventually causing him to move to Minnesota for a master’s degree in biomedical engineering. During his time in Minnesota completing his master’s degree, not only did he find and marry his wife, but he also once again felt the desire to help patients directly. Because of this, Michael applied to medical school soon thereafter and started here at the University of Colorado School of Medicine in 2021.
Patient Advocate Partners
Tracy Cushing, MD
Associate Professor, Emergency Medicine - Wilderness & Environmental Medicine, U. Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus
Board Member, Lobular Breast Cancer Alliance
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.
Accepting students for 2022-23 rotations!
Deviyani Rao (PRA, 2017-2019). Currently a graduate student, CU Anschutz Biomedical Sciences Program / Molecular Biology
Evelyn Bordeaux, MS (2018-2020)
Lauren Pitzer (2020-2021), CU Anschutz SOM Class of 2023
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
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.
2020: Marie Feliu (Florida Int'l University), CU Anschutz Cancer Research Summer Fellowship Program, American Cancer Society Diversity in Cancer Research Fellow
2022: Emmett Niemeyer (Purdue University), CU Anschutz Cancer Research Summer Fellowship Program
Hey, we do fun things
The 2019 Hormone-Dependent Cancers GRC Metastasis Dance
Video: Becca Riggins (@Prof_Riggins)
Concept, Choreography, and Narration: Chris Sweeney (@ChrisSweens1)
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!
2018 Department of Pathology Holiday Decorations
Join Evelyn as she tells the tale of Buddy the Elf!
(We take the holiday decoration contest VERY seriously.)
2019 Department of Pathology Holiday Decorations
Start your kart engines - the race is on!