meet our team

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

MICHAEL BOYSEN, BS, MS

Medical Student

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

Leigh Pate

Twitter: @LPSeattle

Lori Petitti

Twitter: @hiplinemedia

Tracy Cushing, MD

  • Associate Professor, Emergency Medicine - Wilderness & Environmental Medicine, U. Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

  • Board Member, Lobular Breast Cancer Alliance

SUMMER STUDENTS

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 2022-23 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)

Medical Students

  • Lauren Pitzer (2020-2021), CU Anschutz SOM Class of 2023

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.

  • 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 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!


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!