Current Lab Members

Dr. M. Todd Washington- the Big Man (Creator of the Washington Lab in 2003)

  • Hometown: Hubbard, Ohio
  • Education: Bachelor- BA in Philosophy and BS in Biology at Ohio State, PhD- Biochemistry at Ohio State, Postdoc- University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) 
  • Hobbies, Activities, and Interests: Reading, Star Wars, D&D, films, classical music, and playing the piano 
  • Random Factoids: He dreams of committing the rest of his life to learning more about the Star Wars universe.




Dr. Christine Kondratick- Research Scientist (Joined 2003)

  • Hometown: Rockville, Maryland
  • Education: Bachelors- Biochemistry at North Carolina State, PhD- Cellular Biology at Ohio State, Postdoc- University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB)  
  • Hobbies, Activities, and Interests: Scrapbooking and investing in her daughter and her dancing




Kyle Powers- Graduate student (joined Spring 2012)

  • Hometown: Antioch, Illinois (Chicago Suburb)
  • Education: BS in Biochemistry at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Research Interests: DNA processing enzymology and industrial scale fermentation
  • Hobbies, Activities, and Interests: Traveling with his fiancé Melissa, his cats Gouda, Yogurt, and Nacho, Harry Potter, video games, and soccer. 
  • Random factoids: He can beat Super Mario 64 in 16 minutes
  • Future Goals: Industry


Melissa Gildenberg- MSTP Student (joined Summer 2014)

  • Hometown: West Bloomfield, Michigan
  • Education: BS in Biochemistry at the University of Michigan
  • Research Interests: DNA damage bypass and structural biology of pathological proteins
  • Hobbies, Activities, and Interests: Working as a head tutor for the Medical School, her dog Stella, rowing, and hanging out with friends and family   
  • Random factoids: She has been commissioned to paint murals for several different groups including her high school and she has been a kayak instructor
  • Future Goals: Faculty position at an R1 university



Brittany Ripley- Graduate Student (joined Spring 2015).

  • Hometown: Medford, Oregon
  • Bachelors degree: BS in Chemistry with a minor in Biology from Southern Oregon University (graduated fall 2014)
  • Research interests: Structure and function of ubiquitin ligases, specifically the complex Rad6-18 which is involved in the initiation of Translesion Synthesis by monoubiquitylation of PCNA.
  • Hobbies, Activities, and Interests: A variety of outdoor activities, staying fit, spending time with friends and family, and traveling.
  • Random factoids: Grew up in a family of 9 and was home schooled all the way through high school
  • ​Future Goals: Faculty position at a liberal arts university



Megan Pospisil- Chemistry undergraduate (joined Fall 2015)

  • Hometown: Cedar Rapids, Iowa
  • Education: Chemistry junior at the University of Iowa
  • Research Interests:
  • Hobbies, Activities, and Interests: Being involved in campus groups such as Be the Match and the Chemistry fraternity Alpha Chi Sigma, running, and playing the ukulele
  • Random factoids:


Jim Nichols- Biochemistry undergraduate (joined Fall 2015) 

  • Hometown: Ankeny, Iowa
  • Education: Biochemistry Junior at the University of Iowa
  • Research Interests: Undecided
  • Hobbies and Interests: Hanging out with friends and playing sports
  • Random Factoid: Went to Super Bowl XLV




Devin Reusch- Biochemistry undergraduate (joined Fall 2016)
  • Hometown: Burlington, IA
  • Education: AA from Kirkwood Community College, Biochemistry junior at the University of Iowa
  • Research Interests: For now a general interest in DNA replication and repair mechanisms. 
  • Hobbies and Interests: All things family, traveling, coin collecting, cars, gaming
  • Random factoids: Served in the U.S. Army under four consecutive presidents (George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barrack Obama). Been to over a dozen countries. Work full time on overnights and raising a family.



Lucas Maakestad- Biochemistry undergraduate (joined Spring 2017)
  • Hometown: Osage, Iowa
  • Education: Biochemistry and Chemistry sophomore at the University of Iowa
  • Research Interests: Anything DNA related or that gives me the opportunity to learn something new
  • Hobbies and Interests: Running, watching movies, sports, listening to music, and spending time with family and friends
  • Random factoids: I have webbed toes. I have visited eight other countries.



Previous Lab Members

Elizabeth Boehm
  • Current Position: Postdoc in Johannes Walter's lab at Harvard
Lynne Dieckman
John Pryor
  • Current Position: Postdoc at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Bret Freudenthal
Karissa Carlson