Bethany Kloss, PhD, completed her PhD work in 2012 in Dr. Semina's laboratory. Her research focused on genes involved in anterior segment development. She currently works as a Senior Scientist at University Research Park in Madison.
Kala Schilter, PhD, the first graduate of the newly established PhD in Basic and Translational Science program, completed her PhD work in 2013 in Dr. Semina’s laboratory where her research focused on the identification of new genes involved in eye diseases, primarily anophthalmia and microphthalmia. Reflecting on her experiences, Kala noted “I feel that through my basic research and translational focus, I have been prepared very well to address some of the areas of health care, such as personalized medicine, which is growing rapidly and will become very important in the treatment of patients.” Kala spent a year as the Sharon K. Wadina Postdoctoral Fellow in Sarcoma Research in the Clinical and Translational Core Lab at Froedtert Hospital and MCW and is currently working as a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Dermatology.
Hannah Happ joined Dr. Semina’s laboratory for 10 weeks through MCW’s Summer Program for Undergraduate Research in 2013. Her project focused on using whole exome sequencing to understand the genetic causes of Peters Plus Syndrome like disorders. She also had the chance to learn about zebrafish as a model organism. She notes “the experience has certainly validated my interest in research and developmental genetics. The lab was very welcoming, and I had a wonderful experience this summer.” Upon completion of her undergraduate degree, she returned to the lab and is working on a project identifying the genetic etiology of isolated and syndromic Peters anomaly.
Eric Weh, another graduate of the PhD in Basic and Translational Science program, completed his PhD work in 2014 in Dr. Semina’s laboratory. His project focused on discovering the molecular mechanisms of Peters Plus Syndrome (PPS) through the use of whole exome sequencing and studying gene expression in zebrafish. As part of his training, Eric had the opportunity to meet with a family affected with PPS and reports that “this experience has shown me that the science we perform has an actual impact on the lives of the families and patients who provide us with genetic material for study.” Upon graduation, Eric began a postdoctoral fellowship Dr. Semina’s laboratory to and is working on developing a zebrafish model of Peters plus syndrome.