Director

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Clarissa Henry

Clarissa is the director of the Graduate School of Biomedical Science and Engineering (known as GSBSE) and an associate professor at the School of Biology and Ecology (SBE).  She is interested in the molecular, genetic, and cellular basis of animal development. In particular, she wish to understand how both genetic and epigenetic events result in molecular signals that orchestrate the vast array of cell movements necessary to construct an organism.  As a model system for the molecular and genetic control of morphogenesis, she takes an interdisciplinary approach to analyzing muscle development in zebrafish embryos.

Second in Line

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Everett

Everett is our dear friend who you can find taking naps in Clarissa's office.  His favorite time is Saturday morning at the farmers market where he enjoys swimming with his friends in the river.  He is always looking forward to meet new friends!      

Graduate Researchers

Ahmed Almaghasilah

Second Year Student

Ahmed is a second year PhD student in the Graduate School of Biomedical Science and Engineering program at University of Maine.  His current research focuses on the molecular, cellular and genetic basis of muscular myopathies and dystrophies such as Duchenne Muscular Disease.  He trains Deep neural networks to automate and quantify microscopic images of muscle regeneration and degeneration.

Kodey Silknitter

First Year Student 

Kodey is a first-year PhD student in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and Engineering and the University of Maine. He uses both bioinformatics and molecular approaches to investigate cellular mechanisms involved with several forms of muscular dystrophy. His current research works towards understanding how the development and homeostasis of motor neurons is impacted by muscular dystrophy. Aside from research Kodey enjoys mentoring PSM Bioinformatics students and high school students.

Amanda Ignacz

First Year Student

Amanda is a first year PhD student in the Graduate School of Biomedical Science and Engineering program at the University of Maine. Her interests lie in neuromuscular disease research and muscle development. Her current research focuses on molecular mechanisms of improvement mediated by neuromuscular electrical stimulation on diseased skeletal muscle in the zebrafish model for Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

Mary Astumian

Second Year Student

Mary is a second year PhD student in the GSBSE program at University of Maine. She is using zebrafish models to investigate changes to integrin and dystroglycan transmembrane proteins in muscular dystrophies and dystroglycanopathies

Undergraduate Research Assistants

Claire Schaffer

Forth Year Student

Claire is a fourth year undergraduate student in the School of Biology and Ecology at the University of Maine. Her current research focuses on classifying the phenotype of a novel CRISPR model of DPM3-related secondary dystroglycanopathies. She hopes to prepare the model for use in drug treatment studies that could eventually uncover beneficial treatments for these understudied diseases.