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Clarissa Henry

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When life gets you down, make snow angels!

Professor, School of Biology and Ecology, University of Maine

Director of the Graduate School of Biomedical Science and Engineering 

Lab Mascots

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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!      


Tam is the youngest member in Henry's lab. You can always find him sneaking around for generous petting and treats, and if you see him goofing around in Hitchner halls please take him back to our lab.  His favorite time is playing with his brother Everett, and oh yeah he loves meeting new people!      

Graduate Researchers

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Ahmed Almaghasilah

Thrid Year Student

Ahmed is a third-year PhD candidate 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 and dystroglycanopathies.  He uses image analysis tools and trains deep neural networks (such as DeepLabV3 - semantic image segmentation neural network) to automate and quantify fluorescent and birefringence images of muscle fibers.


Kodey Silknitter

Second Year Student 

Kodey is a second-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.

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Amanda Ignacz

Second Year Student

Amanda is a second 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.

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Mary Astumian

Third Year Student

Mary is a third year PhD candidate 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

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Lindsey Howland

First Year Student

Lindsey is a 1st year PhD student in the Graduate School of Biology and Ecology program at the University of Maine. She uses both molecular and physiological approaches to better understand the structural and cellular mechanisms involved in muscular dystrophies. Her current research investigates neuromuscular junction and synapse formation in dystrophic skeletal muscle.


Claire Schaffer

Claire graduated from the UMaine School of Biology and Ecology with a BS in biology in 2021. Her research focuses on classifying the phenotype 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.

Lab Technician

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