Jonathan A. Kirk, PhD  
Assistant Professor
​​​​​​​Department of Cell and Molecular Physiology
Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine

Jonathan received his B.S. in Bioengineering at Washington State University (Go Cougs!), his Ph.D. in Bioengineering at University of Pittsburgh (Go Panthers), and his post-doctoral training in the division of Cardiology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (go... blue jays, I think). ​​​​​​​
Marisa Stachowski, M.S. 
Graduate Student
mstachowski@luc.edu
Joined lab: 8/2015

Education: B.A. from St. Olaf College, M.S. from Southeastern Louisiana University

Research Interests: Molecular mechanisms of heart disease at the sarcomere level. Translational research.

Hobbies: Binge watching medical dramas

Fun fact: One time Marisa ate a Hungryman Family Size Portion of salisbury steak by herself in one sitting.
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Mary Papadaki, Ph.D.
Post-doctoral Fellow
mpapadaki@luc.edu
Joined lab: 12/2015

Education: BSc, MRes, Ph.D. at Imperial College London 

Research Interests: Diabetes and heart failure

Hobbies: Running, eating, going to the beach

Fun fact: Before science, Mary wanted to become a theater producer!
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Lizhuo Ai
Graduate Student
lai@luc.edu
Joined lab: 5/2017

Education: B.S. in Biology from Millsaps College in Jackson, MS 

Research Interests: Adolescent binge alcohol consumption and heart function.

Hobbies: Baking, movies, and exploring new restaurants. 

Fun Fact: Liz stayed in the jungle and slept in hammocks for a whole month in Mexico one summer.
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Thomas Martin
Graduate Student
tmartin7@luc.edu
Joined lab: 5/2018

Education: B.S. in Biology from Madona University

Research Interests: Role of Bcl2-associated athanogene (BAG3) in the cardiac myofilament.

Hobbies: Running, reading.

Fun fact: Tommy is ambidextrous.
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Andrei Zlobin, Ph.D.
Senior Scientist
azlobin@luc.edu
Joined lab: 7/2018

Education: M.S., Ph.D., Moscow, Russia

Research Interests: Molecular Mechanisms of Cardiovascular Disease

Hobbies: Fly fishing, outdoors 

Fun fact: Andrei likes winter.
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Nitha Aima Muntu
Lab Manager
naimamuntu@luc.edu
Joined lab: 7/2019

Education: B.S. in Microbiology from Washington State University

Research Interests: A little bit of everything at the moment.

Hobbies: Hiking, exploring new places, and cooking.

Fun fact: Nitha likes "experimenting" with cooking.
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Parth Desai
CVRI Translational Research Fellow
pdesai6@luc.edu
Joined lab: 7/2019

Education: M.B.B.S. from M.S. University of Baroda, Gujarat, India and Internal Medicine Residency from John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County, Chicago

Research Interests: Pathophysiology and management of cardiac arrhythmias and heart failure.

Hobbies: Watching tennis (die hard fan of Roger Federer), photography, and learning new software.

Fun fact: Roller coasters rides still scare the hell out of him!
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Lab Alumni
Kampaengsri "June" Theerachat (Visiting Graduate Student)
Chutima Rattanasopa (Visiting Grad Student, co-mentored with Dr. de Tombe)
Aravind Jagadeesan, M.S. (Research Assistant)
Maxime Heroux, Ph.D. (Post-doctoral Fellow, co-mentored with Dr. de Tombe)

Summer/Temporary Students
Hana Pak (High school student at Lawrenceville School)
Sara Tawfik  (Undergraduate student at Loyola University Chicago)
Sarah Palmer (Undergraduate at Illinois Institute of Technology, Bioengineering)
Nija Williams  (High School student at Proviso Math and Science Academy)
Kayla Musial  (High School student at Proviso Math and Science Academy)
Joe Reda (Bioengineering student at University of Miami)
Ashley Solano  (A senior at Proviso Math and Science Academy)