Principal Investigator


Amy Lee, Ph.D.

Amy received her Ph.D. in Neuroscience at the University of Virginia with Kevin Lynch working on adrenergic receptor localization in the brain. She developed an interest in Ca2+ channels during her postdoctoral training with Bill Catterall at the University of Washington. She is broadly interested in how Ca2+ channel regulation, by a variety of factors, controls cellular function in the nervous and cardiovascular systems. Aside from doing experiments and brainstorming with people in the lab, Amy enjoys running, biking, cooking, traveling, and spending time with her family.

Amy's CV

Research Assistant Professor


Mei-ling Joiner, Ph.D.

Mei-Ling's long-standing interest in neural signaling mechanisms began during her PhD research training with Dr. Leslie Griffith at Brandeis University when she learned about neuroscience and postranscriptional modification signaling in the cell. During that time she worked in cell signaling involving kinases as well as channel and receptor proteins and did extensive microscopy of neuronal imaging. In her post-doctorial studies with Drs. Chun-Fang Wu and Johannes Hell she gained experience in excitable cell biology, channel proteins and continued her focus on synaptic signaling molecules. Mitochondria are vital to energy metabolism and utilize ion channels to interact with other cellular components. Currently, she is interested in understanding the mitochondrial involvement in cell processes. Her research interest in how excitable cells function, through fruitful collaborative efforts, is applied at many levels using methods ranging from MALDI-TOF and protein identification at the molecular level, to cellular models and using transgenic animals at the whole organism level. Outside the lab, she enjoys cooking, playing shinny and traveling with family and friends.

Postdoctoral Scholars

Edgar Garza Lopez

Edgar Garza Lopez, Ph.D.

Edgar received his Ph.D. degree in Cell Biology in the Center for Research and Advanced Studies of the IPN in Mexico City with Dr. Ricardo Felix. He worked on the Cav2.1 channels that have some mutations associated with the human disease called Familial Hemiplegic Migraine type 1. His research mainly focused on trying to understand the functional impact of these mutations in the G-protein regulation of the Ca2+ channels. Currently, he is interested in the regulation of the Ca2+ channels by the process known as Ca2+-dependent inactivation (CDI) and facilitation (CDF) in the brain tissue by electrophysiological methods. Outside the lab, Edgar enjoys reading science fiction books, watching movies, walking his dog and spending time with his wife.

J. Wesley Maddox, Ph.D.

Wesley received his Ph.D. in Biological Sciences at Louisiana State University with Dr. Evanna Gleason. He identified a novel mechanism in which nitric oxide activates the calcium permeable transient receptor potential canonical 5 (TRPC5) channel, which leads to a calcium-dependent increase in evokedand spontaneous vesicular GABA release from retinal amacrine cells. His primary research interest is understanding how the retina processes visual signals from the environment prior to being sent to the brain for further processing and interpretation. Outside of the lab, Wesley enjoys spending time with his partner, exploring the outdoors, and watching movies.

Graduate Students


Brittany Williams, B.S.

Brittany Williams received her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Delaware State University in 2012. She is currently a PhD student in the Interdisciplinary Neuroscience Program. She is interested in the accessory α(2)δ-4 subunit of Cav channels and its roles in the retina and brain. Outside of lab, Brittany enjoys playing basketball, listening to music, cooking, and watching Netflix.


Josue Lopez, M.S.

Josue completed his Bachelor of Science degree in Molecular Bioscience and Biotechnology from Arizona State University in 2010. In 2014, Josue received his Master of Science degree in Interdisciplinary Studies in Molecular and Cellular Biology at the University of Iowa. Under the mentorship of Dr. Ernesto Fuentes, he identified and validated small molecule inhibitors for Tiam1 PDZ domain interaction with Syndecan1. Currently, he is investigating the role of RIM2 interaction with auditory (Cav1.3) and photoreceptor (Cav1.4) Cav channels. Outside the lab, he enjoys watching movies, soccer games and listening to music.

Research Interns


Katey Randall, B.S.

Kate received her Bachelor of Science in Biology at the University of Iowa in 2018. She is currently investigating the role of Calcium Binding Protein 1 in spiral ganglion neurite recovery after noise damage in neonatal murine cochlear explants. Outside of lab, she enjoys hiking, reading, and gardening.

Lab Manager/Research Associate



Jussara Hagen, M.S.

Jussara received her M.S. in Cell Biology at the University of Campinas, Brazil. She has joined the Lee Lab the summer of 2014 as a lab manager. She brings over ten years of molecular biology expertise and lab management experience. She oversees daily lab operations, train students, develop research projects, serves as an interface between Dr. Amy Lee and her multiples collaborators and assures compliance with UI regulations among other duties. Outside the lab, she enjoys reading, outdoors activities and time with family.

Administrative Assistant


Esther Soh, B.A.

Esther received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Music with a minor in Japanese Language and Literature at the Univerity of Iowa in 2012. She joined the Lee lab at the end of May 2017 as an Administrative Services Coordinator. Before she joined the lab, she worked as a pre-school teacher as well as a music arranger and a vocalist in Korea. Currently, she manages general lab administrative duties and works as a secretary for Dr. Amy Lee. Outside the lab, she enjoys playing the piano and the guitar in her free time and she likes to travel and find good food.

Undergraduate Assistants/Students


Mayo Akinbo


Dustin Fykstra



Assistant Research Scientist:

Vasily Kerov, Ph.D.

Jason Hardie, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellows:

Anisha Moring, Ph.D., Technology Acquisition Contracts Coordinator at Merial Limited

Kuai Yu, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow, Emory University

Guiying Cui, Ph.D., Lecturer, Emory University

Irina Calin-Jageman, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Dept. of Biology, Dominican University

Federick Gregory, Ph.D., Program Manager, Army Research Office

Akira Inagaki, M.D., Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Nagoya City University, Japan

Carl Christel, Ph.D., Scientist, Sirion Biotech, Germany

Keith Bryan, Ph.D., Research Scientist, Integrated DNA Technologies

Elizabeth Scholl, Ph.D., Contract Scientific Editor

Tian Yang, Ph.D., Scientist, Decibel Therapeutic, Boston, MA

Graduate Students:

Alyssa Tippens, Ph.D., Publication Lead, Bristol-Myers Squibb

Lisa Kreiner, Ph.D., Contract Scientific Editor

Meagan Jenkins, Ph.D., Medical Writer, Conisus

Kristin Kim, M.S., Research Associate, Emory University

Shiyi Wang, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Scholar, Duke University

Jessica Thomas, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Scholar, The Vanderbilt University

Daniel Soh, M.S., D.D.S. Program, University of Iowa

Research Intern

Josue Lopez, M.S., Graduate Student, University of Iowa

Daniel Soh, B.S., Masters, Boston University

Samiksha Annira, B.S., Graduate Student, University of Iowa

Jordan Breffle, B.S., Graduate Student

Undergraduate Students:

Drake Bouzek, B.S., Research Associate, University of Iowa

Natalia Cardona, B.S., PhD student, Biomedical Engineering, University of California-Davis

Daniel Soh, B.S., Research Intern, University of Iowa

Grant Stalker, Undergraduate, University of Iowa

Samiksha Annira, B.S., Research Intern, University of Iowa

Kenzie McKnight, B.S.

Kevin Tobin, B.S.

Brian Goodell, B.S.

Emily Yen, B.S.

Nathan Chen, B.S.

Research Associates:

Xiaoni Liu, B.A., PhD student, Molecular Cellular Biology, Yale University