Department of Molecular Physiology & Biophysics

University of Iowa


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


Adrian Sculptoreanu, Ph.D.

Adrian Sculptoreanu joined Amy Lee lab to work on voltage-dependent Ca channels after spending 2 ½ years as Physiology Professor at Universita Vita Salute San Raffaele in Milan, Italy. Prior to that Adrian had various faculty and research faculty positions at PNDRI in Seattle, University of Pittsburgh and McGill University in Montreal, Canada. Dr Sculptoreanu graduated with a PhD in Biophysics at Universite de Sherbrooke in Quebec, Canada in 1991. Since then his research has focused primarily on regulation of a number of voltage and receptor operated ion channels and other TRP channels by cellular signaling mechanisms and voltage-dependent ion channels and TRP channels’ participation in nociceptive sensitization mechanisms. In his spare time Adrian enjoys spending time with his family, nature outings, fishing, painting and listening to classical music.



Tian Yang, Ph.D.

Tian received her Ph.D. in Biology at the University of Iowa with Bernd Fritzsch. Collaborating with Alex Bassuk, she worked on the role of Prickle1 in the development of limbs, palate and neuron migration, and trying to understand how Prickle1 is related to other PCP genes, such as Vangl2. Currently, she is working on the role of CaBP1 in auditory and the brain. Outside the lab, she plays piano and pipa (a Chinese lute). She also enjoys walking, travelling and spending time with friends.


Vasily Kerov, Ph.D.

Vasily received his Ph.D. in the Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics at the University of Iowa with Nikolai Artemyev working on the mechanism of transducin (a G-protein) translocation in photoreceptor cells. Currently, Vasily, co-mentored by Sheila Baker (Dept of Biochemistry), is doing research on the role of Cav1.4 calcium channel in the maintenance of photoreceptor synapse and night-blindness (CSNB2). He also is working to identify the trafficking determinants of the channel. Vasily is also interested in neuroscience in general and particlularly in synapse development, function and maintenance. Outside the lab, Vasily spends much time with his family, and recently started sailing.

Grad Students

Shi Yi

Shiyi Wang, B.S.

Shiyi received her Bachelor of Science degree in Pharmacology from University College London in the United Kingdom in 2011. She came to the Lee lab to explore the interactions of L-type Ca2+ channels and Densin-180 in the summer of 2011. At present, she is PhD student in Physiology and is studying the roles of Densin and RGS14 in ion channel regulation. Except spending time withproteins, she enjoys listening to music, reading, doing yoga, travelling and talking with her parents on Skype.


Jessica Thomas, B.S.

Jessica Thomas received her Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from Alabama State University in 2010. Broadly she is interested in the mechanisms in that underlie learning and memory. She came to the Lee lab in the summer of 2011 to explore the modulatory effects of RGS14 on L-type Ca2+ channels. At present, she is PhD student in Interdisciplinary Neuroscience Program and is studying the roles of neurotransmitters and G proteins in ion channel regulation. Outside of lab, she enjoys singing, traveling, and hanging with friends.


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.

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 this summer (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.

Lab Admin



Bhuvana Parampalli, B.A.

Bhuvana received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism, Psychology and Literature from Bangalore University, India. She joined Lee lab the summer of 2012 as Administrative Services Coordinator. In the past, she has served as an Administrative Assistant at the University of Michigan and Georgia Health Sciences. Currently, she manages general lab administrative duties and as a secretary for Dr. Amy Lee. She enjoys reading, gardening, cooking and spending time with her family.

Undergraduate Assistants


Jordan Cervantes


Taylor Vogel


Benjamin Witt



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.,

Graduate Students:

Alyssa Tippens, Ph.D., Senior Medical Writer, Envision Communications

Lisa Kreiner, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow, Dept. of Physiology, Emory University

Meagan Jenkins, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow, Dept. of Pharmacology, Emory University

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

Undergraduate Students:

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

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

Research Associates:

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