Yoder Lab: People

Yoder Lab 2015


Jeffrey A. Yoder, Ph.D.

Principal Investigator

Jeff graduated from Worcester Polytechnic Institute with a B.S. in Biotechnology and performed his graduate work with Tim Bestor receiving his Ph.D. in Cell and Developmental Biology from Harvard University's graduate program in Biological and Biomedical Sciences. He then did a post-doc with Gary Litman at the University of South Florida. Jeff joined the faculty at NCSU in 2004.



Jessica Romanet

Graduate Student

Jessica Romanet  graduated from Rutgers University and worked for Pfizer Pharmaceuticals for five years, which sparked her passion for veterinary medicine and biomedical research.  Now, she is excited to have completed two years of the DVM curriculum at NCSU CVM and is lucky enough to be a DVM/PhD candidate working towards her PhD portion in the Yoder lab. Although born and raised in Southern New Jersey and a die hard Philadelphia sports fan, she is happy to call North Carolina her home.



Dustin Wcisel

Graduate Student

Dustin graduated from Grand Valley State University in 2009 with a BS in Cell and Molecular biology. Following graduation, he moved to the coast of Lake Michigan to study the genetics of invasive aquatic plants at the Annis Water Resources Institute. Dustin came to NCSU in the fall of 2012 through the Genomic Sciences program to pursue a PhD.



Amanda Kortum

Graduate Student

Amanda is a Montana native that attended the University of Montana Western to earn a degree in biology with a cellular/molecular emphasis, with veterinary school as her next goal. However, through four years of work studying the cell biology of the pathogenic yeast Candida albicans, she discovered a passion for research and after graduating in 2011, she worked for a year as a research scientist. At the University of Washington-Institute for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine, she studied the molecular mechanisms of the potential relationship between erythropoietin treatment and cancer. In 2012, Amanda joined the Yoder lab after accomplishing the long-time goal of being offered a position in the DVM/PhD program at NCSU.  She’s excited to see what life on the east coast is all about.


Emma Davis

Emma Davis

Undergraduate Student

Palak Desai

Palak Desai

Undergraduate Student

Thomas Howard

Thomas Howard

Undergraduate Student





Lab Alumni

Yoder Lab Members 2012


Postdoctoral Fellows


Ivan Rodriguez-Nunez, Ph.D. (2009-2015)

post-doc, Indiana University School of Medicine- Northwest


Liala Farzana, Ph.D. (2009-2011)


Graduate Students


Debra Tokarz, D.V.M., Ph.D. (2014-2016)

Clinical Veterinarian in Anatomic Pathology

Population Health and Pathobiology, North Carolina State University


Amyn Murji, M.S. (2014-2015)

graduate student

Biomedical and Biological Sciences, Vanderbilt University


Hayley Dirscherl, Ph.D. (2009-2015)

post-doc, Temple University School of Medicine


Amy (Heffelfinger) Worth, M.S. (2007-2010)

Clinical Research Associate at INC Research


Jibing Yang, Ph.D. (2005-2009)

Research Fellow, University of Michigan Medical School


Radhika (Shah) Patel, Ph.D. (2004-2009)


Kim Dobrinski, USF (2003-2004)


Veterinary Students


Ashley Kirby, NCSU (summer 2016)

Gretchen Scheffe, NCSU (summer 2016)

Jamie Gerlach, NCSU (summer 2015)

Shaina Stewart, NCSU (summer 2014)

Carolyn Collier, NCSU (summer 2011)

Amanda Lehnberg, NCSU (summer 2010)

Shannon Burroughs, NCSU (summer 2007)


Lab Technicians/Managers and Research Associates


Ashley Fletcher (2016-2017)

Lab Research Analyst II, Duke Pathology Biospecimen Repository & Processing Core

Poem Turner, M.S. (2008-2011)

Tim Orcutt, M.S. (2006-2008)

Dereje Jima, M.S. (2005-2007)

Bioinfomatician, NCSU Center for Human Health and the Environment

Amanda Grant (2004-2006)


Undergraduate Students


Gabbie Robbins (2015-2017)

Marcos Castro, (NCSU 2015-2016)

Hannah Jones, (NCSU 2012-2014)

Jessica Powell, University of Surrey (summer research at NCSU 2013)

Fiona Ryrie, University of Surrey (summer research at NCSU 2012)

Austin Anzivino, (NCSU 2011-2012)

Abby Reif, (NCSU 2010-2012)

Philip Wright, (NCSU 2009-2010)

David "Quint" Reid, (NCSU 2008-2011)

Kendall Smith, (NCSU 2008)

Salili Desai, Rice University (summer research at NCSU 2008)

Ronald "Aaron" Garner, (NCSU 2006-2008)

Myra Fulp, (NCSU 2005-2009)

Kolin Griffin, (NCSU 2004-2005)

Patoula Panangos, (USF 2003-2003)

Jeff Buidens, (USF 2003)

Kathryn Heal, (USF 2002-2003)

Robert Buzzeo, (USF 2002-2003)

Matthew Buzzeo, (USF 2003-2004)


High School Students

Carlos Rivera, Millbrook High School, Raleigh, NC (summer 2012)