Lab Administrators

Suzanne G. Lorenz, PhD

Sr. Research Associate (2021-present)

Dr. Lorenz received her M.S. in Endocrinology from UC Berkeley in 1986, and a Ph.D. in Physiology from the Medical College of Wisconsin in 1990. After completing post-doctoral fellowships at the University of Michigan (with Dr. Josie Briggs) and University of Cincinnati (with Dr. Kenneth Clark), she joined the Department of Ob-Gyn at UC in 1995 as a Research Assistant Professor. From 1995-2001 she studied the roles of endothelial-derived vasoactive factors in the modulation of renal function as well as systemic and renal hemodynamics in rat and ovine pregnancy. After taking a 20-year hiatus from science, Dr. Lorenz returns to UC to work in Dr. Sadayappan’s lab characterizing the effects of investigational compounds on cardiac function in transgenic mice.

James Gulick, MS

Senior Research Associate (Part-Time)

Mr. Gulick received his undergraduate degree in Biology in 1979 from Missouri Southern State University, Joplin, MO, and a Master's in Biochemistry in 1983 from the University of Missouri, Columbia, MO. After graduating, he remained at the university in the lab of Dr. Jeff Robbins, studying chicken skeletal muscle. He then moved to the University of Cincinnati with the Robbins lab in 1985 as a Research Associate in the Department of Pharmacology and Cell Biophysics. In 1993 the lab transferred to Cincinnati Children’s to form the Department of Molecular Cardiovascular Biology. In all, he has worked with Dr. Jeff Robbins for almost 40 years and has published 70 peer-reviewed articles. He is a highly skilled Research Scientist who can manage the lab with multiple technical skills. He has the formal training required to perform animal protocols, animal experiments, molecular and cellular analyses, and histopathological analyses. He has extensive expertise in performing gene cloning, recombinant protein expression, and cell culture. In the last two years, he has trained to grow iPSC lines, differentiating them into motor neurons and skeletal myoblasts. He joined the Sadayappan lab on Oct 12, 2020, as a part-time Senior Research Associate. Mr. Gulick has collaborated with Dr. Sadayappan, publishing 4 articles together during Dr. Sadayappan’s position as a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Robbins lab at CCHMC dating back to 2002-2009. Currently, Mr. Gulick has been establishing in vitro and in vivo models to study distal arthrogryposis.

Aaron Burton, BS

Research Assistant (Oct. 2019 – Present)

Born in Massachusetts, Aaron comes from a military family where he traveled across the world and was exposed to many cultures. He also served in the armed forces himself and has taken those values and ethics into his work life. While working on his biotech certificate, Aaron had the opportunity to intern in a cancer research lab at Vanderbilt University where he discovered that he had a love for being in a research lab environment. During his internship, Aaron would secure a job in a pulmonary hypertension research lab working as a lab tech. Aaron began working on his Bachelor’s degree through online classes with Saint Leo University and would finally complete his degree while attending Xavier University. Aaron comes to Dr. Sadayappan’s lab with experience in mouse handling and bench work, as well as a desire to learn and become better not only for himself, but for the lab team. During his free time, Aaron works as a bouncer/bar back on the weekends, as well as spends time playing video games, watching movies, hanging out with friends and working on his recipes.

Michelle Nieman, BS

Research Associate (February 2017 - present)

Michelle completed her Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of Cincinnati. She has been working at the university since 1995 where she specializes in surgical procedures including myocardial infarction, ischemia-reperfusion injury and transverse aortic constriction to induce cardiac hypertrophy in rodents. She has worked closely with the Sadayappan lab since 2017. Michelle enjoys spending time with her family, attending her sons’ athletic events, and hiking.

Lisa Ann Martin, BS

Sr. Research Assistant (April 2016 - Present)

Lisa completed her Associates of Science in Biology and her Bachelors of Arts from Thomas More College while working full time at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC). She began her career in the Veterinary Services Department in 1991 before joining the Department of Molecular Cardiovascular Biology in 1993 as a Research Assistant. In 2014 Lisa joined CCHMC’s Heart Institute Biorepository and learned about best practices for bio-specimen collections and storage. Lisa enjoys vacationing with her family; especially to Walt Disney World! She also enjoys gardening and reading in her spare time.

Ethar Arkan, MS

Research Assistant (Oct 2019 – May 2020)

Born in the Middle East, Ethar immigrated to the United States in 2009 where a year later she would attend Wright College. In 2012, she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences. Ethar continued her studies at Wright, where she would go on to receive her Master’s degree in Physiology and Neuroscience. In the short period of time, Ethar learned several molecular and cellular techniques within a professional lab setting and was eager to hone her skills, while becoming a valuable asset to the team. Ethar spends her free time pursuing her passion for arts and crafts, in which she plans to open her own store one day entitled “Ethar’s Creativity”. Her other passions include Zumba, trying new recipes from other cultures, and reading biographies of people who have helped influence the world in a positive way.

Dianna Lesley Black, BS

Sr. Research Assistant (Jan 2019 – Jul 2019)

Dianna specialized in Biology and spent three years of Bachelors studying Microbiology at University of Cincinnati after high school. She then worked at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital (CCHMC) for over 22 years prior to joining our group. She began working in Veterinary Services at CCHMC in 1996 before joining the Division of Pulmonary Biology/Neonatology at CCHMC where she studied rare lung disease and the evaluation of GM- CSF in pathogenesis in mouse models of human diseases. During her 18 years in Pulmonary Biology, Diane played a leadership role in a GLP study for her lab, managed the rodent colony, worked daily with the labs NHP colony, and performed several techniques which provided blood/tissue samples for the labs presentations and publications. Diane enjoys spending time with her husband and four children, watching her son play select baseball for his traveling team, and vacationing near the ocean.

Angela Taylor, MS

Research Assistant (Feb 2016 - Sep 2018)

Angela received a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a Master of Science in Education at Cleveland State University, where she also completed independent research. Angela joined the Sadayappan lab as a Research Assistant in February of 2016. She is a registered Veterinary Technician and is responsible for managing the mouse colony for the lab. Prior to joining University of Cincinnati, Angela was employed as an Animal Care Technician through Charles River Laboratories at the University of Chicago and earned an Associate of Applied Science in Veterinary Technology. In her personal life, Angela has worked with various species of animals including birds, cats, dogs, amphibians, reptiles, and rodents.

Jessica Kraker, MS

Research Assistant (May 2016-Nov 2016)

Jessica received her Bachelor in Science in Biology from Boston College in May 2015, and her Master of Science in Medical Physiology from Loyola University Chicago in May 2016. She then joined Dr. Sadayappan's lab in June 2016 as a Research Assistant, where she is studying hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and assisting on other long-term projects. In her spare time, Jessica enjoys long walks on the beach, playing soccer, traveling, reading, and listening to music.

Aravind Jagadeesan, BS

Research Assistant (Sep 2015-Aug 2016)

Aravind first started working in the Sadayappan lab as a summer intern in 2012, when he was a sophomore in college. In 2013, he received an APS Undergraduate Summer Research Fellowship to initiate his own project. Aravind graduated in 2014 from Loyola University as a biophysics major and now works full-time in the lab as a Research Assistant focusing on population studies with the MYBPC3 gene.

For queries and opportunities, Please Contact :

Sakthivel Sadayappan, PhD, MBA
Professor of Internal Medicine
Associate Chief, Basic Research, Division of Cardiovascular Health and Disease
Associate Chair, Basic Research, Department of Internal Medicine
Director, Heart Research, Heart, Lung and Vascular Institute
University of Cincinnati College of Medicine
Cardiovascular Center, Rm 4935
231 Albert Sabin Way
Cincinnati, OH 45267-0542, USA
Phone : +1 513-558-7498
Email :

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