Staff Associates/Research Interns

Staff Associate, Research Associate, Research Assistant and related positions are equivalent to each other. They can be longer term  positions, but typically serve as Research Internships. Incumbents are exposed to an array of physiology and molecular techniques. Following a few years of internship, trainees have the experience to knowingly decide between research, medical, or combined careers as well as the skills to jump-start them. These positions have proven an excellent stepping stone to graduate or medical school.

Staff Associates

Tracy Preko, B.S.

I joined the John Lab as a Research Aide after graduating from the University of Notre Dame in May of 2021 with a B.S. in Neuroscience and Behavior and a minor in Poverty Studies. I have since been promoted to a Staff Associate position. During my time here, I have gained experience in vital laboratory techniques including animal husbandry, colony management and genetics, immunohistochemistry and molecular techniques, tissue collection, confocal imaging, and physiological techniques like intraocular pressure measurements and anterior clinical exams.  

Under the supervision of Dr. Montgomery and with support from other lab members, I work on projects aimed at developing techniques for 3D visualization of ocular structures in whole mouse eyes. Participation in these projects has allowed me to gain hands-on experience in testing and optimizing protocols, as well as the use of advanced imaging instrumentation like the nano-CT. The experiences I have gained and the mentorship I have received at the John Lab were instrumental in helping me secure acceptance into the Neuroscience PhD Program at the University of Rochester starting this Fall.

Srijana Madimi, B.S.

I joined the John Lab as a Staff Associate in June of 2022 after earning a B.S. in Biological Sciences with a minor in French from the University at Buffalo. I mainly collaborate with Nick Tolman on projects investigating how mutations in Lmx1b contribute to glaucoma in mice. Through this research, I have gained experience in many techniques including western blotting, genotyping, PCR, and immunohistochemistry. What I like the most about my work is my involvement in all stages of the research process, from animal care to conducting molecular assays. More recently, I have expanded my skill set to include advanced imaging analysis.

Haeyn Lim, B.S.

I joined the John Lab as a Staff Associate in September 2022 after graduating from Earlham College with a B.A. in Neuroscience. My previous research examined the roles and functions of T1R taste receptors in different regions of the brain. I am interested in the neurobiological mechanisms of impairments associated with neurodegenerative diseases. In the John Lab, I work closely with Dr. Zhang on inducible glaucoma mouse models and projects examining mechanisms of neural damage in glaucoma. I continue to optimize skills including genotyping, optic nerve and retinal evaluation, imaging, immunohistochemistry, surgeries and physiology through the current research. The John Lab allows me to explore various questions, techniques, and approaches used to investigate disease mechanisms, giving me a strong foundation for my continued education and future biomedical career. 

Sofia Laden, B.S.

I joined the John Lab in March 2023 as a Staff Associate after graduating from the University of Washington with a B.S. in Biology and a minor in Bioethics. I am interested in the study of disease-associated genetics and the development of new disease treatments. I have previous experience investigating neural progenitor cell growth and differentiation in autism using stem cell models. As a member of the John Lab, I am learning a variety of research techniques and delving into the complex mechanisms underlying glaucoma development. 

➡️Former Research Assistants

Read about their experience and where they went after leaving the John Lab.