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Lab Team

David Barefield, PhD

Assistant Professor
Hometown: Oak Park, IL

Postdoctoral Fellowship, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL.

McNally Lab. 2014-2020

PhD, Loyola University Chicago, Maywood, IL.

Sadayappan Lab. 2009-2014

BA, Augustana College, Rock Island, IL. 2005-2009

Hobby: Cooking, baking, painting, gardening

Research interest: Cardiac contractile dysfunction, cardiomyopathy, HCM, DCM, arrhythmia, atrial function, atrial fibrillation, myosin binding proteins

Project: Mostly emails. Occasionally investigates the genetic causes of cardiomyopathies.

Quote: “We recruit for attitude and train for skill.” - Atul Gawande  

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Hope Burnham

Master’s Student

Hometown: Germantown, WI

BS in Chemistry, The University of Alabama, 2019

Hobby: Cooking, Painting/drawing, hiking

Research interest: Genetic determinants of heart disease
Project: Determining the Role of Myosin Binding Protein H-like in Development and in Ventricular Conduction System Dysfunction

Quote: "Experience is not what happens to you; it is what you do with what happens to you." - Aldous Huxley

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Hannah Cizauskas and Jake

IPBS PhD Student
Hometown: Westland, MI

BS in Biology with a Concentration in Genetics, 2021

Hobby: Spending quality time with my dog and my family, reading, camping, hiking, and swimming

Research interest: Genetics
Project: The role of contraction in Atrial Fibrillation 

Quote: "All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them" - Walt Disney

Alejandro Alvarez-Arce, PhD

Postdoctoral Research Assitant
Hometown: Mexico City, Mexico

Postdoctoral position. INR, Mexico City, 2021.

Ph.D. Biomedical Science. UNAM, Mexico City, 2020.

B.S. Biologist. UNAM, Mexico City, 2012.

Hobby: To sing, play guitar and piano and footbol soccer

Research interest: GPCR's and cardiac diseases
Project: Role of MyBPHL in sarcomere dynamics and function

Quote: “We are all mortal until the first kiss and the second glass of wine.”

             - Eduardo Galeano

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Geena Fritzmann, MS

Research Assistant III/Lab Manager

Hometown: Chicago, IL  

B.S. Michigan State University 2016.

M.S. DePaul University, 2020.

Hobby: Playing with my corgi Olive, going to concerts, and hiking  

Research interest: A little bit of everything in the Barefield Lab 

Project: Queen lab

Quote: "In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks."
            -John Muir

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Kelly Araujo, MS

Ph.D. Candidate

Hometown: Los Angeles, CA    

M.S. Biochemistry, California State University, Long Beach, 2022.

B.S. Biochemistry, Mount St. Mary's University, Los Angeles, 2017.

Hobby: Shopping and watching The Office

Research interest: Cardiovascular Physiology 
Project: Altering the stoichiometry of MyBP-HL and cMyBP-C affects cardiac atrial contractility 

Quote: “Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.” -Marie Curie

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Lab Alumni

Alexandra Pena

Position: Research Assistant II

Hometown: Chicago, IL

Bachelors of Science (BS) in Biology at Bradley University.


Currently: Loyola University Chicago, Molecular Pharmacology & Neuroscience

Lucas Wittenkeller

Research Assistant II
Hometown: Minooka, IL

BS in Neuroscience and Psychology; North Central College

Currently: University of Cincinnati

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