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Lab Team

Dr. David Barefield

Assistant Professor
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, arrhythmia, atrial function, myosin binding proteins

Project: Whatever my lab members are working on

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

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Lucas Wittenkeller

Research Assistant
Minooka, Illinois

BS in Neuroscience and Psychology; North Central College; Naperville, Illinois​​, 2020.

Hobby: Basketball + Reading

Research interest: Environmental impacts on disease; substance abuse
Project: Conserved mechanisms of motility and actomyosin activity of MYBP-HL

Quote: We make a living by what we get; We make a life by what we give. - Winston Churchill

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Hannah Cizauskas and Jake

PhD Student
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

Postdoctoral Research Assitant
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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Alexandra Pena

Position: Research Assistant

Hometown: Chicago, IL

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


Hobby: Reading and watching new shows 

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Geena Fritzmann

Research Assistant II/Lab Manager

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

Ph.D. Candidate

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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