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CCTCARE Lab Personnel and Graduate Students

Lab Personnel

Marilyne Coulombe, PhD

Research Associate and Manager, Gill and CCTCARE Labs

Tinalyn Kupfer, PhD

Research Associate, Gill and CCTCARE Labs

K. Scott Beard, MS

Professional Research Assistant, Gill and CCTCARE Labs

Robert Plenter

Senior Professional Research Assistant, Zamora Lab and Microsurgery Core Manager

Graduate Students

Nicholas Bishop

Nick graduated suma cum laude in Physiology and Developmental Biology with minors in Spanish and Music from Brigham Young University in 2009. As an undergraduate his research focused on the actin cytoskeleton and cell-cell adhesion during epithelial-mesenchymal transition using immunostaining and live-cell timelapse fluorescence microscopy. He began the University of Colorado MD/PhD program in August 2009 and has joined the Gill lab after completing his first two years of medical school.  Nick's graduate thesis project addresses the effects of hyperglycemia on graft inflammation, alloresponses and induction of tolerance to allografts.  A secondary interest involves studying the effects of hypoxia and metabolic stress on islet engraftment.  To address these topics, Nick plans to utilize a broad range of techniques including surgical transplant methods, molecular and cellular immunological assays, and various imaging modalities. 


Gill, R.G. and Bishop, N.H. 2012. Clinical islet transplantion: where immunity and metabolism intersect? Curr Op Endocrinol Diabetes Obes. In press.

Sperry, R.B.*, Bishop, N.H.*, Bramwell, J.J., Brodeur, M.N., Carter, M.J., Fowler, B.T., Lewis, Z.B., Maxfield, S.D., Staley, D.M., Vellinga, R.M., Hansen, M.D.H. 2010. Zyxin controls migration in epithelial-mesenchymal transition by mediating actin-membrane linkages at cell-cell junctions. J. Cell. Physiol. 222:612-624. *These authors contributed equally to this work.

Lab Phone: 303.724.5781

Adam Burack

Mr. Burrack graduated from the University of Wisconsin - Madison in 2005 with his BS in Natural Science - Biology.  He completed his MS in Biology in 2007 at the University of Wisconsin - La Crosse with a concentration in Physiology.  He will be exploring rejection of allogeneic islet transplants on top of an autoimmune background is a major hurdle on the path towards a functional cure for type 1 diabetes. Adam will be investigating (1) the mechanisms of autoimmune T cell-mediated destruction of islet transplants in diabetic mice, (2) the role of graft cell MHC in this destruction process, and (3) the effects of adaptive immune cell-directed therapeutics in delaying islet transplant destruction in this model system.


Sarkar SA, Lee CE, Victorino F, Nguyen TT, Walters JA, Burrack A, Eberlein J, Hildemann SK, Homann D.
"Expression and Regulation of Chemokines in Murine and Human Type 1 Diabetes" Diabetes Feb 2012, 61(2): 436-446

Stoermer KA, Burrack A, Oko L, Montgomery SA, Borst LB, Gill RG, Morrison TE.
"Genetic ablation of arginase 1 in macrophages and neutrophils enhances clearance of an arthritogenic alphavirus" J Immunol, Oct 2012, 189(8): 4047-59

Lab Phone: 303.724.7626

Michelle Nelsen

Mrs. Nelsen completed her BS in Biochemistry and BS in Nutritional Sciences at Kansas State University in Manhattan, KS, in 2009. For her PhD thesis, she will investigate how memory T cell populations impede tolerance induction to transplants. In particular, she will explore how the barrier is dependent on previous immunological experiences (i.e. vaccinations, infectious pathogens), antigen-specificity of T cell receptors, bystander activation of T cells, cross-reactivity of pathogen-specific memory cells with allogeneic tissue (i.e. heterologous T cells), and whether these are direct or indirect pathways to immunity. Understanding the nature of these details will become critical for developing tolerance therapies in the future that effectively address the issues presented by memory cells.

Lab Phone: 303.724.5781