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principal investigator

Jeanine Amacher
Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry

2017 - Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California Berkeley
2014 - Ph.D. in Biochemistry, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth
2007 - B.S. in Physics, University of Oregon

Jeanine grew up in Portland, Oregon before becoming an Oregon Duck at the University of Oregon. Following her undergraduate studies, she was a research technician at Oregon Health & Sciences University before joining the Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB) program at Dartmouth for her Ph.D. In Dean Madden's lab at Dartmouth, Jeanine fell in love with protein biochemistry and structural biology, as well as in using PDZ domains to think broadly about how specificity in encoded in protein domain families that recognize short peptide sequences. Following her graduate work, Jeanine moved to California and joined John Kuriyan's lab, where she was a Jane Coffin Childs Memorial Fund for Medical Research postdoctoral fellow. In the Kuriyan lab, Jeanine studied ubiquitin ligases and tyrosine kinases. The Pacific Northwest was always calling, however, and in 2017, Jeanine and her family moved to Bellingham, WA. When she's not doing science, Jeanine is often running the trails in the Sehome arboretum, teaching spinning at the campus rec center, or finding adventures with her scientist husband and two young boys. 

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graduate students

Darren Lee (UG '23, MS 2023-). Darren is investigating Class B sortases. 

Erich Walkenhauer (MS 2023-). Erich is using NMR (in collaboration with Dr. Serge Smirnov) to study active site loop flexibility in Class A sortases.

undergraduate students

Elise Tahti (2021-). Elise previously worked on our sortase projects, and is currently investigating selectivity determinants in PDZ domains. Elise was in the Chemistry REU program in Summer 2022.


Katy Lindblom (2022-). Katy is investigating selectivity determinants in Class A sortases. Katy received an Elwha summer fellowship for Summer 2023.





Devin Andaluz (2021-). Devin is investigating extended motifs in Class A sortases. Devin was in the Chemistry REU program in Summer 2023. 


Caroline Ceravolo (2023-). Caroline is working on characterizing SH3 chimeras

Cole Masuga (2022-). Cole is studying binding affinity differences in human versus viral targets of PDZ domains.

Adam Wachsman (2023-). Adam is investigating selectivity determinants in sortases



Hanna Kodama (2020-23) - matriculating as a PhD student in 
    Biochemistry at Brown University in Fall 2023
Kevin Alexander Estrada Alamo (2020-23) - matriculating as a 
    PhD student at UCSF in Fall 2023
Frederick Longshore-Neate (2021-23) - matriculating as a PhD 
    student at UC Boulder in Fall 2023
Jadon Blount (2021-22; postbac 2022-23) - currently works at
    Tidal Vison (Bellingham, WA)
McKinsey Hill (2021-23) 
Justin Ibershof (2022-23)
Lauren Avery (2021) - currently an undergraduate at WWU
Celia Maris (Summer 2021) - currently an undergraduate at 
    Scripps College
Alex Johnson (2019-21) - matriculating as a PhD student in 
    Bioengineering at Caltech in Fall 2021
Justin Svendsen (2020-21) - matriculating as a PhD student in 
    Chemistry at the University of Oregon in Fall 2021
Melody Gao (2018-21)

Kris Aguayo (2020) - currently an ACS BRIDGE MS student in 
    Chemistry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison
Katherine Johnston (2019-20) - currently works at Cepheid 
    (Seattle, WA)

Iain Mackley (2017-20)
Jacob Olson (2019) - graduated from WWU in Spring 2021
Lucy Williams (2019) - graduated from WWU in Spring 2021
Bodi Van Roy (2019) - graduated from WWU in Winter 2021
Nick Pederson (2017-19) - currently a Research Technician at the
    University of Utah (the Diehl lab)
Jordan Valgardson (2017-19) - currently a PhD student in
    Computational Biology at Stanford University
Simone Rumph, REU student (Bowdoin College, 2018) - currently a
    MS student in Forensics Science at Boston University
Chelsea Batten (2018) - graduated from WWU in Spring 2021
Louisa Landolt (2018) - currently a PharmD student at the
     University of Colorado

Chad Chedelin (2018-19) - graduated from WWU in Spring 2020

Haley Wofford (MS 2019-21) - currently works at Seagen (Seattle, WA)

Sarah Struyvenberg (UG 2017-18; MS 2019-20) - currently works
    at Lumen Bioscience (Seattle, WA)
Sophie Jackson (MS 2021-23) - currently works at Exact Sciences (Ferndale, WA)
Sarah Smith (MS 2021-23) - currently works at Seagen (Seattle)
Brandon Vogel (UG 2020-21; MS 2021-23) - current works at
    Just-Evotec (Seattle, WA)


Top row (from left): Justin, Jeanine, Melody

Middle row (from left): Iain, Kevin Alexander, Katherine

Bottom row (from left): Haley, Alex, Kris

Not pictured: Sarah


Top row (from left): Brandon, Jeanine, Melody, Haley
Middle row (from left): Alex, McKinsey, Sam, Frederick
Bottom row (from left): Justin, Hanna, Kevin Alexander
Not pictured: Elise, Anastasia


FALL 2022: Back row center picture (Cole, Freddie, Brandon, Kevin, Devin, Jadon, Jeanine, Kinsey, Sophie); Front row (Katy, Darren, Sarah, Elise, Hanna)


Cynthia the FPLC (and LEGO)!



Amacher lab 2023 Spring graduates (minus a few)!


2023 Chemistry REU symposium (including Jeanine and Devin)

Undergrad Justin Svendsen (and friend) kayak in Chuckanut Bay, August 2020.


Sarah and Kevin present at Scholar's Week 2023

Undergrad Alex Johnson flies MS student Sarah Struyvenberg to Orcas Island in the San Juans for lunch, July 2020.

Protein Society 2023 (Boston, MA): Jadon (left) and Elise (center) present posters! Mason (right) is also along for the conference (vender swag)!



Top row (from left): Jeanine, Sarah, Jacob, Jordan

Bottom row (from left): Lucy, Katherine, Melody, Iain, Bodi

Protein Society 2019 (Seattle, WA): Jordan (left), Melody (center), and Sarah (right) present posters!

Lab trip to Bellewood pumpkin patch, October 2020! 

Back row: Alex, Justin, Izzi (Antos lab), Melody, and Kevin.

Front row: Jeanine, Mason, Jackson, and Hanna. 

Mason and Jackson are budding scientists in the lab! 


Left: Sarah is excited that our new pipette tips finally came in (2022)! Middle: Alex, Melody, Johanna, Justin, Izzi, Kevin, Maddie, and Hanna at Boundary Bay (2021)!
Right: Alex, Hanna, Melody, and Kevin doing summer science (2021)! 

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