What do we do with our hands?

Figured it out

Lab Members

Minna Roh-Johnson, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Minna is originally from Vancouver, Canada. She earned her Bachelors and Masters degree at Simon Fraser University. She then moved to the United States for her PhD work. At the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, she immersed herself into the beauty of the inner workings of a cell (and college basketball), and spent many glorious hours on the microscope (and at the bar). Completely obsessed with figuring out how cells alter their “skeleton” as cells move, she turned her attention to understanding how this process works in cancer and did her postdoctoral work at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington. She started at the University of Utah in January 2018 as an Assistant Professor, still trying to figure out how cells move in different environments. These days, Minna no longer spends a ton of time at the bar, and can be seen chasing around her kids, hiking, eating at local restaurants, and trying not to look completely uncoordinated in taekwondo. 

Email:  roh-johnson@biochem.utah.edu

Chelsea Kidwell, Ph.D.

Chelsea Kidwell, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellow

Chelsea grew up in Honolulu and spent some time in San Diego, Seattle, and Zurich before joining the Roh-Johnson Lab in 2018. She is interested in understanding more about cytoplasmic transfer between immune and cancer cells. Using in vitro and in vivo approaches, Chelsea is investigating mechanisms underlying transfer and determining what effects transfer has on the recipient cancer cells. Outside of lab, she enjoys traveling, cooking, and exploring the outdoors with her dog.

Joseph Casalini

Joseph Casalini

Graduate Student

Joey Casalini is human with eyes, arms, hair - you know, the whole works. He went to the Evergreen State College in Washington State where he studied bacteriophage biology with Elizabeth Kutter. After graduation he worked at Presage Biosciences in Seattle, WA. Seattle was great, but it got too fancy for Joey and his wife so they packed up and moved to Salt Lake where it's way less fancy. Salt lake fits them well. Like, one time they went hiking and their dog over-heated. He's ok, don't worry. His name is Banjo. He's a good dog. He has a friend named Zelda. Joey is working on a comic book about their adventures together. It's really good. Like, REALLY good. Joey likes to play music and make beer. He can't do hand stands but he knows how to juggle. When he was a kid, he was on 'Hot Shots', and they would play at NBA half time shows and stuff. He competed one time for his juggling, but he wasn't good enough to even place. That's because he was actually pretty bad at it. Importantly, Joey loves baseball. A lot. A big Seattle Mariners fan. This is a good time to note that Mike Zunino needs to learn how to hit the baseball with the baseball bat when the baseball pitcher throws the baseball. The most important thing to know about Joey is that he is super serious and he takes himself very seriously. So if you ever meet him, keep that in mind. Seriously.

Qian Xue

Qian Xue

Graduate Student

Qian is also a human with nose, mouth, legs--which Joey doesn’t mention--but just assume he has. Qian is originally from Beijing, China. During her undergraduate study, she gained her passion for cancer biology and she worked as an intern student at Johns Hopkins University and University of Texas at El Paso. She earned her Bachelors degree at Beijing Normal University in 2017 with her thesis done in National Institute of Biological Sciences. After graduation, she left her family and friends and went to the United States for PhD study because she knew there would be an awesome PI starting her lab at the beginning of 2018 at U of U. Luckily, she got in that lab! Apart from playing around with zebrafish, she enjoys swimming, yoga, as well as playing the piano. She also likes to explore US national parks with her boyfriend. Qian is not as serious as Joey. So if you would not like to meet a super-serious person, welcome to meet up with Qian in Roh-Johnson lab!

Daniel Greiner

Daniel Greiner

Graduate Student

Bio coming soon...

Elizabeth Hayes

Elizabeth Hayes

Undergraduate Researcher

Elizabeth studies Cell & Molecular Biology as an undergraduate at the University of Utah and is pursuing medical school. As a non-traditional student, she strives to learn from all of her experiences and peers. She currently volunteers at a local free medical clinic, teaches English as a second language, and is interested in international medical practices.

James Carrington

James Carrington

Undergraduate Researcher

James studies Cell & Molecular Biology and Biological Chemistry as an undergraduate at the University of Utah and is pursuing medical school.  He has served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Florida, been an AmeriCorps member with Connect2Health, and interned with Catholic Community Services for refugee foster kids.  He spent the summer of 2018 completing research and rescuing sea-lions along the coast of Peru and was deeply impacted by the increasing occurrence rates of cancer affecting sea-lions.  He is interested in discovering more about how the cells in the body work and how their biochemical pathways affect human health.  Outside of the lab he likes to spend time with family, play Settlers of Catan, and enjoy the outdoors.