Postdoctoral Researchers & Graduate Students

Grad Students


Anna Clarke

Anna Clarke ([email protected]). MSc candidate

Advisor(s): Drs. Lee Johnston and Gerald Shurson
Research: Anna is currently working on utilizing a metabolite of leucine to reduce within-litter birth weight variation by administering it to mouse dams throughout gestation. She hopes to potentially translate this research into sows.
Degrees Held: BS Iowa State University
Year of Entry into Program: Spring 2017



Mathia “Tia” Colwell

Mathia “Tia” Colwell ([email protected]), PhD candidate

Advisor: Chris Faulk
Research Interests: Epigenetics, functional genomics, molecular biology
Research Area: Mathia is interested in how changes of the epigenome contribute to diseases and shifts in gene expression over time. Her current research focuses on alterations of the epigenome by exposure to chemical toxins.
Degrees Held: BS Augsburg University
Year of Entry into Program: Fall 2017



Chloe Creager

Chloe Creager ([email protected]), MSc candidate

Advisor: Dr. Andres Gomez
Research Interests: Chloe is interested in investigating various factors of swine management and nutrition, their effect on the early development and establishment of the gut microbiome, and the resulting impact on animal health and performance.
Degree Held: B.S., Animal Sciences and Industry, Kansas State University
Year of Entry Into Program: Summer 2018




Yue Guo

Yue Guo ([email protected]), PhD candidate

Advisor: Drs. Milena Saqui-Salces and Chi Chen
Research Interests: Gut physiology, Molecular biology.
Research area: Yue is working on the project of using in vitro model to evaluate the effects of organic source Zn to intestinal epithelium. Besides that, she is working on identifying the oxidized oil induced metabolites changes in pigs.
Degree Held: MS University of Minnesota
BS China Agricultural University, Beijing, China
Year of Entry into Program: Fall 2016



Julia Holen

Julia Holen ([email protected]), MSc candidate

Advisor: Dr. Lee Johnston
Research: Swine nutrition & management systems
Degrees Held: BS University of Minnesota
Year of Entry into Program: Spring 2017





Yuan-Tai Hung

Yuan-Tai Hung ([email protected]), PhD candidate

Advisor(s): Gelard C. Shurson Milena Saqui-Salces Pedro E. Urriola
Research Interests: Animal Nutrition, Intestinal physiology
Research area: Yuan-Tai is focusing on integrating swine nutrition with gastrointestinal physiology and metabolomics to understand mechanisms of growth responses using an integrated systems biology approach.
Degrees Held: MSc National Chung Hsing University, Taiwan
Year of Entry into Program: Fall 2016



Ramya Lekha Medida

Ramya Lekha Medida ([email protected]), MSc candidate

Advisor(s): Dr. Milena Saqui-Salces
Research Interests: Epigenetics, Intestinal Physiology
Research area: Lekha is interested in learning about the use of organoids to study the mechanisms of action of minerals like zinc in enhancing their utilization. She is also interested in the nutritional reprogramming of reproduction by exploring the maternal and transgenerational epigenetic modifications in the reproductive tract.
Degrees Held: BVSc & AH Sri Venkateswara Veterinary University, Tirupati
Year of Entry into Program: Spring 2018




Venkata Sai Prasanth Niddavolu

Venkata Sai Prasanth Niddavolu ([email protected]), MSc candidate

Advisor: Dr. Milena-Saqui-Salces
Research: Role of diet viscosity on intestinal cell differentiation and function.
The principle behind this is that fiber modifies intestinal function and morphology but it is unknown if it is because of its physical or its chemical properties. We are hypothesizing that the intestine is sensing mechanical/physical signals, i.e. viscosity, and responding to them.
Degree Held: Bachelor of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry, Sri Venkateswara Veterinary University, India.
Year of Entry: Fall 2018.



Amanda Palowski

Amanda Palowski ([email protected]), PhD candidate

Advisor(s): Gerald Shurson, Chris Faulk
Research Interests: Swine Nutrition, Epigenetics
Research Area: Amanda is focusing on evaluating the intergenerational physiological effects of isocaloric diets on mice offspring to understand if diet composition independent of body composition is responsible for developmental programming.
Degrees Held: BA, Minnesota State University Moorhead
Year of Entry into Program: Fall 2016




Michaela (Mickie) Trudeau

Michaela (Mickie) Trudeau ([email protected]), PhD candidate

Advisor: Drs.Gelard C. Shurson and Pedro E. Urriola
Research Interests: Mickie is currently doing research on antibiotic alternatives in nursery pig diets. In addition to this, she is involved in research using swine enteroids as intestinal in vitro models. Her research interest is in swine nutrition, intestinal physiology, and animal health.
Degrees Held: BS & MS - University of Minnesota
Year of Entry into Program: Fall 2016




Zhaohui “Edward” Yang

Zhaohui “Edward” Yang ([email protected]), PhD candididate

Advisor(s): Drs. Gerald Shurson and Pedro Urriola
Research Interests: Animal nutrition & swine production
Research area: The use of novel high-protein distillers co-products as alternative feed ingredients in swine diet, and potential mycotoxin and branched-chain amino acid problems associated with the high inclusion rate of high protein corn co-products
Degrees Held: B.S. University of Wisconsin-Madison
Year of Entry into Program: Fall 2016




Jinlong Zhu

Jinlong Zhu ([email protected]), PhD candidate

Advisor: Drs.Gelard C. Shurson and Pedro E. Urriola
Research Interests: animal nutrition,dietary fiber
Research area: Jinlong is studying how animals respond to dietary fiber with different characteristics (e.g. nutrient digestibility, gut health) to improve the utilization efficiency of high dietary ingredients.
Degrees Held: BS, MS- China Agricultural University, Beijing
Year of Entry into Program: Spring 2016




Ashok Kumar Sharma

Ashok Kumar Sharma ([email protected]), Postdoctoral researcher

Advisor(s): Dr. Andres Gomez
Research Interests: Host-microbiome interactions
Degrees Held: M.S.(Pharm) from National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER) Mohali & PhD from Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) Bhopal
Year of Entry into Program: April 2018