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Team

Lena Brundin Laboratory
Colt Capan, M.S.
Research Technician

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Colt Capan earned his B.A. in biology from Thiel College followed by a M.Sc .in microbiology and Immunology. His graduate work in the laboratory of Dr. Nancy Bigley focused on inflammation’s effect on macrophages in the innate immune response. While there, he gained skills that include sterile cell culture techniques and flow cytometry. In 2018, he joined Dr. Lena Brundin’s lab at Van Andel Institute as a research technician. At VAI, he has gained many skills to aid in the success of the laboratory including UPLC, Mesoscale, animal handling, tissue staining, among others.

Jamie Durst, B.S.
Senior Administrative Assistant I
Cameron Forton, B.S.
Assistant Research Technician

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Cam Forton earned a Bachelor of Science at Michigan State University in human biology and zoology (ecology, evolution and behavior) with a specialization in bioethics, humanities and society. Cam has worked for Michigan State University, the U.S. National Park Service, Spectrum Health, and has been involved with research though the Holekamp Lab at MSU and Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Outside of the lab, Cam is an accomplished musician and guitar luthier, having played with the MSU Jazz Studies program, and being certified in guitar luthiery through the Galloup School of Lutherie.

As a scientist, Cam is interested in the pathophysiology and treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, as well as the body’s immune response to such disorders. Specifically, Cam hopes to further his studies through graduate school in Immunology or neurobiology and one day study the effects that music and other arts have on treating neurodegenerative disorders.

Qiong (Jade) Sha, Ph.D.
Research Scientist

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Dr. Jade Sha received her Ph.D. in microbiology in 2012 from Texas State University where she studied Salmonella spp. in natural environments. She completed her first postdoctoral fellowship at Michigan State University where she studied the transmission of pathogenic E.coli between cattle and deer and did some epidemiology work on Salmonella from human samples. Later, she did her second postdoctoral fellowship at University of Southern California Dental School, where she studied several dental pathogens focusing on the polymicrobial interactions. She later left to work at a medical device company where she started her own microbiology lab and did several projects for company’s products. In 2019, she moved to Michigan with her family and joined Dr. Lena Brundin’s lab at VAI. Her current research projects include inflammation, depression and Parkinson’s diseases. Besides research, Dr. Sha is also the lab manager and is in charge of the day-to-day activities in the lab.

Lab Alumni

Jonas Bacelis, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow
Amanda Burmeister, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow
Patrick Heilman, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow
Christina Houck, B.S.
Assistant Research Technician
Alysa Kasen
Van Andel Institute Graduate School Student
Sarah Keaton, M.S.
Ph.D. Graduate Student (MSU Physiology)
Stan Krzyzanowski, B.A.
Lab Manager
Emily Mace, B.S.
Administrative Assistant II