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Lab Members

Principal Investigator

Charles ThorntonCharles A. Thornton, M.D.
MC 5-5207
Phone: (585) 275-2542

Myotonic dystrophy, repeat expansion diseases, and therapeutic development for neuromuscular disorders.


Zhenzhi TangZhenzhi Tang, Ph.D.

Uses traditional transgenic and novel genetic engineering techniques to generate mouse models of DM. These models aid in our understanding of expanded repeat toxicity and serve as valuable tools for testing potential therapeutics.

Technicians and Staff

Kirti BhattKirti Bhatt
Technical Associate

Focuses largely on processing tissue from human muscle biopsies. Deals with extracting RNA and cDNA and treating it so that it is of the utmost integrity and purity so that data produced can be compared and tested to learn more about DM1.

Sarah LeistmanSarah Leistman
Lab Technician

Performs the majority of genotyping of the 40+ transgenic lines of mice in the Thornton lab, determines breeding strategies, and attends to colony maintenance of these lines.

Linda RichardsonLinda Richardson
Laboratory Manager

Oversees general day to day functioning of lab and general contact. Responsible for husbandry and colony maintenance of 40+ lines of transgenic mice used as therapeutic models of neuromuscular diseases.

Ryan WiseRyan Wise
Physician Support Specialist
Phone: (585) 275-2542

Graduate Students

Samuel CarrellSamuel Carrell, M.D., Ph.D.
Graduate Student

Testing the limits of antisense oligonucleotide treatment for myotonic dystrophy Type 1

Matthew TannerMatthew Tanner
Graduate Student

Expanded repeat DNA tracts and their roles in splicing-mediated disease in myotonic dystrophy

Undergraduate Research Students

Byron ArevaloByron Arevalo
Undergraduate Student

Currently an undergraduate majoring in Neuroscience working in the lab. Byron’s lab duties consist of running electrophoresis gels, doing PCRs and assisting Dr. Tang with his projects.

Julianna SavitzJulianna Savitz
Undergraduate Student

Currently an undergraduate majoring in Environmental Health working in the lab. Julianna works closely with technicians in the lab with DNA extraction and genotyping.