URMC / Labs / Thornton Lab / Lab Members Lab Members Principal InvestigatorCharles A. Thornton, M.D.MC 5-5207Phone: (585) 275-2542Email CharlesResearch Interest: Myotonic dystrophy, repeat expansion diseases, and therapeutic development for neuromuscular disorders.FacultyZhenzhi Tang, Ph.D.Email ZhenzhiResearch Interest: 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.Research StaffKirti BhattTechnical AssociateResearch Interest: 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 LeistmanLab TechnicianResearch Interest: 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 RichardsonLaboratory ManagerResearch Interest: 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 WisePhysician Support SpecialistPhone: (585) 275-2542Graduate StudentsMatthew Tanner, Ph.D.MSTP Medical Scientist Training Program (M.D., Ph.D.)MD Medical Education (M.D.)Genetics Genetics, Development, and Stem Cells Ph.D. ProgramResearch Interest: mRNA splicing is a marker of molecular pathology and disease severity in myotonic muscular dystrophyResearch AssistantsByron ArevaloUndergraduate StudentResearch Interest: 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 SavitzUndergraduate StudentResearch Interest: Currently an undergraduate majoring in Environmental Health working in the lab. Julianna works closely with technicians in the lab with DNA extraction and genotyping.