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Goodbye to Beija and Maria – and good luck!

Two lab members left at the end of July for new adventures. Lab manager (and former undergraduate) Beija Villalpando will move to Rochester, Minnesota to attend medical school at the Mayo Clinic School of Medicine. Fish facility manager and undergraduate researcher Maria Sokolova is moving to South Korea, where she will teach English. We’ll miss them both, and deeply appreciate their contributions to the lab.

Alexandria Hudson wins poster award

Congratulations to PhD student Alex Hudson, who won second place in the graduate student poster competition at the 2018 WSU Vancouver Research Showcase. Alex’s poster clearly explained her research on berbamine analogs as potential drugs to prevent certain forms of antibiotic-induced hearing loss.

Undergraduate researchers succeed in grant and presentation competitions

Congratulations to Robby Boney for his first-place poster finish at the WSU Showcase for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities (SURCA), hosted on the Pullman campus. Robby won the Crimson Award in the Computer Science, Mathematics, and Informatics category for his poster titled, “Is the lack of mammalian hair cell regeneration linked to evolutionarily dependent amino acid changes within functional protein domains?”




Also, congratulations are in order to Jordan Donaldson for his receipt of a College of Arts and Sciences undergraduate mini-grant for $1,500. These funds will support Jordan’s research on developmental changes in drug-induced hearing loss.


Honorary lab member

Introducing Dutch, honorary Coffin Lab member. Dutch’s puppy energy brings joy (and some damage) to the home of his people, graduate student Alexandria Hudson and her husband Clay Hudson. Despite being adorable, Dutch isn’t allowed in the lab – he would break something!

High school interns shine at the SW Washington Science and Engineering Fair

Congrats to intern Rahul Ram, a junior at Camas High School and the winner of the 2018 SW Washington Science and Engineering Fair. Rahul works with undergraduate Robby Boney and former PhD student Dr. Phil Uribe to understand how protein evolution may influence hearing regeneration. Rahul will compete at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Pittsburg this May.








Great work also to intern Abigail Jiang, also a junior at Camas High School.  Abby works with former MS student Tamasen Hayward to understand how stress influences hearing loss in zebrafish. Great job to both Rahul and Abby!

Lab holiday party

Our lab holiday party was a success this year! We wrapped mountains of presents for a family in need, courtesy of the Christmas Family Adoption Foundation, ate too much food, and enjoyed hanging out together. Thanks to Tamasen and her husband Daniel for hosting!

Another professional school acceptance!

Congratulations to undergraduate Sterling Gray on his acceptance to dental school at the University of Washington. Sterling will graduate from WSU Vancouver in December 2017 and begin dental school next summer.

Graduate students defend and move on

It’s been a busy month for the Coffin Lab!

Congratulations to Dr. Phillip Uribe for his successful defense of his dissertation work on molecular mechanisms of drug- and noise-induced hair cell death and protection. Phil is now a research scientist with Otonomy, a San Diego-based drug development company.


Congratulations are also in order to Ms. Tamasen Hayward, who successfully defended her M.S. thesis work examining glucocorticoid signaling and drug-induced hair cell death. Tamasen will use her research background as a high school biology teacher at Firm Foundation Christian School in Battle Ground, Washington.



Coffin Lab members accepted to professional school!

Congratulations to lab manager Beija Villalpando on her acceptance to multiple medical schools! Beija is still weighing her options before selecting the right school for her. Congratulations are also in order to former lab member Nicki Smith, who was recently accepted to Physician’s Assistant school at OHSU. Best of luck to both women in their careers as health care professionals.