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Happy New Year! 2024

Members of the Coffin Lab stand around a holiday tree and wrapped presents.
Left to right: Noel, Bella, Leila, Melvin, Coty, Jadyn, and Alli


Each year the Coffin Lab research team celebrates the holiday season by wrapping gifts for a family who has been nominated by the Christmas Family Adoption Foundation.

As we step into the new year, we are all excited to continue unraveling the mysteries of the auditory system. Here’s to another harmonious year of discovery, collaboration, and success!

Lab play day!

Each year our lab plans a fun outing – one year we went white water rafting, other years we’ve gone hiking or rock climbing. This year it was 100 degrees F so we decided on an indoor activity – laser tag! No pictures of the actual laser tag game since everyone was too busy running around, so here’s a picture from the party room where we took our break and played old-school arcade games. Thanks to Noel’s kids for acting as our lab photographers!Group of people posing for the camera, with Pac-man in the background

So much lab news!

First, long overdue congratulations to the WSU Vancouver Neuroscience class of 2022! Several lab members walked at commencement in May: Keziah Nguyen, Alex Pederson, Olivia Molano, Forrest Fearington, and Teyline McLean. Forrest also received several awards, including being named a Top 10 Senior for all of WSU.







It’s been a busy time in the Coffin Lab, saying goodbye to several amazing lab members and welcoming new ones. We’re so proud of Forrest Fearington, who started medical school at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, and Susannah Schloss, now a PhD student at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. Good luck to both, and stay warm!





Another amazing journey – Keziah Nguyen sets off this week for a post-bac research program at Washington University St. Louis










Lab weddings!

Forrest Fearington married Ashley Vega-Lazaro (BS Neuroscience 2021) in March. Our lab members had fun getting dressed up to celebrate with the happy couple.








Former PhD student Phil Uribe married classmate Alexis Mickelson at a beautiful destination wedding in Hawai’i.

Lab celebration

We had multiple reasons to celebrate last week. Congratulations to neuroscience PhD student Coty Jasper for passing his qualifying exam, and happy 21st birthday to neuroscience undergraduate Forrest Fearington! And yes, we are all fully vaccinated.

Picture of lab members out to dinner


Coffin Lab wins big at WSU Research Week

Congratulations to Emily Dale and Olivia Molano for their first and second-place finishes in the undergraduate research grant competition! Emily’s project asks how oxidative stress impacts age-related hearing loss, while Olivia’s project examines the potential for the COVID-19 therapeutic remdesivir to cause hearing damage. Both women were also recently featured on the WSU Vancouver Research social media feeds.







The lab also placed third in the Research Week RA + $10k competition, earning funds for PhD student Rikeem Sholes’s research asking how hatchery noise impacts Chinook salmon sensory systems. Checkout this great story about Rikeem in the fall issue of the Northwest Crimson & Gray.

Click here to learn more about WSU Research Week and view our talks.



Congrats to former lab members – off to medical school

Congratulations to Regina Tsay and Meghal Sheth, who both started medical school at the University of Washington. Regina received her BS in Biology from WSU Vancouver in 2019 and then worked as an emergency department scribe. Meghal Sheth was a high school intern in the lab from 2012-2015. She then received her BS at Washington University in St. Louis and went on to serve in AmeriCorps, working in public health in Chicago. Regina will attend the UW Medical School in Seattle and Meghal will attend school on the Spokane campus.

Lab get-together, hellos, and goodbyes

In May 2021 we got the lab together for a BBQ – we were all fully vaccinated and the delta variant hadn’t yet surged, giving us a great opportunity to celebrate the end of the academic year. It was a pleasure to get together in person with lab members and their families.

People - lab members and their families

We welcomed new(ish) lab members Rikeem Sholes, Olivia Molano, Emily Dale, and Emilee Doppenberg, and said goodbye to former lab members Jordan Hill and Trent Pratt. Jordan moved on to a research technician position at OHSU, while Trent took a position working with clinical lab samples at MolecularMD.