Lab Members

Sarah C Keane :

Sarah C Keane

Sarah Keane graduated from Furman University with a B.S. in Chemistry (2007). Under the direction of David Giedroc, she received a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Indiana University (2012). Sarah then accepted a postdoctoral position with Michael Summers at The University of Maryland Baltimore County. Sarah joined the University of Michigan in January 2017 with a joint appointment in the Biophysics and Chemistry departments. The Keane lab is interested in uncovering the structures and mechanisms of biologically relevant noncoding RNAs using NMR spectroscopy complemented with other biochemical and biophysical tools.


Mona Oumais :

Mona Oumais

2008 B.S. Chemistry, Wayne State University

2013 M.S. Chemistry, California State University, Long Beach

2019 Ph.D. Chemistry, University of California, Irvine

Research Interests: I am interested in studying the structures of non-coding RNAs and their interactions with other molecules, such as proteins or other RNAs. The application of biochemical and biophysical tools, including NMR spectroscopy, will help unravel RNA structures and subsequently elucidate their biological functions.

Outside of the lab: Traveling, trying out new coffee shops or restaurants, and photography.
Huaqun Zhang :

Huaqun Zhang

2008 B.S, Jiangxi Normal University, Jiangxi China

2011 M.S, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai China

2017 PhD, Miami University, Oxford Ohio.

Research interests: Biophysical and biochemical study of health-related or other important proteins and RNAs, including protein-protein/protein-RNA interaction, as well as protein/RNA structural elucidation using NMR and X-ray crystallography.

Outside of the lab: Playing basketball with friends, fishing and walking with family.
Anita Kotar :

Anita Kotar

2015 Master of pharmacy, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia.

2019 PhD, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Research interests: Structures of nucleic acids and their interactions with proteins and small molecules. I am interested in; how nucleic acids structures are connected to their functions, since understanding the structure-function relationship enables us to manipulate it for therapeutic purposes. To study this, I use NMR spectroscopy in combination with other biophysical and biochemical approaches.

Outside of the lab: Exploring America’s culture, nature and cities. I like to dance and cook/bake.

Graduate Students:

Ian Hall :

Ian Hall

2018 B.S. Chemistry, Lyon College

Graduate Student, Chemistry Department

Outside of lab: tabletop gaming, video games, soccer, and biking.
Sicong Ma :

Sicong Ma

2019 B.S. Chemistry, Nankai University, China

Graduate Student, Biophysics Department

Outside of lab: basketball, cooking, video games, fitness and spending time with friends.


Kate Zablock :

Kate Zablock

Sophomore B.S. Biomolecular Science with minor in Gender & Health

Outside the lab: Enjoys anything fitness related, reading, hanging out with friends, and cooking

Future: Obtain M.D. and work specifically in the women’s health fields
Kyrillos Abdallah :

Kyrillos Abdallah

Sophomore working towards a B.S. in Chemistry, Biochemistry, and Biophysics (Structural Biology)

Outside of the Lab: Enjoys reading, playing basketball, and watching movies or stand-up comedy with friends.

Future: Obtain a Ph.D. in Chemistry and go into academia.

Research Technician:

Tracy Hodges :

Tracy Hodges

2015 B.S. Microbiology, Michigan State University

2015 B.S. Molecular Genetics & Genomics, Michigan State University

Previous research: Assessing metabolic activity in bacterial populations using immunocytochemical detection of BrdU laced DNA.

Outside of the lab: helps coach diving; enjoys doing yoga, playing video games, rollercoasters, puppies, watching food network & Patriots football, and jet-skiing when the Michigan weather allows.

Future: Plans to obtain an MD/PhD and hopes to split time between clinical medicine and research.

Office: 3039 Chemistry


Name                                                              Current Position

Kirk Baughman (BS, 2020)                            PhD student at Columbia

Amos Nissley (BS, 2020)                                PhD student at UC Berkeley

Austin Wang (BS, 2020)                                  MD/PhD student at Northwestern