Post docs and Staff

Emily Durham, Ph. D.

  • Postdoctoral Scholar

ejd5264@psu.edu

Dr. Durham is a postdoctoral scholar in the Richtsmeier Lab who recently received her PhD in Biomedical Sciences from the Medical University of South Carolina, where her research focused on the impact of pharmacological teratogens on stem cells resident to the craniofacial skeleton. Prior to receiving her PhD, Dr. Durham received a BA in Biology from Washington and Jefferson College and a MA in Healthcare Ethics from Duquesne University where she concentrated on ethics in biomedical research. Much of her work in the field of craniofacial biology has focused on histological identification of cell processes and cell types within the skull. She will be using these skills to better understand the chondrocranium as it develops in embryonic mice and how it relates to bone development in the skull.

Kazuhiko Kawasaki, Ph.D.

kuk2@psu.edu

Dr. Kawasaki is a Research Associate with a background in molecular biology and genomics. His research interests include: Developmental genetics, Dento-craniofacial patterning and development, interactions between the chondrocranium and the dermatocranium. Evolution of the SCPP gene family—biomineralization and lactation—duckbilled platypus, coelacanth, gar, pufferfish, zebrafish, nurse shark, and lamprey. Special skill: Finding exons by reading genomic sequences

Mizuho Kawasaki, B.S.

muk37@psu.edu

Mizuho Kawasaki is a Research Technician in the Richtsmeier Lab. She obtained her BS in Pharmaceutical Science at the Kyoritsu University (merged with Keio University) of Pharmacy in Japan. She is primarily involved in the maintenance of our mouse colony, genotyping by PCR, performing immunohistochemical and histochemical staining, whole embryonic staining and other general lab duties.

Susan Motch Perrine, Ph.D.

qzk2@psu.edu

Dr. Perrine is an Assistant Research Professor associated with the Richtsmeier lab, where she focuses on the physiology and genetics of craniofacial development and dysmorphology. She obtained her BS and MS in Animal Sciences from the Pennsylvania State University. She obtained her PhD in Physiology from Penn State in 2010, studying aging and the physiology of stress. Some of her work involved magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA), methods of interest in the Richtsmeier laboratory. She is currently working with mouse models of craniosynostosis to understand genotype-phenotype correspondence and craniofacial variation using an interdisciplinary approach which combines high resolution imaging, geometric morphometrics and wet lab techniques.

M. Kathleen Pitirri, Ph.D.

mup896@psu.edu

Dr. Pitirri is a Postdoctoral Scholar in the Richtsmeier Lab. She recently received her PhD in Biological Anthropology from the University of Toronto, where her research focused on increasing our understanding of primate and human evolution by improving approaches to studying fossil mandibular fragments. Currently, Dr. Pitirri is quantifying the morphology of the chondrocranium as it develops in embryonic mice. This research is critical for the understanding of the complex relationship between the cartilaginous and bony aspects of the skull as it develops, which will help answer important questions regarding the evolution of the skull in vertebrates. Dr. Pitirri is also currently involved in paleoanthropological fieldwork in Europe, as well as research on fossil catarrhine taxonomy and biogeographic and functional factors driving mandibular shape variation in living great apes. Her main research interests include primate and human evolution, quantitative morphology, and studying the cellular mechanisms involved in genotype-phenotype correlations that drive evolutionary changes in craniofacial morphology in primate evolution.