Jorgensen Lab


PI: Joan Jorgensen, DVM, PhD


Graduate Students:

Keer Jiang

I am a graduate student from the Cellular and Molecular Biology training program. I completed my bachelor’s degree in biology in May 2017 at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. During my undergrad and gap year, I  investigated the role of CHD8 in early brain development in the Chang Lab in Waisman Center. Now I am a “team testes” member in the Jorgensen Lab, where I study the regulation of steroidogenesis in fetal testis throughout fetal development. My research focuses on the control of the RNA of steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (STAR), and the role of SIK-CRTC signaling pathway plays in this regulation.


Alaina Houghton-Chamberlain

I completed two bachelors degrees in Biology and Philosophy at UW-Madison in May 2022. As an undergraduate, I worked as an Animal Research Tech doing mouse and rat husbandry at the Biotron on campus. In Spring 2021, I started as undergraduate student in the Jorgensen lab. Following graduation, I took a gap year after graduation to participate in the UW-PREP post-bach program. Now as a member of “Team Ovary”, I am pursuing a PhD to continue researching IRX3/5 and its role in cell to cell communication.


My name is Cora Thompson and I joined the Jorgensen lab in Spring of 2023. Prior to joining the lab, I graduated from UW-Stevens Point with degrees in Biology and Spanish. My research at UWSP centered around the reproductive parameters of female mice transgenic for CCL2 with Dr. Karin Bodensteiner. After undergrad, I spent a year working at the mouse Breeding Core here on campus as a Research Specialist. Currently, my project is focused on the role of RHO GTPases in germline cyst breakdown and how these cytoskeletal regulators influence the setting up of healthy primordial follicles and thus a healthy ovarian reserve.


Research Interns:

Carl Moody

I am a recent graduate of UW-Madison with a Bachelors in biochemistry. I worked in the Markley Lab as an undergraduate looking at protein structure and production and am continuing to learn in the Jorgensen Lab. I am on “Team Ovary”, working on finding the connection between Irx3/5, septins, and germline nest breakdown. Our research right now involves determining the pieces necessary for proper germline nest breakdown and development of a functional, fertile germ cell.

Undergraduate Students:

Zirui Fu

Helen Pygon