Lab Members

Dr. David Heisler

Duquesne 2023 – Present
UT Southwestern ’23
Ohio State ’17
Virginia Tech ’10

I was born and raised in northeastern Ohio and northern Virginia. I earned my B.S. Biochemistry from Virginia Tech where I studied the social motility of M. xanthus under the guidance of Dr. Wesley Black. After a year coaching high school wrestling, I started my Ph.D. with Dr. Dmitri Kudryashov at the Ohio State University. During this time, I uncovered a novel mechanism employed by toxins that target the actin cytoskeleton. As a postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Neal Alto at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, I shifted my focus to understanding how cells protect themselves and others against microbial pathogens through the modulation of plasma membrane cholesterol levels. When not in the lab, I enjoy spending time with my family, following sports, and exploring the Pittsburgh craft beer scene.

Megan Lyons

Biochemistry Major
Heisler Lab – 8/23 to Present

I am a sophomore biochemistry major and am from about 30 minutes south of Pittsburgh in Pleasant Hills. At Duquesne, I am involved in the American Chemical Society and the Society of Women Engineers club. I love to go to concerts, and I like to travel, especially to the beach. I also have an orange cat named Louie and a dog named Stella. I am excited to start my own project in the Heisler lab soon!

Anastasia Mastros

Masters in Healthcare Ethics
Heisler Lab – 8/23 to Present
Duquesne 2019-2023
B.A. Psychology

Ryan Gugliotti

Biochemistry Major
Heisler Lab – 1/24 to Present

I’m a sophomore biochemistry student with a deep interest in host-pathogen interactions. My focus is on understanding the molecular dynamics at play when our immune system confronts an invading microorganism. I’m excited about the potential to contribute to our knowledge of disease and immunity through my research in this field. Beyond my academic and lab commitments, I’m an EMT, Vice President of the Pre-health Club, and basketball player. I also have two cats, Maisey and Gizmo. 

Brianne Smith

Biochemistry Major
Heisler Lab – 1/24 to Present

I am a second-year biochemistry student from Cecil Township, PA. I am involved in multiple clubs and associations at Duquesne, such as the American Chemical Society, the Club Dance Team, and the National Society of Leadership and Success. I am interested in going into the veterinary field, as I am a huge animal lover. I currently work at a dog daycare and boarding facility whenever I am home! I am very excited to start research and get more hands-on experience in the laboratory!

Declan Raniowski

Biochemistry Major
Heisler Lab – 1/24 to Present

I am a Biochemistry major with minors in Mathematics, Spanish and a Pre-law certificate. I am from a small town called Mechanicsburg where I was a 3-sport varsity captain. Outside of the lab, I enjoy traveling, Harry Potter, and musicals. I have been to 5 of the 7 continents and have seen 8 Broadway shows. I realized that my love of chemistry paired with biology meant biochemistry was right for me. After I graduate, I plan to go onto graduate school for biochemistry and study International Law over in England. 

Cate Chalovich

Biology Major
Heisler Lab – 1/24 to Present

Elizabeth Stahovich

Biochemistry Major
Website Reviewer – 10/23 to Present

I am a second-year biochemistry student from Lancaster, PA. I am a member of many STEM professional and student organizations at Duquesne, including the American Chemical Society, the Society of Women Engineers, Women in STEM, and Alpha Chi Sigma. Outside of school, I enjoy exploring the city, traveling, and spending time with family, friends, and my dog, Benny. I am excited to be a part of the Heisler Lab as the website reviewer!

Summer 2024

Interested in joining the team?
Contact Dr. Heisler about open positions