Dawn S. Chandler Lab Staff :: The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital

Chandler Lab Staff

We are a group of highly motivated professionals, graduate and undergraduate students hailing from different academic backgrounds and scientific interests but aiming towards one common goal: developing cures for pediatric diseases and cancer.

Dawn chandler

Dawn Chandler
Dawn received a B.S. in Microbiology/Chemistry from Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, and a Ph.D. in genes and development from the University of Texas’ Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences in Houston Texas. She conducted post-doctoral research in human and cancer genetics at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas. In 2005 Dr. Chandler joined the faculty of the Department of Pediatrics at The Ohio State University and the Center for Childhood Cancer at the Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and has been studying alternative splicing in pediatric diseases since that time.

When not pondering the intricacies of RNA splicing, Dawn enjoys hiking, kayaking, checking out live music, and spending time with her husband, Hadden, and dogs, Seven and Belle.

Access Dr. Chandler's publications

chandler lab staff

Kristi Akehurst

Kristi is a research assistant maintaining the mouse colonies for the lab. She is currently assisting with both the Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) and MDM2 mouse models with graduate students Tom Bebee and Aishwarya Jacob. She received a B.S. in Zoology from The Ohio State University. While pursuing her degree, Kristi worked for The Ohio State University as a research assistant for the Harder Lab studying sexual differentiation and olfactory communication in the gray short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica).

When Kristi is not in the lab, she likes spending her free time volunteering at the local animal shelter, hanging with friends, going to the movies, working out, and enjoying life.

Tom Bebee

Tom Bebee

Tom is currently a graduate student in the Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology Graduate Program at The Ohio State University. His major project in lab is the development of an inducible mouse model to determine the timing of SMN replacement in mouse models of Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA). This will allow us to determine the therapeutic window for SMA in order to better design treatment strategies for patients with SMA. Tom also works on the molecular significance of reduced SMN on splicing in SMA and its functional significance for disease.

When Tom is not in lab, he likes to spend his time watching movies, playing recreational sports, cycling, rock climbing, and just hanging with friends.

chandler lab staff

Dan Comiskey

Dan received his Bachelor of Science in Biology from Western Michigan University, his Bachelor of Music in Performance from Western Michigan University and his Master of Music in Performance from Miami University.  Though a musician by training, his perpetual interest in molecular biology has led him to pursue a Ph.D. in the Molecular, Cellular & Developmental Biology Graduate Program at The Ohio State University.

Dan is currently studying the regulation of the alternative splicing of MDM2 and the role of cis and trans factors that lead to the aberrant splicing seen in many types of human cancer.  The purposes of this research are to develop a better understanding of RNA processing and identify potential targets for therapy in splicing correction.

When not in the lab, Dan enjoys playing cello, traveling, scuba diving and learning foreign languages.

Catey Dominguez

Catey received her B.S. from Ohio University in Biochemistry and is currently a graduate student in the Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology program at The Ohio State University. Her interest in RNA splicing led her to join the Chandler Lab, where she is studying splicing events in Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA). Her current project involves increasing the severity of the lab’s current mild SMA mouse model to mimic the more severe cases, corresponding to human SMA Types I and II and to determine at what point treatments must occur in order to be most successful in alleviating the degenerative effects of this disease.

When Catey is not in the lab she enjoys spending time riding horses, boating, running, and cycling.

Aishwarya Jacob

Aishwarya Griselda Jacob (Aish) received her Bachelor’s degree in Biotechnology from the PSG college of Technology in Coimbatore, India in 2008. She joined the Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology program (MCDB) at the Ohio State University in the same year to pursue her doctoral studies specializing in cancer biology. She then joined Dr. Chandler’s group in 2009 where she is interested in understanding the mechanisms and implications of alternative splicing of the MDM2 oncogene under cellular stress and in pediatric Rhabdomyosarcoma.

When she is not wielding pipettes or running gels in the lab, she loves to read novels and listen to music.  

Mark, Chandler Lab Mark Serpico

Mark is one year into his undergraduate studies as a student in the Ohio State University Honors Program, studying Microbiology with minors in Business and Spanish.  Mark is interested in a career in either medical practice or research, and has just begun exploring the realms of laboratory research during the summer of 2011 as a volunteer in Chandler Lab.  He is learning the techniques, maintaining tissue cultures, preparing reagents, transforming cells, among other things to help others in the lab, and is excited to start his own projects..

When Mark is not studying or working in the lab, some of the things he enjoys include being an avid sports fan, playing basketball and tennis on his injured knees, fishing, reading non-fiction, and going out to the movies.

Graduated Lab Staff

Axia, Chandler Lab Axia Tapia

Aixa S. Tapia was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and obtained a BA in Applied Microbiology from Universidad del Este, PR.  Aixa joined Chandler lab after relocating to Columbus to pursue a doctoral degree with Ohio State’s MCDB program, and graduated in 2011.  In her time in Chandler lab, Aixa focused on understanding the alternative splicing mechanism of the MDM2 pre-mRNA molecule under genotoxic stress, along with identifying and characterizing the cis and trans factors that might play a role in this process that relates to several types of human cancers.

Ravi Singh, Chandler Lab Ravi Singh

Ravi received his Bachelor and Graduate degrees in India, before coming to Columbus.  Ravi graduated with a Ph.D from Chandler Lab, and the Ohio State University’s MCDB program in 2009.  His research at Nationwide Children’s in Chandler Lab involved trying to better understand the global signaling affecting regulation of RNA processing factors through the identification of the minimal cis elements and trans factors that bind to MDM2 pre-mRNA and regulate alternative splicing in response to stress. Ravi is currently performing postdoctoral research in the Cooper Lab at Baylor College of Medicine.

Jordan Gladman, Chandler Lab

Jordan Gladman

Jordan Gladman graduated from the Integrated Biomedical Science Program with The Ohio State University in the summer of 2010. His thesis work in the laboratory of Dr. Dawn S. Chandler consisted of researching the pediatric disease Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA).  Jordan generated a new mouse model of SMA and uncovered the factors that influence the mRNA splicing of the Survival Motor Neuron (SMN) gene. Jordan published three during his graduate studies, and is currently performing post-doctoral research studying myotonic dystrophy in the Mahadevan lab at the University of Virginia.


Ryan Rauck, Chandler Lab

Ryan Rauck

Ryan graduated from Johns Hopkins with his B.S. and is currently attending Medical School at OSU.


Chase Meacham

Chase Meacham

Chase graduated from St. Charles Preparatory School and is attending George Washington University in Washington, D.C.


Nationwide Children's Hospital
700 Children's Drive Columbus, Ohio 43205 614.722.2000