Pietras, Eric

Eric Pietras, PhD

Associate Professor

Associate Chief of Basic Research


In 2019, Eric was the recipient of the Cleo Meador and George Ryland Scott Endowed Chair of Medicine in Hematology, and was named an Outstanding Early Career Scholar by the CU Department of Medicine.

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Courtney Cowan

PhD Student


Courtney received her BS in Biochemistry and a minor in Chemistry from the University of Washington in 2017. After graduation she worked for 3 years in Dr. Courtney Crane’s lab at Seattle Children’s Research Institute, where she evaluated IL-12 secreting genetically engineered macrophages as a therapeutic approach against solid tumors. In 2020, she moved into industry working in the Synthetic Biology division at Kyverna Therapeutics, a startup using CAR-Treg therapy in autoimmune disease. Courtney is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Immunology, with her thesis project focusing on the contribution of innate immune training in axial spondyloarthritis (axSpA). Courtney plans to become a principal investigator in academia where she can continue chasing the mechanisms that drive axSpA pathogenesis.

In 2023, Courtney was awarded the Rheumatology T32, and People’s Choice poster award at the Spondyloarthritis Unmet Needs Conference.

Outside of lab Courtney enjoys spending time with friends, paddleboarding, skiing, dancing, and playing board games and video games.


Pic of Courtney Cowan

Makenna Joy May

Research Services Professional (E)


Makenna earned summa cum laude in her BA in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology and high distinction for her BA in Integrated Physiology with a minor in Ethnic Studies at the University of Colorado, Boulder. She began her scientific career working concurrently with Dr. Joel Kralj and Dr. Javon Carter at the University of Colorado, Boulder where she isolated E. Coli DNA variations in antibiotic resistance using bioinformatics. She then moved onto working under Dr. Isak Tengesdal in Dr. Charles Dinarello’s lab at the University of Colorado, Anschutz School of Medicine. Here, she studied her undergraduate Honors Thesis project inhibiting the NLRP3 inflammasome in metastatic breast cancers using OLT1177 alongside Anti-PD-1 therapy. Makenna also worked alongside Alberto Dinarello to identify a communication between novel IL-38, the WNT pathway, and IL-1β secretion. In this paper submitted to Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Makenna found that IL-38 plays a central role in driving intestinal stem cell differentiation. She also worked as a Medical Assistant at Spine West, a non-surgical physiatry medical practice specializing in physical medicine & rehab of the spine.

As a technician in the Pietras lab, Makenna hopes to gain knowledge and skills in the world of hematology that will help her in her pursuit to become a pediatric hematologist/oncologist by continuing her education in an MD/PhD program in the near future.

Outside of the lab, Makenna enjoys taking care of her cats and plants, painting, volunteering at the Children’s Hospital and other youth programs, and exploring Colorado’s food scene with her friends.


Lindsay Mitchell

Research Services Professional (E)


Lindsay received her BS from California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo, and later completed the Pre-Health Professions Post Baccalaureate program at California State University, Fullerton. During her post baccalaureate program, Lindsay joined the lab of Dr. Amybeth Cohen and studied the effects of nitrogen deficient stress on protein and lipid levels within the single celled green alga, Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, for feed applications in aquaculture.

 

In 2023, Lindsay received an award for Best Poster at the West Coast Biological Sciences Undergraduate Research Conference.



Steven Moreria pic

Steven Moreira

Post Doctoral Fellow, PhD


Steven received his BS in biochemistry from Queen’s University in 2011. After graduating he completed his PhD in the lab of Dr. Bradley Doble at McMaster University in 2018, where he studied the effects of Wnt signaling and the downstream TCF/LEF transcription factor family, on stem cell self-renewal and pluripotency. In 2019, Steven joined the lab of Dr. Kristin Hope as a post-doctoral researcher, where he explored the synergy between two epigenetic regulators BRD4 and AHR, in targeting acute myeloid leukemia stem cells. Steven joined the lab of Dr. Eric Pietras in 2024 as a post-doctoral researcher, where he will explore the regulation of protein synthesis in myelodysplastic syndrome stem cells as an attractive therapeutic approach in MDS. Steven is particularly interested in leveraging novel bulk and single-cell multi-omic as well as genetic screening technologies, to understand intra- and inter-patient heterogeneous responses to MDS therapies, to ultimately improve therapies for patients suffering from hematologic malignancies.


Daniel Moskop

MD/PhD Student


Daniel earned his BA in Biology from Vassar College in 2018. For his undergraduate thesis he worked in the lab of Jennifer Kennell studying phosphoglycolate phosphatase genetic regulation in Drosophila melanogaster. After graduating he moved to the lab of Yelena Ginzburg at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai where he explored the role of iron regulation in the pathogenesis of polycythemia vera. Daniel then matriculated into the University of Colorado MSTP in 2020. He joined the Cancer Biology PhD program and the labs of Eric Pietras and Craig Jordan in 2023 to study myelodysplastic syndrome. Daniel plans to continue his medical training after completing his PhD and eventually practice in the clinical field of hematology/oncology.



Katia Niño, BS

PhD Student


Katia earned her BS in Biological Science from California State University, Fullerton in 2019. In her undergraduate studies, Katia began her research endeavors in the lab of Math Cuajungco, where she studied the role of the Transmembrane (TMEM)-163 protein in the neurodegenerative disease called Mucolipidosis type IV. For her undergraduate thesis, Katia moved to the lab of Marcelo Tolmasky to investigate enzyme-mediated resistance to antibiotics through the quantification and dynamic mapping of the aminoglycoside resistance protein AAC(6')-Ib. Katia is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Molecular Biology where she will focus her thesis on how chronic inflammation drives hematologic malignancies. Katia plans to become a principal investigator in academia where she can serve as a mentor for the next generation of scientists.

In 2022, Katia was awarded both an American Society of Hematology Minority Graduate Research Fellowship and the HHMI Gilliam Research Fellowship.

Outside of the lab, Katia enjoys venturing the latest pop-up art exhibits, spending time by the water, and trying out new cuisine.


Sweta Patel, PhD

Postdoctoral Scholar


Sweta received her Bachelors in Pharmacy and Masters in Pharmaceutical Biotechnology from India. During her Masters, Sweta showed that silver nanoparticle from pomegranate peel extract had cytotoxic effect on cervical cancer cells. After graduating with a Masters in 2016, Sweta moved to the US to pursue a PhD in Dr. Rob Welner’s Lab at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. During her PhD, she worked on identifying the metabolic and transcriptional role of STAT3 mediating drug persistence in chronic myeloid leukemia stem cells. In 2021, Sweta joined as a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Eric Pietras' and Dr. Craig Jordan’s labs and will be focusing on identifying metabolic targets to inhibit the progression from clonal hematopoiesis to acute myeloid leukemia. Sweta plans to stay in academia as a researcher upon completion of her postdoctoral training.

Outside of the lab, Sweta enjoys water-related activities, hiking, volunteering at dog shelters, learning new things and celebrating Indian festivals.

picture of Sweta Patel

Caitlin Price, BS

Research Services Professional (I)


Caitlin earned her BS in Biology, with a minor in Chemistry, at Metropolitan State University of Denver in 2021. Soon after completion of her degree, Caitlin interned here at CU Anschutz, in the lab of Beat Vögeli. In the Vögeli lab, she used state-of-the-art NMR techniques to study the C-terminal domain in histone-like nucleoid structuring protein (H-NS), which is implicated in pathogenic cascades of bacteria, including Shigella flexneri. Caitlin’s novel NMR side chain assignment of H-NS was published in the Biological Magnetic Resonance Data Bank (BMRB) in May 2022. As a technician in the Pietras Lab, Caitlin hopes to gain further experience that will allow her to excel in a PhD program of her choice in the future.

Outside of the lab, Caitlin enjoys spending quality time with her partner and two pets, checking out new exhibits at the Museum of Nature and Science, and reading fiction novels.


Mac Rump

Mac is working towards his bachelor's degree in Integrative Physiology from the University of Colorado at Boulder. While in the Pietras lab, Mac is working to gain research experience and exposure to different careers available in the research field. Post graduation, he plans to attend medical school and become a physician.

Outside of the lab, Mac enjoys mountain biking, hiking, climbing, snowboarding, and spending time with his family and friends.

Picture of Mac Rump

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Hematology (SOM)

CU Anschutz

Research Complex II

12700 East 19th Avenue

Mail Stop B170

Aurora, CO 80045


Appointments: 720-848-6400

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