Meet the Lab
Lavinia Sheets, PhD
DRBM Post-Baccalaureate Researcher
Keziah graduated with her BS in Neuroscience near home at Washington State University-Vancouver. This is her first time away from the PNW, but luckily, she has a keen sense of adventure! Outside of the lab, she enjoys trying new restaurants and going to the gym.
Research Technician II
Former Research Assistant
Current: Graduate Student, Molecular Biology Program Bioscience, University of Utah
After growing up in Kansas City, MO, Melanie completed her BA in Biology from Washington University in St. Louis. Melanie was the first member of Sheets Lab at WashU and helped establish the model for “noise” induced synaptopathy in zebrafish lateral line organs. Her research interests include zebrafish disease models and using genetic tools to study the nervous system. Outside of the lab, Melanie enjoys hiking, tap dancing, baking, and sewing.
David Lee, MD
Former: T32 Resident Postdoctoral Fellow
Current: PGY4 Resident, Department of Otolaryngology–Head & Neck Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis
David is an ENT resident on physician-scientist research track at Washington University in St. Louis. In the Sheets lab, he developed a novel cisplatin-induced ototoxicity zebrafish model to better understand the pathophysiology of this process and to inform therapies for this unmet clinical need. His only prior experience with fish was being one at the poker table, but David’s clinical background and experience in head and neck cancer drug development made him a beneficial and highly productive addition to the lab.
Outside of research, David enjoys Japanese food, non-Japanese food, and morning strolls with his dog.
Kyle Newton, PhD
Former: Postdoctoral Associate
Current: Research Associate, Sensory & Cognitive Ecology, Oregon State University
Kyle is a sensory biologist with interests in animal behavior, neuroscience, and marine biology, with a particular emphasis on sharks, rays, and teleost fishes.
His research uses fish models to understand how basal vertebrates detect and respond to environmental cues, how human activities can disrupt these processes, and how animals can recover from disruption. The goal of his research is to integrate ethology and the conservation of biodiversity because understanding how and why animals respond to specific environmental cues is key to predicting how they will respond to anthropogenic changes to their environment.
He is currently a researcher at the Coastal Oregon Marine Experiment Station (COMES), where he investigate the effects of electromagnetic fields from offshore renewable energy installations on the behavior of marine wildlife. Basically, he lives at the ocean, play with EMFs, tags big fish, and uses the machine vision and learning tech that he developed for use in the Sheets lab to analyze fish behavior.
Former: Research Technician
Current: Technical Writer, Thermo Fisher
Allison is originally from St. Louis and received Bachelors of Science in both Chemistry and Biochemistry/Biotechnology from the University of Missouri St. Louis in 2013. She was a member of the Sheets Lab from January 2018 – April 2022. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, biking, rock-climbing, creating art, and studying Japanese.
Former: Research Specialist
Current: Coordinator Procurement & Accounting, WUSM Admin
Angie started as a research technician at Central Institute for the Deaf in 2003, then moved to Washington University along with the whole CID research department later that same year. She lives 65 miles from the CID where she has horses, cows and a small grain farm. She now enjoys a much easier commute working from home! Angie has lots of hobbies, including horseback riding (she loves to trail ride with her son and mom in Shawnee National Forest in Southern Illinois), gardening, landscaping and crafting/building things. She also likes to hunt and is pretty good at shooting a gun. Her favorite book is The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy.