Taylor Kalmus

Taylor graduated from Carroll University in 2018 with dual BS degrees in Biology and Psychology and minors in Biochemistry and Professional Writing. She is currently attending graduate school for Speech-Language Pathology.

Cate Buescher

Cate graduated from the University of Missouri in May of 2019 with a BS in Health Sciences and a Psychology minor.

After a successful two years as a SPARK RA, Cate got accepted into The University's Epidemiology graduate program, which she has since completed.

In her free time, Cate likes to travel, go thrifting, and spending time with her friends and family (Including her bernese mountain dog, Desi). 

Leo Brueggeman

Leo was one of our MD/PhD student in Iowa's MSTP program and a graduate research assistant in the Michaelson lab. After completing a BS degree in Molecular Biology from UC Santa Cruz, he came to Iowa to pursue his dual passion for medicine and computational bioinformatics. As a member of Iowa's Genetics PhD program, Leo's research focused on applying machine learning techniques to imaging and genetic data to increase our understanding of psychiatric disease. In his free time, Leo enjoys traveling (20+ countries and counting) and reading about new technologies (GPUs, android, etc).

Tanner Koomar

In 2015, Tanner was the first graduate student to join the Michaelson Lab as part of the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Genetics. Tanner’s projects focused on the intersection of human language with neurodevelopment, through the study of population-level whole genome sequencing. As a key trait which distinguishes humans from our closest living relatives, Tanner was inspired to study the genetics of language, and is passionate about communicating science broadly. Outside of the lab, Tanner is devoted to his wife, dogs, podcasts and tabletop role-playing games.


Jacob Michaelson, PhD

Dr. Jake Michaelson is a Roy J. Carver professor in psychiatry and neuroscience and the division director of computational and molecular psychiatry at the University of Iowa. His lab studies the effect of genetic variations on the development of the brain, with specific applications in autism and language. He earned his B.S. and M.S. in biological engineering at Utah State University before completing his PhD in computational biology at the Technische Universität Dresden in Germany in 2010.