Thorsten Maretzky, PhD
Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases


Additional Information

Postdoctoral Fellows

Ramasatyaveni Geesala
Ramasatyaveni Geesala

Program: Inflammation

Research Area: The focus of my study will be on elucidating the role of A Disintegrin and Metalloproteases 17 (ADAM 17) in disease-related inflammatory responses. ADAM 17 is well known as sheddase which involves in cleaving and releasing the extracellular domain of several membrane-anchored proteins as soluble proteins. They include the pro-inflammatory cytokine TNF alpha and ligands of Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor. It has been recently identified that the seven membrane spanning receptors iRhoms 1/2 are long sought after regulators of ADAM 17 and its functions. The main goal of my research is to understand the cellular and molecular mechanisms of iRhom1/2 mediated ADAM 17 activation by performing various state-of-the art techniques thereby its pathophysiological role in inflammation-mediated diseases. 

About Me: I am a PhD graduate with expertise in immunology and stem cell biology. I am fascinated to do research in immunological therapeutics. On a brief note, I am highly enthusiastic personnel to learn new things and the ultimate goal of my research is clinical outcome. 

Future Plans: I plan to become an independent researcher and work on identifying novel and improved therapies for the immuno-related disorders. I wish to spread the impact of scientific research on mankind livelihood and also to motivate as well as provoke the interest in younger generations towards research.  



Garima Dixit
Lab Manager / Research Specialist

Training: M.S., Biotechnology, University Topper, India
Major: Ph.D. Biological Sciences

Research Area: We use cell-based assays to study how A Disintegrin And Metalloproteases regulate the activity of ligands of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), on elucidating the mechanism underlying the recently discovered roles of ADAMs in cell signaling, and on their involvement in EGFR-dependent cancers. I am particularly interested in understanding how ADAM-mediated shedding of EGFR ligands is regulated. My studies of the biological activities of these proteases, particularly in the context of tumorigenesis and metastasis in tissues and cell lines, are directly relevant for the development of new cancer therapies. 

About Me: …passions are built, but interests are discovered. I discovered my interest in research when I was doing my master’s dissertation in CSIR-Central Drug Research Institute, India. This interest led me to pursue my PhD degree in Biological Sciences. I wish to keep learning and working with best people throughout my life.

Future Plans: Outside of Research, I have many hobbies. I love cooking, craft making, painting, travelling, writing diaries, playing chess and badminton.  



Joseph Skurski
Joseph Skurski
Graduate Student

Program: Immunology

Research Area: A well-controlled innate immune response is characterized by the rapid initiation of an inflammatory response. However, this response is sustained only until the immune insult or injury is contained; at that point, the inflammatory response is terminated or resolved. Thus, the controlled and appropriate resolution of inflammation is an essential feature of the innate immune response. My current interest lies in deciphering how the immune system is able to differentially regulate the immune response to specific stimuli.

About Me: Outside of science I enjoy reading, running, and spending time outdoors.

Future Plans: After completing my Ph.D., I hope to continue my scientific career as a leader in the field of immunology through research and education.


Willow Schanz, Maretzky Lab, UIowa

Willow Schanz
Undergraduate Research Assistant

Program: Biological Sciences

Research Area: ADAM17 is recognized as a key signaling switch on the cell surface, yet the mechanism responsible for its activation remains enigmatic. I am determining how ADAM17 is swiftly stimulated by signaling pathways, including the VEGFR2, Thrombin, EGFR, and Src. 

About Me: I am a second year student at the University of Iowa double majoring in Biology and Psychology with a track in Pre-Medicine. My interest in biology has led me to continually develop an understanding of biological concepts both in and out of the classroom. For this reason, I am enjoying the applicable skills and great people research is providing me. Outside of research, I also work in the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics as a Hand Hygiene Observer and am part of Alpha Xi Delta’s executive board.

Future Plans: I plan to remain researching for the entirety of my undergraduate years here at the University of Iowa. After my undergraduate career, I hope to pursue a career in medicine with aspirations of becoming a surgeon.



Mikayla Biggs, Maretzky Lab uIowa
Mikayla Biggs
Undergraduate Research Assistant

Program: Biomedical Engineering

Research Area: The main focus of my work is to gain a more detailed insight into the in vivo functions of ADAM metalloprotease. 

About Me: I am a second-year student at the University of Iowa studying Biomedical Engineering with a focus in Bioinformatics and minors in Biology and Computer Science. I also work as a lab assistant in Dr. Steven Green's lab in the Biology Building East. Outside of the lab, I enjoy working with computer programming, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, art, and playing instruments. 

Future Plans: I have always had a passion for the sciences so I hope to continue my research experience throughout my Undergraduate degree and into my Master's degree. My ultimate goal is to lead a research team somewhere in the field of degenerative diseases and to one day become a professor myself. I hope to never stop learning or building new experiences.