Marie Gaine

Primary Investigator

Marie E Gaine, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Experimental Therapeutics in the College of Pharmacy at the University of Iowa. She also holds a secondary appointment in the Department of Psychiatry in the Carver College of Medicine and is a member of the Iowa Neuroscience Institute and the Environmental Health Sciences Research Center.

Dr. Gaine joined the University of Iowa in 2012 as a postdoctoral scholar in the Department of Psychiatry. During this time, she studied the genetics and epigenetics of suicidal behavior and bipolar disorder. In 2017, Dr. Gaine moved to Ted Abel’s Lab as an Assistant Research Scientist and studied sleep deprivation and mouse models relevant to disease.

Prior to her postdoctoral work, Dr. Gaine received her PhD at the Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology, Queen’s University, Belfast, Northern Ireland under the mentorship of Dr. Terry Lappin and Dr. Ken Mills.

Complete List of Published Work in My Bibliography:

Alyssa Daniel

Graduate Student

Alyssa (Allie) Daniel

Education: B.S. Chemistry - St. Ambrose University 2017
M.S. Analytical Chemistry - University of Tennessee, Knoxville 2020

Research Focus: Organophosphate exposure and its potential connection to psychiatric disorders and suicidal behavior.

Emese Chmielewski

Graduate Student

Emese Kovács

Education: 2013-2017 & 2018-2019: Bachelor of Arts with Honors in French and Biochemistry, Capital University, Columbus, OH.

Research Focus: My research focuses on the development of epigenetic biomarkers to identify individuals at risk for psychiatric disorders. My primary interests are understanding epigenetic mechanisms, specifically DNA methylation, in individuals with bipolar disorder. I investigate the effect suicide attempt has on the peripheral (i.e., whole blood) epigenetics of these individuals, as well as their epigenetic aging, using the GrimAge epigenetic clock. As lithium is the gold standard for bipolar disorder treatment, I am investigating lithium's role in DNA methylation using fibroblasts.


Graduate Student

Emma Simpson-Wade 

Education:  2020: Bachelor of Arts in Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology, University of Northern Iowa 

2022: Master of Science in Biology, Georgia Southern University, Savannah, GA  

Research Focus:  Epigenetic changes associated with maternal suicidal ideation and behavior. She is currently working with the Perinatal Family Tissue Bank (PFTB) to gather maternal blood samples with and without suicidal ideation to identify epigenetic biomarkers that aid in the prediction, treatment, and outcome of maternal suicidality. Emma was recently awarded the Neuroscience and Pharmacology T32 Training Grant which has allowed her to work closely with OB/GYN clinicians and researchers to further her research and career goals. She currently lives with her wife (Blake), cat (Issa), and two dogs (Odie and Jonas).

Masters Student

Noah Gernander



Research Focus:

Undergraduate Students

Sara Dodge

Lab Alumni

Shaylah McCool, Research Intern

Benney Argue, Research Assistant

Binh Doan, Research Assistant

Aysheh Alrfooh, Graduate Student

Jenna Kane, PharmD Student