Principle Investigator

Seth L. Robia, Ph.D

708-216-2522 (Office)
B.A. Biology, Chemistry, St. Olaf College
M.S., Ph.D. University of Wisconsin-Madison

Seth joined the faculty in the Department of Cell and Molecular Physiology at Loyola University Chicago's Stritch School of Medicine in 2006.  He teaches a range of subjects for medical and graduate students including Biochemistry (lipid metabolism, enzyme kinetics) Cell Biology (cell cycle, apoptosis), Biophysics (membrane transport, imaging for drug discovery), and Physiology (reproduction). 

Staff Scientists

Nikolai Smolin, Ph.D.

Ph.D. University of Dortmund, Dortmund, Germany

Nikolai joined the Robia Lab in 2012.  He is currently applying modeling techniques (molecular dynamics simulation, docking, etc.) to study dynamics and interactions of SERCA. His scientific interests are computer simulation in biophysics, protein dynamics, water in biology, nanoscale biophysics, and therapeutic proteins.

For more information about Nikolai please visit

PhD Students

Olga N. Raguimova

B.S. Biological Sciences, UIC

Olga joined the Robia Lab in the summer of 2014. She is currently investigating key conformational changes in SERCA during calcium cycling, and the molecular mechanisms of SERCA relief-of-inhibition by PLB phosphorylation. In her research, Olga utilizes such techniques as molecular dynamics simulations, molecular genetics, biochemical assays, and fluorescence resonance energy transfer measurements (FRET).


Ellen Cho

B.S. Biochemistry, University of Illinois

Since 2016 Ellen has worked hard to maintain all of the cell cultures in the Robia Lab which are so crucial to the day-to-day experiments.  She also spends time on micropeptide interactions with SERCA, a key research aim of the lab. 

John Wolf

MD candidate, Creighton University
M.S. Medical Physiology, Loyola University
B.S. Chemistry, Creighton University

John joined the lab for the summer of 2017 and is currently exploring the use of the SNAP and CLIP proteins to covalently label SERCA for fluorescence resonance energy transfer measurements (FRET). His medical interests include Cardiology and Preventative Medicine. 

Support staff

Jonathan Dugas, Ph.D.
Ph.D. University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa

Working in the Cardiovascular Research Institute as the assistant to the two co-directors, Jonathan is a jack of all trades and even a master of a few, which helps him keep the the CVRI and the Robia Lab running like well-oiled machines.

Robia Lab Alumni

Alumnus Role  Dates  Subsequent post
Eileen M Kelly Technician  07/06 - 01/09   
Zhihong Hu Technician 06/08 - 09/10  Medical resident, Loyola 
Zachary Jones Undergrad Researcher  06/10 - 08/10 Special Education teacher
Paul Hale Undergrad Researcher 06/10 - 10/10 Law School
Qiujing Song Post-doctoral fellow  06/08 - 06/11   
Eric DeGuevara High school Researcher  06/11 - 08/11  Undergraduate, University of Illinois 
Edgar Gonzales High School Researcher  12/11 - 05/12 Undergraduate student 
Philip Bidwell PhD Student  06/08 - 04/12  Post-doctoral fellow, Cincinnati 
Sandeep Pallikkuth Post-doctoral fellow 01/10 - 05/12 Imaging Facility Director, University of Tennessee
Dane Zieman  Undergrad Researcher 06/10 - 09/12  Engineer, Thermo-Fisher Scientific
Christian Espino High School Researcher 10/12 - 05/13 Undergraduate, St. Mary's University 
Christopher Stefonowicz  Technician  06/12 - 07/13  Medical School, Stritch School of Medicine 
Alex Ticho Technician  02/12 - 06/13  MD/PhD Student, UIC 
Aimee Bueno High School Researcher  06/13 - 08/14 Undergraduate, UIC 
Michael Sobieraj Post-baccalaureate  07/13 - 09/13  Medical School 
Marsha Pribadi  Technician  08/13 - 06/14  Property Consultant
Surtaj Iram Post-doctoral fellow  09/12 - 09/14  Assistant Professor, South Dakota State 
Juan Orozco  High School Researcher  06/14 - 08/14  Undergraduate, DePaul 
Berenis Calleros High School Researcher  06/14 - 08/14 
S. Mazurek (Co-advisor) PhD Student  06/10 - 07/14  Post-doctoral fellow, Northwestern 
Neha Abrol PhD Student  06/11 - 10/14  Post-doctoral fellow , Johns Hopkins 
Zhanjia Hou Research Asst Professor  02/07 - 05/15  Medical Physicist 
Ryan Himes PhD Student  06/11 - 07/15  Assistant Professor, Olivet Nazarene University 
Vidhya Sivakumaran Post-doctoral fellow 12/13 - 08/15  
Taylor Zak PhD Student  06/15 - 06/17 Medical school, Stritch School of Medicine 

Please help us keep this info up to date! If you have additions/corrections, please email Seth.