Current lab members


Dr. Karin Crowhurst
Principal investigator
About me: I grew up in western Canada (Calgary and Vancouver) but travelled east to pursue my university degrees. During undergrad (at Queen’s University) I met my future husband and entertained myself by making contact explosives. I continued my education at the University of Toronto where I completed my PhD in Biochemistry and Biomolecular Structure in the Forman-Kay lab before moving to Los Angeles in 2003 to join the Mayo lab at Caltech for my postdoc. I joined CSUN as an Assistant Professor in 2007. Since then my students and I have worked hard to move our research forward, and create a fun and inclusive lab environment.
Other interests: I have been a radio DJ in my past and in rare periods of spare time these days I like to make stuff and go exploring (locally and globally). I also have a garden and grow amazing tomatoes and berries and veggies in the summer.


Lannah Abasi 
Undergraduate student, Biochemistry
Joined: summer 2017 

About me: I was born in Southern California and am currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry. I aspire to pursue graduate studies after my degree, and to become a career researcher. My interests include peptides, proteins, and neuroscience. I look forward to learning a great deal about HdeB, and protein NMR.
Other interests: I enjoy running, gaming, reading, traveling and spending time with my family, friends, and cat.

Jonathon Benson 
Graduate student, Biochemistry
Joined: fall 2016 

About me: I was born in Southern California, and earned a B.S. in Biology from California Lutheran University. After my undergraduate education I worked for a few years as a hiking guide and a statistical technician in Juneau, Alaska. I then decided I wanted to further my education to meet my career goal of working in the biotech industry. My lab interests lie in both wet lab and computation and I am excited to study HdeA protein dynamics using NMR in the Crowhurst lab.
Other interests: I enjoy Hiking, snowboarding, scuba diving, cooking, reading, and board games.



Dane Geddes-Buehre
Graduate student, Biochemistry
Joined: fall 2017 

About me: I am a Southern California native that grew up in the Antelope Valley. I attended Antelope Valley College and transferred to complete my Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry and Cell Biology at UCSD. Lab work has always been my interest so I knew a Master’s degree by thesis is what I wanted to pursue. I will be investigating the protein HdeA in varying pH values via protein NMR along with other experiments to examine conformation and dynamics. After I graduate I plan to either pursue a PhD or work in Biotechnology.
Other interests: I enjoy being outdoors and road trips to new places. My latest hobbies has been Sudoku and jigsaw puzzles. I enjoy learning and experiencing new things in both school and my free time.

Akemi Hinzer 
Student, Biochemistry
Joined: summer 2018 

About me: I am a second generation L.A. native, and though I have been lucky to travel, I’ve lived here my whole life. Through the past ten years, I have worked as an auto mechanic, rock climbing instructor, and as cake decorator among other things. I’m now returning to college to pursue biochemical research. I feel so fortunate to be taken in by such a capable and patient lab.
Other interests: I love gardening, hiking, and I’m trying to convince myself that I enjoy cooking. I rock climb and scuba dive, and always make time for crossword puzzles. 


Julie Jimenez 
Graduate student, Biochemistry
Re-joined: fall 2014 

About me: I was born in Los Angeles. Growing up science was always an interest of mine which grew into a passion. I received my Bachelor’s degree in biochemistry at CSUN in 2013. After graduation I worked at Medtronic for a year as a research associate in their glucose sensors R&D department. While industry provided new knowledge, I decided to further my biochemistry education at CSUN as a graduate student. I plan on pursuing a PhD after receiving my M.S.
Other interests: I enjoy cooking, reading and spending time with my friends and family.

Mackenzie Russo
Undergraduate student, Chemistry
Joined: spring 2018 

About me: I was born in New York and am working towards earning my degree in Chemistry. I began my undergraduate education at Palm Beach Atlantic University and transferred to CSUN as a Junior. Since moving to California and becoming a member of the Crowhurst lab, I’ve learned tons about proteins and what over 100 degree weather feels like. I look forward to learning much more about hRGS7.
Other interests: I love soccer and formerly played at the division II level. I currently play on the CSUN Women’s Club team. My other interests include cats, snowboarding, football and karaoke. My favorite food is grilled cheese sandwiches.


Marlyn Widjaja
Graduate student, Biochemistry
Joined: spring 2015 

About me: I was born in Los Angeles, but my family moved to Indonesia when I was very young. After finishing high school, I came back to the United States to pursue higher education. I enrolled at MiraCosta College in Oceanside (near San Diego) where I was inspired by my biology professor to pursue a degree in biology. I transferred to UCLA and completed a B.S. degree in Biochemistry. I am currently pursuing an M.S. in Biochemistry at CSUN. As a member of the Crowhurst lab, I have been learning about protein NMR and more specifically, the protein HdeA.
Other interests: I enjoy cooking and baking, especially when I’m stressed out. When I have some free time I like to go hiking, play tennis, read some novels, or knit. I also like to doodle when I’m bored.