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Sparkenbaugh Lab, Spring 2022
Sparkenbaugh Lab in Spring 2022. (L to R):  Kailyn Lowder, Laiya Clemons, Erica Sparkenbaugh, Nirupama Ramadas. Photo Credit: Shatadal Ghosh.


Dr. Erica Sparkenbaugh (Link to Bio) grew up in western Pennsylvania and received a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from Allegheny College. She obtained her PhD in Pharmacology/Toxicology at Michigan State University, with a research focus on mechanisms of Drug-Induced Liver Injury. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Medicine at UNC Chapel Hill with Dr. Rafal Pawlinski, then became an Assistant Professor of Medicine and member of the UNC Blood Research Center in 2019. She has funding from NHLBI and the American Society of Hematology (Scholar Award).


Dr. Nirupama Ramadas (Link to Bio) grew up in Karnataka, South India. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry, Botany and Microbiology and Master’s degree in Biochemistry from University of Mysore, India. She was awarded a PhD degree in Zoology at University of Mysore, India. Her doctoral studies were focused on investigating the effect of chronic stress on glucose metabolism and isolating a compound from Indian Ayurvedic herb that suppresses hypothalamo – pituitary – adrenal axis. She obtained a Young Scientist Fellowship from the Department of Health Research, India. She did postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Cellular and Molecular Physiology at Hershey Medical Center with Dr. Pingnian He on exercise physiology. Currently she is working with Dr. Erica Sparkenbaugh at UNC Blood Research Center. Her project is focused on examining the role of APC/PAR1 signaling in sickle cell disease.

Jen Newcome, MD (Link to Bio) is a fellow in Pediatric Hematology at UNC Chapel Hill. Her current project is aimed at understanding the coagulation profile in women with sickle cell disease starting contraception. We know that contraception increases clot risk in healthy women, and we know that women with sickle cell disease have an increased risk of clots in general. We are looking at defining how much these risk factors combine in the blood and clinically as well.


Kailyn Lowder hails from Charlotte, NC and is a junior at UNC Chapel Hill (Class of 2023). Kailyn joined the lab in Spring 2021 as an undergrad research assistant. Kailyn assists with mouse colony management and genotyping, assays, and mouse studies. She also has her own project looking at the role of PAR-1 in acute chest syndrome.

Former Lab Members:

Christina Abrams, MD was a clinical fellow who did some of her research with Dr. Sparkenbaugh. Dr. Abrams will be the Director of the Pediatric Sickle Cell Disease Clinic at MUSC in Charleston, SC starting June 2022!

Megan Miller, MS (Link to Bio) was a research technician from March 2020 – Feb 2022. Megan is now a laboratory manager at University of Colorado Anschutz, investigating blood cancers.

Laiya Clemons (Link to Bio) was a research technician in the lab. She is an ECU alum  helped us manage the lab and our large mouse colony.