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2020 Predoctoral Researchers


Anthony (A.J.) Treichel

Winona State University

Growing up in Wisconsin and Minnesota, A.J. Treichel spent a lot of time outdoors. Much of that time was spent fishing, but when the fish didn’t cooperate, he investigated the natural world around him. This led to watching tadpoles and caterpillars transform into frogs and butterflies, and later, watching a zebrafish embryo divide again and again. It was then that he realized he could make a career out of being curious about the natural world.

Treichel received a B.S. in cell and molecular biology, and spent over two years studying neural development in zebrafish. He developed and characterized a system for culturing oligodendrocytes, the nerve-wrapping glial cells of the central nervous system, from embryonic zebrafish. This led to a first-author publication in Zebrafish.

After earning his B.S., he spent two years at the Mayo Clinic studying enteroendocrine cells. During that time, he wrote a review and contributed to a PNAS paper. Later work at the Mayo Clinic, looking for defects in skeletal muscle development in zebrafish, led to co-authoring an upcoming paper for eLife.

He decided to join GSSIMR primarily for the atmosphere of diversity and the opportunity to work with people from all over the world. He’s also looking forward to becoming part of the family-like environment at the Institute, and working with more unusual model organisms.

His long-term research goal is to focus on developmental biology because “a single cell turning into an entire organism is simply beautiful.” After training, Treichel hopes to become an investigator or professor at a primarily undergraduate institution, allowing him to also explore his passion for teaching.

Treichel is looking forward to exploring the Kansas City area and finding good spots for fishing, hiking, and camping. As a former hockey player, he loves winter and is excited to experience a Kansas City snowfall.