Current Research Students


Charlie Jedlicka

My name is Charlie Jedlicka and I am a Junior at WSU studying Movement Science. I grew up in Solon, Iowa (near Iowa City). After graduation I hope to enter an osteopathic medical school, and eventually I would like to specialize in Orthopedics. In my free time I love to golf, hang out with friends, and cheer on my beloved Iowa Hawkeyes!

My Research
I am working with Nicole Varela, MD and Jennifer Forsyth, DO on the management of perioperative risk in the older age patients. We are focusing on patients 65 and older and trying to devise a comprehensive technique for screening in the preoperative stage patients who may suffer postoperative delirium. We hope to identify several key factors that lead to delirium and devise a way to manage these factors in an attempt to avoid, lessen, or at least properly prepare for their postoperative delirium.

Tracy Her

I am currently a senior at Winona State University and I will be graduating in the Spring of 2018. I am majoring in Cell and Molecular Biology and obtaining a Biochemistry minor. I grew up in a very small town located southwest of Minnesota called Milroy. Growing up in such a small and rural area taught me the value of how important school resources can be. I am happy I ended up in the Winona area because even though it’s small, it still has a lot of resources to offer. I hope to get into medical school someday and become an OB. When I am not doing school related work, I like to read, hike and camp in appropriate weather.

My Research
I am working with Laurel Quinn, MD. The research we are currently working on focuses on how much astigmatism is induced during cataract surgery in order to make sure the target range after surgery is achieved. Specifically, for this project, we are evaluating how certain incisions can affect surgically-induced astigmatism, if any at all.

Zuag Paj Her

I am currently a sophomore at Winona State University, but plan to graduate in the Spring of 2018. I am currently majoring in Cell and Molecular Biology with a minor in Biochemistry. Growing up as a Hmong American, I’ve discovered that education is a privilege. Both of my parents were born in Laos and grew up in a society very different from the society here in America. They made me aware that there are many people around the world who do not have access to good healthcare. Listening to their stories while growing up inspired me to become a family doctor and to advocate for programs that will help provide healthcare to low income families around the world by educating others about this issue.

My Research
I am currently working on a research project with Hans J. Serleth, MD and Catherine Compton, CNP. The research is basically a retrospective analysis of the mastectomies done at Winona Health. The work involves confirming and understanding the determinants of the optimal mastectomy skin flap thickness and reconstructive surgery along with implementing these new ideas with the past surgeries performed at Winona Health. Hopefully, our work will improve the method of surgery and update the general guidelines of mastectomies and reconstructive breast surgeries.

Sam Lass

I am a Freshman at Winona State University. I am a Cell & Molecular Biology Major and plan to attend medical school upon completion of my undergraduate career. My biggest interest is in radiology and hope to specialize in it in the future. I work hard and I’m glad to be able to participate in research at Winona Health.

My Research
For my current research project, we are collecting data from Dr. Lee Trombetta’s previous surgeries to determine the effectiveness of a wire versus radioactive seed localization to find the tumor in breast cancer patients and get the best negative margin possible.

Dustin Peskey

My name is Dustin Peskey, I am a senior at WSU majoring in Cell and Molecular Biology with a minor in Biochemistry. I grew up in Brookings, South Dakota. I hope to conduct pharmaceutical research or work in a clinical laboratory setting after a few more years of education. I am also a Security Forces member in the Minnesota Air National Guard. In my free time, I love to go fly-fishing, kayaking and hiking with my dog, Loki.

My Research
I am working with Lee Trombetta, MD, FACS, on the use of scheduled screening urine toxicology in opiod-dependent chronic pain patients with focus on determining predictors for synchronous illicit drug use.

Jacob Wilkinson

As a recent graduate of Viterbo University with Bachelor’s degrees in Biochemistry and Spanish, I came to Winona Health with a desire to gain exposure to rural medicine. I hail from the Madison, Wisconsin area. I am in the process of applying to medical school, so the Clinical Research Program will be a mainstay of my gap year activities. I am not married to any one specialty yet, but my current vision is to build a career in pediatrics or surgery.

My Research
With the opioid epidemic being a hot topic in world news, the healthcare community has made concerted efforts to ensure that prescription painkillers are utilized appropriately. Under the mentorship of Nicole Varela, MD, I will be investigating the risk factors that may predispose patients to needing extended opioid use after total knee or hip operations. Understanding these considerations may further elucidate how providers can safely and effectively manage patients’ pain while they recover.

McKenzie Wilson

I’m from Osseo Wisconsin, and currently a junior at Winona State University. I am studying allied health biology, with a minor in biochemistry, and after graduation I am planning on attending medical school.

My Research
I am working with Dr. Ann Falkenberg Olson on an experimental research project involving Winona area women. The project tested how peri-menopausal women responded to BMD testing.

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