Katie Basham, Ph.D.

Principal investigator


Katie grew up in Idaho and obtained her B.S. in biology from Saint Mary's College of California in 2008. She completed her Ph.D. in 2014 at the Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah, where she trained with Dr. Bryan Welm. Her graduate thesis focused on mechanisms of normal mammary gland development and how these same pathways become deregulated during breast cancer initiation and progression. For her postdoctoral fellowship, Katie moved to the University of Michigan to train with Dr. Gary Hammer. There, Katie's work focused on understanding normal development and cancer in the adrenal gland, which is an essential endocrine organ responsible for steroid hormone production. Katie joined the faculty at the Huntsman Cancer Institute in January 2021. Outside the lab, Katie loves to ski, mountain bike, and explore new places.

Lihua Liu, M.S.

Senior laboratory specialist


Lihua is originally from China and obtained her B.S. in medicine and M.S. in biology from West China University of Medical Sciences in 1982 and 1986. She later found her real passion was in medical research and came to the University of Utah, where she has worked for 28 years in biomedical research. Lihua has extensive experience studying fertility and gonadal development, and joined the Basham Lab in January 2021. Outside the lab, Lihua enjoys hiking, dance, Taiji, gardening, and reading novels, particularly from Dan Brown and John Grisham.

Kate Warde, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Research Fellow


Kate is from Co. Mayo, Ireland and obtained her B.Sc. in Biomedical Science (Pharmacology) from the National University of Ireland, Galway in 2016. Following this, she stayed at NUIG to complete a Ph.D. in Pharmacology at the Lambe Institute under the supervision of Dr. Conall Dennedy. Her doctoral research focused on understanding cholesterol and lipid handling in Adrenocortical Carcinoma and how this plays a role in mediating mitotane therapy. Alongside her research, Kate led an initiative to reduce the environmental impact of laboratory practices. These efforts resulted in “My Green Lab” certification for the Lambe Institute and was one of the first in Europe. Kate joined the Basham Lab in May 2021 as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow. When not in the lab, Kate enjoys keeping fit, audiobooks, and good coffee. 

Lorenzo Smith, B.S.

Graduate Student


Lorenzo grew up in Wisconsin and obtained his B.S. in biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point. As an undergraduate, he conducted a spectrum of research at his home institution as well as at NC State University and the University of South Dakota through NSF funded summer REU opportunities. Outside of the lab, Lorenzo enjoys hiking in the mountains, camping, fly fishing, bird watching, and seeing live music with his friends. He especially enjoys going to concerts put on by his favorite band: the Avett Brothers.