Danielle Matheison

2nd Year Neuroscience Graduate Program, School of Medicine


Program: NGP Second Year     Lab: Freeman     Undergrad: University of Arizona     Favorite Animal: Gila Monster

Danielle is a second year graduate researcher in Marc Freeman’s lab, where she studies intercellular communication. Using Drosophila as a model organism, she studies the changes that occur in neurons and glia in response to injury. In addition to dissections, live imaging, and confocal microscopy, Danielle’s daily lab work includes a process called ‘fly pushing’ which is the actual real term for selecting flies to mate with one another to get a desired genetic result. To be a good fly pusher, one must learn the skill of ‘virgining,’ which is the actual real term for finding flies that haven’t mated before.

When Danielle first heard about grad student unionization at OHSU she was skeptical. She had heard mixed things about unions; sometimes they could be helpful but sometimes they prevented bad employees from being fired. It was only after becoming more educated about unions that she realized the potential for collective bargaining at OHSU. After having conversations with numerous other graduate researchers about their issues and needs, Danielle joined the bargaining team so that she could bring these stories to the forefront of contract negotiations.

Bargaining Team Statement

I want to serve on the bargaining team because I believe in fighting for students at this institution and trying to make life here better for us. Since I am a second-year student, I think I have been here long enough to see what is lacking in terms of our employment benefits, but I'm also early enough in my grad career to be truly invested in this process. I've also talked to many of the upper year students since coming to OHSU and they have given me a lot of insight into how things can change. I really want to represent all student's interests and keep those at the forefront of the conversation during bargaining.