Graduate Students

Trip (John) Anderson
Program: Ph.D. Biomolecular Pharmacology/ Biogen
Advisor: Ellen Cahir-McFarland, Ph.D., Director-Neuroimmunology/ Biogen
Research Summary: Trip is interested in identifying a specific inhibitor that will inhibit the production of replication-competent JC virus by targeting the binding of VP2/VP3 to the VP1 pentamer. He is interested in cell biology, virology, drug discovery, and imaging.

Jacob Beierle headshotJacob Beierle
Program: Ph.D. Biomolecular Pharmacology
Advisor: Camron Bryant, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Pharmacology and Psychiatry
Research Summary: Jacob is interested in developing a mechanistic understanding of addiction and using that understanding to create interventions that abate drug-seeking behaviors.

Kerry Breen
Program: Ph.D. Neuroscience/Biomolecular Pharmacology
Advisor: David H. Farb, Ph.D., Professor and Chair of Pharmacology
Research Summary: Kerry is interested in neurobiology/neuropharmacology and drug safety.

Xavier Cambi
Advisor:
David H. Farb, Ph.D., Professor and Chair of Pharmacology
Program: Ph.D. Program in Biomolecular Pharmacology
Research Summary: Xavier would like to explore the field of addiction and other cognitive disorders. As a first year student, he is also open to learning from other fields, such as cancer biology and genetics.

Jim (James) Conley
Program: Ph.D. Biomolecular Pharmacology
Advisor: Karen Allen, Ph.D., Professor of Chemistry
Research Summary: Jim is interested in studying the molecular mechanisms of gene expression and pathogenesis in cancer to develop innovative therapeutics for the disease.

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Justin English
Program: Ph.D. Biomolecular Pharmacology
Advisor: Valentina Perissi, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Molecular Pathology
Research Summary: Justin is interested in the pathogenesis of cancer development, as well as discovering novel therapeutic methods for the treatment of the disease.

Emily Fisher
Program: Ph.D. Biomolecular Pharmacology
Advisor: Maria Kukuruzinska, Ph.D., Professor and Chair of Translational Dental Medicine
Research Summary: Emily researches HPV negative oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC). In this model of OSCC, an increased association of B-catenin with CBP in the nucleus promotes epigenetic changes that lead to cancer stemness and aggression. Specifically, Emily wants to elucidate how age-related changes to the tumor microenvironment contribute to this transcriptional regulation.

Jennifer Freire
Program: Ph.D. Biomolecular Pharmacology
Advisor: Xu Han, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering
Research Summary: Jennifer is interested in understanding the mechanisms of pathology in neurodegenerative diseases.

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Christina Gallo
Program: Ph.D. Biomolecular Pharmacology
Advisor: Angela Ho, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Biology
Research Summary: Christina is interested in understanding the mechanisms of cellular dysregulation in neurodegenerative diseases and their role in pathology.

IMG_6190Jonique George
Program: Ph.D. Biomolecular Pharmacology
Advisor: Shelley J. Russek, Ph.D., Professor of Pharmacology and Biology.
Research Summary: Jonique is seeking to understand the pathology of Alzheimer using the rat as a model system.

Stanley Goldstein
Program: Ph.D. Biomolecular Pharmacology
Advisor: Andrew Emili (primary), Ph.D., Professor of Biology and Biochemistry; Camron Bryant (co-advisor), Ph.D., Associate Professor of Pharmacology and Psychiatry
Research Summary: Stanley is developing a high-throughput chemoproteomic platform to infer small molecule-protein interactions; he hopes to use it to discover leads against “undruggable” targets, predict off-target effects, and repurpose drugs.

Xuan (Anita) He
Program: Ph.D. Biomolecular Pharmacology
Advisor: Shannon Fisher, M.D./Ph.D., Associate Professor of Pharmacology
Research Summary: Anita is interested in understanding the molecular biology underlying metabolic diseases, particularly diabetes, as well as cancer diseases, and using that knowledge toward drug discovery and development.

Kate Henry
Program: Ph.D. Biomolecular Pharmacology/ Biogen
Advisor:
Linda Burkly, Ph.D., Sr. Distinguished Investigator, Biogen Idec
Research Summary: The research focus will be on determining the effects of dysregulated type I IFN signaling in the CNS, as well as determining the validity of type I IFN signaling as a therapeutic target in neurodegenerative diseases.

Shawn Herron
Program: Ph.D. Biomolecular Pharmacology
Advisor: Tsuneya Ikezu, M.D./Ph.D., Professor of Pharmacology and Neurology
Research Summary: Shawn is interested in studying the neuroimmune cell-mediated regulations of neuronal function as a novel area for developing disease therapeutics.

Lee Huang
Program: Ph.D. Biomolecular Pharmacology
Advisor: David H. Farb, Ph.D., Professor and Chair of Pharmacology
Research Summary: Lee is interested in elucidating mechanisms underlying disease and identifying targets for the development of novel therapeutic treatments.

Daniel Kashy
Program: Ph.D. Biomolecular Pharmacology
Advisor: David H. Farb, Ph.D., Professor and Chair of Pharmacology
Research Summary: Daniel is interested in understanding disease mechanisms of immune evasion and suppression, as well as translational medicine and the development of therapeutic strategies for currently poor prognosis diseases.

Joshua Keegan
Program: Ph.D. Biomolecular Pharmacology
Advisor: David H. Farb, Ph.D., Professor and Chair of Pharmacology
Research Summary: Josh is interested in investigating the interface of pharmacology and immune disorders.

 


Chinyere Kemet
Program: Ph.D. Biomolecular Pharmacology
Advisor: Hui Feng, M.D./Ph.D., Associate Professor of Pharmacology and Medicine
Research Summary: Chinyere’s research utilizes both a zebrafish and in vitro model to elucidate the underlying mechanisms of leukemia’s exploitation of cell processes. She hopes to use these mechanisms, and high throughput drug screenings, to discover new and more targeted chemotherapy.

Sabrina Kistler
Program: Ph.D. in Biomolecular Pharmacology
Advisor: David H. Farb, Ph.D., Professor and Chair of Pharmacology
Research Interests: Sabrina’s research interests are in neuropharmacology/neurobiology.

 

Vicki Li
Program: Ph.D. Biomolecular Pharmacology
Advisor: David H. Farb, Ph.D., Professor and Chair of Pharmacology
Research Summary: Vicki is interested in addiction and neurodegenerative diseases.

 

Jenna Libera
Advisor: Benjamin Wolozin, M.D./Ph.D., Professor of Pharmacology and Neurology
Research Interests:
Jenna is investigating how changes in the epitranscriptome affect the progression of Alzheimer’s Disease. She is developing a high-throughput CRISPR screen to identify RNA modifications that modulate cellular stress responses in neurodegeneration.

Pablo Llevenes
Program:
Ph.D. Biomolecular Pharmacology
Advisor:
Gerald Denis, Ph.D., Professor of Medicine
Research Summary:
Use of mice as triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) model to study the effect of high-fat diet on TNBC aggressiveness and its underlying mechanisms, including the role of exosome-induced tumor progression.

Jane Lock
Program:
Ph.D. Biomolecular Pharmacology
Advisor:
Rachel Flynn, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Pharmacology and Medicine
Research Summary:
Jane’s research seeks to understand the regulators of the alternative telomere lengthening pathways.

Jac Lorenzo
Program: Ph.D. Biomolecular Pharmacology
Advisor: Aaron Beeler, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Chemistry and Pharmacology
Research Summary: Jac is interested in combining Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacology for the discovery and development of drugs and characterization of mechanisms of diseases at a molecular level.

Kelly Miao
Program: Ph.D. Biomolecular Pharmacology
Advisor: Shannon Fisher, M.D./Ph.D., Associate Professor of Pharmacology
Research Summary: Kelly is interested in the role of the immune system in neurodegenerative disease and therapeutic interventions targeting neuroimmune interactions.

Michelle Nguyen
Program:
Ph.D. Biomolecular Pharmacology
Advisor:
John H. Connor, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Microbiology
Research Summary:
Michelle investigates endothelial cell activation and dysfunction in response to virus infection. Her work expands on microphysiological systems and 3D-engineered tissues to study virus-induced pathogenesis and inform therapeutic intervention.

Lucy Peterson
Program: Ph.D. Program in Biomolecular Pharmacology
Advisor: Hengye Man, Ph.D., Professor of Biology
Research Summary: Lucy studies the role of AMPA receptor DNA and RNA modifications on synaptic plasticity during learning and memory formation.

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Ryan Quinton
Program: M.D./Ph.D. Biomolecular Pharmacology
Advisor: Neil J. Ganem, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Pharmacology and Medicine
Research Summary: Ryan is interested in understanding how the Hippo pathway is involved in tumorigenesis.

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Matthew Reiss
Program: Ph.D. Biomolecular Pharmacology
Advisor: Rachel Flynn, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Pharmacology and Medicine, Section of Hematology and Medical Oncology
Research Summary: Matt’s research focuses on gaining a deeper understanding of how telomeres work to maintain the ends of chromosomes and how defects in these mechanisms contribute to the progression of cancer. The hope is that mechanistic insight for these processes will help to define new therapeutic targets and/or strategies in the treatment of human disease.

Christine Sanganoo
Program: Ph.D. Biomolecular Pharmacology
Advisor: David H. Farb, Ph.D., Professor and Chair of Pharmacology
Research Summary: Christine is interested in molecular pathways in cancer develeopment.

Kristen Segars
Program: M.D./Ph.D. Graduate Program for Neuroscience
Advisor: Vickery Trinkaus-Randall, Ph.D., Professor of Ophthalmology
Research Summary: Kristen’s research is to identify the mechanisms of corneal wound healing at the level of cell signaling in healthy systems, and to understand how these mechanisms go wrong in diabetes. Her approaches involve a combination of wet lab techniques, confocal microscopy, and machine learning analysis to assess the role of the purinergic receptor P2X7 in the wound healing response.

Jack Sherman
Program: Ph.D. Biomolecular Pharmacology
Advisor: Xue Han, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering
Research Summary: Jack is focused on researching the cellular mechanisms involved in neurodegenerative diseases to help guide the development of therapeutic agents.

Roxanne Siuda
Program: Ph.D. in Biomolecular Pharmacology
Advisor: David H. Farb, Ph.D. Professor and Chair of Pharmacology
Research Summary: Roxanne is interested in drug discovery and neuropharmacology.

 

Nicholas Sterge
Program: Ph.D. in Biomolecular Pharmacology
Advisor: David H. Farb, Ph.D. Professor and Chair of Pharmacology
Research Summary: Nick’s research interests are neuropharmacology and cancer biology.

Ana Vitantonio
Program: Ph.D. Biomolecular Pharmacology
Advisor: Douglas Rosene, Ph.D., Professor of Anatomy and Neurobiology
Research Summary: Ana is interested in investigating oxidative damage, neuroinflammation, and gene expression changes in the aging brain. I am particularly interested in long term calorie restriction and investigating it’s possible neuroprotective role against inflammation and cognitive decline.

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Marc Vittoria
Program: M.D./Ph.D. Biomolecular Pharmacology
Advisor: Neil Ganem, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Pharmacology and Medicine
Research Summary: Marc’s research involves assessing possible novel regulators of the Hippo pathway while also exploring new research ideas.

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Chelsea Webber
Program: Ph.D. Biomolecular Pharmacology
Advisor: Benjamin Wolozin, M.D./Ph.D., Professor of Pharmacology and Neurology
Research Summary: Chelsea‘s research focus involves researching therapeutic targets, identifying novel biomarkers, and developing genetic therapies for neurological diseases.

Kelly Wingfield
Program:
Ph.D. Program in Biomolecular Pharmacology
Advisor:
Camron Bryant, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Pharmacology and Psychiatry
Research Summary: Kelly is interested in exploring neuropsychiatric disorders and aims to contribute to the development of novel treatments.

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Gregory Wirak
Program: Ph.D. Neuroscience/Biomolecular Pharmacology
Advisor: Chris Gabel, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Physiology and Biophysics
Research Summary: Greg’s research focuses on the C. elegans nervous system. In this context, he hopes to utilize optical techniques to expand his understanding of the molecular and cellular processes underlying nervous system function, dysfunction, and regeneration.

Melvin Zhang
Program:
Ph.D. Biomolecular Pharmacology/Pfizer
Advisor: Marion Kasaian, Ph.D., Head of Epithelial Biology, Pfizer
Research Summary: Melvin’s research is focused on regulation of the inflammatory cytokine IL-33.