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Our Students

MS I

Johnson-DaKuawn

Johnson, Da’Kuawn
da’kuawn.johnson@som.umaryland.edu
Alma mater:  University of Maryland, Baltimore County
1st year in the MSTP
Research Interests: Metabolic disorders such as diabetes and the role that the microbiome could be playing within the disease.

MS II

Kanyuch-Nickole

Kanyuch, Nickole
nickole.kanyuch@som.umaryland.edu
Alma mater: University of Pennsylvania
2nd year in the MSTP
Research Interests: Underlying developmental and biological bases of schizophrenia and the potential roles for neuroinflammation in psychiatric disorders.

Moiz-Bilal

Moiz, Bilal
bilal.moiz@som.umaryland.edu
Alma mater: University of Rochester
2nd year in the MSTP
Research Interests: Drug delivery, biomaterials, physiological barriers, neurodegenerative disease.

Ning-Frankin

Ning, Franklin
franklin.ning@som.umaryland.edu
Alma mater: University of Maryland, College Park
2nd year in the MSTP
Research Interests: Metastasis, drug resistance.

Tebben-Kieran

Tebben, Kieran
kieran.tebben@som.umaryland.edu
Alma Mater: Ohio State University
2nd year in the MSTP
Research Interests: Genomic epidemiology

Vik-Alexandra

Vlk, Alexandra
Alexandra.vlk@som.umaryland.edu
Alma mater: Towson University
2nd year in the MSTP
Research Interests: Immunology and infectious diseases, and developing novel mechanisms to prevent or treat infection.

Yasin-Saif

Yasin, Saif
saif.yasin@som.umaryland.edu
Alma mater: Drew University
2nd year in the MSTP
Research Interests: Protein dynamics, molecular structures and enzyme kinetics, chemical biology and biophysical methods to assist with biochemical conclusions.

GS I

Born-Louis

Born, Louis
louis.born@som.umaryland.edu
PI: Steven M. Jay, PhD
Alma mater: University of Maryland-College Park
Research Interests: Gene therapy, extracellular vesicles (EVs) derived from mesenchymal stem cells have been shown to improve wound healing, especially via enhanced wound angiogenesis, but low potency and rapid clearance from the body limit their clinical relevancy. The goal of my research is to better understand the role of EV-associated pro-angiogenic lncRNAs in the wound healing process and evaluate the potential for sustained release of EVs as a therapy for patients suffering from non-healing wounds.

Kambouris

Kambouris, Adrienne
adrienne.kambouris@som.umaryland.edu
Alma mater: Georgia Regents University
PI: Patrik Bavoil, PhD
Research Interests: Microbial pathogenesis and virulence factors, determining the relationship between cholesterol, inclusion size and configuration, and Chlamydial infections.

Mathias, Trevor

Mathias, Trevor
trevor.mathias@som.umaryland.edu
Alma mater: University of Maryland Baltimore County
2nd Year in MSTP
Research Interests: Cancer Biology, Breast Cancer, Cancer Genomics.

Sikorski-Michael

Sikorski, Michael
michael.sikorski@som.umaryland.edu
Alma mater: University of Maryland, College Park
PI: Myron Levine, MD, DTPH
Research Interests: Microbiology, enteric infections, global public health, tropical diseases, molecular epidemiology, biomaterials, and point-of-care diagnostics/screening.

Uddin-Olivia

Uddin, Olivia
olivia.uddin@som.umaryland.edu
Alma mater: Haverford College
PI: Asaf Keller, PhD
Research Interests: Studying the connections between pain and addiction.

Wolf-Gideon

Wolf, Gideon
Alma mater: Columbia University
Research Interests: Immunology and virology.

GS II

Casella-Alex

Casella, Alex
Email: alex.casella@som.umaryland.edu
Alma mater: University of Pennsylvania
PI: Seth Ament, PhD
Graduate Program: Molecular Medicine
Research Interests: The regulatory networks underlying psychiatric disease using genomic and epi-genomic approaches.

Coburn-Katherine

Coburn, Katherine
Email: katherine.coburn@som.umaryland.edu
Alma mater: Grand Valley State University
PI: David Weber, PhD
Graduate Program: Biochemistry
Research Interests: Cancer biology.

Guardia, Talia
talia.guardia@som.umaryland.edu
Alma mater: Barry University
PI: Katia Kontrogianni-Konstantopoulos, PhD
Graduate Program: Molecular Medicine
Research Interests: Cancer research and the mechanisms involved in the various hallmarks of cancer, cancer immunology, metastatic processes, cancer stem cells, and therapeutic resistance.

Khan-Niaz

Khan, Niaz Zafar
Email: niaz.khan@som.umaryland.edu
Alma mater: University of Pittsburgh
PI: Alan Faden, MD
Graduate Program: Neuroscience
Research Interests: Cell-to-cell communication through the transfer of extracellular vesicles (EVs) is a rapidly expanding area of research with broad relevance and impact, the role of EV release in inflammation after injury to the central nervous system and how this process may be modulated therapeutically.

Makarevich

Makarevich, Oleg
Email: oleg.makarevich@som.umaryland.edu
Alma mater: University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC)
PI: Bogdan Stoica, PhD
Graduate Program: Molecular Medicine
Research Interests: Neurodegeneration, regenerative medicine.

Rao-Vishnu

Rao, Vishnu-Prak
Email: vishnu-prak.rao@som.umaryland.edu
Alma mater: University of Southern California (USC)
PI: Mark Rizzo, PhD
Graduate Program: Molecular Medicine
Research Interests: Islet oscillatory activity  regulation and it’s interplay with glucokinase, the body's glucose sensing enzyme.

Tibbs-Ellis

Tibbs, Ellis
Email: ellis.tibbs@som.umaryland.edu
Alma mater: University of Missouri-Columbia
Graduate Program: Microbiology & Immunology
Research Interests: Developmental biology, stem cells and immunology.

Yu-Justine

Yu, Justine
Email: jyu@som.umaryland.edu
Alma mater: Johns Hopkins University
PI:  John Fisher, PhD (University of Maryland-College Park /UMCP)
Graduate Program: Bioengineering (UMCP)
Research Interests: Tissue engineering and regenerative medicine.

GS III

arai-allison

Arai, Allison
Email: allison.arai@som.umaryland.edu
Alma mater: University of Maryland-College Park
PI: Dudley Strickland, PhD
Graduate Program: Neuroscience
Research Interests: LRP1 and other LDLR receptor family members, vessel homeostasis, aneurysms, Alzheimer's disease, neuroscience.

aronson-sarah

Aronson-Fischell, Sarah
Email: sarah.a.fischell@som.umaryland.edu
Alma mater: Dartmouth College
PI: Elliot Stein, PhD (NIDA) & Asaf Keller, PhD (UMB)
Graduate Program: Neuroscience
Research Interests: Psychiatry, Child Development, Cognitive Neuroscience, Drug Addiction, Neuroimaging, Clinical Research, Neuromodulation through the NIH MD/PhD Partnership Training program, a joint venture between NIDA and the University of Maryland’s MSTP.

brao-kristen

Brao, Kristen
Email: kristen.brao@som.umaryland.edu
Alma mater: Yale University
PI: Robert Ernst, PhD
Graduate Program: Microbiology & Immunology
Research Interests: Interactions of Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa in the setting of cystic fibrosis, infectious diseases, microbial pathogenesis and biofilms.

cole-anthony

Cole, Anthony
Email: anthony.cole@som.umaryland.edu
Alma mater: University of Central Florida
PI: Scott Thompson, PhD
Graduate Program: Neuroscience
Research Interests: Rapid actions of stress hormones in specific brain regions including the hippocampus to better understand the etiology of stress disorders and depression.

doran-sarah

Doran, Sarah
Email: sarah.doran@som.umaryland.edu
Alma mater: University of Connecticut
PI: David Loane, PhD
Graduate Program: Microbiology & Immunology
Research Interest: Sex differences in the immune changes in the brain and in the lung after traumatic brain injury, therapeutics to prevent pneumonia following brain injury.

klontz-erik

Klontz, Erik
Email: erik.klontz@som.umaryland.edu
Alma mater: Carleton College
PI: Eric Sundberg, PhD
Graduate Program: Microbiology & Immunology
Research Interests: Mechanisms of enzymes involved in infectious diseases, and understanding how they can be manipulated to cure disease.

lasola-jackine-joy

Lasola, Jackline Joy
Email: jacklinejoy.lasola@som.umaryland.edu
Alma mater: University of California-Berkeley and Johns Hopkins School of Public Health
PI: Eduardo Davila, PhD
Graduate Program: Microbiology & Immunology
Research Interests: Innate immune signaling pathways, inflammation, immunomodulation, immunotherapy.

lee-michael

Lee, Michael
Email: michael.lee@som.umaryland.edu
Alma mater: Washington University at St. Louis
PI: Tonya Webb, PhD
Graduate Program: Microbiology & Immunology
Research Interests: Bio-engineering and immunology, bio-material based approaches to immunological diseases. 

rosenberg-kenneth

Rosenberg, Kenneth
Email: kenneth.rosenberg@som.umaryland.edu
Alma mater: University of Maryland-College Park
PI: Nevil Singh, PhD
Graduate Program: Microbiology & Immunology
Research Interests: The adaptive immune system generates cells that recognize virtually any biological structure yet selectively responds only to harmful pathogens. I find how the body tackles this massive regulatory imperative fascinating, especially considering its breakdown results in autoimmunity, how T cells make decisions. They must decide what to respond to and how best to respond, as well as remember those decisions in case we come across the same bug again.

zhou-albert

Zhou, Albert
Email: albert.zhou@som.umaryland.edu
Alma Mater: University of Maryland Baltimore County
PI: Mark Travassos, MD, MSc
Graduate Program: Epidemiology and Human Genetics
Research Interests: Epidemiology, Genomics, Personalized Medicine, small proteins called RIFINs that are expressed on the surface of infected erythrocytes play a role in severe malaria pathogenesis, particularly for different blood types, and become targets in naturally-acquired immunity.

GSIV

hesselgrave-natalie

Hesselgrave, Natalie
Email: natalie.hesselgrave@som.umaryland.edu
Alma Mater: Cornell University and Columbia University
PI:  Scott Thompson, PhD
Graduate Program: Neuroscience
My research interests are focused on understanding of depression and antidepressant treatment. Currently I’m using electrophysiological techniques to elucidate the effects of fast acting antidepressants on the brain. My hope is that this will help us develop better treatments for depression, ones which may target specific deficits seen in the disorder. In the future, I’d like to work on identifying biomarkers that may be used to explain the etiology of depression and predict treatment response.

MS III

Ahye, Molly
Email: molly.hritzo@som.umaryland.edu
PI: Amit Golding, MD, PhD
Research Interests: The mechanisms of tolerance in the human immune system and their breakdown in autoimmunity, how small proteins called RIFINs that are expressed on the surface of infected erythrocytes play a role in severe malaria pathogenesis, particularly for different blood types, and become targets in naturally-acquired immunity.

brown-joshua

Brown, Joshua
Email: joshua.brown@som.umaryland.edu
Alma mater: University of West Florida
PI: Michael Summers, PhD
Graduate Program: Biochemistry
Research Interests: Neuroradiology and Interventional MRI, HIV structural siology using nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy.

divakaruni-saisachin

Divakaruni, Sai Sachin
Email: saisachin.divakaruni@som.umaryland.edu
Alma mater: University of Maryland Baltimore County
PI: Thomas Blanpied, PhD
Graduate Program: Neuroscience
Research Interests: Cellular and molecular mechanisms in neurons and synapses that underlie information processing, storage, and recall, physiological bases of behavior.

roberts-nathan

Roberts, Nathan
Email: nathan.roberts@som.umaryland.edu
Alma mater: University of Alabama-Tuscaloosa
PI: Graeme Woodworth, MD
Graduate Program: Molecular Medicine
Research Interests: Nano-medicine, Neuro-Oncology, nanoparticle formulations to enhance the therapeutic effects of oxaliplatin for the treatment of glioblastoma.

MS IV

bradford-l-latey

Bradford, Latey
Email: l.lateybradford@som.umaryland.edu
Alma mater: University of Maryland Baltimore County
PI: Jacques Ravel, PhD
Graduate Program: Microbiology & Immunology
Research Interests: Temporal dynamics within bacterial and fungal communities of the vaginal microbiota in reproductive-age women who develop vaginal yeast infection, the relationship between compositional shifts, development of yeast infection and behavioral risk factors.

ma-elise

Ma, Elise
Email: elise.ma@som.umaryland.edu
Alma mater: UCLA
PI: Alan Faden, MD and Terez Shea-Donohue, PhD
Graduate Program: Neuroscience
Research Interests: Traumatic brain injury, gastrointestinal physiology, enteric nervous system, glial cells.

simpson-haley

Simpson, Haley
Email: haley.simpson@som.umaryland.edu
Alma mater: University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
PI: Arnob Banerjee, MD, PhD
Graduate Program: Molecular Medicine
Research Interests: Cancer biology; immunotherapy; hematology/oncology.

stockman-sara

Stockman, Sara
Email: sara.stockman@som.umaryland.edu
Alma mater: University of Maryland Baltimore County
PI: Margaret McCarthy, PhD
Graduate Program: Neuroscience
Research Interests: Sexual differentiation of the brain, role of epigenetics in sexually differentiated neonatal hippocampal cell genesis.

stokum-jesse

Stokum, Jesse
Email: jesse.stokum@som.umaryland.edu
Alma mater: University of West Virginia and Carnegie Mellon University
PI: J. Marc Simard, MD, PhD
Graduate Program: Neuroscience
Research Interests: Cerebral edema, ion channels, water channels, reactive astrogliosis, astrocyte swelling, glial scar formation, astrocyte migration.

tsai-alexander

Tsai, Alexander
Email: alexander.tsai@som.umaryland.edu
Alma mater: University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
PI: Eduardo Davila, PhD
Graduate Program in Molecular Medicine
Research Interests: The development of T-cell based cancer immunotherapies. My thesis project involves developing therapeutic regimens for the immunosensitization of melanoma through downregulation of immunosuppressive cell surface ligands (i.e. PD-L1), decreasing immunosuppressive cytokine secretion, and increasing immunogenic molecules (i.e. MHC-I).