Graduate Student Profiles

MCB Student Representatives

First Years

Asan Abdulkareem

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Asan Abdulkareem

I was born and raised in the Kurdistan region of Iraq. I have bachelor's degree in biology and master's degree in medical microbiology. Although I have been working as a junior faculty for a while now, I will always consider myself a student of science. I am interested in investigating the molecular basis of host-pathogen interaction and microbial genetics. Outside of science, I am interested in painting and writing. For fun, I cook, read, and I like being out in nature.

Mac Pholo Aguiree Huamani

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Mac Pholo Aguiree Huamani

I was born in Tingo Maria (Peru) which is a city surrounded by mountains with the appearance of the sleeping beauty. I received my bachelor degree in Genetics and Biotechnology from Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos (Peru) in 2017. Then, I did my master ́s studies (master program in Biology) at Heinrich Heine Universitat Dusseldorf (Germany) in 2020-2022. My research interests are a mixture of cell biology and microbiology. I am really excited of how pathogens manipulate their host. It is fascinating how pathogens can hijack organelles, cytoskeleton, or other structures of the host cell. Outside of the laboratory, I love volunteering in groups related to science and technology, mentoring and climate change. In addition, I am interested in learning more musical instruments. In my free time, I play bass and drums, and sometimes some videogames.

Eric Alpert

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Eric Alpert

I was born and raised on the north shore of Massachusetts and earned my BS from the College of William and Mary in Virginia. After a few years working in aquaculture and at Mass General Hospital, I hope to study how disruption in early developmental processes can give rise to chronic illnesses. When not working with fish, I like reading old fantasy novels, playing Dungeons and Dragons, and talking about the benefits of stainless steel pans. 

Ana Altamirano

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Ana Altamirano

Ana was born and raised in Mexico City. Science was always her favorite topic so she decided to study Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University at Albany. She finds enjoyment in listening to various types of music, learning about astronomy, making art, and cooking. Ana is always ready to explore new cities and go on hikes. She hopes to do research in topics related to the microbiome or microbial ecology, and hopefully incorporate microscopy into her research.

Keren O. Attiku

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Keren O. Attiku

Keren is a native of Ghana, a country located in the Western region of Africa. She received her Bachelor's in molecular biology and biotechnology from the University of Cape Coast, after which she worked as a research assistant in the Virology Department of Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, working on different viruses such as Influenza, Hepatitis B, HIV, and Poliovirus. she went on to receive a master's degree in Molecular cell biology of infectious diseases in 2019 from the University of Ghana, combining school with work and motherhood. Her interests are in host-pathogen interaction and the pathogenesis of viruses. Out of the lab, I love to watch movies, read science fiction, bake, take walks and enjoy nature.

Paige Blinkiewicz

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Paige Blinkiewicz

I received my Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry with a minor in Latin from Western Michigan University. I then went on to receive my Master of Science in Biological Science from Western Michigan University, where I studied the effect of Gata3 elimination in inner ear hair cells in a mouse model. I am very excited to join the MCB program at Dartmouth to expand my knowledge base in cancer biology, cell biology, and biochemistry. In my free time, I enjoy crossfit, walking my dog, Stella, and trying different kinds of food.

Kate Carango

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Kate Carango

Kate graduated from Susquehanna University with a BS in Biology and an honors program minor. As an undergraduate, her research was focused on developmental and cancer biology – working with sea urchin embryos and cancer cells to determine cell viability properties of compounds synthesized from a cannabis derivative. In the Dartmouth MCB program, she aims to pursue research in similar areas of biology. Outside of the lab, her interests include reading, baking, rooting for the Steelers, hiking and embroidery (a newly developed quarantine hobby!). A fun fact about Kate is that she trekked to Mount Everest base camp during her study abroad trip to Nepal. 

Tiffany Chen

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Tiffany Chen

Tiffany received her BA in Molecular Biology from Princeton University in 2020. During her time there, she spent time in the Wang Lab working on mouse models of autism. Since then she has been a research technician at UCSF in the Okada Lab studying immunotherapies for glioblastoma. She is interested in further exploring the interface between immunology and brain pathology. Outside the lab, Tiffany enjoys dog-spotting (in the hopes of one day having one of her own), baking, trying new foods, taekwondo, and drawing.

Clarrisa Dabi

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Clarrisa Dabi

I received a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a Master of Science in Infectious Disease and Global Health from Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University. I am interested in how the human body recognizes pathogens and the mechanisms the immune system uses to clear infectious invaders. I am interested in microbiology and immunology and look forward to merging these exciting disciplines in my research training at Dartmouth! Outside of lab work, I enjoy cooking, tasting new food, and watching comedy shows.

Julianna Donohoe

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Julianna Donohoe

Born and raised in Oregon, Julianna graduated from Oregon State University with a BS in microbiology and a minor in chemistry in 2019. Since then she has been working as a research assistant in an orthopedics lab at Oregon Health and Science University. Julianna is interested in immunology and microbiology, specifically infectious diseases and host-pathogen interactions. She would love to work in an interdisciplinary lab that bridges both the immunology and microbiology side of infectious diseases as she is fascinated by the interplay between the immune system and invading pathogens. In her free time, Julianna loves to go hiking with her dog, read, bake, and is looking forward to getting back into skiing this winter.

Katherine Doss

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Katherine Doss

Katherine received her Bachelor of Science in biology with a minor in chemistry from Stetson University. Her undergraduate work focused on cell fusion in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and related fungi. At Dartmouth, she is excited to continue unraveling the inner-workings of other cellular processes. Because her research interests are relatively broad, she looks forward to exploring all that the MCB program has to offer. Outside of academics and mothering her cat, she enjoys hiking, kayaking, and playing soccer - or just anything that gets her outdoors! 

Danielle Douglas

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Danielle Douglas

Danielle received her Bachelor of Science in biology from Northeastern University. On-campus, she was a member of the Monaghan Lab which studied regeneration in axolotl salamanders. Danielle also completed three co-ops in which she worked full-time in industry roles. Her work centered around different aspects of immunology and immuno-oncology, areas of research she hopes to study within her PhD. Danielle is a pretty good painter, but an even better baker. Ask her if she's ever made your favorite dessert! She's looking for friends to help her level up her skiing ability and hit the slopes with.

Selected Publications:

Kennedy, E.M., Denslow, A., Hewett, J. et al. Development of intravenously administered synthetic RNA virus immunotherapy for the treatment of cancer. Nat Commun 13, 5907 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-022-33599-w

Emily-Claire Duffy

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Emily-Claire Duffy

Emily-Claire received her Bachelor of Science from Bates College in 2022, where she majored in biology and minored in chemistry and philosophy. While at Bates she worked as a research assistant in a microbiology lab researching the role of a specific viroporin protein in Rotavirus infections. As a first year in the MCB program, Emily hopes to explore the roles of both genetics and environment in metastasis formation. She is also interested in investigating the innate immune response to the presence of cancer cells. In her free time, she loves to run, ski, watch hockey, and bake random recipes that she finds online.

Carson Finger

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Carson Finger

I was born and raised in Houston, Texas. I was able to explore nature and have always loved learning about the world around me. My scientific research started during senior year of high school at an internship in a mechanical engineering lab making prosthetics, I received a bachelor's degree in Biology and Spanish from Emory University. I have worked in an environmental engineering lab, a biochemistry lab, and a neurology lab. Starting the Dartmouth's MCB program, I am open to many different research focuses but want to understand more about cellular functions. I am fascinated by microbe-microbe interactions, microbe-host interactions, and cellular metabolism. In my free time I love outdoor activities like hiking, fishing, skiing, and gardening. I love story telling and learning about other perspectives and ideas.

Himanshu Ballav Goswami

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Himanshu Ballav Goswami

Himanshu was born and brought up in Assam, a picturesque state in northeastern India. His early scientific curiosity as a kid gradually transformed into an interest in understanding why and how biological molecular machines go haywire during diseases. He received his BS degree in Biotechnology from Manipal Academy of Higher Education in 2018 and his MS degree in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology from Tezpur University, India in 2020. The areas of microbiology, immunology, and cell biology appeal to him. In his undergrad, he studied the interaction of bacterial virulence factors with human neutrophils in the context of wound healing and diabetes. Moreover, he studied the expression of the non-canonical estrogen receptor repertoire in ER-negative breast cancer while working as a research assistant at the Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati. In addition to academic research, he has worked in a corporate role in scientific publishing for two years where he assisted researchers, doctors, and primarily non-English-speaking researchers get published. He is thrilled to be a part of the MCB community at Dartmouth and hopes to relish the best of what the Upper Valley has to offer in terms of outdoor activities. He loves biking, exploring quaint towns, and trying new cuisines.

Selected Publications:

Devi YD, Goswami HB, Konwar S, Doley C, Dolley A, Devi A, Chongtham C, Dowerah D, Biswa V, Jamir L, Kumar A, Satapathy SS, Ray SK, Deka RC, Doley R, Mandal M, Das S, Singh CS, Borah PP, Nath P, Namsa ND. Immunoinformatics mapping of potential epitopes in SARS-CoV-2 structural proteins. PLoS One. 2021 Nov 15;16(11):e0258645. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0258645. PMID: 34780495; PMCID: PMC8592446

Lesle Jimenez

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Leslie Jimenez

Lesle received a BA degree from Cornell University and an MS degree from Georgetown University. True to her Floridian roots, she loves the beach but definitely enjoys the cold winters. Previous research focused on studying the underlying biological mechanism behind laser-induced improvements of hypertrophic scars.  She is interested in exploring disease states and understanding the molecular/cellular mechanisms that lead to dysregulation. Outside the lab, Lesle enjoys painting/drawing, reading, and bicycling.

Elizabeth "Bess" Jones

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Elizabeth "Bess" Jones

I received my Bachelors of Science in Biology in May 2022 from The College of New Jersey. I also had minors in Chemistry and Deaf Studies. I am interested in gene expression and the regulation of different cellular mechanisms and I am very excited to join MCB! In my free time I love to listen to music (I was a radio DJ and the station manager for TCNJ's radio station), hike, cook, bake, and crochet.

Barbara Karakyriakou

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Barbara Karakyriakou

Barbara Karakyriakou graduated cum laude from Harvard University with a Bachelor of Liberal Arts in the field of Biology and minors in Mathematics and Computer Science. For two academic years, Barbara held special student status in the department of Biostatistics at Harvard where she pursued graduate studies. Following her graduation from Harvard, Barbara joined the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center as a research associate specializing in epigenetics. During this time, she studied the role of the chromatin regulators CBP/p300 in multiple myeloma and prostate cancer, and she developed a strong interest in the epigenetic multiprotein complexes SWI/SNF and PRC2 which have been associated with tumor progression in several types of human cancers.  When not in the lab, Barbara enjoys going to the movies, theater, modern art museums, and car racing events. She also likes cooking, especially traditional Greek dishes using recipes from her paternal grandmother, who she was named after.

Selected Publications:

Targeted degradation of the enhancer lysine acetyltransferases CBP and p300
Raghu Vannam, Jan Sayilgan, Samuel Ojeda, Barbara Karakyriakou, Eileen Hu, Johannes Kreuzer, Robert Morris, Xcanda Ixchel Herrera Lopez, Sumit Rai, Wilhelm Haas, Michael Lawrence, Christopher J Ott, Publication date 2021/4/15, Cell Chemical Biology, Volume 28, Issue 4, Pages 503-514. e12, Cell Press https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chembiol.2020.12.004,
Total citations 40

Collateral lethality between HDAC1 and HDAC2 exploits cancer-specific NuRD complex vulnerabilities, Yuxiang Zhang, David Remillard, Ugoma Onubogu, Barbara Karakyriakou, Joshua N Asiaban, Anissa R Ramos, Kirsten Bowland, Timothy R Bishop, Christopher J Ott, Michalina Janiszewska, Benjamin F Cravatt, Michael A Erb, Publication date 2022/1/1, bioRxiv, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, https://doi.org/10.1101/2022.05.30.493851, Total citations 1

Targeted degradation of the enhancer lysine acetyltransferases CBP and p300, Samuel Ojeda, Raghu Vannam, Jan Sayilgan, Barbara Karakyriakou, Eileen Hu, Johannes Kreuzer, Robert Morris, Xcanda Ixchel Herrera Lopez, Sumit Rai, Wilhelm Haas, Michael Lawrence, Christopher J Ott, Publication date 2021/7/1, Journal Cancer Research, Volume 81, Issue 13_Supplement, Pages 1146-1146, Publisher The American Association for Cancer Research, https://doi.org/10.1158/1538-7445.AM2021-1146

Francois Lesage

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Francois Lesage

Francois is a first year MCB student, moving to Hanover from New York City. They are fiercely passionate about science and research, especially in the realm of T-cell Biology. Francois recently returned from a year abroad where they traveled Europe while mastering French in order to facilitate more collaboration in research and innovation. Francois hopes to make science readily accessible to and understandable for, the general public because science concerns us all.

Andrew McCray

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Andrew McCray

Andrew grew up in Seattle, Washington where he cultivated a love for the sciences from an early age. Andrew graduated from Colby College in 2020 with a major in Biochemistry. Prior research was focused on the effects of organic content in atmospheric aerosol chemistry. Andrew's interest in epigenetics brought him to the Wang lab in June 2020 where his work has focused on characterizing functional differences in SWI/SNF subcomplexes, the consequences of SWI/SNF subunit mutations in disease. Andrew's other interests include soccer, skiing, and generally enjoying the outdoors. 

Abigail McGee

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Abigail McGee

Abigail received a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry with a minor in interdisciplinary studies at Ithaca College. She has 4 years of experience in a protein lab where she studied the biophysical properties of intrinsically disordered proteins. She also spent 1 year in a microbiology lab at Cornell University studying the mechanism of beta-lactam antibiotics on gram-negative pathogens. Abigail is broadly interested in pursuing microbiology and immunology through the MCB program. As an equestrian, she spends most of her free time at the stables riding horses and caring for them. She also enjoys swimming, hiking and dabbling in photography.

Neeti Mittal

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Neeti Mittal

Neeti hails from India originally, and has been living in Boston since a decade. Her fascination for understanding disease mechanisms led her to study biology and graduate with a BS/MS Dual Degree in Biotechnology from Jaypee Institute of Information Technology, India and a MS in Regulatory Sciences from Northeastern University, Boston. 

Before enrolling as a doctoral candidate at Dartmouth, Neeti has worked in industry and academia for six years in preclinical cancer research, studying different cancer models and ways to target aberrant signaling pathways using different therapeutic modalities. For her doctoral studies, Neeti is excited to do research at the intersection of cancer biology and immunology, where she can apply her experiential training to understand the intricacies of tumor and immune microenvironment in depth. Neeti loves to read mythologies and historical fiction, running/biking on trails and exploring places. She is looking forward to her time in the upper valley region!

Robert Montoya

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Robert Montoya

As the first in my Mexican immigrant family to attend college, I fell in love with Microbiology because there is a tiny world that cannot be easily seen yet has a substantial impact on human life and ecology. I earned a B.S. in Biology from Cal State Sacramento. I was selected as a student research scholar in UC Davis' REU program where I conducted research on how microbial communities in flower nectar influence plant-pollinator evolution. I was also able to do research at Cal State Sacramento on isolating soil microbes for their antibiotic properties and plant-pathogen interactions. I have really enjoyed working with microbial interactions in the context of the environment and look forward to expanding my understanding in the clinical setting at Dartmouth's MCB program. I hope to become a professor of Microbiology after I earn my Ph.D. I'm engaged to my partner Andrew and a stepdad to 3 wonderful children (Ansel, 9, Reggie, 12, and Violet, 16). I love to cook and garden and look forward to hiking the white mountain trails and learning to ski! 

Zefeng Nie

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Zefeng Nie

I am always amazed by the intricacy of life and nature.  The curiosity for life led me to dual major in biology and chemistry in Central China Normal University. Then I earned my master degree in analytical chemistry  in University of Chinese Academy of Science. I'd like to continue doing interdisciplinary research that  involves biology, computer science, chemistry and physics in the MCB program. In my free time, I love to record my life with my camera and painting brush.

Godwin Peasah-Darkwah

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Godwin Peasah-Darkwah

In Fall 2020, Godwin was awarded a prestigious Presidential Graduate Research Fellowship to pursue his Master's degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV). He graduated from UTRGV in May 2022 and gained admission to pursue his PhD in the Molecular and Cell Biology program at Dartmouth College in August 2022. As a graduate student at Dartmouth College, his research focus is primarily aligned with understanding tumor heterogeneity and genetic interplay in the tumor microenvironment to help facilitate disease therapy. During his free time, he loves to go sightseeing, play basketball, soccer, swim, hike, bowl and also listen to music!

Melanie Peck

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Melanie Peck

For as long as Melanie can remember, she has been fascinated by science. Melanie grew up in Canada and received a Bachelor of Medical Sciences degree from the University of Western Ontario where she specialized in Interdisciplinary Medical Sciences. Throughout her undergraduate studies, she had numerous opportunities to be immersed in laboratory settings which solidified her interest in pursuing a career in translational medical research. More specifically, Melanie is passionate about exploring the intersection of cancer epigenomics and immunology. She is confident that the MCB Program at Dartmouth will afford her with invaluable opportunities to develop vital skills and become integrated into the college's vibrant entrepreneurial network. In her spare time, Melanie enjoys downhill skiing, long walks with her 3-month-old petit goldendoodle, and going to live music events.

Rachel Pepin

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Rachel Pepin

Rachel is a New Hampshire native from Londonderry. She earned her BS in Biochemistry from the University of Vermont in 2020. Since then, she spent two years researching microRNA at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. Now a first-year in Dartmouth's MCB program, she is looking forward to learning more about the immune system, infectious diseases, and host-pathogen interactions. In her free time, she can be found reading, writing, skiing, and occasionally acting. She is excited to return to the east coast and to experience everything Dartmouth has to offer!

Katie Quinn

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Katie Quinn

I received a bachelor's degree from the University of Minnesota in Microbiology with a minor in Public Health. Since, I have been working for a biotech company with the goal of engineering functional livers and kidneys. I am excited to continue to explore my interests in Microbiology and Immunology, as well as, Cell Biology at Dartmouth in the fall! Outside of the lab, a few things I enjoy are hiking, biking, skiing, and coaching swimming!

Rachel Riley

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Rachel Riley

Rachel is from Nazareth, Pennsylvania, and she received her Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry from Moravian University in 2022. She is very interested in protein biochemistry and cell biology, specifically how protein-protein interactions drive vital cellular functions. She is looking forward to exploring the interdisciplinary aspects of the MCB program in the work she will pursue. Outside of the laboratory, Rachel enjoys hiking, kayaking, and baking.

Grace Rosner

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Grace Rosner

Grace Rosner received her Bachelor of Arts from Colorado College in 2022. She was a double major in both Molecular Biology and Classics with a minor in philosophy. She began her passion for research in high school, working her first molecular biology laboratory internship in 2016. Since then, she has spent her summers working as an intern in a Pancreatic Cancer lab. Although her excitement about cancer research is still strong, she is motivated to explore the collaborative and interdisciplinary breadth of research at Dartmouth; specifically, she is interested in learning about biofuel production. Outside of the lab, Grace enjoys reading and writing philosophy, learning about ancient societies/history, ukulele, poetry, hiking, and skiing.

Kara Rzasa

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Kara Rzasa

I received my Bachelor's in Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology from the University of New Hampshire in 2019. From there I began working in Boston, MA at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard in the Infectious Disease and Microbiome Program. My work has been largely focused on microbial genetics and the study of the microbiome. I am interested in pursuing research related to host-microbe interactions. Outside of the lab, I love fishing, hiking, reading as well as spoiling my two dogs. 

Selected Publications:

Scheid JF, Barnes CO, Eraslan B, Hudak A, Keeffe JR, Cosimi LA, Brown EM, Muecksch F, Weisblum Y, Zhang S, Delorey T, Woolley AE, Ghantous F, Park SM, Phillips D, Tusi B, Huey-Tubman KE, Cohen AA, Gnanapragasam PNP, Rzasa K, Hatziioanno T, Durney MA, Gu X, Tada T, Landau NR, West AP Jr, Rozenblatt-Rosen O, Seaman MS, Baden LR, Graham DB, Deguine J, Bieniasz PD, Regev A, Hung D, Bjorkman PJ, Xavier RJ. B cell genomics behind cross-neutralization of SARS-CoV-2 variants and SARS-CoV. Cell. 2021 Jun 10;184(12):3205-3221.e24. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2021.04.032. Epub 2021 Apr 24. PMID: 34015271; PMCID: PMC8064835.

Erica N. Parker, Brett N. Cain, Behnoush Hajian, Rebecca J. Ulrich, Emily J. Geddes, Sulyman Barkho, Hyang Yeon Lee, John D. Williams, Malik Raynor, Diana Caridha, Angela Zaino, Mrinal Shekhar, Kristen A. Muñoz, Kara M. Rzasa, Emily R. Temple, Diana Hunt, Xiannu Jin, Chau Vuong, Kristina Pannone, Aya M. Kelly, Michael P. Mulligan, Katie K. Lee, Gee W. Lau, Deborah T. Hung, and Paul J. Hergenrother. An Iterative Approach Guides Discovery of the FabI Inhibitor Fabimycin, a Late-Stage Antibiotic Candidate with In Vivo Efficacy against Drug-Resistant Gram-Negative Infections. ACS Central Science 2022 8 (8), 1145-1158. DOI: 10.1021/acscentsci.2c00598

Christopher Tanner

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Christopher Tanner

I finished my masters in microbiology in Clemson, SC but am originally from Maine and did my undergrad at Umaine for a BS in Microbiology. I am excited to return to the New England area as I am a huge fan of snowboarding, hiking the area and the 4 seasons. My research interests are in Immunology and Immunotherapy design. My favorite ways to unwind include training for American Ninja Warrior (2024 hopeful), recording music, or Dance!

Carter Tracy

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Carter Tracy

I grew up in the coastal town of Ipswich, MA and received my Bachelor of Science from St. Lawrence University with a major in biochemistry and a minor in mathematics. During my undergraduate studies, I fell in love with research while studying the mechanisms of DNA binding small molecules. In the MCB program at Dartmouth, I hope to learn more about biochemistry and cancer biology, focusing on epigenetics. In my free time, I am an avid trail and ultra runner. I also love to ski and just spend any time I can get in the mountains.

Zixuan "Kelly" Wan

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Zixuan "Kelly" Wan

Kelly received a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and a second major in Global Studies and a minor in Chemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is interested in the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying cell-fate control in development. As a first-year MCB student, Kelly is eager to expand the breadth of her knowledge and work at the interface between multiple disciplines. Outside of the lab, Kelly enjoys writing/mixing songs and making k-pop dance covers. She also loves outdoor activities and can't wait to learn skiing.

John Zientko

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John Zientko

John Zientko received his Bachelor's in Biochemistry from Central Michigan University before earning his Master's from University of Michigan. In his graduate studies, he researched biomolecular condensates in the Wnt signaling pathway, and his current research interests include cancer signaling and anti-tumor immunity. Outside of lab, he enjoys camping, running ultramarathons, and playing chess.

BIOCHEMISTRY AND CELL BIOLOGY

Rachel Berg

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Rachel Berg

Rachel received her BS in Biochemistry from SUNY at Buffalo (University at Buffalo) in 2017. Currently she is a member of the Moseley lab in the Biochemistry and Cell Biology department where she is working on how cell size is coordinated with the cell cycle through regulation of the mitotic inhibitor Wee1. The lab members use the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe as their model organism, and in this system Wee1 is sequestered into plasma membrane "nodes" in a manner dependent on SAD family kinase Cdr2. Rachel is really interested in the specifics of Cdr2 activity and its mechanism of action against Wee1, and how this in turns affects cell size at division. Outside of the lab Rachel enjoys riding her bike on the rail trail, hiking, board games, making all sorts of King Arthur baked goods, and knitting. thesis advisor: Moseley

Jose Delgado

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Jose Delgado

Jose earned a Bachelor of Science in Biological Science with an emphasis on Microbiology and Immunology at the University of California, Merced. His research in the Shoemaker lab focuses on two mitochondrial membrane proteins that facilitate the degradation of mitochondria by autophagy in response to physiological stress. Jose uses a combination of CRISPR screening, biochemical assays, and microscopy to dissect these mechanisms. Jose's hobbies include road biking, hiking, kayaking, working out, skiing in the winter and cooking. thesis advisor: Shoemaker

Selected Publications:
Ohnstad AE, Delgado JM, North BJ, Nasa I, Kettenbach AN, Schultz SW, Shoemaker CJ. Receptor-mediated clustering of FIP200 bypasses the role of LC3 lipidation in autophagy. EMBO J. 2020 Dec 15;39(24):e104948. doi: 10.15252/embj.2020104948. Epub 2020 Nov 23. PMID: 33226137; PMCID: PMC7737610.

Chenhui Deng

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Chenhui Deng

Chenhui received his B.S. in Biological Science from Nanjing University, Nanjing, China. He works with Dr. Duane Compton and Dr. Kristina Godek in the Department of Biochemistry and Cell Biology. He studies the causes and consequences of aneuploidy during human development using embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells as model systems. More specifically, combining quantitative microscopy, live-cell imaging and biochemical approaches, his thesis research focuses on what is responsible for the low fidelity of chromosome segregation and the pathways that confer the initial tolerance to aneuploidy in pluripotent embryonic cells. Outside of lab, Chenhui enjoys visiting new places, binge watching TV shows, making and sharing memes, and exploring New England with friends. thesis advisor: Compton

Larissa Dougherty

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Larisa Dougherty

Larissa received her B.A. in Biochemistry from William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri. She is currently working in the Avasthi Lab in the Biochemistry and Cell Biology Department. Her focus is to better understand how Mitogen Activated Protein Kinases can regulate ciliogenesis. Alterations to Extracellular Signal Regulated Kinases more specifically shorten these sensory and motile organelles in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii which maintain well-conserved ciliary proteins and ciliary signaling pathways to mammalian cells. Larissa enjoys gardening, kayaking, hiking, and going on long walks with her dog. thesis advisor: Avasthi 

Lisa Francomacaro

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Lisa Francomacaro

Lisa graduated Bucknell University, Lewisburg PA Class of 2018. She earned a Bachelor's of Science in Cell Biology and Biochemistry with a minor in Neuropsychology. Here at Dartmouth she is pursuing a MD/PhD. She has held positions as MD/PhD Undergraduate Summer Fellowship (MPUS) Director, participated with the Dartmouth Rural STEM Educator Partnership, and has been a Dartmouth SEPA, Grad Mentor.  Additionally she has been on the MD/PhD Admissions Committee and is a Rural Health Scholar. Lisa studies in the biochemistry lab of Dr. Surachai Suppatapone, where she investigates the genetic mechanisms of viral neurotoxicity using induced pluripotent stem cell derived neurons and CRISPR-Cas9 methods of discovery. She is particularly interested in the orthobunyaviruses which cause neuroinvasive diseases such as encephalitis. Additionally, Lisa is interested in issues of health access and how rurality impacts disease burden.  Lisa's hobbies are Hiking the 48, cross stitch, embroidery, knitting and Gluten free baking. thesis advisor: Supattapone

Selected Publications:
A M, Fung TS, Francomacaro LM, Huynh T, Kotila T, Svindrych Z, Higgs HN. Regulation of INF2-mediated actin polymerization through site-specific lysine acetylation of actin itself. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2020 Jan 7;117(1):439-447. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1914072117. Epub 2019 Dec 23. PMID: 31871199; PMCID: PMC6955303

Francomacaro LM, Walker C, Jaap K, Dove J, Hunsinger M, Widom K, Torres D, Shabahang M, Blansfield J, Wild J. Sarcopenia predicts poor outcomes in urgent exploratory laparotomy. Am J Surg. 2018 Dec;216(6):1107-1113. doi: 10.1016/j.amjsurg.2018.10.039. Epub 2018 Nov 6. PMID: 30424839.

Stevenson JR, Young KA, Bohidar AE, Francomacaro LM, Fasold TR, Buirkle JM, Ndem JR, Christian SC. Alcohol Consumption Decreases Oxytocin Neurons in the Anterior Paraventricular Nucleus of the Hypothalamus in Prairie Voles. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2017 Aug;41(8):1444-1451.

John Fuesler

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John Fuesler

John received his BS in Biotechnology from Elizabethtown College and then received a master's in molecular biology from Princeton University. John's work focuses on maintenance of protein homeostasis in the early secretory pathway.  He studies a retrograde cargo receptor complex that retrieves misfolded secretory proteins at the Golgi and returns them to the ER. This work has implications for our understanding misfolded protein disease states. John's hobbies include listening to music, playing and recording music and going to farmer's markets. thesis advisor: Barlowe 

Selected publications:
Diner BA, Li T, Greco TM, Crow MS, Fuesler JA, Wang J, Cristea IM. The functional interactome of PYHIN immune regulators reveals IFIX is a sensor of viral DNA. Mol Syst Biol. 2015 Feb 9;11(1):787. doi: 10.15252/msb.20145808. PMID: 25665578; PMCID: PMC4358659.

Fuesler J, Nagahama Y, Szulewski J, Mundorff J, Bireley S, Coren JS. An arrayed human genomic library constructed in the PAC shuttle vector pJCPAC-Mam2 for genome-wide association studies and gene therapy. Gene. 2012 Apr 1;496(2):103-9. doi: 10.1016/j.gene.2012.01.011. Epub 2012 Jan 24. PMID: 22285925; PMCID: PMC3488463.

Fuesler JA, Li HJ. Dynamic instability--a common denominator in prokaryotic and eukaryotic DNA segregation and cell division. Cell Mol Biol Lett. 2012 Dec;17(4):542-8. doi: 10.2478/s11658-012-0026-3. Epub 2012 Aug 15. PMID: 22893264; PMCID: PMC6275791.

Nicholas Gill

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Nicholas Gill

Nicholas received his B.A. in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology from Hendrix College. He was appointed as a trainee for the MCB training grant, served as an elected student representative for the MCB Graduate Committee and was selected as a Fellow of the Albert J. Ryan Foundation. Nicholas is in the Madden lab in our Biochemistry and Cell biology department where he utilizes an array of biochemical, structural, and computational techniques to develop peptide- and small molecule-based inhibitors of CAL, a scaffolding protein implicated in the disease cystic fibrosis. Nicholas enjoys being outside with his wife and dog and spending time skiing. thesis advisor: Madden

Selected Publications:
Seisel Q, Rädisch M, Gill NP, Madden DR, Boisguerin P. (2017). Optimization of the process of inverted peptides (PIPEPLUS) to screen PDZ domain ligands. Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett. 27, 3111–3116.

Holt GT, Jou JD, Gill NP, Lowegard AU, Martin JW, Madden DR, Donald BR. (2019). Computational analysis of energy landscapes reveals dynamic features that contribute to binding of inhibitors to CFTR-associated ligand. J. Phys. Chem "B". 123, 10441-10455.

Taylor Harned

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Taylor Harned

Taylor received his Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry from Eckerd College. He is in the Chang lab in the Biochemistry and Cell Biology Ph.D. program. Taylor studies cholesterol metabolism in the context of Alzheimer's Disease. Using lipid biochemical techniques, he determines molecular responses to the inhibition of cholesterol metabolism enzyme ACAT1. By characterizing changes in cellular cholesterol distribution as well as bulk lipid metabolism, he aims to find the molecular drivers behind the benefits of ACAT1 inhibition as seen in Alzheimer's Disease models. Taylor's hobbies include all things outdoors with his dogs, with a special interest in fishing during the summer and skiing during the winter. thesis advisor: Chang

Hyuk "Jim" Jee

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Hyuk "Jim" Jee

My name is Hyuk "Jim" Jee. I am originally from Seoul, South Korea, but I have been in the states since 2011. I earned my bachelor's degrees in Biochemistry and in Molecular Biology (BS) from Loyola University Chicago. I am an avid podcast listener, tea drinker, and a skincare enthusiast. thesis advisor: Lee, J.

Muhammad Khan

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Muhammad Khan

Muhammad, who goes by Abubakar, received a BS in Biology from Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), Lahore, Pakistan. He was awarded the Ryan Fellowship in 2020, a High-Potential Entrepreneurs' Fellowship, Celdara Medical for 2020-2021 and a Guarini International Graduate Mentoring Fellow 2020 – present. Abubakar has been Dartmouth's IGMP President since 2018 and became the Dartmouth Biotech Club Co-President this year.  From 2019 – 2020 he was an MCB Graduate Committee Student Representative. His lab work involves understanding the non-canonical regulation of SREBP in Aspergillus fumigatus. This work is a collaborative project between the Madden lab in BCB and the Cramer lab in the M&I departments at MCB. Muhammad is a member of the Biochemistry and Cell Biology program.  When not in the lab Muhammad loves the outdoors where he enjoys soccer and hiking. He also loves to dance. thesis advisor: Madden

Junghoon Lee

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Junghoon Lee

Junghoon receive both his B.S. and master's degree in Biology from Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology (GIST), Korea. He is working in the lab of Ta Yuan Chang in the Biochemistry and Cell Biology (BCB) department. He studies the cholesterol metabolism enzyme, ACAT1, as a therapeutic target for Niemann-Pick Type C (NPC) disease. He focuses on how ACAT1 inhibitors and AAV-driven ACAT1 blockade can ameliorate the pathologies in a NPC disease mouse model. Junghoon likes to go hiking, kayaking, and spend time with friends outdoors. thesis advisor: Chang
 
Selected Publications:
Ahreum Kwon, Gwi Bin Lee, Taein Park, Junghoon Lee, Panseon Ko, Eunae You, Jin Hee Ahn, Soo Hyun Eom, Sangmyung Rhee*, and Woo Keun Song*.Potent Small-Molecule Inhibitors Targeting Acetylated Microtubules as Anticancer Agents Against Triple-Negative Breast Cancer, Biomedicines, 2020 Sep; 8(9): 338., PMID: 32917017

Yeong-Jin Kim, So Hee Kim, Yega Park, Jiyu Park, Junghoon Lee, Byeong C Kim, Woo Keun Song. miR-16-5p is upregulated by amyloid β deposition in Alzheimer's disease models and induces neuronal cell apoptosis through direct targeting and suppression of BCL-2, Exp Gerontol. 2020 Jul 15;136:110954., PMID: 32320719

Ao Liu

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Ao Liu

Ao received his bachelor's degree in Jianghan University, Wuhan, Hubei, China. His major was Biotechnology. He then pursued a master's degree at the University of Chinese Academy of Science. Ao's research focus is on mitochondrial fission machinery. He is working on two projects right now: One project is to biochemically examine the synergetic effects of actin, Drp1 and its receptor proteins (Mff, MiD49/51). The project is to reconstitute mitochondrial division on a supported lipid bilayer. Ao enjoys hiking, cooking and reading. thesis advisor: Higgs

Selected publications:
Liu A, Kage F, Higgs NH. Mff oligomerization is required for Drp1 activation and synergy with actin filaments during mitochondrial division. Mol Bio Cell. 2021 July; (Accepted).

Samantha Liu

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Samantha Liu

Originally from Cambridge, Massachusetts, Samantha received her Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst Commonwealth Honors College and minored in Biology. She worked in Amanda Woerman's Lab studying the role of protein misfolding in neurodegenerative diseases and conducted her senior thesis on using a Ramachandran-based approach to analyze the amyloid forming protein alpha-synuclein. In the MCB program at Dartmouth, Sam hopes to explore research in the areas of structural biology and biochemistry. During her free time Sam loves photography, swimming, and practicing the diabolo. thesis advisor: Shoemaker

Kenneth Mark

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Kenneth Mark

Graduating from the University of Washington, Kenneth received a B.S. in Biochemistry and minored in both Microbiology and Chemistry. Within the Supattapone laboratory in the Biochemistry and Cell Biology department, Kenneth's research revolves around using CRISPR-Cas9 genome-wide screens to identify novel regulators of organelle biogenesis and degradation. Not much is known about the cell biology of how organelles are made and degraded in a regulated fashion. Kenneth is also interested in answering other fundamental questions in cell biology including how mammalian cell size is regulated. Kenneth is currently President of the Dartmouth Graduate Consulting Group. In his spare time, he enjoys cooking, listening to a lot of podcasts and trying to keep up with the cultural zeitgeist. thesis advisor: Supattapone

Selected publications:
Burke CM, Mark KMK, Walsh DJ, Noble GP, Steele AD, Diack AB, Manson JC, Watts JC, Supattapone S. Identification of a homology-independent linchpin domain controlling mouse and bank vole prion protein conversion. PLoS Pathog. 2020 Sep 8;16(9):e1008875. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1008875. eCollection 2020 Sep.  

Chidawanyika T, Mark KMK, Supattapone S. A Genome-Wide CRISPR/Cas9 Screen Reveals that Riboflavin Regulates Hydrogen Peroxide Entry into HAP1 Cells. mBio. 2020 Aug 11;11(4):e01704-20. doi: 10.1128/mBio.01704-20.  

Mark KMK, Varn FS*, Ung MH, Qian F, Cheng C. The E2F4 prognostic signature predicts pathological response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy in breast cancer patients. BMC Cancer. 2017

Hieu Nguyen

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Hieu Nguyen

Hieu received his bachelor's degree in Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology at University of New Hampshire. He is a recipient of the Albert J. Ryan Fellowship and received an MCB Mentorship Award. Hieu's thesis research in the Kettenbach lab in the Department of Biochemistry and Cell Biology utilizes mass spectrometry to characterize substrate binding and dephosphorylation mechanisms for the major phosphatases PP1 and PP2A. Here in New Hampshire, Hieu enjoys everything it has to offer. In the summer, he likes to go hiking, camping, kayaking, hammocking, and swimming in the rivers and lakes that are abundant to area. In the winter, he is an avid cross-country skier. And year round he works out and sings.  In his downtime he enjoys video games, visiting new places and hanging out with friends. thesis advisor: Kettenbach

Selected Publications:
Kruse, T, Gnosa, SP, Nasa, I, Garvanska, DH, Hein, JB, Nguyen, H, Samsøe-Petersen, J, Lopez-Mendez, B, Hertz, EPT, Schwarz, J, Pena, HS, Nikodemus, D, Kveiborg, M, Kettenbach, AN, Nilsson, J. Mechanisms of Site-Specific Dephosphorylation and Kinase Opposition Imposed by PP2A Regulatory Subunits. EMBO J. 2020 Jul 1;39(13):e103695. doi: 10.15252/embj.2019103695. Epub 2020 May 13.
 
Williams, TL, Senft, SL, Yeo, J, Martin-Martinez, FJ, Kuzirian, AM, Martin, CA, DiBona, CW, Chen, CT, Dinneen, SR, Nguyen, HT, Gomes, CM, Rosenthal, JC, MacManes, MD, Chu, F, Buehler, MJ, Hanlon, RT, Deravi, L. Dynamic Pigmentary and Structural Coloration within Cephalopod Chromatophore Organs. Nat Commun. 2019 Mar 1;10(1):1004. doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-08891-x.

Melissa Parks

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Melissa Parks

Melissa is a graduate of University of New Hampshire where she majored in Biology.  She is in our Biochemistry and Cell Biology Ph.D. program as a member of the Compton lab. Melissa studies how chromosomes move and correct errors to ensure proper cell division. Using live-cell and fluorescence microscopy she focuses on trying to understand the relationship between chromosome movement and segregation accuracy, and if powering chromosomes to move is actually directly related to how they divide so accurately. Melissa was born and raised in New Hampshire and enjoys hiking. The whites are a second home to her.  She has finished all 48 of the "4000-footer" mountains. She also enjoys skiing, camping, running, and swimming. thesis advisor: Compton

Pepper Pennington

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Pepper Pennington

Pepper received his bachelor's degrees in biochemistry and microbiology from the University of Montana in Missoula, Montana. He's now a member of the Mierke-Pellegrini lab in the Biochemistry and Cell Biology program at Dartmouth. Pepper works on developing and characterizing small molecule inhibitors targeting the GTPase Rac1 using computational and biophysical techniques such as NMR. He also works on characterizing the binding interface of NF-κB Essential Modulator (NEMO) protein with IκBα in the NF-κB pathway. Outside of the lab Pepper enjoys hiking, fishing, rock climbing, trivia, board games, and playing with his cat P.Nutt. thesis advisor: Mierke

Brian Sarminto

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Brian Sarminto

Brian received his B.S. in Developmental and Cellular Biology from University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB). At Dartmouth, Brian is being co-mentored by Dr. Godek and Dr. Compton from the Department of Biochemistry and Cell Biology. His thesis work investigates the high instance of mitotic errors in early development using human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) and human induced pluripotent stem cells (hIPSCs) as models of early development. In this endeavor, he combines quantitative microscopy, live cell imaging, fluorescence-activated cell sorting, and mass spectroscopy to uncover the mitotic error regulation pathways that may differ between pluripotent cells and somatic cells. Outside of lab, Brian enjoys swimming during the summer, ice skating during the winter, and running, reading manga, and playing videogames all year around. thesis advisor: Compton

Ziwei She

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Ziwei She

Ziwei earned a Master of Science in Medicine at Peking University. She is currently working in the Higgs lab in the Biochemistry and Cell Biology Department. Her work focuses on figuring out how actin polymerization contributes to metabolic switching between oxidative phosphorylation and glycolysis. All outdoor activities could be her hobbies. thesis advisor: Higgs

Kali Smolen

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Kali Smolen

Kali is a Michigan native who received her Bachelor's in Cell and Molecular Biology from Grand Valley State University in Allendale, MI. As an MD-PhD student at Dartmouth, she conducts research in the lab of Dr. Arminja Kettenbach in the Biochemistry and Cell Biology (BCB) Department. She studies the regulation of phosphatases in biochemical pathways. More specifically, her work focuses on the regulation of B56, a family of regulatory subunits of protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) and the role of the PP2A-B56 holoenzyme in the DNA damage response via its signaling through Oxidative Resistance 1 (OXR1). When not in lab, Kali enjoys road and mountain biking, backcountry skiing, riding her horse named Gucci, growing vegetables, cooking without recipes, and trail running in the mountains. thesis advisor: Kettenbach

Selected Publications:
Papke CM, Smolen KA, Swingle MR, Cressey L, Heng RA, Toporsian M, Deng L, Hagen J, Shen Y, Chung WK, Kettenbach AN,
Honkanen RE (2021). A disorder-related variant (E420K) of a PP2A-regulatory subunit (PPP2R5D) causes constitutively active
AKT-mTOR signaling and uncoordinated cell growth. J Biol Chem:100313. PMCID: PMC7952134

Curtis BN, Smolen KA, Barlow SJ, Caselli E, Prati F, Taracila MA, Bonomo RA, Wallar BJ, Powers RA (2020). Structural Insights
into Inhibition of the Acinetobacter-Derived Cephalosporinase ADC-7 by Ceftazidime and Its Boronic Acid Transition State
Analog. Antimicrob Agents Chemother 64(12). PMCID: PMC7674067

Caselli E, Fini F, Introvigne ML, Stucchi M, Taracila MA, Fish ER, Smolen KA, Rather PN, Powers RA, Wallar BJ, Bonomo RA, Prati
F (2020). 1,2,3-Triazolylmethaneboronate: A Structure Activity Relationship Study of a Class of beta-Lactamase Inhibitors
against Acinetobacter baumannii Cephalosporinase. ACS Infect Dis 6(7):1965-1975. PMCID: PMC7458062
 
Caselli E, Romagnoli C, Powers RA, Taracila MA, Bouza AA, Swanson HC, Smolen KA, Fini F, Wallar BJ, Bonomo RA, Prati F
(2018). Inhibition of Acinetobacter-Derived Cephalosporinase: Exploring the Carboxylate Recognition Site Using Novel beta
Lactamase Inhibitors. ACS Infect Dis 4(3):337-348. PMCID: PMC5987196

Bouza AA, Swanson HC, Smolen KA, VanDine AL, Taracila MA, Romagnoli C, Caselli E, Prati F, Bonomo RA, Powers RA, Wallar BJ
(2018). Structure-Based Analysis of Boronic Acids as Inhibitors of Acinetobacter-Derived Cephalosporinase-7, a Unique Class C
beta-Lactamase.ACS Infect Dis 4(3):325-336. PMCID: PMC5981863

Sarah Valles

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Sarah Valles

Sarah attended UC Irvine in her home state of California and graduated with a degree in Biology. Due to her interest in outreach, she was selected as a Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) graduate mentor for the 2019-2020 school year. She is a member of the Compton Lab in the Biochemistry and Cell Biology Ph.D. program, where they study chromosome segregation mechanisms in mitosis. Using quantitative microscopy, Sarah studies the mitotic kinase Bub1 to understand how phosphorylation at CDK1 target sites can impact its functional role as a mitotic regulator. In her spare time, she enjoys brunch with friends and their pups, watching rom-coms and anime, sharing memes, and practicing yoga. thesis advisor: Compton

Sarah Vandal

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Sarah Vandal

Sarah received a bachelor's degree in biology with a concentration in Neuroscience from Colby College. She is a recipient of the E.E. Just Liftoff Graduate Fellowship and an MCB award at Dartmouth. As an incoming first year, she is interested in the Biochemistry & Cell Biology PhD program. Previously, she worked as a Research Technician at the University of Vermont studying the effect of postranslational modifications on the localization and function of kinesin motors during mitosis. In her free time, she enjoys trail running, hiking, baking bread and cross-country skiing. thesis advisor: Moseley

Selected Publications:

Thompson AF, Vandal SE, Stumpff JK. Quantifying Changes in Chromosome Position to Assess Chromokinesin Activity. Springer. Mitosis: Methods and Protocols, Methods in Molecular Biology. In press. 

Marquis C, Fonseca CL, Queen KA, Wood L, Vandal SE, Malaby HL, Clayton JE, Stumpff J. Chromosomally unstable tumor cells specifically require KIF18A for proliferation. Nature communications. 2021 Feb 22;12(1):1-4. doi: 10.1038/s41467-021-21447-2

Vandal SE, Zheng X, Ahmad ST. Molecular genetics of frontotemporal dementia elucidated by drosophila models—defects in endosomal–lysosomal pathway. International journal of molecular sciences. 2018 Jun;19(6):1714. doi: 10.3390/ijms19061714

Amanda Ya

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Amanda Ya

Amanda received a Bachelor of Science degree in Biological Sciences from the University of California, Merced. She works with Duane Compton and Kristina Godek in the Biochemistry and Cell Biology Ph.D. program. Her thesis work focuses on uncovering the differences in the developmental potential between aneuploid and diploid human embryonic stem cells (hESCs). A surprisingly high percentage of embryos from IVF clinics are defined as "mosaic" and are comprised of a mixed population of aneuploid and diploid cells as a result of chromosome segregation errors during mitosis. However, mosaic embryos can still result in a successful live birth. What happens to the aneuploid embryonic cells during human development remains unknown. Using hESCs as a model system, Amanda aims to investigate the developmental potential and fate of aneuploid cells in competition with diploid cells. Amanda loves being outside and getting sunshine whenever she can. She enjoys working in her garden, taking walks with her dogs, and cooking a good meal together with friends. thesis advisor: Compton

Biological Science

Anusha Bhatt

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Anusha Bhatt

Anusha graduated with a BS-MS dual degree in Biology and a minor in Chemistry from Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Trivandrum, India. At Dartmouth, she joined the Amodeo lab where she studies the role of histone variants in developmental decision making. She is particularly interested in elucidating how the varying nuclear import and incorporation of different histone variants affect or alter the transcription rates and pace the zygotic genome activation. Anusha uses the early drosophila development, along with genetics and microscopy to address these questions. Apart from the lab, Anusha enjoys kayaking, ice-skating, hiking, or anything outdoors. thesis advisor: Amodeo

Timothy Chapman

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Timothy_Chapman

Tim was a Biochemistry Major with a Biotechnology Minor at Santa Clara University. He is a Sondra and Charles Gilman Graduate Research Fellow and he studies myelin producing cells in the central nervous system called oligodendrocytes. Tim is acutely interested in the mechanisms governing the degeneration of these cells in response to adverse stimuli, relevant to both aging and human disease (e.g. Multiple Sclerosis, Leukodystrophies). To study these processes, the Hill lab employs long-term in vivo microscopy, combined with novel single cell ablation techniques, to investigate the degeneration of individual cells over weeks to months. Tim enjoys skiing, fishing, and hockey.  He is also a lifelong Green Bay Packers fan. thesis advisor: Hill

Selected publications:
Timothy W. Chapman, Genaro E. Olveda, Elizabeth Pereira, Robert A. Hill. Age and axon-specific forms of cortical remyelination by divergent populations of NG2-glia. bioRxiv 2020.12.09.414755; doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.12.09.414755

Chapman TW, Hill RA. Myelin plasticity in adulthood and aging. Neurosci Lett. 2020 Jan 10;715:134645. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2019.134645. Epub 2019 Nov 22. PMID: 31765728; PMCID: PMC6981290.

Jiayang Chen

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Jiayang Chen

Jiayang earned a BS degree in Biological Science from Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China.
She is from the He Lab in the Biological Sciences department where she studies tissue morphogenesis in early Drosophila embryos. Jiayang is particularly interested in understanding the regulation of non-muscle myosin II during Drosophila cleavage, which is achieved through a special cytokinesis called cellularization. Jiayang seeks to understand how a novel gene dunk regulates myosin molecularly during early cellularization. She identified anillin as the primary binding partner of Dunk that functions to regulate early myosin recruitment. Her work identified the important function of anillin in regulating the basal myosin network and revealed how fly embryos make use of the cytokinesis machinery to achieve a special form of cleavage. Her hobbies include reading books, travel, cooking, and watching anime. thesis advisor: He

Wei Chen

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wei chen

Majoring in Biology, Wei received his Bachelor's degree from Fudan University in Shanghai, China. As an MCB student in the He lab he studies the molecular and cellular mechanisms of tissue morphogenesis using Drosophila as a model system. Specifically, he is fascinated by how cells regulate intracellular trafficking in response to mechanical forces. Wei examines a process called ventral furrow formation in early Drosophila embryo, during which a group of mesoderm precursor cells undergo apical constriction and invaginate to form a furrow. His work identified a mechanosensitive feedback mechanism involving actomyosin contractility-mediated apical constriction and Rab11-mediated intracellular trafficking. This mechanism ensures an efficient apical constriction. Wei also studies how exocytosis facilitates the cell shape changes especially changes in cell surface area in response to apical constriction during ventral furrow formation. In his free time, Wei appreciates a good game of ping pong. thesis advisor: He

Hanqing Guo

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Hanqing Guo

Hanqing got her bachelor's degree from University of Minnesota-Twin Cities and her major was biology. She is a Gilman Graduate Fellows, Biology Department, Feb. 2020 – June 2021. Her research has been focusing on the mechanics in early Drosophila embryogenesis. Specifically, using Drosophila ventral furrow formation (gastrulation) as a model system to study how tissue mechanics contribute to furrow formation during development. The lab has developed an optogenetic system to acutely inhibit RhoA and found tissue bistablility during mesoderm invagination. The lab further discovered that compression existed in the tissue outside the furrow region, which contributes to the completion of the furrow. It has been difficult to study maternal distributed essential proteins like RhoA in early embryogenesis, however, with this optogenetic tool, they are able to more precisely dissect the role of RhoA during early fly embryo development. Hanqing loves travelling around and trying new things. When she is at home, she also enjoys reading and playing video games. thesis advisor: He

Selected publications:
Hanqing Guo, Michael Swan, Shicheng Huang, Bing He. Mechanical bistability enabled by ectodermal compression facilitates Drosophila mesoderm invagination bioRxiv 2021.03.18.435928

Amelia Kim

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Amelia Kim

Amelia is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. There she studied Animal Science.
In the Griffin lab, she studies how cell fates are established during the early development of the C. elegans embryo. Her research is focused on understanding how asymmetric inheritance of tandem CCCH zinc finger protein MEX-1 is established in the one-cell embryo. She also studies how MEX-1 is involved in a feedback mechanism that regulates the activity of upstream polarity regulator MEX-5.  Amelia likes to watch movies and cook. thesis advisor: Griffin

Selected publications:
Kim AJ, Griffin EE. PLK-1 Regulation of Asymmetric Cell Division in the Early C. elegans Embryo. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2021 Jan 21;8:632253. doi: 10.3389/fcell.2020.632253. PMID: 33553173; PMCID: PMC7859328.

Pan J, Wenger ES, Matthews ML, Pollock CJ, Bhardwaj M, Kim AJ, Allen BD, Grossman RB, Krebs C, Bollinger JM Jr. Evidence for Modulation of Oxygen Rebound Rate in Control of Outcome by Iron(II)- and 2-Oxoglutarate-Dependent Oxygenases. J Am Chem Soc. 2019 Sep 25;141(38):15153-15165. doi: 10.1021/jacs.9b06689. Epub 2019 Sep 16. PMID: 31475820; PMCID: PMC6900985.

Blaesi EJ, Palowitch GM, Hu K, Kim AJ, Rose HR, Alapati R, Lougee MG, Kim HJ, Taguchi AT, Tan KO, Laremore TN, Griffin RG, Krebs C, Matthews ML, Silakov A, Bollinger JM Jr, Allen BD, Boal AK. Metal-free class Ie ribonucleotide reductase from pathogens initiates catalysis with a tyrosine-derived dihydroxyphenylalanine radical. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2018 Oct 2;115(40):10022-10027. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1811993115. Epub 2018 Sep 17. PMID: 30224458; PMCID: PMC6176560.

Hai Nguyen

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Hai Nguyen

Hai is from Kien Giang, a major rice-producing province in southwestern Vietnam. During his B.Sc., Hai worked in Prof. Nguyen Phuong Thao lab at Vietnam National University (HCM City), where he became interested in cytokinin metabolic genes. After graduating, Hai began his MSc studies at Trent University under the supervision of Prof. Neil Emery. Using plant molecular techniques, Hai investigated how phytohormones regulate metal uptake in algae. Hai is deeply interested in genetics and biochemical mechanisms by which plants regulate their development and stress adaptation. When not working, he likes traveling with his parents, rollerblading, playing League of Legends with friends and going to the gym. thesis advisor: Schaller

Selected Publications:

Nguyen, H.N., Nhan, L.D., Kisiala, A. et al. 2021. Isopentenyltransferases (IPT) as master regulators of crop performance: their function, manipulation and genetic potential for stress adaptation and yield improvement. Plant Biotechnology Journal. https://doi.org/10.1111/pbi.13603

Nguyen, H. N., Kambhampati, S., Kisiala, A., et al. 2021. The soybean (Glycine max L.) cytokinin oxidase/dehydrogenase multigene family; Identification of natural variations for altered cytokinin content and seed yield. Plant Direct, 5(2), e00308. https://doi.org/10.1002/pld3.308

Nguyen, H.N., Perry, L., Kisiala, A. et al. 2020. Cytokinin activity during early kernel development corresponds positively with yield potential and later stage ABA accumulation in field-grown wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). Planta 252, 76. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00425-020-03483-2

Nguyen, H. N., Kisiala, A. B., & Emery, R. N. 2020. The roles of phytohormones in metal stress regulation in microalgae. Journal of Applied Phycology, 1-13. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10811-020-02271-5

Nguyen, H.N., Chuong, N.N.; Tu, N.H.C et al. 2020. Role and regulation of cytokinins in plant response to drought stress. MDPI Plants 9, 422. https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9040422

Tolulope Ojo

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Tolulope Ojo

Tolulope Ayoola Ojo is a first-year PhD student in the Biochemistry and Cell biology program. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in biochemistry from Landmark University, Nigeria and a Master's degree in biochemistry from The Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria. Her past research explored antioxidant chemistry and the mechanisms driving thiol redox systems, particularly in the context of disease pathogenesis, progression and therapy. Currently, she is interested in investigating druggable targets for cancer treatments. Outside academic activities, Tolulope enjoys hiking, meeting new people and lawn tennis. thesis advisor: Schaller

Cameron Paton

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Cameron Paton

An East Bay native, Cameron grew up in Oakland, California before moving to Portland, Oregon, where he attended Lewis & Clark College for his undergraduate training. At L&C, Cameron joined the laboratory of Dr. Greta Binford, where he studied the biochemical properties of Sicariid spider venom toxins. Cameron continued to pursue his interest in research at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, Oregon in the laboratory of Dr. Kelly Monk. During his time at OHSU, Cameron investigated the underpinnings of glial cell biology, focusing on astrocyte plasticity during development in the zebrafish model organism. Aside from research, Cameron is an avid baseball enthusiast, self-described 'foodie', and enjoys spending his time in the great outdoors. thesis advisor: Hoppa

Alicia Pietramale

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Alicia Pietramale

Alicia earned her Bachelor of Science in Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA). During her undergraduate years, Alicia's thesis project was completed in Dr. Astrid Cardona's neuroimmunology lab. She aimed to find alternative therapeutic approaches for diabetic retinopathy by determining the role of neuron-glia signaling in diabetic murine models. Alicia's contributions to Dr. Cardona's lab cultivated her passion for translational research and the development of immunotherapies. In her free time Alicia enjoys spending time outdoors, reading, wheel throwing and traveling with my family and friends. thesis advisor: Hill

Aparna Nurni Ravi

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Aparna Nurni Ravi

Aparna received her bachelor's and master's degree in Biology and a minor in Chemistry from Indian Institute of Science Education and Research in India. She is a 4th year grad student currently in the Griffin lab in the Biological Sciences department where she studies how the cytoplasm is polarized in the one-cell C. elegans embryo. Aparna uses a combination of CRISPR, imaging and biochemical assays to understand how kinases and phosphatases regulate cell polarity. Aparna likes to cook, paint, binge watch tv shows and take care of houseplants. thesis advisor: Griffin

Selected publications:
Gupta H, Rajeev R, Sasmal R, Radhakrishnan RM, Anand U, Chandran H, Aparna NR, Agasti S, Manna TK. SAS-6 Association with γ-Tubulin Ring Complex Is Required for Centriole Duplication in Human Cells. Curr Biol. 2020 Jun 22;30(12):2395-2403.e4. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2020.04.036. Epub 2020 May 21. PMID: 32442461.

 

Nabila Riaz

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Nabila Riaz

Nabila received a B.S. in Biology from Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), Pakistan, in 2015.  She also received a Master's degree in Plant Sciences from the University of Bonn, Germany in 2017. Currently, she is an Ambassador to the American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB) program and a recipient of the American Society of Plant biology (ASPB) travel grant award.              
In our Biological Sciences Ph.D. program, Nabila is a graduate student in Mary Lou Guerinot's lab studying the regulation of Iron (Fe) homeostasis in Arabidopsis thaliana. Fe is an essential micronutrient for both plants and animals and is used in many biochemical processes. In humans, Fe deficiency causes anemia, the most prevalent nutritional disorder. Most people rely on plant-based foods as their major Fe source, but plants are poor source of dietary Fe. Nabila hopes that her research can clarify the molecular mechanisms regulating Fe homeostasis to improve global crop production. Outside Lab, she enjoys kayaking, hiking and baking cakes. thesis advisor: Guerinot

Selected publications:
Riaz N, Guerinot ML. All together now: regulation of the iron deficiency response. J Exp Bot. 2021 Mar 17;72(6):2045-2055. doi: 10.1093/jxb/erab003. PMID: 33449088; PMCID: PMC7966950.

Microbiology and Immunology

Leena Abdullah

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Leena Abdullah

Leena hails from Pakistan where she received her bachelor's degree in Biology from Lahore University of Management Sciences. There she graduated with high distinction receiving a Gold Medal award. Leena's research focuses on the development of T cells which are a crucial component of the adaptive immune system. She is a third year Microbiology and Immunology student and Burroughs Wellcome fellow in the Huang lab and works on understanding how lymphoid progenitor cells commit to the T cell fate in the thymus (the primary lymphoid organ for T cell maturation).  Leena is a big fan of Horror and Marvel movies and also enjoys listening to music. thesis advisor: Huang

Selected Publications:
Abdullah L, Hills LB, Winter EB, Huang YH. Diverse Roles of Akt in T cells. Immunometabolism. 2021;3(1):e210007. doi:10.20900/immunometab20210007  

Hills LB, Abdullah L, Lust HE, Degefu H, Huang YH. Foxo1 Serine 209 Is a Critical Regulatory Site of CD8T Cell Differentiation and Survival. J Immunol. 2021;206(1):89-100. doi:10.4049/jimmunol.2000216

Akshaya Balasubramanian

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Balasubramanian

Akshaya received her undergraduate degree in Biotechnology from the Amrita School of Biotechnology in India. She subsequently graduated with a Master of Science in Integrated Immunology from the University of Oxford. Akshaya joined Mark Sundrud's lab at the Scripps Research Institute and transferred to the Microbiology and Immunology program when the lab moved to Dartmouth. Her research focuses on identifying how metabolic changes influence the development of cytotoxic T cell responses to infection. Akshaya enjoys travelling, reading a good book and baking in her free time. thesis advisor: Sundrud

Nair, D., Vanuopadath, M., Balasubramanian, A. et al. Phlorotannins from Padina tetrastromatica: structural characterisation and functional studies. J Appl Phycol 31, 3131–3141 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10811-019-01792-y

David "Tyler" Boone

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David Boone

Tyler received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Wesleyan University. He had two majors and one minor - Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, Biology, and Chemistry respectively. He received the Scott Biomedical Prize for excellence and interest in applied medicine. He is a first-year student in the MCB program and is excited for the breadth of research opportunities available at Dartmouth! In his free time, he loves playing music (especially Coldplay), traveling, the outdoors, playing video games, and becoming enveloped into a TV series. thesis advisor: Huang

Paige Canova

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Paige Canova

Paige received her B.S. in Biological Sciences from the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC).  She is in our Microbiology and Immunology program working in the Leib lab and is part of the Immunology Training Grant for 2020-2022. Paige's research involves determining the role autophagy plays in the establishment and maintenance of herpes simplex virus (HSV) latency in innate and intrinsic immunity using induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) differentiated into human primary neurons. Paige enjoys skiing, hiking, reading, and walking the Rail Trail. thesis advisor: Leib

Selected publications:  
Brown JB, Summers HR, Brown LA, Marchant J, Canova PN, O'Hern CT, Abbott ST, Nyaunu C, Maxwell S, Johnson T, Moser MB, Ablan SD, Carter H, Freed EO, Summers MF. Structural and Mechanistic Studies of the Rare Myristoylation Signal of the Feline Immunodeficiency Virus. J Mol Biol. 2020 Jun 26;432(14):4076-4091. doi: 10.1016/j.jmb.2020.05.008. Epub 2020 May 19. PMID: 32442659; PMCID: PMC7316625.

Melissa Carmichael

Melissa received her B.S. in Biology with Honors and Great Distinction from Bridgewater State University in 2020. Her previous research interests focused on the role of heat shock proteins in chemoresistance in ovarian cancer. Of note, while an undergraduate, Melissa greatly enjoyed her service missions to Cambodia where she assisted in building biosand filters to provide clean drinking water to rural villagers. When not in the lab Melissa enjoys skiing, hiking, running and scuba diving. thesis advisor: O'Toole

Lily Charpentier

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Lily Charpentier

Lily received her bachelor's degree in Biochemistry from the University of Maine in 2020. She is currently a member of the Stanton Lab in the Microbiology and Immunology Department where she studies host-microbe interactions in cystic fibrosis. She is specifically interested in how polymicrobial infections affect the inflammatory response of human airway epithelial cells during the disease.  When not in the lab, Lily likes to paint, play tennis, ski, and spend time with friends. thesis advisor: Stanton

Angelique Cortez

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Angelique Cortez

I received my B.S. in Biological Sciences at the University of California, Irvine. Over the course of my undergrad career, I became a recipient of several NIH grants; Maximizing Access to Research Careers (MARC), Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (IMSD), and Broadening Research Achievement in Neuroscience (BRAiN) for a Diverse Workforce. I have an interest in genomic research aimed at investigating neurological diseases and autoimmunity. I was born and raised in California, and I am excited to experience the seasonal weather in New Hampshire. In my down time I like to read, binge Netflix shows, and go hiking. thesis advisor: Whitfield/S-Gardner

Yu "Alex" Fu

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Yu "Alex" Fu

I usually go by Alex. Here's my short bio: I received a BA from Reed College in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (BMB). At Reed, I received the Marshall W. Cronyn Fellowship to optimize the expression of the membrane complex MntAB at Ahuja Lab. For my undergraduate thesis, I worked with Prof. Ahuja and Prof. Glasfeld and used Cryo-EM in combination with various biochemical methods to study the mechanism of transcription activation of MntR, a metalloregulator in B. subtilis. In my leisure time, I enjoy traveling. I have set foot on all 7 continents. I'm also a large-format photographer who enjoys darkroom printing. thesis advisor: O'Toole

Gregory Ho

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Gregory Ho

Greg received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology from Colby College. Before joining MCB, Greg was a research technician in Duprex Lab at the National Emerging Infectious Disease Laboratories in Boston, studying novel Morbilliviruses. Greg is pursuing his Ph.D in Immunology in the Fiering lab, investigating in situ plasmid electroporation as a solid tumor cancer therapeutic. Outside of lab, Greg takes full advantage of being in the Upper Valley. You will find him organizing and playing soccer with the Dartmouth Graduate Soccer club, running on the Northern Rail Trail or hiking in the various mountain ranges in Vermont or New Hampshire. thesis advisor: Fiering

Selected Publications:

Stump CT, Ho G, Mao C, Veliz FA, Beiss V, Fields J, Steinmetz NF, Fiering S. Remission-Stage Ovarian Cancer Cell Vaccine with Cowpea Mosaic Virus Adjuvant Prevents Tumor Growth. Cancers (Basel). 2021 Feb 5;13(4):627. doi: 10.3390/cancers13040627. PMID: 33562450; PMCID: PMC7915664.

Tilston-Lunel NL, Welch SR, Nambulli S, de Vries RD, Ho GW, Wentworth DE, Shabman R, Nichol ST, Spiropoulou CF, de Swart RL, Rennick LJ, Duprex WP. Sustained Replication of Synthetic Canine Distemper Virus Defective Genomes In Vitro and In Vivo. mSphere. 2021 Oct 27;6(5):e0053721. doi: 10.1128/mSphere.00537-21. Epub 2021 Sep 22. PMID: 34550005; PMCID: PMC8550193.

Matthew James

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Matthew James

Matthew is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.  He received his degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. He is in our Microbiology and Immunology program and studies cell death mechanisms in Aspergillus fumigatus, and how those mechanisms impact leukocyte clearance of this fungal pathogen from the lung. He is a member of Dr. Robert Cramer's lab. Matthew spends his free time playing guitar and bass, playing video games, and spending time with friends. thesis advisor: Cramer

Angus Johnson

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Angus Johnson

I got my B.S. in Biology from Binghamton University. At BU, I researched bacterial biofilms as well as enteric pathogens. At Dartmouth, I'm interested in continuing my research in either microbiology or host-pathogen interactions. In my free time, I enjoy any kind of game, cooking good food, and hanging out with friends. thesis advisor: Cramer

Taewook Kang

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Taewook Kang

Taewook received his undergraduate degree in Life Sciences from Korea University in Seoul, Korea. He then furthered his studies at Korea University, specifically for Arabidopsis thaliana plant development and flowering regulator protein's degradation signaling pathway. Currently he is in our Microbiology and Immunology program as a member of the Usherwood lab, where they are interested in CD8 T cell immunology and improving the adoptive immune therapy. Taewook's work studies glucose metabolic checkpoints controlling glycolysis and mitochondrial respiration to differentiate CD8 T cells into long-lived memory cells in the context of bacterial, viral, and tumor models. Taewook enjoys the beautiful New England seasons and likes to swim, hike and ski. On cold winter days he enjoys cooking. thesis advisor: Usherwood

Selected Publications:
Preiss, NK, Kang, T, Usherwood, YK, Huang, Y, Branchini,BR, Usherwood, EJ
Control of B Cell Lymphoma by Gammaherpesvirus-Induced Memory CD8 T Cells. Jmmunol. 2020 Dec 15;205(12):3372-3382. DOI: 10.4049/jimmunol.2000734

Dhvanir Kansara

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Dhvanir Kansara

Dhvanir received his B.S. in Pharmacy from India. He then moved to the U.S. to pursue his M.S. in Pharmacology from Long Island University. While working on his M.S. thesis in the lab of Dr. Vikas Sehdev, he studied the role of novel biologically active small molecules in overcoming chemoresistance in various models of Upper Gastrointestinal Cancers. After defending his thesis, he worked at Dana Farber Cancer Institute/Harvard Medical School in the Department of Medical Oncology, dissecting the mechanism of treatment persistence in residual tumor models of cancers under the supervision of Dr. Constantine Mitsiades and Dr. Eugen Dhimolea. thesis advisor: Ackerman

Selected Publications:

E. Dhimolea, D. Kansara, et al., "An Embryonic Diapause-like Adaptation with Suppressed Myc Activity Enables Tumor Treatment Persistence." Cancer Cell 2021 Feb 8;39(2):240- 56.e11. DOI: 10.1016/j.ccell.2020.12.002 PMID: 33417832

E. Dhimolea, D. Kansara, et al., "Pleiotropic Mechanisms Drive Endocrine Resistance in The Three-Dimensional Bone Microenvironment." Cancer Res Aug 28, 2020, DOI: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-20-0571 PMID: 32859606

D. Kansara, R. Agrawal, "Effects of Statins and Farnesyl Transferase Inhibitors on the Development and Progression of Cancer." JPSBR: Volume 4, Issue 1: 2014 (131-137)

Cameron Messier

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Cameron Messier

Cameron graduated cum laude from Emmanuel College with a B.S. in Biology and was awarded Distinction in the Field for his undergraduate research thesis, focusing on proteomics. He then went on to work at the Belfer Center for Applied Cancer Science at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute where he contributed to translational research efforts, studying novel immunotherapeutic approaches to cancer treatment. Outside of the lab Cam likes to be active, playing sports, hiking, roller blading, snowboarding, and getting overly competitive with lawn games. thesis advisor: Turk

Chinaza Nnam

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Chinaza Nnam

I was born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria. My BSc was in Parasitology major, at the University of Lagos (2019).

I regard myself as a lifelong learner, and at Dartmouth, I look forward to fueling my passion for knowledge while engaging in translational research. I spend my spare time making crafts, reading articles, and just enjoying the vibe of my city. thesis advisor: Jakubzick

Zachary Peters

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Zachary Peters

I graduated from Middlebury College in February of 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry. Afterward I stayed on at Middlebury, working as manager of Dr. Grace Spatfora's lab, which investigates the etiological role of Streptococcus mutans in dental caries. Since Fall 2019 I have worked as a research assistant in the Geha laboratory at Boston Children's Hospital. There, we used mouse models to elucidate the underlying cellular and genetic mechanisms of primary immune deficiencies in children. Outside the lab, some of my hobbies include hiking, snowboarding, mountain biking and playing soccer. thesis advisor: Skopelja-Gardner

Dhanabala Subhiksha Rajesh Khanna

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Dhanabala_Rajesh

Dhanabala Subhiksha Rajesh Khanna hails from the city of Coimbatore in India. During her undergraduate studies, Subhiksha worked on the validation of bead-based assay systems and the evaluation of IgG titers of candidate meningococcal conjugate vaccines at the Serum Institute of India. She then went on to pursue a Master's in Biotechnology where her research focused on characterization of the Fe/S cluster biogenesis pathway proteins in Plasmodium vivax. With a fascination for cellular structures, at Dartmouth, Subhiksha desires to study the proteins responsible for cellular and sub-organellar dynamicity. When not stressing over experiments, Subhiksha enjoys hiking, cooking, gardening, and scouting new food places. thesis advisor: Hogan

Alicia Santos

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Alicia Santos

Alicia attended UC Irvine in her home state of California and graduated with a degree in Chemistry with a concentration in Chemical Biology. She has recently become part of Dartmouth's MCB program where she hopes to continue her interests in cancer biology research. Her time in undergrad was dedicated to determining a way to detect small concentrations of bladder cancer cells in urine through a painless and inexpensive method. She was the recipient of the NIH-Maximizing Access to Research Careers award (MARC), American Chemical Society Scholars Scholarship, and Allergan Undergraduate Fellowship. In her spare time, she enjoys camping, watching movies with friends and family, going to Disneyland, and snuggling with her dogs. thesis advisor: Fiering

Selected Publications:

 Sen, S. R.; Sanders, E. C.; Gabriel, K. N.; Miller, B. M.; Isoda, H. M.; Salcedo, G. S.; Garrido, J. E.; Dyer, R. P.; Nakajima, R.; Jain, A.; Caldaruse, A.-M.; Santos, A. M.; Bhuvan, K.; Tifrea, D. F.; Ricks-Oddie, J. L.; Felgner, P. L.; Edwards, R. A.; Majumdar, S.; Weiss, G. A. Predicting COVID-19 Severity with a Specific Nucleocapsid Antibody plus Disease Risk Factor Score2021https://doi.org/10.1128/msphere.00203-21

Bhasin, A.; Sanders, E. C.; Ziegler, J. M.; Briggs, J. S.; Drago, N. P.; Attar, A. M.; Santos, A. M.; True, M. Y.; Ogata, A. F.; Yoon, D. V.; Majumdar, S.; Wheat, A. J.; Patterson, S. V.; Weiss, G. A.; Penner, R. M. Virus Bioresistor (VBR) for Detection of Bladder Cancer Marker DJ-1 in Urine at 10 PM in One Minute. Anal. Chem. 2020https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.analchem.0c00534.

Sarvesh Surve

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Sarvesh Surve

Sarvesh received his bachelor's from Mumbai University in 2016 and his master's from Symbiosis School of Biological Sciences in 2018. He is a recipient of two national-level fellowships and a merit scholarship from his graduate university in India. During his graduate dissertation, he worked on the isolation and characterization of lactic acid bacteria. Later, he worked in the same lab exploring the genomic patterns of these isolates. He has also worked on the adaptive evolution of these unique isolates (Lactiplantibacillus plantarum) making them tolerant toward certain stressor molecules. The adaptation of these strains was studied by whole-genome mutation analysis and transcriptomic analysis. The evolved strains generated in this study were able to grow in high concentrations of stressors known to instantly kill the wild-type.In his downtime, Sarvesh enjoys partaking in activities such as running, photography, video games, and exploring places. He is a diehard fan of motorsports especially formula one. thesis advisor: O'Toole

Evelyn Turnbaugh

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Evelyn Turnbaugh

Evelyn graduated from the University of Kentucky with a B.S. in Agriculture and Medical Biotechnology and a minor in Biology. In her spare time Evelyn enjoys hiking, skiing, and spending time with her dog. thesis advisor: Leib

Alexandrea Turnquist

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Alexandrea Turnquist

Alex is a Chicago native and recent graduate from Loyola University Chicago with her bachelor's in molecular biology. Alex spent most of her time at Loyola working as an RA for the First Year Research Experience program, teaching piano, and doing research. Her undergraduate research focused on understanding how climate change/heat stress impacts the craniofacial development of lizards. Alex is looking to switch gears during her first year at Dartmouth and start focusing on immunology. In her spare time, Alex is a musician and does piano and lead vocals for a local band in Hanover. thesis advisor: Usherwood

Chinmay Vaidya

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Chinmay Vaidya

I graduated with a BS in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, as well as an MA in Molecular, Cellular & Developmental Biology from UCSB in sunny Southern California. I'm stoked to make the move out east to see what weather below 65 degrees has to offer! My undergraduate research looked at co-treatments of chemotherapy drugs with magnetic nanoparticles in order to increase treatment efficacy. My Master's work focused on decoding the dynamic and combinatorial signals of embryonic development through optogenetics--in other words, excessive systems and synthetic biology. In my free time, I love drinking tea, cooking, and then eating inordinate amounts of food. I'm super excited to be at Dartmouth and hope especially to indulge in the excellent hikes and accompanying beer! thesis advisor: Ackerman

Chen-Yu "Kerry" Wang

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Chen-Yu "Kerry" Wang

I come from Taiwan. I received a bachelor's in science in Medical Laboratory Science and Biotechnology from National Chen Kung University in 2018. I received my MS in Immunology from National Taiwan University in 2020. Currently working as a research assistant. My research focuses on gut regulatory dendritic cells (regDCs) and the relationship between herbs and gut homeostasis. I am looking forward for autoimmunity or cancer immunity studies at Dartmouth. As for my hobbies, I love singing, cycling, mountain climbing and jogging. I'm also very interested in skiing, hoping to learn how to ski at Dartmouth this winter! thesis advisor: Pioli

Molecular & Systems Biology

Sumyuktha Anand

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Sumyuktha Anand

Sumy graduated from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities with a BS in Neuroscience. When asked for a few sentences on her research, Sumy detailed how she has managed a research project studying social interaction in same sex mice to understand reward circuits and how it promotes social behavior using fiber photometry measurements, has also conducted experiments to measure impulsivity as a means to study cognitive impairment in mice via 5-choice serial reaction time test to understand personality disorders and has additionally managed a research project to lower breathing rate of mice through plethysmography experiments while optogenetic implants excited the dopaminergic neurons in the ventral tegmental area. She enjoys Indian classical dance, baking, travelling to explore new places and architecture, visiting antique stores and reading. thesis advisor: Havrda

Elisa Carloni

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Elisa Carloni

I received my Bachelor's in neuroscience from Lawrence University in 2019. Since then, I have been working as a laboratory technician in a pre-clinical schizophrenia laboratory at Johns Hopkins University. I am interested in behavioral neuroscience, neuroimmunology, and pharmacology. I believe these areas greatly overlap and I will look to incorporate them in my research in an interdisciplinary fashion. Outside of the lab, I love to run, ski, read and take my corgi on long walks. thesis advisor: Havrda

Nicole Desmet

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Nicole Desmet

In 2018, Nicole graduated from Michigan State University's Honors College with her B.S. in Physiology. After graduation, she worked in medical technology in Dublin, Ireland, traveling Europe and learning the industry side of research. She then returned to Michigan and worked at MSU's Institute for Quantitative Health Science and Engineering in Biomedical Engineering before starting her PhD at Dartmouth College. As part of the Molecular and Systems Biology Department, Nicole is a graduate student in the Luikart lab studying the genetic underpinnings of Autism Spectrum Disorder. When not in lab, Nicole enjoys spending time with her dog, Kevin, and her friends and family. thesis advisor: Luikart

Selected Publications:

Desmet NM, Dhusia K, Qi W, Doseff AI, Bhattacharya S, Gilad AA. Bioengineering of Genetically Encoded Gene Promoter Repressed by the Flavonoid Apigenin for Constructing Intracellular Sensor for Molecular Events. Biosensors (Basel). 2021 Apr 28;11(5):137. doi: 10.3390/bios11050137. PMID: 33924783; PMCID: PMC8147076.

Abigail Keim

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Abigail Keim

Abby grew up in Vermont and graduated from Endicott College with a Bachelor's degree in Biology/Biotechnology and Psychology. She then came to Dartmouth to pursue an MD-PhD.  She currently serves on the Geisel Student Government, Medical Education Committee, and MD-PhD Admissions Committee. She is also a co-director of the Science Scholars Program. She is currently working towards her PhD in the Molecular and Systems Biology program and conducts research in Dr. Aaron McKenna's lab. Her project centers around creating a CRISPR base editor lineage tracing system to elucidate cell relationships in heterogenous tumors such as glioblastoma. Outside of the lab, Abby enjoys running, hiking, cross country skiing, and other adventures with her husband and two dogs. thesis advisor: McKenna

Somer Matar

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Somer Matar

Somer earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from Keene State College. Before joining MCB, she worked in biotech for four years identifying blood biomarkers. She is an ASCP Board Certified Technologist in Molecular Biology. In the Leach Lab, Somer's research focuses on elucidating the clonal dynamics of metastatic pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma using a zebrafish model. Outside the lab, Somer enjoys rock climbing, collecting house plants and cooking. thesis advisor: Leach

Selected publications:
Matar S, Malczewska A, Oberg K, Bodei L, Aslanian H, Lewczuk-Myślicka A, Filosso PL, Suarez AL, Kolasińska-Ćwikła A, Roffinella M, Kos-Kudła B, Ćwikła JB, Drozdov IA, Kidd M, Modlin IM. Blood Chromogranin A Is Not Effective as a Biomarker for Diagnosis or Management of Bronchopulmonary Neuroendocrine Tumors/Neoplasms. Neuroendocrinology. 2020;110(3-4):185-197. doi: 10.1159/000500202. Epub 2019 Apr 16. PMID: 30995665; PMCID: PMC7472424.

Kidd M, Drozdov IA, Matar S, Gurunlian N, Ferranti NJ, Malczewska A, Bennett P, Bodei L, Modlin IM. Utility of a ready-to-use PCR system for neuroendocrine tumor diagnosis. PLoS One. 2019 Jun 27;14(6):e0218592. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0218592. PMID: 31247038; PMCID: PMC6597157.

Malczewska A, Kidd M, Matar S, Kos-Kudla B, Modlin IM. A Comprehensive Assessment of the Role of miRNAs as Biomarkers in Gastroenteropancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumors. Neuroendocrinology. 2018;107(1):73-90. doi: 10.1159/000487326. Epub 2018 Mar 22. PMID: 29566385.

Beatriz Mercado

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Beatriz Mercado

Beatriz received her Associates in Science from Bronx Community College, where she majored in Biology. After which she became a certified EMT. She then attended John Jay College and obtained a Bachelor of Science in Cellular and Molecular Biology with a minor in Psychology. At John Jay College, she worked in Dr. Lents's lab to discover human-specific microRNAs. Before joining Dartmouth's Molecular and Cellular Biology Ph.D. program, she was an NIH-PREP fellow at Brown University from 2020 to 2021. At Brown, Beatriz worked in Dr.Yajima's lab to elucidate P53 and MYC antagonist function in sea urchin embryonic development. Beatriz is an incoming Ph.D. student at Dartmouth and was awarded the E.E. Just Liftoff Graduate Fellowship. She is looking forward to joining a research lab that focuses on how epithelial-mesenchymal transition contributes to cancer heterogeneity resulting in metastasis and therapeutic resistance. Beatriz enjoys reading fantasy novels, playing video games, and sewing. thesis advisor: Kasper

Juan Mercado Del Valle

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Juan Mercado Del Valle

A graduate of the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras, Juan earned a bachelor's degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology. Currently he is a Graduate Diversity Fellow of the Guarini School of Graduate and Advanced Studies, a RISE scholar and a Ryan Fellow studying in the Department of Molecular and Systems Biology. In the Gerber lab, Juan uses the auxin-inducible degron (AID) technology as a means to rapidly and specifically degrade endogenously degron-tagged Plk2, in conjunction with quantitative phosphoproteomics to identify potential substrates of Plk2 and decipher its signaling in basic biology and disease. Outside the lab, Juan follows economic news and can be found playing board games. thesis advisor: Gerber

Selected Publications:
Quesada O, Gonzalez-Freire, C, Ferrer M, Colon-Saez J, Fernandez-Garcia E, Mercado J, Davila A, Morales R, Lasalde-Dominicci  JA. Uncovering the Lipidic Basis for the Preparation of Functional Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor Detergent Complexes for Structural Studies. Sci Rep. 2016 Sep 19;6:32766. doi: 10.1038/srep32766

Gadisti Aisha Mohamed

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Gadisti Aisha Mohamed

A graduate of National University of Singapore, Aisha received a Bachelor of Science with Honors in Life Sciences, specializing in Molecular and Cell Biology. She then attended Queen Mary University of London and was awarded a Master of Science, with distinction, in Molecular Pathology and Genomics. Here at Dartmouth, Aisha is in the Molecular & Systems Biology PhD program in the Pattabiraman lab studying intra-tumoral heterogeneity, which is the presence of multiple different subpopulation of cells within the same tumor. She is determining how cellular heterogeneity affects tumor growth, tumor metastasis, and response to treatment. Aisha is particularly interested in determining which kinds of cells within a normal mammary gland give rise to heterogeneity in breast cancer. Aisha loves to read scifi/fantasy/alternate history books, solving puzzles and cooking. thesis advisor: Pattabiraman
 
Selected publications:
Ognjenovic NB, Bagheri M, Mohamed GA, Xu K, Chen Y, Mohamed Saleem MA, Brown MS, Nagaraj SH, Muller KE, Gerber SA, Christensen BC, Pattabiraman DR. Limiting Self-Renewal of the Basal Compartment by PKA Activation Induces Differentiation and Alters the Evolution of Mammary Tumors. Dev Cell. 2020 Dec 7;55(5):544-557.e6. doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2020.10.004. Epub 2020 Oct 28.  
 
Shabaneh TB, Molodtsov AK, Steinberg SM, Zhang P, Torres GM, Mohamed GA, Boni A, Curiel TJ, Angeles CV, Turk MJ. Oncogenic BRAFV600E Governs Regulatory T-cell Recruitment during Melanoma Tumorigenesis. Cancer Res. 2018 Sep 1;78(17):5038-5049. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-18-0365. Epub 2018 Jul 19. 

Madeline Morrisson

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Madeline Mossisson

Madeline graduated from University of New Haven in 2019, with a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry. During her undergraduate career, she ran cross country, indoor and outdoor track, and interned in the lab of Dr. Yang Yang-Hartwich at Yale School of Medicine. Her research there focused on the molecular impact of exercise on initiation and progression of ovarian cancer. At Dartmouth, she is a part of Dr. Mike Whitfield's lab, studying systemic sclerosis. Madeline is specifically interested in further characterizing mouse models of systemic sclerosis, using techniques such as single-cell RNA sequencing. Outside of the lab, she enjoys reading, running, hiking, skiing, hanging out with her cat, and advocating for students as a member of the Graduate Student Council. thesis advisor: Whitfield

Selected Publications

Bi, F., Jiang, Z., Park, W., Hartwich,T., Ge, Z., Chong, K., Yang, K., Morrisson, M., Kim, D., Kim, J., Zhang, W., Kril, L., Watt, D., Liu C., and Yang-Hartwich,. Y., A Benzenesulfonamide-Based Mitochondrial Uncoupler Induces Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress and Immunogenic Cell Death in Epithelial Ovarian Cancer, Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, November 2021

Morrisson, M., B,i F., Yang, K., Cady, S., Hartwich, T., Cerchia, A., Li, Z., Kim, J., Irwin, M.,Yang-Hartwich Y.; Effects of exercise on peritoneal microenvironment and progression of ovarian cancer, American Journal of Cancer Research, October 2021

Yang-Hartwich, Y., Kang, M., Chong, K., Hartwich, T., Bi, G., Witham, A., Patrick, D., Morrisson M., Cady, S., Cerchia, A., Kelk, D., Liu, Y., Nucci, J., Madarikan O., Ueno, D., Shuch, B; BDNF/TrkB signaling promotes ovarian cancer initiation from tumor precursors with p53 mutation. Oncogenesis, May 2020

Kathleen Paul

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Kathleen Paul

Kathleen (Kath) received her B.S. in Biology from Gettysburg College. Since then, she has been a research technologist at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in the Department of Genetic Medicine. Her work revolved around the molecular genetics of Cystic Fibrosis, and she focused on the disease liability and drug response of rare variants of the CFTR gene. She is interested in pharmacology and translational research. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, reading, painting, and hiking. thesis advisor: Havrda

Dillon Popovich

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Dillon Popovich

Dillon has a Biochemistry Bachelor's degree with a minor in Chemistry from Stony Brook University where he graduated cum laude. Dillon conducts research in the Whitfield Lab on Systemic sclerosis (SSc), a rare autoimmune disease characterized by fibrosis of the skin and other internal organs.  Using computational methods, he works to determine which possible perturbagens can alleviate the dysregulation of gene expression profiles associated with the disease.  Currently, multiple perturbagens are being tested in primary 3D tissue models of SSc with highly promising results. Dillon likes to stay healthy by spending time in the gym and having been inspired by Master Chef, he is teaching himself to cook many of the different dishes and cuisines from the show. thesis advisor: Whitfield

Rachel Saxe

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Rachel Saxe

Rachel majored in Biology at Tufts University where she received the Thomas Harrison and Emily Leonard Carmichael Prize Scholarship in 2019. As a member of the McKenna lab, Rachel's research focuses on using dynamic lineage tracing and next-generation sequencing to track clonal evolution of cancer in response to treatment. Her overarching goal is to understand how selective pressure from cancer therapeutics can change disease landscapes.  Rachel's hobbies include art and hiking. thesis advisor: McKenna

Zachary T. Spencer

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Zachary Spencer

Zachary received a B.S in Biochemistry from Union College (NY). To date he has been recognized as an Albert J. Ryan Fellow, a recipient of the Norris Cotton Cancer Center Travel Award and Molecular and Systems Biology Department Travel Award and a Lee Davenport '37 Summer Research Fellowship. He is an associate member of Sigma Xi Scientific Research Society.  Zachary works in the lab of Dr. Yashi Ahmed in the Molecular and Systems Biology Ph.D. program where they use a Drosophila model system to investigate novel regulators of the Wnt/Wingless pathway. The New Hampshire weather is ideal for Zachary as he spends his free time playing hockey, skiing, and fishing. thesis advisor: Ahmed

Selected publications:

Neitzel, LR, Spencer, ZT, Nayak, A, Cselenyi, CS, Benchabane, H, Youngblood, CQ, Zouaoui, Alya,Z, Ng, V,Stephens, L, Hann, T, Patton, JG, Robbins, D, Ahmed, Y, Lee, E. Developmental Regulation of Wnt signaling by Nagk and the UDP-GlcNAc salvage pathway. Mech Dev. 2019 Apr;156:20-31. doi: 10.1016/j.mod.2019.03.002. Epub 2019 Mar 20.

Elizabethlauren Stevenson

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Elizabethlauren Stevenson

Lizzy graduated magna cum laude from William Jewell College in Liberty, MO, and majored in Molecular Biology in the Oxbridge Honors Program. She ran both cross country and track and field for Jewell. After a gap year working at the Stowers Institute in Kansas City, she joined the Molecular and Systems Biology Ph.D. program at Dartmouth, where she's currently a grad student in the Dunlap-Loros lab. The lab studies the molecular mechanism behind circadian rhythms. Lizzy utilizes both human tissue culture cells as well as the filamentous fungus N. crassa. In both systems, she investigates the role of phosphorylation in regulating different aspects of the molecular clock. Outside of lab, she loves to explore the beautiful Upper Valley by hiking, running, and skiing. thesis advisor: Dunlap/Loros

Muhammad Taha

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Muhammad Taha

Taha received his bachelor's degree in Biology from Lahore University of Management Sciences, Lahore, Pakistan. Taha served as a Dartmouth graduate council representative from 2019-2020. As a member of the Ahmed lab in our Molecular & Systems Biology program, he focuses on understanding the mechanisms that control Wnt signal transduction, a pathway that is critical for the development of all animals and for stem cell maintenance in adult organs. Deregulation of Wnt signaling is associated with many human diseases, including nearly all colorectal cancers. He works to identify new components of the pathway which could be used as potential drug targets against the colorectal cancer. Outside lab, Taha likes to play soccer, frisbee, chess and spend time on his Playstation. thesis advisor: Ahmed
 
Selected publications:
Jawaid, A., Kunzi, M., Mansoor, M., Khan, Z. Y., Abid, A., Taha, M., … Mansuy, I. M. (2020). Distinct microRNA signature in human serum and germline after childhood trauma. MedRxiv, 2020.08.11.20168393. https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.08.11.20168393

Ruoyun Wang

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Ruoyun Wang

Ruoyun graduated from Nanjing University with a BS degree.  There she studied biological science. Here at Dartmouth she is in our Molecular and Systems Biology department and she studies the function of chromatin remodeler SWI/SNF complex in Pancreatic Cancer. She is trying to use sequencing methods to characterize the genomic targeting of SWI/SNF, such as promoter and enhancer regulation. She hopes this will help understanding epigenome and related diseases. Her hobbies are skiing, cooking, playing video games and playing the piano. thesis advisor: Wang

Selected publications:
Chen, Kelan, Richard W. Birkinshaw, Alexandra D. Gurzau, Iromi Wanigasuriya, Ruoyun Wang, Megan Iminitoff, Jarrod J. Sandow et al. "Crystal structure of the hinge domain of Smchd1 reveals its dimerization mode and nucleic acid–binding residues." Sci Signal . 2020 Jun 16;13(636):eaaz5599. doi: 10.1126/scisignal.aaz5599.

Carolyn Winston

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Carolyn Winston

Carolyn graduated with a B.A. in Biology and a minor in Mathematics from Johns Hopkins University. Before joining MCB, she worked as a research technician for three years, studying gene expression modulations in the liver following acute and chronic injury. Outside of the lab, Carolyn enjoys creative writing, drawing, and rock climbing. thesis advisor: Kasper

Selected Publications:

Walesky, C.M., Kolb, K.E., Winston, C.L. et al. Functional compensation precedes recovery of tissue mass following acute liver injury. Nat Commun 11, 5785 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-19558-3

Norris Cotton Cancer Center

Ji-Qing Chen

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Ji-Qing Chen

Ji-Qing obtained a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from National Taiwan University in Taipei, Taiwan, majoring in Entomology. He then furthered his academic studies by receiving a Master of Medical Degree in Toxicology. Ji-Qing is in the Cancer Biology PhD program and works in the Christensen lab. His interest is in exploring the association between epigenetics and outcomes in cancer patients. He is particularly interested in investigating whether methylation-derived immune cell profiles could be biomarkers for tumor recurrence of non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer. In his spare time, Ji-Qing plays the drums. thesis advisor: Christensen 

Selected Publications:
Hung WY, Chang JH, Cheng Y, Chen CK, Chen JQ, Hua KT, Cheng CW, Hsiao M, Chung CL, Lee WJ, Chien MH. Leukocyte Cell-Derived Chemotaxin 2 Retards Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Progression Through Antagonizing MET and EGFR Activities. Cell Physiol Biochem. 2018;51(1):337-355. doi: 10.1159/000495233. Epub 2018 Nov 19.  
 
Petersen CL, Chen JQ, Salas LA, Christensen BC. Altered Immune Phenotype and DNA Methylation in Panic Disorder. Clin Epigenetics. 2020 Nov 18;12(1):177. doi: 10.1186/s13148-020-00972-9. 

Luke Deary

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Luke Deary

Luke is a graduate of Washington and Lee University. He received a BS degree in Biology with a Classics minor. In our Molecular and Cellular Biology graduate program, Luke is a member of the Wang lab in the Norris Cotton Cancer Center. He studies the role of SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling complexes in maintenance of intestinal stem cell identity and their loss of function in colorectal cancers. His hobbies include skiing, hiking and guitar. thesis advisor: Wang

Selected Publications:
Carlone DL, Riba-Wolman RD, Deary LT, Tovaglieri A, Jiang L, Ambruzs DM, Mead BE, Shah MS, Lengner CJ, Jaenisch R, Breault DT. Telomerase expression marks transitional growth-associated skeletal progenitor/stem cells. Stem Cells. 2021 Mar;39(3):296-305. doi: 10.1002/stem.3318. Epub 2021 Jan 13. PMID: 33438789.
 
Richmond CA, Shah MS, Deary LT, Trotier DC, Thomas H, Ambruzs DM, Jiang L, Whiles BB, Rickner HD, Montgomery RK, Tovaglieri A, Carlone DL, Breault DT. Dormant Intestinal Stem Cells Are Regulated by PTEN and Nutritional Status. Cell Rep. 2015 Dec 22;13(11):2403-2411. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2015.11.035. Epub 2015 Dec 10. PMID: 26686631; PMCID: PMC4691543.

Yichen Feng

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Yichen Feng

Yichen received a Bachelor of Science from ShanghaiTech University in China, majoring in Biological Sciences. During his undergrad he attended an exchange program at UC Berkeley. Here at Dartmouth, Yichen is in our Norris Cotton Cancer program and is a member of the Samkoe lab. He is applying Paired-Agent Imaging to conduct receptor occupancy measurements in tumors in vivo. This project will help to determine the percentage of receptors being occupied by drugs used to treat cancer. Given that the therapeutic effect is proportional to the number of drug-occupied receptors, this new technique may have the potential to both determine safe dosages for clinical trials and determine precise dosing for personalized cancer treatment. In his spare time, Yichen is a collector of vintage fountain pens and mineral specimens. thesis advisor: Samkoe

Abigail Goen

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Abigail Goen

Abigail graduated summa cum laude from the University of New Hampshire. Here at Dartmouth, she is in our Cancer Biology program and does translational research on ER+ metastatic breast cancer (MBC). Her research aims to identify and target therapeutic vulnerabilities in the dormant and metastatic setting in an effort to expand the treatment options for patients with ER+/HER2- MBC. One line of inquiry is focused on targeting specific proteins in drug tolerant persister cells that promote fatty acid oxidation, which cells utilize to escape cell death while on adjuvant therapy. Another line of study investigates mutations in ESR1, the gene that codes for the estrogen receptor. She aims to investigate novel therapeutic strategies that target these mutants. Abigail is passionate about outreach and engaging with the community. She enjoys hiking, reading, and local adventures with her husband and three children. thesis advisor: Miller

Selected publications:
Hampsch RA, Wells JD, Traphagen NA, McCleery CF, Fields JL, Shee K, Dillon LM, Pooler DB, Lewis LD, Demidenko E, Huang YH, Marotti JD, Goen AE, Kinlaw WB, Miller TW. AMPK Activation by Metformin Promotes Survival of Dormant ER+ Breast Cancer Cells. Clin Cancer Res. 2020 Jul 15;26(14):3707-3719. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-20-0269. Epub 2020 Apr 22. PMID: 32321715; PMCID: PMC7367755.

Yuyang Huang

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Yuyang Huang

Yuyang graduated from the University of California, Davis with a B.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in 2019. She then furthered her studies by receiving a master of science degree in Microbiology and Immunology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. There she studied the immunology of long term ART-suppressed individuals living with HIV, particularly the immunophenotypic signatures of infected CD4 T cells in both pediatric and adult infections. Yuyang is broadly interested in immunology and virology. In her spare time, she also enjoys cooking, reading and ice skating. thesis advisor: Lau

Jordan Fredriksen Isaacs

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Jordan Fredriksen Isaacs

Jordan majored in Neuroscience and minored in Economics at Smith College.  Jordan is in the Cancer biology (CANB) program as a member of the Gaur lab. She has been working on a novel estrogen receptor beta agonist, developed by Dr. Glenn Micalizio, in the Department of Chemistry at Dartmouth. For her thesis project, Jordan is currently studying the effects of this compound on pre-clinical patient-derived models of glioma in addition to characterizing the effects on inflammatory signaling. She received the 'Best Poster' award at the Norris Cotton Cancer Center Scientific Retreat in January 2020, and 'Best Poster' at the Molecular Cell Biology Recruitment Poster Session in January 2021. She is a recipient the $20,000 DIAC-DRIVEN Project Advancement Award. Most recently, In April 2021, she co-led with Dr. Arti Gaur and Divya Ravi a team that was awarded $300,000 in the inaugural year of the Dartmouth Innovations Accelerator for Cancer (DIAC). Her research is focused on establishing the therapeutic role of estrogen receptors in glioma as well as understanding the immune-modulatory effects on the tumor microenvironment. Jordan was a two-year captain of a NCAA Division 3 Soccer Team and received the New England Men and Women's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Academic All-Conference Award from 2015-2018 and received the All Conference Sportsmanship Award in 2018. She still very much enjoys soccer, participated on the Dartmouth Women's Club Soccer Team and was an assistant coach to the Hanover High School Girls Soccer Team in 2019. She is on the executive board of the biotechnology club and in her free time she loves cooking and spending time with my her little sisters! thesis advisor: Rosato

Anneka Johnson

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Anneka Johnson

Anneka graduated Magna Cumae Laude with a BS in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire in 2019. She is the 2021-2022 Cancer Biology MCB student representative and a member of the Miller lab. Research in the Miller lab focuses on understanding the molecular mechanisms that allow estrogen receptor positive (ER+) breast cancer to survive anti-estrogen therapy and lay dormant in the body for many years before giving rise to recurrence in ~1/3 of patients. Anneka is interested in understanding what leads to metastasis and how that process is unique in each organ. Additionally, she has worked on several other projects in the lab including studying metabolic rewiring and estrogen therapy as a method of overcoming anti-estrogen resistance.  Outside the lab she enjoys spending her free time hiking, skiing, gardening, and embroidering. thesis advisor: Miller

Min Kyung Lee

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Min Kyung Lee

Min graduated from Baruch College – City University of New York where she created an ad hoc major in Environmental Pharmacology. In parallel to her Ph.D. dissertation research in the Cancer Biology Ph.D. program, she is also pursuing a concurrent Master's degree in Quantitative Biomedical Sciences.  She was an NSF DIFUSE fellow in 2020. Min's research is focused on understanding genetic and epigenetic alterations that occur in disease, particularly in the pediatric central nervous system, both at the tissue and single cell level. Her hobbies include travelling and finding new restaurants to try. thesis advisor: Christensen

Selected publications:
 Lee MK*, Armstrong DA*, Hazlett, Dessaint JA, Mellinger DL, Aridgides DS, Christensen BC, Ashare, A. Exposure to extracellular vesicles from Pseudomonas aeruginosa result in loss of DNA methylation at enhancer and DNase hypersensitive site regions in lung macrophages. Epigenetics, 2020. https://doi.org/10.1080/15592294.2020.1853318
PMID: 33380271
 
Armstrong DA*, Lee MK*, Hazlett HF, Dessaint JA, Mellinger DL, Aridgides DS, Hendricks GM, Moemen AKA, Christensen BC, Ashare A. Extracellular vesicles from Pseudomonas aeruginosa suppress numerous MHC-related molecules in lung macrophages. Immunohorizons, 2020. https://doi.org/10.4049/immunohorizons.2000026
PMID: 32819967

Alexandra Massa

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Alexandra Massa

Alexandra is a graduate of Stonehill College and received a BS in Neuroscience and BA in Chemistry. She is a member of the Leach lab in the Cancer Biology Ph.D. program, a Dartmouth Ph.D. Innovation Fellow, a member of the Student Leadership Board for Dartmouth's Magnuson Center for Entrepreneurship, and a Venture Fellow at Borealis Ventures. Her research focuses on the expression and regulation of endogenous retroviruses (ERVs), which are sequences of past viral infections that have become fixed in vertebrate genomes. Specifically, she is interested in how ERV dysregulation impacts the host immune system in disease states such as cancer and autoimmunity.  Alexandra's hobbies include snowboarding, reading, and listening to podcasts. thesis advisor: Leach

Selected publications:

Dhara S, Chhangawala S, Chintalapudi H, Askan G, Aveson V, Massa AL, Zhang L, Torres D, Makohon-Moore AP, Lecomte N, Melchor JP, Bermeo J, Cardenas A 3rd, Sinha S, Glassman D, Nicolle R, Moffitt R, Yu KH, Leppanen S, Laderman S, Curry B, Gui J, Balachandran VP, Iacobuzio-Donahue C, Chandwani R, Leslie CS, Leach SD. Pancreatic cancer prognosis is predicted by an ATAC-array technology for assessing chromatin accessibility. Nat Commun. 2021 May 24;12(1):3044. doi: 10.1038/s41467-021-23237-2.

Porichis F, Hart M, Massa A, Everett H, Morou A, Richard J, Veillette M, Hassan M, Ngoc N, Freeman G, Finzi A, Kaufmann D. Immune checkpoint blockade restores HIV-specific CD4 T cell help for NK cells. Journal of Immunology. June 22, 2018, ji1701551; doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1701551.

Neumeyer AM, O'Rourke JA, Massa A, Lee H, Lawson EA, McDougle CJ, Misra M. Brief report: bone fractures in children and adults with autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. March 2015; 45:881-7. doi: 10.1007/s10803-014-2228-1

Alyssa Roberts

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Alyssa Roberts

Originally from Minnesota, Alyssa attended North Dakota State University majoring in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.  During her undergraduate degree, she studied a variety of topics such as the effects of ligand passivation on cadmium sulfide quantum dots through computational experiments, interactions of heme with IgG, and genetic modification of canola to decrease sensitivity to temperature with the USDA. However, in the MCB program she aims to study autoimmune diseases.  In her free time, she enjoys playing video games, fishing, and spending time with her two cats. thesis advisor: Miller

Bianca Romo

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Bianca Romo

Bianca is a graduate of St. Mary's University in San Antonio, TX. She is an Ernest Everett Just Liftoff Fellow in the Miller lab within the Cancer Biology Ph.D. Program. Breast cancer is treated with anti-endocrine therapies, but a consequence of such therapies is the development of resistance. Her research goal is to identify the interactome of estrogen receptor alpha (ER) when this resistance occurs so as to identify potential therapeutic targets. Bianca enjoys photographing nature, Middle Eastern Dance, Reading, and Digital Art. thesis advisor: Miller

Selected Publications:
Schwartz G, Shee K, Romo B, Marotti J, Kisselev A, Lewis L, Miller T. 2021 Phase 1B Study of the Oral Proteasome Inhibitor Ixazomib (MLN9708) and Fulvestrant in Advanced ER+ Breast Cancer Progressing on Fulvestrant.  Oncologist. 2021 Feb 28. doi:10.1002/onco.13733. Online ahead of print.

Steven Tau

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Steven Tau

A graduate of the University of Rochester with a Chemical Engineering degree, Steven is an MD-PhD student in the Miller lab in the Cancer Biology PhD program. Adjuvant endocrine therapy has been successful in the treatment of estrogen receptor-positive (ER+) breast cancer, but recurrences occur in ~1/3 of patients and most become metastatic. Recurrence is caused by drug-tolerant persister cancer cells (DTPs) that are able to survive even after years of endocrine therapy. The work in the Miller lab has found that metabolic reprogramming characterized by increased mitochondrial content, OXPHOS flux, and altered redox status. We are evaluating the tractability of targeting metabolic reprogramming as a method of eliminating DTPs. Steven's hobbies include running, hiking the Whites, cycling, skiing, gardening, and reading. thesis advisor: Miller

Irma Vlasac

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Irma Vlasac

Irma graduated from Worcester Polytechnic Institute with a BS in Biology and Biotechnology. Irma's research before joining the MCB program at Dartmouth has focused on the genetics of human circadian rhythms and the influence of circadian rhythms on human health and disease onset and manifestation. Outside of science, Irma volunteers regularly and is a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA), working closely with court involved youth to offer support and mentorship. Her interests and passions include creating art, being active, exploring, and spending time with friends (especially the four-legged kind). thesis advisor: Christensen

Selected Publications:

Lane JM, Vlasac I, Anderson SG, Kyle SD, Dixon WG, Bechtold DA, Gill S, Little MA, Luik A, Loudon A, Emsley R, Scheer FAJL, Lawlor DA, Redline S, Ray DW, Rutter MK, Saxena R. Genome-wide association analysis identifies novel loci for chronotype in 100,420 individuals from the UK Biobank. Nat. Commun. 7, 10889 (2016).

Lane JM, Liang J, Vlasac I, Anderson SG, Bechtold DA, Bowden J, Emsley R, Gill S, Little MA, Luik AI, Loudon A, Scheer FAJL, Purcell SM, Lawlor DA, Zhu X, Redline S, Ray DW, Rutter MK, Saxena R. Genome- wide association analyses of sleep disturbance traits identify new loci and highlight shared genetics with neuropsychiatric and metabolic traits. Nat. Genet. 49, 274-281 (2017).

Cain SW, Chang AM, Vlasac I, Tare A, Anderson C, Czeisler CA, Saxena R. Circadian rhythms in plasma brain-derived neurotrophic factor differ in men and women. J. Biol. Rhythms, 32, 75-82 (2017).

Huijuan Yang

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Huijuan Yang

Huijuan received a Bachelor of Science degree in Pharmacy from Nankai University, China. She then obtained a master's degree in Biotechnology from the University of Pennsylvania. She is interested in understanding mechanisms and developing new therapies in cancer. In her previous work, she participated in the development of a dual-targeting anti-IL-6 and pro-CD 40 strategy, which could improve immunotherapy against glioblastoma, and possibly other malignant tumors. She also worked on the mechanism of endothelial vessel formation, which may contribute to the development of targeted anti-angiogenic therapies for cancer. In her spare time, she enjoys baking, hiking, traveling, and watching amines. She is a ping pong player and previously represented UPenn in tournaments. thesis advisor: Miller