Name: Victoria BrooksTitle: PhD Candidate | Department of Microbiology, Howard UniversityEmail: firstname.lastname@example.orgResearch Topic: Red blood cell alloimmunization in Sickle Cell DiseaseMentors: James G. Taylor, IV, MD (Howard University), and Sergei Nekhai, PhD (Howard University)
Bio: My background is in Microbiology, I have a B.S. in Microbiology/Biotechnology, however, it was not until graduate school that I took interest in the biomedical research emphasis of Microbiology, especially Immunology and microbial–host interactions. I am currently a PhD. candidate at Howard University pursing a degree in Medical Microbiology with an emphasis in Immunology; working under the guidance of Dr. James G. Taylor, Director of the Howard University’s Center for Sickle Cell Disease. My thesis research proposes to elucidate a biological basis of red blood cell alloimmunization in multiple transfused sickle cell disease patients. I am using both genetic and immunological based approaches to determine if there are susceptibility profiles associated with this complication in frequently transfused patients. Alloimmunization is the major factor limiting the use of transfusion therapy in sickle cell disease, and this work has the potential for early identification of patients at increased risk.
Name: Sikoya AshburnTitle: PhD Candidate | Interdisciplinary Program in Neuroscience, Georgetown UniversityEmail: email@example.comResearch Topic: Cerebellar involvement in reading and math disabilitiesMentors: Dr. Guinevere Eden
Bio: I began my venture as a cognitive neuroscientist at Duke University where I graduated with a B.S. in Neuroscience and B.A. in Spanish. While at Duke, I volunteered as a research assistant in behavioral neuroscience and cognitive neuroimaging labs. Before matriculating into the Interdisciplinary Program in Neuroscience at Georgetown University, I worked as a research assistant for an Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) study with the goal of using fMRI to find a novel biomarker for AD under the direction of Dr. Xiong Jiang. At this time, I was also a MRI technician for the Center of Functional Magnetic Imaging with Dr. John VanMeter. Presently as a doctoral candidate under the mentorship of Dr. Guinevere Eden, I study the cerebellum’s involvement in higher cognitive functions, particularly with respect to reading and math. Under the TL1 training grant, I am using a combination of functional activation and connectivity to test potential cerebellar involvement in children with co-morbid reading (dyslexia) and math (dyscalculia) disabilities. In the future, I hope to continue using neuroimaging methods to elucidate the cerebellum’s involvement in other developmental and learning disorders, which may then be used to redefine current interventions.
Name: Kevin CookTitle: PhD Candidate | Interdisciplinary Program in Neuroscience, Georgetown UniversityEmail: firstname.lastname@example.org Research Topic: Role of the medial temporal lobe in autism spectrum disorderMentor: Chandan Vaidya PhDPubmed Link: See link
Bio: I am a PhD Candidate in Neuroscience at Georgetown University, where I where I am investigating the role of memory and learning in explaining clinical symptoms of autism spectrum disorder. In particular, I use imaging techniques to examine differences in brain activity in children with autism, with an emphasis on structures in the medial temporal lobe. Prior to joining the Neuroscience program at Georgetown, I obtained by B.A. in psychology from Skidmore college and then went on to earn my M.A. in clinical psychology from University of Hartford. After working as both a mental health clinician at a community clinic and then as a researcher in a lab examining clinical and symptom overlap between autism and schizophrenia, I joined the neuroscience program at Georgetown and the lab of Dr. Vaidya. Ultimately, it is my hope to continue to explain clinical symptoms seen in autism through the lens of differences in fundamental cognitive processes.
Name: Tamar DembyTitle: PhD Candidate | Oncology, Georgetown UniversityEmail: email@example.comResearch Topic: Mouse Modeling of APOE Genotype in Chemotherapy-related Cognitive ImpairmentMentors: Dr. G. William Rebeck, Dr. Jeanne MandelblattPubmed Link: See link
I am a 4th-year PhD student in Georgetown University’s Tumor Biology program. Having completed my undergraduate degree in Biotechnology at Rutgers, I wanted to combine pursuit of studies in animal systems biology with translational approaches that would help me turn basic research discoveries into novel translational approaches in the medical field. I was drawn to the Tumor Biology program based on my strong interest in cancer biology as well as the program’s interdisciplinary approaches to cancer research and emphasis on communication between basic and clinical researchers. As a graduate student at Georgetown, I went through multiple research rotations in cancer biology laboratories before joining the laboratory of Dr. G. William Rebeck of the Neuroscience department, under dual mentorship with Dr. Jeanne Mandelblatt of the Cancer Prevention and Control Program. I embarked on a project to develop a mouse model of the effects of Apolipoprotein E genotype on cognitive sequelae of chemotherapy treatment. APOE4 is well characterized as a strong and prevalent genetic risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease. Recent clinical research lead by Dr. Mandelblatt indicates that among older breast cancer survivors who have been treated with chemotherapy, APOE4 carriers are at increased risk for cognitive impairment. My work uses animal behavioral tests to establish changes in cognition in transgenic mice expressing human APOE3 or APOE4; I use the same mice to investigate mechanisms by which APOE genotype influences cognitive outcome after chemotherapy treatment. This research has given me new insight to the role of basic and translational research on cancer survivorship, which has become an area of great interest to me. Using clinical insights to generate animal models for translational research gives me a broad perspective on the relationship between basic, clinical, and translational approaches, and how researchers in different areas can effectively work together to improve the lives of cancer patients and cancer survivors.
Name: Elyssa LaFlammeTitle: PhD Candidate | Pharmacology & Physiology, Georgetown UniversityEmail: firstname.lastname@example.orgResearch Topic: Medial temporal lobe receptor populations regulating memory and associationMentors: Ludise Malkova, PhD, and Patrick Forcelli, PhD (Department of Pharmacology & Physiology, Georgetown University)Pubmed Link: See link
Bio: My research interests center on the neuropharmacology regulating cognitive and emotional dysfunction underlying neurodevelopmental disorders, with the ultimate goal of designing more specific and effective treatments. I received my B.A. in neuroscience and biological sciences at Smith College, where I studied the effects of intracerebral oxytocin in the central nucleus of the amygdala and in the lateral septum on female social affiliation for my honors thesis. I came to Georgetown University for the doctoral program in pharmacology because of its emphasis on the intersection between pharmacology and neuroscience, and with the mentorship of Drs. Ludise Malkova and Patrick Forcelli, I have developed my ability to apply pharmacological tools and techniques for cognitive and behavioral research. I am now in my fourth year, and for my graduate thesis I am investigating the role of specific receptor populations in the medial temporal lobe in long-term memory and association, with a particular emphasis on nonnavigational spatial memory.
Name: Jay PatelTitle: MD, PhD Candidate | Tumor Biology, Georgetown UniversityEmail: email@example.comResearch Topic: Tumor BiologyMentors: Stephen Byers, PhD (Department of Oncology, Georgetown University) and Jacqueline Jonklaas (Department of Medicine, Georgetown University)Bio: As an MD/PhD student at Georgetown University, my research interest is in understanding how mitochondrial metabolism influences cancer progression. My interest in mitochondrial biology began as an undergraduate at Brandeis University from which I received a BS in biochemistry. It has recently been discovered that mitochondrial metabolism contributes to therapy resistance in many cancers. My goal is to use basic science to discover novel signaling pathways that regulate mitochondrial function, and translate this work into the clinic by developing new drugs that target these pathways. Such mitochondrial targeted therapies will then help treat therapy resistant cancers.
Name: Adam CaccavanoTitle: PhD Candidate | Interdisciplinary Program in Neuroscience, Georgetown UniversityEmail: firstname.lastname@example.orgResearch Topic: Hippocampal network disruptions in early amyloid pathologyMentors: Dr. Stefano Vicini, Dr. Dan PakPubmed: See linkBio: I am a third year PhD candidate interested in how hippocampal oscillations with a critical role in memory consolidation become disrupted in Alzheimer's disease. I approach this problem through the techniques of electrophysiology, calcium imaging, immunohistochemistry, and computational modeling. I have a background in physics, with a B.S. from the University of Oregon and an M.S. from Portland State University. I am drawn to the interdisciplinary and translational nature of neuroscience, and hope to add to the growing body of work that bridges basic science findings in animal models to human pathology.
Name: Katherine O’ConnellTitle: PhD Candidate | Interdisciplinary Program in Neuroscience, Georgetown UniversityEmail: email@example.comResearch Topic: Affective processes in human empathy and social behaviorMentor: Dr. Abigail MarshPubmed: See linkBio: I am a Neuroscience PhD candidate interested in understanding how affective processes and emotions influence behavior, and how these influences play a role in the development and maintenance of clinically-relevant socioemotional traits in neurologically healthy populations and individuals who have had a stroke. I use methods including computational behavioral modeling and brain imaging to study how people respond to social and emotional events. I obtained my B.S. from The Pennsylvania State University and completed a post-baccalaureate research fellowship at the National Institute of Mental Health before joining the Laboratory on Social and Affective Neuroscience at Georgetown University under Dr. Abigail Marsh. I joined the TBS training program in 2017 with the long-term goal of improving outcomes and quality of life for individuals with social difficulties.
Name: Parnika KadamTitle: PhD Candidate | Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Georgetown UniversityEmail: firstname.lastname@example.orgResearch Topic: Regulation of the angiotensin type 1 receptor by an upstream short open reading frame in the receptor mRNA 5’ leader sequenceMentors: Dr. Kathryn Sandberg, Dr. Susette Mueller, Dr. Joseph Verbalis and Dr. Robert SpethPubmed: See linkBio: After I completed my Bachelors degree in Biotechnology, I realized that I have a drive and passion for biochemistry and molecular biology. I believe the fields of biochemistry and molecular biology generate an unlimited range of valuable and useful tools and approaches that can lead to discovering and improving treatments for patients battling with diseases. My parents have always encouraged me to pursue and excel in the career I am most passionate about. After college, I moved to the United States to pursue a Masters degree in the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Program at Georgetown University. This learning experience helped me to grow as a researcher and encouraged me to pursue a PhD in biochemistry and molecular biology. My thesis research is entitled Regulation of the angiotensin type 1 receptor by an upstream short open reading frame in the receptor mRNA 5’ leader sequence. The angiotensin type 1 receptor (AT1R) is a key player in the renin angiotensin system and blocking the activity of this receptor is a common clinical treatment for hypertension and cardiovascular and renal diseases. My research aims to deduce the mechanisms in which the sORF upstream of the AT1R coding region regulates the function of AT1R and explore the role of this sORF in human physiology/ pathophysiology. This fine regulation of AT1R can be a key to better treatment options for hypertension.
Name: Martha Gay, PhD Title: Post-Doctoral Fellow, Georgetown UniversityEmail: email@example.com Research Topic: Liver CancerMentors: Jill Smith, MD; Alex Kromer, M.D. / Ph.D.; Leena Halvinki-Clarke, Ph.D.Bio: Dr. Gay received her B.S. in Biology from Hampton University (2004) and entered the workforce as a Cytogeneticist at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital in Virginia. In the fall of 2008, she earned her Ph.D. in Pharmacology and from Howard University (2015). Currently, Dr. Gay is an NIH TL-1 Postdoctoral Scholar at Georgetown University Medical Center.
Dr. Gay's goals are to inspire others with her accomplishments and to help pave the path for the next generation of scientists to transcend the ranks of a doctoral education. Martha has involved herself in an array of academic programs that have demonstrated scientific leadership. In addition, to the investigative aims in her current project with liver cancer in Dr. Jill Smith’s lab, she is an inquisitive young scientist that takes full advantage of various scholastic platforms as well as challenging professional development opportunities.
Name: Emily Andre, PhDTitle: Postdoctoral Fellow, Georgetown UniversityEmail: firstname.lastname@example.orgResearch Topic: Investigation of the effects of Plk2 kinase activity on amyloid precursor protein endocytosis and processing Mentors: Dr. Daniel Pak, Dr. Raymond TurnerPubmed Link: See link
Bio: As a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Pharmacology and Physiology, my main focus is on understanding mechanisms of neuropathology in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). After completing my PhD in Neuroscience at the University of Virginia, I began investigating the link between neuronal hyperexcitation and AD pathologies in the lab of Dr. Daniel Pak. We are currently focused on the role of polo-like kinase 2 (Plk2), an important regulator for synaptic homeostatic plasticity, in the modulation of amyloid precursor protein internalization and processing and subsequent generation of secreted amyloid beta.
Name: Kimberly Nkem Uweh, Pharm.D.Title: Post-Doctoral Fellow, Howard UniversityEmail: Kimberly.Uweh@ucdenver.eduResearch Topic: Examining Characteristics of Placebo Effects on Trauma-Related Insomnia in a Suvorexant TrialMentors: Primary Co-Mentors: Ihori Kobayashi, PhD (Department of Psychiatry and Medicine, Howard University) & Khang Ho, Pharm.D.(Department of Research Pharmacy, Georgetown University), Co-Mentor: Thomas Mellman, MD, & Erin Wilhelm, MPH (Department of Regulatory Affairs, Georgetown University)
Bio: Kimberly is a pharmacist and clinical researcher in her first year of post-doctoral training at the Sleep and Stress Research Center at Howard University. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and a minor in Chemistry from San Jose State University (2012) and her Doctorate of Pharmacy at the University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy& Pharmaceutical Sciences (2017). Her research interest consists of understanding the placebo effect and its clinical implications in future treatments in psychiatric disorders. Her project aims to analyze data from the placebo group in an ongoing double-blind placebo study on Suvorexant for the treatment of trauma related insomnia (TRI). The placebo effects on TRI are unknown, and the proposed project will provide valuable information for the development of TRI treatments.
Name: Andrew DeMarco, PhD, CCC-SLPTitle: Post-Doctoral Fellow, Georgetown UniversityResearch Topic: Multimodal imaging of the neural mechanisms of transcranial direct current stimulation in stroke aphasia treatmentMentors: Peter Turkeltaub, MD, PhD (Department of Neurology, Georgetown University)Pubmed: See linkBio: Andrew is a neuroscientist and licensed speech-language pathologist in his first year of post-doctoral training in the Cognitive Recovery Lab at Georgetown University. Broadly, his research interests relate to understanding how the speech and language systems break down in the brain in aphasia (difficulties understanding or talking e.g., after a stroke) and how that information can inform aphasia rehabilitation. His areas of expertise include acquired neurogenic disorders, neuroimaging, and aphasia rehabilitation. His current training focuses on gaining experience with neurostimulation techniques such as transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) to evaluate their potential for enhancing aphasia rehabilitation.
Name: Katherine G. Michel, PhD, MPHTitle: Post-Doctoral Fellow, Georgetown University Medical CenterResearch Topic: HIV/STIs, Women's Health, Health DisparitiesMentors: Seble G. Kassaye, Richard SchlegelPubmed: See linkBio: My research at Georgetown University and the DC Women's Interagency HIV Study (WIHS) has focused on the natural history of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia-2 in women living with HIV and the effects of the cervicovaginal microbiota on HIV trajectory. In my Immunology PhD at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, my research focused on the effects of hormonal contraception on the systemic and genital immune milieu. During my MPH in Global Epidemiology at Emory University, I conducted work on sexual minority health on college campuses, contraception and reproductive health care access in Atlanta, and couple's HIV testing.
Name: Latifa Jackson, PhDCurrent & Past Title: Postdoctoral Fellow, Howard UniversityEmail: email@example.comResearch Topic: The Impact of Adverse Life experience on Allostatic Load and the Genomics of Resilience in African Americans.Mentors: Joseph Wright (primary mentor), Vence Bonham, Carlos Bustamante, and David WilliamsBio: Dr. Jackson received her Bachelor’s degrees in Cell/Molecular Biology and Genetics (B.S.) and French Language and Literature (B.A.) from the University of Maryland at College Park (1997). She received my Master’s degree in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology (2011) from University of Arizona. She completed her Ph.D. in Biomedical Science (Fall 2014) in the School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems at Drexel University. Her dissertation research investigated the use of gene locality in identifying genomic regions of interest for chronic and infectious disease and how disease risk and resistance alleles segregate in human populations. She uses bioinformatics, functional genomics and evolutionary biology approaches to study genetic patterns that contribute to disease phenotypes within a biological anthropology framework. Her research seeks to build models of human immunological responses to key infectious disease that account for how genetic variants and environmental factors contribute to disease phenotypes.
Name: Megan Huizenga, PhDCurrent Title: Clinical Scientist, Vanda Pharmaceuticals Past Title: PhD Candidate | Pharmacology & Physiology, Georgetown UniversityEmail: firstname.lastname@example.orgPast Research Topic: Pharmacological and gene therapy approaches for limbic seizure controlPast Mentors: Patrick Forcelli, PhD (Department of Pharmacology & Physiology, Department of Neuroscience, Georgetown University)Pubmed: See linkBio: My research interests center on the discovery on improved therapeutics through the identification of disease mechanisms. My research pursuits began as an undergraduate at the University of Connecticut. While earning my B.S. in psychology and neuroscience, I created a rodent model of depression to test novel therapeutics. I then continued my research efforts as a lab assistant at Massachusetts General Hospital in a neuroepigenetics lab where I investigated epigenetic alterations associated with a heritable drug resistance phenotype and assessed the efficacy of novel compounds in a Huntington’s disease cell line. Most recently, I was accepted into the Ph.D. program in Pharmacology at Georgetown University and am completing my thesis research with Dr. Forcelli investigating both pharmacological treatments for pediatric seizure models and gene therapy approaches for targeting limbic seizures in adult animal models.
Name: Alana Lelo, PhDCurrent Title: MD Candidate | Tumor Biology, Georgetown UniversityPast Title: PhD, MD Candidate |Tumor Biology, Georgetown UniversityEmail: email@example.comResearch Topic: Role of the tumor suppressor stromal antigen 2 (STAG2) in bladder cancerMentors: Todd Waldman, MD, PhD (Georgetown University)Bio: As an MD/PhD candidate, my ultimate goals involve bridging the gap between basic science and clinical medicine. More precisely, I ultimately aim to exploit the knowledge garnered from bench science to develop new, targeted therapies in pediatric oncology. My academic training and research experience have provided me with an excellent background in molecular biology, molecular genetics and clinical medicine. While an undergraduate at New York University, I sought out a variety of diverse research experiences. I spent two summers interning in the translational research department at OSI Pharmaceuticals where my focus was on the characterization of small molecule receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors. During the semesters, I worked in two different HIV labs. In one, I studied the transplacental crossing cytokines. In the other, I gained experience in monocyte isolation for the ultimate use in the characterization of a protein implicated in HIV resistance. Because of my interest in clinical medicine, I also devoted time to volunteering in a post-anesthesia care unit, where I was able to have intense interaction with patients and physicians. Following my graduation from New York University, I sought to immerse myself in research and completed a year-long internship at OSI Pharmaceuticals and then spent over a year at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. I matriculated into the Georgetown MD/PhD program in June of 2012 and recently entered my fifth year in the program. I have since completed my preclinical coursework and two research rotations, one with Dr. Jeffrey Toretsky and another with Dr. Todd Waldman. Ultimately, I chose to complete my thesis work with Dr. Todd Waldman. For my thesis project, I am determining if STAG2 mutational status correlates with prognostic outcome in non-invasive urothelial carcinoma. Recently, I have established a multi-institute collaboration in order to continue expanding my study. I am also at the bench, performing mechanistic studies to further elucidate the role STAG2 has in bladder cancer.
Name: Sara Maimouni, PhDCurrent Title: Postdoctoral Fellow, University of RutgersPast Title: PhD Candidate | Biochemistry, Georgetown UniversityEmail: firstname.lastname@example.orgPast Research Topic: Metabolism and metabo-therapeuticsPast Mentors: Stephen Byers, PhD (Georgetown University) and Priscilla Furth, MD (Georgetown University)
Bio: I was born and raised in Morocco where opportunities to study basic science and conduct research are limited. In addition, I grew up in a family that pursued the arts, and as a child, I struggled with finding support for my budding interest in the sciences. It was not until I started volunteering at a diagnostic laboratory in my city while in high school that I became aware and interested in the health disparities in my community. My first exposure to scientific research was during my undergraduate studies in the United States. I had the chance to work as an undergraduate research assistant at Cornell University with Dr. Goldberg, a preeminent molecular biologist. In his lab, I studied drosophila molecular biology and developed an appreciation for numerous molecular biology techniques. My interest in public health research continued and at the end of my undergraduate career, I interned as an undergraduate research assistant in public health awareness for underserved populations at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. These diverse research experiences have provided me with a foundation in cell biology as well as public health. I am now a fourth-year cell biology Ph.D. candidate conducting basic science research on the metabolic function of retinoic acid receptor responder protein 1. I am also involved in translational research through my work on repurposing metabo-drugs for breast cancer therapy. These experiences have solidified my interest in metabolic reprogramming during cancer development and repurposing metabo-therapeutics for cancer therapy. I am the first woman in my family to pursue my doctoral degree, and the first member and woman in my family to pursue a career in science. I am thrilled to represent Moroccan women and scientists in this field.
Name: Mary Katherine HowellCurrent & Past Title: PhD Candidate | Clinical Psychology, Howard UniversityEmail: email@example.comPast & Current Research Topic: Alternative fear activation pathways in post-traumatic stress disorder and treatment responsePast & Current Mentors: Thomas A. Mellman, MD (Department of Psychiatry, Howard University)Pubmed: See linkBio: As a graduate student in the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. Program at Howard University, my primary research interests are in pathways of subjective distress and autonomic arousal and habituation that optimize treatment response in exposure-based treatments for post-traumatic stress disorder. I also have an interest in post-traumatic distress presentation in various cultural contexts, such as urban-residing African American populations, Veteran populations, and Arab populations. After obtaining my B.A. in Psychology and Middle East Studies from Northwestern University, I began my training as a clinical scientist at Howard University and joined Dr. Mellman's lab, the Sleep and Stress Research Program, in 2014.
Name: Donte Pennington, PhDCurrent Title: Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Human Performance and Leisure Studies at Howard University
Past Title: Postdoctoral Fellow, Washington DC VAMCEmail: Donte.Pennington@va.gov Past Research Topic: "Intracellular Ca2+ signaling as a biomarker of sarcopenia in African Americans"Past Mentors: Bidhan Bandyopadhyay, PhD (Ca2+ Signaling Laboratory, DC Veterans Affairs Medical Center) and Michael Harris-Love, DSc, (Muscle Morphology, Mechanics, and Performance Laboratory, DC Veterans Affairs Medical Center)Pubmed: See linkBio: I received my M.S. in Exercise Physiology from Marshall University and my PhD in Physiology from Howard University. My general research interest is clinical muscle morphology and translational calcium signaling physiology. Currently, I have joined as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the DC Veterans Affairs Medical Center upon receiving my Translational Biomedical Science TL1 grant award. My research focus is to determine the compromise in intracellular Ca2+ signaling efficiency within sarcopenic African American Veterans as compared to their non-sarcopenic counterpart. Store-operated Ca2+ entry (SOCE), which is essential for skeletal muscle function, may be diminished in sarcopenia, resulting in muscle weakness and thus could be a key target for preventative therapeutic interventions. Potential findings from this effort would provide insight concerning how the changes in intracellular Ca2+ signaling affects downstream mechanisms leading to skeletal muscle tissue damage. The objective of this research is to elucidate the cell death (apoptotic/necrotic) pathways associated with SOCE-related intracellular Ca2+ signaling within sarcopenic and non-sarcopenic skeletal muscle tissue. This scientific endeavor will help me to understand whether the down/up regulation of intracellular Ca2+ singling pathway can be associated with ryanodine receptor expression/function and SOCE, compromising the sarcoplasmic reticular function within the sarcopenic skeletal muscle, which can induce cell death due to excessive reactive oxygen species (ROS).
Name: Maurice B. Fluitt, PhDPast & Current Title: Postdoctoral Fellow, Georgetown UniversityEmail: firstname.lastname@example.orgResearch Topic: Assessing urinary exosomal microRNAs as early biomarkers and molecular regulators of diabetic renal diseaseMentors: Carolyn Ecelbarger, PhD (Department of Medicine, Georgetown University) & Gail Nunlee-Bland, MD (Department of Pediatrics and Medicine, Howard University)Bio: My research interests include elucidating the molecular mechanisms of diabetes mellitus development and progression, specifically in minority populations. My previous academic and research experience under Drs. Kanwal K. Gambhir and Gail Nunlee-Bland at Howard University provided excellent training in clinical research and genetics. My PhD thesis research explored the role of ghrelin in obese African American adolescents. I recruited over fifty human participants for a pilot and feasibility study exploring circulatory microRNAs as biomarkers for type 2 diabetes mellitus in African American adults. My current research builds upon my previous work and focuses on the use of urinary exosomal microRNAs as early biomarkers of diabetic nephropathy. Identifying early markers of diabetic nephropathy is essential for slowing disease development and progression. This work will provide much needed insight into the diagnosis and serial monitoring of diabetic nephropathy, leading to the development of novel diagnostic and prognostic tests.
Name: Amrita Pai, MS, PhDCurrent Title: Scientist, Vigene Bio-sciences
Past Title: PhD Candidate | Biochemistry, Georgetown UniversityEmail: email@example.comPast Research Topic: Effects of ovarian hormone loss on immune regulation of hypertensionPast Mentors: Kathryn Sandberg, PhD (Georgetown University) & Shannon Dunn, PhD (University of Toronto) & Jason G. Umans, MD, PhD (Georgetown University)Pubmed: See LinkBio: I’ve been studying in the USA since 2011 and this experience has changed the way I think about biological science. I came to the USA for the Master's in Biotechnology program at Georgetown University, which provided me with the opportunity to intern at the National Institutes of Health and to work at MedImmune, a biologics research and development company based in Maryland. These diverse experiences made me realize that the only way to fully achieve my ambition of becoming a biomedical researcher was to pursue doctoral study. I am now in the fourth year of my PhD program. The focus of my project is on the effects of ovarian hormone loss on the mechanisms by which the immune system contributes to hypertension. Specifically, I am studying the hypothesis that cytotoxic interleukin 17 T cells play a key role in ovarian hormone modulation of blood pressure. We are using a novel animal model of resistance and susceptibility to hypertension exacerbated by ovariectomy. It is my hope that my PhD and future research will lead to new insights into the management and prevention of hypertension and in turn, reduce the devastating conditions associated with prolonged high blood pressure.
Name: Stephen P. Wright, PhDPast Title: Postdoctoral FellowPast Research Topic: The cognitive protective effects of exercisePast Mentors: Kathryn Sandberg, PhD (Georgetown University), Gillian Einstein, PhD (University of Toronto), Robert C. Speth, PhD (Nova Southeastern University) & R. Scott Turner, MD (Georgetown University)Bio: Ever since I designed a quantitative social science study of vocabulary in advertising at age 14, I've been a scientist at heart. At Cornell University I worked with Urie Bronfenbrenner on research into joint activities with others who were significant in their lives, and did related independent research on people who were important models in students' lives. I have a longstanding interest in learning and cognition, and in the contexts which influence it. My PhD dissertation focused on instrument design and measuring the social dimensions of living-learning programs in academic settings. I spent several years exploring ways students learn a second language by reviewing methods in the literature and by developing curricula and testing that curricula through teaching students of all ages. I also explored how students learn math and science. In the last 5 years, I have been studying how students learn a complex physical activity through my part-time work as an independent professional dance instructor. These experiences have led me to return to academia as a postdoctoral fellow to train in the methodology that will enable me to investigate rigorously the mechanisms underlying the cognitive protective effects of aerobic exercise and to test my hypothesis that the complexity in dance (involving dimensions such as balance, coordination, skill acquisition and retrieval, responses to the actions of a partner, and some degree of unpredictability) adds to the benefits of physical exercise on cognition.
Name: Monica Javidnia, MS, PhDCurrent Title: Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Rochester Medical CenterPast Title: PhD Candidate | Pharmacology, Georgetown UniversityEmail: firstname.lastname@example.orgPast Research Topic: Tyrosine kinase inhibition for neurodegenerative tauopathiesPast Mentors: Charbel Moussa, MD, PhD (Department of Neurology, Georgetown University)Pubmed: See linkBio: My research interests lie in the study of therapeutics for neurodegenerative diseases. The pursuit of my career goals has led me to several research opportunities around the country including developmental neurolinguistics at the Callier Center for Communication Disorders in Dallas, legume and tree nut allergens at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in New Orleans, and, most recently, tyrosine kinase inhibition for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases at Georgetown University in D.C. After earning my B.S. and M.S. in Neuroscience at the University of Texas - Dallas, I was accepted to the Ph.D. Program in Pharmacology at Georgetown University. I joined the Laboratory of Dementia and Parkinsonism in January 2015 and am excited to continue my thesis work with Dr. Moussa, in the Translational Neurotherapeutics Program, and the Translational Biomedical Science Program.
Name: Stephanie Davis, PhDCurrent Title: MD Candidate | Interdisciplinary Program in Neuroscience, Georgetown UniversityPast Title: PhD, MD Candidate | Interdisciplinary Program in Neuroscience, Georgetown UniversityEmail: email@example.comPast Research Topic: Molecular mechanisms of multiple sclerosisPast Mentors: Jeffery Huang, PhD (Georgetown University) & Anton Wellstein MD, PhD (Georgetown University)Pubmed: See linkBio: I am interested in understanding the mechanisms of myelin repair in multiple sclerosis, with the ultimate goal of contributing to therapeutic advancement. I was first introduced to neuroscience research during my undergraduate degree at Barnard College, Columbia University, in the laboratory of Dr. Elizabeth Bauer. There I studied the molecular and behavioral mechanism of fear learning and fear extinction in Sprague-Dawley rats. I learned to perform stereotaxic surgery for the implantation of cannulae into the basolateral amygdala, design and run behavioral protocols, analyze behavioral data and to perform histological analysis of brain slices. Specifically, I studied the effects of L-type voltage-gated calcium channel blockade on fear extinction. After graduating Cum Laude from Barnard College, I spent 6 months as a paid intern in the Laboratory of Neuronal Microcircuitry headed by Dr. Henry Markram of the Blue Brain Project at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland, where I studied the effects of various splice variants of transient receptor potential cation channels in layer 5 pyramidal neurons in mice. In 2012, I began my career as an MD/PhD candidate at Georgetown University. Clinical, personal, academic, and research experiences during my first two years in the MD/PhD program have drawn my attention to multiple sclerosis. I am conducting my PhD thesis in the lab of Dr. Jeffrey Huang, investigating the roles of inflammation and central nervous system remyelination in mouse models of multiple sclerosis.
Name: Keeshaloy Thompson, PhDCurrent Title: Chemist, Avail VaporPast Title: Postdoctoral Fellow, Georgetown UniversityPast Research Topic: Biotransformation of drugs and race and ethnic difference in smoking cessation strategiesPast Mentors: Milton Brown, MD, PhD (Department of Oncology, Georgetown University) & Subha Madhavan, PhD (Innovation Center for Biomedical Informatics, Georgetown University)
Bio: My primary research interest is in medicinal chemistry and centers on the biotransformation of compounds that takes place within the human body. My current research with Dr. Brown focuses on the metabolism of small molecules that interact with nicotinic receptors in the brain. I am particularly interested in using molecular modeling to develop new and effective therapeutics.
Name: Sandeep Nadella, MDCurrent Title: Gastroenterology Fellow, Medstar Georgetown University HospitalPast Title: Postdoctoral Fellow, Georgetown UniversityPast Research Topic: Epigenetic regulation of pancreatic cancerPast & Current Mentors: Jill Smith, MD (Georgetown University) & Narayan Shivapurkar, MD (Georgetown University)Current Title: Gastroenterology Fellow, MedStar Georgetown University HospitalEmail: firstname.lastname@example.orgPubmed: See LinkBio: I am a board certified internal medicine physician who plans to pursue a fellowship in gastroenterology. My research interests include developing a comprehensive understanding of the basic mechanisms of pancreatic diseases including pancreatic cancer. My clinical training has helped me develop a background of the clinical manifestations of pancreatic disease such as chronic pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer. My research is focused on understanding the epigenetic changes that occur during pancreatic disorders including pancreatic cancer and regeneration of the pancreas after injury. Under the mentorship of Dr. Smith, I am studying the role of the gastrin: cholecystokinin receptor axis in pancreatic cancer development and progression. I hope to use the improved knowledge of epigenetic regulation to develop better tests for diagnosis of pancreatic cancer, as well as, recruiting patients for development of a non-invasive "liquid biopsy" to help diagnose pancreatic cancer. I am developing a database of patients with benign pancreatic disorders including pancreatitis and pancreatic cysts, in hope to use machine learning algorithms to deliver insights into management of patients with these conditions.
Name: Shashwati Geed, PT, PhDPast & Current Title: Postdoctoral Fellow, MedStar National Rehabilitation HospitalPast Research Topic: Post-stroke arm recovery, neurophysiology of arm motor control, manual dexterityPast & Current Mentors: Alexander W. Dromerick, MD & Michelle L. Harris-Love, PT, PhD (MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital & Georgetown University)Email: email@example.comPubmed: See linkBio: I am a translational neuroscientist and physical therapist. A research fellow at the Neuroscience Research Center at MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital. My research uses transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and neuroimaging tools to identify what distinguishes the neurophysiology of successful arm recovery after stroke from disabling arm impairment. The goal is to better understand what differentiates brain circuitry of people with almost completely recovered arms after stroke from the circuitry of people with persistent disability, and thereby, develop more mechanism-based interventions for stroke recovery. I also work with healthy adults and the ageing population to determine how hand function and manual dexterity changes with the ageing brain. I have expertise in neurophysiology, statistical and computational modeling, electromyography, 3-D motion capture, software development for data acquisition and analysis, and behavioral training. In addition, my current work at MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital uses transcranial magnetic stimulation and neuroimaging methods. My doctoral degree in Kinesiology (with a concentration in motor control and neuroscience) is from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, and received an Advanced Rehabilitation Research Training NIDILRR postdoctoral fellowship (2014-2015), and NIH/NINDS StrokeNet postdoctoral fellowship (2015-2016) after completing my PhD.
Name: Lucas Tricoli, PhDCurrent Title: Research Postdoctoral Fellow, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Past Title: Postdoctoral Fellow, Georgetown UniversityPast Research Topic: Modeling prostate cancer in 3DPast Mentors: Chris Albanese, PhD (Department of Oncology, Georgetown University) & Richard Schlegel, MD, PhD (Department of Pathology, Georgetown University)Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgPubmed: See linkBio: Using the training and expertise gained from development of my 3D trans-well culture model, I have a significant interest in furthering our understanding of indolent vs. aggressive forms of prostate cancer. This includes broadening the technique to look at other forms of cancer using this 3D model. Using this novel 3D technique, I will employ genetic and molecular interrogation to assess the exact mechanisms that lead to the development of aggressive compared to indolent disease in cancer. My work with conditionally reprogrammed cells has given me extensive experience with developmental biology in looking at differences in expression markers of luminal differentiated cells compared to basal stem-like cells. With a clinically relevant 3D trans-well culture model in development, accumulated knowledge of cell development and mechanistic studies on development of cancer, I have a significant interest in applying this knowledge to cellular regeneration techniques as well. My ultimate goal is to expand the field of translational cancer research using my acquired primary cell culture techniques, with an eye on cellular regeneration.
Name: Kevin Jones, PhDCurrent Title: Postdoctoral Fellow, Colorado State UniversityPast Title: Postdoctoral Fellow, Georgetown UniversityPast Research Topic: Language rehabilitation, working memory, cognitive aging, cognitive training.Past Mentors: Rhonda Friedman, PhD (Department of Neurology, Georgetown University) & Peter Turkeltaub, MD, PhD (Department of Neurology, Georgetown University)Current Title: Postdoctoral Fellow (Georgetown University)Email: email@example.comPubmed: See link Bio: I have conducted extensive research in the field of working memory by utilizing techniques such as transcranial direct current stimulation, functional near-infrared spectroscopy, high-definition electroencephologram, and eye-tracking. My research has targeted both healthy young adults as well as older adults who are often at a high risk of memory decline. I am now working with neuropsychological populations to study ways to ameliorate aphasia in individuals with stroke and other neuropsychological conditions.
Name: Philip Kurian, PhDCurrent Title: Assistant Professor, Howard UniversityPast Title: Postdoctoral Fellow, Howard UniversityEmail: firstname.lastname@example.orgResearch Topic: Quantum biology – Coherent energy transport in biomolecules in neurodegenerative illness.Mentors: Thomas Obisesan, MD, PhD (Department of Medicine, Howard University) & Travis Caddock, PhD (Department of Psychology, Nova Southeastern University) & Georgia Dunston, PhD (Department of Microbiology, Howard University)Pubmed: See linkBio: I was born in Charleston, South Carolina, and received my doctorate in physics in 2013. As a postdoctoral scholar with the National Human Genome Center at Howard University, I am building a research program around how coherent energy transport in DNA, microtubules, and other biomolecules affects macroscopic biological functions. We are in the process of developing new paradigms with collaborators to connect our findings to studies of chronic degenerative illnesses, such as Alzheimer's disease, cancer, and HIV/AIDS.
Name: Elissa Carney, PhDCurrent Title: Adjunct Professor, Georgetown University School of Nursing and Health StudiesPast Title: Postdoctoral Fellow, Georgetown UniversityPast Research Topic: Nutritional modulation of risk of reproductive cancerPast Mentors: Sonia de Assis, PhD (Department of Oncology, Georgetown University), William Barnes, MD (Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Georgetown University) & Nancy Dawson, MD (Department of Medicine, Georgetown University)Current Title: Higher Education Physiology Program Coordinator, American Physiological SocietyEmail: email@example.comPubmed: See link Bio: I accepted the position of Higher Education Physiology Program Coordinator at the American Physiological Society (APS) in the spring of 2016. My new position involves managing and implementing the diverse education initiatives of the American Physiological Society from K-12 through graduate, continuing and professional education. In this capacity, I support the numerous awards, fellowships, committees, and education projects for APS members at the graduate, postdoctoral, and professional levels.
Name: Aline Souza, MS, PhDCurrent Title: Postdoctoral Fellow, Georgetown UniversityPast Title: PhD Candidate | Biochemistry, (Federal University of Ouro Preto, BrazilPast Research Topic: Angiotensin system in an experimental model of anorexia.Past Mentors & Current Mentors: Kathryn Sandberg, PhD (Department of Medicine, Georgetown University) & Rodrigo Alvim de Menezes, PhD (Department of Biochemistry, Federal University of Ouro Preto – Brazil)Current Title: Postdoctoral FellowEmail: firstname.lastname@example.orgPubmed: See linkBio: I am a fourth year PhD student from Brazil doing an internship in Dr. Sandberg's laboratory at Georgetown University. My thesis research focuses on the role of the renin angiotensin system in dysregulation of the cardiovascular system in an animal model of anorexia nervosa. I am investigating the hypothesis that acute food restriction modulates the brain renin angiotensin system leading to excitability of the sympathetic nervous system. This mechanism could contribute to why women who experienced anorexia nervosa are at increased risk of heart failure.