MSTP Ph.D./Thesis Years Students

Olusoji (Yemi) Afuwape

University of Illinois, Chicago
Neuroscience Graduate Program
Research Interest: Elucidating specific functions of dynamin isoforms in synaptic vesicle endocytosis
Mentor: Ege Kavalali, Ph.D.
olusoji.afuwape@utsouthwestern.edu

Gina Aloisio

Ohio State University
Cancer Biology Graduate Program
Research Interest: Mechanisms of stem cell maintenance and renewal
Mentor: Diego Castrillon, M.D., Ph.D.
gina.aloisio@utsouthwestern.edu

Salman Banani

University of California, Berkeley
Molecular Biophysics Graduate Program
Mentor: Michael Rosen, Ph.D.
salman.banani@utsouthwestern.edu

Elise Burger

Elise Burger

Occidental College
Immunology Graduate Program
Research Interest: Mucosal immunology, host-pathogen interactions
Mentor: Felix Yarovinsky, M.D.
elise.burger@utsouthwestern.edu

Gaurab Chakrabarti

Brown University
Integrative Biology Graduate Program
Research Interest: Studying the role of metabolism in the DNA damage/repair response in cncer cells
Mentor: David Boothman, Ph.D.
gaurab.chakrabarti@utsouthwestern.edu

Philip Cheng

Philip Cheng

University of North Carolina
Integrative Biology Graduate Program
Research Interest: Investigating the potential role the cytosolic DNA sensor cGAS plays in SLE
Mentor: Zhijian Chen, Ph.D.
philip.cheng@utsouthwestern.edu

Edward Daniel

Harvard University
Genetics and Development Graduate Program
Mentor: Sean Morrison, Ph.D.
edward.daniel@utsouthwestern.edu

Pamela De La Cruz

UPR Rio Piedras
Molecular Microbiology
Mentor: John Schoggins, Ph.D.
pamela.delacruzrivera@utsouthwestern.edu

Mariam El Ashmawy

Arizona State University
Cancer Biology Program
Research Interest: The effects of radiation on the lungs
Mentors: Jerry Shay, Ph.D. and Woodring Wright, M.D., Ph.D.
mariam.elashmawy@utsouthwestern.edu

Miles Fontenot

Miles Fontenot

University of Texas, Austin
Research Interest: The transcriptional networks underlying cognitive function
Mentor: Genevieve Konopka, Ph.D.
miles.fontenot@utsouthwestern.edu

Ryan Golden

Mercer University
Integrative Biology Graduate Program
Research Interest: Post-transcriptional regulation of MicroRNA abundance and function
Mentor: Josh Mendell, M.D., Ph.D.
ryan.golden@utsouthwestern.edu

Christopher Hensley

Rice University
Cancer Biology Graduate Program
Research Interest: Metabolism of cell proliferation
Mentor: Ralph Deberardinis, M.D., Ph.D.
chris.hensley@utsouthwestern.edu

Ryan Hunter

Ryan Hunter

Abilene Christian University
Graduate School
Research Interest: Regulation of miRNAs in cancer
Mentor: Josh Mendell, M.D., Ph.D.
ryan.hunter@utsouthwestern.edu

Christopher Inra

Genetics and Development Graduate Program
Research Interest: Response of hematopoietic stem cells and their supportive microenvironment to injury
Mentor: Sean Morrison, Ph.D.
chris.inra@utsouthwestern.edu

Joshua Johnson

Joshua Johnson

U Michigan
Integrative Biology
Mentor: William Holland, Ph.D.
joshua.johnson@utsouthwestern.edu

Courtney Lane-Donovan

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Neuroscience Graduate Program
Research Interest: Role of reelin and lipoprotein receptors in the molecular mechanisms of adult meuronal function, Alzheimer's disease, and brain injury
Mentor: Joachim Herz, M.D.
courtney.lane@utsouthwestern.edu

Ming Lee

Mindy Lee

University of Pennsylvania
Integrative Biology Graduate Program
Research Interest: Physiological role of exercise-induced autophagy
Mentor: Beth Levine, M.D.
ming.lee@utsouthwestern.edu

Xiaoxiao Li

Xiaoxiao Li

Sarah Lawrence
Integrative Biology Graduate Program
Mentor: Yihong Wan, Ph.D.
xiaoxiao.li@utsouthwestern.edu

Ying Li

Ying Li

Columbia University
Neuroscience Graduate Program
Research Interest: Molecular mechanisms of synaptic vesicle recycling
Mentor: Ege Kavalali, Ph.D.
ying.li@utsouthwestern.edu

Albert Linden

University of California, Berkeley
Biological Chemistry Graduate Program (Chemistry Track)
Research Interest: Cholesterol uptake, metabolism and transport through the lysosomes
Mentors: Michael Brown, M.D., and Joseph Goldstein, M.D.
albert.linden@utsouthwestern.edu

William McAlpine

William McAlpine

Clemson University
Integrative Biology
Mentor: Bruce Beutler, M.D.
william.mcalpine@utsouthwestern.edu

Ashwathi Mohan

Texas A&M University
Graduate Years
ashwathi.mohan@utsouthwestern.edu

Zachary Moore

Zachary Moore

University of Texas, Austin
Cancer Biology Graduate Program
Mentor: David Boothman, Ph.D.
zachary.moore@utsouthwestern.edu

Thomas Morley

University of Connecticut
Genetics and Development Graduate Program
Research Interest: Inflammation, obesity, and cancer
Mentor: Phil Scherer, Ph.D.
thomas.morley@utsouthwestern.edu

Benjamin Nelson

Benjamin Nelson

Mercer University
Genetics and Development Graduate Program
Research Interest: Regulatory mechanisms of striated muscle development and contraction
Mentor: Eric Olson, Ph.D.
benjamin.nelson@utsouthwestern.edu

Emile Pinarbasi

Emile Pinarbasi

University of California, Berkeley
Graduate School
Research Interest: RNA-binding proteins and neurodegeneration
emile.pinarbasi@utsouthwestern.edu

Arjun Raman

University of Chicago
Molecular Biophysics Graduate Program
Research Interest: Understanding the natural design and evolvability of biological systems
Mentor: Rama Ranganathan, M.D., Ph.D.
arjun.raman@utsouthwestern.edu

Shunsuke Sakurai

Shunsuke Sakurai

Dartmouth College
Graduate School
Mentor: Joyce Repa, Ph.D.
shunsuke.sakurai@utsouthwestern.edu

Victor Salinas

Harvard University
Cell Regulation Graduate Program
Research Interest: Evolution of allosteric and protein-protein interactions in signaling and metabolic pathways
Mentor: Rama Ranganathan, M.D., Ph.D.
victor.salinas@utsouthwestern.edu

Kevin Shi

Kevin Shi

Duke University
Biological Chemistry Graduate Program
Research Interest: Structural studies of proteins containing low complexity domains 
Mentor: Steve McKnight, Ph.D.
kevin.shi@utsouthwestern.edu

Caroline Sung

University of California, Los Angeles
Genetics and Development Graduate Program
Research Interest: Transcriptional regulation of Ink4a-Arf
Mentor: Steven Skapek, M.D.
caroline.sung@utsouthwestern.edu

Pano Theodoropoulos

Pano Theodoropoulos

University of Chicago
Mentor: Deepak Nijhawan, M.D., Ph.D.
pano.theodoropoulos@utsouthwestern.edu

Rachel Thomas

University of Arkansas at Fayetteville
Neuroscience Graduate Program
Research Interest: Elucidating CDK5-mediated regulatory mechanisms involved in neuronal signaling cascades
Mentor: James Bibb, Ph.D.
rachel.thomas@utsouthwestern.edu

Tabitha Ting

University of Colorado, Denver
Mentor: Beth Levine, M.D.
tabitha.ting@utsouthwestern.edu

Nicole Varnado

University of Texas, Austin
Integrative Biology Graduate Program
Research Interest: Understanding regulation of the cGAS-cGAMP-STING pathway for cytosolic DNA sensing
Mentor: Zhijian Chen, Ph.D.
nicole.varnado@utsouthwestern.edu

Bennett Waxse

Texas Christian University
NIH Scholars Program
Mentor: Jennifer Lippincott-Schwarz, Ph.D.
bennett.waxse@utsouthwestern.edu

Jenny Weon

Jenny Weon

University of Texas, Austin
Integrative Biology Graduate Program
Research Interest: Identifying the physiological function of MAGE proteins and their potential role in the development of lung cancer.
Mentor: Ryan Potts, Ph.D.
jenny.weon@utsouthwestern.edu

Terry Wu

Duke University
NIH Graduate Partners Program
Mentor: Meltzer (NIH)
tianyi.wu@utsouthwestern.edu

Jonathan Xia

Jonathan Xia

Washington University
Integrative Biology Graduate Program
Research Interest: Diabetes and obesity
Mentor: Phil Scherer, Ph.D.
jonathan.xia@utsouthwestern.edu

Stacy Yuan

Pomona College
Cancer Biology
Mentor: Sean Morrison, Ph.D.
stacy.yuan@utsouthwestern.edu

Laura Yuan

Laura Yuan

University of Texas, Dallas
Cancer Biology Graduate Program
Research Interest: Elucidating biological functions and mechanisms of telomerase alternative splicing in lung cancer
Mentors: Jerry Shay, Ph.D. and Woodring Wright, M.D., Ph.D.
laura.yuan@utsouthwestern.edu

Elizabeth Zhang

Elizabeth Zhang

Integrative Biology Graduate Program
Research Interest: Neutrophil polarity and adaptation
Mentors: Steven Altschuler, Ph.D., and Lani Wu, Ph.D.
elizabeth.zhang@utsouthwestern.edu

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