GSS Executive Board

The Graduate Student Society (GSS) Executive Board members serving for the 2014-15 academic year are listed below. Please contact us at

2014-2015 GSS Executive Board Members

Lesley Chapman

Lesley Chapman

I am a third year graduate student in the Translational Biomedical Sciences (TBS) Program. Before moving to Rochester, I completed my undergraduate studies at Duke University in 2008 and received a BS degree in Biology. While at Duke I studied malaria, and I am currently studying the role of platelets in malaria progression with Dr. Craig Morrell’s in the Aab Cardiovascular Research Institute. Last year, I served as the GSS Department Representative for the TBS Program, and I am currently serving as the secretary for the GSS Executive Board. My goal is to help graduate students stay informed about new exciting student-focused events that are both fun and informative!


Ryan Dawes


I'm originally from Belgrade, Maine, a small town about hour from where I went to school for my undergraduate, the University of Maine. While at the University of Maine, I majored in Biology and worked on a several projects including my thesis project, the development of a biomimetic, actin-supported phospholipid bilayer for use in studying non-classical protein export. I joined the Neuroscience Graduate Program here at the University of Rochester last Fall, and I have recently joined the laboratory of Dr. Ed Brown, where I study the effects of psychological stress and increased sympathetic nervous system activation on breast cancer growth and progression. This is my first year on the GSS Board, and I'm looking forward to working with faculty members and fellow graduate students to develop programs and events that benefit us both personally and professionally.

Xuan Li


I am a PhD candidate in the Department of Biomedical Genetics and I am working on my thesis in Dr. Dirk Bohmann’s lab. My research focuses on the Nrf2 antioxidant response pathway, which is a major cellular defense against the damaging effects of oxidative stress. I specifically study how some important factors regulate the function of Nrf2 pathway and how to adjust this pathway’s activity to improve the organism’s stress resistance and lifespan. Before coming to US, I went to Nankai University in China and received my bachelor degree in Biological Sciences. I am currently the President and Finance Chair of the Graduate Student Society. I am passionate about serving as an interface between the university and the students and organizing professional, social and philanthropic events to support the graduate student community. Through these events we aim to provide students with career advice and opportunities, enrich their lives, and help them grow both professionally and personally. We are dedicated to organizing activities that cater to students’ needs, so please reach out to us if there is something in particular you would like to see in your graduate life and we will try our best to make it happen!

Taylor Moon


I'm a second year immunology student in Dr. Elliott's lab. My thesis project studies cell death in tumors and how factors recruit myeloid cells into the tumor. I'm currently serving as philanthropy chair on GSS and helping design an exhibit for the Rochester Museum of Science. I hope to teach at the undergraduate or graduate level after earning my PhD. Before coming to Rochester, I attended St. Lawrence University and majored in Biology. There I studied tumor immunology and discovered how interesting immunology is! At St. Lawrence I was a member of the 2012 National Champion Riding team, and in Rochester I enjoy riding my two horses, Ben and Duke, in my free time!



Liz Marie Albertorio Sáez


My name is Liz and I am originally from San Germán, Puerto Rico. In 2012 I received my bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez. As an undergraduate student I undertook studies in population genetics under the supervision of Dr. Juan Carlos Martínez-Cruzado. Currently, I am an Immunology PhD student in the laboratory of Dr. Christopher Ritchlin at the Division of Allergy, Immunology and Rheumatology. Our laboratory is interested in understanding the mechanisms of bone resorption and formation in inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis. I joined GSS with the goal of creating science outreach opportunities for graduate students. My academic interests are related to the field of osteoimmunology, autoimmunity, inflammation, and science communication.  Feel free to contact me ( or us ( if you have any questions, ideas or would like to get involved.

Jennifer Stripay

StripayI received my BS in Biology with a concentration in Neuroscience from The Pennsylvania State University in 2009. During my tenure there, I worked in the Neuropharmacology lab of Dr. Byron Jones, was a member of the University's Ballet Company, and was involved in the philanthropic efforts of the Penn State Dance Marathon. After graduation, I spent two years at the University of Pittsburgh working with Dr. Matthew Rosengart and Dr. Paul Robbins as an independent research scientist. I am currently a second year student in the Neuroscience Graduate Program working in the lab of Dr. Mark Noble investigating potential novel therapeutic targets in glioblastoma multiforme. I joined GSS as a first year student with the hope of promoting academic and professional development opportunities. I have recently assumed the position of Graduate Student Representative to the SMD Alumni Council and am looking forward to promoting the needs and concerns of graduate students, with the goal of securing financial support and networking opportunities for our community of students. Please don’t hesitate to contact me with questions, concerns, or ideas!