Skip to main content

Student Bios

Sadia Firoza Chowdhury

Sadia Firoza ChowdhuryPresident

Translational Biomedical Science Representative - 3rd year

I am from Queens, NY and I graduated with a BA in Biochemistry from CUNY Hunter College. Currently, I am in the Murphy Lab and the Wynne Center for Family Research researching how environmental toxicants impact placental health and child health outcomes. I was also the GSS Vice President from January 2023 to December 2023.  Outside of lab, I like to travel to different cities across the country and watch movies.

Shivali Vashisht

Shivali VashishtVice President

Translational Biomedical Sciences​2nd year

I am a first-generation daughter of immigrants who was born and raised in Queens, New York. I studied Neuroscience and Anthropology at Trinity College in Hartford, CT. I also have a Masters in Biomedical Sciences from Rutgers University in Newark, NJ and a Masters in Public Health from Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY.  I have been motivated by health inequity and social justice due to my upbringing, academic training and work experiences, which have inspired me to carry this consciousness into my science and research. Currently, I am a trainee in Dr. Juilee Thakar’s lab where I leverage bioinformatic analyses to understand HIV infection nuances and HIV vaccine candidates that create broadly neutralizing antibodies as a form of infection protection. I have served as GSS Secretary from December 2022 to January 2024. In my spare time, I like to travel, go to concerts, watch Broadway shows and cook vegetarian food from different cultures.

Abby Manning

Abby ManningSecretary

Biophysics​2nd year

I am originally from Syracuse, NY, and came to Rochester for undergrad at Nazareth University. I am currently a second-year Biophysics PhD student in Dr. Eric Wagner’s lab, studying transcription regulation.

Nashae Prout

Nashae ProutSecretary

Toxicology Representative - 3rd year

I was born and raised in Washington, DC, and did my undergrad at the illustrious Morgan State University located in Baltimore, MD. I got my Bachelor of Science in Health Education with a minor in Biology in May 2021. I began my graduate studies at the University of Rochester in August 2021 and entered the Toxicology training program. I then joined the lab of Tom O’Connor at the Wynne Center for Family Research. I got my Masters of Science in Toxicology in Fall 2023, my thesis focuses on the role of PFAS mixtures in pregnant women and their children in the context of the immune system. 

Sophia Eliseeva

Sophia EliseevaPathology - 4th year

I grew up in Rochester, NY and currently live here with my family. I study the innate immune response in tissue-resident macrophages in Dr. Felix Yarovinsky’s lab. In my free time, I like to go biking with my husband and toddler!

Erin Murray

Erin MurrayNeuroscience - 2nd year

I was born and raised in NJ. I attended Lafayette College in Easton, PA and graduated in 2019 with a BS in Neuroscience. After graduating I spent three years as a post-baccalaureate fellow at the National Institutes of Health in Dr. Veronica Alvarez’s laboratory of the Neurobiology of Compulsive Behaviors. In May of 2023 I joined Dr. Marissa’s Sobolewksi’s lab, where I am exploring the effects of endocrine disrupting chemicals and environmental stressors on maternal postpartum brain and behavior. 

Hannah Mesmer

Hannah Mesmer

Clinical Investigation - 1st year

I am a first-year graduate student in the Masters of Clinical Investigation program. I am from Pittsford, NY, which is a suburb of Southeast of Rochester. I completed my B.S. in Neurobiology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and currently work as a Human Subject Research Specialist for University of Rochester Neurology - Movement Disorders division where I work on Parkinson's and Huntington's disease clinical and observational trials. Outside of work and school, my dad and I are beekeepers and I (when I can find the time) help manage our 35+ hives.


MaryClaire Haseley

MaryClaire Haseley

 Biochemistry  - 3rd year

I grew up in Lockport, NY and attended SUNY Fredonia for undergrad, where I received a BS in Molecular Genetics. I am currently a third year graduate student in the lab of Dr. Eric Wagner where I study how transcription factors can regulate transcriptional complexes.

Md Rayhanul Islam

Md Rayhanul Islam

Epidemiology - 2nd year

I was born and raised in Bangladesh. I completed my BS and MS in Statistics from the University of Dhaka, Dhaka, Bangladesh. My broad research interest includes One health, environmental epidemiology focusing on air pollution, and infectious disease epidemiology. In my leisure time I like to do gardening, reading books, and running.   

Hannah Beebie

Hannah Beebie

MS Clinical Investigation  - 1st year

I am a first year graduate student in the Clinical Investigation program. I am from Lisbon, NY which is up near the thousand islands and moved to Rochester in Fall of 2021. I completed my bachelors in biology at Clarkson University in Potsdam, NY. I am currently a data manager in lymphoma at Wilmot Cancer Institute. Outside of work and school I love to read, take my dog for walks, and I enjoy keeping houseplants.

Abigail Bossa

Abigail Bossa

Translational Biomedical Science - 1st year

I am originally from Queens, NY. I received my B.S. in Biology and B.A. in Psychology from Long Island University Post.  I am interested in clinical research related to neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders. In my free time, I love to workout and explore the city.

Alan Ardelean

Alan Ardelean

MS in Epidemiology - 1st year

I am a first year graduate student in the Epidemiology MS program in the Department of Public Health Sciences. I was born in TX, raised in KY, and I now live close to Worcester, Massachusetts! I received my BA in Epidemiology from the UofR River Campus, and I’m working on finishing my MS here before starting my PhD in Population Health Sciences at UMass Chan Medical School in Fall 2024. I am primarily interested in emergency medicine research with a focus on psychiatric and substance use epidemiology among the emergency department population. I enjoy being outdoors, and I love to row, kayak, bike, and hike!


Lauren Thompson

Lauren ThompsonMS Medical Pharmacology - 1st year

I am a first year graduate student in the Medical Pharmacology program. I am from Middletown, NY and love to be outside either hiking or running. I completed my bachelor's degree in biology from SUNY Cortland. After I graduate, I will be applying to medical school with the goal of becoming a family medicine physician.

Sevinch Fayzullayeva

Sevinch FayzullayevaMedical Pharmacology  - 1st year

I’m currently in the first year of my Medical Pharmacology Master’s Program at U of R SMD. I recently graduated from SUNY Brockport with my B.S in Neuroscience. I grew up in Greece, NY. I love to workout and bake on my free time. After completing my master’s degree, I plan on applying to medical school to become a physician.

GSS Alumni

Graduate Student Society Board

  • ​Sydney Simpson, Ph.D., President 2018-20
  • Holly Beaulac, Ph.D. Candidate, CGS Representative 2018-20
  • Brianna (Shares) Kalicharan, Ph.D., Secretary 2017-19
  • Kelly Hanson, Ph.D., Vice President 2017-19
  • Taylor Moon, Ph.D., President 2017-18
  • Laura Shum, Ph.D., Vice President 2017-18
  • Matthew Payea, Ph.D., President 2015-17
  • Aleta Steevens, Ph.D., Secretary 2015-16
  • Valeriia Sherina, Ph.D., Chief Financial Officer 2017-18
  • Elizabeth Belcher, Ph.D., Graduate Students Raising Families Liaison