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Education / Graduate Education / Home / Statistics and Facts / 2016/2017 PhD Recipients Thesis Titles

2016/2017 PhD Recipients Thesis Titles

Christopher Anderson, B.S. University of Massachusetts, M.S. University of Rochester; Microbiology and Immunology

Thesis: The Effect of Memory B cells on Influenza Vaccination, Immune Focusing, and Implications on Vaccine Design

Advisor: Dr. David Topham

Vanessa Assibey-Mensah, B.S. Indiana University, M.P.H. University of Chicago; Epidemiology

Thesis: Gestational Exposure to Ambient Particulate Matter Pollution and Risk of Hypertensive Disorders of Pregnancy in Western New York

Advisor: Dr. David Rich

Shiona Biswas, B.S. University of Mumbai, M.S. Maharaja Sayajirao University, M.S. University of Rochester; Neuroscience

Thesis: The Transcription Regulator Lmo3 is Required for Correct Cell Fate Specification in the External Globus Pallidus

Advisor: Dr. Lin Gan

Catlyn Blanchard, B.S. SUNY Brockport, M.S. University of Rochester; Microbiology and Immunology

Thesis: New Therapeutic Methods to Treat Infections Caused by the ESKAPE Pathogens

Advisor: Dr. Paul Dunman

Matthew Brewer, B.S. Rochester Institute of Technology, M.S. University of Rochester; Microbiology and Immunology

Thesis: The Effects that Antigen Density and Composition of Nanoparticles has on the Immune Response

Advisor: Dr. Stephen Dewhurst

Tara Capece, B.S. SUNY Fredonia, M.P.H. University of Pittsburgh, M.S. University of Rochester; Microbiology and Immunology

Thesis: The Role of Integrin LFA-1 in CD8+ T cell Activation and Cell Fate

Advisor: Dr. Minsoo Kim

Ellie Carrell, B.S. University of Iowa, M.S. University of Rochester; Physiology

Thesis: Short- and Long-term Roles for Orai 1 in Skeletal Muscle Structure and Function

Advisor: Dr. Robert Dirksen

Samuel Carrell, B.S. University of Iowa, M.S. University of Rochester; Genetics

Thesis: Testing the Limits of Antisense Oligonucleotide Treatment for Myotonic Dystrophy Type 1

Advisor: Dr. Charles Thornton

Rakesh Chatrikhi, B.E. Visveswaraiah Technological University, M.E. Birla Institute of Technology, M.S. University of Rochester; Biophysics

Thesis: Structure and Function of a Phosphorylated Complex Containing the Myelodysplasia-Relevant pre-mRNA Splicing Factor U2AF35

Advisor: Dr. Clara Kielkopf

Christina Cloninger, B.A. Grinnell College, M.S. University of Rochester; Neurobiology and Anatomy

Thesis: Behavioral Evidence for Motion Specific Auditory Processing in Humans

Advisor: Dr. Gary Paige

Co-advisor: Dr. William O’Neill

Ryan Connor, B.S. University of Maryland, M.S. University of Rochester; Microbiology and Immunology

Thesis: Investigating PSGL-1 Dysregulation During HIV-1 Infection

Advisor: Dr. Sanjay Maggirwar

Amanda Croasdell, B.S. Utah State University, M.S. University of Rochester; Toxicology

Thesis: Specialized Pro-resolving Mediators Act on the Innate Immune System to Attenuate Pulmonary Inflammation

Advisor: Dr. Richard Phipps

Co-advisor: Dr. Patricia Sime

Ryan Dawes, B.S. University of Maine, M.S. University of Rochester; Neuroscience

Thesis:  β-Adrenergic Receptor Signaling Constrains Breast Cancer Progression and Modulates Tumor-Associated Exosome Content and Function

Advisor: Dr. Edward Brown

Peter DiStefano, B.S. SUNY Geneseo, M.S. University of Rochester; Pharmacology

Thesis: Regulation of Endothelial Cell Behavior and Vascular Function by Krev Interaction Trapped Protein 1 (KRIT1)

Advisor: Dr. Angela Glading

Heather Elder, B.S. University of Portland, M.P.H. Boston University; Epidemiology

Thesis: An Investigation of HIV Treatments and Body Mass Index (BMI) on HIV-Infected Patients’ Cardio-Metabolic Profiles and Quality of Life

Advisor: Dr. Christopher Seplaki

Kelli Fagan, B.S. Rochester Institute of Technology, M.S. University of Rochester; Neuroscience

Thesis: The Genetic Sex of the Sensory Neuron ADF Confers Pheromone Attraction in C. elegans

Advisor: Dr. Douglas Portman

Berkeley Fahrenthold, B.S. Texas Technical University, M.S. University of Rochester; Neuroscience

Thesis:  Assessment of the Involvement of Intrinsic and Extrinsic Cell Death Pathways in Retinal Ganglion Cell Death after Excitotoxic Injury

Advisor: Dr. Richard Libby

Julianne Feola, B.A. SUNY Geneseo, B.S. SUNY Geneseo, M.S. University of Rochester; Neuroscience

Thesis: The Role of Astrocytic Transglutaminase 2 in Mediating Cellular Viability

Advisor: Dr. Gail Johnson

Alexander Fricke, B.S. Clarkson University, M.S. University of Rochester; Physiology

Thesis: Calcium Signaling Involved in Pancreatic Stellate Cell Proliferation and Identification of a Potent Therapeutic Target

Advisor: Dr. David Yule

Donald Hebert, B.S. SUNY Oswego, B.A. SUNY Oswego, M.A. University of Rochester; Statistics

Thesis: Global Tests for Multiple Outcomes in Randomized Trials

Advisor: Dr. Michael McDermott

Katherine Herman, B.M. University of Rochester, B.S. University of Rochester, M.S. University of Rochester; Microbiology and Immunology

Thesis: Spontaneous Immune Dysregulation in the Skin in the Absence of Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome Protein

Advisor: Dr. Deborah Fowell

Joseph Jackson, B.S. University of Rochester, M.S. University of Rochester; Microbiology and Immunology

Thesis: Elucidating the Antiplatelet Activity of Minocycline:  Implications for HIV Secondary Disorders

Advisor: Dr. Sanjay Maggirwar

Nina Kim, B.S. Kyunghee University, M.S. Kyunghee University, M.S. University of Rochester; Microbiology and Immunology

Thesis: Specialized Pro-resolving Mediators (SPMs) as Potential Therapeutics for Asthma by Regulating Human B-cell Antibody Production

Advisor: Dr. Richard Phipps

Xuan Li, B.S. Nankai University, M.S. University of Rochester; Genetics

Thesis: RNAi Screens and Follow-up Studies to Investigate the Regulations of the Nrf2 Signaling Pathway and the SUMO Pathway

Advisor: Dr. Dirk Bohmann

Chang Liu, B.A. Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, M.A. Columbia University, M.A. University of Rochester; Statistics

Thesis: Bayesian Semiparametric Measurement Error Models:  Estimation, Variable Selection and Fast Algorithms

Advisor: Dr. Sally Thurston

Rebecca Lowery, B.A. University of Rochester, M.S. University of Rochester; Neuroscience

Thesis: The Role of Microglia and Fractalkine Signaling in Experience-dependent Synaptic Plasticity

Advisor: Dr. Ania Majewska

Nguyen Mai, B.S. University of California, M.S. University of Rochester; Neuroscience

Thesis: Lung-Brain Immunological Coupling Mediates Neutrophil De-Priming and Neuroprotection following Cerebral Ischemia-Reperfusion

Advisor: Dr. Marc Halterman

Evan McConnell, B.S. University of Rochester, M.S. University of Rochester; Neurobiology and Anatomy

Thesis:  Developmental Changes in Astrocytic Calcium Signaling and Microcirculatory Failure in the Setting of Subarachnoid Hemorrhage:  A Role for Potassium

Advisor: Dr. Maiken Nedergaard

Brian McGarry, B.S. Nazareth College, M.S. Nazareth College; Health Services Research and Policy

Thesis: The Effect of Individual Decision-Making Abilities on Long-Term Care Insurance Purchase

Advisor: Dr. Yue Li

Heather McGrane Minton, B.S. St. John Fisher; Epidemiology

Thesis: Does Bitter Taste Sensitivity Predict Vegetable Intake in Children?

Advisor: Dr. Diana Fernandez

Alina Monteagudo Caballero, B.S. University of Puerto Rico, M.S. University of Rochester; Pharmacology

Thesis: Transglutaminase 2 Role in Neurological Disease and Injury: Alterations in Proliferation, Migration, and Metabolism

Advisor: Dr. Gail Johnson

Patrick Murphy, B.S. SUNY Stoney Brook, M.S. University of Rochester; Microbiology and Immunology

Thesis: Effects of Inflammation on Tissue-Resident Macrophage Efferocytosis Responses and Population Dynamics

Advisor: Dr. Michael Elliott

Chintan Pandya, B.M. Gujarat University, M.B.B.S. Gujarat University, M.P.H. SUNY Stony Brook; Health Services Research and Policy

Thesis: The Effect of State Medicaid Pay-For-Performance on Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Quality of Care and Financial Performance in Nursing Homes

Advisor: Dr. Yue Li

Bharti Patel, B.S. Ganpat University, M.S. Northeastern University, M.S. University of Rochester; Pharmacology

Thesis: Ric-8A Gene Deletion and Phorbol Ester Suppresses Tumorigenesis in a Mouse Model of GNAQ Q209L-driven Melanoma

Advisor: Dr. Gregory Tall

Deven Patel, B.S. University of Florida, M.P.H. Nova Southeastern University; Epidemiology

Thesis: The Association between Green Space and Mental Health Symptoms in a Cardiac Rehabilitation Population

Advisor: Dr. Edwin van Wijngaarden

Salvador Peña, B.A. University of Rochester, M.S. University of Rochester; Pathology

Thesis:  Hypoxia and the Mitochrondrial Unfolded Protein Response

Advisor: Dr. Keith Nehrke

Khatera Rahmani, B.S. Brooklyn College, M.S. University of Rochester; Toxicology

Thesis: CRM1 (Exportin 1) Inhibitors, Leptomycin B and Curcumin, Alter CRM1's Subcellular Distribution

Advisor: Dr. David Dean

Mallory Scott, B.S. Allegheny College, M.S. University of Rochester; Biophysics

Thesis: Auxiliary Subunit α2𝜹 Confers Selectivity of Recombinant CaV2 Channel Subtype Membrane Expression in Rat Sympathetic Ganglia

Advisor: Dr. Paul Kammermeier

Micah Segelman, B.A. University of Rochester; M.A. University of Rochester; Health Services Research and Policy

Thesis: The Impact of Home and Community Based Services Spending on Nursing Home Admissions and Hospitalizations for 1915 (c) Waiver Enrollees

Advisor: Dr. Helena Temkin-Greener

Aisha Siebert, B.A. Dartmouth College, M.P.H. Columbia University; Translational Biomedical Science

Thesis: Parasitoid Wasp (Nasonia) Venoms:  High Throughput Approach to Functional Characterization and Translational Application to Drug Discovery

Advisor: Dr. Jack Werren

Kyra Singh, B.S. Carnegie Mellon University, M.A. University of Rochester; Statistics

Thesis: Variable Selection Methods for Model-Based Clustering:  Procedures for Functional Data and Bayesian Inference

Advisor: Dr. Tanzy Love

Brianna Sleezer, B.S. Skidmore College, M.S. University of Rochester; Neuroscience

Thesis: Contributions of Striatum and Orbitofrontal Cortex to Flexible Rule-Based Decision Making

Advisor: Dr. Benjamin Hayden

Sara Snell, B.S. Northeastern State University, M.S. University of Rochester; Microbiology and Immunology

Thesis:  Staphylococcus aureus Pathoadaptation and Development of Resistance to Antimicrobial Photodynamic Inactivation

Advisor: Dr. Steven Gill

Madeline Sofia, B.S. Mount Union College, M.S. University of Rochester; Microbiology and Immunology

Thesis: Coordinated Regulation of Virulence, Motility, Biofilm, and Stress Response Phenotypes in Type Three Secretion System Positive Vibrio cholerae

Advisor: Dr. Michelle Dziejman

Hannah Stoveken, B.S. Houghton College, M.S. University of Rochester; Pharmacology

Thesis: Activation of Adhesion G Protein-coupled Receptors by a Tethered Agonist:  Mechanism of Action and Pharmacological Modulation

Advisor: Dr. Gregory Tall

Jennifer Stripay, B.S. Penn State University, M.S. University of Rochester; Neuroscience

Thesis: Targeting a Network of Cancer Control Nodes Through Rescue of c-Cbl: A Novel Therapeutic Approach for Glioblastoma Multiforme

Advisor: Dr. Mark Noble

Stephanie Syc-Mazurek, B.S. Brown University, M.S. University of Rochester; Neuroscience

Thesis: The Molecular Signaling Pathways Controlling Apoptotic Retinal Ganglion Cell Death after Axonal Injury

Advisor: Dr. Richard Libby

Brittany Szymaniak, B.S. Nazareth College, M.S. University of Rochester; Genetics

Thesis: Loss of ATM Induces Glial Cell Dysfunction in a Novel Murine Model of Ataxia-telangiectasia

Advisor: Dr. Margot Mayer-Proschel

Caroline Thirukumaran, M.B.B.S. University of Mumbai, M.H.A. Tata Institute, India; Health Services Research and Policy

Thesis:  Impact of Medicare’s Non-Payment Program on Hospital-Acquired Conditions

Advisor: Dr. Yue Li

Kelly Vore, B.S. University of Southern Indiana, B.S. University of Evansville, M.S. University of Rochester; Microbiology and Immunology

Thesis: Characterization of the LFR Genomic Islet in Staphylococcus aureus CC30

Advisor: Dr. Steven Gill

Patrick Walsh, B.S. Cornell University, M.P.H. University of Rochester; Health Services Research and Policy

Thesis: The Impact of Mental Health and Opioid Analgesic Use on Healthcare Utilization and Expenditures Among Back Pain Patients

Advisor: Dr. Yue Li

Emily Walters, B.S. Pittsburg State University, M.S. University of Rochester; Genetics

Thesis: Non-Mutated Mediator Genes in Diverse Epithelial Cancer Types

Advisor: Dr. Helene McMurray

Wenli Wang, B.S. Nanjing University, M.S. University of Rochester; Genetics

Thesis: RNA Gain-of-function Mechanism and Biomarker Development for Myotonic Dystrophy Type 1

Advisor: Dr. Charles Thornton

Molly Jaynes Wilson, B.A. University of Cincinnati; Translational Biomedical Science

Thesis: Motor Sequence Performance and Pattern Awareness:  Impact of Dystonia

Advisor: Dr. Jonathan Mink

Ziji Yu, B.S. Renmin University of China, M.A. University of Rochester; Statistics

Thesis: Theory and Application of the Mode Centric M-Gaussian Distribution

Advisor: Dr. Govind Mudholkar