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Education / Graduate Education / Statistics and Facts / 2017/2018 PhD Recipients Thesis Titles

2017/2018 PhD Recipients Thesis Titles

William Alexander, B.A. Maryville College, M.S. University of Rochester; Genetics

Thesis: Oncogenic Mutations and Injury in the Mouse Liver

Advisor: Dr. Aram Hezel

Martina Anto-Ocrah, B.S. Canisius College, M.P.H. University of Rochester; Epidemiology

Thesis: Reproductive and Sexual Functioning after Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI)/Concussion in Women

Advisor: Dr. Edwin van Wijngaarden

Shringkhala Bajimaya, B.S. Salem College, M.S. University of Rochester; Microbiology and Immunology

Thesis: Elucidating the Role of Cholesterol in Respiratory RNA Virus Infection and Transmission

Advisor: Dr. Toru Takimoto

Margaret Barlow, B.S. Rochester Institute of Technology, M.S. University of Rochester; Microbiology and Immunology

Thesis: Effects of Total-Body vs. Localized Radiation Exposure on the Immune System

Advisor: Dr. Edith Lord

Adan Becerra, B.A. University of Chicago; Epidemiology

Thesis: Childhood and Adulthood Stress Exposures in Relation to Late-Life Cognitive Function:  A Life Course Perspective

Advisor: Dr. Christopher Seplaki

Anna Bird, B.S. Hillsdale College, M.S. University of Rochester; Microbiology and Immunology

Thesis: the Role of Neutrophils in the Pathogenesis of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

Advisors: Dr. Jennifer Anolik and Dr. Deborah Fowell

Joseph Bisson, B.S. University of New Hampshire, M.S. University of Rochester; Pharmacology

Thesis: The Role of Non-Canonical Wnt Signaling in Heart Development and Repair

Advisor: Dr. Ethan David Cohen

Christina Brule, B.S. Nazareth College, M.S. University of Rochester; Biochemistry

Thesis: Specific Codon Pairs Inhibit Translation in Yeast and Act by Distinct Mechanisms

Advisor: Dr. Elizabeth Grayhack

Peter Bryk, B.S. Rochester Institute of Technology, M.S. University of Rochester; Microbiology and Immunology

Thesis: Investigation of the Roles of Vaccinia Virus Protein F13 and its Molluscum Contagiosum Virus Homolog MC021 at Steps Post-Envelopment

Advisor: Dr. Brian Ward

Lauren Campbell, B.A. Ithaca College, M.A. University of Rochester; Health Services Research and Policy

Thesis: Impact of Public Reporting on Racial/Ethnic Disparities in 30-Day Rehospitalization

Advisor: Dr. Yue Li

Matthew Cavanaugh, B.S. SUNY Geneseo, M.S. University of Rochester; Neuroscience

Thesis: Properties of Training-induced Visual Recovery in Cortical Blindness

Advisor: Dr. Krystel Huxlin

Chutikarn Chaimayo, M.D. Mahidol University, M.S. University of Rochester; Microbiology and Immunology

Thesis: Mechanistic Analysis of Influenza A Virus Assembly and Host Gene Regulation

Advisor: Dr. Toru Takimoto

Chongshu Chen, B.S. Pennsylvania State University, M.A. University of Pittsburgh, M.A. University of Rochester; Statistics

Thesis: Finite Mixtures of Nonlinear Mixed-effects Models for Longitudinal Data

Advisors: Dr. Sally Thurston and Dr. Ollivier Hyrien

Yang Cheng, B.S. Xiamen University, M.S. University of Rochester; Genetics

Thesis:  Genetic and Pharmacological Regulation of Epigenetic Aging

Advisor: Dr. Dirk Bohmann

Joseph Ciminelli, B.A. University of Rochester, M.A. University of Rochester; Statistics

Thesis: Mixed-Membership and Spatial Models for Social Network Data

Advisor: Dr. Tanzy Love

Kelli Connolly, B.S. SUNY Geneseo, M.S. University of Rochester; Microbiology and Immunology

Thesis: Targeting the Radiotherapy-Induced Immune Response Leads to Increased Efficacy and Survival in Preclinical Tumor Models

Advisor: Dr. Scott Gerber

Amber Cutter, B.S. Siena College, M.S. University of Rochester; Biochemistry

Thesis: Molecular Characterization of Nucleosome Recognition by Linker Histone H1.0

Advisor: Dr. Jeffrey Hayes

Anthony DiPiazza, B.S. University of Maryland, M.S. University of Rochester; Microbiology and Immunology

Thesis: Insights into CD4 T Cell-Mediated Immunity to Influenza Viruses

Advisor: Dr. Andrea Sant

Parker Duffney, B.S. SUNY Geneseo, M.S. University of Rochester; Toxicology

Thesis: Cigarette Smoke Dysregulates Innate-Immune Responses in Epithelial Cells to Viral Infection

Advisor: Dr. Patricia Sime

Christopher Farnsworth, B.S. Roberts Wesleyan College, M.S. University of Rochester; Pathology

Thesis: Increased Orthopaedic Infection Severity in Obesity/Type 2 Diabetes is Associated with Impaired Humoral Immunity and Staphylococcus aureus Adaptation to the Host

Advisor: Dr. Robert Mooney

Daniela Geba, M.D. Grigore T. Popa University; Translational Biomedical Science

Thesis: Utilization of Screening Methods for Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus in Primary Care Settings: Current Practice and Future Directions

Advisor: Dr. Ann Dozier

Rafael Gil de Rubio, B.S. University of Puerto Rico, M.S. University of Rochester; Pharmacology

Thesis: The Role of PLC-Dependent Hydrolysis of Phosphatidylinositol 4-Phosphate in Signaling and Disease

Advisor: Dr. Alan Smrcka

Katherine Grzesik, B.S. SUNY Oswego, B.A. SUNY Oswego, M.A. University of Rochester; Statistics

Thesis: Local Cross-Validated Smoothing Parameter Estimation for Linear Smoothers

Advisor: Dr. Derick Peterson

Lu Han, B.S. Nankai University, M.S. University of Rochester; Biochemistry

Thesis: The Biology of Anticodon Stem-Loop Modifications of Yeast tRNAs

Advisor: Dr. Eric Phizicky

Margaret Hill, B.S. University of Rochester, M.S. University of Rochester; Genetics

Thesis: The Origin of Intrahepatic Cholangiocarcinoma and the Importance of MCL-1 for Tumor Development

Advisor: Dr. Aram Hezel

Corey Hoffman, B.S. SUNY Geneseo, M.S. University of Rochester; Pharmacology

Thesis: the Bone Marrow Microenvironment in the Setting of Acute Injury and Aging

Advisor: Dr. Laura Calvi

Jennifer Judge, B.S. SUNY Cortland, M.S. University of Rochester; Toxicology

Thesis: Lactate Dehydrogenase as a Novel Therapeutic Target in Pulmonary Fibrosis

Advisor: Dr. Patricia Sime

Carolyn Klocke, B.S. Boise State University, M.S. University of Rochester; Toxicology

Thesis: The Disruption of Fetal Neurodevelopment as a Consequence of Gestational Exposure to Concentrated Ambient Fine and Ultrafine Particles in the Mouse

Advisor: Dr. Deborah Cory-Slechta

Justin Komisarof, B.A. Harvard University, M.S. University of Rochester; Genetics

Thesis: Patterns in Dysregulated, Non-mutated Cancer Mediator Gene Expression

Advisor: Dr. Hartmut Land

Shannon Lacy, B.S. Cornell University, D.V.M. University of Wisconsin, M.P.H. University of Massachusetts, M.S. University of Rochester; Toxicology

Thesis: Human Lung Fibroblasts Produce and Respond to Pro-Resolving and Anti-Fibrotic Prostaglandins

Advisors: Dr. Richard Phipps and Dr. Patricia Sime

Amy LaLonde, B.S. SUNY Oswego, M.A. University of Rochester; Statistics

Thesis: Bayesian Model-Based Clustering Methods:  Procedures for Data with Unknown Numbers of Clusters

Advisor: Dr. Tanzy Love

Irina Lerman, B.A. University of Rochester, B.S. University of Rochester, M.S. University of Rochester; Pathology

Thesis: Neutrophil Elastase and SERPINB1 are Critical Regulators of Prostate Cancer Progression

Advisor: Dr. Stephen Hammes

Timmy Li, B.A. University of Rochester; Epidemiology

Thesis: The Association between Neighborhood Socioeconomic Status and Disparities in Emergency Medical Services Use and Quality of Emergency Stroke Care

Advisor: Dr. David Rich

Clarence Ling, B.S. SUNY Geneseo, M.S. University of Rochester; Biochemistry

Thesis: Regulation of Ribosome Structural Dynamics by Antibiotics, Translation Factors and mRNA Secondary Structure

Advisor: Dr. Dmitri Ermolenko

Wenxuan Liu, B.S. Nankai University, M.S. University of Rochester; Genetics

Thesis: Contribution of Adult Skeletal Muscle Stem Cells to the Regeneration and Lifelong Maintenance of Neuromuscular Junctions

Advisor: Dr. Joe Chakkalakal

Jerry Madukwe, B.S. Lee University, M.S. University of Rochester; Biochemistry

Thesis: Insights into G protein βγ Regulation of Phospholipase Cε

Advisor: Dr. Alan Smrcka

Claire McCarthy, B.A. Hiram College, M.S. University of Rochester; Toxicology

Thesis: Dung Biomass Smoke Exposure Suppresses Immune Responses to Respiratory Virus Infections and Heightens Inflammatory Responses

Advisor: Dr. Patricia Sime

Michelle Warren Millar, B.S. Hofstra University, M.S. University of Rochester; Genetics

Thesis: The Adhesion GPCR, GPR56/ADGRG1, Inhibits Cell-ECM Signaling to Prevent Metastatic Melanoma Growth

Advisor: Dr. Hartmut Land

Bradley Mills, B.S. University of Rochester, M.S. University of Rochester; Pathology

Thesis: Intratumoral Induction of Dual Specificity Phosphatase 1 Regulates the Growth and Survival of the Glioblastoma Tumor Progenitor Population

Advisor: Dr. Marc Halterman

Zachary Murphy, B.S. Rochester Institute of Technology, M.S. University of Rochester; Pathology

Thesis: STAT3 Regulates Primitive Erythroid Maturation both Dependent and Independently of Erythropoietin Signaling

Advisor: Dr. James Palis

Heather Natola, B.A. University of New Hampshire, M.S. University of Rochester; Neuroscience

Thesis: Targeting Neuronal Function to Restore Motor Control Following Contusion Spinal Cord Injury

Advisor: Dr. Chris Proschel

John O’Donnell, B.A. Johns Hopkins University, M.S. University of Rochester; Neurobiology and Anatomy

Thesis: Extracellular Ions and Volume Regulation in Brain States

Advisor: Dr. Maiken Nedergaard

Makaía M. Papasergi-Scott, B.S. SUNY Geneseo, M.S. University of Rochester; Pharmacology

Thesis: Phosphorylation Regulates Molecular Chaperoning and GEF Functions of Ric-8A in Heterotrimeric G-protein Signaling

Advisors: Dr. Robert Freeman and Dr. Gregory Tall

Ian Perry, B.S. SUNY Geneseo, M.S. University of Rochester; Microbiology and Immunology

Thesis: Analysis of the Capacity of Salmonella Typhimurium to Infect the Human Placenta

Advisor: Dr. Shawn Murphy

Benjamin Plog, B.A. University of Rochester, M.S. University of Rochester; Pathology

Thesis: Novel Insight into Regulation of Lymphatic Flow with Implications for Traumatic Brain Injury

Advisor: Dr. Maiken Nedergaard

Lisa Prince, B.S. Juniata College, M.S. University of Rochester; Toxicology

Thesis: Myogenic Targets of Methylmercury Toxicity During Development

Advisor: Dr. Matthew Rand

Rebecca Rausch, B.S. University of Michigan, M.S. University of Rochester; Neuroscience

Thesis: Notch and BMP Signaling Ligands in Ocular Development:  An Analysis of Altered Spatiotemporal Expression and Gene Dosage

Advisors: Dr. Richard Libby and Dr. Amy Kiernan

Michael Rudy, B.S. University of Colorado, M.S. University of Rochester; Toxicology

Thesis: Early Life Iron Deficiency Changes the Ratio between Interneuron Subtypes and Alters Excitability in the Adult Brain

Advisor: Dr. Margot Mayer-Proschel

Eric Schott, B.S. Stonehill College, M.S. University of Rochester; Pathology

Thesis: The Pathobiology of Osteoarthritis in Obesity: The Role of Synovial Inflammation, Joint Insulin Resistance, and Dysbiosis of the Gut Microbiome

Advisors: Dr. Michael Zuscik and Dr. Robert Mooney

Dillon Schrock, B.S. California State University, M.S. University of Rochester; Microbiology and Immunology

Thesis: Efficient Germinal Center Support Requires Tfh Expression of Alpha V Integrins

Advisor: Dr. Deborah Fowell

Deepika Sharma, B.S. Rochester Institute of Technology, M.S. University of Rochester; Genetics

Thesis: HES1 Functions Downstream of SHH in the Pathogenesis of Preaxial Polydactyly

Advisor: Dr. Matthew Hilton

Laura Shum, B.S. SUNY Brockport; Translational Biomedical Science

Thesis: Mitochondrial Metabolism in Bone Physiology and Pathology

Advisor: Dr. Roman Eliseev

Michael Sloma, B.A. Wells College, M.S. University of Rochester; Biochemistry

Thesis: Computational Tools for RNA Structure Prediction

Advisor: Dr. David Mathews

Charles Smith, B.A. Cornell University, M.S. SUNY Albany, M.S. University of Rochester; Biochemistry

Thesis: KNa1.2 as a Cardiac Mitochondrial Potassium Channel with Metabolic Impact on Energy Usage

Advisor: Dr. Paul Brookes

Karl Smith, B.S. Allegheny College, M.S. University of Rochester; Biophysics

Thesis: Understanding Sieving and Clogging in Ultrathin Membrane Filtration

Advisor: Dr. James McGrath

Min Tian, B.S. Xiamen University, M.S. Xiamen University, M.S. University of Rochester; Pathology

Thesis: An Nrf1- and Nrf2-related Transcription Factor, Cnc-C, Mediates Multiple Stress Responses in Drosophila Melanogaster

Advisor: Dr. Dirk Bohmann

Jesi Lee Anne To, B.S. SUNY Buffalo, M.S. University of Rochester; Pharmacology

Thesis: The Importance of G Protein Signaling in Immune Cell Function:  A Novel Role for Active Gαi in Cell Adhesion and Migration and the Therapeutic Potential of Targeting Gβγ in Inflammation

Advisor: Dr. Alan Smrcka

Michael Trembley, B.S. St. Lawrence University, M.S. University of Rochester; Pharmacology

Thesis: Linking the Actin Cytoskeleton to Transcription:  A Role for Myocardin-Related Transcription Factors in Heart Development and Disease

Advisor: Dr. Eric Small

Xiaowei Wang, B.Sc. Hunan Normal University, M.S. University of Rochester; Neuroscience

Thesis: Studies of Na+-K+-2Cl-- Cotransporter-1 Function in the Central Nervous System in Health and Disease

Advisor: Dr. Maiken Nedergaard

Elissa Li-yee Wong, B.A. Swarthmore College, M.S. University of Rochester; Toxicology

Thesis: Consequences of Development Ethanol Exposure on Synaptic Plasticity, Microglial Phenotype, and Dendritic Spines Dynamics

Advisor: Dr. Ania Majewska

Laura Yunes-Medina, B.S. University of Puerto Rico, M.S. University of Rochester; Neuroscience

Thesis: The Role of Transglutaminase 2 in Neuronal Viability

Advisor: Dr. Gail V. W. Johnson

Jimmy Zhang, B.A. Cornell University, M.S. University of Rochester; Physiology

Thesis:  Mitochondrial Metabolism in Cardiac Ischemia-Reperfusion Injury

Advisor: Dr. Paul Brookes