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Recent Graduates

Recent Graduates

2018 MD/PhD Graduates



Samuel Carrell

Samuel Carrell, M.D., Ph.D.

Testing the limits of antisense oligonucleotide treatment for myotonic dystrophy Type 1

Advisor: Charles A. Thornton, M.D.

Neurology Resident: Hospital of the University of PA

Amit Chowdhry

Amit Kumar Chowdhry, M.D., Ph.D.

Missing data in Meta-Analysis

Advisor: Michael McDermott, Ph.D.

Radiation Oncology Resident: Univ. Rochester/Strong Memorial Hospital

Andrew Cox

Andrew Cox, M.D., Ph.D.

Increasing the safety of the Live Attenuated Influenza Virus Vaccine

Advisor: Stephen Dewhurst, Ph.D.

Pediatrics Resident: Cincinnati Children’s Hospital MC-OH

Alison Gaylo

Alison Gaylo, M.D., Ph.D.

Mechanisms of CD4+ T cell motility in the inflamed dermal interstitium

Advisor: Deborah Fowell, Ph.D.

Dermatology Resident: UPMC Medical Education – PA

Andrew Shubin

Andrew Shubin, M.D., Ph.D.

Poly(ethylene glycol) Hydrogels for Salivary Gland Regeneration

Advisor: Danielle Benoit, Ph.D.

General Surgery Resident: U. Texas Southwestern Med Sch.-(Dallas)

Aisha Siebert

Aisha Siebert, M.D., Ph.D.

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

Advisor: Jack Werren, Ph.D.

Urology Resident: Northwestern Univ. – Feinberg School (Chicago)


Adrianne Chesser

Adrianne Chesser, M.D., Ph.D.

Selectively Enhancing Clearance of Pathological Tau Through the Use of Phytochemical Compounds

Advisor: Gail V. W. Johnson, Ph.D

Resident, Internal Medicine: Allina Health

Youssef Farhat

Youssef Farhat, M.D., Ph.D.

Identification of PAI-1 as a Biological Target for the Promotion of Scarless Flexor Tendon Healing

Advisor: Hani A. Awad, Ph.D.

Pathology Resident: Medical College of Wisconsin Affiliated Hospitals

Jonathan Langdon

Jonathan Langdon, M.D., Ph.D.

Development of Single Track Location Shear Wave Viscoelasticity Imaging for Real-Time Characterization of Biological Tissues

Advisor: Stephen A. McAleavey, Ph.D

Medicine Resident: Hofstra Northwell SOM – NY

Rialnat Lawal

Rialnat "Bisi" Lawal, M.D., Ph.D.

Osteolineage Notch Ligand Jagged1 Regulates Bon Homeostasis and Parathyroid Hormone-dependent Long Term Hematopoietic Stem Cell Function

Advisor: Laura M. Calvi, M.D.

Internal Medicine Resident: University of Rochester/Strong Memorial Hospital

Emily Walters

Emily Walters, M.D., Ph.D.

Non-Mutated Mediator Genes in Diverse Epithelial Cancer Types

Advisor: Helene R. McMurray, Ph.D.

Anesthesiology Resident: UCLA Medical Center, CA


Laura Fornarola

Laura Fornarola, M.D., Ph.D.

The Role of PIN1 in Neuronal Programmed Cell Death Following Trophic Factor Deprivation

Advisor: Robert S. Freeman, Ph.D.

Medical Resident, Anesthesiology and Perioperative Services: University of Rochester

Natasha Golub

Natasha Golub, M.D., Ph.D.

Longitudinal Health Outcomes in Former Refugees

Advisor: Edwin Van Wijngaarden, Ph.D., M.Sc.

Resident, General Preventive Medicine: Johns Hopkins/Bloomberg, MD

Kevin Makino

Kevin Makino, M.D., Ph.D.

Income, Public Health Insurance Eligibility, and Children’s Insurance Status: Implications for Parental Distress, Parenting Behaviors and Child Socio-Emotional Health

Advisor: Peter J. Veazie, Ph.D.

Resident in Pediatrics: University of Hawaii

Lisa Niswander

Lisa Niswander, M.D., Ph.D.

Microenvironmental Regulation of Megakaryopoiesis and Thrombopoiesis by SDF-1

Advisor: James Palis, M.D.

MD/PhD Candidate: University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry

Imran Punekar

Imran Punekar, M.D., Ph.D.

Impulsivity in Parkinson Disease

Advisor: Jonathan Mink, M.D., Ph.D.

Resident, Anesthesiology: University of Rochester

Drew Scoles

Drew Scoles, M.D., Ph.D.

Expanding the Application of Adaptive Optics Scanning Light Ophthalmoscopy

Advisor: Alfredo Dubra-Suarez, Ph.D.

Advisor: David R. Williams, Ph.D.

Resident, Ophthalmology: Scheie Eye Institute, University of Pennsylvania

Helen Wei

Helen Shinru Wei, M.D., Ph.D.

Functional Hyperemia in Cerebral Capillaries

Advisor: Maiken Nedergaard, M.D., DMSc

Advisor: Edward Vates, M.D., Ph.D.

Resident, General Surgery: Univ. of Rochester

Danielle deCampo

Danielle deCampo, M.D., Ph.D.

An Extended Amygdala Path with Implications for Early Life Stress

Advisor: Julie L. Fudge, M.D.

Resident, Child Neurology: Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD


Laura DiChiacchio

Laura DiChiacchio, M.D., Ph.D.

Computational Prediction of RNA Secondary Structure with Applications to RNA Viruses

Advisor: David H. Mathews, M.D., Ph.D.

Intern and Resident: General Surgery, Research for 2 years at end of residency: University of Maryland Medical Center.

Anat Kohn

Anat Kohn, M.D., Ph.D.

The Role of RBPjk-Dependent Notch Signaling During Cartilage Development of the Limb Skeleton

Advisor: Matthew J. Hilton, Ph.D.

Intern and Resident : Internal Medicine, Univ. Rochester/SMH

Daniel Marker

Daniel Marker, M.D., Ph.D.

URMC-099, a Novel Kinase Inhibitor with Drug-like Properties, is Neuroprotective in Models of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Associated Neurocognitive Disorders

Advisor: Harris A. Gelbard, M.D., Ph.D.

Resident in Pathology: Univ. of Pennsylvania Medical Center

Tristan Nicholson

Tristan Nicholson, M.D., Ph.D.

Estrogen receptor-alpha is a key mediator and therapeutic target in benign prostatic hyperplasia

Advisor: William Ricke, Ph.D.

Resident Physician: Univ. Wash. Urology Residency Res. Track

Salvatore Priore

Salvatore Priore, M.D., Ph.D.

Discovery and Characterization of Influenza Virus RNA Secondary Structure

Advisor: Douglas H. Turner, Ph.D.

Intern and Resident: Pathology (Anatomic/Clinical), Research at end, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania

Jharon Silva

Jharon Silva, M.D., Ph.D.

Modeling the Effect of HIV-1 Induced Neuroinflammation on the Cerebral Vasculature: Acute Intracranial Exposure to HIV-1 Tat Leads to Dysregulation of Cerebrovascular Reactivity, While Chronic Tat Exposure Results in Reduced Vascular Density

Advisor: Stephen Dewhurst, Ph.D.

Intern and Resident: Emergency Medicine, University of Connecticut School of Medicine


Melisa Carrasco

Melisa Carrasco, M.D., Ph.D.

Cognitive Role of Medial PFC in Error Processing: Lessons Learned from Healthy Children and Pediatric OCD, Anxiety, and ASD

Advisor: William J. Gehring, Ph.D.

Resident in Preliminary Pediatrics/Child Neurology: University of Maryland Medical Center, Johns Hopkins, Hospital, Baltimore, MD

Joanna Olsen

Joanna Olsen, M.D., Ph.D.

SEVI, A Natural Enhancer of HIV Infection, as a Novel Target to Prevent HIV Transmission

Advisor: Stephen Dewhurst, Ph.D.

Resident in Anesthesiology/Critical Care Medicine: Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR

Scott Peslak

Scott A. Peslak, M.D., Ph.D.

Erythropoiesis: Injury and Recovery

Advisor: James Palis, M.D.

Resident in Internal Medicine-ABIM Research Pathway followed by Hematology/Oncology Fellowship: Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

Phillip Rappold

Phillip Rappold, M.D., Ph.D.

Pathogenic mechanisms and novel therapeutic strategies in Parkinson disease

Advisor: Kim Tieu, Ph.D.

Resident in Urology: Univ. of Rochester Medical Center

Danny Rogers

Danny A. Rogers, M.D., Ph.D.

Novel Approaches for Targeting Undifferentiated Cells in Neuroblastoma

Advisor: Nina F. Schor, M.D., Ph.D.

Resident in Pediatrics-Preliminary/Child Neurology: University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM

Mercedes Szpunar

Mercedes Szpunar, M.D., Ph.D.

Evidence for Sympathetic Nervous System Regulation of Breast Cancer Progression

Advisor: Edward Brown, Ph.D.

Resident in Psychiatry (Research Track): University California San Diego Medical Center

Edward Vuong

Edward Vuong, M.D., Ph.D.

lep-5: a long noncoding RNA is a novel heterochronic regulator in C. elegans

Advisor: Douglas Portman, Ph.D.

Resident in Internal Medicine: North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System, Manhasset, NY

Ethan Winkler

Ethan Winkler, M.D., Ph.D.

Vascular-mediated neuronal injury: the role of blood-spinal cord barrier disruption in the pathogenesis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

Advisor: Berislav Zlokovic, M.D., Ph.D.

Advisor: M. Kerry O'Banion, M.D., Ph.D.

Resident in Neurological Surgery: Univ. of California, San Francisco

Michael Wu

Michael Dacheng Wu, M.D., Ph.D.

Inhibition of Adult Hippocampal Neurogenesis by Sustained Interleukin-1β

Advisor: M. Kerry O'Banion, M.D., Ph.D.

Advisor: John A. Olschowka, Ph.D.

Resident in Anesthesiology: University of California San Francisco