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Current Graduate Students

2017
Incoming Graduate Student Class

1st Row:  Joseph Panushka, Sydney Alexander Muck, Srishti Baid, Oindrila De, Cory Jenkinson

2nd Row:  Pratik Koirala, Cindy Ly, Shivani JagannathanMurali


 

Name:  Rhea G. Abisado
Advisor:  Josephine Chandler
Email:  rabisado@ku.edu
Educational Background:  B.S. in Biology (major in Microbiology) - University of the Phillipines Los Baños (2007), M.S. in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology - University of the Philippines Los Baños (2011)
Hometown:  Sorsogon, Philippines
Research Interests:  Microbiology

Name:  Haifa Alhadyian   
Advisor:  Rob Ward
Email:  haifaalhadyian@ku.edu
Educational Background:  B.S. in Zoology - College of Science, University of Dammam (2012), M.A. in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology - Molecular Biosciences, University of Kansas (2016)
Hometown:  Dammam, Saudi Arabia 
Research Interests:  Genetics, cell biology, and developmental biology

 

hikmat al-hashimi

Name:  Hikmat Al Hashimi 
Advisor:  Matthew Buechner
Email:  hikmat@ku.edu          
Educational Background:  Bachelor’s Degree in Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering - Jordan University of Science and Technology (2005), Master’s Degree in Biotechnology - Northumbria University (2007)
Hometown:  Baghdad, Iraq and Irbid, Jordan
Research Interests:  Biological tube structures can be found in many organs in our body, such as the nephrons of the kidney and the blood vessels. We are interested in studying the properties of these biological tube structures, specifically, the mechanism by which a tube maintains its diameter and length. In our research, we use the Caenorhabditis elegans excretory canal as a model of the tube structure.  Our research group identified genes that play a role in maintaining the tube structure of the canal, the exc genes. I am studying exc-2 using genetic approaches to understand its function in the cell.    

Name:  Nan Bai
Advisor:  Eric Deeds
Email:  n206b214@ku.edu
Educational Background:  M.S. in Biology - Illinois Institute of Technology (2014)
Hometown:  China
Research Interests:  Microbiology and Cancer Biology

Name:  Srishti Baid
Advisor:  Rotation Student
Email:  srishtib@ku.edu
Educational Background:  B.S. in Microbiology - University of Calcutta (2013), M.S. in Medical Biotechnology - Manipal University (2015)
Hometown:  Kolkata, India
Research Interests:  Infectious Diseases, Immunology, Molecular Biology and Developmental Biology
 

Name:  Anuja Bhatta
Advisor:  Steve Benedict
Email:  a751b166@ku.edu 
Educational Background:  B.S. in Biology - University of New Orleans (2012)
Hometown:  Kathmandu, Nepal
Research Interests:  T cell Biology

Name:  Reshma Bhattacharya
Advisor:  Berl Oakley and Chris Gamblin
Educational Background:  B.Tech. in Biotechnology - West Bengal University of Technology (2015)
Hometown:  West Bengal, India
Research Interests:  Molecular Biology and Immunology
 

Name:  Molly Birrer
Advisor:  Brian Ackley
Email:  mbirrer@ku.edu
Educational Background:  B.S. in Biology - Hillsdale College, Hillsdale, MI (2014)
Hometown:  Indianapolis, Indiana
Research Interests:  Genetics and Cancer Biology
 

Name:  Alex Bowman
Advisor:  Mark Richter
Email:  abowman@ku.edu
Educational Background:  B.S. in Biochemistry - University of Kansas (2013)
Hometown:  Medicine Lodge, Kansas
Research Interests: Structure/function of ATP Synthase, structure/function of E3 Ubiquitin Ligase Parkin
Name:  Amritangshu Chakravarty
Advisor:  Roberto De Guzman
Email:  a718c558@ku.edu
Educational Background:  B.S. in Biochemistry - University of Calcutta (2009), M.S. in Biochemistry - University of Calcutta (2011)
Hometown:  Kolkata, India
Research Interests:  Structural Biology, Mechanisms of Neurodegenerative Diseases

Name:  Thelma Chiremba
​Advisor:  Kristi Neufeld
Emailtchiremba@ku.edu
Educational BackgroundB.A. in Biological Chemistry with minor in Neuroscience - Grinnell College, Iowa (2014)
HometownChitungwiza, Zimbabwe 
Research InterestsCellular/Molecular/Cancer Biology

Name: Oindrila De
Advisor: Rotation Student
Email: oindrila_de31@ku.edu
Educational Background:B.S. in Biotechnology - Ramnarain Ruia College - University of Mumbai (2014), M.S. in Biotechnology - St. Xavier's College (Autonomous), Mumbai (2016)
Hometown: Mumbai, India
Research Interests: Cell and developmental biology, Molecular biology


 

 

Name:  Dwight Deay
Advisor:  Mark RIchter
Educational Background:  B.S. in Biochemistry - University of Kansas (2008)
Hometown:  Des Moines, Iowa
Research Interests:  ATP synthase structure/function, Design and optimization of flavin containing oxidase enzymes for biosensor applications
Awards/Honors:  NIGMS Biotechnology Training Grant

Name:  Rik Dhar
Advisor:  Joanna Slusky
Email:  rdhar@ku.edu
Educational Background:  B.Tech. in Biotechnology - Heritage Institute of Technology, India (2013); M.Tech in Biotechnology - National Institute of Technology-Rourkela, India (2015)
Hometown:  Kolkata, India
Research Interests:  Cancer Biology and Biochemistry

Name:  Zoe Dimond
Advisor:  Scott Hefty
Educational Background:  B.S in Biology, Chemistry minor - Oregon State University (2014)
Hometown:  Portland, Oregon
Research Interests:  Using whole genome sequencing and genetics to explore mechanisms in infectious disease

amanda dunbar

Name:  Amanda Dunbar
Advisor:  Steve Benedict
Email:  a223d891@ku.edu
Educational Background:  B.A. in Biology and Biochemistry - University of Minnesota-Morris (2011)
Hometown:  Rochester, Minnesota
Research Interests:  T cell biology and the development of autoimmunity​
Awards/Honors:  Morris Scholar 

Name:  Stacie Eliades-Becker
AdvisorErik Lundquist
Email:  seliades@ku.edu
Educational Background:  B.A. in Biochemistry – Smith College, Northampton, MA (2002)
Hometown:  Muncie, Indiana
Research Interests:  Adapting and improving upon current Next Gen Sequencing methodologies to better serve livestock and aquaculture breeding programs.

Name:  Christian Gomez
Advisor:  Kristi Neufeld
Email:  cgomez-2@ku.edu
Educational Background:  B.S. in Biology - Washburn University (2013)
Hometown:  Topeka, Kansas
Research Interests:  The role of APC in cancer biology and differentiation

Name:  Mahekta Gujar
Advisor:  Erik Lundquist
Email:  mahekta@gmail.com
Educational Background:  B.S. in Microbiology - University of Pune (2008),  M.S. in Microbiology - University of Pune (2010)
Hometown:  Pune, India
Research Interests:  Early developmental process of neuronal cell migration in Caenorhabditis elegans

Name:  Dianarys Hernandez-Aquino
Advisor:  Stuart Macdonald
Email:  dianarys.hernandez@gmail.com
Educational Background:  B.S. in Microbiology - University of Puerto Rico-Arecibo (2014)
Hometown:  San Sebastian, Puerto Rico
Research Interests:  Cellular and molecular biology, Protein-protein interactions, Biochemistry, Developmental biology and Microbiology

Name:  Latavia Hill
Advisor:  Susan Egan
Email:  lataviahill@ku.edu
Educational Background:  B.S. in Biology - Philander Smith College (2016)
Hometown:  Chicago, Illinois
Research Interests:  Microbiology, Bacteria-host interactions and pathogenesis, Microbial Ecology

Name:  Kara Hinshaw
Advisor:  Josephine Chandler
Email:  k699h433@ku.edu 
Educational Background:  B.S. in Biology with minor in Chemistry - Stephens College, Columbia, Missouri (2012)
Hometown:  Ankeny, Iowa
Research Interests:  Our group is interested in a type of cell-cell communication called quorum sensing that plays a vital role for some bacteria during interspecies competition.  My research seeks to identify novel quorum sensing-controlled antibiotics and antibiotic resistance mechanisms and to understand how quorum sensing control of these genes is important for bacterial competition.
Awards/Honors:  Graduated Summa Cum Laude, NIH Training Grant in Dynamic Aspects of Chemical Biology

Name:  David Ingham
Advisor:  Chris Gamblin
Email:  inghamd002@ku.edu
Educational Background:  B.S. in Biology - Missouri Southern State University (2016)
Hometown:  Leeds, England
Research Interests:  ​The normal function of the tau protein is to associate and stabilize microtubules within the neuronal cytoskeleton. However, hyperphosphorylation of tau can dissociate from microtubules and lead to the formation of tau aggregates forming pathological structures such as neurofibrillary tangles and paired helical filaments. These structures have been identified in multiple neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease. I am interested in how small compounds can be used to not only inhibit the formation of these pathological structures, but also cause the disassembly of aggregates that have already formed.

Name:  Shivani JagannathanMurali
Advisor:  Rotation Student
Email:  shivani_jm@ku.edu
Educational Background:  B.Engineering in Biotechnology - PES Institute of Technology (2016)
Hometown:  Bangalore, India
Research Interests:  Molecular and cellular biology, Cancer biology
 

Name:  Anupama Kante
​Advisor:  Eric Deeds
Email:  anupama.kante@ku.edu
Educational Background:  B.S. in Biotechnology - University of Pune (2008), M.S. in Biotechnology - Tilak Maharashtra Vidyapeeth, Pune (2010)
Hometown:  Pune, India
Research Interests:  The proteasome is a protease complex that irreversibly degrades proteins and is crucial to a number of cellular functions.  The proteasome is active only when its sub units are fully assembled.  I am studying the assembly pathways employed by this molecule in order to form an active complex.
Name:  Erica Keffeler
Advisor:  Lynn Hancock
Email:  ekeffeler@ku.edu
Educational Background:  B.S. in Biotechnology - Missouri Western State University (2016)
Hometown:  Lenexa, Kansas
Research Interests:  Microbiology, Immunology
 

Name:  Nikola Kenjic
​Advisor:  Audrey Lamb
Email:  nkenjic@ku.edu
Educational Background:  B.S. in Chemistry - University of Florida (2009), M.S in Biochemistry - University of Arizona (2014)
Hometown:  Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Research Interests:  Enzyme kinetics, Protein purification and biochemical, structural characterization of their function

Name:  Jittasak (Jake) Khowsathit
Advisor:  Eric Deeds    
Email:  jkhow@ku.edu              
Educational Background:  B.S. in Biochemistry - Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok (2011)
Hometown:  Bangkok, Thailand
Research Interests:  Computational Protein Design

Name:  Haeyoung Kim
Advisor:  Mizuki Azuma
Email:  kyh426@ku.edu
Educational Background:  B.S. in Biological Science - Incheon National University (2013), M.S. in Life Science - Incheon National University (2015)
Hometown:  Incheon, South Korea
Research Interests:  Cellular/Molecular/Cancer Biology
 

Name:  Joan Klages
Advisor:  Susan Egan
Email:  jklages@ku.edu
Educational Background:  B.S. in Biology - Austin Peay State University (2016)
Hometown:  Oak Ridge, Tennessee
Research Interests:  Microbiology and Immunology
 

Name:  Jennifer Klaus
Advisor:  Josephine Chandler
Email:  jennklaus@ku.edu            
Educational Background:  B.S. and M.S. in Biology - Fort Hays State University, Hays, KS (2011 and 2014)
Hometown:  Hays, Kansas
Research Interests: Our group is interested in a type of cell-to-cell signaling in bacteria called quorum sensing, which is important for many bacteria to compete and survive in different environments including the host. My research seeks to understand how quorum sensing promotes survival of the gram-negative opportunistic human lung pathogen Burkholderia pseudomallei.
Awards/Honors:  2014 K-INBRE Award of Excellence for poster presentation; 2013 Outstanding GTA Award, Fort Hays State University Graduate School​, 2015 Chemical Biology 21st Annual Symposium Pre-orals Graduate Researcher Poster Presentation Award

Name:  Pratik Koirala
Advisor:  Rotation Student
Email: pratikkoirala@ku.edu
Educational Background:  B.Tech. in Biotechnology - Asian Institute of Technology and Management, Purbanchal University (2016)
Hometown: Kathmandu, Nepal
Research Interests: Microbiology and Immunology
 

Name:  Meagan Kurland
Advisor:  Brian Ackley
Email:  meagankurland@gmail.com
Hometown:  Etters, Pennsylvania
Educational Background:  B.S. in Biology - Ursinus College, Collegeville, PA (2015)
Research Interests:  Development and Cellular Biology, Immunology

Name:  Scott LaBrie
Advisor:  Scott Hefty
Email:  scottlabrie@ku.edu
Educational Background:  B.S. in Environmental Science - Haskell Indian Nations University (2014)
Hometown:  Sacramento, California
Lingfei Liang

Name:  Lingfei Liang
Advisor:  Susan Egan
Email:  luphy0320@hotmail.com
Educational Background:  B.S. in Bioengineering - Beijing Institute of Technology (2013)
Hometown:  Shandong, China
Research Interests:  Study the structure and assembly of macromolecules from viruses so as to understand the DNA-packaging or other process in these viruses

Name:  Cindy Ly
Advisor:  Rotation Student
Email:  cly724@ku.edu
Educational Background:  B.S. in Biology and B.A. in Chemistry (Biochemistry concentration) - Florida International University (2016)
Hometown:  Miami, Florida
Research Interests:  Microbiology, Infectious Diseases, Drug Development, and Instrumental Analysis
 

Name:  Snehal Mahadik
Advisor:  Erik Lundquist
Email: snehal@ku.edu
Educational Background:  B.S. in Biotechnology - Ruia College, Mumbai (2010), M.S. in Bioanalytical Sciences - Ruia College, Mumbai (2012)
Hometown:  Mumbai, India
Research Interests:  Developmental neurobiology and cell biology
 

Name:  Nicole Massa
Advisor:   Lynn Hancock 
Email:  nmassa2015@ku.edu
Educational Background:  B.S. in Molecular Biology and Math - Florida Institute of Technology (2014)
 
Name:  Jeff McFarlane
Advisor:  Audrey Lamb
Email:  jeffmcfarlane@ku.edu
Educational Background:  B.S. in Biology - Sterling College, Kansas (1997), M.S. in Education - Park University, Parkville, MO (2003)
Research Interests:  Protein structure and function
 
Name:  Megan McKinney
Advisor:  Scott Hefty
Email:  mem2015@ku.edu
Educational Background:  B.S. in Biology - University of West Georgia (2015)
Research Interests:  Anything in microbiology really interests me.  I also find viral immunology, understanding the body's response to infection, fascinating and enjoyable.
Name:  Sarah Mullinax
Advisor:  Rob Unckless
Educational Background:  B.A. in Biology, B.A. in Spanish - Wartburg College, Waverly, IA (2016)
Hometown:  Overland Park, Kansas
Research Interests:  Microbiology and Immunology
Awards/Honors:  Madison & Lila Self Graduate Fellow
 

yamini mutreja

Name:  Yamini Mutreja
Advisor:  Chris Gamblin
Email:  yamini@ku.edu
Educational Background:  Bachelor of Pharmacy - Kurukshetra University (2009), M.S. in Medicinal Chemistry - Virginia Commonwealth University (2011)
Hometown:  Karnal, India
Research Interests:  I am interested in understanding the role of protein tau involved in Alzheimer’s disease and various other tauopathies using in vitro biochemistry and cell culture model system.
Awards/Honors:  Mabel A. Woodyard Fellowship in Neurodegenerative Disorders (2013-2015)

vaishnavi nagarajan

Name:  Vaishnavi Nagarajan
Advisor:  Lisa Timmons
Email:  v612n423@ku.edu
Educational Background:  B.Tech. in Biotechnology - Vellore Institute Technology, India (2010)
Hometown:  Chennai, India
Research Interests:  Biomolecules & mechanisms in molecular biology.

Name:  Matthew Ochs
Advisor:  Erik Lundquist
Email:  matthew.ochs@ku.edu
Educational Background:  B.S. in Biology - Hope College, Holland, MI (2015)
Hometown:  Township, Michigan
Research Interests:  Virology and Developmental Biology
 
Name:  Nootan Pandey
​Advisor:  Yoshiaki Azuma
Email:  n070p188@ku.edu
Educational Background:  B.S. in  Biotechnology and Chemistry - VBS Purvanchal University, India (2006), M.S. in Microbiology - MITS University, India (2009)
Hometown:  Varanasi, UP, India
Research Interests:  Cancer Biology and Virology​
Name:  Joseph Panushka
Advisor:  Rotation Student
Email:  josephpanushka@ku.edu
Educational Background:  B.S. in Chemistry (Biology emphasis) - University of Utah (2016)
Hometown:  Ogden, Utah
Research Interests:  Biochemistry, Structural Biology, Bacterial Pathogenesis, Microbiology
 

vitoria paolilla

Name:  Vitoria Paolillo
Advisor:  Berl Oakley
Email:  v136p507@ku.edu
Educational Background:  B.S. in Biology - Northwest Missouri State University (2012)
Hometown:  St. Joseph, Missouri
Research Interests:  Molecular Biology and Genetics

Name:  Taybor Parker
Advisor:  Kristi Neufeld
Email:  parkertw@ku.edu
Educational Background:  B.S. in Biology - University of Missouri (2013)
Hometown:  Joplin, Missouri
Research Interests:  Translational medicine, epigenetics, colorectal cancer, and the gut microbiome
  Name:  Srivatsan Parthasarathy
Advisor:  Lynn Hancock
Email:  s679p149@ku.edu
Educational Background:  B.Tech. in Biotechnology - Vellore Institute of Technology, India (2010)
Hometown:  Chennai, India
Research Interests:  Signal transduction pathways, cell cycle and genetic recombination
 
Name:  Aaron Rudeen
Advisor:  Kristi Neufeld
Email:  aaron.rudeen@gmail.com
Educational Background:  B.A. in Biology and B.A. in Chemistry - Bethel College, Kansas (2013)
Hometown: Osage City, Kansas
Research Interests:  Cancer Biology, Protein Purification
Awards/Honors:  NIH Biotechnology Training Grant (2015-2017), H.P. Cady Award (2015)

 
Name:  Sudeep Shakya
​Advisor:  Lisa Timmons
Email:  s404s173@ku.edu
Educational Background:  B.S. in Biotechnology - Kathmandu University (2008), Professional Science Master's in Biotechnology - University of Northern Iowa (2010)
Name:  Katelyn Soules
Advisor:  Scott Hefty
Email:  ksoules@ku.edu
Educational Background:  B.A. in Human Biology - University of Kansas (2014)
Hometown:  Lawrence, Kansas
Research Interests:  Immunology and Microbiology
 
Name:  Sanjana Sundararajan
Advisor:  Yoshiaki Azuma
Email:  sanjana.sundar95@ku.edu
Educational Background:  B.Tech. in Biotechnology - Anna University, Chennai, India (2016)
Hometown:  Chennai, India
Research Interests: Genetics and Cancer Biology
 

Name:  Shoichi Tachiyama
Advisor:  Bill Picking
Email:  s818t598@ku.edu
Educational Background:  B.S. in Pharmaceutical Sciences - Teikyo University, Tokyo, Japan (2012), License to Practice Pharmacy (granted in Japan, 2012)
Hometown: Tokyo, Japan
Research Interests:  The mechanism of the infection to develop antibiotics in terms of biochemistry and pharmaceuticals
 

Name:  Victoria Vande Griend
Advisor:  Yoshiaki Azuma
Email:  vav365@ku.edu
Educational Background:  B.S. in Biology - University of Missouri (2015)
Hometown:  Marshfield, Missouri
Research Interests:  Genetics, Neurobiology and Cancer Biology
 
Name:  Zhe Yang
Advisor:  Matthew Buechner
Email:  z594y005@ku.edu
Educational Background:  B.S. in Bioengineering - China University of Mining & Technology, Beijing; Institution of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Science​ (2012)
Hometown:  Jinan, China
Research Interests:  Excretory canal of C. elegans ​

2016 Graduate Student Class

1st Row:  Shoichi Tachiyama, Zoe Dimond, Rhea Abisado, Sarah Mullinax, Haeyoung Kim, Reshma Bhattacharya

2nd Row:  Kevin Tyner, Rik Dhar, David Ingham, Snehal Mahadik, Priyanka Goyal

3rd Row:  Joan Klages, Erica Keffeler, Sanjana Sundararajan, Latavia Hill

2015 Graduate Student Class

1st Row:  Victoria Vande Griend, Molly Birrer, Stacie Eliades-Becker, Megan McKinney
2nd Row:  Elizabeth Grotemeyer, Meagan Kurland, Katelyn Soules
3rd Row:  Taybor Parker, Jeff McFarlane, Nicole Massa, Scott LaBrie
4th Row:  Dianarys Hernandez-Aquino, Amritangshu Chakravarty, Srivatsan Parthasarathy, Matthew Ochs, Alex Bowman, Reid McLean

2014 Graduate Student Class

1st Row:  Jennifer Klaus,Nan Bai,Haifa Alhadyian, Anupama Kante, Sikta Patnaik
2nd Row:  Thelma Chiremba, Jin Niu
3rd Row:  Robert Wilkerson, Bryce Blankenfeld, Kelly Harrison, Nootan Pandey
4th Row:  Nikola Kenjic, Aaron Bart, Sudeep Shakya, Olivia Arizmendi

2013 Graduate Student Class

1st Row:  Erin Suderman, Kara Hinshaw
2nd Row:  Yuxiao Guo, Anuja Bhatta, Lingfei Liang, Sanjay Yadava
3rd Row:  Christian Gomez, Luke Wenger, Zhe Yang, Dwight Deay
 

 


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