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Student Profiles

PRE-GRADUATE SCHOOL MD/PhDs

Evan DavisEvan Davis

evan.davis@downstate.edu

Program: Molecular and Cellular Biology, MD/PhD

B.S. Stony Brook University

Thesis Laboratory: Undecided

Research Interests & Experience:

I started in a structural biology lab at Stony Brook using cryo-EM to study the structure of chromatin. I then worked at University of Albany, examining codon usage patterns in various organisms using computational methods and ultimately making a web-based app for further analysis using a GUI. My interests are using math and computers to solve problems and create practical applications.


Madhavi JereMadhavi Jere

madhavi.jere@downstate.edu

Program: Neural and Behavioral Sciences, MD/PhD

B.S. Vassar College

Thesis Laboratory: Undecided

Research Interests & Experience:

Molecular Neuroscience


Kianna von MaydellKianna von Maydell

kianna.vonmaydell@downstate.edu

Program:  MD/PhD

B.S. Mills College

Thesis Laboratory: Undecided

Research Interests & Experience:

Background in mammalian functional genomics and enhancer biology, interested in evolutionary developmental biology, gene therapy and functional genomics


Fathema Z. UddinFathema Z. Uddin

fathema.uddin@downstate.edu

Program: Molecular and Cellular Biology, MD/PhD

B.S. The City College of New York (CUNY), M.S. The City College of New York (CUNY)

Thesis Laboratory: Undecided

Research Interests & Experience:

I have a strong interest in the field of Oncology. My previous research includes conducting CRISPR screens to discover drug targets in rare lung cancers with poor response to current therapies, including subtypes of lung adenocarcinoma and small-cell lung cancer. I also completed my Master’s thesis at The City College of New York where I investigated chemotherapy-induced cognitive-impairment in a rodent model. I aspire to continue building my investigative skills with my emergent medical knowledge at SUNY Downstate and bring innovative therapies for cancer patients.


Tadeusz WroblewskiTadeusz Wroblewski

taduesz.wroblewski@downstate.edu

Program: MD/PhD

B.S. University of Denver

Thesis Laboratory: Undecided

Research Interests & Experience:

I am interested in computational genetics and oncology research


1st GRADUATE SCHOOL YEAR (PhD and MD/PhD)

Michelle LamMichelle Lam

michelle.lam-grad@downstate.edu

Program: Molecular and Cellular Biology

B.S. New York University, M.S. Fordham University

Thesis Laboratory: Undecided

Research Interests & Experience:

Immunology, public health, and vaccine development.


Molly LeitnerMolly Leitner

molly.leitner@downstate.edu

Program: Neural and Behavioral Sciences

B.S. Hamilton College

Thesis Laboratory: Undecided

Research Interests & Experience:

My previous research interests and experience were in neurodegenerative diseases and metabolism. Currently I am interested in psychiatric disorders.


Tyler LuTyler Lu

Tyler Lu

tyler.lu@downstate.edu

Program: Molecular and Cellular Biology

B.S. Rutgers University M.S. Rutgers University

Thesis Laboratory: Undecided

Research Interests & Experience:

I'm interested in neurovascular biology. In particular, I want to develop and work with stem cell-derived in vitro models of the blood brain barrier in the context of various diseases.

Research Site


Scott McElroyScott McElroy

scott.mcelroy@downstate.edu

Program: Neural and Behavioral Sciences

B.S. University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

Thesis Laboratory: Undecided

Research Interests & Experience:

My previous experience has been in opiate addiction using a systems neuroscience approach. My most recent work was in a chemogenetic strategy to diminish the euphoric and rewarding effects of opiates while leaving the endogenous opioid system unperturbed.


Eftychia Markopoulou

eftychia.markopolou@downstate.edu

Program: Molecular and Cellular Biology


Anika SanjanaAnika Sanjana

anika.sanjana@downstate.edu

Program: Neural and Behavioral Science

B.S. Caldwell University

Thesis Laboratory: Undecided

Research Interests & Experience:

My background is in traumatic brain injury, chronic pain, and chronic stress in rodents. My interest is traumatic brain injury.


2nd GRADUATE SCHOOL YEAR (PhD and MD/PhD)

Amelia BiswasAmelia Biswas

amelia.biswas@downstate.edu

Program: Neural and Behavioral Sciences

B.S. Caldwell University

Thesis Laboratory: Undecided


Shreya DesikanShreya Desikan

shreya.desikan@downstate.edu

Program: Molecular and Cellular Biology, MD/PhD

B.S. Carnegie Mellon University

Thesis Laboratory: Chongmin Huan MD, PhD; Department of Cell Biology

Research Interests & Experience:

My PhD Thesis is focused on studying defective Germinal Center B Cell tolerance in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE/Lupus). Specifically, I am investigating how increases in immunoregulatory genes due to inadequate X Chromosome Inactivation (XCI) contribute to a novel B Cell tolerance pathway studied by our research team. With this work, we hope to elucidate a novel mechanism to improve our understanding of the gender and racial bias of SLE. I have previous experience studying pediatric autoinflammatory disease and hematopoietic stem cell generation in vitro in both academic and pharmaceutical settings. My clinical interests are largely focused in Obstetrics and Gynecology (OB/GYN). 


Xiang Li

xiang.li@downstate.edu

Program: Molecular and Cellular Biology


Pargol MashatiPargol Mashati

pargol.mashati@downstate.edu

Program: Molecular and Cellular Biology

B.S. Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences; M.Sc. Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences

Thesis Laboratory: Prem Premsrirut, MD, PhD; Department of Cell Biology

Research Interests & Experience: My main research interest is on cancer biology. My previous research was on lymphoblastic leukemia and currently I'm working on colorectal cancer.

Research Site


Daniel Mishan

daniel.mishan@downstate.edu

Program: Neural and Behavioral Sciences


Riley Morrone

riley.morrone@downstate.edu

Program: Neural and Behavioral Sciences


Andrew PateraAndrew Patera

andrew.patera@downstate.edu

Program: Molecular and Cellular Biology, MD/PhD

B.S. Johns Hopkins University

Thesis Laboratory: Prem Premsrirut, MD, PhD; Department of Cell Biology

Research Interests & Experience:

My previous research in materials chemistry led to my interest in working on fabrication of biomedical devices and exploring probe-target interactions for sensing. Additionally, my clinical interests are in radiology, immunology, and infectious disease.


Radhika SinghRadhika Singh

radhika.singh@downstate.edu

Program: Molecular and Cellular Biology

B.S. University of Delhi, M.S. Johns Hopkins University

Thesis laboratory: Undecided

Research Interests & Experience:

My research experience is with pluripotent stem cells and differentiating them to different cell types as a method to study human development and disease-modeling.


Carlos Velez

carlos.velez@downstate.edu

Program: Neural and Behavioral Sciences

Research Interests & Experience:

Learning and Memory, diseases/drugs that affect learning and memory


Mia Yabut WieseMia Wiese

mariamiacarmencita.wiese@downstate.edu

Program: Molecular and Cellular Biology

B.S. Yale University, M.S. New York University

Thesis Laboratory: Undecided

Research Interests & Experience:

Hematopoiesis, vascular, and stem cell biology


GRADUATE SCHOOL 3rd YEAR and above (PhD and MD/PhD)

Appy BhattacharyaAppy Bhattacharya

aparajita.bhattacharya@downstate.edu

Program: Molecular and Cellular Biology

B.S. University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, MRes University of Birmingham, UK

Thesis Laboratory: Jin Montclare, PhD; Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, NYU

Research Interests & Experience:

Current work focused on engineering and characterizing rationally-designed protein biomaterials. Our goal is to improve cancer drug delivery and enable its multimodal diagnosis via NIRF, MRI and PET imaging. Our platform is, therefore, a multimodal theranostic agent (therapeutic + diagnostic):

Research Site


Ana Mejia-BautistaAna Mejia-Bautista

ana.mejia-bautista@downstate.edu

Program: Neural and Behavioral Sciences

B.S. Stony Brook University

Thesis Laboratory: Douglas Ling, PhD; Department of Physiology and Pharmacology

Research Interests & Experience:

Our laboratory is investigating the changes in cortical neural circuit function caused by traumatic brain injury (TBI) that lead to neuropathologies such as posttraumatic epilepsy (PTE). We are particularly interested in TBI-induced alterations to the excitatory/inhibitory balance. We are attempting to assess these changes using wireless EEG and electrophysiology techniques.


Jordi ChanovasJordi Chanovas

jordi.chanovas@downstate.edu

Program: Neural and Behavioral Science

B.S. Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona, Spain

Thesis Laboratory: Juan Marcos Alarcon, PhD; Department of Pathology

Research Interests & Experience:

My thesis project at the laboratory of Dr. Juan Marcos Alarcon investigates the impact of gut microbiota on learning and memory. More specifically, whether gut dysbiosis alters the formation of neuronal ensembles recruited by memory disrupting the capacity to associate memory experiences.


Sailee Chavan

sailee.chavan@downstate.edu

Program: Molecular and Cellular Biology

Thesis Laboratory: Chongmin Huan MD, PhD; Department of Cell Biology


Rachel FurhangRachel Furhang

rachel.furhang@downstate.edu

Program: Neural and Behavioral Science

B.S. CUNY- College of Staten Island, Macaulay Honors College

Thesis Laboratory: Peter Bergold, PhD; Department of Pharmacology and Physiology

Research Interests & Experience: Chronic effects of brain injury, neurodegeneration, and the influence of sex on recovery from injury.


Anthony Fringuello

anthony.fringuello@downstate.edu

Program: Biomedical Engineering


Mulin He

mulin.he@downstate.edu

Program: Molecular and Cellular Biology

B.S. Dalian Medical University, China  M.S. Emporia State University

Thesis Laboratory: Xian-Cheng Jiang, PhD; Department of Cell Biology

Research Interests & Experience:

Lipid metabolism, insulin resistance, and atherosclerosis


Craig KelleyCraig Kelley

craig.kelley@downstate.edu

Program: Biomedical Engineering

B.S.  Boston University

Thesis Laboratory: Bill Lytton, MD; Department of Physiology & Pharmacology

Research Interests & Experience:

Computational neuroscience, signal processing, neurophysiology


Natasha Bobrowski-KhouryNatasha Bobrowski-Khoury

natasha.bobrowski-khoury@downstate.edu

Program: Neural and Behavioral Sciences

B.Sc. SUNY Binghamton University, M.Sc. University College of London

Thesis Laboratory: Edward Quadros, PhD; Department of Medicine

Research Interest & Experience:

Keywords: Autism, Neurodevelopment, Folate Deficiency, Neuroimmunology

My thesis work explores the role of folate receptor alpha autoimmunity in the inheritance of neurodevelopmental disorders like autism spectrum disorders.

Research Site


Siobhan LawlessSiobhan Lawless

siobhan.lawless@downstate.edu

Program: Neural and Behavioral Sciences

B.S. Fordham University M.S. Columbia University

Thesis Laboratory: Peter Bergold, PhD; Department of Pharmacology and Physiology

Research Interests & Experience: My thesis work focuses on assessing 1. the chronic effects of a single head injury in mice and 2. the effect of MINO and N-acetylcysteine as a potential treatment. This work utilizes mouse motor kinematics, radiological (structural), histological (pathological), and electrophysiological (functional) measures to uncover the evolving pathophysiology of head injury in mice. 


Joao MoreiraJoao Moreira

joao.moreira@downstate.edu

Program: Neural and Behavioral Science

B.S. Universidade do Vale do Paraíba, São Paulo - Brazil, M.Sc. Universidade Federal de São Paulo, São Paulo - Brazil

Thesis Laboratory: Salvador Dura-Bernal, PhD; Department of Physiology and Pharmacology

Research Interests & Experience:

Biophysically inspired computational models of the brain. Currently working in the development of single-cell and network models of the Thalamus, to study the Thalamocortical and Corticothalamic pathways and its functional role in neuronal signal processing of information and behavior.

My previous work include: Development of a Biofeedback device for the rehabilitation of transfemoral amputees; study of Carbon-based materials for supercapacitors; and Biomaterials for bone tissue regeneration.

Research Site


Sofia TortoraSofia Tortora

sofia.tortoramorel@downstate.edu

Program: Molecular and Cellular Biology

Doctor of Dental Surgery, Universidad de los Andes

Thesis Laboratory: Laura Martello-Rooney, PhD; Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology & Hepatology

Research Interests & Experience:

I am interested in emphasizing the important role of oral health in the context of systemic diseases. We are currently studying the role of the oral microbiome and periodontal disease in colon cancer. We aim to increase the representation of African American patients in cancer databases by investigating microbiome composition and inflammatory profile in clinical samples. In addition to evaluating the use of biomarkers present in oral fluids and serum to potentially link to location and prognosis in colon cancer.


Leibish NashLeibish Nash

leroy.nash@downstate.edu

Program: Neural and Behavioral Sciences

M.A. University of Rochester

Thesis Laboratory: Jeremy Coplan, MD; Department of Psychiatry

Research Interests & Experience:

Investigating molecular underpinnings, including PKMZeta, of learning and memory mechanisms in non-human primates.


Stanley SorokaStanley Sororka

stanley.soroka@downstate.edu

Program: Molecular and Cellular Biology, MD/PhD

B.S. Union College

Thesis Laboratory: Laura Martello-Rooney, PhD; Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology & Hepatology

Research Interests & Experience:

My research interests coming into graduate school were the molecular basis of disease and pharmacology.  In the Martello-Rooney laboratory I am studying the feasibility of encapsulating chemotherapeutics in microparticles for the treatment of pancreatic cancer.


Isaac VinganIsaac Vingan

isaac.vingan@downstate.edu

Program: Neural and Behavioral Science, MD/PhD

B.S. Binghamton University

Thesis Laboratory: Juan Marcos Alarcon, PhD; Department of Pathology

Research Interests & Experience:

My project is focused on investigating the neuro-molecular changes that coincide with behavioral experiences in mice. Specifically, we are looking at the transcriptomic make up of the dorsal hippocampal network following the recall of a cognitively demanding behavioral paradigm known as active place avoidance. We plan to implement a variety of molecular techniques to interrogate the coincident transcriptional changes, such as, but not limited to: Bulk RNAseq, snRNAseq and Spatial Transcriptomics.


Dzov (Zoe) SingmanZoe Singman

dzov.singman@downstate.edu

Program: Neural and Behavioral Science, MD/PhD

B.S. Stevenson University

Thesis Laboratory: Jacquelyn Meyers, PhD; Department of Psychiatry

Research Interests & Experience:

Eating disorder and substance use disorder comorbidity


Andrew WangAndrew Wang

andrew.wang@downstate.edu

Program: Biomedical Engineering, MD/PhD

B.S. University of California, Berkeley

Thesis Laboratory: Jin Montclare, PhD; Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, NYU

Research Interests & Experience:

Biomaterials for drug delivery, sensing, molecular imaging; Cardiovascular health


POST GRADUATE SCHOOL MD/PhDs

David Havlicek, PhD

david.havlicek@downstate.edu

Program: Neural and Behavioral Sciences

Thesis Laboratory: Peter Bergold, PhD; Department of Pharmacology and Physiology

Research Interests & Experience:

PhD Thesis: Moderate-to-severe closed head injury induces a chronic oligodendrocytic tauopathy


Charles Karrasch, PhDCharles Karrasch

charles.karrasch@downstate.edu

Program: Molecular and Cellular Biology, MD/PhD

B.S. University of Nevada, Reno

Thesis Laboratory: John Danias, MD, PhD; Departments of Cell Biology and Ophthalmology

Research Interests & Experience:

Extracellular matrix, retinal development, visual function, regenerative medicine.


Tim Morello, PhD

timothy.morello@downstate.edu

Program: Neural and Behavioral Sciences

B.S. University of Rochester

Thesis Laboratory: Rena Orman PhD; Department of Physiology & Pharmacology, Richard Kollmar, PhD; Department of Cell Biology and Mark Stewart, MD, PhD; Departments of Physiology and Pharmacology, Neurology

Research Interests & Experience:

The architecture of claustrum and related limbic cortical regions in Carollia perspicillata revealed by latexin and calcium-binding proteins.


Zachary Olmsted, PhDZachary Olmsted

zachary.olmsted@downstate.edu

Program: Medicine and Nanoscale Engineering from SUNY Polytechnic Institute, MD/PhD

B.S. University at Albany, College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering

Thesis Laboratory: Janet Paluh, PhD; Department of Nanobioscience, SUNY Polytechnic Institute

Research Interests & Experience:

I focused on establishing stem cell-based models of human embryology and nervous system formation in a dish and used these models to generate transplantable neuronal networks as therapies in animal models of cervical spinal cord injury.