Recent MD/PhD Students
Please take some to time read about our current students! There are short bio sketches and photos (where available) of the MD/PhD students who are currently enrolled in the program.
Name: Ethan Firestone
Education: B.S. University of Michigan – Ann Arbor, M.S. Wayne State University
Thesis Mentor:Dr. Jinsheng Zhang
Research Interests: I’m highly interested in neuroscience: particularly, thalamocortical dynamics and its relation to both physiological and phantom sensation.
|1.||Wang et al. (2018). Blocking TNF-a expression prevents blast-induced excitatory/inhibitory synaptic imbalance and PV+ interneuron loss in the hippocampus. Journal of Neurotrauma.|
|2.||Kaneko et al. (2017). Serotonergic modulation enables pathway-specific plasticity in a developing sensory circuit in drosophila. Neuron. 95: 623-638.|
Awards: University of Michigan – Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program Biomedical and Life Sciences Summer Fellowship (2014)c
Joy Southfield Community Development Corporation – Community Health Advocacy and Mentorship Program Fellowship (2014, 2015, 2016)
Outside Interests:Hockey, drawing, sculpting, collecting music, and the outdoors.
Name: Grant LeVasseur
Education: B.S. Biochemistry & Molecular Biology – Michigan State University (2017)
Research Interests: I’m interested in cardiovascular physiology and its response to pharmacological intervention.
Awards:Michigan State University – University Undergraduate Research and Arts Forum – 1st Place Poster Presentation (2017)
Outside Interests:As much as I like school, I enjoy spending time outside of the classroom and lab as well. You might find me hiking or biking through the forest or paddling down a river. I also enjoy finding and listening to new music and making noise with my guitar.
Name: Sebastian Pernal
Education: MS Bioengineering, University of Illinois at Chicago
Research Interests: Applying nanotechnology and nanomedicine to the clinic
|1.||Lee et al. “Nanoparticles as Therapeutic Agents for Patients With Brain Tumors.” Handbook of Brain Tumor Chemotherapy, Molecular Therapeutics, and Immunotherapy (Second Edition). 2018. 229-246.|
|2.||Pernal et al. “Hydroxyapatite as a Vehicle for the Selective Effect of Superparamagnetic Iron Oxide Nanoparticles against Human Glioblastoma Cells.” ACS applied materials & interfaces 9.45 (2017): 39283-39302.|
|3.||Engelhard et al. “A Novel Tissue Culture Tray for the Study of Magnetically induced Rotation and Translation of Iron Oxide Nanoparticles.” IEEE Magnetics Letters 8 (2017): 1-5.|
Conferences Attended: AACR Annual Meeting 2018, Society for Neuroscience Meeting 2017, Frontiers in Biomagnetics 2017
Outside Interests:Playing and writing music
Name: Rafael Ramos
Education: B.S. Biomedical Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; 2016 M.S. Bioengineering, Syracuse University; 2018
Thesis Mentor:Undecided as of May 2018
Research Interests: Biomaterials, Additive Manufacturing, Tissue Engineering, Renal Physiology, Hematology
|1.||Park, Seong Yeon, Jiseul Chun, Jong Yeob Jeon, Pyung Cheon Lee, Yongtaek Hwang, Bo Geun Song, Ramos Rafael, Chang Y. Ryu, and Bun Yeoul Lee. “Branched poly (1, 4‐butylene carbonate‐co‐terephthalate) s: LDPE‐like semicrystalline thermoplastics.” Journal of Polymer Science Part A: Polymer Chemistry 53, no. 7 (2015): 914-923.|
|2.||Suvarnapathaki, Sanika, Ramos Rafael, Sawyer Stephen W, McLoughlin Shannon, Ramos Andrew, Venn Sarah, and Soman Pranav. “Generating of cell-laden hydrogel microspheres using 3D printing-enabled microfluidics.” Journal of Materials Research (2018). [Accepted]|
|3.||Winston Tackla, Suddhapas Kantaphon, Wang Chenyan, Ramos Rafael, Soman Pranav, Ma Zhen. “Serum-Free Manufacturing Mesenchymal Stem Cell Tissue Rings Using Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells.” Biofabrication IOP (2018) [In preparation]|
|4.||*4 additional works under preparation to be disclosed later.|
Society For Biomaterials Annual Meeting 2017 – Minneapolis, Minnesota
Syracuse Biomaterials Institute 2017 Stevenson Biomaterials Lecture and Research Poster Session. March 2017.
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Seventh Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium. Troy NY, April 2016.
Syracuse University Summer 2016 REU Undergraduate Research Poster Session
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Fifth Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium. Troy NY, April 2014.
Outside Interests: Born in the US and raised in Mexico, I’m an Engineer by training with a perpetual interest in history and musical theater. I look forward to joining the Wayne community and finding a new research niche.
Name: Maryam Safdar
Education: B.S. Biological Sciences, Wayne State University
Research Interests: As I am just starting I do not have a very concrete interest however I do hold interest in the fields of Cardiology and Exercise Physiology
Conferences Attended: MEHA conference at EMU, MPS meeting at Alma College, Wayne State University Undergraduate conference
Additional Information:I am just starting out medical school but I have always been interested in working in the Pediatric field and more recently my interest in pediatric cardiology has been growing. I hope to foster both these interests during medical school and through my research work.
Name: Gregory John Schwing
Education: B.S. Computer Science, with Departmental Honors, 2018; B.S. Biological Science, 2015; University of New Orleans
Thesis Mentor:Dr. Loren Schweibert, PhD
Research Interests:I will be developing software for the GPU-Optimized Monte Carlo (GOMC) project. GOMC is an open-source Gibbs ensemble Monte Carlo simulation engine. I am interested in molecular dynamics and advanced sampling techniques for conformational space of biomolecules, especially those of interest to cancer biologists.
Conferences Attended:Southeastern Medical Scientist Symposium 2017
Additional Information:I am the namesake of Dr. Gregory John Cresson, M.D., who passed away from Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM) during his residency. I aspire to become a Pathologist, like my uncle, and aim to extend the lifespan of patients who suffer from GBM.
|1.||The PBS-12SF Cell Line: Development of an Alternative Cell Line for Influenza Vaccine
Production. Sporer, K.R.B, Carter, J.L., Coussens, P.M. Journal of Vaccines & Vaccination. November 1, 2016
|2.||Enhanced production of human influenza virus in PBS-12SF cells with a reduced interferon response. Carvajal-Yepes, M., Sporer, K.R.B., Carter, J.L., Colvin, C.J., and Coussens, P.M. Human Vaccines and Immunotherapeutics. June 19, 2015|
Conferences Attended:AACR 2017
Additional Information:Undergraduate research in molecular pathogenesis (large animal immunology and vaccine development) and post-bacc at National Cancer Institute in radiation oncology
Name: Ashley C. Kramer
Education:B.S. in Genetics, Cell Biology and Development, 2014 University of Minnesota – Twin Cities; College of Biological Sciences
Thesis Mentor: Dr. Ryan Thummel
Research Interests: I am interested in studying the stem cell properties the Müller glia cells of the retina. Müller glia in the mammalian retina are not capable of retinal regeneration and instead their response to retinal damage results in glial scar formation. In the Thummel Lab, we use zebrafish as a model organism to study retinal regeneration due to the remarkable capability of the zebrafish Müller glia to regenerate all cell types of the retina following damage without the formation of a glial scar.
|1.||Ostrander EL, Koh WK, Mallaney C, Kramer AC, Wilson WC, Zhang B, Challen GA. The GNASR201C mutation associated with clonal hematopoiesis supports transplantable hematopoietic stem cell activity. Experimental Hematology. September 2017; 57: 14-20|
|2.||Kramer AC, Blake AL, Taisto ME, Lehrke MJ, Webber BR, Lund TC. Dermatopontin in bone marrow extracellular matrix regulates adherence but is despensible for murine hematopoietic cell maintenance. Stem Cell Resports. August 2017.|
|3.||AC Kramer, A Kothari, WC Wilson, H Celik, J Nikitas, C Mallaney, EL Ostrander, E Eultgen, A Martens, MC Valentine, AL Young, TE Druley, ME Figueroa, B Zhang, and GA Challen. Dnmt3a regulates T-cell development and suppresses T-ALL transformation. April 2017.|
|4.||Kramer AC, Weber J, Zhang Y, Tolar J, Gibbens Y, Shevik M, Lund TC. TP53 Modulates Oxidative Stress in Gata1+ Erythroid Cells. Stem Cell Reports. February 2017; 8(2):360-72.|
|5.||Kramer A, Challen GC. Review: The Epigenetic Basis of Hematopietic Stem Cell Aging. Seminars in Hematology . January 2017; 54(1):19-24|
|6.||McDonald JI, Celik H, Rois LE, Fischberger G, Fowler T, Rees R, Kramer A, Martens A, Edwards JR, Challen GA. Reprogrammable CRISPR/Cas9-based system for inducing site-specific DNA methylation. Biology Open. 2016; 0:1-9. [PMID: 27170255]|
|7.||Astuti Y, Kramer AC, Blazar BR, Tolar J, Taisto ME, Lund TC. A functional bioluminescent screen for enhancing hematopoietic cell homing. Stem Cell Reports. [In press] Published online December 29, 2016.|
|8.||Celik H, Kramer A, Challen GA. Review: DNA methylation in normal and malignant hematopoiesis. Journal of International Hematology. [Epub ahead of print] Published online March 4, 2016. [PMID: 26943352]|
|9.||Lund TC, Patrinostro X, Kramer AC, Stadem P, Higgins LA, Markowski TW, Wroblewski MS, Lidke DS, Tolar J, Blazar BR. sdf1 Expression reveals a source of perivascular-derived mesenchymal stem cells in zebrafish. Stem Cells. 2014; 32(10):2767-79. [PMID: 24905975].|
|10.||Patrinostro X, Carter ML, Kramer AC, Lund TC. A model of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency in the zebrafish. Exp Hematol. 2013; 41(8):697-7102. [PMID: 23603363]|
Conferences: 10th International Conference on Zebrafish Development and Genetics. University of Wisconsin, Madison. June 20-24, 2012.
13th International Conference on Zebrafish Development and Genetics. University of Wisconsin, Madison. June 20-24, 2018.
Name: Asra Shaik
Education: Michigan State University, B.S. Physiology and Economics
Thesis Mentor: Michele L. Cote, PhD, MPH
Research Interests:Genetic and molecular epidemiology of breast cancer; Racial disparities in breast cancer risk and outcome; Screening and prevention
|1.||Senut MC, Sen A, Cingolani P, Shaik A, Land SJ, Ruden DM. Lead exposure disrupts global DNA methylation in human embryonic stem cells and alters their neuronal differentiation. Toxicol Sci. 2016 May;139(1):142-61.|
|2.||Senut MC, Cingolani P, Sen A, Kruger A, Shaik A, Hirsch H, Suhr ST, Ruden D. Epigenetics of early-life lead exposure and effects on brain development. Epigenomics. 2012 Dec;4(6):665-74.|
|3.||Shaik AN, Ruterbusch JJ, Abdulfatah E, Ghanim M, Daaboul F, Pardeshi V, Ali-Fehmi R, Visscher DW, Bandyopadhyay S, Cote ML. Breast fibroadenomas are not associated with increased breast cancer risk in an African American contemporary cohort of women with benign breast disease. [Under Review]|
Awards:2018 WSU/KCI Leonard N. Simons Award
2018 Susan G. Komen Jon T Shevell Young Scientist Travel Award
2017 CDRN Early Career Cancer Health DIsparities Research Scholarship
2017 AACR Early-career Hill Day Representative
2016 AACR-Genentech Scholar in Training Award
2016 AACR Integrative Molecular Epidemiology Workshop
|1.||(Oral Presentation)Shaik AN, Kiavash K, Stark K, Boerner JL, Ruterbusch JJ, Ali-Femi R, Cote ML. Adipose inflammation and the risk of benign and malignant breast disease in African American women. AACR Annual Meeting, April 2018, Chicago, IL.|
|2.||(Poster Presentation)Shaik AN, Boerner JL, Cote ML, Dyson G, Ali-Fehmi R, Bandyopadhyay S, Purrington KS. Immune cell infiltrates differ by obesity in tumor and adjacent normal breast tissue in African American women with triple negative breast cancer. AACR Special Conference: Advances in Breast Cancer Research, October 2017, Los Angeles, CA.|
|3.||(Poster Presentation)Shaik AN, Ruterbusch JJ, Abdulfatah E, Ghanim M, Daaboul F, Pardeshi V, Ali-Fehmi R, Visscher DW, Bandyopadhyay, Cote ML. Fibroadenomas on benign breast biopsy and subsequent breast cancer risk in an African American cohort. AACR Special Conference: Improving Cancer Risk Prediction for Prevention and Early Detection, November 2016, Orlando, FL.|
F31 Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award for Individual Predoctoral Scholars (2017-2018)
Komen for the Cure Graduate Training in Disparities Research Program Fellowship (2015-2017)
Name: Muzamil Arshad
Education: Benedictine University BS Physics 2010
Thesis Mentors: Dr. Naftali Raz and Dr. Jeffrey Stanley
Research Interests: Development, validation and application of quantitative imaging in medicine/biology
|1.||Arshad M, Stanley JA, Raz N. Adult age differences in subcortical myelin content are consistent with protracted myelination and unrelated to diffusion tensor imaging indices. Neuroimage. 2016 Dec; 1 43:26-39.|
|2.||Raz N, Daugherty AM, Sethi S, Arshad M, Haacke EM. Age differences in arterial and venous extra- cerebral blood flow in healthy adults: contributions of vascular risk factors and genetic variants. Brain Struct Func. 2017 Aug; 222(6) 2641-2653.|
|3.||Arshad M, Stanley JA, Raz N. Test-retest reliability and concurrent validity of in vivo myelin content indices: Myelin water fraction and calibrated T1w/T2w image ratio. Humn Brain Mapp April; 38(4): 1780-1790.|
|4.||Stanley JA, Burgess A, Khatib D, Ramaseshan K, Arshad M, Wu H, Diwadkar VA. Functional dynamics of hippocamapal glutamate during associative learning assessed with in vivo 1H functional magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Neuroimage. 2017 June; 153: 189-197|
|5.||Woodcock EA, Arshad M, Khatib D, Stanley JA. Automated voxel placement: A Linux-based suite of tools for accurate and reliable single voxel coregistration. J Neuroimaging Psychiatry Neurol. 2018 Feb; 3(1): 1-8|
|6.||Asmaro K, Arshad M, Massie L, Lee I. Sellar Atypical Teratoid/Rhabdoid Tumor (AT/RT) with Leptomeningeal Carcinomatosis: Aggressive, Rare and Difficult to Treat. Pituitary, Under Review|
2017 International Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine Travel Award
2015 Institute of Gerontology Travel Award to Society of Neuroscience
2014 International Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine Travel Award
2013-2017 Institute of Gerontology WSU Pre-doctoral Fellowship
|1.||Arshad M, Stanley JA, Raz N. Age related differences in myelin content assessed using myelin water fraction image. ISMRM 2015, Toronto CA|
Arshad M, Stanley JA, Raz N. Age differences in regional myelin content and white matter organization in healthy adults: Comparing myelin water fraction and diffusion tensor imaging. SFN 2016, Chicago USA
Arshad M, Stanley JA, Raz N. Age related differences in the geomT2 Relaxation assessed using Multi-Echo T2 Imaging. ISMRM 2017 Honolulu USA
Outside Interests: Enjoy time with family and friends and am a fan of history, ancient civilizations and peoples. Also enjoy lifting weights as a stress release.
Name: Cale Streeter
Education: BSEE 1997 University of Michigan
Thesis Mentor:Dr. Steven M. Firestine
Research Interests: My thesis was focused on antimicrobial drug development. Specifically, pursuing a divergence in purine biosynthesis between humans and microbes. In the highly conserved pathway of purine biosynthesis, microbes convert aminoimidazole ribotide (AIR) to carboxyaminoimidazole ribotide (CAIR) by a two-step enzymatic process with a labile intermediate. Mammals only require one enzyme. In an attempt to discover a selective inhibitor for one of the microbial enzymes a unique chemical reaction was discovered, in which the substrate AIR reacted with the compound isatin. As this reactivity was unexpected, I determined the compound that was formed and characterized the mechanism of the reaction. This knowledge is beneficial for further understanding of the mechanism of the enzymes that convert AIR to CAIR and development of rationally designed drugs targeting the enzyme.
|1.||Functional analysis of the CpsA protein of Streptococcus agalactiae
Hanson BR, Runft DL, Streeter C, Kumar A, Carion TW, Neely MN
J Bacteriol. 2012 Apr;194(7):1668-78. doi: 10.1128/JB.06373-11. Epub 2012 Jan 27.
|2.||C/EBPβ mediates growth hormone-regulated expression of multiple target genes
Cui TX, Lin G, LaPensee CR, Calinescu AA, Rathore M, Streeter C, Piwien-Pilipuk G, Lanning N, Jin H, Carter-Su C, Qin ZS, Schwartz J.
Mol Endocrinol. 2011 Apr;25(4):681-93. doi: 10.1210/me.2010-0232. Epub 2011 Feb 3.
|3.||Restriction of rift valley Fever virus virulence in mosquito cells.
Vaughn VM, Streeter CC, Miller DJ, Gerrard SR.
Viruses. 2010 Feb;2(2):655-75. doi: 10.3390/v2020655. Epub 2010 Feb 17
Awards:Outstanding Graduate Student Poster: 2015 – WSU EACPHS Research Day
Finalist: 2017 WSU Three Minute Thesis
Outstanding Graduate Student Poster: 2015 – WSU EACPHS Research Day
Finalist: 2017 WSU Three Minute Thesis
Funding:American Foundation for Pharmaceutical Education Fellow: 2013-14, 2014-15
Name: Scott Baughan
Education:BS Biology, Saginaw Valley State University
Thesis Mentor: Dr. Michael Tainsky
Research Interests:My major interest is synthetic biology and the use of strategies in synthetic biology for engineering novel systems for the investigation and treatment of human disease. Additionally, I am interested in the genetic basis of disease, especially for the purposes of susceptibility testing and clinical prediction to better the screening and preventative care of patients.
|1.||Multifaceted role of the ubiquitin ligase Itch in immune regulation.
Venuprasad K, Zeng M, Baughan SL, Massoumi R.
Immunol Cell Biol. 2015 May-Jun;93(5):452-60. doi: 10.1038/icb.2014.118.
Awards: Research Grant Recipient, SVSU SRCI