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.


  • M1 Students

    firestoneName: 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 Mentor: TBD
    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
    Thesis Mentor: TBD
    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: Dr. Bhanu Jena
    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, 4butylene carbonatecoterephthalate) s: LDPElike semicrystalline thermoplastics.” Journal of Polymer Science Part A: Polymer Chemistry 53, no. 7 (2015): 914-923.

    2. SuvarnapathakiSanika, Ramos Rafael, Sawyer Stephen WMcLoughlin 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.

    Conferences Attended:
    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
    Thesis Mentor: Undecided
    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.

  • M2 Students

    carterName: Jenna Carter
    Education: B.S. Michigan State University
    Thesis Mentor:Undecided – Rotations with Dr. Yubin Ge and Dr. Kang Chen
    Research Interests: Immunology and Cancer Biology

    1The 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 Attended:
    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.

  • M3 Students

    lisieskiName: Michael Lisieski
    Education: B.S., University of Buffalo
    Thesis Mentor: Dr. Shane A. Perrine
    Research Interests: Drug addiction, stress, affective ethology,  and health

    Levine, A. R., Lundahl, L. G., Ledgerwood, D. M., Lisieski, M. J., Rhodes, G. L., Greenwald, M. K. (2015) Gender-specific predictors of retention and opioid abstinence during methadone maintenance treatment, Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 54:37-43.

    Perrine, S. A., Ghoddoussi, F., Desai, K., Kohler, R. J., Eapen, A. T., Lisieski, M. J., Angoa-Perez, M., Kuhn, D. M., Bosse, K. E., Conti, A. C., Bissig, D., Berkowitz, B. A. (2015) Cocaine-induced locomotor sensitization in rats correlates with nucleus accumbens activity on manganese-enhanced MRI, NMR in Biomedicine, 28(11):1480-1488.

    Lisieski, M. J., Perrine, S. A. (2017) Binge-pattern cocaine administration causes long-lasting behavioral hyperarousal but does not enhance vulnerability to single prolonged stress in rats, Psychiatry Research, 257;95-101.

    Lisieski, M. J., Eagle, A. L., Conti, A. C., Liberzon, I., Perrine, S. A. (2018) Single-Prolonged Stress: A Review of Two Decades of Progress in a Rodent Model of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Frontiers in Psychiatry, 10.3389/fpsyt.2018.00196

    Conferences Attended:Awards:
    2015 WSU Graduate Exhibition First Prize Winner
    2016 WSU Translational Neuroscience Program Research Day Best Preclinical Presentation Travel Award Winner
    2016 WSU MD/PhD Program Endowed Travel Award
    2016 AAAP Medical Student Travel Award
    2016 WSU Graduate Student Research Day Oral Presentation 2nd Prize Winner
    2016 Pushcart Prize Nominee
    2017 WSU MD/PhD Retreat Data Blitz 1st Prize Winner
    2018 WSU Spirit of Community Award Finalist

    Society for Neuroscience (2014 – present)
    Michigan Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience (2014 – present)
    CPDD (2016 – present)
    American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry (2017)
    International Study Group Investigating Drugs as Reinforcers (2016 – present)

    Funding: 2016 WSU Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience New Investigator Grant



    Name: Jeremy (Jay) T. Llaniguez
    Education: B.S. in Mechanical Engineering with Minor in Chemical Engineering, UC Berkeley; M.S. in Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
    Thesis Mentor: Dr. Juri Gelovani
    Research Interests:  Leveraging technology to increase patient/user experience in personal healthcare outcomes helping drive primary-care engagement and increase adoption of preventative medicine as standard of care. Developing on-body or in-body sensors for continual ambulatory monitoring of vital signs and disease-appropriate biomarkers. Development of algorithms using continually-monitored vital signs and disease-appropriate biomarkers to predict development of disease pathophysiology.Development of cybersecure methods to transfer ambulatory vital signs and disease-appropriate patient data to patient’s consumer devices and patient’s healthcare providers while maintaining HIPAA and appropriate CFR compliance.

    Development of a Novel Cardiac Ischemia-Reperfusion Model in Axolotls
    Llaniguez, JT; Szczepaniak, MA; Rickman, BH; Hish, G; Cotroneo, T; and Gelovani, JG
    Accepted poster for Midwest Student Biomedical Research Forum (February)  2018

    Qualitative and quantitative behavioral measurements to assess pain in axolotls
    M.A. Szcepeniak, J.T. Llaniguez, J.G. Gelovani, G. Hish, and T. Cotroneo
    Poster presented at American Association for Laboratory Animal Science National Meeting (October)  2017

    Elucidating Cardiac Repair in Animals with Robust Regeneration to Enhance Repair in Humans
    J.T. Llaniguez
    , M.A. Szcepeniak, G. Hish, T. Cotroneo and J.G. Gelovani
    Poster presented at WSUSOM Graduate and Postdoctoral Scholar Research Symposium 2017

    Poster presented at the annual National MD/PhD Student Conference  2014

    Molecular imaging of epigenetic regulation mediated by HDACs 4, 5 using PET/CT/MRI with 18F-TFAHA in a rat model of human glioma
    Maxwell T. Laws, Robin E. Bonomi, Swatabdi Kamal, David Gelovani, Jeremy Llaniguez, Vadim Popov, Xin Lu, Srinivasu Kallakuri, Thomas Mangner and Juri G. Gelovani

    Proceedings: AACR 107th Annual Meeting 2016; April 16-20, 2016; New Orleans, LA  2016

    A Model of Myocardial Ischemia in Urodeles   2015

    Oral Presentation – Refinement and Enrichment Advancements Laboratory (REAL)

    University of Michigan Medical School, Unit for Laboratory Animal Medicine

    Kinker B, Gorgis S, Malhotra G, Roumayah T, Llaniguez J, and Kong J for the Medical Student Section. Proposing Amendments to Public Service Loan Forgiveness. Resolution 43-15. Michigan State Medical Society (MSMS) Annual Conference – House of Delegates. 2015 April.

    Llaniguez J, Kinker B, Gorgis S, Malhotra G, Roumayah T, and Kong J for the Medical Student Section. Ensuring Equality in Loan Repayment Programs for Married Couples. Resolution 44-15. Michigan State Medical (MSMS) Society Annual Conference – House of Delegates. 2015 April.

    Malhotra G, Gorgis S, Roumayah T, Llaniguez J, Gorgis J, Kraus A, Zureick A, Gharzeddine J, MacKenzie A, Hancu A, Graham P, and Donkin J for the Medical Student Section. Opposing the Establishment of an Assistant Physician Program. Resolution 45-15. Michigan State Medical Society Annual Conference – House of Delegates. 2015 April.

    Emissions and In-Cylinder Combustion Characteristics of Fischer-Tropsch and Conventional Diesel Fuels in a Modern CI Engine (2005)

    Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) International Combustion Engine Division Fall Technical Conference (ICEF) ISBN: 0-7918-4736-5

    Awards: Outstanding Abstract, University of Michigan-Wayne State University Physiology Symposium (2011)
    Conferences Attended:
    American Association for Laboratory Animal Science National Meeting (2017)
    Medical Student Advocacy Day and Region Conference (2016, 2017, 2018)
    National MD/PhD Student Conference (2014)
    AMA-MSS Interim Meeting (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017)
    AMA-MSS National Meeting (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018)
    University of Michigan-Wayne State University Physiology Symposium (2011)

    Funding: American Association for Laboratory Animal Science – Grant for Laboratory Animal Science (GLAS Grant) (2016)


    Name: Stephanie Lucas
    Education: BS in Biomedical Engineering,
    Thesis Mentor: Dr. Jian Wang
    Research Interests: Cellular metabolism, mitochondrial function

    1. Moya ML, Lucas S, Francis-Sedlak M, Liu X, Garfinkel MR, Huang JJ, et al. Sustained delivery of FGF-1 increases vascular density in comparison to bolus administration. Microvasc Res 2009; 78(2): 142-7.

    2.  Francis-Sedlak ME, Moya ML, Huang JJ, Lucas SA, Chandrasekharan N, Larson JC, et al. Collagen glycation alters neovascularization in vitro and in vivo. Microvasc Res 2010; 80(1): 3-9.

    3. Moya ML, Garfinkel MR, Liu X, Lucas S, Opara EC, Greisler HP, et al. Fibroblast growth fac-tor-1 (FGF-1) loaded microbeads enhance local capillary neovascularization. J Surg Res 2010; 160(2): 208-12.

    4. Chen G, Zhou G, Aras S, He Z, Lucas S, Podgorski I, et al. Loss of ABHD5 promotes the ag-gressiveness of prostate cancer cells. Sci Rep 2017; 7(1): 13021.

    5. Lucas S, Soave C, Nabil G, Ahmed ZSO, Chen G, El-Banna HA, et al. Pharmacological Inhibi-tors of NAD Biosynthesis as Potential Anticancer Agents. Recent Pat Anticancer Drug Discov 2017; 12(3): 190-207.

    6. Lucas S, Chen G, Aras S, Wang J. Mitochondrial respiratory complex assembly requires the one-carbon unit generated from serine catabolism. Life Sci Alliance 2018 (in press)

    2007-2011: Camras Scholarship, IIT
    2008: Biomedical Research Scholar Award, IIT
    2012: Medical Student Summer Research Fellowship, WSU
    2016: Graduate Student Research Day Poster Honorable Mention, WSU
    2016: 5th Annual Tumor and Microenvironment Retreat 1st Place Poster, WSU
    2017: Werner U. Spitz, MD Endowed Scholarship in Pathology (Revised), WSU

    Other Interests: Plays Violin II in Detroit Medical Orchestra


    shaikName: Asra Shaik
    Education: Michigan State University, B.S. Physiology and Economics
    Thesis Mentor: Dr. Michele L. Cote
    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]

    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

    Conferences Attended: 

    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)

  • M4 Students



    Name: Muzamil Arshad
    Education: BS in Physics, Benedictine University
    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

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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
    Conferences Attended: 
    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

  • G1 Students

    Name: Justin Hackett
    Education: BS, Grand Valley State University; MS, Western Michigan University
    Thesis Mentor: Dr. Heather Gibson
    Research Interests: My research interest are in cancer immunology and trying to determine the factors that contribute to patient response to cancer immunotherapies by exploring response and genetic linkage in domestically outbred mice.

    J. B. Hackett et al., “An Organelle RNA Recognition Motif Protein is Required for Photosynthetic Subunit psbF Transcript Editing,” Plant Physiol., p. 01623, Feb. 2017.

    J. B. Hackett and Y. Lu, “Whole-transcriptome RNA-seq, gene set enrichment pathway analysis, and exon coverage analysis of two plastid RNA editing mutants,” Plant Signal. & Behav., vol. 12, p. 1312242, Apr. 2017.

    2016: Distinguished Biological Sciences Graduate Student
    2015: MPI Outstanding Graduate Research Award: Master’s level
    Conferences: American Society of Cell Biology, Midwestern Sectional American Society for Plant Biology
    Outside Interests: I am a proponent of Science Based Medicine and believe that medicine should adhere to the strictest science standards to provide the best care.




    Name: Paul Morse
    Education: B.S. in Chemistry, Grand Valley State University
    Thesis Mentor: Pending
    Research Interests: Mechanisms of cellular degeneration relating to disease
    Paul T. Morse, Richard J. Staples, Shannon M. Biros. “Th(IV) complexes with cisethylenebis(diphenylphosphine oxide): X-ray structures and NMR solution studies” Polyhedron, 2016, 114, 2-12.
    2017 ACMG Foundation Summer Genetics Scholarship Recipient
    2015 GVSU Department of Chemistry Outstanding Undergraduate Research Award
    Conferences Attended: 
    Midwestern Symposium on Undergraduate Research in Chemistry, MSU, East Lansing, MI. 10/11/14
    Hope College Summer Research Symposium, SHARP, Hope College, Holland, MI. 07/18/14
    West MI Regional Undergraduate Science Research Conference, Van Andel Inst., Grand Rapids, MI. 11/16/13




    Name: Tabitha Moses
    Education: B.A. in Cognitive Science & Philosophy, M.S. in Biotechnology,  Johns Hopkins University
    Thesis Mentor: Dr. Mark Greenwald
    Research Interests: Factors associated with substance use in humans; genetic differences in response to treatment; bioethics and neuroethics.

    Moses, T
    ., Lundahl, L. H., & Greenwald M.K., Factors Associated with Heroin Use and Misuse Among Heroin Users. April 2018. Drug and Alcohol Dependence. 185, pp.10-16

    Moses, T., Woodcock, E. A., Lister J.J., Lundahl, L.H., & Greenwald M.K., Developing a Scale of Domains of Negative Consequences of Chronic Heroin Use. February 2018. Addictive Behaviors. 77, pp.260-266

    Moses, T. & Illes, J. Ethics, Ethicists, and Professional Organizations in the Neurological Sciences. March 2017. AJOB Neuroscience. 8(1), pp.3-11

    Moses, T., Emerging Technologies: The Ethical Dangers of Fixing What is Not Broken. May 2016. Proceedings of the 2016 IEEE Symposium on Ethics in Engineering, Science and Technology


    Conferences Attended:
    Moses, T., Burmeister, M., & Greenwald, M.K., Heroin Delay Discounting and Impulsivity: Modulation by DRD1 Genetic Variation, Oral Presentation at The College on Problems of Drug Dependence. San Diego, CA. June 2018

    Moses, T., Learning From Our Mistakes: Understanding Autism Treatment Through Deaf History, Oral Presentation at Seventh Annual Western Michigan University Medical Humanities Conference. Kalamazoo, MI. September 2017

    Moses, T., Fixing Children who are not Broken: The Dangers of Internalized Prejudice, Oral Presentation at Sixth Annual Western Michigan University Medical Humanities Conference. Kalamazoo, MI. September 2016

    Moses, T. & Bardawil, A.*, Critical Communication: Addressing Insufficient Language Access in Medicine, Oral Presentation at Sixth Annual Western Michigan University Medical Humanities Conference. Kalamazoo, MI. September 2016

    Moses, T., Lundahl, L. H., & Greenwald M.K., Factors Associated with Heroin Use and Misuse Among Heroin Users. Poster Presented at Wayne State School of Medicine Medical Student Research Symposium, January 2018

    Moses, T., Greenwald M.K., Perils in Precision Medicine: Concerns from Addiction Genetics, Poster Presented at International Neuroethics Society Annual Meeting. Washington D.C. November 2017

    Moses, T., Informing Ethical Autism Treatments Through the Lens of Deaf History, Poster Presented at International Neuroethics Society Annual Meeting. Washington D.C. November 2017

    Moses, T., Woodcock, E. A., Lister J.J., Lundahl L.H., & Greenwald M.K., Developing Domains of Negative Consequences of Regular Heroin Use, Poster Presented at The College on Problems of Drug Dependence. Montreal, Canada. June 2017

    Moses, T., Lister J.J., & Greenwald M.K., Examining Race Differences in Injection Heroin Use to Guide Future Development of Targeted Harm Reduction Services, Poster Presented at CUNY Institute for Health Equity Annual Conference, New York, NY. May 2017

    Moses, T., & Bardawil, A., The Importance of Language Access and Provider Training in Improving Health Equity, Poster Presented at CUNY Institute for Health Equity Annual Conference, New York, NY. May 2017

    Moses, T. & Illes, J., Ethics Representation in Professional Organizations in the Neurological Sciences, Poster Presented at International Neuroethics Social Annual Meeting. San Diego, CA. November 2016

    Moses, T., Woodcock, E. A., Lister J.J., Lundahl L.H., & Greenwald M.K. Substance Use Characteristics Predict Heroin Consequences Profiles Among Chronic Regular Heroin Users, Poster Presented at RoBUST Fall Symposium 2016, Detroit, MI, October 2016

  • G2 Students


    baughanName: 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




    Name: James Matchynski
    Education: B.S., University of Michigan-Dearborn
    Thesis Mentor: Dr. Alana Conti and Dr. Shane Perrine
    Research Interests: Changing fear expression through the use of neuronal ensembles.

    2009  Mid-Michigan Brain Bee Winner, Central Michigan University
    2011  Chancellor’s Scholarship, University of Michigan-Dearborn
    2011-2014  Dean’s List, University of Michigan-Dearborn
    2011-2015  University Honors, University of Michigan-Dearborn
    2013 CRC Freshman Chemistry Award, University of Michigan-Dearborn
    2014  ACS Division of Analytical Chemistry Award, U of M-Dearborn
    2014-2015  James B. Angel Scholar, University of Michigan-Dearborn
    2015 Distinguished Research Award, University of Michigan-Dearborn
    2015  Biochemistry Honors Scholar, University of Michigan-Dearborn
    2015  ACS Outstanding Undergraduate Award, U of M-Dearborn                 
    2015  Honors with High Distinction (3.92 GPA), U of M-Dearborn
    2015  Class of Dearborn Difference Makers, U of M-Dearborn
    2015-2017  Board of Governors’ Tuition Scholarship, Wayne State University
    2017-2018 Thomas Rumble Fellowship, Wayne State University 

    Matchynski JI, Chamoun AW, Marilee B, Smith SR. Investigation of copper exchange between the avian egg proteins Riboflavin Binding Protein, Phosvitin and Vitellogenin. Experimental Biology, Boston, MA 2015 MarchConferences Attended:
    Invited/refereed presentations at international/national meetings

    Smith, SR, Benore, M, Matchynski, JI. Eggs in one basket: Is there a role for riboflavin binding protein in copper transport and storage? 249th ACS National Meeting, Denver, CO, 2015 March (Assisted with methods development, data collection and data processing)

    Matchynski JI, Manwar R, Kratkiewicz K, Perrine SA, Conti AC, Avanaki MRN. Optimizing photoacoustic imaging of lacZ cleavage products. SFN National Meeting, Scheduled 2018 October



    Name: Nolan O’Hara
    Education: B.S. in Neuroscience, M.S. in Psychology, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
    Mentors: Dr. Jeong-Won Jeong
    Research Interests: Understanding the functional and structural correlates of language development and brain development in infants, children, and young adults.

    Hanna GL, Liu Y, Isaacs YE, Ayoub AM, Torres JJ, O’Hara NB, Gehring WJ. 2016. “Withdrawn/Depressed Behaviors and Error-Related Brain Activity in Youth with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.” Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 55(10), pp. 906-913.

    O’Hara NB, Gehring WJ. Dec 2013. “Event-Related Potential Components Associated with the Preparation and Execution of Self-Motivated Deception within a Morally Accountable Context.” Master’s Thesis Retrieved from University of Michigan Deep Blue Database. Full text available at:

    Conferences Attended:Awards:
    University of Michigan Tanner Memorial Award 2012
    International Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine Trainee Stipend Award 2018
    International Congress on Magnetic Resonance Imaging Stipend Award 2018

    University of Michigan Tanner Memorial Award 2012
    International Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine Trainee Stipend Award 2018
    International Congress on Magnetic Resonance Imaging Stipend Award 2018

  • G3 Students

    Name: James Block
    Education: B.S. in Biology, Hillsdale College
    Mentors: Dr. Guojun Wu
    Research Interests: Investigating the functional and epidemiologic significance of the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition in breast cancer

    James Block, Fanyan Meng, Guojun Wu. “Reversing cancer stemness.Aging. Accepted 11/15/15.

    Lun Dong, Fanyan Meng, Ling Wu , Allison V. Mitchell , C. James Block , Bin Zhang , Douglas B. Craig, Hyejeong Jang , Wei Chen , Qifeng Yang and Guojun Wu. “Cooperative oncogenic effect and cell signaling crosstalk of co‑occurring HER2 and mutant PIK3CA in mammary epithelial cells.” International Journal of Oncology. Accepted 7/24/17.


    dekhneName: Aamod Dekhne
    Education: B.S. in Biophysics, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
    Mentors: Dr. Larry Matherly 
    Research Interests: Development of novel pyrrolo[3,2-d]pyrimidine analogs dual-targeting mitochondrial and cytosolic one-carbon metabolism
    Awards: Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award F30 Fellowship (National Cancer Institute)
    Conferences Attended: AACR 2018
    Funding: F30CA228221 (2018-present)
    T32CA009531 (2017-2018)




    kulekName: Andrew Russell Kulek
    Education: B.S. in Chemistry, Wayne State University
    Mentor: Dr. Karin Przyklenk
    Research Interests: Remote Ischemic conditioning and Ischemia reperfusion injury

    Ayaz, S. I., et al. (2015). “Comparison of quantitative EEG to current clinical decision rules for head CT use in acute mild  traumatic brain injury in the ED.” American Journal of Emergency Medicine33(4): 493-496.

    Guo, J., et al. (2014). “Novel Shikonin Derivatives Targeting Tubulin as Anticancer Agents.” Chemical Biology & Drug Design 84(5): 603-615.

    Iraji, A., et al. (2015). “Resting State Functional Connectivity in Mild Traumatic Brain
    Injury at the Acute Stage: Independent Component and Seed-Based Analyses.”
    Journal of Neurotrauma 32(14): 1031-1045.
    Iraji, A., et al. (2014). “Connectome-Scale Assessments of Structural and Functional Connectivity in Mild Traumatic Brain Injury at the Acute Stage.” Journal of Neurotrauma 31(12): A29-A30.

    Iraji, A., et al. (2016). “Connectome-scale assessment of structural and functional connectivity in mild traumatic brain injury at the acute stage.” Neuroimage-Clinical 12: 100-115.

    Kou, Z. F., et al. (2013). “Combining Biochemical and Imaging Markers to Improve Diagnosis and Characterization of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury in the Acute Setting: Results from a Pilot Study.” Plos One 8(11).

    2015 BMB 3-minute Thesis Competition Winner

    Conferences Attended: 
    2015 AHA Scientific Sessions, Orlando Florida
    2018 Society for General Internal Medicine, Denver Colorado

    Funding: Rumble Fellowship



    watzaName: Donovan Watza
    Education: B.S. in Molecular Genetics and Genomics
    Mentor: Dr. Ann G. Schwartz
    Research Interests: Understanding the genetic and genomic features of lung tumors which predispose patients for differential outcomes to identify candidates for therapeutic intervention.

    Richards A.L., Watza D., Findley A., Alazizi A., Wen X., Pai A., Pique-Regi R., and Luca F. (2017). Environmental Perturbations Lead to Extensive Directional Shifts In RNA Processing. PLOS Genetics. 12;13(10): e1006995

    Lusk C.M., Wenzlaff A.S., Dyson G., Purrington K.S., Watza D., Land S., Soubani A.O., Gadgeel S.M., and Schwartz A.G. (2016). Whole-exome sequencing reveals genetic variability among lung cancer cases subphenotyped for emphysema. Carcinogenesis; 37(2): 139-144.

    Schwartz A.G., Lusk C.M., Wenzlaff A.S., Watza, D., Pandolfi S., Mantha L., Cote M.L., Soubani A.O., Walworth G., Wozniak  A.,Neslund-Dudas C., Ardisana A.A., Flynn M.J., Song T., Spizarny P.A., Kvale R.A.C. and Gadgeel S.M. (2016). Risk of Lung Cancer Associated with COPD Phenotype Based on Quantitative Image Analysis. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev; 25(9):1341-1347.

    Moyerbrailean G.A., Richards A.L., Kurtz D., Kalita C.A., Davis G.O., Harvey C.T., Alaziz A., Watza D., Sorokin Y., Hauff N., Zhou X., Wen X., Pique-Regi R., and Luca F. (2016). High-throughput allele-specific expression across 250 environmental conditions. Genome Research; 12: 1627-1638.

    2017 – 2018   Ruth L. Kirschenstein Research Training Recipient (T32-CA009531), Wayne State University
    2016       Graduate Research Assistantship, Wayne State University
    2015       Medical Student Research Scholarship, Wayne State University School of Medicine
    2014       Medical Student Research Scholarship, Wayne State University School of Medicine
    2014       Board of Governors Full Tuition Scholarship, Wayne State University School of Medicine
    2012       Graduated with Honors, Lyman Briggs Michigan State University
    2012       Microbiology & Molecular Genetics Gerhardt Student Award, Michigan State University
    2008 – 2012   Dean’s List, Michigan State University



    yangName: Alexander Yang
    Education: B.S., University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
    Mentor: Dr. James Granneman
    Research Interests: Genetics of Fatty Liver Disease
    Conferences Attended: Lipids @ Wayne Symposium
    Funding: F30




  • G4 Students

    bradyName: Joshua Brady
    Education: B.S., University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
    Mentor: Dr. Maria Bykhovskaia
    Research Interests: Regulation of synaptic transmission.
    Conferences Attended: Neurobiology of Drosophila 2017






  • G5 Students

    leeName: Patrick Lee
    Education: B.S., University of Michigan
    Mentor: Dr. Fu-Shin Yu
    Research Interests: Diabetic Corneal Wound Healing

    Sun H, Lee P, Yan C, Gao N, Wang, J, Fan X, Yu FS. (2018). Inhibition of Soluble Epoxide Hydrolase 2 Ameliorates Diabetic Keratopathy and Impaired Wound Healing in Mouse Corneas. Diabetes. Advance online publication. doi: 10.2337/db17-1336.

    Yan C, Gao N, Sun H, Yin J, Lee P, Zhou L, Fan X, Yu FS. (2016). Targeting Imbalance between IL-1b and IL-1 Receptor Antagonist Ameliorates Delayed Epithelium Wound Healing in Diabetic Mouse Corneas. Am J Pathol. 2016 Jun; 186(6): 1466-80.

    Gao N, Yan C, Lee P, Sun H, Yu FS. (2016). Dendritic cell dysfunction and diabetic sensory neuropathy in the cornea. J Clin Invest, 126:1998-2011. PMCID: PMC4855916.

    Gao N, Lee P, Yu FS. (2015). Intraepithelial Dendritic Cells and Sensory Nerves are Structurally Associated and Functional Interdependent in the Cornea. Scientific Reports, 6(36414).

    Yu F.S., Yin J., Lee P., Hwang F.S., McDermott M. (2015). Sensory Nerve Regeneration after Epithelium Wounding in Normal and Diabetic Cornea. Expert Review of Ophthalmology, 10(4):383-392.

    Ivanova, E., Lee, P., Zhou-Hua, P. (2012), Characterization of Multiple Bistratified Retinal Ganglion Cells in a Purkinje Cell Protein 2-cre Transgenic Mouse Line. Journal of Comparative Neurology, 165 (1):233-243.

    Funding: F30Awards:
    Department of Ophthalmology Fraser Scholarship: 2015 (Wayne State University)

    Conferences Attended:
    Annual meeting of The Association for Research and Vision in Ophthalmology, Denver, CO. 2016
    MD-PhD Student Conference, Keystone, CO. 2016.
    Annual meeting of The Association for Research and Vision in Ophthalmology, Baltimore, MD. 2017
    Gordon Research Conference, Ventura, CA. 2018.
    Annual meeting of The Association for Research and Vision in Ophthalmology, Honolulu, HI. 2018.

  • G7 Students

    wisemanName: Natalie Wiseman
    Education: B.S. in Biology, Bowling Green State University
    Mentor: Dr. Zhifeng Kou
    Research Interests: I’m using MRI to study metabolic changes in the brain following mild traumatic brain injury and assessing whether these changes can predict outcomes during recovery.


    Liu J, Xia S, Hanks R, Wiseman N, Peng C, Zhou S, Haacke EM, Kou Z. Susceptibility Weighted Imaging and Mapping of Micro-Hemorrhages and Major Deep Veins after Traumatic Brain Injury. J Neurotrauma. 2016 Jan 1;33(1):10-21. doi: 10.1089/neu.2014.3856. Epub 2015 May 26. PubMed PMID: 25789581.

    Doshi H, Wiseman N, Liu J, Wang W, Welch RD, O’Neil BJ, Zuk C, Wang X, Mika V, Szaflarski JP, Haacke EM, Kou Z. Cerebral hemodynamic changes of mild traumatic brain injury at the acute stage. PLoS One. 2015 Feb 6;10(2):e0118061. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0118061. eCollection 2015. Erratum in: PLoS One. 2015;10(5):e0127487. PLoS One. 2015;10(7):e0132750. PubMed PMID: 25659079; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4320047.

    Iraji A, Calhoun VD, Wiseman NM, Davoodi-Bojd E, Avanaki MRN, Haacke EM, Kou Z. The connectivity domain: Analyzing resting state fMRI data using feature-based data-driven and model-based methods. Neuroimage. 2016 Jul 1;134:494-507. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2016.04.006. Epub 2016 Apr 12. PubMed PMID: 27079528; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4957565.

    Iraji A, Chen H, Wiseman N, Welch RD, O’Neil BJ, Haacke EM, Liu T, Kou Z. Compensation through Functional Hyperconnectivity: A Longitudinal Connectome Assessment of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury. Neural Plast. 2016;2016:4072402. doi: 10.1155/2016/4072402. Epub 2015 Dec 27. PubMed PMID: 26819765; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4706919.

    Iraji A, Chen H, Wiseman N, Zhang T, Welch R, O’Neil B, Kulek A, Ayaz SI, Wang X, Zuk C, Haacke EM, Liu T, Kou Z. Connectome-scale assessment of structural and functional connectivity in mild traumatic brain injury at the acute stage.Neuroimage Clin. 2016 Jun 16;12:100-115. eCollection 2016. PubMed PMID: 27408795; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4932612.

    Robinson B, Wiseman N, Woodruff RC. Identification of selfish genetic elements in natural populations of Drosophila melanogaster. I. P DNA elements. Drosophila Information Services. 2007; 90:172-176.

    Onasch KD, Wiseman N, Robinson B, Zhang M, Woodruff R. Experimental observation of overdominance (heterozygous advantage) in Drosophila melanogaster. Drosophila Information Services. 2008; 90:169-179.

    Robinson B, Wiseman N, Zhang M, Staber CJ, Woodruff RC. Identification of selfish genetic elements in natural populations of Drosophila melanogaster. II. Segregation Distorter (SD). Drosophila Information Services. 2008; 90:179-182.

    ISMRM 23rd Annual Meeting Magna cum laude award, 2015
    Translational Neuroscience Program 1st Annual Symposium and Research Day Dr. Robert J. Bernucci Endowment Award for Clinical Research Presentation
    Translational Neuroscience Program 3 Minute Thesis Competition 2nd place, November 2016.
    ISMRM 25th Annual Meeting Summa cum laude award, 2017

    Conferences Attended: ISMRM, NNS, SFN

    Funding: F30 HD084144