Clinical Students

Clinical Students

Department: Clinical Students

Jefferson Abaricia

Education: Virginia Commonwealth University, B.S. in Biomedical Engineering with a minor in Chemistry (2015)
Hometown: Silverton, OR
PhD Advisor: Rene Olivares-Navarrete, DDS, PhD
Graduate Program: Biomedical Engineering
Bio: Jefferson's work examines the role of macrophage-derived Wingless homolog (Wnt) ligands on osseous healing by regulating the inflammatory response and mesenchymal stem cell behavior. The goal of this research is to understand the mechanisms by which the immune system regulates the healing of bone after fractures and placement of implants. In his free time, Jefferson enjoys music, cooking, and scuba diving, and autocross.

Graeme Murray

Education: University of Chicago, B.A. in Physics with Honors and B.A. in Chemistry (2014)
Hometown: Seattle, WA
PhD Advisor: Jason Reed, PhD
Graduate Program: Nanoscience and Nanotechnology
Bio: Graeme's undergraduate research used kinked silicon nanowires as cantilevers to measure inter- and intracellular forces including muscle contraction. As part of the Nanoscience program at VCU, Graeme uses an interferometry based platform as a drug screening tool to monitor changes in biomass of single cells in various cancers. In his spare time, Graeme races road and mountain bikes for VCU.  

Justin Saunders

Education: Villanova University, B.S. in Biology (2012)
Hometown: White Plains, MD
PhD Advisor: Javier Gonzalez-Maeso, PhD
Graduate Program: Physiology and Biophysics 
Bio: Justin’s research interests are focused on the molecular and behavioral aspects of neuropsychiatric disorder models. His project is focused on the contribution of serotonin 5-HT2AR receptor dysregulation to phenotypes observed within a maternal immune activation rodent model of schizophrenia. When not in the lab, Justin enjoys music, spending time with family and friends, and playing the guitar.

Alicia Woock

Education: Appalachian State University, B.S. with honors in Chemistry
Hometown: New Bern, NC
PhD advisor: Charles Clevenger, MD, PhD
Graduate Program: CCTR/CMM 
Bio: Alicia works in Dr. Charles Clevenger's laboratory studying the transcription factor, Stat5a, and its regulation by serine phosphorylation in response to prolactin in breast cancer with the goal to understand how this signaling cascade regulates cancer progression. As a physician-scientist, Alicia plans to design clinical trials to develop better diagnostic and therapeutic options for cancer patients. If you generated a pie chart of her interests, the biggest slice of the pie would be filled by podcasts, followed by a slightly smaller slice for biking around and exploring RVA!  

Justin Craig

Education: Harvard University, A.B. in Psychology (2007)
Hometown: Northville, MI
PhD Advisor: Charles Clevenger, MD, PhD
Graduate Program: CCTR/CMM
Bio: Justin’s prospective professional focus is in translational oncology research, with particular interest in cancer genomics. In his graduate work, Justin has studied the regulation of the STAT5 signaling pathway in the context of breast cancer using a combination of molecular biology and bioinformatic approaches. When not pursuing his academic interests, Justin enjoys spending time with his wife and daughter, camping, hiking, and woodworking.

Jared Farrar

Education: University of Utah, B.S. in Biology (2010)
Hometown: Idaho Falls, ID
PhD Advisor: Francesco Celi, MD, MHSc
Graduate Program: CCTR/CMM
Bio: Jared values multi-disciplinary approaches to solving scientific questions and is driven by the potential of new medical knowledge and advanced technology to improve diagnostics, treatment and patient care. His graduate research has focused on the development of mouse models for the study of adaptive adipocyte thermogenesis, as well as the interface between the immune system and adipocytes in whole organism metabolism. In his spare time, he enjoys tearing things apart, solving puzzles, international travel, watching movies, and spending time with his wife.

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