Grad Phase Students

Grad Phase Students

Department: Grad Phase Students

Kijoon Kim

Education: Georgia Institute of Technology, B.S. in Biomedical Engineering (2019)
Hometown: Richmond, VA
PhD Advisor: Peter Hamilton, Ph.D. 
Graduate Program: Neuroscience
Bio: Kijoon conducted three years of undergraduate research with Dr C Ross Ethier and Dr Machelle Pardue at Georgia Institute of Technology and worked on projects related to glaucoma and the preservation of vision. Kijoon is hoping to gain a broader neuroscience background implementing behavioral assessments and electrophysiology techniques. Kijoon enjoys playing squash, classical guitar, cooking, and motorsports in his free time.

Steven J. Meas

Education: University of Toronto, B.S. with a double major in Neuroscience and Animal Physiology (2016); University of Toronto, M.S. in Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology (2018)
Hometown: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
PhD Advisor: Henry Donahue, Ph.D.
Graduate Program: CaMM
Bio: Steven has a background in regenerative medicine, developmental biology, neuroscience and hearing biology. He is interested in the interface between regenerative medicine and biomedical engineering, particularly in how strategies can be developed to allow the body to rebuild itself. Outside of the laboratory, he can be found trekking through mountains, relaxing in the park, trying his hand at new sports and/or forming new experiences through travel. 

Yu Par Aung Myo

Education: Virginia Commonwealth University, B.S. in Biology, with a minor in Chemistry (2015)
Hometown: Mandalay, Myanmar
PhD Advisor: Patricia Sime, MD
Graduate Program: Micro/Immunology
Bio: Yu Par is currently exploring her research interests in neuroscience, pharmacology/toxicology and nanomedicine. Her background was in neuroscience, and she wants to challenge herself by going into an area of research that approaches the brain from a different perspective than her previous work, which centered around basic molecular neuroscience. She loves building Legos, cooking and especially going on spontaneous outdoor adventures and food adventures!

Thomas Siff

Education: Liberty University, B.S. in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, with a minor in Biomedical Sciences (2019)
Hometown: Hampton, VA
PhD Advisor: Jason Carlyon, Ph.D.
Graduate Program: Micro/Immunology
Bio: During his undergraduate years, Thomas developed a keen interest in human cell and molecular biology which he now seeks to apply to the study of infectious diseases. He is interested in studying host-pathogen interactions at the cellular and molecular level to reveal key mechanisms of pathogenesis for understudied human pathogens while elucidating novel processes in human cell biology and immunity. In his free time, Thomas enjoys playing piano and cello, hiking in the mountains, and reading.

Marc Kealhofer

Education: University of Chicago, B.S. in Statistics; Johns Hopkins University, Sc.M. in Epidemiology
Hometown: Lafayette, CA
PhD Advisor: Brien Riley, PhD; Tan Hoang Nguyen, PhD 
Graduate Program: Integrative Life Sciences - Behavioral and Statistical Genetics 
Bio: Marc is interested in the genetic and epigenetic factors that contribute to psychiatric disorders and how they manifest in different environmental contexts, as well as the statistical methods that facilitate those analyses. As a master’s student and data analyst at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, he worked on a variety of projects, including studying insurance policy and its effect on access to substance use disorder (SUD) treatment, the role of comorbid mood disorders in predicting SUD progression and recovery, and the genomics and epigenomics of mood and psychotic disorders. Marc enjoys running, playing music, and coxing boats in his free time.

Hannah Shadowen

Education: University of Virginia, B.S. in Neuroscience (Minor in Women, Gender and Sexuality), Master of Public Health
Hometown: Richmond, VA
PhD Advisor: Andrew Barnes, PhD
Graduate Program: Healthcare Policy and Research 
Bio: Hannah Shadowen is interested in studying chronic health conditions with a particular focus on mental health from a population and epidemiologic perspective. She is interested in how social determinants of health impact patients and their well-being. Hannah is a Richmond native who enjoys rock climbing, running, good books and spending time with friends and family.

Anne Skelton

Education: University of Denver, B.S. in Biology and Psychology (2016)
Hometown: Albuquerque, NM
PhD Advisor: Barbara Boyan, PhD
Graduate Program: Physiology and Biophysics 
Bio: After spending two years as a clinical research coordinator in pediatric orthopedic hip preservation and sports medicine, Anne developed an interest in bone and muscle physiology. Her current interests involve understanding the factors which influence osteoblast differentiation and growth plate closure as they relate to orthopedic pathology. She has recently taken up running, frequenting many of the trails around Richmond, and will gladly show pictures of her cat, Tom.

Susie Turkson

Education: University of Chicago, B.A. in Biology with a specialization in Neuroscience (2012); Eastern Virginia Medical School, M.S. in Biomedical Sciences (2017)
Hometown: Virginia Beach, VA
PhD Advisor: Gretchen Neigh (McCandless), PhD
Graduate Program: Neuroscience
Bio: Susie is interested in exploring sex differences in the relationship between chronic stress/disease and neurocognitive outcomes. Susie is an avid baker whose personal interests include culinary adventures and advocacy.

Augustus (Gus) White

Education: University of Tennessee-Knoxville, B.A. in College Scholars with a Concentration in Health Economics and Policy (2018)
Hometown: Chattanooga, TN
PhD Advisor: Andrew Barnes, PhD
Graduate Program: Healthcare Policy and Research 
Bio: Gus' research interests lie in the fields of behavioral economics and public policy, particularly as they apply to public health. The current focus of Gus' research is on using techniques in behavioral economics to assess abuse liability of electronic cigarettes as well as better understanding state-level trends in opioid use and health insurance coverage. Outside of research, Gus enjoys playing golf and following his beloved Tennessee Volunteers. 

Yi (Daniel) Zhou

Education: McGill University, B.Sc. in Anatomy and Cell Biology (2014), M.Sc. in the Integrated Program in Neuroscience (2017)
Hometown: Toronto, Ontario
PhD Advisor: Michael Neale, PhD
Graduate Program: Integrative Life Sciences - Behavioral and Statistical Genetics
Bio: Daniel is interested in how environmental and genetic factors interact to affect brain structure, function, and behavior. Currently, he is interested in approaches that integrate molecular, neuroimaging, and clinical data in order to better understand the development of mental health disorders. He is excited to be in Richmond and is looking forward to exploring the music scene, drinking craft beers, swimming in the James River and everything else the city has to offer. 

Carter (Kent) Fairchild

Education: Florida Atlantic University, B.S. in Neuroscience and Behavior (2013), M.S. in Biological Sciences (2016)
Hometown: Jupiter, FL
PhD Advisor: Anthony Faber, PhD
Graduate Program: CCTR CaMM
Bio: Kent's research focuses on the identification and pre-clinical testing of targeted therapies for genetically-defined cancers. In particular, Kent studies new approaches to treat fusion gene-driven sarcomas. In his free time, Kent enjoys whitewater kayaking on the James River, and taking advantage of the many great restaurants and breweries Richmond has to offer.

Lauren Dain

Education: Western Washington University: BS in Behavioral Neuroscience, BA in Philosophy, minor in Chemistry (2018)
Hometown: Spokane, WA
PhD Advisor: Tomasz Kordula, PhD, MS
Graduate Program: Micro/Immunology
Bio: Lauren is extremely interested in the field of oncology, specifically in pediatrics. With her background education being in neuroscience, Lauren finds she strongly gravitates towards research in glioblastoma and other primary brain cancers. Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, Lauren loves most outdoor activities such as skiing, rock climbing, hiking, swimming, and backpacking

Galen Goldscheitter

Education: University of Colorado Boulder, B.S. Chemical Engineering (2017), B.A. Chemistry (2017)
Hometown: Boulder, CO
PhD Advisor: Henry Donahue, PhD
Graduate Program: Biomedical Engineering
Bio: Galen has worked with research groups in Colorado and Oregon investigating disorders of thrombosis and hemostasis, most recently how clotting factor deficiencies alter signaling at the PAR1 axis in bones. He is interested in researching how mechanical forces alter cellular and molecular behavior, and how changes at the cellular and molecular level influence bulk tissue morphology and function. Galen enjoys cycling, rock climbing, mountaineering, whitewater kayaking, music, and occasionally running.

Sarah Marks

Education: Yale University, B.S. Molecular Biochemistry and Biophysics (2012); UNC-Chapel Hill, M.S. Biostatistics (2016)
Hometown: Atlanta, GA
PhD Advisor: Andrew Barnes, PhD
Graduate Program: Healthcare Policy & Research
Bio: Sarah is interested in using quantitative approaches to  study the delivery of healthcare and improve health outcomes, particularly in underserved populations. She is excited to be in Virginia to see the impact of Medicaid expansion on healthcare in the state. Outside of research, Sarah has visited over 35 countries and looks forward to traveling again; she also enjoys reading and hiking.  

Chelsie Poffenberger

Education: Auburn University, B.S. Biomedical Sciences, with a minor in Psychology (2017)
Hometown: Huntsville, AL
PhD Advisor: Kirsty Dixon, PhD
Graduate Program: Micro/Immunology
Bio: Chelsie's research interests are centered around the immune response in neurodegenerative diseases. As a postbaccalaureate research fellow at the NIH, she worked to determine the underlying mechanisms, ameliorative properties, and deleterious effects of inflammation in the brain. When she isn’t in the lab, you will find her whitewater kayaking, traveling, painting, taking photographs, or searching for her next adventure!

Hannah Stadtler

Education: Davidson College, B.S. with a major in Biology and a minor in Medical Humanities (2018)
Hometown: Spotsylvania, VA
PhD Advisor: Dr. Gretchen Neigh (McCandless), PhD 
Graduate Program: CaMM
Bio: Hannah’s undergraduate work explored hookah smoke and lung cells, but upon graduation her work has focused on infectious disease at the Duke Human Vaccine Institute. She is specifically interested in HIV and hopes to expand her experience beyond cell and molecular biology into behavioral and neuroscience research pertaining to HIV. Outside of lab work, Hannah also enjoys the latest Reese’s Book Club pick, sour beer, and spin classes.

Josephine (Josie) Wallner

Education: University of Washington, B.A. in Mathematics (2016)
Hometown: Seattle, WA
PhD Advisor: Dr. Dean Krusienski, PhD
Graduate Program: Biomedical Engineering
Bio: Josie worked in analytics consulting after graduating from the University of Washington, before applying her background in data management and applied mathematics as a research technician in the Physiology department at Northwestern. Her current interests are in the restoration of motor control after spinal cord injury - specifically neurally driven spinal cord stimulation. To recharge she loves biking, hiking & lifting weights or cozying up on the couch with a book.

Radina Lilova

Education: North Carolina State University: BS in Chemical Engineering, minors in Chemistry and Biotechnology (2018)
Hometown: Raleigh, NC
PhD Advisor: None chosen yet
Graduate Program: None chosen yet 
Bio: Radina is an M1 student who was born in a small town at the foot of the Balkans in Bulgaria. She has lived in many places such as Toronto, the Philadelphia suburbs, Raleigh, and Tampa amongst others. She has research previous experiences in drug delivery, polymer chemistry, biomedical devices, and cell mechanics. She is interested in neuroscience research, particularly neurotrauma and neurodegeneration, and would like to integrate her engineering background in future work. She has also spent time working at a pain and spine clinic for two years where she really solidified her love for patient care. Outside of school, Radina loves playing tennis, running, hiking, hanging out with family and friends, and watching sports.

Polina Wright

Education: Virginia Commonwealth University: BS in Biology, BA in Foreign Language (Spanish), minor in Chemistry (2021)
Hometown: Richmond, VA
PhD Advisor: None chosen yet
Graduate Program: None chosen yet 
Bio: Polina is a Richmond native who spent four years at VCU working in an ovarian cancer laboratory studying protein-protein interactions, DNA repair, and the cell cycle. Her research experiences and her longitudinal clinical volunteer experience with the Children's Hospital of Richmond solidified her interest in a dual degree program and she is hoping to conduct research in the cancer field. In her free time, Polina enjoys traveling, making charcuterie boards, walking with her German shepherd, and being a foodie.

Reafa Hossain

Education: James Madison University: BS in Biotechnology, minor in Chemistry (2018)
Hometown: Arlington, VA
PhD Advisor: None chosen yet
Graduate Program: None chosen yet 
Bio: Reafa is interested in virology and structural biology in order to develop targeted therapeutics against viral infections, research interests she developed while she was a postbaccalaureate at the NIH. When she's not doing science, Reafa loves everything involving food and going on different adventures around Richmond.

Julia Hartman

Education: University of Virginia: BS in Biomedical Engineering (2019)
Hometown: Charlottesville, VA
PhD Advisor: None chosen yet
Graduate Program: None chosen yet 
Bio: Julia worked in an atherosclerosis lab for four years during undergrad. Following graduation, she worked at the NIH for two years on Scleroderma genomics and health disparities. Both of these experiences led Julia to become extremely interested in genetics and precision medicine, and her long term goal is to combine genomic studies with other techniques to deliver personalized medicine for patients with complex diseases. Outside of school and lab work, Julia enjoys cooking/baking, traveling to new countries, riding horses, and has a (bad) habit of singing 24/7.

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