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: None chosen yet
Graduate Program: None chosen yet
Publications
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: None chosen yet
Graduate Program: None chosen yet
Publications
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: None chosen yet
Graduate Program: None chosen yet
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: None chosen yet
Graduate Program: None chosen yet
Bio: Thomas maintains an interest in several fields of research as they relate to cancer biology, including reactive oxygen species metabolism, cell signaling, and immunology. He aspires to perform translational research that transforms novel discoveries in basic science into innovative new treatments for cancer. In his free time, Thomas enjoys Taekwondo, Krav Maga, hiking in the mountains, playing piano and cello, 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 
Publications
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 
Publications
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 
Publications
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
Publications
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
Publications
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. 

Jessica Kiernan

Education: Virginia Tech University, B.S. in Biology (2008); Georgetown University, M.Sc. Biohazardous Threat Agents and Emerging Infectious Diseases (2011)
Hometown: Lancaster, PA
PhD Advisor: April Kimmel, PhD
Graduate Program: Healthcare Policy and Research
Bio: Building on a pre-medical school career within the field of global health and infectious disease, Jessica's research interests include understanding the landscape of factors that lead to increased disease burden in vulnerable populations.  She is interested in evaluating key drivers of disease transmission, opportunities for intervention and translatable, evidence-based models of treatment delivery, specifically within the HIV positive population in the United States.  In her free time, Jessica enjoys exploring Richmond with her 16-month-old, SJ, and continuing global travel with her husband, Scott, with over 80 countries visited between them. 

Caellaigh Kimpston

Education: University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, B.S. in Biology (2017)
Hometown: Russell, KY
PhD Advisor: Richard Marconi, PhD
Graduate Program: Microbiology and Immunology
Publications
Bio: At the University of North Carolina, Caellaigh's research focused on understanding the roles of the protein periostin and Schwann cells in a murine model of autoimmune peripheral neuropathy. Currently, she is interested in vaccine development for pathogenic spirochetes including those associated with Lyme disease, relapsing fever and periodontal disease. In her free time, she enjoys travelling, hiking, baking, and exploring new restaurants.

Pratyush Narayan

Education: Stony Brook University, B.S. in Biology and Sociology, with a minor in South Asian Studies (2014); Virginia Commonwealth University, M.S. in Physiology and Biophysics (2017)
Hometown: New York, NY
PhD Advisor: Stefano Toldo, PhD
Graduate Program: Physiology and Biophysics
Publications
Bio: Pratyush's research interest is in the field of cardiology and the role of inflammation in cardiovascular disease processes. He is particularly interested in the role of Interleukin-18 in high-fat diet induced cardiomyopathy, cardiac ischemia-reperfusion injury, and heart preservation and transplant. His personal interests include photography, intramural sports and exploring Richmond.

Anuj Tharakan

Education: Drexel University, B.S. in Biological Sciences (2014)
Hometown: Vienna, VA
PhD Advisor: Rebecca Martin, PhD
Graduate Program: Microbiology and Immunology
Publications
Bio: Anuj's research interests lie in basic and translational immunology. His dissertation research focuses on dendritic cell intrinsic mechanisms that influence T-helper 2 cell polarization in the context of allergy and asthma. In his free time, Anuj enjoys playing basketball, cooking, and spending time outdoors.

Kyle Woisard

Education: Virginia Tech, B.S. in Psychology and B.A. in Philosophy (2016)
Hometown: Fairfax, VA
PhD Advisor:Frederick Moeller, MD
Graduate Program: CCTR CaMM
Bio: Kyle's research aims to highlight differences in brain activity among users of different classes of drugs and non-drug users. The primary method toward this aim will be resting state fMRI to assess functional and effective (directional) connectivity among different brain regions and networks. Kyle's personal interests include hunting for good vegan food, sports and exercise, and urban dance.

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.

Christian Fontan

Education: College of William & Mary, B.S. in Chemistry (2016)
Hometown: Leesburg, VA
PhD Advisor: Iain Morgan, PhD
Graduate Program: Oral Health Research
Bio: Christian's research endeavors include how high-risk human papillomaviruses modify the host cell's response to chemoradiotherapy in the context of oropharyngeal cancer. Such an understanding may allow for treatment stratification for HPV-positive versus HPV-negative cancer patients as well as de-escalation therapy. In his personal time, Christian enjoys outdoor sports such as rock climbing and running, as well as exploring food and music festivals. 

Alan Harris

Education: College of William and Mary, B.S. in Biology (2014); Virginia Commonwealth University, M.S. in Physiology & Biophysics (2016)
Hometown: Richmond, VA
PhD Advisor: Kimberle Jacobs, PhD
Graduate Program: Neuroscience
Publications
Bio: Alan’s main interest is neuroscience, particularly the mechanisms whereby neurocomputation emerges in dependence on membrane conductance properties. His research focuses on how traumatic disruption of cortical fast-spiking interneurons may translate to cognitive dysfunction after traumatic brain injury. Alan is from Richmond and has relished watching the city evolve; outside the lab he enjoys running, philosophy, entomology, and numismatics.

Gene (Chatman) Clark

Education: Virginia Tech, B.S. in Biochemistry (2012); Virginia Commonwealth University, MS in Biochemistry (2015)
Hometown: Richmond, VA
PhD Advisors: Ross Mikkelsen, PhDXiang-Yang (Shawn) Wang, PhD
Graduate Program: Biochemistry
Bio: Gene is interested in exploring the immune effects of radiotherapy, immunotherapeutic strategies for solid tumors, and radiotherapy-immunotherapy combination procedures. Currently he is focused on the ability of exosomes produced by irradiated cancer cells to inhibit tumor infiltrating dendritic cell function. His personal interests include traveling, paddle boarding, running, music, teaching, and of course science.

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