Preclinical Students

Preclinical Students

Department: Preclinical Students

Yogesh Rakholia

Education: The College of New Jersey: BS in Biology (2021)
Hometown: Wayne, New Jersey
PhD Advisor: None chosen yet
Graduate Program: None chosen yet
Bio: Yogesh was born in Mumbai, India where he spent the majority of his childhood before coming to the U.S. He has experience with developmental biology work in fruit flies. His most recent research experience at Rutgers University focused on studying drug addiction circuitry and retinal regulation to treat neurodegenerative disorders in rats. Yogesh's current interests are in neurodegeneration, traumatic brain injury, and surgery. When he is not studying, Yogesh enjoys watching tv, hanging out with family and friends, working out, and board games!

Tuong Vi V. Nguyen

Education: George Mason University, B.S. Biology (2020); M.S. Translational Clinical Research (2021)
Hometown: Clifton, VA
PhD Advisor: None chosen yet
Graduate Program: None chosen yet
Bio: Born in Saigon, Vietnam, Vi moved to Virginia in 2013. She spent three years working at the Center for Applied Proteomics and Molecular Medicine (CAPMM) CAP/CLIA lab in Manassas, VA. It was here that she developed an interest in targeted therapy research and plans to pursue a career in oncology. Outside school and lab, Vi enjoys traveling, reading, binging Asian dramas (K-drama, C-drama, V-drama,...), exploring eateries, and music.

James Martin

Education: University of Virginia, B.A. Human Biology (2021)
Hometown: Berryville, Virginia
PhD Advisor: None chosen yet
Graduate Program: None chosen yet
Bio: James' previous work focused on atherosclerosis, particularly in defining and exploiting cellular and molecular mechanisms of vascular smooth muscle cell phenotypic transitions for therapeutic benefit. He is interested in researching the mechanisms by which cancer cells escape immunological surveillance and how immunotherapeutic approaches might be combined with traditional therapies. Outside of the class and lab, James loves mountain biking, road cycling, running, skiing, cooking, and music.

Emily Notari

Education: Washington and Lee University: BS in Mathematics and Economics (2014)
Hometown: Arlington, Virginia
PhD Advisor: None chosen yet
Graduate Program: None chosen yet
Bio: After working in finance for 5 years, Emily changed paths and began working at the University at Buffalo researching the genetics of neuroinflammation in Alzheimer’s disease. Currently, she is interested in pursuing research in psychiatric and behavioral genetics. When Emily is not studying, she enjoys exploring our national parks, trying new recipes from The New York Times, and rooting for the Buffalo Bills.

Nina Dashti-Gibson

Education: Franklin & Marshall College, B.A. in Biology, minor in Spanish (2020)
Hometown: Eliot, ME
PhD Advisor: None chosen yet
Graduate Program: None chosen yet
Bio: Nina grew up in Indiana but has lived all over the East Coast. She is interested in using genetics and cell biology to study the pathogenesis of liver disease and work towards developing better therapeutic options for patients, a need which she became aware of during her postgraduate research at the Yale Liver Center. Outside of research, Nina enjoys playing music, spending time outside, and exploring the food scene in Richmond.

Marie Michenková

Education: MS in Biomedical and Health Informatics, Case Western Reserve University
Hometown: Brno, Czech Republic
PhD Advisor: None chosen yet
Graduate Program: Undecided
Bio: Marie was born in the Czech Republic and moved to the US for college. She studied neuroscience at UAB and after graduation moved to Cleveland where she obtained her MS in Biomedical and Health Informatics. She's mostly interested in computational neuroscience but sometimes dabbles in kidney physiology. She enjoys roller skating, geocaching, and outdoors in general.

Naomi Carter

Education: Hampton University: BS in Cellular and Molecular Biology (2021)
Hometown: Columbia, MD
PhD Advisor: None chosen yet
Graduate Program: None chosen yet
Bio: Naomi is a certified EMT, CNA and Mental health first aid from Columbia, Maryland. During her undergraduate experience, Naomi researched GABAergic circuitry localization in response to Toxoplasma Gondi infections, middle cerebral artery occlusion, and the cooperation of anti-tumor drugs REV5901 and PTC 209 on glioblastoma multiform cell line growth. Naomi aspires to research neurotrauma and nerve regeneration in a clinical setting. Outside of school, Naomi enjoys running, painting and spending time with family and friends.

Nico Druck

Education: College of William & Mary: BS in Computational and Applied Mathematics and Statistics, Biology track (2020)
Hometown: Vienna, VA
PhD Advisor: None chosen yet
Graduate Program: None chosen yet
Bio: Nico grew up in the suburbs outside of DC for most of his life until he went to William & Mary, during which he worked in a molecular pathology lab investigating the genetic states in glioblastoma. Following graduation, Nico scribed for endocrinology and oncology clinics, as well as continued cancer research at Mass Gen Hospital. His current research interests include using computational neuroscience to create biologically meaningful models for degenerative diseases. Outside of medicine and research, Nico loves to go on runs, explore new restaurants, and re-watching criminal minds.

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 
Publications 
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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