Our Graduates

Our graduate students move on to a variety of career paths. Some have opted for Academia, either at research or teaching Universities, while others have ventured into the growing biotechnology sector, while other have opted for service in the public sector. Some students move to further their education in either law school or medical school. Whichever the path, the training they received at the Department of Biological Sciences has prepared them well. A graphical summary of our alumni career choices can be found here.

An overview of the first position taken by our alumni post-graduation can be found here, and information on their current positions found below

If you are one of our "Past Grads", please UPDATE US on what you're doing.

Sarah Smith

Laboratory of Dr. Mark Rebeiz

ThesisFrom Signal to Shape: Investigating How Signaling Pathways Generate a Newly Evolved Morphology

Degree conferred December 2019

  • First Position: Dr. Smith is performing postdoctoral work at Yale (Scott Holley Lab).
Last updated: 7/16/20
Michelle Spicer

Laboratory of Dr. Walter P. Carson

ThesisDiscovering the Forest Among the Trees: Testing Community Assembly Theory in the Forgotten Layers of Temperate and Tropical Ecosystems

Degree conferred December 2019

  • First Position: Dr. Spicer is a NSF Postdoctoral Fellow in the Biology Department at the University of Puget Sound.
Last updated: 6/28/20
Amber Griffith

Laboratory of Dr. William S. Saunders

ThesisCharacterizing the Cellular Response to Nitrogen-doped Carbon Nanocups for Potential Application in Understanding the Abscission Delay Pathway in Mammalian Cells

Degree conferred August 2019

  • First Position: Dr. Griffith is a Postdoctoral Research Associate studying autoimmune diseases in the Kendall lab at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis..
Last updated: 6/25/20
Ashley Hildreth

Laboratory of Dr. Karen M. Arndt

ThesisInvestigating the Role of the DNA Entry-exit Site of the Nucleosome in Transcription Termination

Degree conferred August 2019

  • First Position: Dr. Hildreth, with her spouse, is opening a craft beer brewery outside of Colorado Springs. Dr. Hildreth plans to have a small yeast lab once they’re up and running so that she can get back to the genetics and work on building optimized brewing strains
Last updated: 7/6/20
Melissa Plakke

Laboratory of Dr. Nathan I. Morehouse and Dr. Nathan L. Clark 

ThesisPost-mating, Pre-zygotic Interactions and their Potential to Drive Speciation in the Cabbage 

Degree conferred August 2019

  • First Position: Dr. Plakke is currently a Post-doctoral Researcher at the University of Kansas.
Last updated: 6/25/20
Nicole Forrester

Laboratory of Dr. Tia-Lynn Ashman

ThesisExploring How Polyploidy Enhances a Plant-bacterial Mutualism

Degree conferred April 2019

  • First Position: Dr. Forrester is currently a freelance science writer and editor based in West Virginia..
Last updated: 6/24/20
Travis Mavrich

Laboratory of Dr. Graham F. Hatfull

ThesisInvestigating the Diversity and Evolution of Temperate Actinobacteriophages

Degree conferred April 2019

  • First Position: Dr. Mavrich performed postdoctoral work in Dr. Hatfull's lab at Pitt
  • Current Position:  Dr. Mavrich is a Bioinformatician at Process Integration & Predictive Analytics (https://pipacorp.com/)
Last updated: 9/17/20
Katherine Wozniak

Laboratory of Dr. Anne E. Carlson

ThesisPolyspermy Blocks Used by the African Clawed Frog Xenopus laevis

Degree conferred April 2019

  • First Position: Dr. Wozniak is currently a visiting research associate at the University of Pittsburgh.
Last updated: 6/24/20
Yang Liu

Laboratory of Dr. Mark Rebeiz

ThesisChanges Throughout a Hox Regulated Network Drive Body Plan Evolution in Drosophila

Degree conferred in August 2018

  • First Position: Dr. Liu is a postdoc at Johns Hopkins University (Robert Johnston Lab)
Last updated: 6/23/20
Timothy Mackie

Laboratory of Dr. Jeff Brodsky

ThesisTrafficking and Quality Control of Inward-Rectifying Potassium Channels in the Model Eukaryote Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Defended in April 2018

  • First Position: Dr. Mackie is a Post-doctoral research fellow, Department of Pharmacology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Last updated: 7/31/18
Lynley Doonan

Laboratory of Dr. Jeff Brodsky

ThesisUNDERSTANDING APOLIPOPROTEIN B’S ABILITY TO AGGREGATE THROUGH LIPID DROPLETS AND CHAPERONE HOLDASE

Defended in August 2017

  • First Position: Dr. Doonan was a Visiting Lab Instructor in our department
  • Current Position: Dr. Doonan is a Special Lecturer at Carnegie Mellon University
Last updated: 6/25/20
Daniel Totten

Laboratory of Dr. Andrea J. Berman

ThesisInfluence of Protein Binding and Competition on 7SK Ribonucleoprotein Complex Maintenance and Transition

Degree conferred December 2017

  • First Position: Dr. Totten was a postdoctoral research associate
  • Current Position: Dr. Totten is a Data Science Analyst at BlastPoint (https://blastpoint.co/).
Last updated: 7/10/20
Branden Van Oss

Laboratory of Dr. Karen M. Arndt

ThesisInsights into the Role of the PAF1 Complex in Promoting H2B Monoubiquitylation

Degree conferred August 2017

  • First Position: Dr. Van Oss is a Ruth L. Kirschstein NRSA postdoctoral fellow in the Carvunis Lab in the Department of Computational and Systems Biology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.
Last updated: 7/10/20
Christine Cucinotta

Laboratory of Dr. Karen Arndt

ThesisRoles of the Nucleosome Acidic Patch in Regulating Histone Modifications and Transcription

Defended in July 2017

  • First Position: Dr. Cucinotta is a postdoc at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Last updated: 3/2/18
Jenna Zalewski

Laboratory of Dr. Andrew VanDemark

ThesisMolecular insights into the localization and rock-binding activities of the cytoskeletal protein shroom2

Defended in July 2017

  • First Position: Dr. Zalewski (now Dr. Bassett) was a Postdoctoral Fellow in Science Communication at the University of Pittsburgh.
  • Current Position: Dr. Bassett is the Lead Writer at Bassett Medical Communications (BassettMedCom.com)
Last updated: 6/25/20
Lisa Limeri

Laboratory of Dr. Nate Morehouse

Thesis:  The Evolution Of Color Polymorphisms In Colias Butterflies: Preferences, Learning, And Sensory Limitations

Defended in April 2017

  • First Position: Dr. Limeri is a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Georgia.
Last updated: 3/2/18
Elizabeth English

Laboratory of Dr. Jon Boyle

ThesisThe evolution of host mitochondrial association and its impact on Toxoplasma gondii infection

Defended in January 2017

  • First Position: Dr. English was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Georgia, Center for Tropical & Global Emerging Diseases
  • Current Position: Dr. English is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Pathobiology at the University of Pennsylvania.
Last updated: 3/2/18
Bryce Lunt

Laboratory of Dr. Graham Hatfull

ThesisExploring the Requirements of the Mycobacterium Phage Brujita Integrase

Defended in January 2017

  • First Position: Dr. Lunt is a a Senior Scientist at Zoetis Inc.
Last updated: 3/2/18
Carl Nicolas Keiser

Laboratory of Dr. Jon Pruitt

ThesisGroup Composition in Social Spiders: Collective Behavior, Keystone Individuals, and Bacterial Transmission Dynamics

Defended in August 2016

  • First Position: Dr. Keiser was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Academy of Fellows and Biosciences Department at Rice University
  • Current Position: Dr. Keiser is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology at the University of Florida
Last updated: 11/13/18
William Glassford

Laboratory of Dr. Mark Rebeiz

ThesisInvestigating the Evolutionary Origins and Modification of Novel Morphologies and their Developmental Networks

Defended in May 2016

  • First Position: Dr. Glassford is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, Columbia University Medical Center
Last updated: 3/2/18
Eric Griffin

Laboratory of Dr. Walter Carson

ThesisThe Greater Unseen: On The Identities, Distributions, And Impacts Of Foliar Bacteria On Tropical Arboreal Species.

Defended in April 2016

  • First Position: Dr. Griffin is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) in Edgewater, Maryland.
  • Current Position: Dr. Griffin is an Assistant Professor of Biology at New Mexico Highlands University and a Research Associate for the Smithsonian Institution.
Last updated: 9/24/20
Jianfei Hua

Laboratory of Dr. Roger Hendrix

ThesisCapsid Structure and DNA Packing in Jumbo Bacteriophages

Degree conferred April 2016

  • First Position: Dr. Hua was a data analysis Researcher at UPMC in Pittsburgh.
  • Current Position: Dr. Hua is a Software Engineer at Google Cloud | G Suite
Last updated: 7/16/20
Elizabeth Raupach

Laboratory of Dr. Karen Arndt

ThesisAnalysis of non-protein coding DNA transcription for roles in regulating gene expression

Defended in April 2016

  • First Position: Dr. Raupach is a Postdoctoral Fellow at Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen)
Last updated: 3/2/18
Nana Zhang

Laboratory of Dr. Stephen Tonsor

ThesisVariation and Local Adaptation in Stress Response using Statistical Analysis and Bioinformatics

Defended in April 2016

  • First Position: Dr. Zhang was a Field Application Scientist at Novogene.
  • Current Position: Dr. Zhang is an Executive Account Manager at MedGenome Inc.
Last updated: 6/25/20
Karina Pena

Laboratory of Dr. Kirill Kiselyov

ThesisRoles of the Nucleosome Acidic Patch in Regulating Histone Modifications and Transcription

Defended in August 2015

  • First Position: Dr. Pena was a Postdoctoral Associate at the Center for Biological Imaging, University of Pittsburgh
  • Current Position: Dr. Pena is a Postdoctoral Associate at the Laboratory for GPCR Biology, University of Pittsburgh
Last updated: 6/25/20
Matthew Koski

Laboratory of Dr. Tia-Lynn Ashman

ThesisThe Evolutionary Ecology of Ultraviolet Floral Pigmentation

Defended in May 2015

  • First Position: Dr. Koski was a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Virginia
  • Current Position: Dr. Koski is an Assistant Professor in the Biological Sciences Department at Clemson University
Last updated: 6/25/20
R.J. Bendis

Laboratory of Dr. Rick Relyea

ThesisThe Community-wide Consequences of Insecticide Resistance in Non-target Organisms

Degree conferred April 2015

  • First Position: Dr. Bendis was a Visiting scientist at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
  • Current Position: Dr. Bendis is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Biology at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown.
Last updated: 7/21/20
Elizabeth Rochon

Laboratory of Dr. Deborah L. Chapman

ThesisGoing Against the Flow: Alk1 is Required for Directed Endothelial Cell Migration and AVM Prevention

Degree conferred April 2015

  • First Position: Dr. Rochon is performing postdoctoral work at the Vascular Medicine Institute at the University of Pittsburgh (Gladwin Lab).
Last updated: 7/21/20
Gregory Wier

Laboratory of Dr. Jon Boyle

ThesisA New Method for the Orthogonal Labeling and Purification of Toxoplasma gondii Proteins 

Degree conferred April 2015

  • First Position: Dr. Wier was an Adjunct Instructor of Chemistry at Lebanon Valley College in Pennsylvania.
  • Current Position: Dr. Wier is a Senior Biochemist at Eurofins Lancaster Laboratories (https://www.eurofinsus.com/lancaster-labs/)
Last updated: 7/16/20
Tushar Gupta

Laboratory of Dr. Jim Pipas

ThesisCellular Transformation by Polyomavirus Oncoproteins

Defended in December 2014

  • First Position: Dr. Gupta was a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Department of Immunology at the University of Pittsburgh
  • Current Position: Dr. Gupta is a Scientist in the Protein Engineering and Antibody Technology Group at Merck Serono, Boston, MA
Last updated: 3/5/18
George Meindl

Laboratory of Dr. Tia-Lynn Ashman

Thesis: Ecological and Evolutionary Consequences of Plant Growth on Serpentine Soils: Effects of Soil Metals on Plant Morphology, Metal Accumulation, Plant-Pollinator Interactions, and Pollen-Pistil Interactions

Defended in November 2014

  • First Position: Dr. Meindl is a a Visiting Assistant Professor in Environmental Studies at Binghamton University
Last updated: 3/5/18
Sriram Vijayraghavan

Laboratory of Dr. Anthony Schwacha

Thesis: Coordination Between DNA Replication and Genome Stability Requires Specific Mcm2-7 ATPase Active Sites

Defended in July 2014

  • First Posiition: Dr. Vijayraghavan was a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Duke University
  • Current Position: Dr. Vijayraghavan is a Research Analyst II at Duke University
Last updated: 3/5/18
Ira Kukic

Laboratory of Dr. Kirill Kiselov

Thesis: Unclogging the Zinc Sink: Examining the Role of Zinc Trafficking in Mucolipidosis Type IV and Lysosomes

Defended in April 2014

  • First Position: Dr. Kukic was a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Yale School of Medicine
  • Current Position: Dr. Kukic is a Health Science Policy Analyst at The National Institutes of Health.
Last updated: 6/25/20
Debamitra Das

Laboratory of Dr. Jeff Hildebrand

Thesis: Investigating the Molecular Mechanism of Shroom-Rock Interaction and Its Role in Cellular and Tissue Morphogenesis

Defended in March 2014

  • First Position: Dr. Das was a Post Doctoral Fellow at Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Centre in the lab of Dr. Stephen Baylin.
  • Current Position: Dr. Das is Staff Scientist at the Lieber Institute for Brain Development in Baltimore, Maryland.
Last updated: 6/25/20
Nicholas Simon

Laboratory of Dr. Anthony Schwacha

Thesis: Stop and Go: Activation of the Eukaryotic Replicative Helicase–Mcm 2-7

Defended in March 2014

  • First Position: Dr. Simon was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Johns Hopkins
  • Current Position: Dr. Simon is a Health Science Program Manager at the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP)
Last updated: 6/25/20
Yaw Adomako-Ankomah

Laboratory of Dr. Jon Boyle

Thesis: Comparative analysis of gene duplication: impact of tandemly duplicated genes on trait evolution in Toxoplasma gondii

Defended in December 2013

  • First Position: Dr. Adomako-Ankomah was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, NIH.
  • Current Position: Dr. Adomako-Ankomah is a Sr. Regulatory Affairs Analyst, IRB Operations
    The Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine.
Last updated: 6/25/20
Om Choudhary

Laboratory of Dr. Michael Grabe

Thesis: ATP permeation across outer mitochondrial membrane - insight from structure and function

Defended in November 2013

  • First Position: Dr. Choudhary was a Postdoctoral Researcher at Boehringer Ingelheim
  • Current Position: Dr. Choudhary is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Computational & Systems Biology at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
Last updated: 3/5/18
Manasi Mayekar

Laboratory of Dr. Karen Arndt

Thesis: Uncovering the Mechanism of Chromatin Association of the Paf1 Transcription Elongation Complex

Defended in October 2013

  • First Position: Dr. Mayekar was a postdoc at the UCSF School of Medicine
  • Current Position: Dr. Mayekar is a Specialist at the UCSF School of Medicine
Last updated: 6/28/20
Hao Ji

Laboratory of Dr. Brian Traw

Thesis: Using Genome-wide Approaches to Understand Natural Variation in Plant Fitness- and Defense- Related Traits

Defended in August 2013

  • First Position: Dr. Ji earned his Masters in Statistics at the University of Pittsburgh
  • Current Position: Dr. Ji is the Director of Data and Analytics at Mercury Insurance in California.
Last updated: 6/28/20
Marnin Wolfe

Laboratory of Dr. Steve Tonsor

Thesis: Trade-offs in Form and Function: Variation in Carbon Economic Strategies and Adaptation Across a Climate Gradient in the Annual Plant, Arabidopsis thaliana

Defended in August 2013

  • First Position: Dr. Wolfe is a postdoc at Cornell working on the NextGen Cassava Project (nextgencassava.org).
  • Current PositionDr. Wolfe is a Research Associate at Cornell
Last updated: 3/5/18
Keith M Callenberg

Laboratory of Dr. Michael Grabe

Thesis: Membrane bending is critical for assessing the thermodynamic stability of proteins in the membrane

Defended in July 2013

  • First Position: Dr. Callenberg is the Lead Bioinformatics Scientist at UPMC Presbyterian
  • Current Position: Dr. Callenberg is the Director of Machine Learning at UPMC Enterprises
Last updated: 6/28/20
Priyanka Upadhyai

Laboratory of Dr. Gerard Campbell

Thesis: Unraveling Mechanisms of Transcriptional Repression: Novel Insights from Brinker

Defended in May 2013

  • First Position: Dr. Upadhyai was a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Manchester, UK.
  • Current Position: Dr. Upadhyai is an Assistant Professor, Department of Medical Genetics, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal University, India
Last updated: 3/5/18
Alex Kolb

Laboratory of Dr. Jeffrey Brodsky

Thesis: A yeast genomic screen to identify effectors of Kir2.1 plasma membrane residence

Defended in Spring 2013

  • First Position: Alex Kolb was a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Minnesota
  • Current Position: Alex Kolb is a is Senior Scientist for LGC (lgcgroup.com)
Last updated: 6/28/20
Derek Laux

Laboratory of Dr. Beth Roman

Thesis: Alk1 Signaling in Vascular Development

Defended in March 2013

  • First Position: Dr. Laux was a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Edinboro, Scotland
  • Current Position: Dr. Laux is a is an Assistant Professor at Eastern Connecticut State University.
Last updated: 7/6/20
Aaron Stoler

Laboratory of Dr. Rick Relyea

Thesis: After the Fall: How Changes in Temperate Forests Alter Wetland Communities

Defended in March 2013

  • First Position: Dr. Stoler was a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  • Current Position: Dr. Stoler is a Assistant Professor of Environmental Science at Stockton University in New Jersey.
Last updated: 7/6/20
Thomas Pendergast

Laboratory of Dr. Walter Carson

Thesis: Explaining patterns of dominance in old-field communities: trade-offs, feedbacks, mutualisms and enemies

Defended in December 2012

  • First Position: Dr. Pendergast was a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Georgia, Dept. of Plant Biology & Crop and Soil Sciences
  • Current Position: Dr. Pendergast is a lecturer at the University of South Carolina.
Last updated: 3/5/18
Karen Hecht

Laboratory of Dr. Jeffrey Brodsky

Thesis: Characterization of Ybr074 (Pff1), a conserved vacuolar membrane metalloprotease family member

Defended in July 2012

  • First Position: Dr. Hecht was a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Sequim, WA
  • Current Position: Dr. Hecht is a Scientific Affairs Manager at AstaReal (https://astareal.com/en/)
Last updated: 7/6/20
Ruta Sahasrabudhe

Laboratory of Dr. William Saunders

Thesis: Identification of the Causes of Cytokinesis Failure in Cancer Cells

Defended in May 2012

  • First Position: Dr. Sahasrabudhe had a post-doctoral fellowship with Dr. Luis Carvajal-Carmona in the department of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine at UC Davis
  • Current Position: Dr. Sahasrabudhe is a Genomics researcher specializing in long read sequencing at the UC Davis Genome Center.
Last updated: 7/6/20
Swarna Mohan

Laboratory of Dr. Andrew VanDemark

Thesis: The Regulation of Apical Constriction: Rock 'N' Shroom Structures

Defended in July 2012

  • First PositionDr. Mohan was a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Pittsburgh Department of Anesthesiology
  • Current Position: Dr. Mohan is a Biology Instructor at Hamilton College Consulting
Last updated: 3/5/18
Feng-Ling (Emily) Tsai

Laboratory of Dr. Anthony Schwacha

Thesis: The Mcm2~7 Replicative Helicase is Essential to Coordinate DNA Replication, S~phase Checkpoint and Sister Chromatid Cohesion

Defended in March 2012

  • First Position: Dr. Tsai was a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Johns Hopkins University
  • Current Position: Dr. Tsai is a Product Manager at BRAXX BIOTECH (http://www.braxx.com.tw/)
Last updated: 7/6/20
Amrita Balachandran

Laboratory of Dr. Graham Hatfull

Thesis: Characterization of Gene Expression During Biofilm Development in Mycobacterium smegmatis, and Genetic Analysis of a Surface Translocation-Defective Transposon Mutant

Defended in January 2012

  • First Position: Dr. Balachandran was a Science Researcher and Writer at HistoryMakers, Chicago, IL
  • Current Position: Dr. Balachandran is Consulting Medical Writer at Temple Health – Temple University Health System.
Last updated: 7/6/20
Justin Pruneski

Laboratory of Dr. Joseph Martens

ThesisIdentification and Characterization of Factors Required for Repression of the Yeast SER3 Gene by SRG1 Intergenic Transcription

Defended in December 2011

  • First  Position: Dr. Pruneski was a Visiting Assistant Professor at John Carroll University
  • Current Position: Dr. Pruneski is an Associate Professor of Biology and Chair in the Biology & Environmental Sciences Department at Heidelberg University in Ohio.
Last updated: 7/6/20
Grace Colletti

Laboratory of Dr. Kirill Kiselov

Thesis: Acute Downregulation of the Lysosomal Ion Channel TRPML1 Induces Cathepsin B and Bax Dependent Apoptosis

Defended in November 2011

  • First Position: Dr. Colletti (now Dr. Farber) is an Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of the Sciences, Philadelphia.
  • Current Position: Dr. Farber is Interim Associate Dean (Misher College of Arts and Sciences), Pre-Health Director, Co-Director of the Neuroscience Program, Director of General Education, and Associate Professor of Biological Sciences and Neuroscience at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia.
Last updated: 7/6/20
Tarek Wahid Elnaccash

Laboratory of Dr. Stephen Tonsor

Thesis: Evolvability in a Variable World: Genetic Architecture of Arabidopsis thaliana and Its Implications for Adaptation

Defended in September 2011

  • First Position: Dr. Elnaccash was a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Duke
  • Current PositionDr. Elnaccash is Analytical Training Consultant at SAS.
Last updated: 7/6/20
Maya Groner

Laboratory of Dr. Rick Relyea

Thesis: Effects of Multiple Stressors on the Dynamics of a Fungal Pathogen Associated with Global Amphibian Declines

Defended in September 2011

  • First Position: Dr. Groner was a Postdoctoral Researcher in the in the department of health management at the University of Prince Edward Island, Canada
  • Current PositionDr. Groner is a Research Ecologist at the Prince William Sound Science Center.
Last updated: 7/6/20
Jacqueline Townsend

Laboratory of Dr. Linda Jen-Jacobson

Thesis: A New Spin on Specificity: EcoRI Endonuclease-DNA Complexes Studied by Thermodynamics and Electron Spin Resonance Spectroscopy

Defended in July 2011

  • First Position: Dr. Townsend was an Adjunct Biology Instructor at Seton Hill University, Greensburg
  • Current Position: Dr. Townsend is a Senior Business Analytics Consultant at PNC (https://www.pnc.com/).
Last updated: 7/6/20
Sandlin Seguin

Laboratory of Dr. Jeffrey Brodsky

Thesis: Identification of Small Molecule Inhibitors of Polyomavirus Replication

Defended in June 2011

  • First Position: Dr. Seguin was a Curriculum Writer for Education2020, Seattle, WA
  • Current PositionDr. Seguin (now Dr. Preecs) is a Program Manager, Customer Solutions Readiness at Tableau Software (https://www.tableau.com/).
Last updated: 7/6/20
Adam Retchless

Laboratory of Dr. Jeffrey Lawrence

Thesis: The Effect of Ecological Differentiation on Genetic Recombination in the Enterobacteria

Defended in July 2010

  • First Position: Dr. Retchless was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at UC Berkeley
  • Current Position: Dr. Retchless is a bioinformatician at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Last updated: 3/5/18
Deborah Farkas

Laboratory of Dr. Deborah Chapman

Thesis: Straightening Out the Mechanisms of Axial Elongation Using Mouse Mutant Analysis

Defended in June 2010

  • First Position: Dr. Farkas was a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh
  • Current PositionDr. Farkas is the Director of Educational Development at WISER in Pittsburgh (https://www.wiser.pitt.edu/).
Last updated: 7/6/20
Amy Wehn

Laboratory of Dr. Deborah Chapman

Thesis: Competition between T-box Transcription Factors Contributes to Developmental Dynamics of the Mouse Embryo

Defended in June 2010

  • Current Position: Dr. Wehn was a Technical Sales Representative at STEMCELL Technologies in North Carolina
  • Current PositionDr. Wehn is the Director, Alliance Management at Foundation Medicine (http://www.foundationmedicine.com/)
Last updated: 7/6/20
Fengfeng Xu

Laboratory of Dr. William Saunders

Thesis: The Novel Role for GpIba in Cytokinesis and Tetraploidization in Cancer Cells, and Mitotic Slippage in Noncancer Cells Induced by a Microtubule Disruptor, Disorazole C1

Defended in March 2010

  • First Position: Dr. Xu was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Harvard Medical School
  • Current PositionDr. Xu is an Engagement Manager at McKinsey & Company (https://www.mckinsey.com/)..
Last updated: 7/6/20
DanJu Tso

Laboratory of Dr. Roger Hendrix

Thesis: Unwinding the Mysteries of Bacteriophage HK97 Prohead Assembly and Head Protein Crosslinking

Defended in January 2010

  • First Position: Dr. Tso was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Johns Hopkins University, School of Medicine
  • Current PositionDr. Tso is a Sr. Research and Teaching Specialist, RWJ Medical School, Rutgers University.
Last updated: 7/6/20
Jill Dembowski

Laboratory of Dr. Paula Grabowski

Thesis: Splicing Silencing by the CUGBP2 Splicing Factor: Mechanism of Action and Combinatorial Code for Splicing Silencing with Implications for Autoregulation

Defended in September 2009

  • First Position: Dr. Dembowski was a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Carnegie Mellon University
  • Current PositionDr. Dembowski is an Assistant Professor of the Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh
Last updated: 7/6/20
Xiaoxian Dai

Laboratory of Dr. Roger Hendrix

Thesis: Expression, Purification and Characterization of Bacteriophage Lambda Tail Tip Proteins

Defended in June 2009

  • First Position: Dr. Dai is a Statistical Analyst at BioStat Solutions, Inc.
Last updated: 7/6/20
Shruthi Vembar

Laboratory of Dr. Jeffrey Brodsky

Thesis: Genetic and Biochemical Analyses of Hsp70-Hsp40 Interactions in Saccharomyces cerevisiae Provide Insights into Specificity and Mechanisms of Regulation

Defended in May 2009

  • First Position: Dr. Vembar is performing her postdoctoral research in the Scherf lab at Institut Pasteur in Paris
  • Current PositionDr. Vembar is a Faculty Scientist of Molecular Parasitology at The Institute of Bioinformatics and Applied Biotechnology (https://www.ibab.ac.in/)
Last updated: 7/6/20
April Randle

Laboratory of: Dr. Susan Kalisz

Thesis: Ecological and Evolutionary Factors that Influence Species Boundaries in Collinsia

Defended in April 2009

  • First Position: Dr. Randle was a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Colorado at Boulder
  • Current Position: Dr. Randle is an Assistant Professor at the University of San Francisco
Last updated: 3/5/18
Joshua Auld

Laboratory of Dr. Rick Relyea

Thesis: Enemy Effects on Mating System Evolution: Avoiding Inbreeding when Death is on the Line

Defended in September 2008

  • First Position: Dr. Auld was a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center, Durham, NC
  • Current PositionDr. Auld is an Associate Professor & Assistant Chair of Biology at West Chester University.
Last updated: 7/6/20
Matthew Bochman

Laboratory of Dr. Anthony Schwacha

Thesis: Mcm2-7 Complex is the Eukaryotic Replicative Helicase

Defended in September 2008

  • First PositionDr. Bochman was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Princeton University
  • Current Position: Dr. Bochman is an Assistant Professor in the Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry Department at Indiana University, Bloomington.
Last updated: 7/6/20
Stephen Hancock

Laboratory of Dr. Linda Jen-Jacobson

Thesis: "A Molecular Strategy for DNA Bending"

Defended in August 2008

  • First Position: Dr. Hancock was a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
  • Current PositionDr. Hancock is an Assistant Project Scientist at UCLA
Last updated: 3/5/18
Julia van Kessel

Laboratory of Dr. Graham Hatfull

Thesis: Recombineering in Mycobacteria: Mutagenesis Using Phage Recombination Proteins

Defended in July 2008

  • First Position: Dr. Van Kessel was a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Princeton University
  • Current PositionDr. Van Kessel is an Assistant Professor in the Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry Department at IU Bloomington
Last updated: 7/6/20
Melissa Gallo

Laboratory of Dr. Gerard Campbell

Thesis: The Devil in the Details: Multiple Positive and Negative Inputs Generate Graded Brinker Expression in Drosophila

Defended in June 2008

  • First Position: Dr. Gallo teaches Honors and Academic Biology at North Allegheny High School.
Last updated: 7/6/20
Laura Marinelli

Laboratory of Dr. Graham Hatfull

Thesis: "Why Length Isn’t Everything: Characterization of a Cell Wall Hydrolase Motif in Mycobacteriophage Tape Measure Proteins"

Defended in May 2008

  • First Position: Dr. Marinelli is performing her postdoctoral research in the Modlin lab in the medical dermatology department at UCLA
Last updated: 3/6/18
Alycia Bittner

Laboratory of Dr. Valerie Oke

Thesis: Stressed Out:  Multiple rpoH and groEL Genes in Sinorhizobium meliloti

Defended in April 2008

  • First Position: Dr. Bittner was a Postdoctoral Associate at the Baylor College of Medicine
  • Current PositionDr. Bittner is a Senior Scientific Lab Manager at Addgene (https://www.addgene.org/)
Last updated: 7/6/20
John Paul

Laboratory of Dr. Stephen Tonsor

Thesis: The Role of Evolutionary History in Explaining the Variation in Abundance and Distribution of Plant Species

Defended in April 2008

  • First Position: Dr. Paul was a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Colorado State University.
  • Current PositionDr. Paul  is an Associate Professor at the University of San Francisco.
Last updated: 7/6/20
Qian Wu

Laboratory of William Saunders

Thesis: "Cytoskeletal Defects Lead to Cytokinesis Failure and Genomic Instability in Cancer Cells"

Defended in April 2008

  • First PositionDr. Wu performed her postdoctoral research at the University of Pittsburgh in the Department of Pathology
  • Current Position: Dr. Wu is an Associate Professor in the Institute of Biophysics at the Chinese Academy of Sciences
Last updated: 3/9/18
Stacy Hrizo

Laboratory of Dr. Jeffrey Brodsky

Thesis: The Contribution of Molecular Chaperones to the ER Associated Degradation of Apolipoprotein B in both Yeast and Mammalian Systems

Defended in March 2008

  • First PositionDr. Hrizo was post-doctoral researcher in the laboratory of Michael Palladino in the Department of Pharmacology and Chemical Biology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
  • Current Position: Dr. Hrizo is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology at Slippery Rock University
Last updated: 7/6/20
Cassie Majetic

Laboratory of Dr. Tia-Lynn Ashman

Thesis: The Evolutionary Ecology of Floral Scent in Hesperis matronalis: Assessing the Potential for Pollinator-Mediated Natural Selection

Defended in March 2008

  • First PositionDr. Majetic was a Visiting Assistant Professor at Allegheny College.
  • Current Position: Dr. Majetic is a Professor in the Biology department at St. Mary's College.
Last updated: 7/6/20
Henry Schumacher

Laboratory of Dr. Walter Carson

Thesis: Patterns of shifting tree species composition and diversity loss in 19 old-growth forest stands in Pennsylvania

Defended in March 2008

Last updated: 7/6/20
Heather Hendrickson

Laboratory of Dr. Jeffrey Lawrence

Thesis: Chromosome Architecture and Evolution in Bacteria

Defended in August 2007

  • Current Position: Dr. Hendrickson is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Natural and Computational Sciences at Massey University, Auckland New Zealand.
Last updated: 7/6/20
Mick Yoder

Laboratory of Dr. Jeffrey Hildebrand

Thesis: Characterization of the Shroom Protein Family Member, Shroom4, and its Role in Cytoskeletal Rearrangements

Defended in July 2007

  • First Position: Dr. Yoder was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Virginia
  • Current Position: Dr. Yoder is an Assistant Professor of Biology at Penn State University, Brandywine Campus..
Last updated: 7/6/20
Maggie Braun

Laboratory of Dr. Karen Arndt

Thesis: Characterization of Rkr1, a nuclear ring-domain protein with functional connections to chromatin modification in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Defended in June 2007

  • First Position: Dr. Braun was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Allan Weissman at the National Cancer Institute
  • Current Position: Dr. Braun is the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Affairs, Mellon College of Science at Carnegie Mellon University.
Last updated: 7/6/20
Craig Scott

Laboratory of Dr. Jeffrey Brodsky

Thesis: ADD66, a gene required for the endoplasmic reticulum associated degradation (ERAD) of alpha-1 antitrypsin-Z in yeast, facilitates proteasome assembly

Defended in June 2007

  • First Position: Dr. Scott was performing postdoctoral work at Yale (Scott Holley Lab).
  • Current Position: Dr. Scott is an Assistant Professor of Biology & Geosciences at Clarion University of Pennsylvania.



Last updated: 7/6/20
Jason Hoverman

Laboratory of Dr. Rick Relyea

Thesis: The ecology and evolution of inducible defenses in the freshwater snail Helisoma trivolvis

Defended in May 2007

  • First Position: Dr. Hoverman was a Post-doctoral Research Associate in the Department of Biology/Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics at Pennsylvania State University
  • Current Position: Dr. Hoverman is an Associate Professor of Vertebrate Ecology at Purdue University..
Last updated: 7/6/20
Ceyda Acilan

Laboratory of Dr. William Saunders

Thesis: DNA Repair Pathways Involved in the Formation of Anaphase Bridges

Defended in December 2006

  • First Position: Dr. Acilan Ayhan was a post-doctoral associate at the University of Pittsburgh.
  • Current Position: Dr. Acilan Ayhan is a faculty member in the School of Medicine at the KOC University Research Center for Translational Medicine in Turkey.
Last updated: 7/6/20
Lisa Sproul

Laboratory of Dr. Susan Gilbert

Thesis: The Other One: Dead Head Vik1 Modulates Different Kinesin Kar3 Microtubule Interactions from Cik1

Defended in August 2006

  • First Position: Dr. Sproul was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Penn State University.
  • Current Position: Dr. Sproul (now Dr. Hoverman) is the Director for Marketing and Communications for INCOSE (https://www.incose.org/), the Lead of the Proposal Center at Next Phase Solutions and Services, Inc (https://npss-inc.com/), and the owner of Healthcare, Scientific, & Medical Communications, LLC (http://www.hsmcgroup.biz/)
Last updated: 7/6/20
Hans Wildschutte

Laboratory of Dr. Jeffrey Lawrence

Thesis: Protozoan predation and the maintenance of O-antigen diversity in Salmonella

Defended in August 2006

  • First Position: Dr. Wildschutte was a Postdoctoral Fellow at MIT
  • Current Position: Dr. Wildschutte is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Bowling Green State University
Last updated: 3/6/18
Jared Cochran

Laboratory of Dr. Susan Gilbert

Thesis: Investigation of the Mechanochemical Cycle of the Mitotic Kinesin Eg5

Defended in November 2005

  • First Position: Dr. Cochran was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Dartmouth College
  • Current Position: Dr. Cochran is a Senior Scientist at Catalent Pharma Solutions (https://www.catalent.com/)
Last updated: 7/6/20
Kathryn Sheldon

Laboratory of Dr. Karen Arndt

Thesis: Involvement of the RNA polymerase II-associated Paf1 complex in transcriptional regulation and 3'-end formation of snoRNAs

Defended in November 2005

  • First Position: Dr. Sheldon was Special Faculty at Carnegie Mellon University.
  • Current Position: Dr. Sheldon is a Research Project Manager 3 in the Institute for Personalized Medicine at Penn State University.
Last updated: 7/6/20
Robert Youker

Laboratory of Dr. Jeffrey Brodsky

Thesis: The role of molecular chaperones in the ER associated degradation of the Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator in the budding yeast S. cerevisiae

Defended in September 2005

  • First Position: Dr. Youker was a Research Instructor at the University of Pittsburgh.
  • Current Position: Dr. Youker is an Assistant Professor of Molecular Biology at Western Carolina University.
Last updated: 7/6/20
Stephanie Winter

Laboratory of Dr. Gerard Campbell

Thesis: Repression of Dpp targets in the Drosophila wing by Brinker

Defended in July 2005

  • First Position: Dr. Winter is performing postdoctoral work at Yale (Scott Holley Lab).
  • Current Position: Dr. Winter is Content Manager with Thermo Fisher Scientific.
Last updated: 7/6/20
Alejandro Royo

Laboratory of Dr. Walter Carson

Thesis: Mammal-plant dynamics in forests: interactions and implications for understory plant diversity

Defended in June 2005

  • Current Position: Dr. Royo is a Research Ecologist for the USDA Forest Service, Forestry Sciences Laboratory in Irvine, Pennsylvania.
Last updated: 3/9/18
Janette Steets

Laboratory of Dr. Tia-Lynn Ashman

Thesis: Consequences for the demography of Impatiens capensis (Balsaminaceae)

Defended in June 2005

  • Current Position: Dr. Steets is an Associate Professor in the Department of Plant Biology, Ecology, and Evolution at Oklahoma State University.
Last updated: 7/6/20