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MCB Students

G. Ama Amoakoma Essuman

G. Ama Amoakoma Essuman
Hometown: Amoanda, Ghana
Undergradaute: University of Ghana 
Graduate: University of Ghana 
Research Interests: Microbiology, Virology, Inflammation and IMmunity
Project: Rotation


Beatriz Pinkston
Hometown: Las Vegas, Nevada
Undergraduate: University of Nevada, Las Vegas, B.S. Psychology and Neuroscience
Research Interests: Neuroscience, Cell Signaling, Cancer, Immunology
Project: Astrocyte communicate in the brain during normal and pathological conditions


Brieann Brown
Hometown: Grayling, Michigan
Undergraduate: University of Michigan, B.S. in Biology, Health, and Society; B.S. in Psychology
Research Interests: Early stage drug development, Chronic pain, Immunology
Project: in design phase


Cassandra Poole
Hometown: Virginia Beach, VA
Undergraduate: Longwood University (B.S. in Biological Science, James Madison Univeristy (B.S. in Mathematics)
Graduate: Boston University (M.A. in Teaching Mathematics)
Research Interests: Cell Signaling and Cancer, Inflammation and Immunity
Project: Rotation


Chelsea Buhler
Hometown: Dobbs Ferry, New York
Undergraduate: Virginia Tech, B.S. in Neuroscience
Research Interests: Neuroscience, Neuroendocrinology, Neurobiology in behavioral contexts
Project: Characterizing exercise-induced alterations to hippocampal oscillatory dynamics for their role in encoding the motivation for physical activity


Earl Gilbert
Hometown: Alexandria, Virginia
Undergraduate: Virginia Tech, B.S. Neuroscience and Biology
Research Interests: Neuroscience, Molecular Biology, Genetics
Project: How place is represented at the level of the synapse


Evan Littleton
Hometown: Chantilly, Virginia
Undergraduate: Virginia Tech, B.S. in Biological Sciences
Research Interests: Molecular Biology, Genetics
Project: Regulation of the molecular circadian clock in mammals


Foster Agyei
Hometown: Berekum, Ghana
B.S. and M.S. in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Ghana
Research Interests: Microbiology, Molecular Biology
Project: Bacterial chemotaxis and motility 


Ghazal Soleymani
Hometown: Tehran, Iran
Undergraduate: Islamic Azad University - Tehran Medican Branch, Iran
Research Interests: Microbiology and Virology
Project: Rotation


Grace Atkinson
Hometown: Durham, NC
Undergraduate: University of South Carolina (B.S., Biological Sciences)
Research Interests: Cell Signaling, Immunology
Project: Rotation


Ian Taylor
Hometown: San Diego, CA
Undergraduate: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (B.A. Biological Sciences)
Research Interests: Microbiology and Virology
Project: Rotation


Jing Ju
Hometown: Nanjng, China
Undergraduate: Nanjing Medical University, B.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Graduate: Drexel University, M.S. in Cancer Biology
Research Interests: Neuroscience, Regeneration Medicine, Cell Signaling, Immunology
Project: Mechanisms of cerebrovascular remodeling, neurogenesis and innate immunity in neural injury and dysfunction following permanent middle cerebral artery occlusion


Kaiser Arndt
Hometown: Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Undergraduate: Iowa State University, B.S. in Microbiology
Research Interests: Neuroscience, Cellular Aging
Project: Neurobiology of learning and memory


Kaylee Petraccione
Hometown: Schenectady, N.Y.
Undergraduate: Coastal Carolina University, B.S. in Biology
Research Interests: Virology, Immunology, Infectious Diseases, Molecular Biology
Project: Identification of broad-spectrum host therapeutic targets for hemorrhagic fever virus infections


Marija Corluka
Hometown: Split, Croatia
Undergraduate: St. Olaf College, B.A. in Chemistry
Research Interests: Microbiology and Virology, Immunology and Inflammation
Project: Rotation


Rita Makhlouf
Hometown: Baakafra, Lebanon
B.S. and M.S. in Biological Sciences from Lebanese American University, Byblos, Lebanon
Research Interests: Microbiology, Virology, Gut microbiome
Project: in design phase


Samir Chethan
Hometown: Ann Arbor, Michigan
Undergraduate: Penn State University, B.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Research Interests: Cell cycle control, Molecular biology, Microscopy, Cancer
Project: Expression dynamics of cyclin B


Shreya Choudhary
Hometown: Kolkata, India
Undergraduate: R.V. College of Engineering, B.Tech. in Biotechnology
Research Interests: Microbiology, Genetics, Biochemistry
Project: Evolutionary covariation analysis of germination specific proteins to predict possible interacting region


Taylor Nolen
Hometown: Voorhees, NJ
Undergraduate: Rowan University (B.S. Biologial Sciences)
Research Interests: Microbiology and Virology
Project: Rotation


Yeeun Bae
Hometown: Busan, South Korea
Undergraduate: Gordon College, B.S. in Biological Sciences
Research Interests: Neuroscience, Behavior research
Project: Deciphering neural circuit mechanism underlying stress-induced altered pain sensation


Zach Baker
Hometown: Hackettstown, New Jersey
Undergraduate: Virginia Tech, B.S. in Microbiology
Research Interests: Microbiology, Virology, Genetics
Project: Bacteriophage impact on the gut microbiome 

Former Students


AnnaLin Woo
Hometown: Alexandria, Virginia
Undergraduate: Virginia Tech, B.S. in Neuroscience
Research Interests: Neurobiology, Cell Signaling and Cancer, Inflammation and Immunity
Project: Roles of astrocytes and perineuronal nets in excitotoxicity and epilepsy
New position: Graduate student at the University of Virginia (moving with the Sontheimer lab)


Becca Salgado
M.S. 2021
Hometown: Lake Forest, California
Undergraduate: Point Loma Nazarene University, B.S. in Biology
Research Interests: Infectious disease, immunology, virology, and public health
New position: Virology research associate at the National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center


Erik Akbar
Hometown: Chesterfield, Virginia
Undergraduate: Virginia Tech, B.S. in Nanoscience and Neuroscience
Research Interests: Neuroscience, Spatial Memory, Plasticity
Currently: Re-assessing personal priorities; reading, skill development, and having fun outside a lab


Jessie Rogers
M.S. 2021
Hometown: Appomattox, VA
Undergraduate: Liberty University, B.S. in Cell and Molecular Biology
Research Interests: Cell biology, cell growth and division
New position: High school teacher and science mentor


Lata Chaunsali
M.S. 2021
Hometown: Almora, India
Graduate: M.Sc., Kumaun University, Nainital, India
Graduate: M.Phil., National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), Bangalore, India
Research Interests: Developmental Neuroscience, Immunology, Cell Signaling
New position: Graduate student at the University of Virginia (moving with the Sontheimer lab)


Elizabeth Shupe
Ph.D. 2023
Hometown: Leonardtown, Maryland
Undergraduate: St. Mary's College, B.S. in Biology and Biochemistry
Research Interests: Neurobiology, Inflammation and Immunity, Cell Signaling and Cancer 
New Position: Patent office


Aaron Brock
M.S. 2023
Hometown: Palmyra, Virginia
Undergraduate: Virginia Tech, B.S. Microbiology
Research Interests: Microbiology, Cellular and Molecular Biology
Fralin Life Sciences Institute student spotlight on Aaron