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PhD Thesis Defenses

Upcoming PhD Thesis Defenses


Hui (Hanna) Zhang
Hui (Hanna) Zhang
Kirwan Lab
Oct. 18, 2019 12:30 p.m.
School of Medicine E501

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“Growth differentiation factor-15 is a contraction-induced myokine that maintains glucose homeostasis in obesity and type 2 diabetes”

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Recent PhD Thesis Defenses


Jiayang (John) Li, PhD
Jiayang (John) Li, PhD
MSTP (MD/PhD Program)
Stelzer Lab
June 17, 2019 2 p.m.
School of Medicine E501

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"Examining the efficacy of MyBPC based therapies in mouse models of cardiomyopathies"

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Di Hu, PhD
Di Hu, PhD
Qi Lab
May 21, 2019 2 p.m.
School of Medicine E501

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“Targeting Mitochondria as a Potential Therapeutic Strategy for Neurodegenerative Disease”

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Jie Yang, PhD
Jie Yang, PhD
May 2, 2019 10 a.m.
School of Medicine E501

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“Structure, function, and regulation of inflammatory caspases in inflammation and pyroptosis”

In innate immunity, the inflammasomes are large molecular machineries that are responsible for combating microbial infections. A canonical inflammasome complex contains the sensor protein, the adaptor protein called apoptosis-associated speck-like protein (ASC), and the cysteine protease [read more]


Yvonne Wanjiru Gicheru, PhD
Yvonne Wanjiru Gicheru, PhD
Chakrapani Lab
March 29, 2019 2 p.m.
School of Medicine E501

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"Structural basis for functional modulation of pentameric ligand-gated ion channels"

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Yanlin (Kate) Fu, PhD
Yanlin (Kate) Fu, PhD
Mu Lab
March 15, 2019 4 p.m.
School of Medicine E501

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"Proteostasis maintenance of γ-aminobutyric acid type A receptors (GABAARs)"

Biogenesis of membrane proteins is controlled by the protein homeostasis (proteostasis) network. Our lab has been focusing on protein quality control of ?-aminobutyric acid type A receptors (GABAARs), the major inhibitory neurotransmitter-gated ion channels in mammalian central nervous system [read more]


Soumili Chatterjee, PhD
Soumili Chatterjee, PhD
Chakrapani Lab
Nov. 20, 2018 9 a.m.
School of Medicine E501

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"Understanding the structural basis of slow inactivation in voltage-gated sodium channel"

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Archived PhD Thesis Defenses


David Litvin, PhD
David Litvin, PhD
June 5, 2018 4 p.m.
School of Medicine E501

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“Immune-to-Brain Communication Driven by Sterile Lung Injury”

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Amrita Samanta, PhD
Amrita Samanta, PhD
May 31, 2018 4 p.m.
School of Medicine E501

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"Understanding the Molecular Mechanism of TRP channel activation/inhibition by structural analysis"

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Peyvand Amini, PhD
Peyvand Amini, PhD
May 7, 2018 4 p.m.
School of Medicine E501

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"Mechanisms by which progesterone controls human pregnancy and parturition"

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Sam Chai, PhD
Sam Chai, PhD
Deschenes Lab
Jan. 19, 2018 4 p.m.
School of Medicine E501

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"Novel Genetic Modifiers in a Monogenic Cardiac Arrhythmia"

Inherited cardiac arrhythmias such as Long QT Syndrome (LQTS) result in aberrant electrical propagation at the cellular level which can degenerate to irregular ventricular rhythm and increase the risk for sudden cardiac death. Classically, LQTS was believed to be caused by one mutation in one [read more]


Michael Glidden, PhD
Michael Glidden, PhD
MSTP (MD/PhD Program)
Dec. 12, 2017 3:30 p.m.
School of Medicine E501

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"Single-chain insulin analogs as ultra-stable therapeutics"

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Stephan Nieuwoudt, PhD
Stephan Nieuwoudt, PhD
Kirwan Lab
Sept. 1, 2017 4 p.m.
School of Medicine E501

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"Insights into the Functional Roles of Exercise in Type 2 Diabetes Using In Vitro Models"

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Panjamaporn Sangwung, PhD
Panjamaporn Sangwung, PhD
July 6, 2017 3 p.m.
School of Medicine E501

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"Kruppel-Like Transcription Factors: Master Regulators of Vascular Endothelium"

Endothelial cells (ECs) are central determinants of vascular health. Dysfunction of ECs, characterized in part by reduced nitric oxide (NO) signaling, contributes to various cardiovascular diseases worldwide. Multiple lines of evidence support an essential role for KLF2 and KLF4 in endothelial [read more]


Pamela Marcott, PhD
Pamela Marcott, PhD
MSTP (MD/PhD Program)
Ford Lab
June 2, 2017 3 p.m.
School of Medicine E501

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"Mechanisms of dopamine D2-receptor activation across the striatum"

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Drew Nassal, PhD
Drew Nassal, PhD
Deschenes Lab
March 31, 2017 3 p.m.
School of Medicine E501

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Evaluating Non-canonical Roles of KChIP2 in the Heart

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Ahlam I. Salameh, PhD
Ahlam I. Salameh, PhD
Biomedical Physiology Training Program
Boron Lab
Sept. 6, 2016 3:30 p.m.
School of Medicine E501

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"Metabolic acidosis and the mysterious role of the anion exchanger AE3 in the intracellular-pH physiology of hippocampal neurons and astrocytes"

The anion exchanger AE3, expressed in hippocampal (HC) neurons but not astrocytes, contributes to intracellular pH (pHi) regulation by facilitating the exchange of extracellular Cl for intracellular HCO3. The human AE3 polymorphism [read more]


Kenneth Gresham, PhD
Kenneth Gresham, PhD
Stelzer Lab
May 27, 2016 2:30 p.m.
School of Medicine E501

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"MyBP-C Phosphorylation Regulates Ventricular Pressure Development and Relaxation"

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Michelle Jennings Nassal, PhD
Michelle Jennings Nassal, PhD
Nov. 20, 2015 2 p.m. - 3 p.m.
School of Medicine E501

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"Identifying Novel Therapeutic Targets for Reentrant Amhythimias"

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Matthew Cohen, PhD
Matthew Cohen, PhD
Nov. 6, 2015 3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
School of Medicine E501

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"Regulation of endogenous TRV2 ion channel by growth factors in neuronal cells"

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Nicholas Courtney, PhD
Nicholas Courtney, PhD
Ford Lab
Oct. 30, 2015 3 p.m.
School of Medicine E501

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"Mechanisms of autoreceptor-mediated inhibition in central monoamine neurons"

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Michael Katsnelson, PhD
Michael Katsnelson, PhD
July 30, 2015 noon
School of Medicine E501

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"Cation Channels as regulators and effectors of NLRP3 inflammasome signaling and IL-1 beta secretion"

Michael Katsnelson, a Ph.D. candidate in the lab of Dr. George Dubyak and a student in the Medical Scientist Training Program, successfully defended his doctoral dissertation on Thursday, July 30, 2015.

Dr. Katsnelson will begin his third year in the M.D. program at the School of [read more]


Daniel Harris, PhD
"PRMT5-Catalyzed Arginine Methylation of NF-KB p65 in the Endothelial Cell Induction of Pro-Inflammatory Chemokines"

Daniel Harris, a Ph.D. candidate in the lab of Dr. Paul DiCorleto, successfully defended his dissertation on Monday, July 27, 2015.

A reception in honor of Dr. Harris was held after the completion of his [read more]


Malcolm Hoshi, PhD
Malcolm Hoshi, PhD
April 24, 2015 2 p.m.
School of Medicine E501

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Unveiling Mechanisms Involved in Non-Traditional Cases of Inherited Cardiac Channelopathies

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Candida Desjardins, PhD
Candida Desjardins, PhD
MSTP (MD/PhD Program)
March 4, 2015 noon
School of Medicine E501

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Early Detection of Physiologic and Functional Changes of Common Structural Protein Mutations Underlying Human Diseases by MRI

The most common genetic disorders of skeletal and cardiac muscle result from mutations in structural proteins essential for normal tissue function. The ability to identify tissue dysfunction prior to the onset of overt clinical symptoms will provide better insight of physiology and treatment [read more]


Christina Antonopoulos Buzzy, PhD
Christina Antonopoulos Buzzy, PhD
Immunology Training Program (Pathology)
Dubyak Lab
Nov. 10, 2014
School of Medicine E501

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Non-canonical IL-1β Processing via Caspase-8 in Murine Dendritic Cells and Macrophages

Dysregulated IL-1β production has been implicated in a host of disease settings, ranging from autoinflammatory syndromes to diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease. The first-identified interleukin-converting enzyme or ‘ICE’ was caspase-1. The assembly of cytosolic, [read more]


Ross Anderson, PhD
Subthreshold Oscillations and Persistent Activity Modulate Spike Output in the Rodent Dentate Gyrus

It is known that the hippocampus is important in learning, memory and spatial navigation.  How it performs these tasks at the cellular level in response to neurotransmitters and oscillations in neural circuitry is poorly understood.  To determine the role of subthreshold [read more]


Chesinta Voma, PhD
Chesinta Voma, PhD
Romani Lab
May 9, 2014 11:30 a.m.
School of Medicine E501

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Evidence for a Metabolic Switch from Glycolysis to Gluconeogenesis and Fatty Acid Metabolism: Is Hepatic Mg2+ Deficiency implicated in Diabetes and Obesity onset?

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Prattana Samasilp, PhD
Prattana Samasilp, PhD
Smith Lab
March 18, 2014 12:30 p.m.
School of Medicine E501

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Molecular Control of Fusion Pore Expansion in Mouse Adrenal Chromaffin Cells

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Quentin Jamieson, PhD
Quentin Jamieson, PhD
Structural Biology and Biophysics Training Program
Jones Lab
Feb. 24, 2014
School of Medicine E501

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The Inactivation Mechanisms of Shaker IR and KV2.1 Potassium Channels: Lessons from Pore Mutation

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Sheela Toprani, PhD
Sheela Toprani, PhD
Feb. 18, 2014
School of Medicine E501

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Mechanisms of Seizure Reduction by Low Frequency Electrical Stimulation

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Yi-Hsin Cheng, PhD
Yi-Hsin Cheng, PhD
Biomedical Physiology Training Program
Stelzer Lab
Sept. 10, 2013
School of Medicine E501

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Contractile dysfunction in heart failure and familial hypertrophic cardiomyopathy

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Nikolas Balanis, PhD
Nikolas Balanis, PhD
July 10, 2013 1 p.m.
School of Medicine E501

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Diverse Roles for EGF Receptor Signaling in the Breast Cancer Tumor Microenviroment

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Seong-Ki Lee
Seong-Ki Lee
Structural Biology and Biophysics Training Program
Boron Lab
June 10, 2013
School of Medicine E501

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Molecular action of an electrogenic Na/HCO3 cotransporter (NBCe1)

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