BBS PhD Program

2023-2024

In this section: 
BS/MS seeking PhDs
DVM Seeking PhDs
Combined DVM-PhDs

BS/MS seeking PhDs

Name PICTURE Summary

Nathan Adam

Immunology & Infectious Disease

Hello! I’m Nathan and I’m coming from Columbus, Ohio. My research experiences have investigated THP-1 monocyte immunology, Photodynamic Therapy’s effects on bacterial biofilms and virus-cell interactions within Hepatitis E Virus’ lifecycle. I’m most intrigued by interactions between viruses and host cells - how viruses enter cells and manipulate host cell processes to promote viral infection.

Alexander "Alex" Alvarado

Immunology & Infectious Disease

I am from Reno, Nevada pursuing a Biochemistry BS at the University of Texas, Dallas. I have over three years of research experience in projects characterizing: Streptococcal quorum sensing mechanisms; anion-protein interactions; and a toxin-binding pathway in Anopheles gambiae. My PhD interests include characterizing and controlling the pathogenesis and transmission of emerging infectious diseases.

William Antoniades

Molecular & Cellular Medicine

I was born and raised in Marietta, Georgia, and went to the University of Georgia for my B.S. and M.S. in Pharmaceutical Science. In school, I studied inflammatory signaling in endothelial cells. Currently, I'm an assistant research scientist for Aruna Bio learning about extracellular vesicles from neural stem cells. I'm interested in immunology, novel therapeutics, and cancer biology.

Hallie Avalos

Immunology & Infectious Disease

I am from Harrisonburg, Virginia. I attended the College of William and Mary, where I performed research involving bacteriophages and H. pylori, before graduating with a B.S. in Biology. As part of the PREP program at Virginia Tech, I am currently working on engineering a phage response in commensal E. coli. My research interests include microbial pathogenesis and antibiotic resistance.

Zahra Baninameh

Molecular & Cellular Medicine

I was born in beautiful Iran and now the sunshine state Florida is my home. I am a Special Project Associate II at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville where I am studying PINK1-PRKN mitophagy in different organs of aging mice and also developing sensitive biochemical assays. My current scientific interests are neurodegeneration, aging, stem cell biology, endocytosis, neurogenesis and tissue regeneration.

Nicholas "Nico" Carbone

Translational Medicine

I was born and raised in Miami, Florida and I am a senior at Florida State University in Tallahassee. I am majoring in Biochemistry with a minor in Computer Science, and I have had research experiences in organic chemistry, cell biomechanics, and cancer genetics. I am interested in pursuing cancer research with the goal of discovering new therapeutic targets.

Ya-Ting Chang

Immunology & Infectious Disease

I am Ya-Ting from Taiwan. I came to America in 2020 for my master's in Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Michigan. For the past five years, I have been focusing on CD4+T cell research. My current research is to understand the roles of RasGRP1, a guanine nucleotide exchange factor, in T-cell functions. I am interested in T-cell immunity in diseases and microbial pathogenesis.

Magdalena Chlebicz

Immunology & Infectious Disease

I come from Poland, where I studied and got my BSc and MSc degrees. I spend one semester in Belgium and then, I came to the United States to join a project focused on the impact of influenza virus on murine demyelinating disease model. My experience lead me to believe that I finally found the field for me - immunology. I am confident, that I can be a great addition to any team working on research in immunology.

Rucha Deo

Immunology & Infectious Disease

I am from Pune, India. After graduating from college, I worked as a research associate studying CD8 T-cell exhaustion. Most recently, I have been pursuing an MS in Bioinformatics to further my understanding of experimental design, programming, and data analysis. I am interested in both immunology and bioinformatics research.

Catharine Dietrich

Translational Medicine

Hello! My name is Catharine Dietrich and I'm from Mount Airy, Maryland. I've been in love with research since high school when I participated in an internship at the NIH's National Cancer Institute. I'm currently a postbaccalaureate fellow at the NIH's National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) studying rib regeneration in mice. My research interest lies in regenerative medicine, and I am particularly enthralled with whole-limb regeneration.

Esra Dogan

Immunology & Infectious Disease

I am an Ithaca-raised Cornell ‘20 graduate with a BS in Biological Sciences. During my undergraduate, I did research on inflammatory bowel diseases. After graduation, I joined Cornell’s COVID Testing Lab which led to my current position at the Cornell Animal Health Diagnostic Center (AHDC) where I perform molecular testing on diseases like Avian Influenza. My current research interests are on viral pathogenesis and vaccine development.

Yao "Harriet" Fu

Molecular & Cellular Medicine

I'm a senior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, majoring in Genetics, Neurobiology, and Zoology. I have been working in three different research labs studying Fragile X Syndrome, inflammatory airway diseases, and Autism Spectrum Disorder respectively. My research experience has sparked my interest in the integrations and applications of molecular and computational biology in biomedical research.

Megan Garcia

Immunology & Infectious Disease

Hi! My hometown is Orange County, California and I will receive my Bachelor's degree from the University of California Irvine. My previous research experience includes antibiotic resistant bacteria in the environment and the innate immune system's involvement in the progression of Alzheimer's Disease. I am interested in infectious disease like pathogenesis, host-pathogen interactions, and evolution of microbes.

Beatriz Goncalves

Translational Medicine

I am from New Jersey currently attending Fordham University majoring in Biology and minoring in Biochemistry. I started doing research in the Fall of 2021 where I have worked on multiple tumor targeting projects as well as tissue engineering and Alzheimer's disease studies. I have mostly enjoyed cancer research as well as studies on neurodegenerative diseases.

Alyssa Granados

Immunology & Infectious Disease

Hi! I'm Alyssa and I am from Concord, California. I go to the University of California Santa Barbara where I have had the pleasure to research how macrophages can be harnessed for future immunotherapies in Dr. Morrissey's lab. Last summer, I traveled to Harvard Medical School to conduct gut microbiome research in Dr. Wendy Garrett's lab. I am excited to pursue immunology research as a graduate student.

Joseph Hwang

Immunology & Infectious Disease

Born and raised in Irvine, California, but studied Biology and Human Physiology at the University of Oregon. I am currently working as a Senior Research Assistant at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, Oregon. My research experience ranges from molecular biology to more recently transplant immunology focused on HIV. I'm interested in immunology of infectious diseases and bioinformatics.

Brandon James

Molecular & Cellular Medicine

I am originally from Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania and graduated from Delaware Valley University in 2021 with a B.S. in Biology. I am currently working in the Trowbridge Lab at the Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine, where I investigate mutant DNA-methyltransferase-3a in the bone marrow microenvironment. I am excited about varying protein interactions in disease contexts and translational research methods.

Abbey Kampel

Molecular & Cellular Medicine

I grew up on a small farm in Montana and moved to Marietta, Georgia for high school. I have research experience developing optogenetic Hydra via transgenesis, as well as experience studying wearable devices in human subjects, disease modeling, relational well-being and psychology, and the gut microbiome in relation to aging. I am interested in reproductive biology and nutrition research.

Duyi "Tina" Kuang

Zoology & Wildlife Conservation

I'm a fourth year Chinese international undergraduate student at the University of California Berkeley. At Berkeley, I work on biomechanics of fine-branch locomotion in free-ranging fox squirrels and 3D geometric morphometrics in Sciuridae species. I hope to continue exploring evolutionary functional morphology in the context of neurological process, tissue properties, and ontogenic development.

Genesis Lara Granados

Translational Medicine

I am from the Bronx New York. My senior thesis at Mount Holyoke College entailed describing the quantitive characteristics of genitalia in water snakes. Currently as a technician at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinail (ISMMS), I perform high throughput screening of patient derived organoids to develop highly targeted clinical trials for NSCLC. My interest lie in combining reproductive biology with translation and precision medicine.

Liting Liu

Immunology & Infectious Disease

I am from Hunan, China. I received a B.S. degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology from University of Connecticut in 2019. After graduate, I started my research career in next-generation sequencing. I am currently a M.S. student in John Hopkins University, Bloomberg School of Public health. My research interests focus on host-pathogen immunology and translational therapeutic research such as vaccine development.

Clara Malekshahi

Population Medicine & Epidemiology

I am 23 years old and come from New York City. I attended Smith College, where I completed research on diagnostic assays for marine mammal helminths and (during the pandemic) population genomics of testate amoebae. I now work in the Pathobiology department of the University of Pennsylvania Veterinary School as a sequencing expert. I am interested in the intersection of genomics, wildlife, and infectious diseases.

William "Kyle" McPherson

Immunology & Infectious Disease

I'm originally from Fredericksburg, Virginia which is a small town exactly halfway between Washington District of Columbia and Richmond, Virginia. I have lived in Charlottesville, Virginia for the past five years obtaining my undergraduate degree and now working as a lab technician in the School of Medicine. I am interested in how metabolic and immune systems interplay. In my free time I love running, hiking, swimming, and baking.

Itzayana "Itzy" Miller

Immunology & Infectious Disease

I grew up in Wichita Kansas and have spent the last few years in North Carolina and New York City. My current research focuses on determining the humoral immune correlates of congenital cytomegalovirus transmission as well as understanding HIV latency primarily using the mouse model. I am really excited to conduct research focused on developing vaccines and therapeutics against viral pathogens.

Carlos Molina Azuaje

Molecular & Cellular Medicine

I was born and raised in Venezuela. I got my bachelor's degree in Neuroscience from the University of Illinois at Chicago. After graduation, I worked as a postbaccalaureate at the Shingleton Lab, integrating genetics, physiology, and evolution areas of biology. I find it of particular interest to understand how the environment influences development, to regulate morphology and sexual phenotypic plasticity.

Sunita Nepal

Immunology & Infectious Disease

I am Sunita Nepal originally from Nepal. I came to the United State of America to pursue my bachelors degree. My previous research experiences in cancer immunology and monoclonal antibody selection and purification for therapeutic purposes have amplified my interest in immunology, which is why I want to delve deeper into understanding immune system’s function and its regulation in health and diseases.

Ethan Neumann

Molecular & Cellular Medicine

I'm coming from Dallas, Texas and currently work as a research technician at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (UTSW) studying IDH1-mutant glioblastoma for a years and a half. I graduated with a BS in Biology from the University of North Texas before UTSW. I'm interested in cancer biology, specifically rare and pediatric cancers or cancers with unique mechanisms as they have an unmet translational need.

Thao Nguyen

Molecular & Cellular Medicine

I come from Hanoi, Vietnam. My undergraduate research at the Whitehead Institute focuses on understanding the molecular basis of lysosomal and mitochondrial dysfunction in aging. I now plan to pursue a Ph.D. at Cornell University, where I hope to continue doing research that explores cellular processes at their core and advances our understanding of human health and diseases.

Sarah Noel

Translational Medicine

I am from Altoona, Pennsylvania. Currently, I am studying the efficacy of small molecule-based novel treatments in a mouse model of acute myeloid leukemia. In past research positions, I studied the association between CD36 and EMT in breast cancer cell lines and a potential cold adaption in bacteria. I am interested in translational research, particularly related to cancer and immunology.

Oluwasunmisola "Sunmi" Ojewumi

Immunology & Infectious Disease

Hi, my name is Sunmi. I am originally from Lagos, Nigeria. My prior research experience has ranged from in silico infectious disease modeling to malaria policy to immunology and microbiology. Currently, my interests are in immunology and microbiology, specifically infectious diseases and host-pathogen interactions. I am also fascinated by the immunology of pregnancy and early life immunity.

Lauren Olenick

Translational Medicine

My name is Lauren Olenick and I am from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I have spent the last seven years working in the lab, having experiences in industry and academia. Passionate about comparative research and the development of novel therapeutics, I am particularly interested in utilizing spontaneous animal models to better understand the pathogenesis and treatment of both veterinary and human disease.

Isabel Ott

Immunology & Infectious Disease

Originally from Atlanta, I studied arbovirus genotype shifts during my undergraduate at the Univeristy of Georgia Atlanta. As a postgraduate lab technician at Yale University, I’ve worked on applied virus evolution, genomic epidemiology, and host immunity across varied systems. As a graduate student, I hope to further explore the ways genetic variation shapes virus-host interactions, and how to use this to better anticipate virus emergence.

Brianna Pendergrass

Molecular & Cellular Medicine

I am Brianna Pendergrass, hailing from Albany, Georgia. I have completed summer internships with Cornell University, the Mayo Clinic Jacksonville, and the University of Florida. My research has incorporated topics from stem cell, cellular biology, and cancer biology.

Sydney Peterson

Molecular & Cellular Medicine

I'm from North St. Paul, Minnesota and have spent the past few years in Ann Arbor, Michigan for university. There, I got involved with research at the MacDougald Lab about lipid membranes, cool temperature adaptations, and unexpected cell death in adipocytes. My current research interests include cell survival, death, and DNA damage in the context of cancer.

Christopher Petit

Immunology & Infectious Disease

I am from Chicago, and I attended Loyola University Chicago as an undergraduate. I am a technician in the same lab I worked in as an undergrad, and I am studying the role of hypothesized co-chaperone Drosophila phosducin-like protein 3 in Drosophila spermiogenesis and oogenesis. However, I am most interested in microbial pathogenesis. In my free time I enjoy writing poetry! Very excited to be here!!

Sabrina Rabaya

Molecular & Cellular Medicine

Hello! I'm coming from California State University LA (CSULA) in Los Angeles, California. My previous research experiences surround cancer-associated fibroblasts, adenylate kinases and its relevance to cancer cell maintenance, as well as the role of novel gene NUAK2 in driving endothelial-mesenchymal transition. I'm interested in running, puzzles, and reading in coffee shops. :)

Katelyn Raney

Immunology & Infectious Disease

My name is Katelyn Raney, I grew up in Camarillo, California but now reside in San Diego while I complete my BS in Microbiology. My current research is in the production and degradation pathways of peroxisomes in a yeast model. I am interested in pursuing research in the microbiome, specifically in how it can promote the host immune response and generate cancer-causing toxins.

Luis Rojas

Translational Medicine

Hello! My name is Luis Rojas and I am a first-generation college graduate from San Diego, California, originally from Oaxaca, Mexico. I am a clinical lab scientist at a cancer diagnostics center, where I developed a strong interest in translational research and cancer biology. When I'm not traveling to experience new cultures and cuisines, I like to stay active through playing and watching soccer.

Anastasia "Stasha" Rup

Immunology & Infectious Disease

I'm from Bristol Vermont and completed my undergraduate degree in biology at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). Currently I'm a technician in Dr. Fowell's lab where I'm focusing on understanding the spatiotemporal steps effector T cells must undergo at inflamed sites to locate infection foci and deliver effector function for pathogen clearance. My interests pertain to pathogen control and the regulation of inflammation.

Samantha "Sam" Shallop

Molecular & Cellular Medicine

I am a lab manager, technician and businesswoman from Lambertville, New Jersey. At Cornell, I currently study viral replication dynamics, albeit my background is mainly in neurodevelopment. I have investigated cortical migration in Tuberous Sclerosis as well as AIS formation in Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. As owner of a reptile breeding business, I study genetic heritability and sustainability.

Sharon Shaughnessy

Immunology & Infectious Disease

I grew up in the area of Albany, New York and am currently studying at the State Univeristy of New York Albany. I am curious about everything and so grateful to have the chance to study science! So far my research has been in microsatellite repeat expansion disease, Lyme disease and B cell activation and function. I am most interested in genetic regulation of the host immune response to infection.

Yining Sun

Population Medicine & Epidemiology

Hello, my name is Yining Sun and I come from Nanjing, China. I am a second-year Master of Public Health student at Cornell University. My research experiences include studying avian influenza virus replication, discovering coronavirus in animals and developing vector-borne pathogen detection method. I am very interested in zoonosis and eager to use One Health approaches in disease control and prevention.

Mohammad Tavallaei

Molecular & Cellular Medicine

I'm originally from Iran and immigrated to the United States when I was 12. I've been living in Ithaca for the past two years. Currently, I work as a technician in the lab of Dr. Natasza Kurpios in the College of Veterinary Medicine. I am interested in understanding the mechanism that governs cell lineage specification during development/disease and the synchronized cell behavior during tissue formation.

Samantha "Sam" Tolton

Molecular & Cellular Medicine

Florida has always been my home; I was raised in Stuart and currently go to school in Gainesville. My prior research experience was focused on tauopathies and tau aggregation under different conditions in vitro. I am interested in studying mechanisms of disease in hopes to discern better therapies for long-term conditions. Outside of science I enjoy exercising with friends and being outdoors.

Nicholas "Nick"  Vazquez

Immunology & Infectious Disease

I am coming from my hometown of Hackettstown, New Jersey. I have conducted immunological research as an undergraduate at Drew University and as a research assistant at Rutgers University leading multiple NIH funded projects. My research interests are in the development and function of lymphocytes, immune control of the microbiota, and host-virus interactions.

Valentina Volpe

Immunology & Infectious Disease

I'm from Brooklyn, New York. I've studied the effect of diketopiperazines on E.coli biofilm formation to understand bacterial communication. I've tested the effect of anti-inflammatory phytochemicals/LPS on pro-inflammatory and protective immunity pathways. I also study cytokine-secreting T cells in a mouse model treated with a glycolipid vaccine adjuvant. I am interested in microbiology and immunology.

Zhongchen "Seb" Wang

Immunology & Infectious Disease

Seb Wang is from Shanghai. He acquired his BS at the University of Pittsburgh where his research focused on investigating the therapeutic roles of adipose stem cells. Currently, he is a ScM candidate at John Hopkins University, working on his thesis project on cytokine secretion by pDCs, an important aspect of SLE. His career goal is to unearth the mechanisms of autoimmune diseases/cancer immunology and develop novel therapies.

Veronika Zenkeviciute

Molecular & Cellular Medicine

I am coming from Brooklyn, New York. My previous research focused on understanding neuropathic pain pathogenesis in patients diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. Additionally, I am very interested in protein aggregation processes, protein quality control, and protein-protein interaction. I became strongly interested in protein research after studying familial ALS disease during my internship.

Nina Zhang

Translational Medicine

I am a senior at the Ohio State University (OSU), studying biology and epidemiology. I participated in OSU’s Research Experience for Undergraduates program in Dr. Helen Chamberlin’s lab; I am currently studying how Citron rho-interacting kinase interacts with hyperactive Ras in Caenorhabditis elegans. I am interested in translational research in immunology, stem cell biology, and cancer biology.

Yu Meng Zhang

Immunology & Infectious Disease

I'm from a small town in southeastern Connecticut, and I'm currently a senior studying biochemistry at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. My undergraduate work involves investigating the folding and biophysics of Influenza A nucleoprotein and HIV envelope protein. These projects have made me increasingly interested in studying pathogens, especially host-virus interactions

Ruowei Zhu

Translational Medicine

Hello Cornell! I am Ruowei Zhu from Xuzhou, China.  Previously I studied Rhodiola in college at Shaanxi Normal University, investigated atherosclerosis during my master’s at the University of Souther California, and researched neurodegenerative diseases while working at  the Univeristy of California Los Angeles. For my Ph.D. training, I plan to focus on cancer research to discover better treatment options.

DVM seeking PhDs

Name PICTURE Summary

Katherine "Kat" Koebel

Population Medicine & Epidemiology

Katherine hails from Lake Zurich, Illinois, just outside of Chicago. She attended Michigan State University for her BS in Animal Science and is finishing her DVM at Cornell University. She has conducted research for 6 years, studying everything from swine nutrition to veterinary public health. She is interested in all aspects of dairy production, especially nutrition and farm systems modeling.

 Zoe Mack

Zoology & Wildlife Conservation

I am a board-certified anatomic pathologist and the pathology fellow at the Wildlife Conservation Society. Originally from central Florida, I have an interest in zoo and wildlife conservation and infectious disease. I have completed various projects throughout my academic career related to these topics. I hope to pursue postgraduate research I can apply to a career in conservation medicine.

 Sophie Nelissen

Translational Medicine

My name is Sophie, and my home country is the tiny but fierce Belgium, homeland of delicious waffles, beer and chocolate. I am a veterinarian currently completing a pathology residency, with a strong interest in cancer biology and especially tumor microenvironment. My previous research experience is mostly immunohistochemistry-oriented, with a focus on tumor diagnosis in domestic animals.

 Danya "Dany" Sankaranarayanan

Immunology & Infectious Disease

Hey everyone! Name's Dany. I am from India. I came to the United States in 2018 to pursue Masters in Microbiology. I worked to understand the EGCG's effect on the Pseudomonas aeruginosa's efflux pumps under the mentorship of Dr. Dong H Kwon at Long Island University, Brooklyn, New York. My interests are to engage in the research of cancer biology, infectious diseases and Immunology.

 Christopher Shiprack

Molecular & Cellular Medicine

Originally from Rhododendron Oregon. Currently completely a residency in veterinary clinical pathology at the University of Minnesota. Past research experiences involve in vitro organ-specific microvascular systems to capture circulating tumor cells, comparative mammalian coagulation, and feline T-cell regulation. Currently interested in cancer pathogenesis and tumor metastasis.

 Jenna Ward

Zoology & Wildlife Conservation

I'm from Coto de Caza, California, but attended vet school in Texas & am now in Pennsylvania for my theriogenology residency. My project in Texas was on the effect of media & temperature on motility & viability in equine sperm. My main interest is the use of assisted reproductive technology to aid reproduction in endangered species, but I'm interested in induced pluripotent stem cells & repro endocrinology & physiology.

Combined DVM-PhD Program

Name PICTURE Summary
Alysa Guidici

Translational Medicine

Alysa Giudici is originally from Fruitport, Michigan. She earned a Bachelor of Arts with a double major in biochemistry and neuroscience at Hiram College in Hiram, Ohio. At Hiram, she conducted a comparative study of light saturation behaviors in organisms with type I reaction centers. She is interested in pursuing a career as a clinician-scientist in theriogenology.

Brooklin Hunt

Population Medicine & Epidemiology

Brooklin grew up in rural Montana, where she developed a love for wildlife, livestock, and pathogens. She developed research projects on fruit bat eco-immunology at Montana State University, and livestock reproductive pathogens as a Fulbright Intern in Canada. Her main interests include wildlife pathology and cross-species transmission of pathogens among wildlife, livestock, and humans.

Emily Kulp

Immunology & Infectious Disease

My interests in immuno-engineering and oncology stem from my experiences in biomolecular engineering and helping develop a novel immunotherapy for a canine osteosarcoma clinical trial. I am excited to investigate the modulatory function of immune cells to develop therapeutics targeting a range of diseases, including cancer, and translate this work to clinical trials in comparative animal models.

Alexander Stigall

Translational Medicine

I am from Berwyn Pennsylvania, just outside of Philadelphia. I conducted sports medicine research at the Pennsylvania Veterinary Working Dog Center assessing canine fitness testing. I completed a thesis at Bates College assessing the use of bacteria for oil spill bioremediation. I am interested in the topics of orthopedic disease prevention and treatment, stem cell therapy, and host-microbiome relationships.

Avery Tilley

Zoology & Wildlife Conservation

Tilley is a citizen of The Cherokee Nation originally from Texas and Oklahoma, but attended Michigan State University. Tilley has lead and is publishing studies on drug efficacy in exotic artiodactyls, eDNA as a tool for tribal fisheries, and Echinococcus prevalence in wolves. Tilley hopes to pursue a project that is both impactful and combines his interests in wildlife diseases and genetics.

Raymond Zurich

Translational Medicine

I was born in San Diego, but raised in Tokyo. While an undergraduate at the University of California San Diego I studied how heparan sulfate proteoglycans could influence skin regeneration. I currently am a lab manager for Dr. Victor Nizet where I optimize and conduct murine models of infectious diseases to test novel therapeutics. In my free time I like to eat, rock climb, and game online.