• Tasneem Arsiwala

    Graduate Degree
    PhD in Pharmaceutical and Pharmacological Sciences (In Progress)
    Graduate Program Advisor
    Dr. Paul Lockman

    Training Program

    Training Program
    Cell and Molecular Biology and Biomedical Engineering (Current Associate Scholar)
    Training Program Advisor
    Dr. Paul Lockman

    Tasneem is a third year graduate student in the Pharmaceutical and Pharmacological Sciences program in the school of pharmacy. Her research project aims to increase therapeutic delivery to the brain by blood-brain barrier (BBB) and blood-tumor barrier (BTB) disruption using low-intensity focused ultrasound. These barriers often lead to poor prognosis in brain tumors and other neurological disorders due to its specialized physicochemical function. Disruption of the BBB and BTB using a clinical focused ultrasound device will additionally aid the translation of her work into clinical settings.

  • Philip Bender

    Graduate Degree
    PhD in Neuroscience (In Progress)
    Graduate Program Advisor
    Dr. Charles Anderson

    Training Program

    Training Program
    Cell and Molecular Biology and Biomedical Engineering (Current Associate Scholar)
    Training Program Advisor
    Dr. Charles Anderson

    Philip is a first year associate scholar in CBTP, and a second year PhD student in the Biomedical Sciences program in the School of Medicine, where he works in the lab of Dr. Charles Anderson in the Department of Neuroscience. Philip's research uses a combination of electrophysiology, optogenetics, and behavior to study the cell-type and synapse-specific effects of synaptic zinc on cortical microcircuits and auditory processing.

    "The CBTP training program offers an opportunity to develop the personal and professional skills necessary to be a successful researcher, as well as allowing opportunities for expanding my network of brilliant up-and-coming scientists in diverse fields, foster collaborations, and assist in outreach and education opportunities."
  • Kathryn Blethen

    Graduate Degree
    PhD in Pharmaceutical and Pharmacological Sciences (In Progress)
    Graduate Program Advisor
    Dr. Paul Lockman

    Training Program

    Training Program
    Cell and Molecular Biology and Biomedical Engineering (Current Associate Scholar)
    Training Program Advisor
    Dr. Paul Lockman

    Kathryn is a second year Pharmaceutical and Pharmacological Sciences Ph.D. student in the laboratory of Dr. Paul Lockman. Her research interests are neuroimmunology, inflammation, and their effects on the blood-brain barrier.

  • Shelby Bradford

    Graduate Degree
    PhD in Immunology and Microbial Pathogenesis (In Progress)
    Graduate Program Advisor
    Dr. Cory Robinson

    Training Program

    Training Program
    Cell and Molecular Biology and Biomedical Engineering (Current Associate Scholar)
    Training Program Advisor
    Dr. Cory Robinson

    Shelby is a fourth-year PhD candidate in the Immunology and Microbial Pathogenesis program in the School of Medicine at the Health Sciences Center. Her work focuses on the role of IL-27, a cytokine (cell signaling molecule) that has immune suppressive activity, in the neonatal immune system, specifically on sentinel-like cells called dendritic cells, during vaccination. Her research investigates how this cytokine may impact the efficacy of vaccines delivered at this early-age period, and whether modulating this cytokine could offer novel strategies to improve protection from immunization. She uses the vaccine against Mycobacterium tuberculosis, called BCG, as a model because this vaccine is currently given to newborn children, however has a wide range of efficiency in protection. This is Shelby's first year as a CBTP scholar.

    "I was excited to expand my research skills through the courses and training workshops offered by the program. I think the Exploring Career Symposium will be very beneficial as well since I will be thinking about next steps in the near future."
  • Celine Brooks

  • Carly Callender

    Graduate Degree
    PhD in Immunology and Microbial Pathogenesis (In Progress)
    Graduate Program Advisor
    Dr. Jennifer Franko

    Training Program

    Training Program
    Cell and Molecular Biology and Biomedical Engineering (Current Associate Scholar)
    Training Program Advisor
    Dr. Jennifer Franko

    Carly is a 2nd year PhD student in the Immunology and Microbial Pathogenesis program in the School of Medicine, and is in her first year as a scholar on the CBTP T32 training grant. Her research in Dr. Jennifer Franko's laboratory focuses on immune response differences between males and females. She aims to decipher the cellular and molecular mechanisms that contribute to these dimorphisms, including the impact of sex hormones, gut microbiome composition, and sex chromosome complement (XX vs. XY) utilizing the Fore Core Genotype mouse model.

    "The CBTP T32 training grant provides me with additional opportunities for multidisciplinary collaboration and the interdepartmental exchange of ideas, which can be crucial when studying something as complex as the immune system. I look forward to the educational, professional and personal developmental tools the training grant will provide."
  • Janelle Chuah

    Graduate Degree
    PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (In Progress)
    Graduate Program Advisor
    Dr. David Smith

    Training Program

    Training Program
    Cell and Molecular Biology and Biomedical Engineering (Current Associate Scholar)
    Training Program Advisor
    Dr. David Smith

    Janelle is a third-year PhD student in the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Graduate Program. She is currently working with Dr. David Smith to investigate protein degradation in neurodegenerative conditions. More specifically, her research is focused on understanding how neurodegenerative disease-associated proteins such as amyloid-beta and huntingtin regulate proteasome activity.

  • Emily Herrick

    Graduate Degree
    PhD in Biomedical Engineering (In Progress)
    Graduate Program Advisor
    Dr. Sergiy Yakovenko

    Training Program

    Training Program
    Cell and Molecular Biology and Biomedical Engineering (Current Associate Scholar)
    Training Program Advisor
    Dr. Sergiy Yakovenko

    Emily is in her first year as an associate scholar of CBTP. She is a second year Ph.D. student in the Biomedical Engineering program in the Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources. Under the mentorship of Dr. Sergiy Yakovenko, her goal is to develop new tools and models to aid in locomotor rehabilitation. Working towards this goal, her current project studies how sensorimotor adaptation could be used to correct asymmetric gait. Throughout her career, she wants to use engineering perspectives as solutions to relevant clinical problems, and she plans to utilize the technical and professional resources that CBTP provides to expand her expertise to include biomedical sciences in addition to engineering.

  • Abby Ivey

  • Daniel Liss

    Graduate Degree
    PhD in Biomedical Engineering (In Progress)
    Graduate Program Advisor
    Dr. Jessica Allen

    Training Program

    Training Program
    Cell and Molecular Biology and Biomedical Engineering (Current Trainee)
    Training Program Advisor
    Dr. Jessica Allen

    Daniel is in his second year as a trainee on the training grant. He is a third-year Ph.D. student in the Biomedical Engineering program in the Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources. As part of his work with Dr. Jessica Allen, he studies how conscious perception affects locomotive disturbances through aging. His current research is analyzing perception thresholds to locomotive disturbances in young adults through kinematics, kinetics, and muscle activity to reduce falls in elderly individuals.

    "Being a trainee will give me the opportunity to expand my knowledge inside and outside my field of research. As a doctoral student, I am excited about this opportunity to extend my network of fellow researchers, participate in the CBTP undergraduate mentorship program, assist in planning the next Exploring Career Symposium and enhance my abilities to become a well-versed researcher."
  • Nairrita Majumder

    Graduate Degree
    PhD in Cellular and Integrative Physiology

    Training Program

    Training Program
    Cell and Molecular Biology and Biomedical Engineering (Current Associate Scholar)
    Training Program Advisor
    Dr. Salik Hussain

    Nairrita is a second-year PhD student in Cellular and Integrative Physiology and studies in Dr. Salik Hussain’s lab. Her research interest is focused on pulmonary physiology and inhalation toxicology.

  • Celia De La Torre Martinez

    Training Program
    Cell and Molecular Biology and Biomedical Engineering (Current Associate Scholar)
    Training Program Advisor
    Dr. Margaret Bennewitz

    Celia is a graduate student in the Biomedical Engineering Program. She is under the direction of Dr. Margaret Bennewitz and is currently working on improving MRI contrast agents for enhanced early detection of breast cancer.

  • Abha Maskey

    Graduate Degree
    PhD in Cancer Cell Biology (In Progress)
    Graduate Program Advisor
    Dr. Elena Pugacheva

    Training Program

    Training Program
    Cell and Molecular Biology and Biomedical Engineering (Current Associate Scholar)
    Training Program Advisor
    Dr. Elena Pugacheva

    Abha is in her third year as a PhD student in the Cancer Cell Biology Program under the direction of Dr. Elena Pugacheva. In 2019 she placed first for first-year graduate students at the 54th Annual Van Liere Research Conference. Her lab seeks to decipher the mechanisms of tumor progression and metastasis. Her current research focuses on understanding the role of AURKA in hypoxia signaling and its impact on tumor progression and metastasis of breast cancer.

    “Participating in the CBTP T32 program has enabled me to network and interact with people from different fields. It has also been a good opportunity to be involved in organizing and participating in various workshops and career development events that has helped me foster teamwork and promote communication while developing critical thinking and decision-making skills.”
  • Fatimah Matalkah

    Graduate Degree
    PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (In Progress)
    Graduate Program Advisor
    Dr. Peter Stoilov

    Training Program

    Training Program
    Cell and Molecular Biology and Biomedical Engineering (Current Associate Scholar)
    Training Program Advisor
    Dr. Peter Stoilov

    Fatimah is in her second year as a trainee on the CBTP training grant. She is a third year PhD student in the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in the School of Medicine. Under the guidance of Dr. Peter Stoilov, her research focuses on understanding the role of the Musashi, RNA binding proteins, in the maintenance of mature photoreceptor cells.

    “By joining the CB training program, I have the opportunity to organize an alternative career symposium through which we get the opportunity to network with people in different career endeavors. Furthermore, we have the opportunity and the support to attend scientific conferences, and the funding for student sabbatical which would help us advancing our future career. As a second-year trainee, I am excited to continue receiving the training necessary to help me widen my horizon.
  • Md Habibul Mazumder

    Graduate Degree
    PhD in Pharmaceutical and Pharmacological Sciences (In Progress)
    Graduate Program Advisor
    Dr. Wei Du

    Training Program

    Training Program
    Cell and Molecular Biology and Biomedical Engineering (Current Associate Scholar)
    Training Program Advisor
    Dr. Wei Du

    Md Habibul is a third-year Ph.D. student in Pharmaceutical and Pharmacological Sciences in the School of Pharmacy at West Virginia University. He is an associate scholar in the Cell Biology Training Program. Md Habibul's research focuses on the role of DNA damage response protein in hematopoietic stem cell maintenance and leukemogenesis. In his research project with Dr. Wei Du, he works with the C-terminal binding protein interacting protein (ctIP), a significant DNA damage response pathway protein, which has been found to be dysregulated in various cancers to analyze its effects the hematopoietic milieu.

    "As an associate in this program, it's my opportunity to expand my potential to acquire knowledge about up-to-date techniques and methodologies outside of my research field”. Moreover, this training will enhance my ability to become a well-versed researcher by widening my ability to communicate with fellow researchers and collaborate with them."
  • Nicole Mihalik

    Graduate Degree
    PhD in Immunology and Microbial Pathogenesis (In Progress)
    Graduate Program Advisors
    Dr. Timothy Eubank and Dr. Benoit Driesschaert

    Training Program

    Training Program
    Cell and Molecular Biology and Biomedical Engineering (Current Trainee)
    Training Program Advisors
    Dr. Timothy Eubank and Dr. Benoit Driesschaert

    Nicole is currently a CBTP T32 trainee after being a member of the training program for one year as an associate scholar. She is a fourth year PhD candidate in the Immunology and Microbial Pathogenesis graduate program, and earned her Bachelor of Science from West Liberty University prior to studying at WVU. Nicole works in the laboratory of Dr. Tim Eubank in the Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Cell Biology, and is also co-mentored by Dr. Benoit Driesschaert from the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences. Her research primarily focuses on modulating the function of tumor-associated macrophages to alleviate tumor hypoxia and immunosuppression in breast cancer, and how manipulation of these parameters may enhance the efficacy of standard cancer therapies such as radiation. A portion of her current work also involves the formulation of polymeric nanoparticles designed to carry and deliver macrophage-centric cytokine therapy to the tumor site and minimize off-target effects.

    “Being a member of this program will expand my training in approaches and concepts in multidisciplinary research while allowing me to form a network with students and faculty across Biomedical Sciences and Biomedical Engineering graduate programs. Further, this program will provide unique opportunities for me to further my career and professional development to prepare me for future endeavors as a researcher.”
  • Daniella Munezero

    Graduate Degree
    PhD in Pharmaceutical and Pharmacological Sciences (In Progress)
    Graduate Program Advisor
    Dr. Ramamurthy

    Training Program

    Training Program
    Cell and Molecular Biology and Biomedical Engineering (Current Associate Scholar)
    Training Program Advisor
    Dr. Ramamurthy

    Daniella is a CBTP associate scholar. She is a fifth-year Ph.D. student in Pharmaceutical and Pharmacological Sciences graduate program. Under Dr. Ramamurthy’s mentorship, she seeks to understand the function of Heat Shock Proteins in visual function. Her current Research focus is to analyze the role of hsp90 chaperone in photoreceptor neurons.

    "Attending different workshops and symposiums organized by CBTP, I have had the opportunity to present my research, to connect with researchers working in different fields here at WVU and other universities. I have been introduced to different carriers’ trajectories available to Ph.D. graduates and took part into different discussions which has allowed me to grow as a scientist.”
  • Danielle Norman

  • Olivia Rose

    Graduate Degree
    PhD in Biomedical Engineering (In Progress)
    Graduate Program Advisor
    Cerasela Zoica Dinu

    Training Program

    Training Program
    Cell and Molecular Biology and Biomedical Engineering (Current Associate Scholar)
    Training Program Advisor
    Dr. Cerasela Dinu

    Olivia is a PhD student in the Biomedical Engineering program in the Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources, Department of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering. As part of her work in Prof. Cerasela Zoica Dinu's group, she studies nano systems influence on cellular behavior with specific focus on biosensorial and toxicity approaches.

    “Being a T32 scholar allows me to interact and collaborate with individuals from different research backgrounds then mine. Further, it allows me to learn new things every time since everyone has a different research project they are involved with. Lastly, it provides me with professional and career-building opportunities to help prepare me for the future as a graduate student and a professional worker.”
  • Urikhan Sanzhaeva

  • James Scripter

    Graduate Degree
    PhD in Neuroscience (In Progress)
    Graduate Program Advisor
    Dr. Eric Tucker

    Training Program

    Training Program
    Cell and Molecular Biology and Biomedical Engineering (Current Trainee)
    Training Program Advisor
    Dr. Eric Tucker

    James is third year PhD student in the laboratory of Dr. Eric Tucker, in the Department of Neuroscience. He is currently an active member and trainee of the Cell and Molecular Biology and Biomedical Engineering Training Program. He studies the roles for c-Jun N-terminal Kinase (JNK) signaling in forebrain development. His current research focuses on the effects of JNK on thalamocortical axon (TCA) development and investigating the molecular and cellular mechanisms guiding TCA projections. Understanding these mechanisms during thalamocortical axon extension, will help uncover potential causes of neurodevelopmental disorders, like autism spectrum disorder and schizophrenia.

    Being a trainee for this T32 opens the door for many opportunities for collaboration, skill workshops, hosting outside seminar speakers, workshops to explore the various core facilities available at the university, and also providing opportunities for student sabbaticals. Overall, I plan to use the skills and knowledge that I gain from the CBTP program to fully accomplish my research goals and help my progression through my graduate studies.
  • Hunter Snoderly

    Graduate Degree
    PhD in Biomedical Engineering (In Progress)
    Graduate Program Advisor
    Dr. Margaret Bennewitz

    Training Program

    Training Program
    Cell and Molecular Biology and Biomedical Engineering (Current Trainee)
    Training Program Advisor
    Dr. Margaret Bennewitz

    Hunter Snoderly is a 3rd year PhD student at West Virginia University in the Department of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering. His research under Dr. Margaret Bennewitz examines the interplay between neutrophils, platelets, extracellular vesicles, and neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) in the context of breast to lung metastasis using both in vitro microscopy and novel intravital imaging platforms allowing dynamic cellular interactions to be visualized in living mouse lung. He recently published “Neutrophil Extracellular Traps in Breast Cancer and Beyond: Current Perspectives on NET Stimuli, Thrombosis and Metastasis, and Clinical Utility for Diagnosis and Treatment” in Breast Cancer Research. Additional research seeks to characterize the inflammatory effects of acute e-cigarette vapor exposure on mouse lungs via intravital imaging.

  • Schuyler Vickers

    Graduate Degree
    PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (In Progress)
    Graduate Program Advisor
    Dr. Roberta Leonardi

    Training Program

    Training Program
    Cell and Molecular Biology and Biomedical Engineering (Current Associate Scholar)
    Training Program Advisor
    Dr. Roberta Leonardi

    Schuyler is in his first year as an associate scholar of the CBTP. He is a fourth-year Ph.D. candidate in the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology program in the School of Medicine. He works in Dr. Roberta Leonardi’s laboratory to investigate how peroxisomal Coenzyme A degrading enzymes can regulate metabolism.

    “Becoming involved with this training program has given me the opportunity to improve my ability to conduct research, to train myself as a professional, and to interact with colleagues in a more constructive way. I look forward to learning everything this program has to offer me, and I hope to contribute to its activities for the betterment of our institutional environment.”
  • Kelly Weaver

    Graduate Degree
    PhD in Immunology and Microbial Pathogenesis (In Progress)
    Graduate Program Advisor
    Dr. Mariette Barbier

    Training Program

    Training Program
    Cell and Molecular Biology and Biomedical Engineering (Current Trainee)
    Training Program Advisor
    Dr. Mariette Barbier

    Kelly is a second year PhD student in the laboratory of Dr. Mariette Barbier, in the Department of Immunology, Microbiology and Cell Biology. She is also currently a trainee in the Cell Biology Training Program. She studies the respiratory disease whooping cough (pertussis), which affects people of all ages, but is notably fatal in infants. This is significant as pertussis is on the rise in the United States despite thorough acellular vaccine coverage. Her current research focuses on evaluating the immune response to both acellular and whole-cell pertussis vaccination to inform the formulation of a next generation pertussis vaccine that will stimulate long-term protection against pertussis.

    As a member of this training program I have unique opportunities such as attending skill-based workshops, multidisciplinary networking, and the support to organize conferences and symposiums as a student led team. This program provides us as trainees with the guidance to develop leadership and professional skills alongside a diverse group of colleagues.
  • Sila Yanardag

National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) T32 program (T32 GM133369)