SUMMER 2020

MEET OUR PHD GRADUATES

CONCENTRATION: Immunology and Microbiology

Olivia A. Bailey

Mentor: Dr. Mark Atkinson | Thesis: Type 1 Diabetes Prevention: A Novel Combinatorial Therapy Utilizing Immune Depletion with Induction of Oral Tolerance to Proinsulin

Olivia Bailey wears a blue dress while posing for a photo outdoors.

CONCENTRATION: Neuroscience

Marissa Carmae Ciesla

Mentor: Dr. Gordon Mitchell and Dr. Elisa Gonzalez-Roth | Thesis: Serotonergic Innervation of Respiratory and Non-Respiratory Motor Nuclei after Cervical Spinal Cord Injury

Marissa Ciesla wears a white lab coat while posing for a photo outdoors.

CONCENTRATION: Neuroscience

Emily J. Koller

Mentor: Dr. Paramita Chakrabarty and Dr. Jada Lewis | Thesis: Investigating How Tau Alters the Brain in Alzheimer’s Amyloidosis Mouse Models and Wild Type Mice

Emily Koller

CONCENTRATION: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Victoria E. Makal

Mentor: Dr. Shannon Boye | Thesis: Biophysical Characterization of AAV2-Based Capsid Mutants Exhibiting Increased Retinal Transduction following Intravitreal Injection, and Quantification of Aggregation Prevention as a Function of Vector Formulation

Victoria Makal

CONCENTRATION: Medical Physics

Nathan A. Quails

Mentor: Dr. Lynn Rill and Dr. Manuel Arreola | Thesis: Investigating Patient Skin and Eye Lens Radiation Dose during Endovascular Neurosurgery Procedures

Nathan Quails

CONCENTRATION: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Wei Zhou

Mentor: Dr. Chenglong Li | Thesis: Biochemical, Biophysical, Structural and Cellular Studies of Protein-Ligand Interaction: Insights on Early Drug Discovery Targeting PRMT5 and TEAD2

Wei Zhou

CONCENTRATION: Immunology and Microbiology

Ashley Nicole Zuniga

Mentor: Dr. Dorina Avram | Thesis: An Emerging Role for Hectd3 in the Prevention of Inflammation and Malignancy in the Gut via Ubiquitination of Master Regulators of Innate Immunity

Ashley Zuniga poses for a photo with a laptop in a classroom.

FACES OF UF MED

DISCOVERY

2019 Medical Guild Graduate Research Symposium

PhD graduate Kyulim Lee was among those who competed in the 2019 Medical Guild Graduate Research Symposium.

KyuLim Lee sits in a lab while wearing a white lab coat.

leadership

2017 Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) competition

PhD graduate Enrico Barrozo was among those who competed in the 2017 Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) competition, which was designed to support students in developing research communication skills.

Two students pose with a faculty member while holding awards.

#GATORPHD

Meet Olivia Bailey

Olivia Bailey, who studied immunology and microbiology, was highlighted as one of only a handful of predoctoral fellows in the UF College of Medicine.

Olivia Bailey poses for a photo against a dark backdrop, her face illuminated with colored light.

#GATORPHD

Meet Kyulim Lee

Kyulim Lee, who studied immunology and microbiology, was highlighted as one of only a handful of predoctoral fellows in the UF College of Medicine.

Kyulim Lee poses for a photo against a dark backdrop, her face illuminated with colored light.

SPRING 2020

Commencement remarks

Dear class of 2020 graduates,

I join with you today in celebrating and recognizing the successful completion of your academic studies, which has earned you a doctoral degree!  The journey has been a remarkable one, and the scientific knowledge and training you have received during your graduate studies will undoubtedly open up new opportunities in your future career paths and empower you to benefit and enrich the lives of others. 

To earn a doctoral degree in the demanding fields of the medical sciences requires commitment, years of hard work and great sacrifice. That is why I ask you to never forget, and please stay connected with, those who helped and supported you through this years-long effort: your family, friends, fellow students, and faculty.  I am proud to have you as a lifelong member of our Gator Family.  Congratulations on reaching this important milestone, and I wish you all the best in your future endeavors!

With respect and admiration,

Thomas C. Rowe, Ph.D.
Associate Dean for Graduate Education

class of 2020

A message from the interim dean

Joseph A. Tyndall, M.D., shares a special message with the UF College of Medicine's newly minted PhDs.

Doctor Tyndall wearing a white U-F Health lab coat in front of a U-F Health backdrop Play Video

class of 2020

A message from the president and keynote speaker

UF President Kent Fuchs and pro athlete and Gator great Thaddeus Bullard (aka Titus O'Neil) share words of congratulations with graduates of the class of 2020.

President Fuchs wears graduation attire in Ben Hill Griffin Stadium Play Video

A virtual ceremony

Meet our PhD graduates

Concentration: Molecular Cell Biology

Salvatore John Calise III

Mentor: Dr. Edward Chan | Thesis: The Role of Inosine Monophosphate Dehydrogenase Filaments in Cell Biology

John Calise poses for a photo with his faculty mentor

Concentration: Neuroscience

Robert Stephen Eisinger

Mentor: Dr. Aysegul Gunduz | Thesis: Reward Processing and Impulsivity in Parkinson’s Disease

Robert Eisinger poses for a photo with his two faculty mentors

concentration: Cancer Biology

Henrietta Oyeyemi Fasanya

Mentor: Dr. Dietmar Siemann | Thesis: The Role of Cathepsin Inhibition in Osteosarcoma Metastasis

Henrietta Fasanya poses for a photo with her faculty mentor

CONCENTRATION: Immunology and Microbiology

Upasana Parthasarathy

Mentor: Dr. Dorina Avram | Thesis: E3 Ubiquitin Ligase Hectd3 Acts as a Novel Tumor Suppressor in Colon Cancer by Regulating Essential Oncogenic Pathways

Upasana Parthasarathy headshot

CONCENTRATION: Molecular Cell Biology

Mathew Sebastian

Mentor: Dr. David Tran and Dr. Dietmar Siemann | Thesis: Pglyrp3, a Novel Critical Regulator of Breast Cancer Development and Metastasis

Mathew Sebastian headshot

CONCENTRATION: Immunology and Microbiology

Melanie R. Shapiro

Mentor: Dr. Todd Brusko and Dr. Mark Atkinson | Thesis: Insulin-Like Growth Factors as Biomarkers with Immunological Impacts on the Development of Type 1 Diabetes

Melanie Shapiro headshot

CONCENTRATION: Neuroscience

Garrett Richard Smith

Mentor: Dr. Thomas Foster | Thesis: Hippocampal Subregion Transcriptomic Profiles Reflect Strategy Selection during Cognitive Aging

Garrett Smith headshot

CONCENTRATION: Neuroscience

Zachary Anthony Sorrentino

Mentor: Dr. Benoit Giasson | Thesis: Truncation of Alpha-Synuclein: Implications for Neurodegenerative Diseases

Zachary Sorrentino headshot

CONCENTRATION: Immunology and Microbiology

MacKenzie D. Williams

Mentor: Dr. Mark Atkinson | Thesis: Genetic Associations Driving Altered Innate Responses, Islet Autoantibody Persistence, and Residual Beta Cell Function in Type 1 Diabetes

MacKenzie Williams headshot

Faces of UF Med

discovery

2018 Medical Guild Graduate Research Symposium

PhD graduates John Calise, Robert Eisinger and Melanie Shapiro were among those who competed in the 2018 Medical Guild Graduate Research Symposium.

A student presents his research to an audience in a lecture hall

leadership

Distinguished Lecture Series

PhD graduate John Calise was part of a committee that organized the second annual Distinguished Lecture Series in 2019, which aims to bring internationally renowned scientists to campus.

Nora Awadallah, Casey Keuthan, Peter Walter, P-H-D, Heather Drew and John Calise pose for a group shot after the students organized a reception for Walter in the George T. Harrell, M.D., Medical Education Building.

Discovery

2019 Medical Guild Graduate Research Symposium

PhD graduates Mat Sebastian, John Calise and Andrea Lin were among those who competed in the 2019 Medical Guild Graduate Research Symposium.

John Calise presents his research

#GatorPhd

Meet Melanie Shapiro

Shapiro, who studied immunology and microbiology, was highlighted as one of only a handful of predoctoral fellows in the UF College of Medicine.

Melanie Shapiro

#GATORPHD

Meet Mat Sebastian

Sebastian, who studied molecular cell biology, was highlighted as one of only a handful of predoctoral fellows in the UF College of Medicine.

Mat Sebastian

#GATORPHD

Meet John Calise

Calise, who studied molecular cell biology, was highlighted as one of only a handful of predoctoral fellows in the UF College of Medicine.

John Calise