Alumni – MGM Graduate Program

(* Indicates faculty member with secondary appointment to MGM)

Jason A. Stajich: The GSA Reporter Young Researcher Profile This article presents an inside look at how Jason Stajich, alumnus of the Dietrich lab and UPGG program and currently an assistant professor at the University of California, Riverside, uses bioinformatics to bridge the divide between bench science and data analysis. Read More >


Sylvester, KaylaInterrogating Host-Parasite Dynamics During Plasmodium Liver Stage InfectionDerbyshirePhD 2021
McMillan, HannahBacterial Extracellular Vesicles and the Plant Immune ResponseKuehnPhD 2021
Bethke, JonathanThe Cost and Benefit of Horizontal Gene TransferYouPhD 2021
Iskarpatyoti, JasonMetabolic Regulation of Mast Cell RegranulationAbrahamPhD 2021Postdoc at Duke
Jenks, JenniferRational Vaccine Design Against CytomegalovirusPermarPhD 2021
Holmes, Zack“Dietary Manipulation of Metabolic Function in the Human Gut Microbiome”DavidPhD 2021
Singh, Tulika"Maternal B Cell and Antibody Responses to Zika Virus for Design of Immune Interventions in Pregnancy"PermarPhD 2021
Antonia, Alex"Understanding Mechanisms and Pathogen Diversity of
Leishmania- Mediated CXCL10 Suppression"
KoMD/PhD 2021Internal medicine residency at Duke
Detter, Matt"Investigating the Pathogenesis and Response to Therapy of Cerebral Cavernous Malformations using Transgenic Murine Models"Marchuk MD/PhD 2021Internal medicine residency at UPenn
Gibbs, Kyle "Natural Genetic Variants in Humans and Salmonellae
Underlie Variable Infection Outcomes"
KoPhD 2021IRACDA postdoc at Tufts
Stantial, Nicole "Stabilization of Topoisomerase 2 Mutants Initiates the Formation of Duplications in DNA”Jinks-RobertsonPhD 2021PhD


Zhang, Albert"Using C. elegans as a model to study glial development" YanPhD 2020PhD
McFadden, Mike"Characterizing novel molecular regulators of antiviral gene expression"HornerPhD 2020Postdoc at University of Michigan
Harding, Al"Viral- and host-targeted interventions to improve influenza disease outcomes"HeatonPhD 2020Postdoc at MIT
Brown, Hannah"Fungal Membrane pH-sensing:
How Cryptococcus avoids being basic"
AlspaughPhD 2020Postdoc at Harvard Medical school
Chang, Zanetta“On Mechanisms of Resistance in the Human Fungal Pathogen Mucor circinelloides ”Heitman MD/PhD 2020MD/PhD Graduate Student/seeking degree/Research
Dumm, Rebekah“Non-lytic clearance of influenza B virus as a host defense mechanism”HeatonPhD 2020Postdoc at UPenn
Lu, Kuan-Yi"Plasmodium falciparum Chaperones and Stress Response"DerbyshirePhD 2020Postdoc at Duke
Choe, Ha Na"Estrogen’s Impact on the Specialized Transcriptome, Brain, and Vocal Learning Behavior of a Sexually Dimorphic Songbird"MatsunamiPhD 2020
Hughes, Kelly"Fates of HIV-infected renal epithelial cells following virus acquisition from infected macrophages"KlotmanPhD 2020


Roder, Allison“New Insights into Hepatitis C Virus Assembly and Envelopment” HornerPhD 2019Postdoctoral Fellow, NIAID
Moreno, Angelo"Exploring the interface between therapeutically relevant polymers and the immune system" Sullenger*PhD 2019
Pianalto, Kaila“Responses to Antifungal and Alkaline pH Stress in Human Fungal Pathogens”Alspaugh* PhD 2019 Postdoctoral fellow, Dept of Biology, Glass laboratory, UC-Berkley
Murdoch, Caitlin“Mechanisms Underlying Commensal Microbiota Colonization of the Intestine and Effects on Innate Immunity” RawlsPhD 2019 Postdoctoral Fellow with Dr. Eric Skaar, Department of Pathology, Microbiology, and Immunology, Vanderbilt University
Passer, Andrew“Diversity of Species and Sexual Reproduction in the Fungal Genus Cryptococcus” HeitmanPhD 2019 Regulatory Coordinator, Duke University Medical Center
Hu, Serene“Concentration-dependent recruitment of mammalian odorant receptors” MatsunamiPhD 2019
Espenschied, Ted“Chemical and Microbial
Regulation of Epithelial
Homeostasis and Innate Immunity”
RawlsPhD 2019 Postdoctoral Fellow with Dr. Thad Stappenbeck, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH
Messinger, Joshua“Understanding Molecular Heterogeneity
During EBV Latency”
LuftigPhD 2019
Gokhale, Nandan“RNA Modifications Go Viral” HornerPhD 2019 Postdoc at Univ of WA
Vazquez, Christine“Novel mechanisms of innate immune regulation by hepatitis C virus” HornerPhD 2019 Postdoc at UPenn
Mosaheb, Mubeen“Genetically Stable Poliovirus Vectors Activate Dendritic Cells and Prime Antitumor CD8 T Cell Immunity” Gromeier*PhD 2019
Esoda, Caitlin“Aminopeptidase-Dependent Modulation of Bacterial Biofilms by Pseudomonas aeruginosa Outer Membrane Vesicles” Kuehn*PhD 2019


Chen, Po-Han“Metabolic Regulation of
Kelch-like Proteins Through
ChiPhD 2018Postdoc at Yale
Finethy, Ryan"Interferon-inducible GTPases as positive and negative regulators of inflammasomes"CoersPhD 2018Postdoc at Duke
Arifuzzaman, Mohammad“Cooption of Innate Immune Cells in Promoting and Combating Infections” Abraham*PhD 2018
Walton, Ross“Activation and Subversion of MDA5-Dependent Immune Responses by the Engineered Oncolytic Poliovirus PVSRIPO” Gromeier*PhD 2018
Martinez, David“Maternal Env-specific IgG Responses in HIV-infected Women” Permar*PhD 2018Postdoc at UNC-CH
McNulty, Shannon“Genomic and Epigenomic Attributes of Alpha Satellite Underlying Function Within the Human Centromere Region” SullivanPhD 2018Postdoc at UNC-CH
Posfai, Dora“Elucidating Plasmodium liver stage biology through transcriptomic approaches” Derbyshire*PhD 2018
Jaslow, SarahThe Salmonella Effector SarA Activates STAT3 to Promote an Anti-Inflammatory Response and Increase Virulence

KoPhD 2018
Campos, RafaelRibosomal proteins RPLP1 and RPLP2 are host factors critically required for flavivirus
infectivity by promoting efficient viral translation elongation

Garcia-Blanco*PhD 2018
Lai, HelenRegulation of Morphogenetic Events in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Lew*PhD 2018
Renshaw, HilaryMyosin V Function and Regulation in the Morphogenesis of Aspergillus Fumigatus

Steinbach*PhD 2018
Nelson, CodyDefining the role of antibodies in protection against cytomegalovirus acquisition and congenital disease for rational vaccine designPermar*PhD 2018
Mefferd, AdamHIV-1 as a Target for the Cas9 DNA Editing Enzyme and the Development of Novel sgRNA Expression TechnologyCullenPhD 2018
Bryant, JeffreyRegulation of HIF-1α during Hypoxia by DAP5-Induced Translation of PHD2Gromeier*PhD 2018
Tay, MatthewFc-Dependent Antibody Functions against HIV-1Tomaras*PhD 2018
Piro, AnthonyThe Role of Human Guanylate Binding Proteins in Host Defense and InflammationCoersPhD 2018
Hafez, AmyEstablishment of oncogene-induced senescence by the host DNA damage response after EBV infectionLuftigPhD 2018
Esher, ShannonFungal Cell Wall Remodeling Directos Host Immune RecognitionAlspaugh*PhD 2018
Walton, Eric Cell Wall Lipids Promoting Host Angiogenesis During Mycobacterial Infection TobinPhD 2018


Shumansky, Kara Sullenger*MS 2017Pfizer
Alvarez, Monica Human Genetic Variation in VAC14 Alters Susceptibility to Pathogenic InfectionsKoPhD 2017Duke
Kleinstein, Sarah Human Genomics of Complex Trait SeverityGoldstein*PhD 2017Columbia
Saelens, Joseph Genomic, genetic, and functional interrogation of Mycobacterium tuberculosis outbreak strainsTobinPhD 2017Postdoc, at Duke, Medicine - ID
Poling, Brigid The Epstein-Barr Virus-encoded BHRF1 miRNAs Regulate Viral Gene Expression in CisCullenPhD 2017Artech Information Systems
Snavely, Emily Functional Characterization of Type II Secretion in ChlamydiaValdiviaPhD 2017Postdoc at Wadsworth Center, Albany, NY
Carpenter, VictoriaThe C. trachomatis effector protein TepP hijacks host cell signaling pathways to promote bacterial survival during infectionValdiviaPhD 2017Medical School
Mitchell, CaitlynSilverMS 2017Genetic Counseling Graduate Student at University of South Carolina
Schmidt, ElyseThe Role of Irgm1 In Mitochondrial Dynamics and MetabolismTaylor*PhD 2017PreScouter Global Scholar
Feeley, EricThe role of Galectic 3 in pathogen sensing and cell autonomous defenseCoersPhD 2017Field Application Scientist, Gyros Protein Technologies
Cao, XiouNeuronal Regulation of the Innate Immune Response in Caenorhabditis elegansAballayPhD 2017Postdoc at Stanford
Homa, NicholasVirus-Host Interactions during Epstein-Barr Virus Latent Infection of B cellsLuftigPhD 2017Nuventra Pharma Sciences
Sharma, RuchiraOlfactory receptor accessory proteins play crucial roles in receptor function and gene choiceMatsunamiPhD 2017Postdoctoral Scholar at UCSF
Levitt, BrandtDrug Development in Dengue Virus and Molecular Epidemiology of Malaria in Western KenyaJen-Tsan Ashley Chi and Steve Taylor*PhD 2017Research Analyst, UNC
Vargas-Muñiz, JoséSeptins' Role in Morphogenesis, Development, and Pathogenesis of the Human Fungal Pathogen Aspergillus fumigatusSteinbach*PhD 2017Postdoc, at UNC-Chapel Hill


Nicholson, CindoThe development and application of a method to quantitatively identify RNA binding sites, and whole transcript targets of RNA binding proteinsKeenePhD 2016Postdoc, IRTA Fellow at NIEHS
Barrows, NicholasCharacterization of host factors and anti-viral compounds for diverse mosquito-borne flavivursesGarcia-Blanco*PhD 2016Postdoc, Univ of Texas
Ang, WeixingladysMechanisms of rush desensitization in mast cellsAbraham*PhD 2016Postdoc Research Fellow, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center
Landau, DustinMultiple Approaches to Novel GSD Ia TherapiesKoeberl*PhD 2016Research Associate, Quintiles
Price, AlexanderTemporal Regulation of LMP1 and Apoptosis Resistance After Primary EBV LuftigPhD 2016Postdoc, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Zhao, YingPhysical and genetic analysis of the CUP1 tandem array in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiaePetesPhD 2016JD Candidate, Northwestern Law School
Baxter, RyanValdiviaMS 2016Research Assistant, Univ of CO
Woods, BenjaminMechanisms of Cdc42 polarization in yeastLew*PhD 2016Postdoc, UNC-CH
Zhou, TingTranscriptome and Functional Analysis of Carotid Body Glomus CellsMatsunamiPhD 2016Postdoc, Duke
Rempe, KatherineInsights into nonpilus adhesin functionality and the molecular determinants of nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae colonizationSt. Geme*PhD 2016Clinical Research, Actelion Pharmaceuticals
Starr, KimberlyThe genetic and molecular basis for Kingella kingae encapsulation and capsule diversitySt. Geme*PhD 2016Clinical Microbiology and Public Health Fellow at University of Washington
Brown, MikeAntineoplastic Cytotoxicity and Immune Adjuvancy of Recominant Oncolytic PoliovirusGromeier*PhD 2016Postdoc Associate, Duke
Lu, Yi-FanFunctional Evaluation of Causal Mutations Identified in Human Genetic StudiesGoldsteinPhD 2016Postdoc Research Scientist at Columbia University


Pilla-Moffett, DanielleMechanisms by Which Guanylate Binding Proteins Target Pathogen Vacuoles and Promote Caspase-11 Dependent PyroptosisCoersPhD 2015Project Management, Regulatory Affairs at Nuventra Pharma Sciences
Frank, ChristopherChromatin Accessibility Dynamics Underlying Development and DiseaseCrawford*PhD 2015Scientist, Element Genomics in Durham, NC
Cho, Jang Eun (Lisa)Topoisomerase 1-dependent Mutagenesis in
Saccharomyces cerevisiae
Jinks-RobertsonPhD 2015Postdoc, Duke
Kokes, MarcelaMechanisms of Chlamydia Manipulation of Host Cell Biology Revealed Through Genetic ApproachesValdiviaPhD 2015HHMI Postdoc, at Stanford
Kang, DongEBV BART microRNAs target pro-apoptotic and anti-Wnt signaling genes to promote cell survival and proliferationCullenPhD 2015Business consultant, Deloitte Tohmatsu Consulting Group, Japan
Smith, Kristen JurcicExamining Mycobacterial Interactions with Host Cellular PathwaysLee*PhD 2015Technical Director at LabCorp
Perley, CaseyMycobacterium tubercolosis surface-binding antibodies alter early infection eventsFrothingham*PhD 2015Postdoc, US Army Medical Research, Infectious Diseases
Miao, YuxuanMechanisms of Bacterial Expulsion as a Cell Autonomous Defense Strategy In the Bladder EpitheliumAbraham*PhD 2015Jane Coffin Childs Postdoctoral Fellow at Rockefeller University
Whisnant, AdamInteractions of Mammalian Retroviruses with Cellular MicroRNA Biogenesis and Effector PathwaysCullenPhD 2014Alexander von Humboldt postdoctoral fellow at Universität Würzburg


Tamika PayneDissertation SeminarTomaras*PhD 2014Microbiologist/ Interdisciplinary Risk Assessor, USDA
Krupp, DeidreDissertation SeminarGregory*PhD 2014Postdoc, Oregon Health & Science University


Bowen, SamanthaDissertation SeminarAbraham*PhD 2013Director of Operations at Duke Center for Autism and Brain Development
MacDonald, Ian Dissertation SeminarKuehn*PhD 2013Postdoc Research Associate,
UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy
Mobley, YuvonDissertation SeminarAbraham*
PhD 2013Medical Affairs Manager at Assurex Health
Prest (Hoefs), Tiffany Dissertation SeminarSeed*PhD 2013Postdoctoral Research Associate at University of Colorado Boulder
Traver, MariaDissertation SeminarTaylor*PhD 2013Irvington Postdoctoral Fellow at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences


Frahm, Marc Dissertation SeminarFerrari/Tomaras*PhD 2012Equity Research Associate at Cowen and Company
Kulp, Adam Dissertation SeminarKuehn*PhD 2012Scientist, Micronature in Morgantown, WV
Mitchel, Kat Dissertation SeminarJinks-RobertsonPhD 2012Genetics Development Scientist at Invitae
Nikitin, Pavel Dissertation SeminarLuftigPhD 2012Senior Scientist at Bioverativ
Porsch, Eric A. Dissertation SeminarSt. Geme*PhD 2012Research Associate II at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Shveygert, Mayya Dissertation SeminarGromeier*PhD 2012Senior Writing Associate, AMGEN
Kotula, Jonathan Dissertation SeminarSullenger*PhD 2012Senior Scientist, Caribou Bisciences, Berkeley, CA


Bateman, StaceyDissertation SeminarSeed*PhD 2011Research Scholar
Chutkan, HalimaDissertation SeminarKuehn*PhD 2011Medical Writer, Whitsell Innovations
Jorgensen, Ine Dissertation SeminarValdiviaPhD 2011Researcher, Oslo Univ. Hospital in Riskshospitalet Oslo, Norway


Byrnes, EdmondDissertation SeminarHeitmanPhD 2010Chief, Public Liaision Group National Institutes of Health, NINR, Bethesda, MD
Chen, Julia (Ling-Yu)Dissertation SeminarChiPhD 2010Scientist, San Francisco Bay Area
Findley, Keisha Dissertation SeminarHeitmanPhD 2010Scientist, FDA
Jin, Cong Abraham*PhD 2010Associate Professor
China CDC
Kim, Jong WookDissertation SeminarNevinsPhD 2010Post-Doctoral Fellow
Hahn Lab
Dana Farber Cancer Institute
Lee, Phoebe S.Dissertation SeminarPetesPhD 2010Trigent Solutions, Chantilly, VA
Mudrak, BenSecretion and lipopolysaccharide binding of heat-labile enterotoxinKuehn*PhD 2010Communication Manager, Research Square
Saunders, KevinDissertation SeminarTomaras*PhD 2010Assistant Professor of Surgery, Duke
Walters, RobertDissertation SeminarGromier*PhD 2010Research Associate, U of Colorado, Boulder


Cocchiaro, JordanDissertation SeminarValdiviaPhD 2009Program Manager, DHVI
Miller, Heather B. Dissertation SeminarGarcia-BlancoPhD 2009Assistant Professor in Chemistry, High Point, NC
Sessions, OctoberDissertation SeminarGarcia-BlancoPhD 2009Assistant Professor at Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School
Sheets, AmandaCha-Cha-Cha: Variable adhesive activity of the Haemophilus cryptic genospecies trimeric autotransporter Cha St. Geme*PhD 2009Associate Director, Drug Development (Microbiologist) - Cempra Pharmaceuticals
Sena (Spesock), AprilDissertation SeminarPickupPhD 2009Director of Technical Development at Seqirus, Liverpool UK
Tekippe, Mickey Dissertation SeminarAballayPhD 2009Duke University Medical School
Vignola, MarkDissertation Seminarr 2009ValdiviaPhD 2009Director, Investor Relations at Intercept Pharmaceuticals


Chen, Shao-YinIdentification and functional characterization of erythrocyte microRNAsChiPhD 2008Medical Science Liaison at Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp.
Hsueh, Yen-PingSex in Cryptococcus: Signaling, mating-type locus evolution and gene silencingHeitmanPhD 2008Post-Doctoral Fellow
Sternberg Lab
California Institute of Technology
Natalizio, Barbara Examination of the role of the carboxyl-terminal domain of RNA polymerase II in coupling transcription to mRNA splicingGarcia-BlancoPhD 2008AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow at National Science Foundation
Reedy, Jennifer Sexual reproduction and signal transduction in the Candida species complex HeitmanPhD 2008Assistant in Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital; Instructor, Harvard Medical School
Song, Jeongmin Toll like receptor 4-mediated immune responses in the bladder epithelium Abraham*PhD 2008Assistant Professor at Cornell University
Styer (Vignola), Katie Letitia Using genetic analysis and the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans to identify bacterial virulence factors and innate immune defenses against pathogensAballayPhD 2008Associate at McKinsey & Company
Umbach, Jennifer Lin Analysis of the interaction between viruses, miRNAs and RNAi pathwayCullenPhD 2008Associate Director, Marketing at Orexo AB


Bishop, Brian Lee Regulated exocytosis of E. coli from infected bladder epithelial cellsAbraham*PhD 2007Senior Manager, Regulatory Affairs at Emergent BioSolutions
Hall, Charles Robert The contribution of horizontal gene transfer to the evolution fungiDietrichPhD 2007Scientist II at Dupont Industrial Biosciences
Kadyrova, Lyudmila YurievnaUsing nucleic acids to repair β-globin gene mutationsWhartonPhD 2007Research Associate
Southern Illinois University at Carbondale
Lynch, Heather Elizabeth Poxvirus-mediated activation of NF-B PickupPhD 2007Shared Resource Laboratory Manager at Duke Human Vaccine Institute
Mauger, David Michael Regulation of the alternative splicing of FGFR2 in epithelial cellsGarcia-BlancoPhD 2007Scientist, Molecular Biology & Informatics at Moderna Therapeutics
Valley, Cory M. Genomic analysis of chromatin organization on mammalian X chromosomes WillardPhD 2007Law School
University of Maryland


Baraniak, Andrew PaulFox proteins mediate epithelial-specific fibroblast growth factor receptor 2 exon choiceCullenPhD 2006Technology Specialist for Biotechnical and Medical Patients
Fish & Richardson
Bray, Steven Matthew Analysis of a putative pheromone receptor sub-family within the Drosophila gustatory receptor gene familyAmreinPhD 2006Scientist, Eli Lilly and Company
Campbell, Stephanie AnnExploiting cell type-specific translational control for cancer treatmentGromeier*PhD 2006Medical Science Liaison
Novartis Vaccines
de Sessions, Paola FlorezCIS and TRANS-acting factors in enteroviral propagationGromeier*PhD 2006National University of Singapore
Doehle, Brian Paul APOBEC3-mediated intrinsic immunity to retroviral infectionCullenPhD 2006Scientist, Gilead Sciences
Merrill, Melinda Kay Attentuation of PV-Ripo neurovirulence at the level of translation initiationGromeier*PhD 2006Medical Science Liaison
Song, Yan Localization and translational regulation of NANOS mRNA in Drosophila embryosAmreinPhD 2006Principal Investigator, Peking University


Dufresne, Andrew Thomas Immunogenicity and neruopathogenesis of human Enterovirus CGromeier*PhD 2005Associate at Michael Best & Friedrich LLP
Duncan, Matthew Jason Pathogenesis of UTIsAbraham*PhD 2005Engineered Products, S2n
Hall, Allison HaberstrohRNA interference as a potential therapy: Examining silencing of HPV oncogenes and the behavior of modified siRNAsPickupPhD 2005Assistant Professor,
Department of Pathology
Duke University
Zhang, ZhihongThe experimental and comparative study of functional elements in the Saccharomyces cerevisiae genomeDietrichPhD 2005Illumina


Blankenship, Jill R. Lessons from a pathogen: Calcineurin in Candida albicansHeitmanPhD 2004Assistant Professor, U of Nebraska, Omaha
Lu, Shihua RNA biogenesis: Lessons from mRNA and miRNACullenPhD 2004Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Yi, RuiNuclear RNA export: From messenger RNA to microRNA CullenPhD 2004Associate Professor
University of Colorado at Boulder