Congratulations to our Graduates!

Julie Bray (Graduated Oct. 2019)

Faculty Research Mentor: Thomas Schmittgen, Ph.D.

Dissertation Project: Exocrine Pancreas Plasticity During Injury: Implications for Cancer Development

Current Position: Postdoctoral Fellow, MD Anderson Cancer Center

Zuo Ding (Graduated December 2021)

Faculty Research Mentor: Shuang Huang, Ph.D.

Dissertation Project: Study of Effects of MEK Inhibitors on Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Cells

Current Position: Intern, UF Innovate | Venture


Henrietta Fasanya, Ph.D. (Graduated March 2020)

Faculty Research Mentor: Dietmar Siemann, Ph.D.

Dissertation Project: The Role of Cathepsin Inhibition in Osteosarcoma Metastasis

Current Position: Completing M.D. in UF COM M.D.-Ph.D. Training Program


Amani Harrandah, Ph.D. (Graduated January 2019)

Faculty Research Mentor: Edward Chan, Ph.D.

Dissertation Project: Exploring the Roles of MicroRNA and Oral Bacteria in Oral Carcinogenesis

Current Position: Assistant Professor, Department of Oral Biology, Umm Alqura University


Yue Jiang, Ph.D. (Graduated April 2019)

Faculty Research Mentor: Frederic Kaye, M.D. 

Dissertation Project: Myb-activated tumor models for the development of novel therapeutic strategies for adenoid cystic carcinoma treatment

Current Position: Scientist, BeiGene Pharmaceuticals

Patrick Kellish, Ph.D. (Graduated August 2021)

Faculty Research Mentor: Maria Zajac-Kaye, Ph.D.

Dissertation Project: Priming Immunity against Small-Cell Lung Cancer with Oncolytic Myxoma Virus

Current Position: Interim Scientific Director/Core Research Facility Specialist II, Flow Cytometry Core, ICBR, UF


Mam Mboge, Ph.D. (Graduated October 2018)

Faculty Research Mentor: Susan Frost, Ph.D.

Dissertation Project: The Role of Carbonic Anhydrase in Breast Cancer Growth, Metabolism, & Motility

Current Position: Postdoctoral Fellow, Berkeley National Laboratory

Rachel Nosacka, Ph.D. (Graduated Oct. 2019)

Faculty Research Mentor: Andrew Judge, Ph.D.

Dissertation Project: Molecular Mechanisms of Skeletal Muscle Wasting in Cancer Cachexia

Current Position: Laboratory Director, Physiology & Functional Genomics, University of Florida


Varsha Sundaresan, Ph.D. (Graduated November 2018)

Faculty Research Mentor: Lei Zhou, Ph.D.

Dissertation Project: Significantly Mutated Genes in Small Cell Lung Cancer & Comparative Analysis of p53 Binding

Current Position: Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Southern California


Mai Tanaka, Ph.D. (Graduated December 2021)

Faculty Research Mentor: Dietmar Siemann, Ph.D.

Dissertation Project: The Role of Axl Pathway in Cancer Metastasis

Current Position: Senior Consultant, Trinity Life Sciences

Kartika Venugopal, Ph.D. (Graduated 2020)

Faculty Research Mentor: Olga Guraynova, M.D., Ph.D.

Dissertation Project: Leukemia-associated Mutations in DNMT3A Mediate Sensitivity to Replication Stress

Current Position: Postdoctoral Fellow, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Vindhya Vijay, Ph.D. (Graduated June 2019)

Faculty Research Mentor: Christopher Cogle, M.D.

Dissertation Project: Splicing repressor hnRNPC is an indispensable and ‘druggable’ target in acute myeloid leukemia

Current Position: Postdoc Fellow, Harvard University

Aaron Waddell, Ph.D. (Graduated May 2021)

Faculty Research Mentor: Daiqing Liao, Ph.D.

Dissertation Project: Targeting CBP/p300 for Treatment of Estrogen Receptor-Positive Breast Cancer

Current Position: Postdoc, Boston University

Zachary Wakefield, Ph.D. (Graduated August 2021)

Faculty Research Mentor: Dietmar Siemann, Ph.D.

Dissertation Project: The Therapeutic Potential of Aerobic Exercise in Preclinical Breast Cancer Models

Current Position: Staff Scientist, Choate, Hall & Stewart, LLP, Boston

Qin Yu, Ph.D. (Graduated August 2021)

Faculty Research Mentor: Christian Jobin, Ph.D.

Dissertation Project: The Role of Natural Killer Cells in Gut Microbiota Mediated Pancreatic Cancer Progression

Current Position: Scientist, Harvard Medical School, Boston