Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

Students: Cancer & Cell Biology


Student Profiles


Students are attracted to our program from all across the country and around the world to pursue research in cancer and cell biology. Several of our students have written about their experiences at BCM. Read the profiles below to learn about our students.


Natalie Biel

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Mentor:  Anna Sokac, Ph.D.
Undergraduate major:  Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Undergraduate school:  Mercer University

Taylor Chen

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Mentor:  H. Daniel Lacorazza, Ph.D.
Undergraduate major:  Engineering
Undergraduate school:  Swarthmore College

Sarah Herzog

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Mentor: Suzanne Fuqua, PhD
Undergraduate major: Biochemistry
Undergraduate school: University of Notre Dame

Raghav Ramabadran

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Mentor:  Margaret (Peggy) Goodell, Ph.D.
Undergraduate major:  Biomedical Sciences
Undergraduate school:  York University

Eric Philip Souto

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Mentor: Michael Lewis, Ph.D.
Undergraduate major: B.S., Neuroscience
Undergraduate school:  University of Minnesota – Twin Cities

Brittany Stork

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Mentor: Brian York, Ph.D.
Undergraduate Majors: Biological Sciences, Mathematics, and Secondary Education
Undergraduate School: University of Nebraska—Lincoln

Dominique Thompson

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Mentor: Joseph F. Petrosino, Ph.D.
Undergraduate major: Biology
Undergraduate school: Northwestern State University

First Name
Middle Name
Last Name
Graduate Student, PhD Candidate

Selected Student Publications: 2018 - 2020


Our students frequently publish in top-tier, peer-reviewed journals and attend national and international meetings. A representative selection of recent student publications is presented below. Student names are bolded in lists of authors for each publication.

Biel N, Figard L, Sokac AM. Imaging Intranuclear Actin Rods in Live Heat Stressed Drosophila Embryos. J Vis Exp. 2020 May 15;(159):10.3791/61297. doi: 10.3791/61297. PMID: 32478727; PMCID: PMC7521865.

Blanco FA, Czikora A, Kedei N, You Y, Mitchell GA, Pany S, Ghosh A, Blumberg PM, Das J, 2019, Munc13 Is a Molecular Target of Bryostatin 1, Biochemistry (58): 3016-3030. PMCID:6620733; PMID: 31243993

Brown RM 2nd, Nelson JC, Zhang H, Kiernan AE, Groves AK, 2020, Notch-mediated lateral induction is necessary to maintain vestibular prosensory identity during inner ear development., Developmental biology (462): 74-84. PMCID: 7261482, PMID: 32147304

Brunetti L, Gundry MC, Sorcini D, Guzman AG, Huang YH, Ramabadran R, Gionfriddo I, Mezzasoma F, Milano F, Nabet B, Buckley DL, Kornblau SM, Lin CY, Sportoletti P, Martelli MP, Falini B, Goodell MA, 2018, Mutant NPM1 Maintains the Leukemic State through HOX Expression., Cancer cell (34): 499-512.e9. PMCID:6159911, PMID: 30205049

Burger CA, Alevy J, Casasent AK, Jiang D, Albrecht NE, Liang JH, Hirano AA, Brecha NC, Samuel MA. LKB1 coordinates neurite remodeling to drive synapse layer emergence in the outer retina. Elife. 2020 May 7;9:e56931. doi: 10.7554/eLife.56931. PMID: 32378514; PMCID: PMC7237215.

Chen MS, Lo YH, Chen X, Williams CS, Donnelly JM, Criss ZK 2nd, Patel S, Butkus JM, Dubrulle J, Finegold MJ, Shroyer NF. Growth Factor-Independent 1 Is a Tumor Suppressor Gene in Colorectal Cancer. Mol Cancer Res. 2019 Mar;17(3):697-708. doi: 10.1158/1541-7786.MCR-18-0666. Epub 2019 Jan 3. PMID: 30606770; PMCID: PMC7387124.

Clark J, Terwilliger A, Nguyen C, Green S, Nobles C, Maresso A. Heme catabolism in the causative agent of anthrax. Mol Microbiol. 2019 Aug;112(2):515-531. doi: 10.1111/mmi.14270. Epub 2019 May 27. PMID: 31063630; PMCID: PMC7515447.

Cristobal CD, Ye Q, Jo J, Ding X, Wang CY, Cortes D, Chen Z, Lee HK. Daam2 couples translocation and clustering of Wnt receptor signalosomes through Rac1. J Cell Sci. 2020 Dec 11:jcs.251140. doi: 10.1242/jcs.251140. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33310913.

Ding X, Jo J, Wang CY, Cristobal CD, Zuo Z, Ye Q, Wirianto M, Lindeke-Myers A, Choi JM, Mohila CA, Kawabe H, Jung SY, Bellen HJ, Yoo SH, Lee HK. The Daam2-VHL-Nedd4 axis governs developmental and regenerative oligodendrocyte differentiation. Genes Dev. 2020 Sep 1;34(17-18):1177-1189. doi: 10.1101/gad.338046.120. Epub 2020 Aug 13. PMID: 32792353; PMCID: PMC7462057.

Gibson SB, Green SI, Liu CG, Salazar KC, Clark JR, Terwilliger AL, Kaplan HB, Maresso AW, Trautner BW, Ramig RF, 2019, Constructing and Characterizing Bacteriophage Libraries for Phage Therapy of Human Infections., Frontiers in microbiology (10): 2537. PMCID:6861333, PMID: 31781060

Hu X, Harvey SE, Zheng R, Lyu J, Grzeskowiak CL, Powell E, Piwnica-Worms H, Scott KL, Cheng C, 2020, The RNA-binding protein AKAP8 suppresses tumor metastasis by antagonizing EMT-associated alternative splicing. Nature communications (11): 486. PMCID:6981122, PMID: 31980632

Hu X., Harvey S.E., Zheng R., Lyu J., Grzeskowiak C., Powell E., Piwinica-Worms H., Scott K.L., Cheng C., 2019, The RNA Binding Protein AKAP8 acts as a Novel metastasis Suppressor by Antagonizing EMT Associated Alternative RNA Splicing. Nature (): . PMCID:, PMID:

Jarrett KE, Lee C, De Giorgi M, Hurley A, Gillard BK, Doerfler AM, Li A, Pownall HJ, Bao G, Lagor WR. Somatic Editing of Ldlr With Adeno-Associated Viral-CRISPR Is an Efficient Tool for Atherosclerosis Research. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2018 Sep;38(9):1997-2006. doi: 0.1161/ATVBAHA.118.311221. PubMed PMID: 30026278; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6202188.

Kim IS, Gao Y, Welte T, Wang H, Liu J, Janghorban M, Sheng K, Niu Y, Goldstein A, Zhao N, Bado I, Lo HC, Toneff MJ, Nguyen T, Bu W, Jiang W, Arnold J, Gu F, He J, Jebakumar D, Walker K, Li Y, Mo Q, Westbrook TF, Zong C, Rao A, Sreekumar A, Rosen JM, Zhang XH. Immuno-subtyping of breast cancer reveals distinct myeloid cell profiles and immunotherapy resistance mechanisms. Nat Cell Biol. 2019 Sep;21(9):1113-1126. doi: 10.1038/s41556-019-0373-7. Epub 2019 Aug 26. PubMed PMID: 31451770; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6726554.

Lee YT, Wang MC. The Bacterivore's Solution: Fight and Flight to Promote Survival. Dev Cell. 2019 Apr 8;49(1):7-9. doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2019.03.021. PMID: 30965036.

Lemon LD, Morris DK, Bertuch AA. Loss of Ku's DNA end binding activity affects telomere length via destabilizing telomere-bound Est1 rather than altering TLC1 homeostasis. Sci Rep. 2019 Jul 23;9(1):10607. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-46840-2. PMID: 31337791; PMCID: PMC6650470.

Litvinchuk A, Wan YW, Swartzlander DB, Chen F, Cole A, Propson NE, Wang Q, Zhang B, Liu Z, Zheng H. Complement C3aR Inactivation Attenuates Tau Pathology and Reverses an Immune Network Deregulated in Tauopathy Models and Alzheimer's Disease. Neuron. 2018 Dec 19;100(6):1337-1353.e5. doi:10.1016/j.neuron.2018.10.031. Epub 2018 Nov 8. PubMed PMID: 30415998; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6309202.

Madan A, Thompson D, Fowler JC, Ajami NJ, Salas R, Frueh BC, Bradshaw MR, Weinstein BL, Oldham JM, Petrosino JF. The gut microbiota is associated with psychiatric symptom severity and treatment outcome among individuals with serious mental illness. J Affect Disord. 2020 Mar 1;264:98-106. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2019.12.020. Epub 2019 Dec 14. PMID: 32056780.

Park CS, Lewis AH, Chen TJ, Bridges CS, Shen Y, Suppipat K, Puppi M, Tomolonis JA, Pang PD, Mistretta TA, Ma L, Green MR, Rau R, Lacorazza HD, 2019, A KLF4-DYRK2-mediated pathway regulating self-renewal in CML stem cells., Blood (134): 1960-1972. PMCID:6887114, PMID: 31515251

Pribis JP, García-Villada L, Zhai Y, Lewin-Epstein O, Wang AZ, Liu J, Xia J, Mei Q, Fitzgerald DM, Bos J, Austin RH, Herman C, Bates D, Hadany L, Hastings PJ, Rosenberg SM, 2019, Gamblers: An Antibiotic-Induced Evolvable Cell Subpopulation Differentiated by Reactive-Oxygen-Induced General Stress Response., Molecular cell (74): 785-800.e7. PMCID:6553487, PMID: 30948267

Schulze KV, Swaminathan S, Howell S, Jajoo A, Lie NC, Brown O, Sadat R, Hall N, Zhao L, Marshall K, May T, Reid ME, Taylor-Bryan C, Wang X, Belmont JW, Guan Y, Manary MJ, Trehan I, McKenzie CA, Hanchard NA, 2019, Edematous severe acute malnutrition is characterized by hypomethylation of DNA., Nature communications (10): 5791. PMCID:6923441, PMID: 31857576

Sheng K, Zong C. Single-Cell RNA-Seq by Multiple Annealing and Tailing-Based Quantitative Single-Cell RNA-Seq (MATQ-Seq). Methods Mol Biol. 2019;1979:57-71. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-9240-9_5. PubMed PMID: 31028632.

Zhang J, Kodali S, Chen M, Wang J. Maintenance of Germinal Center B Cells by Caspase-9 through Promotion of Apoptosis and Inhibition of Necroptosis. J Immunol. 2020 Jul 1;205(1):113-120. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.2000359. Epub 2020 May 20. PMID: 32434938.

Vogt MB, Lahon A, Arya RP, Kneubehl AR, Spencer Clinton JL, Paust S, Rico-Hesse R. Mosquito saliva alone has profound effects on the human immune system. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2018 May 17;12(5):e0006439. doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0006439. eCollection 2018 May. PubMed PMID: 29771921; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5957326.

Wei X, Zhang L, Zhou Z, Kwon OJ, Zhang Y, Nguyen H, Dumpit R, True L, Nelson P, Dong B, Xue W, Birchmeier W, Taketo MM, Xu F, Creighton CJ, Ittmann MM, Xin L. Spatially Restricted Stromal Wnt Signaling Restrains Prostate Epithelial Progenitor Growth through Direct and Indirect Mechanisms. Cell Stem Cell. 2019 May 2;24(5):753-768.e6. doi: 10.1016/j.stem.2019.03.010. Epub 2019 Apr 11. PubMed PMID: 30982770; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6548441.

Zhou Y, Dong B, Kim KH, Choi S, Sun Z, Wu N, Wu Y, Scott J, Moore DD. Vitamin D Receptor Activation in Liver Macrophages Protects Against Hepatic Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress in Mice. Hepatology. 2020 Apr;71(4):1453-1466. doi: 10.1002/hep.30887. Epub 2020 Jan 2. PMID: 31381163.

Zou WY, Blutt SE, Zeng XL, Chen MS, Lo YH, Castillo-Azofeifa D, Klein OD, Shroyer NF, Donowitz M, Estes MK. Epithelial WNT Ligands Are Essential Drivers of Intestinal Stem Cell Activation. Cell Rep. 2018 Jan 23;22(4):1003-1015. doi:10.1016/j.celrep.2017.12.093. Epub 2018 Jan 28. PubMed PMID: 29386123; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5798462.



Student Awards


Our students are frequently recognized for their achievements with honors and awards. In recent years, these have included:

NRSA F31 Fellowship
Raghav Ramabadran (Mentor: Dr. Margaret Goodell) 
Leah Gates (Mentor: Dr. Bert O’Malley)
Emmet-Huang Hobbs (Mentor:  Dr. Ben Deneen)

NRSA F30 Fellowship
David Bader (Mentor: Sean McGuire)

F99/K00 - NCI
Yuan-Hung Lo (Mentor: Noah Shroyer)

American Society for Microbiology Science Teaching Fellow 
Laramie Lemon (Mentor: Dr. Alison Bertuch)

FASEB MARC Sponsorship- 2015 Institute on Teaching and Mentoring
Laramie Lemon (Mentor: Dr. Alison Bertuch)