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Graduate Students


Graduate students from six of the eight programs offered by the Graduate Division of Biological and Biomedical Sciences conduct research in the Department of Biology. The department also supports graduate students from the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME), a joint effort between Georgia Tech, Laney Graduate School, and the Emory School of Medicine,  and we support graduate students from the Emory Department of Physics and the Emory School of Public Health. 

 Julia De Amorim

Email:    julia.amorim@emory.edu

Advisor:  Anita Corbett

Research Interests:  Julia is a Ph.D. candidate in the Biochemistry, Cell, and Developmental Biology (BCDB) program. Her research focuses on mechanisms of RNA turnover/processing and how these mechanisms are important in DNA damage repair.


Jordan Goldy

Email:    jnels36@emory.edu
Advisor: Anita Corbett

Research Interests: Jordan's interests include understanding the role of Nab2, a conserved RNA-binding protein,  in regulating neurodevelopment and whole-body metabolism.  For her dissertation, she is investigating the role of Nab2 in regulating mRNA transcripts critical for proper metabolic function.

  


Lydia Gutema

Email:   lgutema@emory.edu
Advisor:  Jitendra Thakur

Research Interests: xxx

 


Carly Lancaster

Email:    carly.laurel.lancaster@emory.edu 
Advisor:  Anita Corbett, Ken Moberg

Research Interests: Carly’s Research interests focus on understanding the role of a conserved RNA binding protein, Nab2, in neurodevelopment and neurodevelopmental disease. Her dissertation will uncover mechanisms by which Nab2 regulates splicing of RhoGEF trio isoforms to govern axon development.


Maria Sterrett

Email:    maria.carson.sterrett@emory.edu 
Advisor:  Anita Corbett

Research Interests: xxx

 


Ziben Zhou

Email:    ziben.zhou@emory.edu
Advisor:  David Gorkin

Research Interests: xxx

 


 

Dakshitha B Anandakumar

Email:      dananda@emory.edu

Advisor:  Robert Liu

Research Interests: I am interested in understanding how the brain processes sounds that are meaningful to us versus those that don’t hold any behavioral significance. My dissertation focuses on plasticity in the auditory cortex for learned sounds that come to drive natural behaviors.

 


Lisa Meyer-Baese

Email:      lisa.meyer-baese@emory.edu

Advisor:  Dieter Jaeger

Research Interests: My project combines wide-field voltage imaging with fMRI to study brain dynamics in awake-behaving mice. 

 


Sean O'Connell

Email:      smoconn@emory.edu

Advisor:  Sam Sober

Research Interests: XXXXXXX 

 


Matthew Williams

Email:      mwil275@emory.edu

Advisor:  Sam Sober

Research Interests: XXXXXXX 

 


Kyle Thomas

Email:      kthom88@emory.edu

Advisor:  Sam Sober

Research Interests:  Kyle’s research focuses on understanding how coordination in muscle commands, at the scale of motor units, contributes to the flexible control of locomotion.

 


 

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Alexander Gulkagulka-alexander.jpg

Email:      alexander.gulka@emory.edu

Advisor:  David Gorkin

Research Interests: The BRG1/BRM-associated factors (BAF) chromatin remodeling complexes play a critical role in the regulation of transcriptional programs through their function in establishing accessible chromatin at cis-regulatory elements (cREs). I am interested in the mechanisms and molecular features that govern recruitment of BAF to these cREs in cell-type and stimulus-specific manners. Additionally, I hope to elucidate mechanisms by which mutations in BAF subunits lead to dysfunction and/or mislocalization of these complexes, with a specific focus on interrogating BAF mutations associated with human neurodevelopmental disease. 

 


Lauren Hodkinson

Email:      lauren.jessica.hodkinson@emory.edu
Advisor:  Leila Rieder

Research Interests: XXXXXXX

 


Dylan Holder 

Email:      dylan.harris.holder@emory.edu
Advisor:  Roger Deal

Research Interests: XXXXXXX

 


Ellen Krall

Email:      ellen.grace.krall@emory.edu
Advisor:  Roger Deal

Research Interests: I'm broadly interested in understanding the dynamics of DNA packaging in plants and how this packaging is modulated in response to internal and external signals. I'm currently investigating how histone variant H2A.Z is targeted in the genome of model plant organism Arabidopsis thaliana by protein MBD9.

 


Yonina Loskove

Email:      yonina.loskove@emory.edu
Advisor:  David Gorkin

Research Interests: XXXXXXX

 


Olivia Morrison

Email:      olivia.morrison@emory.edu
Advisor:  Jitendra Thakur

Research Interests: XXXXXXX

 


Thomas O'Haren

Email:      thomas.edward.o'haren@emory.edu
Advisor:  Leila Rieder

Research Interests: XXXXXXX

 


Brianna Silver

Email:      brianna.silver@emory.edu
Advisor:  Roger Deal

Research Interests: XXXXXXX

 


Courtney Willett

Email:      courtney.grace.willett@emory.edu
Advisor:  Roger Deal

Research Interests: XXXXXXX

Amber Coats

Email:      amber.nicole.coats@emory.edu
Advisor:  Katia Koelle

Research Interests: XXXXXXX

 


Brandon Berryhill

Email:     berryh@emory.edu

Advisor:  Bruce Levin

Research Interests: Brandon's research focuses on understanding the population and evolutionary dynamics of bacteriophage and their bacterial hosts. His dissertation will focus on the joint action of bacteriophage, antibiotics, and the innate immune system

 


 

 

Sena Agezo

Email:      sena.agezo@emory.edu
Advisors:   Robert Liu, Gordon Berman

Research Interests: XXXXXXX

 


Hymavathy Balasubramanian

Email:     hbalas2@emory.edu

Advisor:  Malavika Murugan

Research Interests: XXXXXXX 

 


Benjamin Dykstradystra.jpg

Email:     bdykstr@emory.edu

Advisor:  Gordon Berman

Research Interests: XXXXXXX 

 


Michael Hess

Email:     mhess3@emory.edu

Advisor:  Gordon Berman

Research Interests: XXXXXXX 

 


Jennifer Isaac

Email:     jsisaac@emory.edu

Advisor:  Malavika Murugan

Research Interests: XXXXXXX 

  


Jarildy Javier

Email:      jarildy.javier@emory.edu
Advisors:  Malavika Murugan, Larry Young

Research Interests: XXXXXXX

 


Taylor Kahl

Email:      taylor.marissa.kahl@emory.edu
Advisor:  Dieter Jaeger

Research Interests:  I’m a computational neuroscientist specializing in biophysically detailed neuronal modeling.  My research interests are in understanding movement control, movement disorders, and movement rehabilitation.  Currently, I am modeling the activity of L5b pyramidal neurons in motor cortex during movement execution, and analyzing how these neurons integrate inputs from the motor thalamus and other movement-related areas, in normal and Parkinsonian conditions.

 


Andrea Pack

Email:      andrea.r.pack@emory.edu
Advisor:  Sam Sober

Research Interests: XXXXXXX

 


Leila May Pascual

Email:      leila.may.pascual@emory.edu
Advisor:  Sam Sober

Research Interests: XXXXXXX

 


Maha Rashid

Email:      maha.haseeb.rashid@emory.edu
Advisor:  Malavika Murugan

Research Interests: XXXXXXX

 


Yunmiao Wang

Email:      yunmiao.wang@emory.edu
Advisor:  Dieter Jaeger

Research Interests: XXXXXXX

 


 

Kofi Vordzorgbe

Email:      jvordzo@emory.edu
Advisor:  Sam Sober

Research Interests: XXXXXXX

 

 

Carmen Alvarez

Email:      carmen.alvarez@emory.edu
Advisor:   Nic Vega

Research Interests: XXXXXXX

 


KM Barnett

Email:      kmbarn4@emory.edu
Advisor:   Dave Civitello

Research Interests: XXXXXXX 

 


Lynda Bradley

Email:      lynda.michele.bradley@emory.edu
Advisor:  Dave Civitello, Lance A. Waller

Research Interests: The effect of resource pulses on host-parasite dynamics

 


Jason Chen

Email:      jason.chen2@emory.edu
Advisors:  Nic Vega, Nicole Gerardo

Research Interests: XXXXXXX

 


Marissa Duckett

Email:      mducket@emory.edu

Advisors:  Nic Vega, Nicole Gerardo

Research Interests: XXXXXXX

 


Mackenzie Hoogshagen

Email:      mackenzie.hoogshagen@emory.edu

Advisors:  Japp de Roode, David Civitello

Research Interests:  My research focuses on chemical ecology and energy budget modeling. I am interested in understanding how climate change may alter host-parasite interactions, and I use monarch butterflies, their milkweed plants and their protozoan parasites as a model system.

 


Mitchell Kendzel

Email:      mitchell.kendzel@emory.edu
Advisors:  Jaap de Roode, Lance A. Waller

Research Interests: Mitchell’s research focuses on movement ecology and sensory biology. His dissertation will use computer simulations and the monarch butterfly as a model system to study how an animal’s navigation strategy influences their used migratory pathways to inform conservation efforts.

 


Michelle McCauley

Email:      michelle.anne.mccauley@emory.edu
Advisor:  Levi Morran

Research Interests: XXXXXXX

 


Sandra Mendiola

Email:      sandra.mendiola@emory.edu
Advisors:  Nicole Gerardo, Dave Civitello

Research Interests:  Insect-microbe interactions and their effects on vector competence

 


Xorla Ocloo

Email:      xorla.seyram.ocloo@emory.edu
Advisor:  Dave Civitello, Gonzalo M. Vazquez-Prokopec

Research Interests: XXXXXXX

 


Yeongseon Park

Email:      yeongseon.park@emory.edu
Advisor:  Katia Koelle

Research Interests: XXXXXXX

 


Nadia Raytselis

Email:      nraytse@emory.edu
Advisor:  Dave Civitello

Research Interests:  Nadia's research focuses on the ecology of complex life cycle parasites. In her work, she uses both empirical and theoretical methods across ecological scales. Her dissertation will determine the ecological plausibility of fish as a secondary intermediate host of Guinea Worm Disease (GWD), specifically assessing the role of fish predation and its potential contrasting effects on GWD transmission. This work will elucidate the importance of fish in GW transmission in endemic countries, allowing for improved eradication efforts and an expansion of our understanding of the eradication of complex life cycle parasites.

 


Jacoby Robinson

Email:      jacoby.robinson@emory.edu
Advisor:  Nicole Gerardo

Research Interests: XXXXXXX

 


Ananya Saha

Email:      asaha33@emory.edu
Advisor:  Katia Koelle

Research Interests:

 


Kelsey Shaw

Email:      kelsey.erin.shaw@emory.edu
Advisor:  Dave Civitello

Research Interests: I am interested in host-parasite interactions across scales and eco-immunology. I am currently studying the impact of host traits and community composition on the transmission of schistosomes, the causative agent of the Neglected Tropical Disease schistosomiasis. 

 


Emily Smith

Email:      ebsmit4@emory.edu
Advisor:  Levi Morran

Research Interests:

 

Kanishk Jainkanishk_jain_photo.jpg

Email:      kanishk.jain@emory.edu

Advisors:  Gordon Berman

Research Interests:  Kanishk’s research focuses on creating mathematical representations of free behavior in animals using tools from physics, mathematics and deep learning. He uses these quantitative, multi-timescale descriptions to understand neural underpinnings of behavior.

 


Rajpreet Kaur

Email:      rajpreet.kaur@emory.edu

Advisors:  Gordon Berman

Research Interests: 

 

Anna Han

Email:     muxin.han@emory.edu

Advisor:  Iain Shepherd

Research Interests: XXXXXXX