Morningside Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences is admitting 41 new PhD candidates

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The annual ceremony honors students for passing a qualifying exam, an important milestone that signals their transition to formal candidacy for a doctoral degree.

The Morningside Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at UMass Chan School of Medicine honored 41 PhD candidates during its annual qualifying examination recognition ceremony on Wednesday, September 14.

Mary Ellen Lane, Ph.D., and Donna M. and Robert J. Manning Chair in Biomedical SciencesThe candidates are partners and collaborators on UMass Chan’s research mission, said Professor of Neuroscience and Dean of the Morningside Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.

Dean Lane said, “Intellectual and personal development does not end with candidacy, and it does not end with graduation.” “I encourage you to seize the opportunity to engage in the transformational development process, and to continue to grow, learn and expand beyond your comfort zone.”

Passing the qualifying exam is a milestone for PhD students; Indicates their transition to official Ph.D. candidates. Milo Fantine is a Middleton PhD candidate doing nanopore sequencing in the lab of William Flavahan, PhD, assistant professor of molecular and cellular biology and cancer. Fantine said the qualifying testing process helped him develop his confidence as a researcher.

“I now feel that I have a solid understanding not only of my research topic, but also of how to present my work to a wide audience. The feedback I received from my committee has helped me develop my presentation, writing and overall professional communication skills,” Fantine said.

New doctoral candidates received laser pointers and business cards. They will also receive Morningside Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences lab coats.

“This is one of the last major milestones in our curriculum, and it’s great to be on the other side of it,” said Samuel Law, a Las Vegas PhD student focusing on developing neural circuits in Michael Francis’ lab.

Lane has offered master’s and doctoral students Gillian Belgrade and Abigail Heller the Zelda Haydack Scholarship in Cell Biology. Belgrade, a native of Weston, studies Huntington’s disease and how DNA repair speeds disease progression in patients. Belgrade being mentored by Anastasia Khvorova, Ph.D., and Remondi Family Chair in Biomedical Research Professor of RNA Therapy. Heller, a resident of Arlington, conducts ALS research with Paul L.Greer, assistant professor of molecular medicine, and Robert H. Brown Jr. , D. Donna M. Robert J. Manning’s Chair in Neuroscience And Professor of Neurology. Heller demonstrates the effect of eliminating genes expressed in microglia in a mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

The following students became PhD candidates in the 2021-2022 academic year:

Elaine Achimbong, Samuel Behar Lab
Vincent Azolino, Laboratory of Celia Schaeffer
Gillian Belgrade, Laboratory of Anastasia Khvorova
Esther Boama-Nyarko, Nancy Byatt Lab
Kelsey Butler, Andres Colubrey Laboratory
Theodore Karrigan-Broda, Laboratory of Anastasia Khvorova
Chun Weichen, Dorothy Schaeffer’s Laboratory
Faith Conroy, Dohon Chem Lab
Kha Uyen Dam, Hong Zhang . Laboratory
Megan Fowler Magao, Daryl Bosco Lab
Jason Friedman, Paul Greer Lab
Chandler’s friend, Roger Davis’ lab
Johann Gergenrath, Craig Melo’s lab
James Gooding, Robert Brown Laboratory
Labs Kaiyuan Hao, Ann Rothstein and Michelle Kelliher
Carly Herbert, ABORPH Sony Lab
Labs Abigail Heller, Paul Greer and Robert Brown
Jonathan Jung, Ting Ting Lim Laboratory
Ayush Kumar, Arthur Mercurio Laboratory
Eui Jin Kwon, Chan Chu Lab
Donguk Lee, Gowthaman Uthaman Laboratory

Yi Liang, Kenneth Rock Laboratory
Jiangyuan Liu, Job Dekker Laboratory
Samuel Liu, Michael Francis Laboratory
Nathan McGilvary, Sharon Kantor Lab
Helen Magana, Hyun Yook’s lab
Brice Michener, Peter Friedman Laboratory
Rachel Miller, Neil Aronin’s Laboratory
Eli Maine, Alexandra Byrne Laboratory
Yen Anh Nguyen, Jonathan Watts Lab
Veroniki Nikolaki, Fen Biao Zhao Laboratory
Seun Osundolire, Kate Lapane Lab
Zachary Rascent, Anne Moorman Laboratory
Sidney Shock, Prince Mitchell’s Laboratory
Anthony Schiaudon, Milka Kupinova Zamor Laboratory
Jacob Stillman, Dorothy Schaeffer Laboratory
Milo Fantine, William Flavahan Laboratory
Kelsey Wagner, Michelle Kelleher Laboratory
Elinor Wiggin, Paul Thompson Laboratory
Bing Zhou, Zhan Zhou Laboratory
Sarah ZvornikanenAnd the Celia Schaeffer Lab

Related UMass Chan news stories:
Dean Lin to 57 new PhD candidates: Collaboration is key to science
GSBS admits 56 PhD candidates in a virtual ceremony

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