New PhD candidates recognized in expanded Convocation Week ceremony

By Kristen O’Reilly and Bryan Goodchild

UMass Medical School Communications

September 19, 2013

Forty-three newly qualified PhD candidates were recognized by the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences in a ceremony marking the beginning of the academic year on Wednesday, Sept. 18. The event honored those who have successfully completed the Qualifying Exam, which marks the transition from classroom-based learning to candidacy for a doctoral degree.

During the ceremony, Chancellor Michael F. Collins said he was pleased when GSBS students approached him last September to propose an event to recognize PhD students during Convocation Week. While the Sherman Center and other campus research buildings provide impressive venues for scientific discovery, he said it’s the people who make a difference in the success of an academic institution.

“It’s the intellect and innovation that each one of you bring to our atmosphere, it’s the drive and determination that you bring to the uncertainties and great mysteries and great surprises of sciences and the commitment you bring to your careers and each other,” said Chancellor Collins.

“The way that doctoral research works, you very much have a tendency to feel isolated,” said Terence R. Flotte, MD, the Celia and Isaac Haidak Professor of Medicine, executive deputy chancellor, provost and dean of the School of Medicine. “We want to be supportive of you.” Events like this one show “if we pull together, not only are we going to do more, we’re going to have fun together,” he said.

GSBS Dean Anthony Carruthers, PhD, first recognized the group of students who were admitted to doctoral candidacy prior to academic year 2012-2013. Then Associate Dean Mary Ellen Lane, PhD, called up to the podium each of the 43 students admitted to doctoral candidacy last year. Those students are:

Amena Arif, Phil Zamore Lab

Aditya Bandekar, Chris Sassetti Lab

Seda Barutcu, Roger Davis Lab

Rebecca Baum, Ellen Gravallese Lab

Houda Belaghzal, Job Dekker Lab

Michelle Bellerose, Chris Sassetti Lab

Havisha Bindu, Robert Brown Lab

Mehmet Bolukbasi, Scot Wolfe Lab 

Thomas Burdett, Marc Freeman Lab

Alison Casserly, Andrew Tapper Lab

Jen-Chieh Chiang, Jeanne Lawrence Lab

Lauren Clancy, Jane Freedman Lab

Shubham Dutta, Dan McCollum Lab

Kingsley Essien, John Harris Lab

Daniel Frendl, John Ware Lab

Leticia Fridman, Robert Brown Lab

Ryan Genga, Rene Maehr Lab

Priyanjali Ghosh, Charles Sagerstrom Lab

Tsung-Han Hsieh, Ollie Rando Lab

Henry Huang, Jie Song Lab

Samson Jolly, Phil Zamore Lab

Hsin-Jung Chou, Fen-Biao Gao Lab

Elif Kamber, Andreas Bergmann Lab

Yasin Kaymaz, Jeff Bailey Lab

Nicola Kearns, Rene Maehr Lab

Heesun Kim, Craig Mello Lab

Pallavi Lamba, Patrick Emery Lab

Jermaine Lawson, Larry Hayward Lab

Sara Lewandowski, Chinmay Trivedi Lab

Zachary Maben, Larry Stern Lab

Jose Mercado-Matos, Leslie Shaw Lab

Mihir Metkar, Melissa Moore Lab

Juahdi Monbo, Jeremy Luban Lab

Makoto John Ohira, Melissa Moore Lab

Ogooluwa Ojelabi, Tony Carruthers Lab

Samantha Palace, Jon Goguen Lab

Harish Palleti, John Keaney Lab

Alison Philbrook, Mike Francis Lab

Kristina Prachanronarong, Celia Schiffer Lab

Caitlin Quigley, Hong Sheng Li Lab

Debra Ragland, Celia Schiffer Lab

Harleen Saini, Melissa Moore Lab

Inyoung Song, Larry Stern Lab

Gabriela Toro, Robert Brown Lab

Markus Vallaster, Ollie Rando Lab

Allen Vong, Susan Swain Lab

Ozge Yildiz, Hemant Khanna Lab

So Yun Min, Silvia Corvera Lab

Matija Zelic, Michelle Kelliher Lab

Xiaohu Zhao, Jeremy Luban Lab