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Matriculating 2012

  • Jan Czerminski

    Jan Czerminski

    A Massachusetts native, Jan completed his undergraduate studies at McGill University with a BSc in Neuroscience. While at McGill, his research centered on pain, first focusing on chronic lower back pain in the lab of Dr. Laura Stone and then on pain genetics in the lab of Dr. Jeffrey Mogil.


    He started at UMass Medical School in 2012, completing rotations in the labs of Dr. Mark Alkema, Dr. Jeanne Lawrence, and Dr. Oliver Rando. He ultimately joined the Lawrence lab and his thesis research focused on modeling Down syndrome neurodevelopment using human pluripotent stem cells and the natural mechanism of dosage compensation. He defended his thesis in July 2019 and is looking forward to completing his medical school training.


    Jan.Czerminski@umassmed.edu

  • Aurian P. García González

    Aurian P. García González

    Auri graduated from the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras in 2012 with a B.S. in Cellular and Molecular Biology, and in Mathematics. As an undergraduate, she worked in the laboratories of Dr. Steven Massey, studying evolution of DNA repair in microbial genomes, and Dr. José Lasalde, developing computational tools to quantify voluntary motion kinetics in mice with neurodegenerative disease. She also participated in the Broad Institute's Summer Research Program in Genomics and spent two summers in the Regev lab studying the evolution of gene regulatory networks using expression data and regulatory network modeling.


    She has completed rotations in the labs of LABS. She completed thesis research in May of 2019 under the mentorship of Dr. Marian Walhout in the Program in Systems Biology. Her research project aimed to develop the use of the nematode C. elegans as a model to identify and characterize host-microbiota-drug interactions. The project encompassed developing high-throughput screens, as well as using genetics and targeted metabolomics in both host and microbe. The ultimate goal of the project is to identify microbes that influence drug efficacy in the host, and to characterize the mechanisms behind these interactions. Such microbe-drug interactions can be manipulated, say with probiotics or microbiota transplants, to optimize therapeutic outcomes.


    Aurian.GarciaGonzalez@umassmed.edu

  • Miriam A. Goldberg

    Miriam A. Goldberg

    Miriam A. Goldberg graduated from MIT in 2009 with an SB in Computer Science & Engineering and in 2010 with an M.Eng. in Autism Technologies from the MIT Media Lab. She also participated in the post-baccalaureate program at the University of Massachusetts Boston.

    She is completing a thesis in design and assessment of a novel communication system for mechanically ventilated ICU patients. This project is in the Departments of Anesthesiology and Neurology under the supervision of Dr. Robert H. Brown Jr., DPhil, MD, professor of neurology; Dr. J. Matthias Walz, MD, chair of anesthesiology & peri-operative medicine; and Dr. Leigh R. Hochberg, MD, PhD, professor at Brown University and a neurologist at Massachusetts General Hospital.


    Miriam.Goldberg@umassmed.edu

  • Barry A. Kriegsman

    Barry A. Kriegsman

    Barry A. Kriegsman is a graduate of MIT where he majored in Brain and Cognitive Sciences. Before entering UMassMed as an MD/PhD Candidate in 2012, he conducted HIV vaccine research at MIT in Dr. Dane Wittrup’s lab and genetic recombination research at the Curie Institute in Dr. Alain Nicolas’s lab.


    Barry’s current research interest is in cancer immunology. He previously rotated in Dr. Luzuriaga’s lab studying mother-to-child transmission of HIV and in Dr. Pazour’s lab studying the role of IFT27 on WNT signaling. He defended his thesis in Dr. Kenneth Rock’s lab where he investigated the roles of novel MHC class I presentation genes and found that a particular transcription factor, IRF2, is frequently downregulated by human cancers as an immune evasion mechanism.


    Barry.Kriegsman@umassmed.edu

  • Patrick P. Lowe

    Patrick P. Lowe

    Patrick P. Lowe is a cum laude graduate of the College of the Holy Cross with a BA in Biology. He completed undergraduate research in the laboratories of Gregory DiGirolamo, PhD at Holy Cross and with John Landers, PhD in the Department of Neurology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.


    Upon matriculation to UMMS in 2012, Patrick rotated in the laboratories of Alonzo Ross, PhD, John Landers, PhD, Miguel Sena Esteves, PhD, and Dr. Gyongyi Szabo, MD, PhD. He joined Dr. Szabo’s lab in 2015 and completed his dissertation, “Inebriated Immunity: Alcohol Affects Innate Immune Signaling in the Gut-Liver-Brain Axis,” in July, 2018. He will enter residency in Emergency Medicine upon graduation in June, 2020 and plans to pursue a career in academic medicine.


    Patrick.Lowe@umassmed.edu

  • Ashley N. Matthew

    Ashley N. Matthew

    Ashley N. Matthew is a graduate of Xavier University of Louisiana with a BS in Chemistry and minors in Mathematics and Biology. Before entering UMassMed as an MD/PhD candidate, she conducted research in the lab of Dr. Terry Watt studying the substate-enzyme interactions of histone deacetylases. Upon matriculating into the UMassMed MD/PhD program, she rotated in the labs of Dr. Celia Schiffer, Dr. Andrew Tapper studying nicotine addiction, and Dr. Christopher Sassetti studying M. Tuberculosis.


    In 2014 she transitioned into her PhD where she worked under the tutelage of Dr. Celia Schiffer. Her dissertation, “Targeting Drug Resistance in HCV NS3/4A Protease: Mechanism and Inhibitor Design Strategies,” utilized biochemical and biophysical techniques to develop strategies to combat drug resistance. She was awarded the prestigious NIH F31 Ruth L. Kirschstein fellowship as well as numerous grants to support conference presentations. She co-authored seven peer-reviewed publications in scientific journals, including four as first-author. Ashley is a current 4th year medical student and applying into Urology. 


    Ashley.Matthew2@umassmed.edu

  • Asia N. Matthew-Onabanjo

    Asia N. Matthew-Onabanjo

    Asia N. Matthew-Onabanjo is a graduate of Xavier University of Louisiana with a B.S. in Chemistry and a double minor in Mathematics and Biology. During her undergraduate training she conducted research under the tutelage of Dr. Terry Watt in Biochemistry. She was also a fellow of the Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP) at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and worked in the lab of Dr. Michael Brodsky in the field of genetics.


    Asia rotated in the following laboratories: Dr. Paul Gardner (nicotine addictions and neural circuitry) and Dr. Bob Woodland (virus-like particles and vaccine development). She recently completed her thesis work in the laboratory of Dr. Leslie M. Shaw where she studied the autophagy-independent functions of Beclin 1 in breast tumor growth.  During her thesis, she was awarded the prestigious Ruth L. Kirschstein Postdoctoral Individual National Research Service Award (F31). In addition, she published multiple supporting author papers and her first author paper is in the review process. Asia is a current 3rd year medical student with aspirations to apply into a surgical field.

    Asia.Matthew-Onabanjo@umassmed.edu

  • Zachary J. Milstone

    Zachary J. Milstone

    Zachary J. Milstone is a graduate of The University of Rochester with a BS in Biomedical Engineering and a concentration in Cell and Tissue Engineering. Before matriculating to the UMass Med MD/PhD program he conducted research into porcine-derived cartilage transplants and automated seizure detection at The University of Rochester and physiologically based pharmacokinetic modeling at Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research.


    He undertook thesis research in the lab of Dr. Chinmay Trivedi investigating the role of histone deacetylases (HDACs) in early cardiac progenitor cell commitment and differentiation. He successfully defended a dissertation entitled "Histone Deacetylase 1 and 2 are Essential for Early Cardiac Development" in April of 2019. Before beginning his thesis research in addition to Dr. Trivedi, he rotated with Dr. Greg Pazour, Dr. Ellen Gravallese, and Dr. Charles Emerson.


    Zachary.Milstone@umassmed.edu

  • Eric Schmidt

    Eric Schmidt

    Eric Schmidt is a graduate of the University of Kansas with a BS in biology.  While at the University of Kansas, he studied mechanisms of hypoxia induced vascular inflammation in the lab of Dr. Norberto Golzalez and evolution of Drosophila courtship song in Dr. Jennifer Gleason’s lab.   Following graduation, he worked in the lab of Dr. Fred Robinson at Oregon Health and Science University studying Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease.


    Eric rotated with Dr. John Landers, Dr. Sean Ryder, and Dr. Andreas Bergmann before joining Dr. Daryl Bosco’s lab, where he completed his Ph.D. in 2019.  His project focused on altered protein interactions of ALS-linked Profilin-1 and their effects on the actin cytoskeleton.

    Eric.Schmidt@umassmed.edu

  • James P. Strassner

    James P. Strassner

    James P. Strassner is a graduate of Cornell University with a BS in Biological Sciences with Honors and Distinction in Research for completing an undergraduate thesis in the lab of Dr. Helene Marquis on the innate immune response to Listeria monocytogenes in mucosal tissues.  Before matriculating into the MD/PhD Program at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, he also studied T-cell chemotaxis and regulatory T-cell functions in murine models of airway inflammation in the Lab of Andrew Luster at Massachusetts General Hospital.

    His research interests include translational science, autoimmunity, innate immunity and T-cell effector functions.  He completed rotations in the lab of Dr. Neal Silverman on testing the role of Toll and IMD pathways in the response to viral infections in Drosophila melanogaster and the lab of Dr. John Harris on optimizing an in vitro Treg suppression assay using gp100 restricted T cell clones.


    He completed his thesis research in the Harris lab where he primarily studied T-cell effector functions using a mouse model of vitiligo and skin signaling networks involved in vitiligo pathogenesis using a single-cell RNA-sequencing approach.  He also studied endoplasmic reticulum stress and the unfolded protein response in melanocytes after exposure to vitiligo inducing phenols, the roles of resident and recirculating memory T cell populations in progression and maintenance of vitiligo lesions, and the response of skin biomarkers to conventional and investigational treatments of vitiligo.


    James.Strassner@umassmed.edu