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Matriculating 2017

  • Alexander S. Baier

    Alexander S. Baier

    Alexander S. Baier graduated from Colby College in 2014 with a BA in Psychology. Prior to matriculating at UMMS he worked in the laboratory of Dr. Andrew Kruse, Ph.D., in the Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology department at Harvard Medical School. While there he helped develop a synthetic camelid antibody fragment library, and was named one of six inventors on the patent filing. This work has since been licensed by multiple pharmaceutical companies and utilized by hundreds of academic laboratories around the world.

    His current research interests revolve around the mechanistic understanding and regulation of cellular machinery. He rotated in the Munson and Peterson labs and has joined the lab of Dr. Craig Peterson, Ph.D., where he is investigating various chromatin remodeling enzymes using a combination of biochemistry and molecular biology tools.

  • Jane Evelyn Chuprin

    Jane Evelyn Chuprin

    Jane Evelyn Chuprin graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Pennsylvania with a B.A in Molecular Biology and minor in Chemistry in 2017. She was the recipient of the “Chair’s Award for Excellence” given to the most distinguished biology student in the graduating class, and she successfully completed her biology honors thesis in the laboratory of Dr. Carl H. June, MD., studying T-cell activation in the context of CAR-T cell therapy prior to matriculating to UMass Chan.

    Her current interests include characterizing immune cell response of disease processes in the direction of optimizing targeted medical therapies. She rotated with Dr. Ann Rothstein, PhD., studying immune cell response in systemic lupus erythematosus, and with Dr. Michael Brehm, PhD., studying intratumoral injections of immunotherapy in melanoma humanized mouse models. She is currently in the lab of Dr. Michael Brehm, PhD., studying the immune landscape of pancreatic adenocarcinoma using specialized humanized mouse models, large panel multi-parameter flow cytometry, and bioinformatic analysis (i.e. CITE-seq) as part of the UMass Cancer Avatar Institute.

  • Zach Dyer

    Zach Dyer

    Zach Dyer holds an AB in Creative Writing from Columbia University and an MPH in Maternal and Child Health from Boston University. For several years, Zach worked for the Worcester Division of Public Health as Deputy Director where his work focused on coalition building for health improvement, community engagement, and policy change. Zach remains active in local, state, and national boards including the Massachusetts Public Health Association Policy Council and the National Civic League’s Council of Advisors.

    Zach’s research interests center on improving social determinants and reducing health disparities through broad, high-level systems change including payment reform and innovative risk adjustment modeling. He has rotated with and is currently advised by Dr. Jay Himmelstein and Dr. Arlene Ash in the department of Population and Quantitative Health Sciences.

  • Julie Hugunin

    Julie Hugunin

    Julie Hugunin is a graduate of Northeastern University with a BS in Biological Sciences.

    In June of 2017 Julie matriculated into the MD/PhD program at UMass Chan. In June of 2018, as part of the Global Health Pathway with Dr. Jeroan Allison, she traveled to Gujarat, India, to work on a project investigating the causes of adverse birth outcomes and development of children, with the hope to provide insight into the impact of physical, mental, nutritional, and social health. In July of 2018, she worked with Dr. Stephanie Lemon and Dr. Milagros Rosal on a study that assessed the longitudinal associations between elevated symptoms of depression, anxiety, and ataque de nervios, with emergency department utilization in a population of Latinos residing in the northeast US.

    Her research interests are related to improving mental health care. Julie looks forward to starting her thesis work with Dr. Christine Ulbricht, focusing on understanding mental illness in nursing homes.

  • Sookyung Kim

    Sookyung Kim

    Sookyung Kim is a graduate of University of Massachusetts Amherst with a BS in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Prior to joining the UMass Chan MD/PhD program, she conducted research in the labs of Dr. Cynthia Baldwin, where she identified WC1 homologues of bovine gamma delta T cells in sheep as part of her senior thesis work, and of Dr. Anna Greka, where she worked on developing targeted therapies for chronic kidney disease models and biomarkers for a rare kidney disease.

    Her interests include understanding how cells respond to different stimuli such as infection, environmental cue/ niche, and available nutrients, with the goal of ultimately harnessing this knowledge to develop more targeted and more accessible therapeutics. She has completed rotations in the labs of Dr. Christopher Sassetti  (developing genetic engineering tools for mycobacterial chromosomes), Dr. David Guertin (developing tools to screen for proteins interacting with Sin1, 2, and Rictor and image lipid droplets in cancer cells), Dr. Cole Haynes (identifying alternative mitochondrial dysfunction regulators), and Dr. Michael Green (analyzing exome seq and RNA seq data of cancer cells and analyzing differential 3’ end polyadenylation site on brain tissue from individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder). In 2019, she joined the Haynes lab and is excited to contribute her efforts to deepening the understanding of how cells respond to mitochondrial stress.

  • Mohamad A. Nasrallah

    Mohamad A. Nasrallah

    Mohamad A. Nasrallah is a third year MD-PhD student at UMass Chan Medical School. He graduated Summa Cum Laude with a BS in Biological Sciences from the University at Albany, SUNY in 2017. There, he explored the role of cell cycle and RNA regulation in stem cell maintenance and differentiation in the Rangan lab for four years. In the summer of 2015 and 2016, Mohamad joined summer research programs at UMass Chan Medical School and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai to study amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and brain epigenetics, respectively.

    His current interest involves bridging brain transcriptomics and RNA translational control to understand the pathogenesis of neurological diseases. He has completed rotations in the Rando, Lawrence, and Richter labs and finished his Surgery and OB/GYN clinical clerkships. He will start PhD training as a member of the Richter lab in September 2019.

  • Abiola Folasade Ogunsola

    Abiola Folasade Ogunsola

    Abiola Folasade Ogunsola, a native of Philadelphia, is excited complete her professional and graduate training up north here in Worcester! She is a proud graduate of the University of Pittsburgh where she earned her BS in microbiology. Prior to starting her training at UMMS, Abiola served as a research technician where she investigated Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus biofilm formation in the lungs of Cystic Fibrosis patients.

    Abiola's research interests include host-pathogen interactions, and she has a strong desire to delve deep into the world of immunology and gain familiarity with the most recent bioinformatic tools. She has completed rotations in the Kornfeld and Irazoqui labs, and has chosen Sam Behar for her thesis advisor where she will investigate the role of immune cells in the vaccinated response to Mycobacterium tuberculosis infections.