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Matriculating 2020

  • Akshay Alaghatta

    Akshay Alaghatta

    Originally from San Jose, CA, Akshay Alaghatta graduated from Johns Hopkins University in 2017 as a Neuroscience major with a minor in Space Science and Technology. At Hopkins, Akshay worked in Dr. Mark Mattson's lab studying neurodegenerative cognitive disorders such as Alzheimer's disease. After graduating, Akshay worked for three years as a research technician in Dr. Albert La Spada's lab at Duke University, where he studied the neurodegenerative movement disorder spinocerebellar ataxia type 7. 

    Akshay's current research interests include investigating the molecular underpinnings of a wide variety of psychiatric and neurologic disorders, including OCD, mood disorders, epilepsy, and neurodegenerative disorders. He has completed his first research rotation in Dr. Mark Alkema's lab, where he enjoyed investigating the stress response in the C. Elegans model organism. Akshay is excited to continue exploring research at UMassMed and learning from other researchers and physicians.

    In his free time, Akshay enjoys spending time with his friends and family, making music and art, running, and being in nature.

  • Webb Camille

    Webb Camille

    "In 2017, Webb Camille graduated from Salem State University where he received his bachelor’s degree in Biology concentrating in biomedical sciences. His research experience has been broad and diverse. During undergraduate years his research focused on ciliopathies. He performed genetic manipulation on Chlamydamonas to study cilia motility and assembly. He then worked for the Center for Tobacco Treatment Research and Training at the UMass Chan Medical School in corroboration with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to create a vaping cessation plan for adolescents in middle and high school.  

    His research interest are in neuroscience particularly neurodegenerative diseases. As an MD/PhD candidate he has completed rotations in Dr. Paul Greer's lab studying MS4As in microglia, and Dr. Zoushang Xu's lab conducting research on ALS. In completing this program, he aspires to be a meticulous investigator and a clinician who serves the underserved. He has yet to choose a thesis advisor."

  • Jenny Gao

    Jenny Gao

    Jenny graduated from New York University with a degree in Biology. At NYU, she studied developmental biology using the nematode C. elegans under Dr. Jane Hubbard. After graduating, she decided to learn about cancer biology with Dr. Sohail Tavazoie at The Rockefeller University. There, Jenny studied the role of tRNAs in cancer metastasis and novel ways to predict responders to drug treatments.

    Jenny has rotated in the lab of Dr. Dohoon Kim, where she studied how toxic metabolites can be exploited as a way to target cancer cells. She is excited to continue exploring the field of cancer biology in her upcoming rotations.

  • Kensei Kishimoto

    Kensei Kishimoto

    Kensei Kishimoto graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles with a BS in Biochemistry in June of 2020. At UCLA, Kensei trained in Dr. Alexander Hoffmann's lab, studying transcriptional regulation in NFkB and IFN innate immune response pathways. He then subsequently joined UMass in July of 2020.

    Kensei has been an advocate for pediatric cancer research at UCLA while volunteering with ChildLife at UCLA Mattel Children's Hospital. He also took leadership roles at a student organization called Bruins Fighting Pediatric Cancer to fundraise money and raise awareness for Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation to support pediatric cancer research. He aspires to become a pediatric hematologist/oncologist.

    Kensei is interested in utilizing bioinformatic and computational tools to understand gene dysregulation in cancer. He rotated in Dr. Michelle Kelliher's lab in the summer of 2020, analyzing scRNA-seq data to transcriptionally characterize potentially chemoresistant dormant leukemic cells.

  • Jenny Powers

    Jenny Powers

    Jenny Powers graduated with a degree in Biochemistry/Molecular Biology and a minor in Mathematics from Rollins College in 2013. Following graduation, she returned to her home state of Minnesota and worked as a medical scribe. After a couple of years focusing on the clinical side of things, she was drawn back to the world of basic science research and joined the lab of Dr. Gary Dunny at the University of Minnesota where she investigated functional genomics of Enterococcus faecalis biofilm formation.

    In 2018, Jenny moved to MA and began work at UMass Chan Medical School in the lab of Dr. Samuel Behar studying the immune response to Mycobacterium tuberculosis. She is delighted to be staying at UMass for her MD/PhD training. In July of 2020, Jenny completed her first rotation with Dr. Megan Orzalli, whose lab studies innate cutaneous responses to viral infection. She is excited to further explore her interests in host-pathogen interactions in future rotations before selecting a thesis lab.