Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences welcomes 52 students as doctoral candidates

Dean Carruthers: ‘You and your peers represent the future of science for all humanity’

By Megan Bard

UMass Medical School Communications

September 14, 2017
  • GSBS Dean Anthony Carruthers spends a moment with Chancellor Michael F. Collins before the dean’s last official ceremony at UMMS before stepping down from the dean’s post early next year.
  • Dean Carruthers addresses the audience.
  • Tatenda Kadungure accepts a gift from Dean Carruthers at the GSBS Recognition Ceremony.
  • Erica Mondo is congratulated by the dean.
  • GSBS students who have recently passed the qualifying exam applaud their classmates.
  • Rachel Stamateris is congratulated by the dean.
  • Jacqueto Zephyr accepts a gift from the dean.
  • Robert Layne and GSBS student Chido Kativhu enjoy some refreshments at the GSBS reception.
  • GSBS student Julia Alterman talks with Dean Carruthers.

In his last ceremonial event as dean of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Anthony Carruthers, PhD, reflected upon his aspirations for the 52 graduate students who are entering the “proving ground for doctoral study” at the GSBS Recognition Ceremony on Thursday, Sept. 14.

“You and your peers represent the future of science for all humanity,” said Dean Carruthers, professor of biochemistry & molecular pharmacology and microbiology & physiological systems, addressing the students who recently passed their Qualifying Examination. Carruthers, who has been at UMMS since 1982, is stepping down from his post as dean early next year.

The dean encouraged students to be the defense against “post-modernism assertions that interpretation is everything,” likening it to the antithesis of science. He defined fake new as “news that our unconscious biases trick us into wanting to believe when we really should know better” or information “created to exploit those who are unable to distinguish fantasy from reality.”

“The result is a growing segment of society that seems either unable or unwilling to acknowledge the evidence supporting phenomena such as global warming, the preventative power of immunization, or the positive correlation between gun availability and gun-related violence,” he said.

Carruthers told them to continue as they began: champion the scientific method.

“Insist upon the collection and review of empirical evidence. Wherever and whenever you encounter fake news, counter untruths with evidence. When evidence is absent, create a methodology to research the problem. Sometimes the evidence may take us to places we would prefer not to be, but intellectual integrity demands that we are consistent in all we do,” he said.

As students continue their studies and work toward their PhDs, Carruthers asked them to remember his advice from when they began their studies: “This is a journey of scientific discovery and growing self-awareness. Recognize when you have accomplished something special or when your approach was flawed—try to understand the hows and whys of your successes and failures and then learn from each.”

“Eventually you will advance to completion and publication as a battle-worn vet experienced in the cut and thrust of research,” he said.

After the dean’s address, Associate Dean Mary Ellen Lane, PhD, associate professor of neurobiology, recognized the students who were admitted to doctoral candidacy in the academic year 2016-17.

Those students are:

Kristin Abramo (Job Dekker Lab)
Mennatallah Albarqi (Sean Ryder Lab)
Elizabeth Allen (Eric Baehrecke Lab)
Karen Ashe (Judith Ockene Lab)
Anne Carlisle (Dohoon Kim Lab)
Gaurav Chauhan (Elinor Karlsson Lab)
Michelle Cheng (Claudio Punzo Lab)
Yeonhee Cho (Gyongyi Szabo Lab)
Ke Cong (Sharon Cantor Lab)
Peren Coskun (Sean Ryder Lab)
Siyuan Dai (Craig Mello Lab)
Kyvan Dang (Junhao Mao Lab)
Ameer Elaimy (Arthur Mercurio Lab)
Jason Fan (Craig Peterson Lab)
Philip Feinberg (Dorothy Schafer Lab)
Sage Foley (Beth McCormick Lab)
Kyle Foster (Read Pukkila-Worley Lab)
Michael Frisoli (John Harris Lab)
Carolina Galan (Oliver Rando Lab)
Kayleigh Gallagher (Michelle Kelliher Lab)
Jake Gellatly (Manuel Garber Lab)
James Gilbert (Anastasia Khvorova Lab)
Hakan Guney (Jeremy Luban Lab)
Ying-Chao Hsueh (Lisa Cavacini Lab)
Jacob Hunnicut (Kate Lapane Lab)
Raed Ibraheim (Erik Sontheimer Lab)
Anne Jecrois (Celia Schiffer and William Royer Labs)
Michael Jones (Susan Swain Lab)


Tatenda Kadungure (Hong Zhang Lab)
Jenya Kolpakova (Giles Martin Lab)
Pyae Phyo Kyawe (Robert Finberg and Jennifer Wang Labs) Jooyoung Lee (Eric Sontheimer Lab)
Zue Li (Elinor Karlsson Lab)
Gordon Lockbaum (Celia Schiffer Lab)
Kevin Luk (Scot Wolfe Lab)
Katelyn McCann [Beth McCormick and Steven Holland (NIH) Labs]
Erica Mondo (Dorothy Schafer Lab)
J. Eunmi Moon (Jeanne Lawrence Lab)
Daniel Mott (Samuel Behar Lab)
Mercedeh Movassagh (Jeffrey Bailey and Arthur Mercurio Labs)
Kashfia Neherin (Hong Zhang Lab)
Richeek Pradhan (Hong Yu and Robert Goldberg Labs)
Priya Saikumar Lakshmi (Ann Moormann Lab)
Ankur Sheel (Wen Xue Lab)
Noah Jacob Silverstein (Jun Huh Lab)
Abigail Smith (Gregory Pazour Lab)
Apurv Soni (Jeroan Allison Lab)
Meghan Spears (Dohoon Kim Lab)
Meera Sreedhara (Stephenie Lemon Lab)
Rachel Stamateris (Laura Alonso Lab)
Batuham Yenilmez (Michael Czech Lab)
Jacqueto Zephyr (Celia Schiffer Lab)

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