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Current Students

Mary Kelly

Mary Kelley

Mary is a final year Master’s student in Biology. In 2014 she graduated from the Rochester Institute of Technology with a degree in Biomedical sciences. Her fascination with cancer stems around the mechanism and morphology that cause the cancer to proliferate and invade a person’s body. Her current project is looking at the role of Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR) within a Squamous Cell Carcinoma TPL2/MAP3K8 knockout mouse. She believes that the Mesenchymal Epithelial Transition Factor (MET) and EGFR are somehow interconnected within Squamous Cell Carcinoma. Both of these tyrosine kinase receptors activate downstream signaling, which could potentially crosstalk with one another. She is hoping to confirm this hypothesis to help better establish therapeutics for the 2nd most common skin cancer. She also works on the Multiple Myeloma project that looks at the correlation between drug resistance and obesity. Before pursuing her Master’s she worked as a Research Associate at a Molecular Diagnostics company that focused on proteomic cancer biomarkers. 

Maria Ochiai

Maria Ochiai

Maria graduated with a major in Biology and a minor in music. She was an honors biology student and has been a part of the lab since May 2018. Maria works on the multiple myeloma project, which examines the role of obesity on cell adhesion mediated drug resistance in multiple myeloma cells. She will continue her work investigating multiple myeloma in the AU’s two-year Biology Master’s program. In the future, Maria aspires to become a doctor. Outside of lab, Maria is an avid artist and musician.

Recent Alumni

  • Karli Wensel, MS Biology 2018
    Thesis title: Physiological and behavioral effects of rilozule exposures in WT and SOD1 mutant zebrafish
    Current position: PhD student, Neuroscience, Georgetown University, Leesburg, VA
  • Emma Lucore, MS Biology 2018
    Thesis title: Effects of time to first feeding and opportunity to learn on the survival and growth of zebrafish (Danio rerio) larvae
    Current position: High school biology teacher, Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School, Rockville, MD
  • Will Jessup, MS Biology 2018
    Thesis title: Analyzing the health of the Anacostia River through zebrafish development and behavior
    Current position: Senior Associate, Data and Reporting, Urban Land Institute, Washington, DC
  • Rebecca Wilken, MS Biology 2017
    Thesis title: Anatomical and behavioral outcomes of toxicant exposure in the Anacostia River: building a zebrafish (Danio rerio) model of biological river health
    Current position: Regulatory Scientist, Exponent, Inc., Washington, DC
  • Mandy Ng, MS Biology 2016
    Thesis title: the effects of chemotherapeutic drugs on zebrafish (Danio rerio) larvae
    Current position: Research Technician, Jeffery Lab, Department of Biology, University of Maryland-College Park, College Park, MD
  • April Meier, MA Biology 2016
    Thesis title: A color processing review of the zebrafish retina
    Current position: Adjunct Professor, Genesee Community College, Batavia, NY
  • Matthew LeFauve, MS Biology 2016
    Thesis title: Impacts of heavy metals on gross morphology and visual behavior in zebrafish
    Current position: PhD student, Biological Sciences with a focus on Neuroscience, George Washington University, Washington, DC
  • Ryan O’Donnell, MS Biology 2015
    Thesis title: Large scale in vivo zebrafish screen of small molecule glutamate agonists
    Current position: Teacher, 8th grade Science, LA Promise Fund, Los Angeles, CA
  • Chioma Aligbe-Odenigbo, MS Biology 2013
    Thesis title: Effects of the new generation hemoglobin-based oxygen carrier, OxyvitaTM, on pial artery diameter in healthy rats (I) ** thesis research performed at Navy Medical Research Center, Bethesda, MD
    Current position: Scientist, Emergent Biosolutions, Rockville, MD
  • Zaid Tanvir, MS Biology 2013
    Thesis title: ERG analysis of on-center bipolar cell function in glucose-treated zebrafish
    Current position: Secretariat, Working Group on new TB drugs at TB Alliance (UN-agency funded program), New York, NY
  • Lindsey Nugent (Grantham), MS Biology 2010
    Thesis title: Identification and morphological classification of neuronal cell types within Astyanax mexicanus retina
    Current position: Resident at The Ohio State University, College of Medicine, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Columbus, OH; received MD from West Virginia University 2016
  • Natalia Prado-Oviedo, MS Biology 2010
    Thesis title: Role of estrogens in hyperprolactinemia-induced acyclicity in African elephants ** thesis research performed at Smithsonian National Zoological Park, Washington, DC
    Current position: Research Fellow, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, Manassas, VA
  • Ruth Burley, MS Biology 2010
    Thesis title: Examining diabetic retinopathy in the zebrafish (Danio rerio) model
    Current position: Physician, Hospice and Palliative Medicine, Lancaster General Health, Lancaster, PA; received MD from Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School 2014
  • Jennifer Hsieh Kim, MS Biology 2008
    Thesis title: Morphological identification of amacrine cells in the zebrafish retina
    Current position: Compliance, Deerfield Management, New York, NY
  • Alexandra Krugler, MA Biology 2007
    Thesis title: The role of Muller cells in normal and diseased retina
    Current position: Psychiatrist, Cambridge, MD; received MD from Louisiana State University School of Medicine 2014
  • Melissa Porter, MS Biology 2007
    Thesis title: Gene expression profiling determines the role of caspases in T-cell activation and survival
    Current position: Administrative Manager, National Cancer Institute, Frederick, MD