RNA Fellows

PhD Training Program in RNA Science

RNA Fellows 6th cohort Zoom screenshot 2020
6th cohort of RNA Fellows 

RNA Fellows 

RNA fellows are selected from the four participating departments based on outstanding performance. These RNA fellows form a cohesive cohort that take an RNA centric curriculum of courses and colloquia. 

Read about Student Success Stories.

See the profiles of all our RNA Fellows below.

RNA Fellow Profiles
2021-2022
Rachel Lange

Rachel Lange

Biomedical Sciences

Mentor: Alexander Ciota

Jacob Schroader

Jacob Schroader

Biological Sciences

Mentor: Kaalak Reddy

Michelle Urman

Michelle Urman

Biological Sciences

Mentor: Changhwan Lee

William Mudd

William Mudd

Nanobioscience

Mentor: Benoit Boivin

Rachel Fey

Rachel Fey

Biomedical Sciences

Mentor: Alexander Ciota

Ryan_Treen

Ryan Treen

Biomedical Sciences

Mentor: Anil Ojha

Christopher Smith

Chris Smith

Chemistry

Mentor: Mehmet Yegit

Emmanuel Adade

Emmanuel Adade

Biological Sciences

Mentor: Alex Valm

Kavya Chegireddy

Kavya Chegireddy

Biomedical Sciences

Mentor: Joseph Wade

Raghu Katreddi

Raghu Katreddi

Biological Sciences

Mentor: Paolo Forni

Sawyer Hicks

Sawyer Hicks

Biology

Mentor: Andy Berglund

Gregory John

Gregory John

Chemistry

Mentor: Alan Chen

 

2020-2021
Amir Agharezaee

Amir Agharezaee
Chemistry

Mentor:
 Maxim Royzen
Project: Bio-orthogonal chemistry-based method for fluorescent labelling of ribosomal RNA

Luis_Perez_Almadover

Luis Perez Almodovar
Chemistry

Mentor:
Igor Lednev
Project: Epitranscriptomic Discovery Using Atomic Force Microscopy - Tip Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (AFM-TERS)

Pheonah Badu

Pheonah Badu
Biological Sciences

Mentor: Cara Pager
Project: Transcriptional regulation of antiviral response during Zika virus infection

Sara_Evke

Sara Evke
Nanobiosciences

Mentors: Juan Andres Melendez / Thomas Begley
Project: The epitranscriptomic writer ALKBH8 modulates the response to pharmaceuticals

Rachel_Fay

Rachel Fay
Biomedical Sciences

Mentor: Alexander Ciota
Project: Characterizing the role of temperature on flavivirus evolution and vector virus interactions

William_Gasperi

William Gasperi
Biological Sciences

Mentor: Thomas Begley
Project: Epitranscriptomic effects of mitochondrial toxicants

Tristen_Head

Tristen Head
Nanobiosciences

Mentor: Nathaniel Cady
Project: Microfluidic Platform for Integrated Reagent Delivery and In Vivo Imaging

Mahera_Kachwala

Mahera Kachwala
Chemistry

Mentor: Mehmet Yigit
Project: DNA/RNA Detection using CRISPR-Cas Systems and Hybridization Chain Reaction for Disease Diagnostics

Raghu Katreddi

Raghu Katreddi
Biological Sciences

Mentor: Paolo Forni
Project: P63 transcription factor identifies multipotent resident basal stem cells in the Vomeronasal organ

Noor_Kobt

Noor Kobt
Biomedical Sciences

Mentor: Prashanth Rangan
Project: Zfrp8, the homolog of a human tumor suppressor is required for germ cell to oocyte transition

Avinash_Londhe

Avinash Londhe
Nanobiosciences

Mentor: Ben Boivin
Project: Characterization of regulators of PTP1B oxidation in cells

Christopher Smith

Christopher Smith
Chemistry

Mentor: Mehmet Yigit
Project: Modified CRISPR technology for and beyond DNA and RNA detection

Ed_Zandro_Taroc

Ed Zandro Taroc
Biological Sciences

Mentor: Paolo Forni
Project: Islet-1 lineage of the developing nasal area

Ryan_Treen

Ryan Treen
Biomedical Sciences

Mentor: Anil Ojha
Project: Ribosome hibernation in Mycobacterium abscessus

Dana-Woodstock

Dana Woodstock
Biological Sciences

Mentor: Morgan Sammons
Project: The Other Master Regulator: Specification of Epithelial Cell Identity by p63

 

2019-2020
Pheonah Badu

Pheonah Badu
Biological Sciences

Mentor: Cara Pager
Project: RNA-Binding Proteins Regulating Zika Virus Gene Expression

Zhixue Bai

Zhixue Bai
Chemistry

Mentor: Alan Chen
Project: Recognition Mechanism in FMN Aptamer via Computer Simulation

 

Rachel Fey

Rachel Fay
Biomedical Sciences

Mentor: Alexander Ciota
Project: The Impact of Tempature on Viral Evolution

Jesus Frias

Jesus Frias
Biological Sciences

Mentor: Andrew Berglund
Project: Investigating Small Molecules as a Therapeutic for Myotonic Dystrophy

 

Tristen_Head

Tristen Head
Nanobiosciences

Mentor: Nathaniel Cady
Project: Microfluidic Platform for Integrated Reagent Delivery and In Vivo Imaging

 

May Yue Lee
Nanobiosciences

Mentor: J. Andres Melendez
Project: Epitranscriptome Control of Cellular Senescence and Mitochondrial Reprogramming

Nicole Ralbovsky

Nicole Ralbovsky
Chemistry

Mentor: Igor Lednev
Project: Single-Molecule Detection Using Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy for Biomedical Diagnostics

Ali Ropri

Ali Ropri
Biomedical Sciences

Mentor: Jason Herschkowitz
Project: Global Analysis of Super Enhancers in MCF10A Breast Cancer Progression Series

Anwesha Sarkar

Anwesha Sarkar
Biological Sciences

Mentor: Tom Begley
Project: Deciphering Arsenic Induced Epitranscriptomic Changes in HepG2 Cells

 

Kahini Sarkar

Kahini Sarkar
Biological Sciences

Mentor: Prashanth Rangan
Project: Activation and Repression of Meiotic Program During Drosophila Oogenesis

Priyanka Sehta

Priyanka Sehta
Biological Sciences

Mentor: Gabriele Fuchs
Project: IRES-Mediated Translation in Mammalian Cells

 

Ya Ying Zheng
Chemistry

Mentor: Jia Sheng
Project: RNA Modification

 

2018-2019

Waqas Awan
Chemistry

Mentor: Alan Chen
Project: Exploring the Sugar Conformations of 2'-5' Linked RNA via Computer Simulation

Deniece Brown
Biological Sciences

Mentor: Cara T. Pager
Project: The Role of RNA Decay Pathways in Zika Virus Infection

Haley Caldwell
Biomedical Sciences

Mentor: Alexander Ciota
Project: Characterizing the Role and Mechanism of the Flavivirus Replication Complex in Virus-host Interactions

Serene Durham
Biological Sciences

Mentor: Morgan Sammons
Project: Evolution of DNA Damage-dependent RNA Regulatory Networks

Samantha Ingenito
Chemistry

Mentor:
 TBA
Project: TBD

 

2017-2018

Amber Altrieth
Biological Sciences

Mentor: Mindy Larsen
Project:Endothelial cell signaling in salivary gland regeneration

Shane Breznak
Biological Sciences

Mentor: Prash Rangan
Project: RNA Regulation Durning Germline Stem Cell Differentiation

Jamie Corro
Biomedical Sciences

Mentor: Anil Ojha
Project: Functional analysis of alternative ribosomes in mycobacteria

Alyssa Hoy
Chemistry

Mentor: Maksim Royzen
Project: Synthesis of RNA phosphoramidites incorporating trans-cyclooctene

 

2016-2017

Marissa Louis
Biological Sciences

Mentor: Cara Pager
Project: Characterizing Zika virus subversion of cellular RNA granules

Botros Toro
Biological Sciences

Mentor: Pan Li
Project: Examinaton of the physical basis of nucleic acid interactons

Justin Waldern
Biomedical Sciences

Mentor: Marlene Belfort
Project: Mobility of group II introns in their native hosts

Ryan McDowell
Biological Sciences

Mentor: Kathleen McDonough
Project: Non-canonical roles for M. tuberculosis phospodiesterase, Rv0805

Casey Warszycki
Biological Sciences

Mentor: Kathleen McDonough
Project: 5'-UTR regulation of dormancy-associated genes in M. tuberculosis

 

2015-2016
Rachel Cary

Rachel Cary
Biological Sciences

Project: Identification and role of post-transitional modification on a cellular DEAD-box RNA helicase.

Alicia McCarthy

Alicia McCarthy
Biological Sciences

Project: Project: An investigation into the effects of non-coding RNA on the Drosophila melanogaster oocyte epigenome.

Patrick Blatt

Patrick Blatt
Biomedical Sciences

Project: Identifying RNA-RNA interactions of, and trans-acting factors that bind to the pgc 3' UTR of Drosophila melanogaster.

Rebecca D'Esposity

Rebecca D'Esposito
Chemistry

Project: Using computational methods to support ion mobility spectrometry for large RNA assemblies.

Marissa Louis

Marissa Louis
Biomedical Sciences

Project: Mechanisms by which components of the cellular mRNA decapping complex modulate Dengue virus gene expression.

Neil Robertson

Neil Robertson
Chemistry 

Project: Using graphene and iron oxide based miRNA detection, nanotools for breast and prostate cancer diagnosis.
Graduated: Neil is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Precision Medicine Program at Michigan State University (School of Medicine).

Lauren Cooper

Lauren Cooper
Biomedical Sciences

Project: Using CRISPR to identify the functions of RNAs resulting from pervasive transcription in Escherichia coli.
Graduated: Lauren is enrolled in the CPEP Fellowship Program, based at Indiana University.

Rachel Nelson

Rachel Nelson
Biomedical Sciences

Project: Structural basis for initiation of DNA synthesis from RNA primers.