Jennifer Klomp

Advisor:  Andrei Karginov

Defense Date:  September 8, 2017

Thesis Title:  "Dissecting the Role of c-Src in the Regulation of Adherens Junctions Using Engineered Kinases"

Current Position:  T32 Postdoctoral Fellow, University of North Carolina-Lineberger Cancer Center, Channing Der Lab

Russell Smith

Advisor:  John O'Bryan

Defense Date:  April 12, 2017

Thesis Title:  "A Novel Affinity Reagent to RAS Perturbs Its Function in Cells"

Current Position:   Intramural Postdoctoral Fellow, National Cancer Institute, Deborah Morrison Lab

Pascal Yazbeck

Advisor:  Dolly Mehta

Defense Date:  January 31, 2017

Thesis Title:  "Focal Adhesion Kinase, Maintenance of Sphingosine 1 Phosphate Receptor 1 Expression and Barrier Function"

Current Position:  Postdoctoral Research Associate, Harvard Medical School, Tanya Mayadas Lab


Zheng Xu

Advisor:  Xiaoping Du

Defense Date:  July 19, 2016

Thesis Title:  "Integrin Alphallbbeta3-dependent Reactive Oxygen Species Production in Platelets"

Brian Estevez

Advisor:  Xiaoping Du

Defense Date:  July 7, 2016

Thesis Title:  "Signaling Mechanisms of the Glycoprotein Ib-IX-V Complex and Role of LIm Kinase 1 in Platelet Activation"

Current Position:  Postdoctoral Fellow, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Mory Poncz Lab

Justin R Sysol

Advisor:  Roberto Machado

Defense Date:  May 25, 2016

Thesis Title:  "Role of the SphK1/S1P Signaling Axis in the Pathogenesis of Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension"

Current Position:  MSTP Student at UIC

Venkateswaran Ramamoorthi Elangovan

Advisor:  Joe Garcia

Defense Date:  March 17, 2016

Thesis Title:  "Genetic and Epigenetic Regulation of NAMPT/PBEF Expression in Human Lung Endothelium"

Andrew Barazia

Advisor:  Jaehyung "Gus" Cho

Defense Date:  January 20, 2016

Thesis Title:  "Role of DREAM in Neutrophil Function and Platelet-Neutrophil Interactions in Thrombo-Inflammatory Disease"

Current Position:  Applications Scientist at Intelligent Imaging Innovations, Denver, CO


Bo Shen

Advisor:  Xiaoping Du

Defense Date:  December 9, 2015

Thesis Title:  "The Role of Galpha13 in Integrin Signaling and Function"

Current Position:  Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Sean Morrison Lab


Matthew Weist

Advisor:  Masuko Ushio-Fukai

Defense Date:  November 25, 2015

Thesis Title:  "Mitochondrial Fission Protein, DRP1: A New Regulator of VEGF-Induced Angiogenesis"

Current Position:  Clinical Data Manager, University of Chicago Medicine

Alicia N Rizzo

Advisor:  Steven Dudek

Defense Date:  June 1, 2015

Thesis Title:  "The Role of Abl Family Kinases in Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome"

Current Position:  MSTP Student at UIC

Brian Burmeister

Advisor:  John O'Bryan

Defense Date:  May 7, 2015

Thesis Title:  "PKA Phosphorylation of Shp2 Inhibits its Phosphatase Activity and Modulate Substrate Specificity"  

Current Position:  Postdoctoral Fellow at Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine, Paul Burridge Lab

Melissa Geyer

Advisor:  Yulia Komarova

Defense Date:  March 10, 2015

Thesis Title:  "The Role of End Binding Protein 3 in Regulating the Permeability of the Endothelial Barrier"

Current Position:  Medical Science Liasion, Assurex Health, Chicago


Myung-Jin Oh

Advisor:  Irena Levitan

Defense Date:  November 25, 2014

Thesis Title:  "Mechanisms and Consequences of oxLDL induced endothelial cell stiffening"

Current Position:  T32 Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Chicago, Jun Fang Lab  

Nazila Daneshjou

Advisor:  Asrar B Malik / Yulia Komarova

Defense Date:  October 21, 2014

Thesis Title:  "Role of Rac1 in Regulating the Integrity of Endothelial Adherens Junctions"

Current Position:  Medical Writer, Meridius Health Communications, San Diego, CA

Maulik Patel

Advisor:  Andrei Karginov

Defense Date:  September 15, 2014

Thesis Title:  "PDZ-RhoGEF Drives Gastrin Releasing Peptide Stimulated Colon Cancer Cell Migration"

Current Position:  UCSD, Pfizer Research Postodctoral Fellowship, Clinical Pharmacology-Oncology

Keegan M Delaney

Advisor:  Xiaoping Du

Defense Date:  September 12, 2014

Thesis Title:  "The Role of Rac1 in Platelet Signal Transduction and Function"

Current Position:  Postdoctoral Fellow, Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine, Mojgan Naghavi Lab

Auditi Debroy

Advisor:  Chinnaswamy Tirruppathi

Defense Date:  July 9, 2014

Thesis Title:  "Stromal Interacting Molecular 1 Signaling and Lung Vascular Barrier Function"

Current Position:  Medical Science Liasion (Immuno-Oncology), Bristol-Meyers Squibb

Ruby Fernandez

Advisor:  Jason Yuan

Defense Date:  June 23, 2014

Thesis Title:  "Pathogenic Roles of STIM2 and Orai2 in the Development of Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension"

Current Position:  Senior Research Associate, Peregrine Pharmaceuticals, Tustin, CA

Alejandra Chavez

Advisor:  Dolly Mehta

Defense Date:  June 20, 2014

Thesis Title:  "Sphingosine Kinase 1 Signaling Regulates S1PR1 Interaction with VEGRF2 to Mediate Angiogenesis"

Current Position:  Postdoctoral Research Associate, UIC


Shalina Taylor

Advisor:  Jingsong Xu

Defense Date:  December 5, 2013

Thesis Title:  "Requirement of Myeloperoxidase for Neutrophil Spatial Sensing"

Current Position:  Cardiovascular Postdoctoral Fellow, Stanford University, Marlene Rabinovitch Lab

Farnaz Bakhshi

Advisor:  Richard Minshall

Defense Date:  November 7, 2013

Thesis Title:  "Mechanism of Caveolin-1 Degradation"

Position:  Licensing Associate, Office of Technology Transfer and Corporate Partnerships, California Institute of Technology

Erin Kohler

Advisor:  Kishore Wary

Defense Date:  November 6, 2013

Thesis Title:  "The Role of Nanog in Wnt Signaling-Mediated Endothelial Cell Dedifferentiation and Neovascularization"

Position:  Postdoctoral Researcher, AbbVie

Nazir Okur

Advisor:  John O'Bryan

Defense Date:  September 19, 2013

Thesis Title:  "Intersectin (ITNS) regulation of EGFR ubiquitylation"

Luiza Rusu

Advisor:  Richard Minshall

Defense Date:  August 13, 2013

Thesis Title:  "Molecular Mechanisms of vWF Secretion"

Position:  Postdoctoral Research Associate, UIC Anesthesiology

Xiaowen Liu

Advisor:  Jingsong Xu

Defense Date:  July 19, 2013

Thesis Title:  "The 'Go' and 'Stop' Mechanisms for Neutrophil Migration"

Current Position:  Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Harvard School of Medicine, David Clapham Lab

Christina Chow

Advisor:  Tohru Kozasa

Date:  February 7, 2013

Thesis Title:  "Novel regulatory mechanisms ofm p115RhoGEF"

Current Position:  Pharmacologist, Brookline Advisors, Chicago

Tracy Lynn Schmidt

Advisor:  Dolly Mehta

Date:  January 24, 2013

Thesis Title:  "Endothelial Focal Adhesion Kinase and Endothelial Barrier Function"

Current Position:  Clinical Project Manager, Medline Industries, Greater Chicago Area

Jessica Lowry

Advisor:  Randal Skidgel

Date:  January 15, 2013

Thesis Title:  "A Novel c-Jun-N-Terminal Kinase Pathway Stimulates High Output eNos-Derived NO in Inflamed Endothelium"  

Current Position:  Postdoctoral Research Associate, Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine, Teepu Siddique Lab


Emily Vandenbroucke St Amant

Advisor:  Asrar B Malik

Date:  November 1, 2012

Thesis Title:  "The Role of PKCalpha-Mediated p120-Catenin Phosphorylation on Endothelial Permeability"

Current Position:  Assistant Medical Director, GE Healthcare, Chicago

Ram Prasad Naikawadi

Advisor:  Richard Ye

Date:  August 30, 2012

Thesis Title:  "Role of P-Rex1 in mediating Acute Lung Injury"

Current Position:  Postdoctoral Scholar, UCSF School of Medicine-Pulmonary, Critical Care, Allergy and Sleep Medicine, Michael Matthay Lab

Robert Tell

Advisor:  Richard Benya

Date:  August 22, 2012

Thesis Title:  "Gastrin Releasing Peptide Recepter Attenuates the Invasiveness of Colorectal Cancer Cells"

Current Position:  Senior Scientist, Abbott, Greater Chicago Area


Kelly O'Brien

Advisor:  Xiaoping Du

Date:  July 20, 2012

Thesis Title:  "The Role of Akt in Platelet Activation"

Current Position:  Postdoctoral Fellow, NHGRI, Genetics & Molecular Biology Branch, Hematopoiesis Section, NIH, Bethesda, MD

Crystal Zoe Hoeppner

Advisor:  Richard Ye

Date:  January 26, 2012

Thesis Title:  "Identification of a Nuclear Localization Sequence in beta-Arrestin1: Functional Implications in NF-kB Activation"

Current Position:  Consultant, Enterey Life Sciences Consulting, Chicago

Katy Wong

Advisor:  John O'Bryan

Date:  January 26, 2012

Thesis Title:  "A Novel Role for Nucleotide-free Ras in Class II Phosphoinositide 3-kinase beta (PI3K-C2beta) Regulation"

Current Position:  Medical Science Liasion, AstraZeneca, Boston, Ma


Aaron Place
Advisor:  Richard Minshall
Date:  October 25, 2011
Thesis Title:  "Molecular Mechanisms of Src Regulation by Csk, SHP-2, Cbp and Caveolin-1"
Current Position:  Medical Science Liasion, Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals, Greater Chicago Area, IL

Erica Southgate
Advisor:  Richard Ye
Date:  April 19, 2011
Thesis Title:  "Diversity in Ligands for Formyl Peptide Receptors"
Current Position:  Field Application Scientist, EMD Millipore, Greater Chicago Area, IL

Alumni Spotlights

March 15, 2017

"It's not an easy road [to graduation], but if you have a goal in life, just don't quit, because at the end, the taste of victory is really very sweet." - Pascal Yazbeck, Graduating Class of 2017