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Doctoral Students


Kanvaly Bamba

Advisor: Darin Croft


Nasmah Bastaki

Advisor: Chris Cullis


Angeline Catena

Advisor: Darin Croft


Juan Sebastian Chahda

Advisor: Claudia Mizutani


Shih-Wei Chou

Advisor: Brian McDermott


Colin Cope

Advisor: Jean Burns


Miranda Cullins

Advisor: Hillel Chiel


Kacey Dananay

Advisor: Mike Benard


James Ferguson

Advisor: Radhika Atit


Grace Fuller

Advisor: Kristen Lukas


Jeffrey Gill

Advisor: Hillel Chiel


Peiyuan Guo

Advisor: Roy Ritzmann


Emily Hamburg

Advisor: Radhika Atit


Phil Sang Hwang

Advisor: Brian McDermott


Kenji Ishida

Advisor: Emmitt Jolly


Janay Jones

Advisor: Emmitt Jolly


Nick Kathman

Advisor: Roy Ritzmann


Catherine Kehl

Advisor: Hillel Chiel


Kathy Krynak

Advisor: Mike Benard


Charles Leeds

Advisor: Kristen Lukas


Shuang Liang

Advisor: Emmitt Jolly


Haito Liu

Advisor: Firouz Daneshgari


Jacob Lockey

Advisor: Mark Willis


Hiu Lu

Advisor: Hillel Chiel


Anwar Jabour

Advisor: Scott Simpson


Jeff McManus

Advisor: Hillel Chiel


Maria Medellin

Advisor: Gavin Svenson


Jennifer Murphy

Advisor: Jean Burns


Anna Osvaldsson

Advisor: Jean Burns


Hilary Rollins

Advisor: Mike Benard


Nicholas Sarn

Advisor: Radhika Atit


Joseph Schinaman

Advisor: Claudia Mizutani


Kendrick Shaw

Advisor: Hillel Chiel


Kate Tylicki

Advisor: Mark Willis


Adrienn Varga

Advisor: Roy Ritzmann


Melissa Varrecchia

Advisor: Emmitt Jolly


Jason Wagman

Advisor: Kristen Lukas


Kuo-chen Wang

Advisor: H. Baskaran


Jason Wark

Advisor: Kristen Lukas




Plan A Master's Students


Ryan Allison



Bonnie Baird


Jacob Bosse



Qingquan Chen


Wenbo Chen



Xi Chen



Zongwei Chen



Anirudh Chowdhary


Isabelle Cless


Sean Copley



Yuheng Dai



Nicholas Drew


Chaitanya Gollakota



Disha Goswami



Kai Guo


Mengyu Guo



Nilay Gupta



Michael Hallen

Xu Han


Erich Heise



Jiaqi Hu


Muyang Hu



Oktay Ince


Justin Isaacs



JeShaune Jackson



Anida Karahodza



Dmitriy Kavyazin



Tara Kelloway


Sushma Krishnan



Li Liu


Wenzhu Liu


Yvonne McDermott


Colin Naples



Tenisha Phipps


Brandon Pochatila



Caitlin Rhodes



Utsav Sharma



Valentine Siba

Danni Song



Nathan Stopczynski

Valentine Volk


Heather Voss-Hoynes



Nicholas Webber

Barne Willie

Shaoyuan Zhu




Plan B Master's Students


David Bertsch




Jacob Brezinsky


Mohammed Dameri


Lyndsie Haefke


Yawen Hu
Deena Maher El-sayed Ibrahim


Peronne Joseph



Nia Martin


Jennifer Piechowski
Ismail Sayin


Kristen Shimmel


Pantea Taheri


Shang-Shen Yu





Biology Graduate Student Organization (BGSO)


(accessible to current students only)

What is BGSO?

The Biology Graduate Student Organization (BGSO) is both a social and mentoring network of biology graduate students and an organization that promotes positive change in the Biology Department through graduate student leadership. There are two purposes of the organization: 1) to encourage community, support, and cohesiveness among students of the department, and 2) to organize activities that foster department unity and support for graduate student concerns.

How did it start?

BGSO evolved from an informal social organization developed by graduate students in 2003 when enrollment began to increase. As students met to socialize, they also talked about their concerns as graduate students. They realized that some issues couldn’t be solved within the group, but needed further discussion with the department as a whole, leading to our first Biology Department retreat. The group became an official student organization with a constitution in 2007 to define the responsibilities filled by graduate students within the department and to leave a template for future graduate students.

How do I join?

As a graduate student in the Department of Biology, you are automatically a member of the BGSO. All you have to do is show up and get involved. We know. Your first year can be pretty rough, but being involved in BGSO, even just a little bit, can actually make things easier. Think of us as your grad student support group.

Are there leadership opportunities?

YES! Each of the activities below is coordinated by one or more graduate students who’d probably love to have some help. There are also many other opportunities to be involved. For example, several students are on the seminar committee, others helped develop and maintain the website, still others help mentor graduate teaching assistants. Further, the Biology Department Senator represents the biology graduate students in the Graduate Student Senate.

What are these BGSO activities?

The main activities are described below. All of these are advertised via e-mail in advance, so check your inbox for announcements from our Department Assistant, Sue Kolenz, the Graduate Program Coordinator, Julia Brown, or one of your fellow grad students.

Social hour:  Not only is this a time to unwind while enjoying some free snacks and beverages, but this is when we plan upcoming activities, discuss issues, and get updates about what’s happening in the graduate student senate. Further, it’s a great time to ask other graduate students all of your questions, including What are quals like? How do I survive teaching? You name it, we’ve been there. Ask us about it. These meetings are held the first and third Friday during the school year and as needed during the summer months. Typically they are held in Clapp 405, start at 4:30 P.M., and last until everyone is gone.

Throughout the year, we also host several social hours to which faculty and staff are invited. This is a great opportunity to rub elbows with professors in a relaxed atmosphere.

Graduate student seminars:  This is a great venue for practicing your talk for the qualifier or that upcoming meeting in front of an audience of just other graduate students. We’ll cheer you on and provide constructive criticism. These are scheduled on an as needed basis. Further, this has also been used as a venue for outside speakers of general interest to the graduate students, including speakers from the career center as well as a panel on how grad students can reduce their carbon footprint.

PSST:  Pre-seminar seminar and treats (PSST) is a journal club organized around our department seminar series. Since the research interests of the department are so diverse, often the weekly seminar is on a topic far removed from your own research. To boost our knowledge before seminar, we discuss a paper recommended by the speaker and help each other understand the relevant background.

Speaker lunches:  These lunches provide an informal setting to talk with the departmental seminar series speaker. The speakers answer your questions and share insights into surviving grad school and establishing a successful academic career. These are held weekly in parallel with the seminar series, depending on speaker availability and funding.

Biology Department retreat:  Held annually during or after the spring semester, the retreat serves as a day of community building and problem solving among graduate students, faculty, and staff involved in graduate education.