Graduate Student Spotlight: Yunzi Gou

This month’s Graduate Student Spotlight highlights Yunzi Gou. Yunzi is a graduate student in the Riley Lab, studying the development of neurons of the stato-acoustic ganglion (SAG) in zebrafish.

I was born in Xi’an, a city famous for its rich culture and history, located in central China. My family later moved to Beijing, the capital of China, when I was in elementary school. I loved animals growing up and I had many different pets even though we were living in a big city. My interest in biology was rooted in my deep respect for my […]

2018-06-01T09:29:46+00:00 June 1st, 2018|Categories: Graduate Student Spotlight|Tags: , |

Graduate Student Spotlight: Patrick Suess

This month’s Graduate Student Spotlight highlights Patrick Suess. A student in the Gomer Lab, Patrick studies the signalling function of inorganic polyphosphate in the eukaryote Dictyostelium and in human immune cells.

I was born in and grew up in Houston. During freshman year of high school, I really raised eyebrows with some outstanding play for the JV soccer team, however the success bred arrogance, and ultimately led to an underwhelming varsity career.  I did my undergrad in Austin at St. Edward’s University where I graduated with a BS in biology. From there I went on […]

2017-12-11T08:36:02+00:00 December 11th, 2017|Categories: Graduate Student Spotlight|

Graduate Student Spotlight: Kathleen McAllister

This month’s Graduate Student Spotlight highlights Kathleen McAllister! A Biology student in the Sorg Lab, Kathleen studies C. difficile and helped develop the CRISPR-Cas9 modification system in order to study this fascinating organism.

I’m from Ocean Springs, Mississippi, specifically from St. Martin which is a small community on the Gulf Coast. I’ve always been eager to learn, starting when I was little playing “school” with my sister and her friends. I’ve also always had a passion to help people. My life goal was to be able to do both. I earned my bachelor’s in Biomedical […]

2017-11-15T09:14:24+00:00 November 15th, 2017|Categories: Graduate Student Spotlight|Tags: , |

Graduate Student Spotlight: Ananya Dasgupta

This month’s Graduate Student Spotlight highlights Ananya Dasgupta.  A graduate student in the Sachs lab, Ananya studies how nonsense mediated mRNA decay pathways help cells remove aberrant transcripts to stay healthy.


Nomoshkar! That is how we greet back home in Kolkata. It is a culturally diverse, highly populated and a city adorned with historical heritage in the eastern part of India. I have completed my schooling through my Master’s in my hometown. Being in Microbiology Honors for my bachelor’s and master’s from the University of Calcutta, a centenarian, I had enough exposure to the world […]

2017-10-27T12:01:50+00:00 October 27th, 2017|Categories: Graduate Student Spotlight|Tags: , |

Graduate Student Spotlight: Sarah Beagle

This Graduate Student Spotlight highlights Sarah Beagle. A Biology Graduate student in the Lockless Lab, and an avid Kansas fan, Sarah studies K+ channels in the bacteria E. coli.

I’m from Auburn, Kansas-a small town just outside of Topeka. As a kid, I really loved animals of all kinds, and I had these extremely elaborate plans to try to convince my parents to let me bring home a wildly diverse set of animals as pets. I pitched them everything from a horse to a Komodo dragon as a pet. Those plans were surprisingly unsuccessful, but […]

2017-11-14T17:06:42+00:00 October 9th, 2017|Categories: Graduate Student Spotlight, Uncategorized|Tags: , |

Graduate Student Spotlight: Kushan Gunawardhana

This Graduate Student Spotlight highlights Kushan Gunawardhana.  A graduate student in Dr. Paul Hardin’s lab, Kushan generated the first adult mutants of a vrille lethal gene mutant in Drosophila, and works in the Biological Clocks field for his research.

I grew up in Colombo, Sri Lanka (the tiny pearl of the Indian Ocean). My high school days was where I developed a strong interest towards biology and from there on continued to pursue a career in it. I have a BS in Bioinformatics from University of Colombo in Sri Lanka, during which I worked with Arabidopsis […]

2017-09-28T08:46:34+00:00 September 28th, 2017|Categories: Graduate Student Spotlight|Tags: , |

Graduate Student Spotlight: Allison Wilkes

This Graduate Student Spotlight highlights Allison Wilkes, a Marine Biology student who studies marine fish and their endocrinology.  Allison uses red drum as a model for the thyroid endocrine system to learn how they obtain iodine from their environment.

Allison is a PhD candidate in the Marine Biology Interdisciplinary Program and is housed in the Department of Biology. She has a B.A. from the University of Tennessee and a M.S. from the University of West Florida. Her previous research has included fruit fly genetics, echinoderm bioluminescent physiology, […]

2017-09-18T09:59:30+00:00 September 8th, 2017|Categories: Graduate Student Spotlight|Tags: , |

Graduate Student Spotlight: Rahamthulla Shaik

Up next in the Graduate Student Spotlight, we highlight Dr. Rahamthulla Shaik, who recently defended his dissertation, “Chloroplast division protein ARC3: Effects on FtsZ2 assembly GTPase activity”.

I grew up in a small town near Hyderabad, India. While I was in high school, I became very interested in life sciences and my teachers encouraged me further to pursue biological sciences. I received my BS and MS degrees in Biology in India and then moved to USA for further graduate studies. I pursued MS in Biotechnology at West Virginia State University. During this program, I had an […]

2017-08-09T08:34:09+00:00 August 9th, 2017|Categories: Graduate Student Spotlight|Tags: , |

Graduate Student Spotlight: Husniye Kantarci

Up next in the Graduate Student Spotlight, we are highlighting Dr. Husniye Kantarci who recently defended her dissertation, “Reverse And Forward Genetics Approaches Reveal the Gene Networks that Regulate  Development of Inner Ear Neurons.”

I grew up in Antioch; a city located in the most southern part of Turkey, almost at the shores of the Mediterranean see and very famous with its amazing cuisine. My dad owns a small business and my mom is a middle school Turkish literature teacher. Actually, my mom decided to go to college when I was in high school, so we […]

2017-07-31T15:17:21+00:00 August 1st, 2017|Categories: Graduate Student Spotlight|Tags: , |

Graduate Student Spotlight: Andrew Seely

Get to know one of our newest PhDs with our spotlight on Dr. Andrew Seely (Manson Lab)!  Having recently defended his dissertation – “An Analysis of the Tsr-LsrB Interaction during Autoinducer-2 Chemotaxis in Escherichia coli” – Dr. Seely talks about his time in Dept. of Biology before heading to a faculty position at the University of Arkansas – Batesville.

I grew up in Corsicana, Texas, home of Collins Street Bakery and its famous fruitcake.  Corsicana is just south of Dallas but it is far from big city living.  While growing up I played baseball and football all the way through […]

2017-07-20T12:24:20+00:00 July 20th, 2017|Categories: Graduate Student Spotlight|Tags: , |