PRIME Scholars



EldeebKhalil Eldeeb obtained his MD and Master's degree from AlAzhar University Medical School, Egypt and his PhD from Nottingham University, UK. His PhD thesis focused on the role of endocannabinoid signalling system on microglia function. Currently, he is a postdoctoral scholar in the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology at Wake Forest University School of Medicine. His current work is focused on the role of cannabinoid receptor in neuronal signaling pathways.

TaylorVictor Taylor, III majored in biology and chemistry at Prairie View A&M University. After college, he earned a PhD in Biomedical Science from University of North Texas Health Science Center. His dissertation research was on Gluteus Maximus contribution to Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome. In the PRIME program, Victor teaches students from Winston Salem State University in gross anatomy, physiology, and embryology. His research project is determining the effects of meniscal regeneration using Bone Morphogenic Protein-7 (BMP-7), and osteoarthritic effects on the meniscus.  Victor’s career goals are to teach anatomy and biomedical sciences. 

nildrisNildris Cruz-Diaz completed her B.S. in Biology in 2001 at Universidad Metropolitana in Puerto Rico. In 2002 she started her graduate studies on the Physiology Department at the University of Puerto Rico-Medical Sciences Campus, where she completed her M.S and Ph.D. Her research focus was on the development and progression of Heart Failure (HF) and the role of the Angiotensin Converting Enzyme and the Nitric Oxide Synthase isoforms in an animal model of HF.  For the past 7 years, she has been involved with the American Physiological Society in their outreach programs educating elementary, middle, and high school students about science and the possible careers in the field.  In 2014 she was accepted at Wake Forest University-School of Medicine as a PRIME-IRACDA scholar, where she performs research in the Hypertension and Vascular Research Center.  Her research focus now is the role of Angiotensin 1-7 in kidney cells.

DuncanA’ja V. Duncan received a B.S. degree in Chemistry from North Carolina Central University.  She was awarded her M.S. in Chemistry at North Carolina Central University. She was then awarded the United States Department of Agriculture National Needs Fellowship and initiated her doctoral studies.  For her doctoral research, A’ja studied the effects of nitrate and fumarate as feed additives on rumen fermentation and enteric methane production in dairy cows while also investigating these dietary effects on the bacteria Methanobrevibacter ruminantium and Methanosphaera stadtmanae.  Upon completion of her studies she was awarded her Ph.D. from the Energy and Environmental Systems program at North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University. In addition to her research work, A’ja taught K-12 Science and Chemistry as well as being an Adjunct lecturer at Shaw University and North Carolina A&T State University to further her teaching skills. As a PRIME-IRACDA scholar at Wake Forest University School of Medicine, she working with Dr. Debra Diz with a research focus on improving or delaying the progression of age related cardiovascular and metabolic dysfunction. 

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William T. Booth, II, earned his Bachelor’s degree in Medical Technology and Master’s Degree in Chemistry (with a concentration in Biochemistry) from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He received his PhD in Chemistry, with a concentration in Structural Biology, from the University of South Carolina. His dissertation was entitled “Structural and Functional Studies of Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide and Streptolysin S Biosynthesis Proteins from Streptococcus pyogenes” where he determined the first structures of two nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide biosynthesis proteins involved in the quinolinate-salvage pathway.  His advisor was Dr. Maksymilian Chruszcz. Streptococcus pyogenes is a common pathogen associated with acute pharyngitis (strep throat) and, in rare cases, necrotizing fasciitis (the Flesh-Eating Disease). Currently working under the guidance of Drs. Tom Hollis and Todd Lowther, William is continuing his work in Structural Biology to determine the structure of proteins involved in the progression Aicardi-Goutieres syndrome and calcium oxalate kidney stone formation. Using these protein structures he will design drug molecules to fight against these disorders. William’s teaching interests are in biochemistry, protein crystallography, and introductory biology and chemistry. His career goals are to earn a University faculty position to continue conducting biomedical research using Structural Biology.  William would also like to establish collaborative programs with local schools to create after-school science clubs using undergraduate student volunteers. William has also worked as a medical technologist and a US Army paratrooper. He believes that the lessons he learned in the clinical lab and as a soldier will serve him as a teacher and mentor by affording him the ability to use real-world experiences to teach the next generation of young scientists. 



PRIME Alumni

MolinaDoris P. Molina completed her B.S. in Biology in 2003 at Elon University. She later initiated her doctoral training at Wake Forest University Health Sciences and was awarded her Ph.D. from the Neurobiology and Anatomy program. Doris has taught middle and high school as well as undergraduate students to further her teaching skills. Doris was a PRIME-IRACDA scholar with Dr. Dwayne Godwin at Wake Forest School of Medicine with a research focus on understanding the electrophysiological mechanisms underlying alcohol withdrawal-induced seizures. She is now a faculty member in the Department of Physical Therapy at Winston Salem State University.

LopezElsa Silva López obtained her B.S.  degree in Industrial Chemistry from the University of Puerto Rico, Humacao Campus where she performed research on the kinetics and enantioselectivity of transesterification reactions using Substilisin Carlsberg in organic solvents. She obtained a Ph.D. degree in Chemistry from Washington State University where she studied the binding of a fluorescent serotonin ligand with serotonin type 3 receptor in supported lipid bilayers. After obtaining her Ph.D., she worked for a year as a full-time chemistry instructor at Washington State University before joining the PRIME program to work with Dr. Cristina Furdui at Wake Forest School of Medicine to study the effects of oxidation on the structure and functionality of Akt2 relevant to disease. Elsa is currently a faculty  member in the Department of Chemistry at Washington State University.

 

 

 

 

 




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