Student News

MMTS Students Win Awards

Research Grant awards

Rachel Andrews, DVM, third year PhD student- supported by the T32 Postdoc Fellowship, 5T32OD010957-38

Hannah Atkins, DVM, third year PhD student- support by the T32 Postdoc Fellowship, 5T32OD010957-38 and PI- Center for Comparative Medicine Pilot Grant and Co-I Department of Pathology Pilot Grant. 

Dan Bracey, MD, a fourth year PhD student, received the AOTrauma North America Resident Research Support Award and OREF Resident Clinician Scientist Training Grant Award. 

Dan Ferguson- sixth year PhD student -  T32 Training grant, Department of Microbiology and Immunology - Cleveland Clinic

Amritha Kidiyoor - fourth year PhD student - NIH-NIBIB NRSA Training Program at WFIRM, Studies in Translational Regenerative Medicine.

Matthew Brovold - third year MMTS graduate student- NIH-NIBIB NRSA Training Program at WFIRM, Studies in Translational Regenerative Medicine.  

Zachariah McIver, DO, a fourth year PhD student, received the Eagle Memorial Leukemia Research Foundation award and Wake Forest Innovations award. Dr. McIver also received the 2016 CTSI KL2 Scholar award as Early-career Faculty member over the next rwo years to build clinical and translational research skills and competencies under the guidance of skilled multidisciplinary mentoring teams. Title: “Photodepletion Techniques to Prevent Graft-versus-host-disease (GVHD) in Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation

Bryan Wilson, sixth year PhD student received an American Heart Association Mid-Atlantic Affiliate 2015 Predoctoral Fellowship Award. Title of project: "Cellular and Molecular Modifications of the Renin-Angiotensin System in a Glucocorticoid-Induced Fetal Programming". 

Ayana Martin, sixth year PhD student received a diversity supplement, NFkB and Chromatin Changes in Human Sepsis award. 

Jade Mims, a fourth year MMTS PhD student and Robert Wieland, second year PhD student - supported on the NIH T32 Predoctoral Training Grant - Integrative Lipid Metabolism, Inflammation and Chronic Diseases. 

Victor Ortega, sixth year PhD candidate was awarded a K08 grant, title "Effects of rare variants and ancestry on beta agonist response in asthma".

Travel Awards

Rachel Andrews - Scholar in Training Travel Award- Radiation Research Society - 61st annual national meeting, Bonaventure, FL

Ayana Martin - FASEB MARC travel award to attend the AAI Introductory Course in Immunology, July 2014, in Long Beach CA.  Ayana also received a travel fellowship from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) to attend the 2nd Annual UAB Workshop on Metabolomics, June 2014.  The course is jointly sponsored by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) as part of the NIH Common Fund Metabolomics Initiative, and the Departments of Chemistry and Pharmacology and Toxicology at UAB.

Bryan Wilson - FASEB; Intersociety Council for Pathology Information, Inc.; Endocrine Society conference- MMTS Graduate Program Travel Award
Benyam Yoseph - MMTS Graduate Program and FIRM travel award to Girona, Spain

Elie Zakhem - MMTS Graduate Program to Digestive Disease Conference, Washington, DC and WF Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Alumni Student Travel Award to TERMIS meeting in Boston, MA in 2015. In 2016, Elie was also awarded the MMTS Graduate Program travel award to attend Digestive Disease Conference in San Diego, CA in May of 2016. 

Jade Mims - Gordon Research Conference travel award to support her participation in the Thiol-Based Redox Regulation and Signaling Seminar, Spain, July 2014.  Jade also received in 2014 a RADRES Scholars-in-Training travel award from the Radiation Research Society.

Miscellaneous Awards
Alejandro J. Marquez-Lara, MD received the Fellow Clinical Gold Award at the Surgical Sciences Research Day.

Dan Bracey, MD received the Scientific Exhibit Award of Excellence form the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. 

Sam Pendergraft received second Place Overall at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine Annual Retreat poster session in Pinehurst, NC. Sam also won the Best Oral Presentation for “A novel 3-dimensional testicular organoid model for the study of human spermatogenesis and gondadotoxicity in vitro”. The award was the Campion Fund Award for most outstanding oral presentation at the 25th Annual Meeting of the Triangle Consortium for Reproductive Biology, held at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in Research Triangle Park, N.C. on February 6, 2016

Elie Zakhem received the poster of distinction - certificate of recognition for scientific accomplishment as an early stage investigator at the American Gastroenterology Association - Digestive Disease Week in Washington, DC. Elie was also awarded a Certificate of recognition for Scientific accomplishment as an Early stage investigator from The American Gastroenterological  Association  during the Digestive Diseases Week for his oral presentation. That same oral presentation was also accepted as a paper in the latest issue of Stem Cells Translational Medicine May 16-19, 2015.

Bryan Wilson’s latest publication titled, “Evidence for a Mitochondrial Angiotensin-(1-7) System in the Kidney” was selected to be a part of the February 2016 APSselect featured articles and was acknowledged with a certificate for distinction in scholarship in the American Journal of Physiological-Renal Physiology. APSselect is a collection of the very best original research papers published by the American Physiological Society. Each month, the most outstanding recently published papers from our ten research journals are selected and made available through this multi-journal website.

Crystal Bolden- Awardee for the Endocrine Society’s FLARE Workshop. Participant in the Future Leaders Advancing Research in Endocrinology (FLARE) program, class of 2016.  The FLARE program supported by a grant from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.” Crystal also was recipient of the Young Investigator Award at the 22nd Annual Meeting for the Society for Free Radical Biology and Medicine.  The tile of the poster was, “Reactions of Nitrosopersulfide with Heme Proteins”.  11/2015. 

Eleanor McCabe-Lankford (PhD Candidate- 4th yr student) awarded the gold award for the Student Basic Research poster presentation at the 23rd annual Division of Surgical Sciences Resident’s and Fellow’s Research Day on 11/19/15. 

A diagram by Victor Ortega, MD, Deborah Meyers, PhD, and Boyd Jacobson was accepted as the cover for the January 2014 issue of The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, the highest ranked allergy journal.  The diagram showed the Impact of Ethnic Admixing on Personalized Medicine.

In recognition of his effort to provide media coverage of the American Society for Investigative Pathology (ASIP) 2014 annual meeting through his blog and as the first official recipient, ASIP awarded Bryan Wilson with a stipend certificate, free registration to the meeting, and 2014 membership. Bryan was nominated and selected as one of the under 40 leadership award for Top 20 young professionals in the community. 2015 Winston <40 Leadership Award Winner. Gala on Nov. 14, 2015 by Chamber of Commerce and Winston-Salem Journal. Winners demonstrate commitment to enhancing Winston-Salem’s business community and recognize the importance of retaining young professional in our area. 

Moving Forward 
Four MMTS students successfully defended their research dissertations and graduated during the 2014-2015 academic year. Receiving degrees were Ricquita Pollard, PhD; Helen Cuffe, PhD, MBA and Li Wang, PhD, MBA in May 2015 and Saloomeh Mokhtari, PhD in August 2015. Two MMTS students successfully completed their Master's degree:John Vossler, MD, MS and Ivy Mead, MS. Four students successfully defended their research dissertation in the Fall of 2015, Kadie Vanderman, Daniel Ferguson, Meredith Greene Rowe and Daniel Deegan. 

Student Presentations
Thirteen students, Rachel Andrews, Hannah Atkins, Crystal Bolden, Daniel Deegan, Abritee Dhal, Amritha Kidiyoor, Alejandro Marquez-Lara, Ellie McCabe,  Jade Mims, Victor Ortega, Samuel Pendergraft, Benyam Yoseph and Elie Zakhem) attended 27 national, international or regional for oral presentations.

Making a Difference in Our Community
Crystal Bolden is Director of Intercessory Prayer Team, Phillips Chapel.

Ryne DeBo- Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation fundraiser and volunteer

Abritee Dhal and Ellie McCabe- Elementary School Science Fair Judges

Ayana Martin was recipient of the World of Better award with a $1000 cash prize, Student Wellness Center representative and Events Chair.

Bryan Wilson received recognition from the Community Hunger Campaign with a donation of $500 toward service effort. 

Ayana Martin was elected President and Bryan Wilson was elected Vice President of the Wake Forest Black Graduate Student’s Association. The mission of the Association is to: serve as an academic and social network for African-American graduate students in the School of Arts of Sciences; encourage the recruitment and retention of African-American graduate students at Wake Forest University; and sponsor programs promoting and encouraging education in general and graduate education in particular.

Professional memberships for students include N.C. Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medical Society, Endocrine Society, American Society for Investigative Pathology, American Society for Nutrition, American Physiology Society, Society for Neuro-Oncology, Radiation Research Society, Orthopaedic Research Society, N.C. Science Teachers Association, Society for Biomaterials, and Society for Neuroscience and Biomedical Engineering.

Zachariah McIver, DO - Provision patent filed June 5, 2014 titled "Methods and Compounds for Phototherapy with Chalcogenorhodamine Photosensitizers"

Christopher Stuart - A preliminary patent was granted for the work described in the publication “Site-Specific DNA–Doxorubicin Conjugates Display Enhanced Cytotoxicity to Breast Cancer Cells” and a full patent for the work has been submitted.

Faculty News and Awards

Dr. K. Bridget Brosnihan, Professor of Surgical Sciences and Physiology and Pharmacology and former Director of the Molecular Medicine and Translational Science Graduate Program,  was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award for the Inter American Society of Hypertension at the biannual meeting in Salvador, Brazil from Aug 13-15, 2014.  This award recognizes individuals across the Americas that have a lifetime of outstanding contributions to the mission of the Inter American Society of Hypertension.   This includes investigations toward the prevention and control of hypertension and vascular diseases, and activities that bridge basic, translational and clinical research, as well as fostering and nurturing interactions among investigators from various parts of the Americas. 

Dr. Vidula Vachharajani  was awarded the Reidar Wallin Faculty Teaching award in Molecular Medicine and Translational Sciences for her teaching excellence during the 2014-2015 academic year. Dr. K. Bridget Brosnihan, received the award for the 2013-2014 academic year.  Dr. John Parks, Co-Director of MMTS, received the award for the 2012-2013 academic year.  The recipient is nominated by MMTS students/faculty for meaningful impact in the MMTS classroom curriculum.

Dr. K. Bridget Brosnihan, former MMTS Director, received the 2012 Mentor of the Year award from the Women’s Health Center of Excellence for Research, Leadership and Education (WHCOE).

Student Activities

Graduate students in Molecular Medicine participate in a variety of activities inside and outside of the program of study. The following presentations show some of those activities and demonstrate a bit of the life and interactions of students within Molecular Medicine.

Mol Med Activites (PDF file)  

Student Wellness Center

Quick Reference

Contact Information
Molecular Medicine & Translational Science Graduate Program

Office 336-713-4259

Kay Collare
Administrative Assistant


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