Student Profiles

PhD Students 

Marcel G. Brown, MD
Orthopaedic Surgery Physician Scientist Program, 2022-2023
Year Matriculated: 2022
marcebro@wakehealth.edu
Education: MD, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, 2022
BA, Chemistry, Williams College, 2015
Research Mentor: Xue Ma, MD, PhD (Orthopaedics)
Research Interests: Regenerative medicine and applications of amniotic fluid stem cells; Degenerative joint disease; arthroplasty and periprosthetic joint infections; Peripheral nerve injury and repair

Steven Bronson, DVM
Fourth Year PhD Candidate, 2022-2023
Year Matriculated: 2020
sbronson@wakehealth.edu
Education: DVM, Purdui University, 2019
BS, Genetics and Developmental Biology, Pennsylvania State University, 2011
Research Mentor: David Soto-Pantoja, PhD (Surgery Sciences (Hypertension)
Research Interests: Cancer Biology

Justin Campbell
Second Year PhD Candidate, 2022-2023
Year Matriculated: 2021
jdcampbe@wakehealth.edu
Education: Bachelor of Science Biology; Minor in Pre-Health; Winston-Salem State University
Associate in Applied Science; Major in Biotechnology;
Associate in Applied Science; Major in Nanotechnology
Forsyth Technical Community College
Research Mentor: Thomas Shupe, PhD (Cancer Biology)
Research Interests: Cell Biology; Virology; Tissue Engineering; Regenerative Medicine

Samuel Carmichael II, MD
Third Year PhD Student, 2022-2023
Year Matriculated: 2022
scarmich@wakehealth.edu
Education: MD, University of Kentucky College of Medicine, 2018
Research Mentor: Anthony Atala, MD (WFIRM)
Research Interests: Shock Resuscitation; Intra-Abdominal Adhesions

Tameka Dean, DO, MS
Orthopedic Physician Scientist Program, 2022-2023
Year Matriculated: 2021
tamdean@wakehealth.edu
Education: Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
Doctorate of Osteopathic Medicine, 2021
MS, Biomedical Science, 2021
Research Mentor: Xue Ma, PhD (Orthopaedics)
Research Interests: Ischemia-reperfusion injury; Skeletal muscle physiology

Hope Didier
Second Year PhD Student, 2022-2023
Year Matriculated: 2021
hdidier@wakehealth.edu
Education: Kennesaw State University; BS, Molecular & Cellular Biology, 2021
BA, Dance, 2021
Research Mentor: Lance Miller, PhD: Cancer Biology
Research Interests: Cancer Genomics; Tumor Immunology; Bioinformatics; Translational Science

Maryssa Ellison
Second Year PhD Student, 2022-2023
Year Matriculated: 2021
maelliso@wakehealth.edu
Education: Bachelor of Science, Biology Major; Molecular Biology & Biotechnology concentration; Palm Beach Atlantic University, 2016
Research mentor: Anthony Atala, MD and Victoria Weis, Ph.D. (Regenerative Medicine)
Research Interests: Necrotizing enterocolitis; hPCS therapy; Intestinal stem cell niche; Paracrine signaling; Immunomodulation; Pediatrics; Translational science; Regenerative medicine

Aya Abdel Raouf El-Taibany, MD
Third Year PhD Student, 2022-2023
Year Matriculated: 2021
aeltaiba@wakehealth.edu
Education: MD, School of Medicine, Alexandria University, 2008
Internship, School of Medicine, Alexandria University, 2010
MS, Medical Genetics, Alexandria University, 2016
Research Mentor: Michael Seeds, Ph.D. (WFIRM) and Anthony Atala, MD (WFIRM)
Research Interests: Neurodegenerative; Neuroimmunological; Blood brain barrier; Molecular genetics; Drug discovery and Translational Research

Lindsey Farris
Fourth Year PhD Student, 2022-2023
Year Matriculated: 2019
lfarris@wakehealth.edu
Education: BS Biology & Chemistry
Research Mentor: Leslie Poole, Ph.D. (Biochemistry)
Research Interests: Cancer therapeutics & Translational medicine

Chukwuwieke Gwam, MD
Orthopedic Physician Scientist Program, 2022-2023
Year Matriculated: 2018
cgwam@wakehealth.edu
Education: MD, Howard University College of Medicine
Research mentor: Xue Ma, PhD (Orthopaedics)
Research Interests: Bone microenvironment; Prostate cancer; Metastasis; Metastatic cancer stem cells; Circulating Tumor cells

Alexandria Harrison
Eighth Year PhD Candidate, 2022-2023
Year Matriculated: 2015
alexharr@wakehealth.edu
Education: BS, Biology, Winston-Salem State University, 2014
Research Mentor: Donald McClain, MD, PhD (Endocrinology & Metabolism)
Research Interests: Diabetes; Obesity; Metabolism; Dietary iron; Hypoxia

Brendan Johnson, DVM
Fourth Year PhD Student, 2022-2023
Year Matriculated: 2020
bjjohnso@wakehealth.edu
Education: DVM, University of Missouri, 2018
Research Mentor: Mark Cline, DVM, PhD (Pathology, Comparative Medicine)
Research Interests: Comparative Medicine; Cancer Biology; Radiation Oncology; Cognition and Memory

Sudarshan Krishnamurthy
Second Year PhD Student, MD/PhD dual degree program, 2022-2023
Year Matriculated: 2022
sukrishn@wakehealth.edu
Education: BS Biomedical Sciences, University of South Florida, 2019
Research Mentor: Dr. Miranda Orr and Dr. Suzanne Craft (Gerontology)
Research Interests: Alzheimer’s disease; Insulin signaling; Cellular senescence

Caroline Kuczynski
Fourth Year PhD Student, 2022-2023
Year Matriculated: 2019
ckuczyns@wakehealth.edu
Education: BS, Biophysics with Honors, Wake Forest University, 2018
Research Mentor: Graça Almeida-Porada, MD, PhD (WFIRM)
Research Interests: Genetic hematologic disorders (particularly sickle cell anemia and other hemoglobinopathies); Aeno-associated virus (AAV)-based gene therapy; Prenatal gene therapy, and Molecular Dynamics (MD) Simulations simulations.

Hannah Lamond
Second Year PhD Student, 2022-2023
Year Matriculated: 2021
hlamond@wakehealth.edu
Education: Bachelors of Science; Biochemistry/Molecular Biology Major;
Writing Minor; Loyola University Maryland, 2020
Research Mentor: Dr. Ellie Rahbar, PhD (Biomedical Engineering)
Research Interests: Inflammation; Immunology; Liver; Polyunsaturated; Fatty acids

Kendell Langsten, DVM
Fourth Year PhD Student, 2022-2023
Year Matriculated: 2019
klangste@wakehealth.edu
Education: DVM, University of Missouri, 2017
MS in Biomedical Sciences, University of Missouri, 2017
Residency in Anatomic Pathology, University of Minnesota, 2020
Research Mentor: Neveen Said, MD, PhD (Cancer Biology)
Research Interests: Cancer Biology; Pathophysiology

Daniel Lara, MD
Orthopedic Physician Scientist Program, 2022-2023
Year Matriculated: 2017
dlara@wakehealth.edu
Education: BS, University of Notre Dame, 2011
MD, Creighton University School of Medicine, 2016
Research mentor: Thomas Smith, PhD (Orthopaedic Surgery)
Research Interests: Neuromuscular Junction/Peripheral Nerve Trauma and Regeneration

Nequesha Mohamed, MD
Orthopedic Physician Scientist Program, 2022-2023
Year Matriculated: 2020
nmohamed@wakehealth.edu
Education: MD, University of Medicine and Health Sciences, St. Kitts, 2016
BS, University of Toronto, 2011
Research Mentor: Kerry Danelson, PhD (Orthopaedics)
Research Interests: Arthritis; Diabetes; Joint Replacement; Healthcare Disparity

Sumaiya Nazli
Sixth Year PhD Student, 2021-2022
Year Matriculated: 2017
snazli@wakehealth.edu
Education: Bachelors of Science Biology Major, Math Minor, Salem College, 2015
Research Mentor: Michael Olivier, PhD (Molecular Medicine)
Research Interests: Plasma Proteomics; Mass Spectrometry, Plasma Biomarkers for Biological Disease

Emma Parsons
Third Year PhD Student, 2022-2023
Year Matriculated: 2020
ecparson@wakehealth.edu
Education: B.A. Biology and Sociology; Minor in Chemistry, Wake Forest University, 2018
Research Mentor: Johanna Bolander, PhD
Research Interests: Immunology; Translational science; Osteoarthritis; Immunomodulatory Cell-based treatment; Cellular and Molecular mechanisms

Chirayu Patel
Third Year PhD Student, 2022-2023
Year Matriculated: 2020
cpatel@wakehealth.edu
Education: M.S. Cancer Biology, Wake Forest, 2019
BS Cell and Molecular Biology, Appalachian State, 2014
Research Mentor: Jeff Willey, PhD (Radiology Biology)
Research Interests: Simulation of space flight radiation environment; Study effects on skeletal health from space flight microgravity and radiation; Development of novel radio-protectors to prevent space flight induced damage to joint damage

Patrick Ralph
Third Year MD/PhD dual degree student, 2022-2023
Year Matriculated: MD 2019, PhD 2021
pralph@wakehealth.edu
Education: BS Biology, William Peace University
Research Mentor: Sang Jin Lee, PhD (WFIRM)
Research Interests: Tissue engineering; Model development; Neurobiology; Regenerative medicine; Neurodegeneration; Behavioral Neurology; Neuropsychiatry

Mackenzie Roberts
Third Year PhD Student, 2022-2023
Year Matriculated: 2020
mackrobe@wakehealth.edu
Education: BS Neuroscience, Duke University, 2019
Research Mentor: Leah Solberg Woods, PhD (Molecular Medicine)
Research Interests: Genetics; Translational Science; Obesity; Diabetes 

William Shane Sills, DVM
Fifth Year PhD Candidate, 2022-2023
Year Matriculated: 2019
wsills@wakehealth.edu
Education: BS, Zoology, NC State University; DVM, NC State University
Residency, Anatomic Pathology, Cornell University
Research Mentor: Mark Cline, DVM, PhD, DACVP (Pathology-Comparative Medicine)
Research Interests: Immunology and pathology; Immune response to tumors and cancer immunotherapy; Cancer genetics and genomics; Long-term effects of radiation

Maggie Smith
Third Year PhD Student, 2022-2023
Year Matriculated: 2020
margsmit@wakehealth.edu
Education: BS Biology, Appalachian State University, 2018
Research Mentor: Fei Xing, PhD (Cancer Biology)
Research Interests: Immune checkpoint inhibitors; Hyperprogression; Lung Cancer

Alexandria Szalanczy
Fifth Year PhD Candidate, 2022-2023
Year Matriculated: 2018
aszalanc@wakehealth.edu
Education: BS Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Centre College
Research Mentor: Leah Solberg Woods, PhD (Molecular Medicine)
Research Interests: How our genetics can impact our health and behavior.

Yuezhu Wang
Second year PhD Candidate, 2022-2023
Year Matriculated: 2021
Education: Master of Science in Genomic and Bioinformatics, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, 2019;
Bachelor of Medicine, Soochow University, 2018
Research Mentor: Fei Xing, PhD (Cancer Biology)
Research Interests: Tumor Immunotherapy, Cancer genomics, Genetic mutation