We are very proud of our PhD alums. On this page we present annual lists of the PhDs awarded since 2017 by the Department of Biological Sciences.
Chen Gong, PhD
Defense: May 5, 2023
Thesis title: “RNA Methylase in Stx-Phage: A Secret Weapon Regulates Spontaneous Induction and Virulence by Preventing Shiga Toxin Backfire”
Crystal Tomlin, PhD
Defense: May 2, 2023
Thesis title: “Tracing Histories of Polyploidy, Admixture, and Diversification in Plant Radiations at the Genomic Scale”
Current position: Postdoctoral fellow, University at Buffalo, Dept. Biomedical Informatics
Ansuman Sahoo, PhD
Defense: April 28, 2023
Thesis title: “Dynamic Phosphorylation of RNA Helicase EIF4A Guides Molecular Responses to Cell Cycle Transitions and Glucose Removal”
Current position: Postdoctoral fellow, Merck
Minakshi Mukherjee, PhD
Defense: February 16, 2023
Advisor: Zhen Wang
Thesis title: ““Bio-engineering Saccharomyces cerevisiae for the production of terpenoids"
Current position: Developmental Specialist, Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory, University of Rochester
Ying Liu, PhD
Defense: December 16, 2022
Thesis title: "“Carbohydrates of Lipopolysaccharide: Acanthamoeba castellanii Predation Determinant and Bacterial Defense Strategy”
Maggie Postolache, PhD
Defense: November 3, 2022
Thesis title: "Effects of Aging on the Responses of Units in the Anteroventral Cochlear Nucleus of Mice In Vivo”
Guolei Zhao, PhD
Defense: August 2, 2022
Thesis title: “Characterization of two regulators with opposite effects on hyphal growth of Candida albicans"
Placement: Postdoctoral fellow at the University of Michigan with Teresa O'Meara
Matthew Vandermeulen, PhD
Defense: March 1, 2022
Thesis title: "The examination of signaling pathway gene by environment interactions in the regulation of filamentous growth”
Placement: Postdoctoral fellow with Paul Cullen, UB
Thomas “TJ" Krzystek, PhD
Defense: February 18, 2022
Thesis title: "Elucidating neuronal functions of huntingtin-endomembrane transport complexes”
Placement: Postdoctoral fellow at Boston Children’s Hospital with Dr. Zhigang He
Nicole Wong, PhD
Defense: January 11, 2022
Thesis title: "Signaling mechanisms of activity-dependent changes at auditory nerve synapses”
Placement: Postdoctoral fellow with Gina Turrigiano at Brandeis University
Pavan Patel, PhD
Defense: January 4, 2022
Advisor: Stephan Free, PhD
Thesis title: "Characterization of the four major Neurospora crassa glycosyl hydrolase family enzymes involved in cell wall biogenesis”
Placement: Postdoctoral fellow at NIH
Aditi Chaubey, PhD
Defense: October 25, 2021
Thesis title: "Aversive circuits: Modes and means of modulation in Caenorhabditis elegans”
Placement: Postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Michael Feigin, Roswell Park
Haniam Maria, PhD
Defense: August 6, 2021
Thesis title: "Role of a non-duplicated DNA replication protein in origin specification and epigenetic gene silencing in budding yeast”
Placement: Scientist, QIAGEN
Zander Bowitch, PhD
Defense: March 26, 2021
Thesis title: "Examining the effect of protein arginine methylation on G protein-coupled receptor signaling and protein-protein interactions with modulators of D2 signaling”
Courtney Szyjka, PhD
Defense: January 26, 2021
Thesis Title: “Investigating additional roles of the trp RNA-binding attenuation protein (TRAP) in transcriptional regulation of the trp operon in Bacillus subtilis.
Placement: Postdoctoral fellow with Eric Strobel, UB
Aditi Prabhakar, PhD
Defense: December 16, 2020
Thesis title: “Spatial and Temporal Regulation of MAP Kinase Pathways and the Impact on Intrinsic Polarity Establishment”
Placement: Postdoctoral fellow with William Mair, Harvard School of Public Health
Chris Rupert, PhD
Defense: July 21, 2020
Thesis title: "A role for the deacetylase Hst1 in carbon source dependent filamentation in the pathogenic yeast C. parapsilosis”
Placement: postdoctoral fellow, Roswell Park Cancer Institute
Rupkatha Banerjee, PhD
Defense: July 6, 2020
Thesis title: "Regulation of molecular motors by glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK3β) and presenilin (PS) during axonal transport”
Placement: Postdoctoral associate in the lab of Ronald Davis at Scripps Research, Florida.
Heather Williams, PhD
Defense: April 14, 2020
Thesis title: "From microbiota to macroecology: Three levels of purple martin ecology"
Placement: Clinical Assistant Professor, UB
Shaunna Phipps, PhD
Defense: February 27, 2020
Thesis title: The role of sodium transport in salt tolerance in two species of Chara.
Position: Lecturer, UB Department of Biological Sciences
Skyler Resendez, PhD
Defense: January 8, 2020
Thesis title: "Identifying and Analyzing Human Genetic Variation through a Key Example in the Growth Hormone Receptor Gene”
Debarghya Dutta Banik, PhD
Defense: December 3, 2019
Thesis title: “Function of TRPM4 and PLCbeta3 in Taste Cell Signaling”
Position: Postdoctoral fellow at Indiana University
Ozgur Taskent, PhD
Defense: July 26, 2019
Thesis title: “A Genetic Record of Admixture Between Humans and Ancient Hominins”
Richoo Bijoo Davis, PhD
Defense: May 13, 2019
Thesis title: "Protein Arginine Methylation Facilitates Environmental Adaptation in Budding Yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae"
Placement: Postdoctoral Fellow at the UB Department of Physics with Dr. Priya Banerjee
Jacky Chow, PhD
Defense date: January 20, 2019
Thesis title: "Exploring the role of signaling networks in regulating fungal foraging responses"
Placement: Scientist 2, Agenus; Postdoctoral Fellow, Roswell Park Cancer Center with Dr. Jason Muhitch
Yen-Lung Onta Lin, PhD
Defense date: January 9, 2019
Thesis title: "In search of the adaptive roles of genomic structural variants in the human genome"
Placement: Postdoctoral fellow at University of Chicago with Luis Barreiro
Rachel Bowman, PhD
Defense date: November 1, 2018
Thesis title: "The Role of the Triphosphatase Domain of the Vaccinia Capping Enzyme During Early Gene Transcription Termination."
Placement: Senior scientist at Frontier Science and Technology, Amherst, NY
Dianxiong Zou, PhD
Defense date: October 30, 2018
Thesis title: "Characterization of a Seven-transmembrane Protein and a Putative Ligand with Respect to Behavior and Iron Uptake in Tetrahymena thermophila"
Placement: Postdoctoral fellow at Texas A&M
|Sukanya Basu, PhD |
Defense: August 17, 2018
Advisor: Paul Cullen
Thesis: "The role of polarity proteins in regulating MAP kinase pathways in Saccharomyces cerevisiae."
Position: Scientist, Curia; Postdoc with Drs. Erik Knudsen and Agnieszka Witkiewicz at Roswell Park Cancer Institute.
|Kimberly Farr, PhD |
Defense: July 27, 2018
Thesis: "The Influence of Genomic Organization on the Diversity of Angiosperms"
Position: Research scientist, 22nd Century Group
|Xiaowen Zhuang, PhD |
Defense: July 16, 2018
Thesis: "Activity-dependent changes at the auditory nerve synapse"
Position: Postdoctoral fellow at UCSF with Dr. Alexandra Nelson; Postdoctoral fellow at Texas A&M University
Duo (Erica) Xu, PhD
|Joe White, PhD |
Defense: February 1, 2018
Thesis: "Identification of Potential HTT-Rab Axonal Transport Complexes"
Position: Scientist, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Grand Island, NY
|Yankun Gao, PhD |
Defense: January 8, 2018
Thesis: "The Role of WT1 and BASP1 in the Development and Maintenance of the Posterior Tase Field"
Advisor: Medler, Roberts
Position: Enrolled in data science program at University of Rochester
|Bhavana Muddukrishna, PhD |
Defense: November 17, 2017
Thesis: “Dissecting a Role for Protein Arginine Methylation in pre-mRNA Splicing”
Advisor: YuPosition: Scientist at Cepheid, San Jose CA
|Ashleigh Hanner, PhD |
Defense: August 4, 2017
Thesis: “The Yeast Heterochromatin Protein Sir3 Evolved in the AAA+ Base Subdomain after Subfunctionalization”
Position: Lab manager, NIDCR, NIH: Postdoc with Dr. Myung Hee Park, NIH, Inst Dental & Craniofacial Medicine
Christopher Mure, PhDDefense: July 24, 2017
Thesis: “The rbcL mRNA binding protein RLSB is a bundle-sheath-specific, positive regulator of rbcL gene expression in C4 Plants”
Position: Instructor of Biology, SUNY Erie
Kristen Humphrey, PhDDefense: June 19, 2017
Thesis: “Sirtuin deacetylases couple nutrient availability to gene expression”
Position: Senior staff scientist, ThermoFisher;
Postdoc, Roswell Park Cancer Institute