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Undergraduate Alumni: Research and Medicine

From industry to the academy, UMBC’s Biological Sciences alumni are making their mark on a regional and national level. Our focus on providing opportunities for undergraduate students includes the department’s Minority Access to Research Careers Undergraduate Training in Academic Research (MARC U*STAR) Program. Alumni of our bachelor’s programs consistently go on to some of the most selective graduate programs in the biological sciences, including Harvard University, the University of Wisconsin and Stanford University.  Read the accomplishments of our alumni who have gone on to pursue careers in biological research and medicine.

Oluwaseye (Sheye) Alabi, BS Biochemistry/Molecular Biology ’03

After leaving UMBC, Sheye entered the New England College of Osteopathic Medicine. He was awarded the American Federation for Aging Research (AFAR) Geriatric Medical Student Fellowship for 2006-07.

Eric Balzer, BS Biological Sciences ’05

Eric is a second-year student in the graduate program in Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. He is pursuing a Ph.D. under the direction of Dr. Stuart Martin, whose laboratory investigates the role of the cytoskeleton in tumor cell metastasis.

Julia Banda, BS Biological Sciences ’05

Julia is currently a second year student at University of Maryland Dental School.

Stephen Blakely, BS Biological Sciences ’04

After graduating Steve received a one-year NIH Postbaccalaureate Intramural Research Training Award. In the fall of 2005 he entered the University of Maryland School of Medicine where he plans to earn his MD degree in the spring of 2009.

Roxanne Brooks, BS Biological Sciences ’06

Roxann received a fellowship from Pfizer to pursue D.V.M./Ph.D. studies at theUniversity of California, Davis.

Roland Cheung, BS Biological Sciences ’04

Roland is currently in the Pharmaceutical Sciences PhD program at the University of North Carolina.  He completed a double major at UMBC, also receiving a B.A. in Economics

Koriand’r Conyers, BS Biological Sciences ’06

Kori joined the Rice University/Baylor College of Medicine Medical Scientist Training Program this summer to begin her MD/PhD studies.

Selvin Gnanakkan, BS Biological Sciences ’96

After working as a technician at the University of California Los Angeles, Selvin studied Ophthalmology in Philadelphia, graduating with an O.D. and M.B.A. in 2000. He is a practicing Opthalmologist in Phoenix, AZ.

Jeff Gross, BS Biological Sciences ’96

Jeff went on to Duke University for graduate school and obtained his PhD in 2002. After three years of a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University, Jeff became an Assistant Professor at the University of Texas- Austin in the section of cell and developmental biology in the fall of 2005.

Liz Humphries, BS Biological Sciences ’04

Liz is pursuing a master’s degree at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks in the laboratory of Kevin Winker.  She graduated from UMBC with a double major, also receiving a B.A. in Chemistry.

Elizabeth Kohlhepp, BA Biological Sciences ’86

After graduating from UMBC in 1986 (with a BA in Biological Sciences and a “minor” in Music Performance) I graduated from University of Maryland School of Medicine in 1991; completed my residency training in Psychiatry in 1995; and completed a fellowship in Forensic Psychiatry at the University of Maryland in 1996. I have been practicing Clinical and Forensic Psychiatry in Arizona for 15 years, since 1997, after working for one year as a Psychiatrist in Australia (1996-1997). I am a past-President of the Arizona Psychiatric Society and a current Delegate to the Arizona Medical Association. I credit UMBC with my success, my continued love of and respect for science, and my early interest in Medicine. I also have incredibly fond memories of the UMBC Athletic Department, having played on the women’s volleyball team; and the UMBC Department of Music, including Gail Cameron, who was my flute teacher; the late Robert Gerle, who was Chair of the Music Department; and my dear friend! and fellow Alum, Laura Howell, also a graduate of the class of 1986; as well as a music “minor” and student of Gail Cameron. Thank you! (eakohl@aol.com)

Margaret Kott, B.S. in Biological Sciences, 2011

Margaret is studying medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore MD.

Charles Maris, BS Biological Sciences ’97

After graduation, Charles went to Emory University in Atlanta and earned a Ph.D. in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics.  He postdoc’d in the Johns Hopkins University Department of Oncology and now works for the Midwest Research Institute in Rockville, MD studying host-pathogen relationships.

Ioanna Paiusi, BS Biological Sciences ’05

Ioanna is currently in her first year of pharmacy school at the University of Maryland, Baltimore.

Susan N. Parrish, BS Biological Sciences ’94

Susan went on to receive her Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University in 2002, where her research with her mentor Dr. Andrew Fire, the 2006 recipient of the Nobel Prize in Medicine & Physiology, was instrumental to the development of the important RNAi paradigm. She is conducting postdoctoral research at the National Institutes of Health where her research focuses on vaccinia virus pathogenesis.

Caitlin Reavey, BS Biochemistry/Molecular Biology ’06

Caitlin is pursuing her Ph.D. at Harvard Medical School. She is working in the laboratory of Dr. Fred Winston.

Luz Catherine Tello, BS Biological Sciences ’04

Luz is currently in her second year of medical school at Drexel University in Philadelphia.  She graduated from UMBC with a double major, also receiving a B.A. in Psychology.