Undergraduate Alumni in 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.

Jerome Adams, BS Biochemistry/Molecular Biology ’97

In 2017, Jerome was named the 20th U.S. Surgeon General. He has served as an associate professor of clinical anesthesia at University of Indiana School of Medicine and as the Indiana State Health Commissioner. Jerome received a Master of Public Health degree from UC Berkeley before attending medical school at Indiana University School of Medicine. Jerome was a Meyerhoff Scholar at UMBC. Read more about Jerome HERE.

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. He now practices medicine in North Carolina.

Henry V. Baker, PhD Biological Sciences ’84, BA Biological Sciences ’78

After earning his Ph.D. degree, Henry became a National Institutes of Health Postdoctoral Fellow and carried out his postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Dr. Dan G. Fraenkel in the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at Harvard Medical School.  Dr. Baker than joined the faculty of the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology in the School of Medicine at the University of Florida in Gainesville, FL, where he is now a professor.  In addition, he was instrumental in founding, and is currently the Co-Director, of the University’s Functional Genomics Facility.

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.

Paul Behrens, PhD Biological Sciences ’83, MS Biological Sciences ’80

After graduating from UMBC, Paul continued his work on photorespiration and its affects on photo synthesis at Martin Marrietta Laboratories. He subsequently left there to form Martek Biosciences, a biotechnology company focused on using microalgae to produce high-value products. In 2011, Martek was sold to DSM Nutritional Products, where Paul now serves as director. Paul continues his connection to UMBC as an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences.

Charles Bevins, PhD Biochemistry ’83, BA Biological Sciences ’76

After obtaining his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from UMBC and M.D. from the University of Maryland School of Medicine (1983), Charles was a resident physician at the UCSF Medical Center and received a postdoctoral fellowship at NIH. He has held assistant professorships at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, and worked with the Cleveland Clinic Foundation. He is currently a Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at the UC Davis School of Medicine.

Stephen Blakely, BS Biological Sciences ’04

After graduating, Steve received a one-year NIH Post-baccalaureate Intramural Research Training Award. He entered the University of Maryland School of Medicine, where he earned his MD degree in 2009. He now practices medicine in New York.

Roxanne Brooks, BS Biological Sciences ’06

Roxanne received a fellowship from Pfizer to pursue D.V.M./Ph.D. studies at the University of California, Davis. She received her DVM/Ph.D. in 2013 before going to work for the Department of Homeland Security as an AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow and a program manager. Currently, she works for the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a National Program Leader for Animal Health.

Susanna Campbell, BS Biological Sciences ’15

While at UMBC, Susanna worked with the Kevin Omland Lab to document female bird song in Puerto Rican Orioles. Susanna’s work helped to lay the foundations for the lab’s work on studying the critically endangered Bahamas Oriole. In 2017, Susanna received her MS degree at the University of Michigan. She will stay at Michigan to complete a PhD.

Roland Cheung, BS Biological Sciences ’04

Roland graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2009 with a Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences. Rolnad works in research and development at Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories in the Netherlands. At UMBC, he completed a double major, also receiving a B.A. in Economics.

Koriand’r Conyers Williams, BS Biological Sciences ’06

Kori joined the Rice University/Baylor College of Medicine Medical Scientist Training Program to begin her MD/PhD studies. In 2014, she received her M.D./Ph.D. from the University of Texas, Southwestern. She is currently a resident physician at the University of Arkansas fr Medicine Science. Kori participated in the MARC U*STAR program (year 8) and performed research in the Stephen Miller Lab while at UMBC.

Joseph Cornish, BS Biological Sciences ’12

As an undergrad, Joseph worked in the Ivan Erill Lab. Now, he’s researching Ebola at the Integrated Research Facility at Fort Detrick, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Frederick Flanagan BA Biological Sciences ’16, MS Applied Molecular Biology ’18

After receiving his bachelors in 2016, Freddy returned to UMBC to purse a Master’s degree in Applied Molecular Biology. He left UMBC to purse a Doctorate of Dental Surgery from the University of Maryland School of Dentistry.

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.

Isaac Kinde, BS Biological Sciences ’05

Isaac graduated with an M.D./Ph.D. from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in 2015. He is currently the Cheif Scientific Officer at PapGene, Inc. He has been recognized as one of Forbes magazine’s “30 Under 30” rising stars in Science and Healthcare in 2013, and a “Game Changer” by Men’s Fitness.

While at UMBC, Isaac worked with research mentor, Dr. Michael Summers (Chemistry) as an Undergraduate Research Scholar, and Meyerhoff  and MARC U*STAR Scholar. Upon graduation, Isaac received the Faculty Award for Excellence in the Biological Sciences. In 2018, Isaac was the Alumni Keynote Speaker at URCAD. Read more about Isaac in the UMBC Magazine.

Elizabeth Kohlhepp, BA Biological Sciences ’86

After graduating from UMBC in 1986 with a BIOL BA and a minor in Music Performance, Elizabeth graduated from the University School of Medicine in 1991. She completed her residency training in Psychiatry in 1995 and a fellowship in Forensic Psychiatry at the University of Maryland in 1996. Since 1997, after working for one year as a Psychiatrist in Australia, she has practiced Clinical and Forensic Psychiatry in Arizona. She is a past-President of the Arizona Psychiatric Society and a current Delegate to the Arizona Medical Association.

While at UMBC, she was a member of the women’s volleyball team and worked closely with members of the Music Department. She credits UMBC with her success, her continued love of and respect for science, and her early interest in Medicine.

Margaret Kott, BS Biological Sciences, ’11

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

Kate Laskowski, BS Biological Sciences ’06

Kate is a scientist at the Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries in Germany, studying the behavior and social interactions among fish species. An Undergraduate Research Scholar, Kate worked in the Jeff Leips Lab, studying genetics aging patterns in Drosophila and parasitoid wasps. She completed her PhD at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In 2017, Kate received the Outstanding Alumna Award in Natural & Mathematical Sciences. Read more about Kate HERE.

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 received a postdoctoral position in the Johns Hopkins University Department of Oncology and now works for the Midwest Research Institute in Rockville, MD studying host-pathogen relationships.

Bryan MacKay, MS Biological Sciences ’79, BA Biological Sciences ’73

Bryan MacKay earned a BA in Biological Sciences from UMBC in 1973, and subsequently spent four years as a technician at the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center in Catonsville.  He then earned a MS in Biological Sciences, again from UMBC, in 1979, and was thereafter hired to teach labs at UMBC.  Bryan worked as Lecturer, then Senior Lecturer, from 1979 – 2013, teaching Cell Biology, Developmental Biology and Plant Biology labs. His professional association with UMBC has permitted him to publish six popular guidebooks to outdoor activities and nature, including “A Year Across Maryland: A Week by Week Guide to Discovering Nature in the Chesapeake Region” through the Johns Hopkins University Press. Now retired, Bryan lives in the house he was born in in Catonsville, has never had a job he couldn’t walk to, and was associated with UMBC Biology as either a student or teacher for 44 consecutive years.

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.

Talmo Pereira, BS Bioinformatics & Computational Biology ’15

Talmo left UMBC to purse a Ph.D. in Neuroscience at Princeton University. At Princeton, he worked on applying machine learning towards behavioral quantification in fruit flies.

Chantel Wilson, BS Biochemistry/Molecular Biology ’18

Chantel will attend the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program at Vanderbilt University for her Ph.D., focusing on biomedical sciences. Chantel Wilson was a MARC U*STAR Scholar who worked in the lab of Dr. Weihong Lin while at UMBC.

List updated May 2018