Current Fellows

2023 Cohort

Kathleen Kish

Ph.D., Biomedical Engineering, University of Michigan
Postdoctoral Fellow, Neurology
Mentor: William Stacey, M.D., Ph.D.

Research Interest: Kate is interested in neural engineering. She applies signal processing and machine learning techniques to human EEG data in order to help understand and treat epilepsy.


De’Jana Parker

Ph.D., Integrated Biosciences, North Carolina Central University
Postdoctoral Fellow, Pediatrics – Pulmonary Medicine
Mentor:  Marc Hershenson, M.D.

Research Interest: De’Jana is interested in the immune response to respiratory viral infections. More specifically, she is interested in studying early life respiratory tract infections and the effects on lung and immune cell development and the risk of asthma.


Nicole Rodgers

Ph.D., Chemical and Physical Biology, Vanderbilt University
Postdoctoral Fellow, Mechanical Engineering
Mentor:  Allen Liu, Ph.D.

Research Interest: Nikki is interested in the role of the mechanical environment on collective cell behavior, specifically investigating the molecular mechanisms underlying cell sorting and migration of different cell types in 3D tumor models.


2022 Cohort

Maxwell Baymiller

Ph.D., Biochemistry, Univ. of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Postdoctoral Fellow, Human Genetics, Center for RNA Biomedicine
Mentor:  Dr. Stephanie Moon

Research Interest: Max is interested in RNA biology and disease, especially in the role of VCP in translation, and how mutations in VCP cause diverse diseases.


Patrice Hicks

Ph.D., Population Health Science – Clinical & Translational Epidemiology Emphasis , Univ. of Utah
Postdoctoral Fellow, Ophthalmology & Visual Science
Mentors:  Dr. Maria Woodward and Dr. Paula Anne Newman-Casey

Research Interest:  Patrice is interested in identifying neighborhood-level factors that impact glaucoma outcomes, above and beyond individual-level factors, to work towards achieving health equity in eye and vision health.


Kristen Turner

Ph.D., Human Physiology, Univ. of Iowa
Postdoctoral Fellow, Molecular and Integrative Physiology
Mentor:  Dr. Daniel E. Michele

Research Interest: Kristen is interested in the physiology of membrane repair. She is identifying cellular/molecular regulators of actin assembly at the plasma membrane of skeletal and cardiac muscles. Her research aims to determine possible therapeutic targets that may benefit patients with muscular dystrophy.


2021 Cohort

Hector Mendoza

Ph.D., Biology, Univ. of Louisville
Postdoctoral Fellow, Molecular, Cellular & Developmental Biology
Mentor:  Dr.Györgyi Csankovszki 

Research Interest: Hector is exploring the molecular mechanisms involved in regulation of gene expression and chromatin modification in the dosage compensation system of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.


Jennifer Flanagan-Natoli

Ph.D., Physical Chemistry, University of Texas – Austin
Postdoctoral Fellow, LSA Biophysics
Mentor:  Dr. Sarah Veatch

Research Interest: Jenny is interested in studying the cooperativity between cytoskeletal structure, plasma membrane organization, and receptor signaling in immune cells using super-resolution microscopy.


Kipchumba Kaitany

Ph.D., Biological Chemistry
Postdoctoral Fellow, Chemistry
Mentor:  Dr. Markos Koutmos

Research Interest: Kip is interested in RNA structure-function and is particularly drawn to the study of RNA-protein interactions.


Lauren McCarthy

Ph.D., Physical Chemistry, Rice University
Postdoctoral Fellow, Biophysics
Mentor:  Dr. Julie S. Biteen

Research Interest:  Lauren is applying single-molecule microscopy and tracking to learn how E. coli cells are organized, particularly under conditions of stress. 


2020 Cohort

Rebecca Cox

Rebecca Cox

Ph.D., Biomedical Science, Cornell University
Postdoctoral Fellow, Molecular and Integrative Physiology
Mentor:  Dr. Scott Leiser

Research Interest: Rebecca is interested in the role of FMO-2 and neuropeptide pathways in a C. elegans model of dietary-mediated longevity.


Molly Naylor

Molly Thorson

Ph.D., Cellular and Molecular Biology, University of Michigan
Postdoctoral Fellow, Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Mentor:  Dr. Jillian Pearring

Research Interest: Molly is interested in studying outer segment growth in photoreceptors. 


Active UM IRACDA Alumni

Current U Michigan Postdoctoral fellows/MI IRACDA Alumni who share their programmatic and institutional knowledge with current MI IRACDA Scholars.

Ramiah Jacks

Ph.D., Immunology, Loyola University Chicago
Postdoctoral Fellow, Molecular and Integrative Physiology 
Mentor: Carey Lumeng, M.D., Ph.D

Research Interest: Ramiah is interested in the factors that shape our immune response in obesity, especially the relationship between adipose tissue T cells (ATTs) and the adipose tissue microenvironment.  


Vanessa Puñal

Vanessa Puñal

Ph,D., Neurobiology, Duke University
Postdoctoral Fellow,  Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology
Mentor: Eleanor J. “Josie” Clowney, Ph.D. 

Research Interest: Vanessa is interested in how neural networks are built and modified by experience, focusing on cellular, molecular, and/or genetic mechanisms driven the stochastic patterning of these olfactory associative learning circuitsin the developing Drosophila melanogaster.


Sonya Wolf-Fortune

Sonya Wolf-Fortune

Ph.D., Immunology, University of Michigan
Postdoctoral Fellow, Molecular and Integrative Physiology
Mentor:  Katherine Gallagher, M.D., Vascular Surgery

Research Interest: Sonya is interested in the immune factors influencing diabetic wound healing, examining the role of keratinocytes in shaping the macrophage inflammatory profile in diabetic wounds in order to develop novel targets for treatment.


Former Fellows

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Wylie Stroberg
Assistant Professor,
University of Alberta

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Victor A Cazares
Assistant Professor,
Williams University

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Jennifer Judge
Regulatory Affairs Scientist,
Cook Myosite

Holly Turula
Holly Turula
Assistant Professor,
Western Michigan University
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Zoe Thompson
Assistant Professor
Utah Valley University
Nathan Horrell
Nathan Horrell
Medical, Regulatory Writer
Medpace, Inc.
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DeLawrence Sykes
Assistant Professor,
Berry College (GA)
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Neda Nourabadi
QA Senior Associate
Lauren Jepsen
Lauren Jepsen
Assistant Professor
Cornell College (IA)
Elizabeth Duran
Elizabeth Duran
Assistant Professor
Department of Chemistry, University of Alabama at Birmingham