Tyler Hill, MSIB '17, Hudson Lab. Bridged to Brandeis University Neuroscience Ph.D. Program

Aaron Ledet, MSCB '17, Smith Lab. Bridged to University of Texas-Austin Biochemistry Ph.D. Program

Verra M. Ngwa, MSCB '16, McMurry Lab. Bridged to Vanderbilt Cancer Biology Ph.D. Program

Juan Rodriguez, MSIB '16, Smith Lab. Bridged to Emory University BCDB Ph.D. Program

Crystal Smith, MSIB, '17, Ganser Lab. Bridged to MUSC Neuroscience Ph.D. Program

Class of 2018

Photo of Wendy Aquino-NunezWendy Aquino-Nunez, Hudson Lab

Project: Regulation of cnd1, an C. elegans ortholog of neuroD, a Kalman Syndrome gene

Wendy is original from the Dominican Republic and lived in Puerto Rico, where she obtain her B.S. in Cellular and Molecular Biology with a second major in English Literature from the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus. Her research interests include the molecular bases of neuron and synapse regeneration. She is currently working with C. elegans where she expects to tailor her research find answers that can be applied in neuro-degerative diseases.


Maleek Montgomery

Maleek Montgomery, Tapu Lab

Graduating from Savannah State University, Maleek received a Bachelor’s of Science in Chemistry with an American Chemical Society Certification. His research interest is in organic chemistry due to the fact that this discipline gives a vast view of many physical and chemical features in our world today. His future hopes are to synthesize target compounds by chemical synthesis that will combat health epidemics. He is currently working under Dr. Daniela Tapu on the synthesis of new tri-metallic complexes from bridging multitopic anionic N-heterocyclic carbenes.



Mareena Whisby

Mareena Whisby, Griffin Lab

Project: Novel Applications of Biolayer Interferometry

Mareena is a KSU alumna, originally hailing from Macon, Georgia. Interested in all things microbiological, she began her masters work examining interactions between bacteriophage Sf6 and its receptor Shigella flexneri OmpA. After wrapping that up along with a few side projects, she is spending her second year working on aspects of molecular pathogenesis in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. She has developed experise in optical biosensing, particularly biolayer interferometry, piloting the first immobilization of whole phage on probes for analysis.

Photo of Shaquanna Young



Shaquanna Young, McMurry Lab

Project: Delivery of Akirin fragments as inhibitors of chromatin remodeling in cancer cells

Shaquanna, a native of Milledgeville, GA, graduated from Albany State University with a B.S. in Biology. Her research interests includes disease-specific health disparities (e.g. diabetes, heart diseases) and drug discovery/pharmacology. 


Class of 2019

Tori MendiolaVictoria Mendiola

Project: lab rotations

Victoria received her B.S. in Biology from Kennesaw State University in May, 2017. As an undergraduate she participated in array of research projects from assessing deer abundance in Kennesaw National Battlefield Park to hookworm clearance in South American fur seals (in a summer program at UGA). Turning to the more biomedical side of things as an MSIB student, she remains broadly interested in infectious diseases and human physiology.



Tequila PorterTequila Porter, Sterling Group

Project: Rural Health Disparities in Appalachian Georgia

Tequila is orginally from Asheville, NC and lived in Winston Salem where she obtained her Bachelor of Science in Biology from Winston Salem State University. Her research interests include rural health dispartities and public health outcomes. Her ultimate goals are to create better quality health programs and advocate for the underserved communities across the US. She is currently working under Dr. Evelina Sterling on rural health disparities in Appalachian Georgia.


Xzaviar Solone

Project: lab rotations

While a native of Jamaica, Queens, New York, Xzaviar spent most of his young life growing up in the rural town of Manning, South Carolina. He then relocated to Daytona Beach FL, to pursue a bachelor’s degree in biology at Bethune-Cookman University. His research interests include molecular and genetic approaches to cancer, cell dignaling and receptor sctivation, and human physiology.