Graduate Student and Postdoc News

Take a look at the recent achievements of current UConn Health graduate students and postdoctoral fellows!

November 2014

Biomedical Science Ph.D. program alumni, Dr. Panteleimon Rompolas, was recently awarded the 2014 Blavatnik Regional Award for Yound Scholars in the area of Life Science. Established in 2007, the awards honor the excellence of outstanding postdoctoral scientists who work in NY, NJ, and CT. Read more about Dr. Rompolas here.

September 2014

UConn Health Biomedical Science Ph.D. program student Mr. Matthew Hammond and M.D./Ph.D. student Mr. Jeremy Grenier, recently won first place in the Connecticut Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CCEI) Startup Challenge Strategy Competition.

June 2014

Graduate Student Research Day, June 18, 2014

The Graduate Student Organization held the 31st Annual Graduate Student Research Day (GSRD) on June 18, 2014.  Read more about  the day’s events here.  Several students received awards throughout the day:

Mr. Kyle Denton
Ph.D. Student, Neuroscience, P.I.: Xue-Jun Li

Mr. Denton was chosen by the Graduate Programs Committee as the recipient of the 2014-15 Lepow Award.  The Lepow Award was established in 1986 in honor of Dr. Irwin H. Lepow, a well-known faculty member, researcher and founding father of the UConn Health Center. This award is given to support the outstanding fourth-year graduate Ph.D. student in the Biomedical Sciences Program. The recipient receives a $1,500 award, and presents a research talk at Graduate Student Research Day the following year.

Mr. Denton also received the Oral Presentation Award  at GSRD for his talk entitled “Rescue of Disease-Specific Axonal Defects in a Human IPSC Model of Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia SPG3A.”

Dr. Sonali Ghosh

2013 Ph.D. Graduate, Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, P.I.: Peter Setlow

Dr. Sonali Ghosh was awarded the 2014 Edward G. Henderson Memorial Prize for outstanding Ph.D. thesis in Biomedical Science for her thesis “Understanding the Mechanism of Bacillus subtilis Spore Germination.”

This prize was established in memory of Dr. Edward G. Henderson, a faculty member in the Department of Pharmacology from 1968 to 1997. Dr. Henderson is remembered for his commitment to graduate education and his dedicated supervision of graduate students.

Mr. Abhijit Deb Roy
Ph.D. student, Cell Analysis and Modeling, P.I.: Yi Wu

Mr. Deb Roy received the 2014-15 Lawrence G. Raisz Award for Excellence in Musculoskeletal Research for his poster “Chemoattraction and Contact-repulsion Between Osteoclasts and Osteoblasts Converge on a Small G Protein ThoA.” The Raisz Award was established in 2013 in honor of Dr. Lawrence G. Raisz, M.D., a Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor of Medicine at

UConn Health, in honor of his tireless commitment to research and training of the next generation of biomedical scientists.

Poster award winners included:

Mr. Edward Koellhoffer
M.D./Ph.D. Student, Neuroscience, P.I.: Dr. Louise McCullough, for his poster “Titling the Balance of M1/M2 Microglial Phenotypes: Inhibition of Ezh2 May Lead to Decreased M1 and Enhanced M2 Phenotypes.”

Ms. Dhivya Kumar
Ph.D. Student, Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, P.I.: Betty Eipper, for her poster “The Chlamydomonas Genome Encodes an Active Peptide Processing Enzyme.”


Ms. Leia Shuhaibar
Ph.D. Student, Cell Biology, P.I.: Dr. Laudinda Jaffe, for her poster “Cyclic GMP Diffusion Through Gap Junctions Rapidly Conveys the Meiosis-Inducing Signal From Granulosa Cells to Oocyte in Mouse Ovarian Follicles.”

May 2014

Mr. Benjamin Hallowell and Ms. Katelyn M. Sileo
2014 M.P.H. Graduates

Mr. Hallowell and Ms. Sileo were this year’s recipients of the 2014 Mulvihill Medal awarded by the Master of Public Health Program for the student(s) with the most outstanding academic record in combination with excellence in their capstone project.

The award was established by Dr. James E. and Mary Jane Mulvihill. Dr. Mulvihill was vice president, provost, and executive director of the UConn Health Center from 1980 to 1992. He and his wife were committed to the University and worked tirelessly on its behalf.

Mr. Evan M. Timme
2014 M.P.H. Graduate

Mr. Timme received the 2014 Susan S. Addiss Award in Applied Public Health Practice which recognizes the graduating M.P.H. student who best exemplifies the qualities of Susan Addiss: public health advocacy, leadership, demonstrated committment to the community, and academic performance.

A long standing chair of the UConn Public Health Advisory Committee, Ms. Addiss had a long and exemplary career in state and local public health and service as President of the American Public Health Association and the Connecticut Public Health Association.

Mr. Timme was also the UConn Health Graduate Student Speaker at the 2014 Commencement ceremony.