Our deepest sympathies are extended to the family of Dr. James Funderburgh on the news of his recent passing. In Memorium

Welcome Dr. Kara Bernstein as the new MGDB Program Director and Dr. Arjumand Ghazi as the MGDB Vice Director!






Dr. Jacqueline Starr Welty after a successful defense of her thesis, "Oxidative Damage and Selective Neuronal Vulnerability in Alzheimer's Disease," accepted a position as a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Amantha Thathiah in the Department of Neurobiology at the University of Pittsburgh. Congratulations!



Congratulations to Dr. Fayomi Adetunji, who successfully defended his thesis during the spring 2018 term. After his defense, Dr. Fayomi accepted a position as a postdoctoral associate in the laboratory of Dr. Ronald Buckanovich at Magee Women's Research Institute.


CONGRATS to Dr. Mehwish Khaliq, who successfully defended her thesis entitled "ELUCIDATING MECHANISMS OF LIVER DEVELOPMENT AND LIVER PROGENITOR CELL-DRIVEN REGENERATION IN ZEBRAFISH." Following her defense, she accepted a position as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Michigan in their Bioengineering Department.


Welcome Dr. Michael Tsang as the new MGDB Program Director and Dr. Kara Bernstein as the MGDB Vice Director.







Congratulations to Dr. Brooke McClendon and Dr. Stephen Godin, who successfully defended their thesis projects this past spring.

Following her defense, Dr. McClendon accepted a position at the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburgh as a Research Assistant Professor in Biology and Biochemistry.

Dr. Godin will be doing research on neurodegeneration as a postdoctoral associate in the lab of Dr. Li-Huei Tsai at MIT.

BEST WISHES! Congratulations to Dr. Lia Edmunds, who successfully defended her thesis project on November 16, 2016. Following her defense, Dr. Edmunds accepted a postdoctoral position here at the University of Pittsburgh. She will be working in the lab of Dr. Michael Jurczak in the Department of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Center for Metabolic and Mitochondrial Medicine (C3M).

CONGRATULATIONS to Dr. Lauren Brilli Skvarca, Dr. Andrew Hertsenberg, Dr. Mark Langhans and Dr. Hanna Valli, all of who successfully defended their thesis projects over the past year!

Drs. Skvarca and Langhans have returned to Medical School at the University of Pittsburgh under the MSTP program. Dr. Hertsenberg accepted a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard School of Medicine and Dr. Valli is a postdoctoral associate at Northwestern University.

We wish you all the best of luck in your future endeavors!


Congratulations to Adetunji Fayomi, graduate student in Dr. Kyle Orwig’s laboratory.  Adetunji was recently awarded a diversity supplement from NIH, entitled “Cellular mechanisms of chemotherapy induced male infertility: stem cell or niche?”  His research on stem cells and spermatogenic lineage development in fertile males will provide insights into the mechanisms and possible treatments for male infertility.


Congratulations to Mehwish Khaliq, graduate student in Dr. Donghun Shin’s laboratory, who was recently awarded an individual F31 NRSA pre-doctoral fellowship award. Her application, “Elucidating the role of Id2a in liver development and regeneration”, proposes to uses the zebrafish model organism elucidate the regulatory role of Id2a, a BMP pathway target gene, in liver development and biliary-driven liver regeneration.



Congratulations to Andrew Hertsenberg! Recently, Andrew was added as a predoctoral trainee on the Department of Ophthalmology's T32 Interdisciplinary VisualSciences (IVS) Training Program. He also had an abstract accepted for a talk at the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology Conference that was held this past May. 


Under the mentorship of Dr. Neil Hukriede, graduate student Lauren Brilli was recently awarded a Ruth L. Kirschstein Individual National Research Service F30 Fellowship Award through NIDDK. The grant is titled "Elucidating the Mechanisms of Kidney Regeneration and Therapeutic Augmentation," and will provide insight into the signaling pathways involved in kidney regeneration after acute kidney injury by examining the role of a novel class of histone deacetylase inhibitors to promote renal proliferation and survival in zebrafish. This award is specific for trainees enrolled in combined MD/PhD programs and will provide four years of financial support.


Hanna Valli received the Lonnie D. Russell travel award from the American Society of Andrology (ASA) and was invited to give a platform presentation at the 39th Annual Meeting of the ASA in Atlanta, GA on April 6, 2014. The title of her talk is "Recovery of undifferentiated spermatognia from the testes of prepubertal patients after exposure to chemotherapy." The award was established in memory of Dr. Lonnie Russell, who was a faculty member at the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine and an outstanding microscopist who was a leading scientist in the fields of germline development and fertility.