Hadil Al Muhisen
Hadil Al Muhisen is from Alahsa, Saudi Arabia. She received her Bachelors in Chemistry from College of Science in King Faisal University, studied English as a second language at the University of Pennsylvania and had toxicology training at the Regional Poison Control Center, Dammam, Saudi Arabia. She worked for a year at Wyeth Nutrition (now Nestle Global). She completed her MS degree at TAMU in Toxicology in Dr. Rajesh Miranda’s laboratory where her thesis was “Sex Differences in Fetal Neural Stem Cells Response to Ethanol.” She is now working toward her doctorate with Dr. Tracy Clement in the area of reproductive toxicology. When Hadil is not studying or in the lab, she volunteers as a vice president on “Snapmvr” account for MVR Media group. She also provides advice and encouragement to assist her followers on social media achieve their goals.
Noor Aly is a PhD student in the Toxicology program. She is from Richland, Washington and she received her Bachelors in Biology and Masters in Environmental Science; both from Washington State University. Her master’s research was done at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory where she used Ion Mobility Spectrometry to develop a public database of over 500 metabolites and xenobiotics. Her current research in Dr. Rusyn’s lab will continue to use Ion Mobility Spectrometry to assist in the identification and characterization of sites exposed to toxic chemicals after natural and anthropogenic disasters. In her spare time she enjoys working out, yoga, baking and eating said baked goods.
Jonathan Behlen received his BS in Molecular and Cell Biology from Texas A&M University in 2011. Following his graduation, he went into industry for four years working in the biochemical and oil and gas fields. After realizing he wanted to pursue an even higher education, he matriculated into a master’s program and subsequently transferred into a PhD program in Dr. Sakhila Banu’s laboratory in August 2016. There, he studied how hexavalent chromium affects placentation, particularly trophoblast cell differentiation, migration and uterine artery remodeling in Sprague Dawley rats. Wanting to broaden his knowledge of developmental toxicology, Jonathan moved to Dr. Natalie Johnson’s lab where he is interested in studying how air particulate matter affects reproduction and development in C57BL/6N mice. He will complete an internship with Merck pharmaceutical company in their toxicology/pathology division in the summer 2019. When he is not in the lab or serving as TA for various courses, Jonathan enjoys reading novels and fostering dogs for a local animal shelter.
Alexander Blanchette was born in Phoenix Arizona, but raised mostly in Leicester Massachusetts. He received his bachelors in Forensic Chemistry from Western New England University where he worked to develop an alternate and improved field test for marijuana. After receiving his undergraduate degree, Alex joined the Toxicology Ph.D. program at the University of Maryland Baltimore and after a year, he decided to transfer to Texas A&M. Alex is a member of Dr. Weihsueh Chiu’s lab, and is interested in predictive computational toxicology and population variability. His current work includes the development of an in vitro Bayesian model to predict in vivo cardiotoxicity across the population. In the summer of 2018, Alex completed an externship with the Vermont Department of Health in Burlington, VT. When not in lab or in class, Alex enjoys cooking, listening to music, watching sports, and spending time with his pet rabbit, Ciri.
Ashli A. Brown is a first-generation college graduate from Atlanta, Ga. She received her B.S. in Forensic Science from Albany State University, where she was introduced to the world of research. Her first research experience was at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the Emergency Response Branch. Ashli’s independent project included three ruggedness tests on method optimization for the detection of organophosphorous nerve agents in urine, serum, mitra-multisampling devices, and dried blood spots using the liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. Her commendable efforts earned her a co-authorship on a scientific manuscript published in Analytica Chimica Acta. In 2018, Ashli completed a post-baccalaureate program at the University of Iowa to further her research experience and become a competitive applicant for highly-ranked graduate programs in biomedical science. There, Ashli analyzed molecular genetic risk factors and environmental exposures of major structural birth defects in the Department of Epidemiology, Interdisciplinary Human Toxicology. Her independent project analyzed different DNA extraction methods to optimize processing times and maximize DNA yields of residual newborn blood spots. Ashli is currently a 1st year PhD student in the IFT program, rotating with Dr. Tim Herrman at the Office of the Texas State Chemist. Her research focuses on fumonisin and its impact on animal health in multiple species using the meta-analysis and benchmark dose approach.
Sarah Burnett is a 3rd year PhD student in the Interdisciplinary Toxicology program. She is originally from Little Rock, Arkansas and graduated from the University of Arkansas Honors College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry. With Dr. Ivan Rusyn, her research focuses on a population-based in vitro model using human iPSC-derived cardiomyocytes to assess cardiotoxicity hazard and estimate toxicodynamic population variability. Her long-term research interest is to advance industry risk assessment by developing in vitro models for high-throughput hazard, dose-response, and variability predictions. She completed an externship with Takeda Pharmaceuticals in the Summer of 2017. In her free time, Sarah likes to go hiking and hammocking, explore new places with her dog, read books, and play the piano.
Krisa Camargo is a PhD candidate in Toxicology and Superfund trainee. She received her BS in Neuroscience from George Mason University and is a Florida native; however, after her extensive travels with her military family, she calls Maine and Massachusetts home. Her research focuses on the characterization of complex mixtures within Galveston Bay and the Houston Ship Channel. During the Summer of 2017, Krisa externed with the Texas A&M University Pathobiology Department and Takeda Pharmaceuticals, while in Summer 2018 she completed an NIEHS-funded K.C. Donnelly Externship at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS). As of Spring 2019, Krisa was awarded a SMART Scholarship, which is a scholarship-for-service program funded by the USD/R&E (The Under Secretary of Defense-Research and Engineering), National Defense Education Program (NDEP) / BA-1, Basic Research. In her spare time, Krisa is an avid yogi who will be completing her Yoga Teacher 200-hr Certification in Spring 2019. Then when she can, Krisa enjoys traveling home to Maine where she can go explore the local coastal towns and go hiking around the local lighthouses.
Zunwei Chen is from Wenzhou, China. He graduated from Zhejiang University in 2017 and received Master Degree in Environmental Science. Now he is a PhD student in Dr. Rusyn’s lab and focuses on toxicology studies related to mixture exposure of environmental contaminants. In his spare time, he likes doing some sports like playing badminton and running.
Alexandra “Alex” Cordova is from Frisco, Texas and graduated from Southern Methodist University in 2018 with a BS in Chemistry and a BBA in Finance. She then spent a year conducting research on copper-directed carbon-hydrogen hydroxylations and cyclizations. Currently, she is a PhD student in the Toxicology program doing research rotations in Dr. Allred’s and Dr. Rusyn’s labs. Alexandra is currently a predoctoral fellow supported by the Texas A&M University Regulatory Science in Environmental Health and Toxicology Training Grant (T32 ES026568). In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, working out, watching baseball, and photography.
Nicholas Drury was born and raised in Rehoboth, Massachusetts. He attended Western New England University where he received his bachelors in Forensic Chemistry. During his studies, he worked to develop a predictive model using average pill weight determination to calculate total pill count with accuracy, which could be utilized by drug laboratories. Nick then attended The George Washington University as a master’s student in Forensic Toxicology, where he developed a direct analysis in real time mass spectrometry technique to analyze for illicit drugs in oral fluid samples. Nick is interested in risk assessment, cellular mechanisms of toxins, and detoxification pathways, and works in the laboratories of Drs. Susanne Talcott and Natalie Johnson. Outside of the lab and classroom, Nick enjoys playing guitar, cooking, bowling, and being out with friends.
Pierre Ferrer was born in Mexico City, but has lived the majority of his life here in Texas. In 2018, he graduated from Trinity University with a BS in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. During his undergraduate carrier at Trinity, Pierre worked in the Beaudoin electrophysiology lab were the properties of cocaine to physiologically remodel dopaminergic cells are being explored. Currently, Pierre is a second year PhD student at the Toxicology program at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences in Dr. Tracy Clement’s lab, and a predoctoral fellow supported by the Texas A&M University Regulatory Science in Environmental Health and Toxicology Training Grant (T32 ES026568). His research interests are molecular models of spermotoxins as well as the use of machine learning and other computational tools for simulating toxicity.
Alexandra “Allie” Folcik
Allie Folcik is a doctoral student originally from New Hampshire. She completed her B.S. in Biochemistry in 2017 from Florida Institute of Technology. During her undergrad she was exposed to toxicology while interning with the FDA at NCTR in Arkansas and presenting at the Society of Toxicology 2017 annual meeting as a Pfizer undergraduate awardee. Allie is a member of Dr. Suresh Pillai’s lab and works with the National Centre for Electron Beam Research (NCEBR). Her research is focused on the use of electron beam (eBeam) irradiation technologies for the remediation of the algal toxins, microcystins, in water treatment processes. Allie also completed an externship with Arcadis in San Francisco during the summer of 2018, and maintains her working relationship with them. Outside of academics, she enjoys watching and playing sports (go Bruins!), hanging out with her dog Indy, and travelling.
Samantha “Sam” Goodman is from Register, Georgia. She graduated from the University of Georgia in May 2019 with a B.S. in Avian Biology and a minor in Ecology. During her undergraduate career, Sam completed three internships with various professors from both the University of Georgia and Georgia Southern University. These opportunities focused on errant androgen and heavy metal exposure to avian and reptilian species along with immunological responses to parasitism in grouse models. Currently, Sam is a first year PhD student at Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences with a focus on epigenetic effects and DNA damage of harmful exposure in both in vivo and in vitro models, and a predoctoral fellow supported by the Texas A&M University Regulatory Science in Environmental Health and Toxicology Training Grant (T32 ES026568). In her free time, Sam enjoys exploring the new sites of Texas with her dog, Lakota.
Sara Hearon is a PhD student from Richardson, Texas. She graduated from Texas A&M University in 2015 with a BS in Biomedical Sciences, and in 2017 with a MPH in Environmental Health. She works in Dr. Phillips’ laboratory where her research focuses on developing broad-acting sorbents for environmental chemicals in water and soil. Sara’s externship was with the Texas Department of State Health Services LRN-C Laboratory in Austin in Summer 2018, where she worked to develop and validate an ICP-MS method for biomonitoring of multiple trace metals. She enjoys teaching barre and Pilates classes at a local group fitness studio, going to concerts, and spending time with friends and family.
SuJi Jang is from Seoul, South Korea and received her Bachelors in both Applied Chemistry and Information Statistics from the Dongduk Women’s University. During her undergraduate, she worked at the KIST (Korea Institute of Science and Technology) Neuroscience Center’s lab where she studied the correlation between visual response and dementia by looking into the visual cortex of Camk2a-Cre mice. After graduating, she worked as a research assistant for two years at the Forensic Toxicology division of the National Forensic Service in South Korea. SuJi is now a first year PhD student working in Dr. Chiu’s lab. In her free time, she enjoys biking, listening to music, doing house chores, and hanging out with friends.
Keshav Karki is a doctoral student in Department of Veterinary Physiology and Pharmacology from Nepal. He studied for his undergraduate degree in Biotechnology from Nepal and Master in Biotechnology from Texas A&M University. His research focuses mostly on a development of Nobel drug target for human pancreatic, lung, breast cancer and multiple myeloma. Sp1, Sp3, and Sp4 are overexpressed in most human cancer cells and his research highlights multiple pathways that are involved in the drug-induced downregulation of Sp Transcription factors(TFs) and Sp TFs regulated pro-oncogenes (survivin, bcl2, cyclin D1) which facilitate future clinical applications for the individual drug.
Lauren Lewis is from Arlington, Texas. She received her undergraduate degree in Biomedical Sciences at Texas A&M University. She is in the Toxicology PhD program in Dr. Rusyn’s lab, and her dissertation research focuses on inter-individual variability in response to 1,3-Butadiene exposure using collaborative cross mice.
Kristin McCamy was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, but moved to San Antonio, Texas at a very young age. In May of 2018, she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology at Austin College, where she conducted genetics research concerning yeast metabolism. She is now a first year Masters student in the Toxicology program working in Dr. Ursula Winzer-Serhan’s lab, which focuses on characterizing the 15q13.3 microdeletion syndrome using a mouse model. Outside of academics, she enjoys hiking, fishing, and spending time with friends.
Toriq, a veterinarian from Nigeria, graduated from the University of Ibadan before proceeding to obtain his Masters in Public Health with a focus in Epidemiology at Texas A&M in 2018. His experiences as a veterinarian geared him towards the interest of studying the human, animal and environmental health relations. He joins the Interdisciplinary Toxicology Program in Dr. Natalie Johnson’s lab where the research focus is respiratory toxicology. Toriq enjoys traveling, teaching and photography. In his spare time, he continuously expresses himself through the art of photography.
Drew Pendleton is from Arlington, Texas and graduated with his BS in Bioenvironmental Science from Texas A&M University in 2015. Afterwards, he entered the Texas A&M School of Public Health where he studied Environmental Health. During my Master’s program, and did an internship with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), where he became more familiar with the laws and workings of Regulatory Toxicology, and how they affect both communities and businesses. Before receiving his MPH in May of 2017, Drew was accepted to the PhD program in Toxicology through the IFT at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine. Drew served as a toxicology extern with Chevron in the Houston area in the summer of 2018. During his down time, Drew enjoys music, football, movies, running/jogging and exploring new places.
Aracely A. Perez was born and raised in Mexico, but has lived in Texas since the start of high school. In 2019, she graduated from Texas A&M University with a BS in Molecular and Cell Biology with a minor in Neuroscience. During her undergraduate career, she was involved in research with Dr. Suresh D. Pillai and the National Center for Electron Beam Research (NCEBR). Her undergraduate thesis centered on the molecular effects of electron beam irradiation on a variety of E. coli and S. typhimurium strains. Currently, she is a first year Master’s student and is a member of Dr. Brinkmeyer-Langford’s lab. Her research focuses on how genetic backgrounds, in Collaborative Cross (CC) mice, influence neurological outcomes after being subjected to Theiler’s Murine Encephalomyelitis Virus (TMEV). Outside of academics, she enjoys attempting to hike, going to concerts, and drinking coffee.
Alina Roman-Hubers was born and raised in the tropical island of Puerto Rico. She completed her Bachelors of Science degree in Chemistry at the University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez in 2018. Alina is currently a student in Dr. Rusyn’s lab where her research focuses on the application of high throughput assays for the identification of petroleum crude oil. In her spare time, she likes to bake and exercise or go for a swim!
Abigail Schoeller is from South Bend, Indiana. She received her bachelors in Biological Sciences with a concentration in human biology from North Carolina State University where she conducted research on environmental sex determination in Daphnia magna. She is currently in Dr. Safe’s lab. In her spare time, she enjoys gardening, writing, and spending time with her dog Julie.
Ross graduated from Hobart College in Geneva, New York with a Biology B.S in 2015. In 2018, he received a Master of Forensic Science degree from the University of California, Davis. Ross is currently a predoctoral fellow supported by the Texas A&M University Regulatory Science in Environmental Health and Toxicology Training Grant (T32 ES026568) in Dr. Natalie Johnson’s lab.In his free time, he enjoys playing squash and being a sports fan of the San Francisco Giants and Buffalo sports teams.
Alan Valdiviezo is a PhD student in the toxicology program. He is from Fitzgerald, Georgia and graduated with a B.S. in biochemistry from Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College. During his undergraduate studies, Alan performed microbial research with the University of Georgia-Tifton institute. After graduating he briefly worked as a quality control chemist for Adama agrochemicals before joining Texas A&M. His current research in Dr. Rusyn’s lab focuses on analyzing mixtures of environmental chemicals in order to evaluate human health risk assessment. When he is not studying or spending time in lab, Alan likes to watch sports, hunt, attend concerts, and hang out with friends.
Dmitriy is a molecular and cell biologist interested in using integrative approaches to solving biological problems. His general research interests include studying interactions between cells, systems and their environment. Currently in Dr. Schweikert’s lab, he uses single large cluster bombardment secondary ion mass spectrometry to learn more about cellular synapses and membrane nano-domains.
Meichen Wang came TAMU to pursue her master degree in Toxicology, and fell in love with the school and Texas. She is now a PhD student working in Dr. Phillips’ laboratory. Her research focuses on developing a new competitive sorbent for mycotoxin. Besides research, she enjoys running, swimming, hiking, cooking, and watching YouTube (especially while eating).
Sharmila Bhandari, PhD
Sharmila Bhandari is a postdoctoral research associate who joined in Dr. Chiu’s lab in January, 2018. She received her PhD in Environmental Toxicology from Texas Southern University where she was a graduate research and teaching assistant. She was also a Title III fellowship, research and enrichment scholarship, and Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) travel award recipient. She attended several regional and national seminars and scientific meetings and served as the president of the Environmental Student Club, a facilitator of Journal club at TSU, and an active member of several organizations. Sharmila is currently a postdoctoral fellow supported by the Texas A&M University Regulatory Science in Environmental Health and Toxicology Training Grant (T32 ES026568). Her interdisciplinary research work was based on water and environmental quality monitoring, contaminant exposure mapping, risk assessment, remote sensing, GIS and environmental modelling, and database management. During her stay at Texas A&M University, she wants to extend her research experience to computational modelling and human health risk assessment.
Chimeddulam “Chimka” Dalaijamts, PhD, MsPH
Chimeddulam “Chimka” Dalaijamts is a postdoctoral research associate in the Department of Veterinary Integrative Biosciences with Dr. Weihsueh Chiu. She is working on research related to developing and applying quantitative, data-driven computational approaches for understanding and predicting the human health effects of environmental chemical exposures, with a special emphasis on characterizing susceptibility and population variability. She is originally from Mongolia, and earned degrees at the National Medical University of Mongolia (BS, Residency and MPH), the University of Debrecen, Hungary (MsPH) and the Institute of Occupational Medicine and Industrial Hygiene at the National Taiwan University (PhD).
Natividad Roberto “Robert” Fuentes, PhD
Natividad Roberto Fuentes is from Alice, Texas, a small town in South Texas. Robert is a postdoctoral fellow supported by the Texas A&M University Regulatory Science in Environmental Health and Toxicology Training Grant (T32 ES026568). He conducts research in the laboratory of Dr. Robert Chapkin in the Department of Nutrition and Food Science, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Texas A&M University and is affiliated with the Interdisciplinary Faculty of Toxicology Program at Texas A&M University. Robert is a former recipient of the Texas A&M University System Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (TAMUS LSAMP) Bridge-to-the Doctorate (BTD) fellowship (2013-2015), and former recipient of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) Predoctoral Fellowship in Pharmacology/Toxicology (2015-2017). His research focuses on elucidating the underlying cellular mechanisms of how extrinsic factors, such as environmental chemicals and diet, impacts disease processes. Specifically, his work utilizes advanced super-resolution microscopy techniques, and transgenic animal models to characterize the effects of environmental chemicals and dietary bioactives on the organization of proteolipid signaling clusters on colon cancer and T-cell plasma membranes. In his free time he enjoys spending time with his wife and young daughter.
Nan-Hung Hsieh, PhD
Nan-Hung Hsieh is a postdoctoral research associate who joined the Prof. Chiu’s lab in 2016. His home country is Taiwan, and he earned a Ph.D. from the National Taiwan University in Bioenvironmental System Engineering. His current research interest is Computational Toxicology, and his project is to develop the study method by using open-source software and data in biological modeling and risk assessment. He also attempts to use more open science methods in Toxicology. Github: https://github.com/nanhung
Yu Syuan Luo, PhD
Yu Syuan Luo received his bachelor degree in public health and master degree in occupational medicine and industrial hygiene from National Taiwan University, and doctoral degree from TAMU in toxicology. His research project focused on investigating the metabolism and toxicity of trichloroethylene/tetrachloroethylene by using transgenic mouse models. He developed two LC-MS/MS methods for quantitative analysis of conjugative metabolites of trichloroethylene/tetrachloroethylene. He is now a postdoctoral research associate in Veterinary Integrative Biosciences at TAMU. His extracurricular interests are softball, volleyball, badminton, fishing, hiking, and any outdoor activities not related to trichloroethylene and tetrachloroethylene.
Cole McQueen, PhD
Cole McQueen received his PhD in Genetics from Texas A&M University in 2015. He is currently a postdoctoral researcher in Dr. Weston Porter’s laboratory. Dr. McQueen’s research is focused on elucidating the mechanisms by which circadian rhythms regulate normal development of the mammary gland and how disruptions in circadian rhythms play a role in breast cancer development and progression. Specifically, Dr. McQueen is interested in how circadian elements perform cellular functions outside of time keeping in the mammary gland. In his free time he enjoys spending time with his wife and three young children.
Kumaravel Mohankumar, PhD
Kumaravel Mohankumar began as a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Prof. Stephen Safe lab from March, 2016. Prior to joining this lab, he worked as a Postdoctoral fellow in Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT, Bombay), India and earned his Ph.D. from Pondicherry University, India. He is interested to see the molecular mechanism of action for various anticancer drug, natural products and analogs. Currently, he is investigating the effects of CDIM compounds for NR4A1 as a drug target for both cancer and diabetes models. His hobbies include playing Chess, following global news and spending time with family and friends.