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Participants

*cohort 1 fellows         

DashtiDEREK DASHTI

Derek grew up in California and obtained both his B.S. and M.S. in Bioengineering at UC Berkeley and UC San Francisco. His undergraduate and graduate research focused on regenerative medicine - specifically on stem cell tissue engineering of the muscle and heart. Derek's masters training further emphasized translational medicine and understanding the regulatory processes to develop novel regenerative medical therapies from "bench to bedside." The IGERT Bioinnovation PhD program at Tulane extends his education in the innovative field of translational medicine. Distinctively, it will elucidate the mechanisms and resources he needs to succeed in expediting his research interests to the biotech market. Through Derek's IGERT training, he aims to not only be a successful scientist, but also to become well versed in advancing novel biomedical therapies from academia to industry.

 

KosakowskaKAROLINA KOSAKOWSKA

Karolina is from Stamford, CT by way of the rich farmlands of Poland. She completed her Bachelor's degree in Chemistry at Smith College in 2011 where she did extensive organic chemistry research in small molecule synthesis. Karolina was able to develop her interest in medicinal chemistry through an internship at Biogen IDEC in cancer drug synthesis. After vacationing in New Orleans as an undergraduate, Karolina was smitten by the city and its charms. She is now proud to call New Orleans home, where she is currently exploring her interest in curing meats.

 

PashosNICHOLAS PASHOS

Nick is a New Hampshire native. He attended Drexel University, located in Philadelphia, PA, where he earned a B.S. in biomedical engineering with a concentration in biomaterials and tissue engineering. Nick is interested in pursuing regenerative medicine research. He was most attracted to the IGERT Bioinnovation Program for its research initiatives, and its crossover to business and FDA through coursework and externship opportunities.

 

 

 

*cohort 2 fellows         

BowserDEVON BOWSER

Devon Bowser is a native of South Carolina. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Bioengineering with a specialization in biomaterials from Clemson University in May 2013. Her undergraduate research in the field of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine focused on tissue engineered vascular grafts. She also spent a summer doing stem cell research at Georgia Institute of Technology. Devon is excited to be a part of Tulane's Bioinnovation IGERT program and is looking forward to the research, business, and regulatory experience she will gain through its interdisciplinary opportunities.

 

TulmanDAVID TULMAN

David grew up in Columbus, Ohio and earned a B.S. in Biology from The Ohio State University in 2010. He then worked at The Ohio State University Medical Center in the department of Anesthesiology on phase II, III, and IV clinical trials focused on neurotoxicity of anesthetics, intraoperative medical devices, and post-surgical outcomes. This research inspired pursuit of studies in translational investigations of critical illnesses. Specifically, David plans to continue research in the areas of pharmacological interventions for improved patient outcomes and applications of novel medical technology. The Tulane IGERT Bioinnovation Program offers the opportunity to bridge research initiatives, business ventures, and regulatory understanding via an internship with the FDA.

 

VinsonBENJAMIN VINSON

Ben comes to us from Fort Worth, TX. He earned his B.S. in Neuroscience and Biology from Washington and Lee University in Lexington, VA. He later returned home to Texas Christian University in Fort Worth to pursue a Masters degree in Biology. His Masters thesis focused on exploring the role of the immune system in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease. His interests lie in treatment of neurodegenerative disorders through regenerative medicine and medicinal chemistry. The IGERT Bioinnovation program attracted Ben for two reasons: First, the program’s interdisciplinary approach to translational medicine, and second, the opportunities provided by the program to gain business and regulatory experience for bringing biomedical technologies out of the laboratory and into the healthcare environment.

 

 

 

*cohort 3 fellows         

FullertonMITCHELL FULLERTON

Mitchell was raised in a military family and grew up in several different cities. He graduated from Clemson University in 2013 with his Bachelors of Science in Bioengineering. During undergrad he took part in two summer research programs, a genomics project at Louisiana State University in Dr. Mark Batzer's lab as well as research in biomechanics in Dr. Linxia Gu's lab at the University of Nebraska- Lincoln. Mitchell is excited to settle in New Orleans and hopes to pursue research interests in regenerative medicine and hopes his varied background will help him forge connections for a stronger translational impact.

 

KurtzSAMANTHA KURTZ

Samantha was raised in Little Rock, Arkansas. She attended the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, AR and earned a B.S. in Biology in 2012 and a M.S. in Biomedical Engineering in 2014. Her master's thesis focused on the development and characterization of a whole cell breast cancer vaccine. This research sparked her interest in vaccine development, immunotherapy, and various cancer treatments. Samantha was attracted to the IGERT Bioinnovation program due to the integration of engineering and business coursework alongside invaluable hands-on experiences through the FDA internship and business competitions.

 

LawsonPETER LAWSON

Pete has cycled, sprinted, and surfed throughout his travels as part of a military family and as an active duty Air Force Bioenvironmental Engineering technician. He eventually found himself in North Carolina where he attended UNC Wilmington and received a B.S. in Biology as well as Computer Science. His undergraduate research focused on the optimization of genomic prediction algorithms for specific genetic architectures. He also spent time aiding in the improvement of the cyberinfrastructure for the iPlant Collaborative, an NSF funded project that leverages supercomputing resources to make research in large-scale computational biology feasible. Pete came to the Bioinnovation program to explore the interface between biology and computer science, but really he's just looking for any excuse to wear a lab coat.

 

LopezASIS LOPEZ

Asis received his B.S. from the University of California, Santa Cruz in Bioengineering with an emphasis in Rehabilitation. As an undergraduate, he conducted three years of research on medical robotics. At the University of California, San Francisco he collaborated with UCSF Children’s Hospital Pediatric Device Consorium to create a non-implantable prototype medical device for the medical condition pectus carinatum. Through this interdisciplinary collaboration he found his passion for translational research. The Bioinnovation Program at Tulane University promises to be a good fit for Asis as it combines his passion for translational research and business with his objective to make needed medical devices.

 

MotherwellJESSICA MOTHERWELL

Jessica is southern California native. She earned her B.S. in Biomedical Engineering with a specialization in nanotechnology from UC Irvine in 2014. Her undergraduate research focused on prevascularizing implantable three-dimensional tissues for applications in regenerative medicine and tissue engineering. Jessica is interested in pursuing research in translational medicine with an emphasis in cardiovascular engineering. She was drawn to Tulane’s IGERT Bioinnovation program because of the integration between research, business and regulatory processes. Through the valuable experiences and skills Jessica will gain from the program, she plans to become a successful scientist in the biomedical industry.

 

ReesDANIEL REES

Daniel was born in New Orleans, LA was raised in Beaux Bridge, LA. He graduated with a B.S. in Biological Engineering from Louisiana State University in 2014. His undergraduate research focus was in tissue engineering. Daniel has spent summers working STEM training camps for high school students in LA and FL, studying abroad in Germany, and traveling throughout the U.S. while living out of his car. The IGERT Bioinnovation program will provide the interdisciplinary training that Daniel seeks to successfully participate in translational research and venture capital. He is excited about the opportunity to live in New Orleans and play guitar as a street performer on the weekends.



Bioinnovation PhD Program, 605 Lindy Boggs Bldg, New Orleans, LA 70118, (504) 865-5718, ajacob@tulane.edu