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Trainees List

  • Trainess


    Current - Predoctoral Fellows
    Jonathan LinPharmacology & ToxicologyNon-invasive imaging for quantification of ocular toxicity in response to aerosolized agents and analysis of the efficacy of potential therapeutics in relevant animal models
    Ryan McAuley NeuroscienceInvestigating pro-inflammatory extracellular vesicle communication in the lung-brain axis after inhaled toxin exposure
    Madison Tanner Pharmacology & ToxicologyInvestigating the role of macrophages as mediators of acrolein-induced pulmonary toxicity
    Eric Wright Cell Biology Discovering novel pathways regulating hepatic, metabolic homeostasis in liver specific, Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor knock-out mice.
    Lorenzo Ochoa NeuroscienceInhaled toxicant effects on Neuroglial neuronal vulnerability.
     Amy CooperPharmacology & ToxicologyAlternative splicing of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor nuclear translocator during T cell activation and differentiation.
    Dianne YapPharmacology & ToxicologyIdentification of candidate biomarkers for human exposure and effect to petrogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).
    Luke BournerPharmacology & ToxicologyAryl hydrocarbon receptor nuclear translocator (ARNT) regulation of aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) in control of lymphoid cell function.


    Current - Postdoctoral Fellows
    Alice Bittar, PhDCumulative effects of mild TBI-induced tau and cigarette smoking on neurodegeneration in human tau mouse models
    Jessica Di  Re, PhDRescue of phenotypes induced by early-life exposure to deltamethrin
    Jonathan Luisi, PhDNon-invasive imaging investigating the longitudinal relationship between neurotoxicity of microglia activation and retinal degeneration.
    Tiziana Corsello-Gorgun, PhD
    Role of epithelial-derived exosomes in the context of co-exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) and RSV infection


    Recent PhD Graduates
    NameGrad Year UTMB MentorCurrent Position
    Cynthia Tapia 2020Fernanda Laezza, MD, PhD Post-Doctoral Researcher, UTMB
    Jonathan Luisi, PhD 2019Massoud, Motamedi, PhDNIEHS T32 Post-Doctoral Fellow, Dept Internal Medicine, UTMB
    Andrea Dimet, PhD 2019Kelly Dineley, PhDResearch Scientist, Dept. of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, UTMB
    Lauren Richardson, PhD 2019Ramkumar Menon, PhD Post-Doctoral Researcher, UTMB
    Jordan Speidel, PhD 2018Sherif Abdel-Rahman, PhDNCI T32 Post-doctoral Fellow, The University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus
    Thomas James, PhD 2016Fernanda Laezza, MD, PhDPost-Doctoral Researcher, INSERM, Nantes, France
    Daniel Jackson, PhD 2015Cornelis Elferink, PhDPost-Doctoral Fellow, University of Pennsylvania, Phila., PA 
    Dwayne Carter, PhD2015Cornelis Elferink, PhDPost-Doctoral Researcher, Tissue Applications, Organovo, San Diego, CA
    Anita Reno, PhD2014Bill Ameredes, MS, PhDPost-Doctoral Associate, Department of Pathology and Immunology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX
    Catherine Rondelli, PhD2013Sherif Abdel-Rahman, PhDT32-Post-Doctoral Associate, Dept. Cell and Regenerative Biology, University of Wisconsin at Madison, Madison, WI
    Tod Harper, PhD2013Cornelis Elferink, PhD

    2013-2015: Post-Doctoral Associate, Environmental & Molecular Toxicology Department, Oregon State University

    2015-present: Comparative Biology and Safety Sciences Lead, Amgen

    Dan Hochman, PhD2013Bill Ameredes, MS, PhD/ Ed Brooks, MDAP Environmental Science teacher at Ball High School, Galveston, TX
    Smitha Krishnan-Infante, PhD2013J. Regino Perez-Polo, PhDPost-Doctoral Scientist, Department of Biological Science, Northern Kentucky University
    Jazmin Ruiz, PhD2013Bill Ameredes, MS, PhD

    2013-2016: Post-Doctoral Associate, ORISE/USDOE Program, EPA Office of Research and Development, Research Triangle Park, NC

    2016-2019: Regulatory Toxicologist, Environmental, Health, Safety & Sustainability, Xerox Corporation

    2019-present, Toxicology Regulatory Affairs Manager, Honeywell International, Inc., Buffalo, NY

    René Viñas, PhD2013Cheryl Watson, PhD

    2013-2014: Post-Doctoral Associate, ORISE/FDA Research Fellow, USFDA, White Oak Campus, Silver Spring, MD

    2015-2018: Toxicologist, Consumer Product Safety Grocery Manufacturers Association Washington, DC 

    2018-present: Manager: Risk Assessment and Toxicology, Science and Regulatory Affairs, Coca-Cola Co, Inc., Atlanta, GA


    Representative Alumni - Predoctoral Fellows
    NameGrad Year UTMB MentorCurrent Position
    Joseph Shearer, PhD, MPH
     MPH (UTMB): 2016
    Pre-doc (UTMB 2012-2015)PhD (transfer to Purdue): 2017
     Marxa Figueiredo, PhD
    (UTMB 2010-2015; Purdue 2015-present)
     Previous: Cancer Prevention Fellow, Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology Branch
    Division of Cancer Epidemiology & Genetics, National Cancer Institute (NCI) Rockville, MD

    Current: Epidemiologist, FDA, Silver Spring, MD
     Olga (Zolochevska) Cain, MS, PhD
     2013 Guilio Taglialatela, PhD Director of Research Development, Castle Biosciences, Inc. For-Profit
    Julia K. Bohannon, PhD2011Tracy Toliver-Kinsky, PhDResearch Assistant Professor, Department of Anesthesiology, Vanderbilt University
    Erica Dahl-Thomasson, PhD2011Istvan (Steve) Boldogh, DM&B, PhDCDC Epidemic Intelligence Trainee
    Lindsay Reese, PhD2010Guilio Taglialatela, PhDPostdoctoral trainee, Dept of Pathology, Oregon Health & Science University
    Ann Wozniak, PhD2010Steven A. Weinman, MD, PhDPostdoctoral Fellow, Dept of Internal Medicine, The University of Kansas Medical Center
    Carla Kinslow, PhD2008Sherif Abdel-Rahman, PhDSr. Toxicologist, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality
    Manager, Toxicology, Ramboll Environ, Houston, TX
    Rebecca Alyea, PhD2008Cheryl Watson, PhDProduct Stewardship and Regulatory Affairs Advisor, Exxon/Mobile
    Marty Gill, PhD2007Regino Perez-Polo, PhDNorthwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois
    Kristen Mitchell, PhD2005Cornelis Elferink, PhDAssistant Professor of Biology, Department of Biological Sciences, Boise State University
    Andrew Kurtz, PhD2003R. Stephen Lloyd, PhDProjects Manager, Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program, National Cancer Institute (NCI), Bethesda, MD
    Dora Bocangel, PhD2003Sankar Mitra, PhDPostdoctoral Fellow, Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
    Celeste Finnerty, PhD1998Cheryl Watson, PhDAssociate Professor, Department of Surgery, University of Texas Medical Branch
    Sylvette Ayala-Torres, PhD1998E. Brad Thompson, MDAssociate Professor, Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, The University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine, San Juan, PR


    Representative Alumni - Postdoctoral Fellows
    NameFinal Year UTMB MentorCurrent Position
    Jason Herring, PhD 2014Lawrence Sowers, PhD Research Scientist, Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, UTMB
     Leopoldo Aguilera-Aguirre, PhD
     2015Istvan Boldogh, PhD Research Scientist I, Ob/Gyn-Perinatal Research, UTMB
    Courtney Cross, PhD2014Sherif Abdel-Rahman, PhDAssistant Professor at TCU and UNTHSC School of Medicine, in Fort Worth, TX
    Nicole Bjorklund, PhD2012Giulio Taglialatela, PhDBiorepository Translational Core Administrator, Institute of Translational and Clinical Research, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY
    Jang Yi, PhD2010Allan Brasier, MDResearch Scientist, Integrated Bioscience and Biotechnology Institute, South Korea
    Yonghong Zhao, PhD2006James Halpert, PhDMolecular Discovery Technology, Research Scientist R & D Centocor/J&J
    Mike Schmeiderer, PhD2006Thomas Albretch, PhDDirector, DNA Identification Testing Division, LabCorp
    Kristen Mitchell, PhD2004Cornelis Elferink, PhDAssociate Professor, Boise State University
    Tammy Dugas, PhD1999Mary Kanz, PhDProfessor, Department of Pharmacology, Toxicology and Neuroscience, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, Shreveport, LA
    Daniel Conklin, PhD1998Paul Boor, MDProfessor, Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, University of Louisville, Kentucky
    Mark Merchant, PhD1994John Papaconstantinou, PhDProfessor, Department of Chemistry, McNeese State University, Lake Charles, LA

Recent Trainee Awards

IMHGRAD13Environmental Toxicology Fellows/PhD graduates with ETox Training Program Director at UTMB GSBS Graduation on May 3, 2013. From left to right: Rene Vinas, PhD, Tod Harper, PhD, Bill T. Ameredes, PhD (Director), and Jazmin Ruiz, MPH, PhD.

Ruizand CooperJazmin Ruiz, NIEHS Toxicology Training Program Trainee, accepts the 2010 James A. Hokanson, PhD, Endowed Scholarship, from Dr. Cary Cooper, Vice President and Dean of the UTMB Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.

Awards122Julia Bohannon, (2nd from left) 2010 awardee of the Edith and Robert Zinn Presidential Scholarship, pictured with her ETox Faculty Trainer/Mentor Dr. Tracy Tolliver-Kinsky (far right), and the sponsors of her scholarship, Robert and Edith Zinn.

Awards057Catherine Rondelli, recent NIEHS Toxicology Training Program Trainee, accepts the Betty Williams Scholarship, from Dr. Cary Cooper, Vice President and Dean of the UTMB Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

reese picLindsay Reese, former NIEHS Pre-Doctoral Fellow, now a 2011 Post-Doctoral Trainee at the University of Oregon Health and Science University.


Luke Koong 11-2010Luke Koong, NIEHS Pre-doctoral Trainee, is working in the laboratory of UTMB Toxicology Training Program Faculty Trainer Dr. Cheryl Watson.