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Mikiten Graduate Symposium

The Mikiten Graduate Research Symposium promotes excellence in research through mentorship, collaboration, and student interaction. The event is organized by the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at UT Health San Antonio and is generously supported by the Mikiten family.
Students from all the UT System schools or Texas-area schools are invited to share a poster, listen to the 3 Minute Thesis (3MT) competition, and our career workshops.
Additional Information
  • Registration for the conference is available on the day of the conference. This conference is for Texas students, please use your .edu email address.
  • The Poster Session is pre-recorded but the presenters will be available via chat from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. CT. Here is a list of the presentations.
  • The Three Minute Thesis Competition is happening at 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. CT. This is a live session and here is a schedule of speakers
  • We have many incredible speakers giving talks in three Zoom rooms throughout the day, here is the list for the schedule of speakers and their bios.
  • We will have the session talks available for one week after the conference in case you would like to watch it again.
 
Email Charlotte at anthonyc@uthscsa.edu with any questions.

 


Speakers

Show Resources
Agenda
  • Graduate Student Virtual Social
    SEP 25, 2020 4:30 PM CT
    Graduate Student Virtual Social

  • Closing Words by Dr. Weiss
    SEP 25, 2020 4:00 PM CT
    Closing Words by Dr. Weiss
    David Weiss, PhD
    Dean of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, UT Health San Antonio
  • Drug Development in the Time of Coronavirus
    SEP 25, 2020 3:30 PM CT
    Drug Development in the Time of Coronavirus
    Rachele Berria, MD, PhD
    Vice President, US Medical Biopharmaceuticals, AstraZeneca
  • Want to learn bioinformatics? Here's how.
    SEP 25, 2020 3:30 PM CT
    Want to learn bioinformatics? Here's how.
    Henry Miller, MS
    PhD Student - UT Health San Antonio
  • Work-life Integration: Making the Most out of Graduate School
    SEP 25, 2020 3:30 PM CT
    Work-life Integration: Making the Most out of Graduate School
    Samantha Yee, BS
    Graduate Research Assistant, 4th year Ph.D. candidate at UT Health San Antonio in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
  • Building a Career Trajectory by Knowing Oneself and Knowing the Patient
    SEP 25, 2020 3:00 PM CT
    Building a Career Trajectory by Knowing Oneself and Knowing the Patient
    Tiffany Kelley, PhD, MBA, RN
    DeLuca Foundation Visiting Professor for Innovation & New Knowledge; Founder & CEO, Nightingale Apps; Founder & CEO, ICare Nursing Solutions; Editorial Board Member, American Nurse
  • Creative Disobedience and the Art of Shedding Imaginary Rules
    SEP 25, 2020 3:00 PM CT
    Creative Disobedience and the Art of Shedding Imaginary Rules
    Anna Mancha-Ramirez, PhD
    Scientist, Procter & Gamble
  • What it's like to transition from an academic researcher role to an industry/management role?
    SEP 25, 2020 3:00 PM CT
    What it's like to transition from an academic researcher role to an industry/management role?
    Marya Chaney, PhD
    Clinical Director, Early Oncology Development, Merck &Co., Inc.
  • Advice on Starting a Lab
    SEP 25, 2020 2:30 PM CT
    Advice on Starting a Lab
    Theodore Price, PhD
    Professor and Director of Center for Advanced Pain Studies
  • Driving Science: From Books to Benchside
    SEP 25, 2020 2:30 PM CT
    Driving Science: From Books to Benchside
    Rugmani Iyer, PhD
    Senior Scientist, Merck Research Laboratories, SSFO, CA
  • Navigating the Digital Job Market
    SEP 25, 2020 2:30 PM CT
    Navigating the Digital Job Market
    Jodie P. Gray, MS, PhD
    Researcher in Private Industry
  • Careers in Scientific and Medical writing
    SEP 25, 2020 2:00 PM CT
    Careers in Scientific and Medical writing
    Ketan Marballi, PhD
    Research Associate, Syracuse University
  • Clinical molecular diagnostics: an alternative career path in biomedical sciences
    SEP 25, 2020 2:00 PM CT
    Clinical molecular diagnostics: an alternative career path in biomedical sciences
    Pramod Mishra, PhD
    Founder and COO, iGenomeDx Inc
  • International Student Discussion: Around The World in 30 Minutes
    SEP 25, 2020 2:00 PM CT
    International Student Discussion: Around The World in 30 Minutes
    Raksha Parthasarathy, BS
    PhD Candidate, University of Texas Health at San Antonio
  • Alzheimer's Disease: The Trip Back in Time Model
    SEP 25, 2020 1:30 PM CT
    Alzheimer's Disease: The Trip Back in Time Model
    Chris Johnson, PhD
    Clinical Professor of Sociology in Dementia and Aging Studies Program at Texas State University, San Marcos
  • Careers as a Medical Science Liaison
    SEP 25, 2020 1:30 PM CT
    Careers as a Medical Science Liaison
    Edward Zastawny, PharmaD
    Santen, Inc. Senior Medical Science Liaison, New Braunfels, TX
  • How to Overcome Graduate School Challenges During the COVID-19
    SEP 25, 2020 1:30 PM CT
    How to Overcome Graduate School Challenges During the COVID-19
    Manpreet K. Semwal, MS
    Graduate Research Assistant (PhD Candidate)
  • 3D Printed Anatomical Models: Uses in Health Care and Education
    SEP 25, 2020 1:00 PM CT
    3D Printed Anatomical Models: Uses in Health Care and Education
    Kelley Minars, MLIS
    Creative Technologies Librarian
  • Career in Patent Law
    SEP 25, 2020 1:00 PM CT
    Career in Patent Law
    Xiaoban Xin, PhD, JD
    Patent Attorney, Johnson, Marcou, Isaacs & Nix
  • Life Science Innovation Community in Texas
    SEP 25, 2020 1:00 PM CT
    Life Science Innovation Community in Texas
    Emily Reiser, PhD
    Sr. Manager, Innovation Commuinty Engagement Texas Medical Center
  • Lessons from Transitioning to the Pharma Industry During COVID-19
    SEP 25, 2020 12:30 PM CT
    Lessons from Transitioning to the Pharma Industry During COVID-19
    Ngoni Madungwe, PhD
    Process Development Scientist, Amgen Inc.
  • Life as a Life Science Consultant
    SEP 25, 2020 12:30 PM CT
    Life as a Life Science Consultant
    Eslam Elshahat, PhD
    Life Science Consultant, Putnam Associates
  • Quick Tips for CVs & Resumes
    SEP 25, 2020 12:30 PM CT
    Quick Tips for CVs & Resumes
    Mary Bradley, MLA
    Director, Career & Professional Development, UT Health San Antonio
  • "Are you interested in science for policy or policy for science?": Thoughts on how to navigate a career in science policy.
    SEP 25, 2020 12:00 PM CT
    "Are you interested in science for policy or policy for science?": Thoughts on how to navigate a career in science policy.
    Calais S. Prince, PhD
    American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science and Technology Policy Fellow Department of Defense
  • Bench to Bedside
    SEP 25, 2020 12:00 PM CT
    Bench to Bedside
    John Fritz, MBA, MS, MHA, PDM
    Associate Director of Technology Commercialization
  • From Student to Entrepreneur: Taking an Alternative Path/ Building your own Career
    SEP 25, 2020 12:00 PM CT
    From Student to Entrepreneur: Taking an Alternative Path/ Building your own Career
    Lauren Cornell, MS, PhD
    CEO/Co-Founder Novothelium. Staff Research Biologist US Army Institute of Surgical Research Sensory Trauma Department
  • From Airplanes to Atoms: The Journey of a Medical Physicist
    SEP 25, 2020 11:30 AM CT
    From Airplanes to Atoms: The Journey of a Medical Physicist
    Kristen McConnell, PhD
    Assistant Professor, The University of Alabama at Birmingham Department of Radiation Oncology
  • Research in a Military Lab vs. Academia
    SEP 25, 2020 11:30 AM CT
    Research in a Military Lab vs. Academia
    Carmen Hinojosa-Laborde, PhD
    Research Physiologist
  • Balancing Work and Life During a Global Pandemic
    SEP 25, 2020 11:00 AM CT
    Balancing Work and Life During a Global Pandemic
    Bridget Ford, PhD
    Assistant Professor of Biology, University of the Incarnate Word; Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine Nephrology Division, UT Health San Antonio
  • Discussion: Black Lives Matter in Academia
    SEP 25, 2020 11:00 AM CT
    Discussion: Black Lives Matter in Academia
    Nicquet Blake, PhD
    Associate Dean of Admissions and Director of the IMSD Training Program at UT Health San Antonio
  • Your Digital Footprint- Make a Personal Website!
    SEP 25, 2020 11:00 AM CT
    Your Digital Footprint- Make a Personal Website!
    Jodie P. Gray, MS, PhD
    Researcher in Private Industry
  • Three Minute Thesis
    SEP 25, 2020 9:00 AM CT
    Three Minute Thesis
  • Poster Sessions
    SEP 25, 2020 8:00 AM CT
    Poster Sessions
Posters

Poster Session

The Poster Session is pre-recorded but the presenters will be available via chat from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. CT. Here is a list of the presentation titles

 

 

Three Minute Thesis

The Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) competition celebrates the exciting research conducted by graduate students. Developed by The University of Queensland (UQ), the exercise cultivates students’ academic, presentation, and research communication skills.

The Three Minute Thesis challenges doctoral candidates to present a compelling spoken presentation on their research topic and its significance in just three minutes.

View 3 Minute Thesis Schedule Here

Here are some example of past winners.

 

Schedule by Room

Central Time Room 1 Room 2 Room 3
8:00-9:00am   Posters  
9:00-11:00am 3 min thesis    
11:00-11:30am Bridget Ford, PhD Jodie P. Gray, MS, PhD Nicquet Blake, PhD
11:30am 12:00pm Kristen McConnell, PhD Carmen Hinojosa-Laborde, PhD Nicquet Blake, PhD
12:00-12:30pm Calais S. Prince, PhD John Fritz, MBA, MS, MHA, PDM Lauren Cornell, MS, PhD
12:30-1:00pm Ngoni Madungwe, PhD Eslam Elshahat, PhD Mary Bradley, MLA
1:00-1:30pm Kelley Minars, MLIS Xiaoban Xin, PhD, JD Emily Reiser, PhD
1:30-2:00pm Chris Johnson, PhD Edward Zastawny, PharmaD Manpreet K. Semwal, MS
2:00-2:30pm  Ketan Marballi, PhD Pramod Mishra, PhD Raksha Parthasarathy, BS
2:30-3:00pm Theodore Price, PhD Rugmani Iyer, PhD Jodie P. Gray, MS, PhD
3:00-3:30pm Tiffany Kelley, PhD, MBA, RN Anna Mancha-Ramirez, PhD Marya Chaney, PhD
3:30-4:00pm Rachele Berria, MD, PhD Henry Miller, MS Samantha Yee, BS
4:00-4:30pm David Weiss, PhD    
4:30-5:30pm Graduate Student Social    

 

Speakers

  • Rachele Berria, MD, PhD
    Vice President, US Medical Biopharmaceuticals, AstraZeneca
    Biography

      Responsibilities

      Rachele leads the US Medical Team for AstraZeneca Biopharmaceuticals, ensuring scientific leadership and a patient-centered approach throughout the Organization. She is a member of the US Leadership Team and the Global Biopharmaceuticals Medical Leadership Team.

      Prior Experience

      Rachele brings over ten years of global and US biopharmaceuticals experience and leadership, in addition to her experiences in clinical research and academic medicine. Most recently, she worked at Sanofi as Global VP, Medical Affairs, Primary Care Unit. Prior to that, she held roles as US Vice President, Diabetes Medical Unit, and Global Associate VP, Medical Affairs. Before Sanofi, she held roles at Roche-Genentech as US Medical Director, Cardio-Metabolism, and Associate Clinical Director, Global R&D.

      Education

      • Medical Degree (undergrad/graduate combined program) and Ob-Gyn Board Certification, University of Cagliari School of Medicine, Italy

      • Master of Science in Clinical Investigation, University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, Texas

      • Ph.D in Medical Pathophysiology and Pharmacology, University of Pisa School of Medicine, Italy

      • Fellowship in Diabetes and Metabolism, Internal Medicine Department, University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, Texas

      Affiliations

      • Assistant Professor of Reproductive Biology, Case Western Reserve University, MetroHealth Hospital, Cleveland, Ohio

    • Nicquet Blake, PhD
      Associate Dean of Admissions and Director of the IMSD Training Program at UT Health San Antonio
      Biography

        Dr. Nicquet Blake is the Senior Associate Dean of Admissions and Student Affairs at the UT Health San Antonio (UTHSA). She began her academic career at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) where her intent was to train to become a high school Biology teacher. However at the end of her sophomore year, she was introduced to research by a good friend who offered her the opportunity to “make money”. This single, seemingly whimsical decision permanently changed the course and trajectory of her life. She completed her Bachelors and Masters degrees in Biology at UTSA and her doctoral degree in Neuroscience at Washington University, St. Louis.

        Dr. Blake defied conventional wisdom and pursued a post-doctoral position in Biochemistry rather than Neuroscience. In 2007, faced with the choice of directing her own laboratory or serving to recruit and guide students as well as facilitate student learning and success, Dr. Blake followed her heart back to Texas. In her current position, she directs three NIH training grants and is responsible for the recruitment, admission and retention of students in the Graduate program at UTHSCSA. She has focused much of her energies in engaging and encouraging students from underrepresented backgrounds to pursue doctoral degrees in Biomedical Sciences

      • Marya Chaney, PhD
        Clinical Director, Early Oncology Development, Merck &Co., Inc.
        Biography

          Dr. Marya Chaney is currently a Sr. Principal Scientist, Clinical Director in the Early Oncology Development group at Merck &Co., Inc. Her current role at Merck &Co., Inc is within the External Collaborations Product development team. Dr. Chaney is the clinical lead for numerous oncology clinical trials and works closely with biotechs and other large pharmaceutical companies to develop and execute combination studies.

          Dr. Chaney received her BS degree in Microbiology at New Mexico State University and then went on to complete a PhD, under the mentorship of Dr. IJ Fidler, PhD at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center/Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. She then completed a 2-yr postdoctoral fellowship under the guidance of Dr. Lee Ellis, MD, working on angiogenesis and pericyte biology. After leaving academia, Dr. Chaney became a medical science liaison (MSL) for 8+years with Merck &Co., Inc, supporting the oncology program at Merck, including both approved agents such as vorinostat and aprepitant as well as Merck's extensive pipeline. Dr. Chaney left Merck to continue as an MSL for Novartis for 6+ years. While at Novartis, in addition to her role as an MSL, she was able to support early clinical development as part of the EDSI (Early Development Strategic Innovation) team. She also spent time coordinating the US Academic Medical Center strategy as part of the AMC development team. After leaving Novartis in 2018, Dr. Chaney began working in her current position as a Clinical Director back at Merck & Co., Inc.

          Dr. Chaney is well published in the oncology space, including publications in journals such as Nat Med, Can Res and BJC. She recently collaborated on a manuscript which evaluated clinical data on combination immunotherapies in the hope of shedding light on how to predict the efficacy of future immunotherapy combinations.

          She currently resides in Katy, TX with her four children, her husband, Chris and their many pets.

        • Lauren Cornell, MS, PhD
          CEO/Co-Founder Novothelium. Staff Research Biologist US Army Institute of Surgical Research Sensory Trauma Department
          Biography

            Lauren Cornell attended Texas A&M University under a Robert C. Byrd Scholarship, receiving her Bachelor’s of Science in Genetics in 2009. Following graduation, she joined a research team in the Zoology department at the University of Oxford until starting her Master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering through the joint program at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and the University of Texas at San Antonio in 2010, graduating in 2012. After receiving her degree, she continued to work at Southwest Research Institute, which began during her graduate studies, until accepting a position at the United States Army Institute of Surgical Research (USAISR), Sensory Trauma Department, in October of 2013. In 2015, while working at USAISR, she co-founded her company NovoThelium, which is focused on improving women's health care, with a specific focus on improving nipple reconstruction post mastectomy. In 2016, she was accepted into the Translational Science Doctor of Philosophy program, and further carried on her research in sensory trauma under the principles of translational science, while continuing to develop her startup. To date, NovoThelium has been recognized both nationally and internationally, has placed in ten business plan competitions, and has been a platform company for discussion on medical advancements in women's health.

          • Eslam Elshahat, PhD
            Life Science Consultant, Putnam Associates
            Biography

              Eslam Elshahat is a life science strategy consultant at Putnam’s Associates Boston office. He received his doctorate from the Biosciences department at Rice University with a focus on evolutionary genomics. In his current role, Eslam advices global biotechnology, pharmaceutics, and med-tech clients on various strategic questions regarding their growth, pipeline and portfolio management, and other strategic questions.

            • Bridget Ford, PhD
              Assistant Professor of Biology, University of the Incarnate Word; Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine Nephrology Division, UT Health San Antonio
              Biography

                Dr. Bridget Ford is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology at the University of the Incarnate Word (UIW), and has an adjunct appointment in the Department of Medicine, Nephrology Division, at UT Health San Antonio. She obtained her bachelor’s degree at St. Mary’s University in Biological Sciences with a minor in Chemistry. She then went on to earn her Ph.D. in Molecular Medicine at UT Health San Antonio in 2012. She completed her postdoctoral fellowship training at the United States Army Institute of Surgical Research in the Extremity Trauma and Regenerative Medicine task area and at UT Health at San Antonio between the Magnetic Resonance Imaging Division and the Department of Medicine.

                Dr. Ford teaches Anatomy and Physiology I and II, General Biology I and Lab for Majors, Cell Biology, and a Special Topics course in Endocrinology at UIW. She is dedicated to mentoring undergraduates in the research laboratory where her research focuses on understanding the molecular mechanisms involved in renal cell injury in diabetic kidney disease, with a particular emphasis on oxidative stress pathways. The overall goal Dr. Ford has for all trainees is to apply what they learn in the classroom to ask scientific questions in the quest to become independent and creative thinkers.

              • John Fritz, MBA, MS, MHA, PDM
                Associate Director of Technology Commercialization
                Biography

                  John Fritz serves as Associate Director of Technology Commercialization in the Office of Technology Commercialization (OTC) at UT Health San Antonio and Co-Director of the Accelerator. Prior to OTC Mr. Fritz served as a Project Analyst with Nerac a Research and Advisory Firm for companies developing innovative products and technologies. Prior to Nerac Mr. Fritz was the Project Manager for Technology Commercialization at the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Technology Center where he worked with early stage technology companies to help them develop and launch new technology. He began his career with Entergy Corporation, a multi-billion-dollar utility conglomerate headquartered in New Orleans. At Entergy, Mr. Fritz worked in market research, product development and market management. Mr. Fritz left Entergy to pursue a new career opportunity at Kinetic Concepts Inc., a major medical device company headquartered in San Antonio. At KCI, Mr. Fritz worked in the areas of manufacturing, R&D, and business development.

                  Mr. Fritz received his B.S. in Management and M.B.A. in Marketing from the University of West Florida. He graduated with an M.S. in Management of Technology from UTSA and a Masters in Health Administration at Texas State University.

                • Jodie P. Gray, MS, PhD
                  Researcher in Private Industry
                  Biography

                    I am a recent PhD graduate of UT Health San Antonio’s Radiological Sciences program. My graduate studies comprised joint training in Diagnostic Medical Physics and Neuroscience imaging. For my dissertation work I researched big-data methods for using neuroimaging data in the modeling of human brain abnormalities that are attributed to mood disorders.

                    I currently work as a researcher in private industry. My current research focus is in advanced image acquisition and reconstruction techniques. I have a broad background of training and research in Physics (BS) and Computer Science (MS). 

                    I have a lifelong interest in the topics that arise from the intersection of these two exciting fields.

                    I am also passionate about science communication, science outreach, and mental health. 

                  • Rugmani Iyer, PhD
                    Senior Scientist, Merck Research Laboratories, SSFO, CA
                    Biography

                      I am Senior Scientist with Merck Research Laboratories, SSFO, CA. I am a Biochemistry Major with doctorate from University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. Before joining Merck, I was employed as a Research Instructor with University of Mississippi Medical Center. My research interest is focused on understanding the role of inflammation and fibrosis in regulating cardiovascular and fibrotic diseases.

                    • Chris Johnson, PhD
                      Clinical Professor of Sociology in Dementia and Aging Studies Program at Texas State University, San Marcos
                      Biography

                        Dr. Christopher J. Johnson received his Ph.D. in Sociology with a major in Aging and minor in Social Psychology from Iowa State University, He earned his M.A. from University of Northern Iowa in Sociology with major in Aging. He earned his B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Denver.

                        Dr. Johnson retired as Director of Gerontology and Professor of Gerontology and Sociology at the University of Louisiana at Monroe. There he developed an award winning online M.A. in Gerontology Program and Directed an Institute of Gerontology (NIA grant funded). He taught in the Dementia Studies graduate program at the University of Stirling, Scotland and worked for the Dementia Services Centre there. Dr. Johnson’s exemplary teaching and research skills were recognized by being awarded a Distinguished Fellow in Gerontology by the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education.

                        In the area of teaching, Dr. Johnson came to Texas State to initiate and be a major contributor to America's first online M.S. in Dementia and Aging Studies (link to a program description).

                        At the University of Louisiana his online Masters in Gerontology was awarded as a top academic program in the state. He was recognized among the top five teachers at the University of Louisiana. Now at Texas State, Dr. Johnson teaches Introduction to Dementia Studies, Caregiving and Dementia, The Social Psychology of Dementia, End of Life and Clinical Sociology: Counseling Elderly. Texas State's MSDA has been ranked the top dementia education program in US.

                        In research, besides procuring over 3 million dollars in grant and private funding, his interests are in non-linear time travel models of Alzheimer's, design for dementia and dementia and behavior. At his previous university, he was twice awarded “Researcher of the Year” in the School of Arts and Sciences. He has conducted a state-wide needs assessment of elderly in Iowa but specializes in oral histories. He was awarded an, Endowed Professorship in Gerontology

                      • Tiffany Kelley, PhD, MBA, RN
                        DeLuca Foundation Visiting Professor for Innovation & New Knowledge; Founder & CEO, Nightingale Apps; Founder & CEO, ICare Nursing Solutions; Editorial Board Member, American Nurse
                        Biography

                          Dr. Tiffany Kelley PhD MBA RN is the DeLuca Foundation Visiting Professor for Innovations and New Knowledge at the University of Connecticut School of Nursing. She was appointed to this role in August 2018 and is responsible for executing on the strategic plan to foster innovation across all academic programs. She developed and is the Director of the Healthcare Innovation Certificate Program. Kelley is a leading expert on the topics of healthcare innovation and informatics in the contemporary times of delivering safe, efficient, timely, patient-centered, effective and equitable care to patients and their families. By preparing our nursing students and current nurses with the appropriate knowledge, skills and abilities toward innovative behaviors and culture, we hold the potential to drive significant positive change in the profession of nursing and healthcare at large. Dr. Kelley is also an active healthcare innovator and entrepreneur. She is the Founder & CEO of Nightingale Apps and iCare Nursing Solutions. Nightingale Apps was founded in an effort to provide nurses with the information needed to provide individualized patient care from the start of one’s shift through the use of the patent-pending mobile interoperability solution, Know My Patient®. iCare Nursing Solutions was founded in response to customer needs for expertise in nursing informatics and health IT. She is a published author, international keynote speaker, and thought leader committed to improving on the status quo. Dr. Kelley is the author of Electronic Health Records or Quality Nursing and Health Care, a textbook offering comprehensive insights on the complex tool we are dependent upon today as health care professionals. In 2017, Kelley was recognized as one of the top 12 women in healthcare and awarded Excellence in Innovation for Nightingale Apps' Know My Patient in 2018. Kelley is a member of the UConn Venture and Incubator Advisory Board and an Editorial Board Member for The American Nurse.

                        • Anna Mancha-Ramirez, PhD
                          Scientist, Procter & Gamble
                          Biography

                            Annie Mancha-Ramirez received her BS in Biochemistry from Saint Edwards University, in Austin Texas. She then began her graduate work at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley in Edinburg, Texas where she completed a MSc in Chemistry. After leaving the Rio Grande Valley, Annie studied Cancer Biology at the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio (UTHSCSA) where she earned a Biomedical Sciences PhD. After completing a postdoc at UTHSCSA and working as an adjunct professor at University of the Incarnate Word, Annie was recruited to work as a ScientIst for Procter & Gamble (P&G) in Cincinnati, Ohio. P&G is an international consumer goods company that has been consistently ranked at the top of the Fortune 500 rankings and is home to many beloved brands such as Tide, Vicks, and Crest. Currently, the focus of her work covers a mix of respiratory and digestive wellness over the counter products as well as running an accelerated aging capability to better define the chemical degradation landscape of our over the counter products. Outside of work, Annie is a mother to 3 young kids and values her work life balance above all else; in her free time she enjoys spending time outdoors with her kids and exploring local breweries with her husband.

                          • Ketan Marballi, PhD
                            Research Associate, Syracuse University
                            Biography

                              Ketan Marballi holds a Ph.D. in Cellular and Structural Biology from the University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio. Over the last decade, his research has spanned different neurodevelopmental, psychiatric, and addiction disorders. He currently studies cellular mechanisms of Rett syndrome at Syracuse University and has a special interest in writing and career development.

                            • Kristen McConnell, PhD
                              Assistant Professor, The University of Alabama at Birmingham Department of Radiation Oncology
                              Biography

                                Dr. Kristen McConnell is an Assistant Professor at The University of Alabama at Birmingham Department of Radiation Oncology. She recently completed a therapy medical physics residency program at the University of California, San Diego, but before that she was a graduate of the Radiological Sciences Ph.D. program here at UT Health San Antonio!

                                Her research interests focus on furthering the use of a DNA double-strand break probe she helped to develop as part of her dissertation work. The probe, which they now call the FIESTA-DNA probe, can make high resolution measurements of DNA double-strand breaks when exposed to ionizing radiation. This is particularly useful for validating mechanistic breakage models for things like proton or carbon ion radiation. If those can be validated, they will be able to be used more readily in clinical applications.

                                In her spare time, she enjoys running - in fact, she is committed to running 1000 miles this year!

                              • Kelley Minars, MLIS
                                Creative Technologies Librarian
                                Biography

                                  Kelley Minars is the Creative Technologies Librarian at UT Health’s Briscoe Library. He works with the library’s 3D printers, and focuses on ways to make the technology available to anyone who wants to make use of it. He assists with printing projects, technology teaching, and oversees the HUB space, which includes a virtual reality headset and a multimedia creation computer.

                                • Pramod Mishra, PhD
                                  Founder and COO, iGenomeDx Inc
                                  Biography

                                    Pramod Mishra is the chief operating officer of iGenomeDx. Pramod Mishra was born in the district of Siwan, Bihar, India. He completed his schooling and undergraduate in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh and Master’s program in Biotechnology from Jawaharlal University (JNU), New Delhi, India. Thereafter, he joined University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio for the PhD program in Microbiology and Immunology. After his graduation in 2011, he accepted Postdoctoral fellowship at Pennington Biomedical Research Center for his postdoctoral research in neuroimmunology field. Subsequently, he worked as an Assistant Professor of Research in Biology department at UT San Antonio. In 2016 he co-founded a clinical molecular diagnostic lab company, iGenomeDx Inc. which offers various infectious disease and genetic testing services.

                                  • Theodore Price, PhD
                                    Professor and Director of Center for Advanced Pain Studies
                                    Biography

                                      Theodore (Ted) Price is the Eugene McDermott Professor and Chair of the Department of Neuroscience in the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences at University of Texas (UT) at Dallas. He is also the Director of the Center for Advanced Pain Studies at UT Dallas. He did his PhD work with Chris Flores and Ken Hargreaves at UT Health San Antonio and a postdoctoral fellowship at McGill University with Fernando Cervero. He started his independent laboratory in 2007 at University of Arizona School of Medicine and moved to UT Dallas in 2014. His lab is interested in molecular mechanisms driving the transition to chronic pain with a focus on drug development for chronic pain disease modification and on peripheral and central mechanisms of neuronal plasticity in response to injury. He has won numerous awards including The Patrick D. Wall Young Investigator Award from IASP. He is co-section editor for neurobiology for PAIN and is on the editorial board of Journal of Neuroscience. Ted has published more than 125 peer reviewed studies, has been continuously funded by NIH for more than 10 years, and is a standing member of the Somatosensory and Pain Study Section for NIH.

                                    • Calais S. Prince, PhD
                                      American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science and Technology Policy Fellow Department of Defense
                                      Biography

                                        Dr. Calais S. Prince is a multidisciplinary scientist with experience in psychology, cell biology, and investigating molecular drivers of health disparities. As an undergraduate at Purdue University, Dr. Prince obtained her BS and BA in Animal Science and Behavioral Neuroscience. Dr. Prince received her PhD in cellular biology from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. Her dissertation research focused on the impact of maternal obesity on placenta function, as multiple studies have shown that adverse maternal health negatively impacts the placenta and the developing fetus. As a postdoctoral fellow at the National Institute on Aging, Dr. Prince studied frailty in a middle-aged, diverse cohort in Baltimore. Her continued interest in science policy and addressing health disparities, women’s health, and increasing diversity in the science, lead her to accept a prestigious American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science and Technology Policy Fellowship. Currently, Dr. Prince is a health policy fellow at the Department of Defense (DoD) where she uses her training to serve in a variety of capacities including: managing women’s health, public health, and mental health portfolios, drafting DoD policy documents, and editing DoD policy.

                                      • Emily Reiser, PhD
                                        Sr. Manager, Innovation Commuinty Engagement Texas Medical Center
                                        Biography

                                          Emily Reiser is the Senior Manager of Innovation Community Engagement with the Texas Medical Center. She supports clinicians and administrators at the TMC member institutions as well as hundreds of startups other corporate partners engaged with TMC Innovation. In her previous role at TMC, she was a strategist for two TMCx cohorts, contributed to the redesign of the TMCx program for 2020, and started the TMC Alpha program for local innovators.

                                          Prior to joining TMC Innovation, she led Enventure, a non-profit organization supporting entrepreneurship training and company formation in the life sciences. She has directly contributed to business development projects with dozens of local life science startups and supported the formation of four new companies. Emily earned a bachelor’s degree in Biology from Emory University and a PhD in Bioengineering from Rice University focused on drug delivery for cancer immunotherapy.

                                        • Manpreet K. Semwal, MS
                                          Graduate Research Assistant (PhD Candidate)
                                          Biography

                                            Manpreet's research focuses on addressing the physiological functions of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in stromal cells in the young, steady state thymus and its role in autoimmunity through autophagy. She is working in Dr. Griffith’s lab that focuses on identifying lymphopoietic stromal microenvironment in the thymus and, the causes and consequences of age-associated thymic stromal dysfunction. Their long-term goals includes revealing novel lymphopoietic stromal functions in the young, steady state thymus, and boosting thymus function during aging.

                                          • David Weiss, PhD
                                            Dean of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, UT Health San Antonio
                                            Biography

                                              David S. Weiss, Ph.D., was named dean of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and holder of the Dielmann Chair in Basic Biomedical Investigation.

                                              Dr. Weiss has served as professor and chair of physiology since 2005 and is also a faculty member in the departments of Pharmacology and Neurology. His research has advanced the understanding of brain disorders such as epilepsy and the action of therapeutic drugs such as anxiety medications. His work is funded by the National Institutes of Health through 2014, and he receives significant funding from additional organizations including the American Heart Association.

                                              Dr. Weiss is a past recipient of the prestigious Sen. Jacob Javits Neuroscience Investigator Award from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. The award, named for Sen. Javits, who was a strong advocate of research in a wide variety of disorders of the brain and nervous system, is considered to be one of the highest honors in the neurosciences.

                                            • Xiaoban Xin, PhD, JD
                                              Patent Attorney, Johnson, Marcou, Isaacs & Nix
                                              Biography

                                                Patent Attorney, July 2018 – Present, Johnson, Marcou, Isaacs & Nix (Hoschton, GA, virtual firm) 

                                                Patent Attorney, May 2017 – June 2018, Bookoff McAndrews, PLLC (Washington, DC) 

                                                Patent Agent/Attorney, April 2014 – May 2017, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, P.C (Washington, DC) 

                                                Patent prosecution and counseling in the fields of biotechnology, medical devices, and health IT.

                                                Technology Transfer Fellow, June 2013 – April 2014, The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), National Institutes of Health (Bethesda, MD)

                                                Research Fellow, July 2011–May 2013, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (Baltimore, MD)

                                                Research Assistant, August 2006–June 2011, The University of Texas Health Science Center (San Antonio, TX) Dr. Lily Dong's lab

                                              • Samantha Yee, BS
                                                Graduate Research Assistant, 4th year Ph.D. candidate at UT Health San Antonio in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
                                                Biography

                                                  Samantha Yee is currently a 4th year Ph.D. candidate at UT Health San Antonio in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences in the Physiology & Pharmacology Discipline. In Dr. Risinger’s Lab, Samantha’s research focuses on evaluating the pharmacological and physiological effects of the taccalonolide microtubule stabilizers in cancer models, with a particular interest in ovarian cancer. Ultimately, the goals of her work are to identify an optimal taccalonolide for future clinical development and elucidate the molecular and cellular biological experiments underlying the antitumor efficacy of this novel class of drugs. Sam grew up outside of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada as a multi-sport athlete and dancer. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology at St. Lawrence University in upstate NY while being a student-track and field athlete. Her passion for research emerged when she was awarded a summer fellowship under the guidance of Dr. Alexander Schreiber before her senior year. After St. Lawrence, she headed to Dallas, TX to be a full-time research assistant at UT Southwestern Medical Center in the Tagliabracci Lab for two years. During her last year of being a full-time research assistant, Samantha was also a Dallas Stars Ice Girl for the Dallas Stars. She then attended UT Health San Antonio to pursue her Ph.D. Outside of the Risinger lab, Samantha is the current President of the UT Health San Antonio Student Government Association, which voices the concerns of the student body. She is a member of the Women in Science: Development, Outreach, and Mentoring group, Physiology & Pharmacology Recruitment Committee, and Department of Pharmacology’s Graduate Student Symposium Planning Committee, in addition to holding other roles on campus. Furthermore, she has attended and participated in several events on campus since her first year, allowing her to meet students outside her program and school. Her hobbies include dancing, hiking, working out, and volunteering.

                                                • Edward Zastawny, PharmaD
                                                  Santen, Inc. Senior Medical Science Liaison, New Braunfels, TX
                                                  Biography

                                                    Senior level executive with 34+ years of pharmacy and clinical experience in both civilian and military settings, primarily focused on clinical and managed care programs. Seasoned manager with documented success in attaining corporate goals. Solid leadership credentials with a strong focus on building and managing successful teams. Excellent communicator. Energetic, dedicated professional with a powerful combination of executive skills and clinical knowledge.

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