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Participating Faculty Mentors

The faculty members listed below are participating in the AYRIU program and may be selected by student participants who are accepted to the program. All of these faculty members have hosted undergraduates in their laboratories and their previous interns' projects are also listed. Clicking on a faculty member's name will take you to their research website, containing detailed information about their research.

Prof. Laura Bohn


Laura Bohn

Dept. of Molecular Medicine

The Bohn laboratory is focused on understanding how G protein-coupled receptors function in an endogenous setting to control physiologically relevant processes.

Prof. Anutosh Chakraborty


Anutosh Chakraborty

Dept. of Molecular Medicine

The Chakraborty lab aims to discover novel signal transduction pathways as potential drug targets for improving peripheral fatty acid metabolism with lesser side effects.

Previous Interns & Projects:

Mirabella Muller, American University
Project: "Development of a cell-based assay for the CXCR7 receptor"

Angela Phillips, University of Florida,
Project: "Kappa opioid receptor ligand development for β-arrestin2 bias"
Currently: Graduate student, MIT

Previous Interns & Projects:

Hector Mora, Florida Atlantic University
Project: "Inositol Pyrophosphate and Ubiquitin-Proteasomal Pathways Regulate Cell Signaling and Metabolism"

Prof. Matthew Disney


Matthew Disney

Dept. of Chemistry

The Disney group is focused on developing rational and predictable approaches to design highly selective therapeutics from only genome sequence.

Prof. Matt Gill


Matt Gill

Dept. of Molecular Medicine

The Gill lab combines chemical screens, analytical chemistry, biochemistry and genetics to identify small molecule regulators of aging in C. elegans and determine their molecular mechanism of action.

Previous Interns & Projects:

Audrey Winkelsas, University of Miami
Project: "RNA motif – small molecule database provides lead chemical probes of RNA function"
Currently: Graduate student, NIH Oxford Cambridge Scholars Program

Diego Arenas, Cornell University
Project: "Targeting RNA: synthesizing modular ligands for binding toxic tandem repeats responsible for myotonic muscular dystrophy"

Paula Aronson, University of Rochester
Project: "Modular design of ligands targeting toxic RNA expansion repeats"
Currently: Graduate student, Cornell University

Previous Interns & Projects:

Jose Thomas Armesto, Florida Atlantic University
Project: "Forward genetic screening with synthetic cannabinoids to find an N-acylethanolamine receptor in C. elegans"
Currently: Post-baccalaureate research fellow, University of Pennsylvania

Prof. William Ja


William Ja

Dept. of Neuroscience

The Ja lab uses diverse tools in chemistry and biology to dissect genetic pathways that are involved in health and aging.

Prof. Katrin Karbstein


Katrin Karbstein

Dept. of Integrative Structural and Computational Biology

The Karbstein lab studies the mechanisms cells use to regulate and quality control the assembly of ribosomes, in order to understand the molecular basis for cancer when ribosomes are defective and develop novel drug targets for cancer therapy.

Previous Interns & Projects:

Jennifer Weissbach, Dartmouth College
Project: "Perturbations of the sleep-feeding axis in Drosophila"
Currently: Science faculty member, The Hill School

Sany Hoxha, University of Florida
Project: "Late-life caloric restriction extends Drosophila lifespan"
Currently: Graduate student, The Scripps Research Institute

Previous Interns & Projects:

Oscar Martinez Armenta, Augsburg College
Project: "Assessing the effect of bypassing the quality control checkpoints during ribosome maturation of translation fidelity"

Katelyn Doxtader, University of Michigan
Project: "Mapping the interactions within the Enp1/Ltv1/Rps3 complex in eukaryotic ribosome assembly"
Currently: Graduate student, UT Southwestern Medical Center

Megan Novak, Furman University
Project: "40S maturation requires joining of 60S and a subset of translation ignition factors"
Currently: NSF Predoctoral Fellow, Northwestern University

Prof. Damon Page


Damon Page

Dept. of Neuroscience

The Page lab studies how the components necessary for establishing the cellular architecture of the brain (neuronal and glial cell types) are generated and how these assemble into functional circuits that underlie behavior.

Prof. Sathya Puthanveettil


Sathya Puthanveettil

Dept. of Neuroscience

The Puthanveettil lab is focused on understanding the molecular and cellular basis of long-term memory storage at a basic communication level between the nucleus and synapses during learning and memory storage.

Previous Interns & Projects:

Ankit Kaushik, Georgia Tech
Project: "Cellular basis of brain overgrowth in Pten haploinsufficient mice"
Currently: ETL Developer, General Motors


Previous Interns & Projects:

Alina Afinogenova, Rutgers University
Project: "Expression of kinesin genes in the trisynaptic circuitry of the mouse hyppocampus" (co-author of 2015 journal article for Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience)
Currently: 2015 Goldwater Scholar

Maria Narvaez, Kenyon College
Project: "Aging related changes in the expression of natural antisense RNA of the neuropeptide sensorin" (co-author of 2014 journal article in Frontiers in Genetics)

Prof. Srini Subramaniam


Srinivasa Subramaniam

Dept. of Neuroscience

Using cellular, molecular and behavioral tools, the Subramaniam laboratory identifies novel targets for neurodegenerative diseases with the vision of developing mechanisms-based drugs for therapeutics.

Prof. Mark Sundrud


Mark Sundrud

Dept. of Immunology and Microbiology

The Sundrud lab is focused on identifying novel T-cell subsets associated with clinical inflammatory syndromes and dissecting signaling circuits that regulate their development and deleterious function.

Previous Interns & Projects:

Sofia Karabasevic, Dartmouth College
Project: "Direct binding between RasGRP1 and Rhes regulates mTOR signaling"


Previous Interns & Projects:

Mei Lan Chen, John Jay College
Project: "Post-transcriptional regulation of Stat3 via amino acid starvation response"
Currently: Graduate student, The Scripps Research Institute

Prof. Seth Tomchik


Seth Tomchik

Dept. of Neuroscience

The Tomchik Laboratory’s research focuses on how neuronal circuits encode and process sensory information, and how these representations of sensory stimuli are modified during the learning processses.

Prof. Susana Valente


Susana Valente

Dept. of Immunology and Microbiology

The Valente laboratory is focused on the discovery of cellular factors involved in retroviral replication, specifically: HIV-1 mRNA maturation and export, inhibitors of Tat activated HIV-1 transcription and host factors that inhibit viral replication.

Previous Interns & Projects:

Kantiya K. Jindachomthong, Yale University
Project: "Cyclic AMP differentially induces learning-related neuronal plasticity in the Drosophila mushroom body γ region"

Previous Interns & Projects:

Olena Bracho, Nova Southeastern University
Project: "Determination of the minimum sequence of elF3f necessary to block HIV-1 replication and identification of N91-elF3f binding partners"