First Year Scholars

First Year Scholars

Lisa Roberts, PhD

Dr. Lisa Krehbiel received a BS in Kinesiology from Kansas State University in 2012 and an MS in Human Performance from the University of Florida in 2014. She was awarded a PhD in Biobehavioral Science in 2018 also from the University of Florida. Dr. Krehbiel is performing her postdoctoral research under the mentorship of Dr. Thomas Buford, Associate Professor of Medicine elucidating mechanisms of exercise and aging.


Department of Gerontology/Geriatrics/Palliative Care
Research mentor: Dr. Thomas Buford

Melissa LaBonty, PhD

Melissa LaBonty, PhD

Dr. Melissa LaBonty received a BS in Biological Sciences from Ohio University in 2008. She was awarded a PhD in Cellular, Molecular, and Developmental Biology from Tufts University in 2018. Dr. LaBonty is performing her postdoctoral research under the mentorship of Dr. Brad Yoder, Professor and Chair of Cell, Developmental, and Integrative Biology, investigating mechanisms of ciliogenesis and cilia mediated signalling pathways in C. elegans.

labonty@uab.edu
Department of Cellular, Molecular, and Integrative Biology
Research mentor: Dr. Brad Yoder

Will Ryan, PhD

Dr. Will Ryan received a BS in Environmental Biology in 2007 and an MS in Biology in 2010 from California State University. He was awarded a PhD in Biology from Florida State University in 2017. Dr. Ryan is performing his postdoctoral research under the mentorship of Dr. Stacey Krueger-Hadfield, Assistant Professor of Biology, elucidating mechanisms of eco-evolutionary mutation accumulation within metastatic tumors.

wryan@uab.edu
Department of Biology
Research mentor: Dr. Stacey Krueger-Hadfield

Second Year Scholars

Second Year Scholars

Dr. Sarah Beno

Dr. Sarah Beno

Dr. Sarah Beno received a BS in Biology and a BA in Chemistry from Meredith College in 2013. She was awarded a PhD in Food Nutrition Science from Cornell University in 2017. Dr. Beno is performing her postdoctoral research under the mentorship of Dr. Carlos Orihuela, Professor of Microbiology elucidating mechanisms of S. pneumonia gene expression in invasive pneumococcal disease.

sbeno@uab.edu
Department of Microbiology
Research mentor: Dr. Carolos Orihuela
Teaching Mentor: Dr. Chaudry, Stillman

Dr. Keri Kemp

Dr. Keri Kemp

Dr. Keri Kemp received a BS in Biology from Kansas State University in 2001. Following experiences working in the conservation sector, she entered graduate studies earning an MS in Biology from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2011 and a PhD in Ecology from the University of Georgia in 2017. Dr. Kemp is currently a post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Pathology. She is co-mentored by Dr. Robin Lorenz (Pathology), Dr. Craig Maynard (Pathology), and Dr. Jennifer Pollock (Nephrology). Her research is focused on investigating how early life stress (ELS) increases the likelihood of subsequent inflammatory autoimmune diseases.

kerikemp@uab.edu

Department of Pathology
Research Mentor: Jennifer Pollock, PhD and Craig Maynard, PhD
Teaching Mentor: Sami Raut, PhD at UAB

Third Year Scholars

Third Year Scholars

Dr. Robert M. Akscyn

Dr. Robert M. Akscyn

Dr. Akscyn received his BS in Biochemistry from Saint Vincent College in 2010 and his PhD in Cell, Molecular and Developmental Biology from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2015. Dr. Akscyn is performing his postdoctoral research under the mentorship of Dr. J. Michael Wyss, Professor of Cell, Developmental and Integrative Biology, and Director of the UAB Center for Community Outreach and Development. Dr. Akscyn’s research focuses on education assessment, curriculum design and implementation, and fostering Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education in underrepresented, minority populations.

rakscyn@uab.edu | (205) 934-5171
https://www.uab.edu/cord/

Department of Cell, Developmental, and Integrative Biology
Research Mentor: Dr. Mike Wyss
Teaching Mentor: Tracey Wilson, PhD at Lawson

Dr. Camerron Crowder

Dr. Camerron Crowder

Dr. Crowder received a B.S. and B.A. in 2007 from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, a M.S. in biology in 2010 from Northern Arizona University and her PhD in 2016 in Integrative biology from Oregon State University in the lab of Dr. Virginia Weis. Dr. Crowder is currently a post-doctoral fellow working with Dr. Chenbei Chang. Her research is focused on investigating the role of nuclear receptors, including the androgen receptor, in sexual development and determination in zebrafish. She is also working to develop assays to visualize tissue-specific glucocorticoid receptor activity in order to improve rheumatoid arthritis drug therapies.

Department of Cell, Developmental, and Integrative Biology
Research mentor: Dr. Chenbei Chang
Teaching Mentor: Diane Tucker, PhD at UAB

Dr. Monica Lewis

Dr. Monica Lewis

Dr. Lewis received her BS in Chemistry at Alabama State University in 2009 and her PhD in Cancer Biology from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2016. She is performing her postdoctoral training in the lab of Dr. Nabiha Yusuf, Assistant Professor of Dermatology, where she is currently investigating the roles of the innate immune system in breast cancer health disparities and in the development of skin cancer.

Department of Dermatology
Research mentor: Dr. Nabiha Yusuf
Teaching Mentor: Melissa Richardson, PhD at Oakwood

Dr. Christine Loyd

Dr. Christine Loyd

Dr. Loyd received her BA in Microbiology from Miami University- Oxford in 2008 and her PhD in Pathobiology and Molecular Medicine from University of Cincinnati in 2014. Dr. Loyd is performing her post-doctoral research under the mentorship of Dr. Cynthia J. Brown, Professor of Medicine and Director of the UAB Comprehensive Center for Healthy Aging. Dr. Loyd’s research investigates hospital mobility in older adults and the effectiveness of a hospital walking intervention in promoting recovery of mobility status following hospitalization.

christineloyd@uabmc.edu | (205) 934-9625

Department of Medicine
Research mentor: Dr. Christine Brown
Teaching Mentor: Elaine Vanterpool, PhD at Oakwood

Dr. Heather Ray

Dr. Heather Ray

Dr. Heather Ray received her B.S. in Biology from Oregon State University in 2006, followed by an M.S. in Biology from University of Texas at San Antonio in 2009 and her PhD in Cell, Stem Cell and Developmental Biology from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus in 2016. Dr. Ray is currently performing her post-doctoral research in the lab of Dr. Chenbei Chang, Associate Professor of Cell, Development and Integrative Biology. Dr. Ray's research focuses on the mechanisms of cell differentiation and migration using the frog Xenopus laevis as a model system, with an interest in how studies of early embryonic development can inform on adult disease mechanisms, such as cancer.

Department of Cell, Developmental, and Integrative Biology
Research mentor: Dr. Chenbei Chang
Teaching Mentor: Mary Smith, PhD at Lawson

Fourth Year Scholars

Fourth Year Scholars

Dr. Pamlea Brady

Dr. Pamlea Brady

Dr. Pamlea Brady received her BS in Chemistry from Winston-Salem State University in 2008, and her PhD in Analytical Chemistry in 2015 from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. She is performing her postdoctoral research training with Dr. Margaret Johnson, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, studying the structure and dynamics of guanine quadruplex binding proteins.

Dr. Brady taught General Chemistry as her 3rd year course at Stillman College in 2018.

pnbrady@uab.edu | (205) 975-0289

Department of Chemistry
Research mentor: Dr. Margaret Johnson
Teaching Mentor: Dr. Tabitha Hardy

Dr. Centdrika Dates

Dr. Centdrika Dates

Dr. Centdrika Dates received her BS in Biology from Alcorn State University in 2008, her MS in Biology from Jackson State University in 2010, and her PhD in Interdisciplinary Biomedical Sciences from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in 2015. She is performing her postdoctoral research training with Dr. Trygve Tollefsbol, Professor of Biology, examining mechanisms of cancer and aging epigenetics.

cdatesh8@uab.edu | (205) 934-4587

Department of Radiation Oncology
Research mentor: Drs. Markus Bredel and Susan Nozell
Teaching Mentor: At-Large

Dr. Vicky Huang

Dr. Vicky Huang

Dr. Vicky Huang received her BS in Biology from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2005 and her PhD in Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior from University of Texas at Austin in 2013. She is performing her postdoctoral research training with Dr. Farah Lubin, Associate Professor of Neurobiology, utilizing a zebra fish model to study the environmental influences on neuroepigenetic mechanisms during memory formation with aging.

Dr. Huang taught Introductory Biochemistry as her 3rd year course at Oakwood University in 2018.

victoriahuang@uab.edu | (205) 996-2242

Department of Neurobiology
Research mentor: Dr. Farah Lubin
Teaching Mentor: Dr. Ken LaiHing