The mean length of the training program for students who have graduated since 2002, which includes 52 graduates, is 7.8 years. Representative training programs of those students who have recently graduated or are in the advanced stages of their training are shown below.
Brandon Downing (2008-2016)
Brandon graduated from Purdue University at Indianapolis with a degree in Biology. For his thesis work, he studied in the laboratory of David Ingram, investigating the cellular and biochemical mechanisms of peripheral vascular disease in neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1). He identified that monocytes and macrophages were the primary cell types involved in mechanisms of inflammation and oxidative stress. This work elucidated another disease process in the NF1 patient population, which can be partly or completely attributed to inflammation and oxidative stress. His studies also showed that an antioxidant or a statin could be protective against these mechanisms in a mouse model. This highly translational research both demonstrated another disease process afflicting NF1 patients and proposed potential biochemical targets and treatments. He intends to continue his pursuit of the understanding of surgical interventions for peripheral vascular disease as a resident at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, MO in the department of vascular surger.
Rikki Enzor (2008-2016)
Rikki graduated from Judson College with a BS in Chemistry and a BA in Music. In the lab of D. Wade Clapp, she studied the role of the Fanconi anemia signaling network in the regulation of mitosis, identifying fourteen FA proteins for genomic integrity and accurate chromosome segregation. Rikki presented her research at multiple national meetings and was selected to study abroad at the Australian National University. Rikki helped develop a free eye clinic and led other students in research and grant-writing efforts related to ophthalmology. Rikki matched into the Transitional Year Residency Program at Ball Memorial Hospital and the Ophthalmology Residency Program at the University of Pittsburgh.
Justin Johnson (2007-2016)
Justin graduated with Honors from Purdue University at Indianapolis with a BA in Biology. He completed his graduate training in the laboratory of Carmella Evans-Molina, where he invistigated the β-cell specific transcription factor Pdx-1 and its role in endoplasmic reticulum calcium regulation. Due to the peptide synthesis burden, the individual pancreatic β-cell is prone to ER stress leading to cell death and eventually diabetes. Maintenance of the ER calcium gradient by factors like Pdx-1 is therefore essential to beta cell function and survival. Justin is completing his Family Medicine residency in the Fort Wayne Medical Education Program in Fort Wayne, IN.
Jacquelyn Lajiness (2009-2016)
Jacquelyn graduated from Hope College with a BS in Biology and a BA in Chemistry. She completed her graduate training in Simon Conway's lab, where she investigated the signaling mechanisms for establishing sympathetic innervation of the heart in early postnatal development. Jacquelyn elucidated a critical role of the protein tyrosine phosphatase SHP2 in establishing and maintaining cardiac sympathetic neurons, supported by an NIH F30 award. She was inducted into the Medical Honor Society Alpha Omega Alpha. Jacquelyn is completing her Pediatric residency training at the Indiana University School of Medicine while continuing her research as a Morris Green Scholar.