2006 News Articles-Department of Biological Sciences - Carnegie Mellon University

Twenty-three New Graduate Students Demonstrate the Varied Research Pursuits of the Department

New Graduate Students 2006The Department of Biological Sciences is pleased to welcome five new M.S. in Computational Biology students and 18 new Ph.D. in Biological Sciences students to Carnegie Mellon University. These first-year students bring a variety of research interests to the programs.

As part of the M.S. in Computational Biology program, Dima Patek hopes to broaden his studies in the field of genomics. Animesh Shukla hopes to contribute to the department's research in biotechnology; Aaron Huttner's career goal is to become a bioinformatist. Two other Masters students, Yongjin Park and Sabah Kadri, are interested in the modeling of biological systems. Their studies in biology and computer science will assist them in developing useful virtual models.

Among the new Ph.D. students, the study of developmental biology proves to be a popular field. Margarida Anjos hopes to explore gene regulatory networks in developing organisms. Elmer Ker, who plans to work towards developing therapeutics for disease, plans to focus on tissue engineering. Brenna McCauley wants to further understanding of developmental processes. Qi Yan would like to blend cell biology with developmental biology in her future research.

Once again, neuroscience is a prevalent area of research for incoming students. Saksham Chandra and Nicole Marthaler want to study the neural basis of cognition and behavior at the joint Carnegie Mellon/University of Pittsburgh CNBC research center. Sarah Capek is interested in combining neuroscience with genetics research. Jing Wen, who has a variety of interests spanning biology, hopes to encompass neuroscience as well as disease mechanism and therapy in her research.

First-year Ph.D. students are also ready to work towards understanding and treating many diseases. Shantanu Ganguly and Dara Brown are both interested in cancer research. Kalin Vasilev plans to participate in the department's research in biosensors, which are tiny markers in the body that can be used to diagnose illness. And Bradley Yates plans to take a molecular approach to studying disease.

Other students are enthusiastic about a broad scope of biological research topics. Structural biophysics and the physical biochemistry of proteins and nucleic acids is where Shantanu Bhattacharyya will focus his research. Smita Yadav hopes to combine computational biology with evolutionary genetics to learn about genetic history. Parker Mills plans to work towards refining data collected through imaging methods using computational approaches. Saketh Chemuru Muni will work in the increasingly relevant fields of genomics and proteomics, while keeping his research aimed at molecular biology. Jeanne Morin-Leisk, who spent significant time completing research as an undergraduate, is fascinated by biotechnology, as is John Holleran.

The students, who have recently begun classes and, in the case of the Ph.D. students, started their first lab rotations, will refine their interests further through independent experiences, guidance from mentors and advisors and their scientific passions.