2007 News Articles-Department of Biological Sciences - Carnegie Mellon University

The Department of Biological Sciences Continues to Grow, Adding 84 New Undergraduates, Six M.S. in Computational Biology Students and 15 Ph.D. in Biological Sciences Students

The Department of Biological Sciences Continues to Grow, Adding 84 New Undergraduates, Six M.S. in Computational Biology Students and 15 Ph.D. in Biological Sciences StudentsWith the launch of the 2007-2008 academic year, the Department of Biological Sciences welcomed many new undergraduate and graduate students.

Eighty-four sophomores declared a primary major in biological sciences or the unified major of biology and psychology, while approximately 80 freshmen announced an interest in biology.

As part of the M.S. in Computational Biology program, Gregory Smith plans to research computational biology’s applications in genomic research. Joshua Earl is interested in database design and protein modeling while Yaw Nti-Addae will focus on microarray gene expression analysis. Donghun Lee intends on using computational methods to examine biological network complexities. Jessica McGillen is fascinated by mathematical modeling and simulating virus assembly while Ayush Raman want to use his education to work in biotechnology – specifically the fields of genomics and proteomics. 

Many of the new Ph.D. students plan on engaging in neuroscience research. Merissa Scozio will investigate the cellular and molecular mechanisms of neurological disease while Jesse Sheehan wants to learn how synaptic plasticity affects learning and memory. Mohammad Qureshi aims to elucidate the molecular basis of neuronal specification. John Mkpa hopes to unravel the complexities of the nervous system, specifically its role in different life processes. Kaitlyn Dykstra’s research interests encompass molecular biology, developmental biology and neuroscience. 

How organisms develop remains a popular area of study for doctoral students. Ashrifia Gogo plans to work at the interface between developmental biology and genetics, identifying in model organisms genes responsible for congenital defects. Timothy Jarvela, Emily Furbee and Suzan Stein are all fascinated with figuring out what signals causes cells to differentiate. And Kiran Rafiq aspires to use genetics and developmental biology to understand disease.

Rounding out the new graduate body are Megha Kapur, who plans to use protein chemistry and genetics to learn more about genetic therapies for illness, David Whitney, who is interested in computational neuriscience, and Ayshwarya Subramanian, who plans to use computational approaches to shed light on gene networks. Anmol Grover will apply biotechnological tools to further knowledge in proteomics and genomics. Jason Talkish will focus his studies on nucleic acid research, using molecular techniques.

Classes started the week of August 27th, and the Ph.D. students have begun the first laboratory rotation. After completing the core course in cell biology and biochemistry and three laboratory rotations, the Ph.D. students will select a research advisor to begin the next phase of their doctoral studies.