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M.D. Program

M.D. Program

Current students

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  • John Paul Aboubechara
    • About John Paul Aboubechara

        John Paul Aboubechara – GS1
        Thesis Advisor: TBD
        PSTP Advisor: Michael Rogawski
        Graduate Group: Neuroscience

        John Paul has yet to identify his specific thesis project. Broadly, he is interested in understanding the mechanisms by which the brain processes external signals, creates subconscious and conscious responses, and how these processes go awry in diseases, such as schizophrenia and dementia. His ulterior motive is to address his philosophical needs to understand the nature of the mind, and our existence. Clinically, he will presumably practice as a neurosurgeon, neurologist, or psychiatrist, but that is not his current concern, and will likely depend on the trajectory of his research. Long term, he plans to practice in academia, wherein he will be a physician, scientist, and educator, while also doing his part to advance healthcare, science, and scientific literacy. Outside of school, he enjoys the typical things: sports, music, outdoor adventures, traveling, and spontaneous activities with friends. He is also a part of a traditional Lebanese dance crew, and plays the dirbakeh (an arabic drum).

    • Selected Publications

      • Sano, E., Maisnier-Pain, S., Aboubechara, J., Quinones-Soto, S., Roth, J. Plasmid copy number underlies adaptive mutability in bacteria Genetics. August 29, 2014.


        Hosein, R. and Aboubechara, J. Prohibition of Electronic Cigarette Marketing and Advertising California Medical Association Policy. December 7, 2014.


        Wettstein, Z., Aboubechara, J., et al. Support for Nutrition Label Revision and FDA Review of Added Sugars American Medical Association Policy. June 9, 2014.


        Moghavem, N., Aboubechara, J. et al. Patient Confidentiality in National Security Investigations AMA Medical Student Section Policy. June 7, 2014.


        Please refer to my LinkedIn Profile for more information:


      • Recent Awards/Honors: Graduate Scholars Fellowship; Neuroscience Graduate Program Fellowship; Medical Student Research Fellowship.


  • Eamon Balouch  
    • About Eamon Balouch 
      • Eamon Balouch – GS4
        Alma Mater:
        University of California, Berkeley
        Thesis Advisor: Jerry Powell (UC Davis),Shaun Coughlin (UCSF)
        PSTP Advisor: Robert Fairclough
        Graduate Group: BMCDB





  • Carolyn Zenith Black
    • About Carolyn Zenith Black
      • Carolyn Zenith Black – MS3
        Alma Mater: University of Maryland, Baltimore County
        Thesis Advisor: Lisa A. Miller
        PSTP Advisor: Rick Harper
        Graduate Group: BMCDB
        Research Project: Effects of air pollution on the developing immune system
        Hobbies: Running, backpacking, climbing

        -Research interests/dissertation topic: Effects of air pollution on the developing immune system
        -Hobbies, extracurricular interests/activities: Running, backpacking, climbing


  • Brendan Cohn-Sheehy
    • Brendan Cohn-Sheehy – MS2
      Alma Mater: University of California, Berkeley
      Thesis Advisor: TBD
      PSTP Advisor: Michael Rogawski
      Graduate Group: Neuroscience


      Brendan is a native Californian from Santa Monica who spent 7 pre-medical years in the East Bay Area, completing a B.A. in Psychology with Honors at UC Berkeley and human behavioral and neuroimaging research at UC Berkeley and UCSF. Brendan has been fascinated by the human brain, how it works, and how to treat its diseases, since first witnessing neurodegeneration in his grandparents at the age of 10. His eventual goal is to become an academic behavioral neurologist with clinical, research, and teaching responsibilities, along which path he has had the privilege of learning from engaged mentors, supportive peers and colleagues, and now the diverse, welcoming community of UC Davis. As of April 2015 he is the President of the Neurology Student Interest Group (SIG), an officer in the Geriatrics SIG, and is co-founding the CREATE SIG which will promote static and performing arts within the UC Davis SOM community. Aside from following his academic bliss Brendan regularly practices and composes music on various instruments and writes fiction and poetry.


    • Selected Publications

        Ossenkoppele, R., Cohn-Sheehy, B.I., La Joie, R., Vogel, J.W., Moller, C., Lehmann, M., van Berckel, B.N.M., Seeley, W.W., Pijnenburg, Y.A., Gorno-Tempini, M.L., Kramer, J.H., Barkhof, F., Rosen, H.J., van der Flier, W.M., Jagust, W.J., Miller, B.L., Scheltens, P., Rabinovici, G.D. (2015). Atrophy patterns in early clinical stages across distinct phenotypes of Alzheimer’s disease. Human Brain Mapping, doi:10.1002/hbm.22927.


        Ossenkoppele, R., Pijnenburg, Y.A., Perry, D.C., Cohn-Sheehy, B.I., Scheltens, N.M., Vogel, J.W., Kramer, J.H., van der Vlies, A.E., La Joie, R., Rosen, H.J., van der Flier, W.M., Grinberg, L.T., Rozemuller, A.J., Huang, E.J., van Berckel, B.N., Miller, B.L., Barkhof, F., Jagust, W.J., Scheltens, P., Seeley, W.W., Rabinovici, G.D. (2015). The behavioural/dysexecutive variant of Alzheimer's disease: clinical, neuroimaging and pathological features. Brain 138(9), 2732-49.


        Villeneuve, S., Rabinovici, G.D., Cohn-Sheehy, B.I., Madison, C.M., Ayakta, N., Ghosh, P.M, La Joie, R., Arthur-Bentil, S.K., Vogel, J.W., Marks, S.M., Lehmann, M., Rosen, H.J., Reed, B., Olichney, J., Boxer, A.L., Miller, B.L., Borys, E., Jin, L.W., Huang, E.J., Grinberg, L.T., DeCarli, C., Seeley, W.W., Jagust, W.J. (2015). Existing Pittsburgh Compound B–positron emission tomography thresholds are too high: statistical and pathological evaluation. Brain 138(7), 2020-33.


        Gardner, R.C., Hess, C.P., Brus-Ramer, M., Possin, K.L., Cohn-Sheehy, B.I., Kramer, J.H., Berger, M.S., Yaffe, K., Miller, B., Rabinovici, G.D. (2015). Cavum septum pellucidum in retired American pro-football players. J Neurotrauma, doi:10.1089/neu.2014.3805.


        Gardner, R.C., Possin, K.L., Hess, C.P., Huang, E.J., Grinberg, L.T., Nolan, A.L., Cohn-Sheehy, B.I., Ghosh, P.M., Lanata, S., Merrilees, J., Kramer, J.H., Berger, M.S., Miller, B.L., Yaffe, K., Rabinovici, G.D. (2015). Evaluating and treating neurobehavioral symptoms in professional American football players: lessons from a case series. Neurology Clinical Practice 5(4), 285-295.


        Elman, J.A., Rosner, Z.A., Cohn-Sheehy, B.I., Cerreta, A.G., Shimamura, A.P. (2013). Dynamic changes in parietal activation during encoding: implications for human learning and memory. NeuroImage 82C, 44-52.


        Elman, J.A., Cohn-Sheehy, B.I., Shimamura,   A.P. (2012). Dissociable parietal regions facilitate successful retrieval of recently learned and personally familiar information. Neuropsychologia 51, 573-583.

        Shimamura, A.P., Cohn-Sheehy, B.I., Pogue, Brianna L., Shimamura, T.A. (2015). How attention is driven by film edits: a multimodal experience. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, doi:10.1037/aca0000025.


        Shimamura, A.P., Cohn-Sheehy, B.I., Shimamura, T.A. (2014). Perceiving movement across film edits: A psychocinematic analysis. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts 8(1), 77-80.


        Schoen, G., Bateman, M., & Cohn-Sheehy, B. (2012, 2013, 2014). Upper Hands Piano: A Method for Adults 50+ to Spark the Mind, Heart and Soul (Volume 1, 2, 3).


    • Selected Talks
      • Cohn-Sheehy, B.I., Ghosh, P.M., Villeneuve, S., Tammewar, G., Madison, C.M., Lehmann, M., Miller, B.M., Grinberg, L.T., Seeley, W.W., Rosen, H.J., Jagust, W.J., Rabinovici, G.D. Liberal Thresholds for PIB-Positivity Optimally Capture High-Burden Postmortem Amyloid Pathology. Talk, Human Amyloid Imaging Conference: Miami, January 2014.


        Cohn-Sheehy, B.I., Ghosh, P.M., Wirth, M., Lehmann, M., Madison, C.M., Irwin, W.I., Miller, B.L., Jagust, W.J., Rosen, H.J., Rabinovici, G.D. Temporoparietal cortical thickness outperforms hippocampal volume as a biomarker for early-onset and atypical Alzheimer's disease. Alzheimer's Association International Conference: Boston, July 2013.


        Undergraduate Honors Thesis: “Dissecting the Impact of Background Music on Concurrent Learning.”


  • Chris Fortenbach
    • About Chris Fortenbach
      • Chris Fortenbach – MS3
        Alma Mater: University of California, Davis
        Thesis Advisor: Marie Burns
        PSTP Advisor: Saul Schaefer
        Graduate Group: BMCDB

    • Selected Publications
      • Speeding rod recovery improves temporal resolution in the retina. Vision Res. 2015 May;110(Pt A):57-67. doi: 10.1016/j.visres.2015.02.011. Epub 2015 Mar 5


  • Trevor Hinshaw
    • About Trevor Hinshaw
      • Trevor Hinshaw – MS1
        Alma Mater: BS in Neuroscience, Gordon College, Wenham, MA
        Thesis Advisor: TBD
        PSTP Advisor: TBD
        Graduate Group: TBD

        Research interests: Neurological disease, specifically migraine and dementia, and interdisciplinary approaches to medicine.

        A San Jose native, Trevor begins his PSTP program after spending his post grad years wrapping up his brain imaging research in Boston, MA and gaining some more experience in a human immunology lab at Stanford University. In his spare time, he enjoys playing soccer and writing music on the electric guitar.


  • Catherine Le 
    • About Catherine
      • Catherine Le – MS2
        Alma Mater: Stanford University
        Thesis Advisor:
        PSTP Advisor: David Pleasure
        Graduate Group: Immunology

        Catherine Le is from San Jose, CA.  At UC Davis School of Medicine, she is exploring her interest in immunology and field of stem cells and hopes to combine the two fields to study stem cell transplant immunology.  She is doing her first rotation in Dr. Paul Knoepfler's Lab.  She is very much enjoying her pre-clinical years and is Co-Director of Joan Viteri Memorial Clinic's Women's Clinic, where she is working on improving outreach, health education, and impact for the clinic's target population. 

        She graduated from Stanford University with a Biology, B.S., and minor in English literature. In between college and medical school, she worked as a scientific curation intern at NextBio and as a post-graduate researcher in the McDonald Lab at UCSF for two years.  She enjoys being a foodie, watching Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, following politics, and doing cardio classes at 24 hour fitness.  

    • Selected Publications

      • Le CTK, Laidlaw G, Morehouse CA, Naiman B, Brohawn P, Mustelin T, Connor JR, and McDonald DM. Synergistic actions of blocking angiopoietin-2 and tumor necrosis factor-alpha in suppressing remodeling of blood vessels and lymphatics in airway inflammation Am J Pathol. in press, 2015.


        Raymond WW, Xu X, Nimishakavi S, Le C, McDonald DM, and Caughey GH. Regulation of hepatocyte growth factor in mice with pneumonia by peptidases and trans-alveolar flux. PLoS One. 2015; 10(5).


  • Monica Lieng 
    • About Monica
      • Monica Lieng – GS1
        Alma Mater:Juniata College
        Thesis Advisors: Nicholas Anderson, Jason Adams
        PSTP Advisor: TBD
        Graduate Group: Epidemiology

        Monica is interested in utilizing epidemiological principles to tame big data obtained from clinical settings. Specifically, she hopes to study the relationships between clinical outcomes and mechanical ventilator events in the critical care environment. She previously served as a Co-Director of Flu Crew and Knights Landing One Health Clinic. In her spare time, Monica likes to explore new places with her family, create art, and run (to support her eating habit).

        Lieng M.K.,
        Kuhn B.T., Delplanque J, Anderson, N.R., Adams J.Y., "Development of a pipeline for automated ventilator waveform analysis." WAFMR, Carmel, CA, Jan 29th, 2015.

        Sing, K
        ., Apostolides, J.K., Hunt, D.J., Close, N.C. "The effect of short messaging service (SMS) use for subject compliance in clinical trials". Society for Clinical Trials Annual Meeting, Vancouver, BC Canada, May 16th, 2011

        Yan Nei Law ; Monica Keiko Lieng ; Jingmei Li and David Aik-Aun Khoo
        Automated breast tissue density assessment using high order regional texture descriptors in mammography, Proc. SPIE 9035, Medical Imaging 2014: Computer-Aided Diagnosis, 90351Q (March 24, 2014); doi:10.1117/12.2043332; 


    • Selected Publications
      • Le CTK, Laidlaw G, Morehouse CA, Naiman B, Brohawn P, Mustelin T, Connor JR, and McDonald DM. Synergistic actions of blocking angiopoietin-2 and tumor necrosis factor-alpha in suppressing remodeling of blood vessels and lymphatics in airway inflammation Am J Pathol. in press, 2015.


        Raymond WW, Xu X, Nimishakavi S, Le C, McDonald DM, and Caughey GH. Regulation of hepatocyte growth factor in mice with pneumonia by peptidases and trans-alveolar flux. PLoS One. 2015; 10(5).


  • Niraj Punjya 
    • About Niraj Punjya
      • Niraj Punjya-MS1
        Alma Mater:
        Stanford University Biology
        Thesis Advisor: TBD
        PSTP Advisor: TBD
        Graduate Group: TBD

        Niraj Punjya’s research interests include using gene therapeutics to treat genetic disorders. His previous research experiences involved developing gene­editing technologies to study myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1) in the Porteus lab at Stanford University. He is fascinated with the field of genome engineering and its promise to bring these technologies into a clinical setting to treat genetic diseases. At UC Davis, he to do his first research rotations with Dr. Jan Nolta or Dr. David Segal.


    • Selected Publications

      • Huang, N. F. et al. The modulation of endothelial cell morphology, function, and survival using anisotropic nanofibrillar collagen scaffolds. Biomaterials 34, 4038–4047 (2013).


        Hendel, A. et al. Quantifying genome-editing outcomes at endogenous loci with SMRT sequencing. Cell Rep. 7, 293–305 (2014).


        Hendel, A., Fine, E. J., Bao, G. & Porteus, M. H. Quantifying on- and off-target genome editing. Trends Biotechnol. 33, 132–140 (2015).


  • Anna Sadovnikova 
    • About Anna Sadovnikova, M.P.H., M.A. 
      • Anna Sadovnikova, M.P.H., M.A. – MS1
        Alma Mater: M.P.H. 2015 University of Michigan, Ann Arbor School of Public Health (Human Nutrition)
        M.A. 2015 University of Michigan, Ann Arbor - Russian, Eastern European, and Eurasian Studies
        B.A. 2013 University of California, Berkeley - Comparative Literature, Molecular and Cell Biology
        Thesis Advisor: Carolyn Chantry
        PSTP Advisor: Lars Berglund
        Graduate Group: Nutritional Biology

        Anna is interested in breastfeeding, human donor milk banking, and maternal and child health promotion and education. For her master's thesis, she wrote about a forgotten model of milk banking from the turn of the 20th century in Russia and compared it to various human donor milk (banking) models and policies in the United States today. 

        She is the Co-Founder and CEO of LiquidGoldConcept, LLC, a breastfeeding education and technology company. She co-founded this company in March 2014 after winning the Innovation in Action competition at the UMichigan School of Public Health. The mission of LiquidGoldConcept is to standardize breastfeeding education across the United States and to empower mothers to take control of their breastfeeding experience. 

        Anna loves eating and cooking, trail-running, exploring (eating in) new cities and countries with her fiancé, black coffee, singing, and meeting people.

        Abstracts, Publications, Posters, Presentations


        Sadovnikova, A. Koehler, S., Plott, J., Sanders, I. LiquidGoldConcept, LLC Lactation Simulation Model. South By Southwest Trade Show University of Michigan Booth. Austin, TX. March 2015. (Invited Exhibitor).


        Sadovnikova, A. LiquidGoldConcept, LLC Lactation Simulation Model. DATA360 Healthcare Informatics Conference. Dearborn, MI. March 2015. (Invited Exhibitor).


        Sadovnikova, A. How a month in Brazil changed how I think about health and health care in the United States. University of Michigan-Platform Symposium. November 2014 (Invited Speaker).


        Sadovnikova, A. Human Donor Milk Banking in North America and Brazil. University of Michigan School of Public Health Department of Environmental Health Sciences Poster Presentation. November 2014 (Poster). *Honorable Mention


        Goodrich J, Basu N, Franzblau A, Kochmanski J, Sadovnikova A, Chou Hwai-Nan, Dolinoy D. Mercury Exposure, DNA Methylation, and Cardiometabolic Risk. International Society for Environmental Epidemiology Meeting. August 2014 (Abstract).


        Goodrich J, Basu N, Franzblau A, Kochmanski J, Sadovnikova A, Chou Hwai-Nan, Dolinoy D. The Influence of Mercury Exposure on the Epigenome and Cardiometabolic Risk. Association for Clinical and Translational Science Meeting. April 2014 (Abstract).


        Ford B, Broughton A, Winje N, Sadovnikova A, Johnson D. An Enterprise Integration Application for Chemical Information and for Tools for Green Chemistry Initiatives. Society of Toxicology Meeting. March 2014 (Abstract).


        Sadovnikova A. Lymphatic Vessel Growth in the Conjunctiva in Response to CornealInflammation. University of California, Berkeley Molecular and Cell Biology Honors PosterPresentation. April 2012 (Poster).


        Ecoiffier T, Sadovnikova A, Yuen D, Chen L. Conjunctival lymphatic response to cornealinflammation. J. Ophthalmol. 2012; 2012:953187.


        Yuen D, Leu R, Sadovnikova A, Chen L. Increased lymphangiogenesis and hemangiogenesisin infant cornea. Lym. Res. Biol. 2011; 9:109-11


  • Annica Stull-Lane 
    • About Annica Stull-Lane 


        Annica Stull-Lane – MS1
        Alma Mater:
        Oberlin College
        Thesis Advisor: Renee Tsolis
        PSTP Advisor: Jay V. Solnick
        Graduate Group:  Integrative Pathobiology

         Annica is fascinated by our microbial world, from the commensal microbiome to pathogens of infectious disease. Microbiological laboratory research became her passion over time through work and research during her liberal arts education at Oberlin College, via a postbaccalaureate APHL/CDC Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratory Fellowship, and at a startup biotech position. Annica is excited to train at UC Davis, furthering this work that will guide her towards her career goal: to serve as a physician-scientist who heads an academic lab; teaches and mentors; and collaborates with scientists, physicians and patients. She is interested in studying infectious diseases of global and public health importance, elucidating molecular mechanisms of disease, and addressing complex health problems through the One Health approach. In the clinic, Annica values working with underserved populations, improving health outcomes through teamwork and dedication. Ultimately she looks forward to collaborating with creative thinkers to alleviate health disparities through discovery. Apart from her clinical and research interests, Annica enjoys hiking, cooking, and singing.




        Delisle J, Mendell NL, Stull-Lane A, Bloch KC, Bouyer DH, Moncayo AC. Human Infections by Multiple Spotted Fever Group Rickettsiae in Tennessee. The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. 2016;94(6):1212-1217.

        Baumblatt JAG, Dunn JR, Schaffner W, Moncayo AC, Stull-Lane A, Jones TF. An outbreak of bed bug infestation of an office building. Journal of Environmental Health. 2014;76(8):16-18.


        Patterson JL, Stull-Lane A, Girerd PH, Jefferson KK. Analysis of adherence, biofilm formation and cytotoxicity suggests a greater virulence potential of Gardnerella vaginalis relative to other bacterial-vaginosis- associated anaerobes. Microbiology. 2010;156(Pt 2):392-399.


        Doss C, Goddard L, Stull-Lane A, Chenault K, Erickson K, Moerman D, Allen T. Importance in the powerstroke of interaction between the relay helix and helix HQ of myosin. Biophysical Journal. 2009;96(3, Supplement 1):493a.


  • Andrew Wong
    • About Andrew Wong
      • Andrew Wong

        Andrew Wong – MS3
        Alma Mater:
        Stanford University
        Thesis Advisor: Katherine Ferrara
        PSTP Advisor: Katherine Ferrara
        Graduate Group: Biomedical Engineering

        Research Project:  My research project is in image guided drug delivery, using imaging to study and facilitate the targeting of drug carrying nanoparticles to their site of action.

  • Lillian Zhang 
    • About Lillian Zhang 

        Lillian Zhang – GS1
        Alma Mater: UCLA
        Thesis Advisor: Andreas Baumler
        PSTP Advisor: Richard Harper
        Graduate Group: Immunology


        Leung TH , Zhang LF, Wang J, Ning S, Knox SJ, Kim SK.Topical hypochlorite ameliorates NF-κB-mediated skin diseases in mice. J Clin Invest. 2013.


        Chan CK, Lindau P, Jiang W, Chen JY, Zhang LF, Chen CC, Seita J, Sahoo D, Kim JB, Lee A, Park S, Nag D, Gong Y, Kulkarni S, Luppen CA, Theologis AA, Wan DC, DeBoer A, Seo EY, Vincent-Tompkins JD, Loh K, Walmsley GG, Kraft DL, Wu JC, Longaker MT, Weissman IL. Clonal precursor of bone, cartilage, and hematopoietic niche stromal cells. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013.