Center for Diabetes and Endocrine Research (CeDER)

TRAINEES ARCHIVE

Students who have earned their graduate degrees since the establishment of CeDER in January 2006

Khew-Voon Chin, PhD
Rudel Saunders, PhD – 2009
Maria Szkudlarek, PhD – 2010

Marcia F. McInerney, PhD
Michael Morran, PhD – 2006
Nirdesh Gupta, PhD – 2008
Lindsey Alexander, PhD – 2009

Nikolai N. Modyanov, PhD, DSc.
Rossen Radkov - 2007

Sonia M. Najjar, PhD
Sang Jun Lee, PhD – 2007
Qusai Al-Share, PhD – 2007
Anthony DeAngelis, PhD – 2009
Garrett Heinrich, PhD – 2010
Thomas Bowman, PhD – 2010
Kelly Ledford, PhD – 2010
Jehnan Liu, PhD – 2010
Payal Patel, PhD – 2010
Sumona Ghosh, PhD – 2012
Sadeesh Ramakrishnan – 2012

Bridget Gallagher (MSBS – 2007)
Andrea Kim (MSBS – 2010)

Edwin R. Sanchez, PhD
Irene Wolf, Ph.D – 2007
Ananya Banerjee, PhD – 2007
Manya Warrier, PhD – 2008
Terry D. Hinds, Jr. PhD - 2010

Cynthia M. Smas, D. Sc
Salvatore Frangiamore (MSBS – 2007)
Shengli Zhou (MS – 2008)
Yu Wu, PhD – 2009
Jun Ho Lee, PhD – 2009
Kun Lui, PhD – 2010

Stanislaw M Stepkowski, PhD
Georgialina Rodrige, PhD – 2009
Hanyien Cheng, PhD – 2006
Jeremy Ross, PhD – 2009
Kedryn Baskin, PhD – 2010

Beata Lecka-Czernik, PhD
Sima Rahman, PhD - 2011, Sima has also joined Dr. Beata Lecka-Czernik lab as a post-doctoral fellow.
Vipula Petluru, PhD - 2011

Guillermo Vazquez, PhD

Faten Smiley, MS – 2009
Kathryn Smedlun, PhD - 2012


October 25/26, 2010: Terry Hinds attends National Graduate Student Research Festival:

Congratulations to Terry Hinds who was one of 200 graduate students selected to present a poster at the Fifth Annual NIH National Graduate Student Research Festival held on October 25-26, 2010 on the main campus of the NIH in Bethesda, MD. The NIH covered the costs of his round-trip travel to the Festival and his hotel lodging. One focus of the Festival is to introduce students to NIH investigators with whom they might want to pursue postdoctoral training. To facilitate the process the students are given access to the Festival Web site where they can review Postdoctoral project descriptions posted by NIH investigators specifically for Festival participants, Postdoctoral ads currently posted on the public NIH training Web site, and a searchable data base of all projects currently underway at the NIH. Terry was one of 10 students attending the Festival who was also invited by the Cancer, Genetics, and Signaling (CGS) Group at the National Cancer Institute-Frederick campus to apply for a newly created Postdoctoral Fellowship Program. Terry visited the NCI campus to give a presentation and interview on October 27-28. The CGS Group is composed of five Laboratories and 23 Principal Investigators whose research focuses on cancer biology, genetics, signaling, gene regulation, and development. The CGS Fellows Program seeks to attract talented postdoctoral fellows who are interested in independent research career tracks. Entry into the program is highly competitive and is limited to the most qualified candidates.

October 21, 2010:  Terry Hinds successfully defends his dissertation:
Congratulations to Terry Hinds who successfully defended his dissertation October 21.  The title of his dissertation is Protein Phosphatase 5 and Glucocorticoid Receptor beta in Glucocorticoid Resistance and Obesity and his major advisor was Dr. Eddie Sanchez, Professor of Physiology and Pharmacology.  Terry is currently continuing his project in Dr. Sanchez lab.
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July 9, 2010:  Payal Patel successfully defends her dissertation
Congratulations to Payal Patel who successfully defended her dissertation July 9. 
The title of her dissertation is A Role for CEACAM2 in Insulin Homeostasis and Action and her major advisor was Dr. Sonia Najjar, Professor and Director of the Center for Diabetes and Endocrine Research (CeDER).  The picture below shows Payal with her advisory committee members and graduate faculty representative Dr. Jennifer Hill). Payal has accepted a postdoctoral position in Dr. Jason Kim's lab at University of Massachusetts Medical School.

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June 4, 2010: College of Medicine Graduation Held at the Peristyle:
Twelve students in the CVMD track graduated June 4 with PhD or MS degrees.
The graduation ceremony was held in the beautiful Peristyle theater in the Toledo Museum of Art.
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Graduating students and their major Advisors: 
Gargi Roy Bhrigu, PhD; (Robert Wang, PhD)
Thomas A. Bowman, PhD; (Sonia Najjar, PhD)
Garrett Heinrich, PhD; (Sonia Najjar, PhD)
Kelly J. Ledford, PhD; (Sonia Najjar, PhD)
Jehnan Liu, PhD; (Sonia Najjar, PhD)
Shadi E. Oweis, PhD; (Joseph Shapiro, MD)
Payal Patel, PhD; (Sonia Najjar, PhD)
Rudel Saunders, PhD; (Khew-Voon Chin, PhD)
Anita Saxena, PhD; (Robert Wang, PhD)
Samuel Shephard, PhD; (Alexei Fedorov, PhD)
Maria Szkudlarek-Mikho, PhD; (Khew-Voon Chin, PhD)
Shadi Zahedi, MS; (David Giovannucci, PhD)

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Front row: Drs. Payal Patel, Kelly Ledford, Maria Szkudlarek and Jehnan Liu
Back Row: Sadeesh Ramakrishnan, and Drs. Rudel Saunders, Garrett Heinrich, Sonia Najjar, and Thomas Bowman
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Tom Bowman is awarded his Ph.D. with advisor Sonia Najjar, Ph.D.
Kelly Ledford is awarded her Ph.D. with advisor Sonia Najjar, Ph.D.

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Garrett Heinrich is congratulated by Dr. Jacobs after he is awarded his Ph.D. with advisor Sonia Najjar, Ph.D.


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Maria Szkudlarek is awarded her Ph.D. with advisor Khew-Voon Chin, Ph.D.
Payal Patel is awarded her Ph.D. with advisor Sonia Najjar, Ph.D.

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Anita Saxena, Rudel Saunders, Payal Patel and Shadi Oweis

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Rudel Saunders is awarded his Ph.D. with advisor Khew-Voon Chin, Ph.D.

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Dr. Sonia Najjar with her students Drs. Kelly Ledford and Tom Bowman

March 31, 2010:  Jehnan Liu successfully defends his dissertation

Congratulations to Jehnan Liu who successfully defended his dissertation March 31. The title of his dissertation is Mechanisms Underlying the Link Between Obesity and Neoplastic Progression and his major advisor was Dr. Sonia Najjar. Jehnan's advisory committee included Drs. Manohar Ratnam, Edwin Sanchez, Iman Mohamed, Kam Yeung, Steven Seman, Philip Conran and Cara Gatt0-Weiss. Jehnan who is an MD/PhD student will be beginning his clinical clerkship in June. We wish Jehnan the best in his future scientific and clinical endeavors.

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Manohar Ratnam, Jehnan Liu, Sonia Najjar, Ed Sanchez and Cara Gatto-Weiss

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March 30, 2010:  Thomas Bowman successfully defends his dissertation
Congratulations to Thomas Bowman who successfully defended his dissertation March 31. The title of his dissertation is Hepatic CEACAM-1 Protects Against Metabolic Abnormalities Associated with Metabolic Syndrome and his major advisor was Dr. Sonia Najjar. Tom showed that an early event associated with high-fat feeding is repression of CEACAM1 by a PPARα-mediated mechanism, and this leads to impaired insulin clearance prior to the development of a pro-inflammatory state. Moreover, he found that transgenic overexpression of CEACAM1 in liver prevents hyperinsulinemia and insulin resistance, and limits visceral obesity and the metabolic response to high-fat intake. Also, caloric restriction but not endurance training reverses hepatic insulin resistance and steatosis in rats with low aerobic capacity via CEACAM1 dependent pathways. Tom’s advisory committee included Raymond E. Bourey from the Dept. of Medicine; Sandrine Pierre and Beata Lecka-Czernik, Department of Physiology and Pharmacology; Maurice Manning, Department of Biochemistry and Cancer Biology. Tom will be carrying out his post-doctoral work in Dr. Najjar’s laboratory.

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Ray Bourey, Tom Bowman and Sonia Najjar 

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March 29, 2010:  Maria Szkudlarek-Mikho successfully defends her dissertation
Congratulations to Maria Szkudlarek who successfully defended her dissertation March 29. The title of her dissertation is Effects of Zfp68 and Pharmacological Inhibitors in Adipogenesis and her major advisor was Dr. Khew-Voon Chin, PhD from the Department of Biochemistry and Cancer Biology. Maria showed that ECPKA from conditioned media of cultured cancer cells inhibits angiogenesis, using the in utero chicken embryo chorioallantoic membrane assay. Maria also showed that zinc finger protein 68 is a repressor in the transcriptional regulation of adipogenesis. In addition, she found that polyether antibiotics inhibit adipogenesis, suggesting that these drugs and their analogs may be potential treatments of obesity. Maria’s advisory committee shown below after the exam included Dr. Sonia Najjar, Professor and Director of the Center for Diabetes and Endocrine Research (CeDER), Dr. Sandrine Pierre, Dept. of Physiology and Pharmacology, Dr. Ivana de la Serna, Dept. of Biochemistry and Cancer Biology , and Dr. Randall Worth, Dept. of Medical Microbiology and Immunology. (Dr. Randall Ruch, Dept. of Biochemistry and Cancer Biology served as the Graduate School Representative).

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 Drs. Randall Worth, Sonia Najjar, Ivana de la Serna,  Randall Ruch, Maria Szkudlarek, Sandrine Pierre and Khew-Voon Chin
March 26, 2010:  Kelly Ledford successfully defends her dissertation
Congratulations to Kelly Ledford who successfully defended her dissertation March 26. The title of her dissertation is Loss of CEACAM-1 in the Pathogenesis of Vascular Abnormalities Associated with Metabolic Syndrome and her major advisor was Dr. Sonia Najjar, Professor and Director of the Center for Diabetes and Endocrine Research (CeDER). Her committee included Dr. Samer Khouri, Dr. Sandrine Pierre, Dr. Guillermo Vazquez, and Dr. Cara Gatto-Weis.

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March 30/31, 2010 Annual Biomedical Science Graduate Research Forum
Sima Rahman was awarded the first place prize for her poster entitled B-Catenin Sequesters PPARg2 Pro-Adipocytic Activity at the Annual Research Forum and received a prize of $500. Her major advisor is Dr. Beata Lecka-Czernik of the Dept. of Orthopedic Surgery. Second place went to Mithun Khattar in the Immunity Infection and Transplantation (IIT) track and third place to Sanjeevani Arora in the Cancer Biology (CB) track of the Biomedical Science program. The Research Forum was held on March 30 and 31, 2010. This event is organized by the Council of Biomedical Graduate Students of the UT Health Science Campus and provides an opportunity for health science students to present their work to fellow students and faculty. Seventeen students in the CVMD track presented posters. Runners-up were Andy Yutein Chung (IIT), Venkata Dangeti (CB) and Srinivas Saladi (CB). The judges of the final six were Anna Mapp, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Chemistry at the University of Michigan. Dr. Mapp also presented the keynote address entitled “Catching Activators in the Act”.

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Dec 11, 2009:  Garrett Heinrich successfully defends his dissertation
Congratulations to Garrett Heinrich who successfully defended his dissertation December 11. The title of his dissertation is A Role for CEACAM Proteins in Energy Balance and Peripheral Insulin Action and his major advisor was Dr. Sonia Najjar, Professor and Director of the Center for Diabetes and Endocrine Research (CeDER). Using mice with null deletion of CEACAM genes, Garrett found that while CEACAM1 regulates insulin action by promoting insulin clearance in liver, CEACAM2, which is mostly expressed in the CNS, exerts a central control of insulin action in skeletal muscle by regulating the balance between feeding (or energy intake) and energy expenditure. Garrett’s studies included the finding that female mice lacking the CEACAM2 gene not only eat more but also use less energy with the consequence that they gain weight. Garrett’s advisory committee shown below after the exam included Silvana Obici, M.D. from the Dept. of Internal Medicine-Endocrinology at the University of Cincinnati, who during her visit gave a stimulating seminar on the Role of CB1 receptors in the control of energy metabolism. Garrett will be carrying out his post-doctoral work in the laboratory of Domenico Accili, M.D., in the Dept. of Medicine at Columbia University in New York City. We wish Garrett the best in his future scientific endeavors.
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 From left: Drs. Edwin Sanchez, Silvana Obici, Garrett Heinrich, Sonia Najjar, David Giovannucci, Guillermo Vazquez

October 15, 2009: Rudel Saunders successfully defends his dissertation
Congratulations to Rudel Saunders who successfully defended his dissertation October 15. The title of his dissertation is Characterization of the Anti-obesity and Anti-adipogenic Effects of the Limonoid Prieurianin his major advisor was Dr. Khew-Voon Chin, Associate Professor of Medicine, Biochemistry and Cancer Biology and Director of Genomic Medicine. The picture on the right shows Rudel with his mother after the Graduation Ceremony on June 4, 2010.

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Mary Ann Myers, M.D. wth Dr. Rudel Saunders and his mother

June 19, 2009: The 36th Annual Pharmacology Colloquium in Detroit. Terry Hinds presented a talk entitled:
"The discovery of glucocorticoid receptor beta in mice and its role in Insulin Signaling and Metabolism".

Terry Hinds was chosen for an oral talk under "Hot Topics in Physiology" at the Keystone Nuclear Receptors conference on March 21-26, 2010 in Keystone, Colorado.

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March 6, 2009: Yiliang Chen Receives Award for Best Poster Presentation at Graduate Research Forum
Congratulations to Yiliang Chen - selected as the 1st place winner at the 2009 Graduate Research Forum on the Health Science Campus. Yiliang, a CVMD PhD student working in the laboratory of Dr. Zi-Jian Xie, will receive $500. His poster was entitled Regulation of Intracellular Distribution of Cholesterol by the Na+/K+ ATPase.

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- Terry Hinds a PhD student in Dr. Edwin Sanchez's lab submitted his abstract "Expression of Glucocorticoid Receptor [beta] in mice and Its Potential Role to increase Lipid Storage and Insulin Sensitivity" to ENDO 2010 which was selected for one of the Endocrine Society Outstanding Abstract Award. This travel award is sponsored by the Endocrine Society in the amount of $500. The 92nd Annual Meeting & Expo will be held on June 19-22, 2010 in San Diego, California.

- Terry was awarded a Research Fellowship from the National Institute of Health. The proposal is entitled: "Fatty Acid Control Obesity and the Metabolic Syndrome via TPR Proteins". The two-year award is for $75,000, which includes a stipend and tuition, books and travel to scientific meetings.

- Terry was interviewed by Plugged-In which is a monthly series that explores the latest innovations in Technology and Research. Terry's interview is on genetic factors controlling obesity with special emphasis on Childhood Obesity and will air on WGTE PBS Channel 30, December 16, 2009 at 8:00 pm.

sumona  - Sumona Ghosh, PhD student in Dr. Sonia Najjar's lab submitted her abstract "Loss of Ceacam1 leads to the Development of Non-Alcoholic Steatohepatitis" to ENDO 2010 and it was accepted for a poster Presentation at the 92nd Annual Meeting & Expo, June 19-22, 2010 in San Diego, California.

- Sumona was also selected to attend the Endocrine Trainee Day at ENDO 2010. The workshop will be held at the San Diego Convention center. As a selected attendee Sumona will receive a $400 travel award and complimentary registration to ENDO 2010.
sadeesh  - Sadeesh Ramakrishnan, PhD student in Dr. Sonia Najjar's lab, submitted his abstract "Differential Transcriptional Regulation of CEACAM1 by Free Fatty Acids" to ENDO 2010 and it was selected for oral presentation at the 92nd Annual Meeting & Expo, June 19-22, 2010 in San Diego, California.

- Sadeesh was also selected to attend the Endocrine Trainee Day at ENDO 2010. The workshop will be held at the San Diego Convention Center. As a selected attendee Sadeesh will receive a $400 travel award and complimentary registration to ENDO 2010.
  - Dr. Thomas Bowman from Dr. DR. Najjar's lab submitted his abstract "CEACAM 1 Repression as an Obligate Step in the Development of Diet-Induced Insulin Resistance" to ENDO 2010 and it has been accepted for a poster Presentation at the 92nd Annual Meeting & Expo, June 19-22, 2010 in San Diego, California.

- Dr. Bowman was also elected to attend the Endocrine Trainee Day at ENDO 2010: The Endocrine Society's 92nd Annual meeting being held June 19-22, 2010 in San Diego, California. The workshop will be held in at the San Diego Convention center. As a selected attendee, Dr. Bowman will receive a $400 travel award and complimentary registration to ENDO 2010.

- Tom was selected as the CVMD track winner of the Satellite Scholarship Award
  - Dr. Eric Morgan, postdoctoral Fellow in Dr. Sonia Najjar's lab, was approved for funding by the Research Committee of the American Heart Association (AHA) of a GRA Spring 09 Postdoctoral Fellowship. The proposal is entitled: "The role of CEACAM1 in the Regulation of Cardiac Fatty Acid Metabolism" (7/1/2009 through 6/30/2011)
 maria Maria Szkudlarek, PhD student in Dr. Khew-Voon Chin's lab was awarded a Predoctoral Fellowship from Great Rivers Affiliate Research Committee of the American Heart Association (AHA), the application is entitled "Transcriptional Regulation of the Adipogenesis by Prieurianin" July 2008 - June 2010.
jehnan  Jehnan Liu, MD / PhD student in Dr. Najjar's lab was awarded the Physician Scientist Training Award from the American Diabetes Association for the Application, "CEACAM2: A Novel Mechanism of Diabetes Complications" July 2007 - June 2010.
- Sima Rahman, graduate student in Dr. Lecka-Czernik's lab received 1st place in the Student Research Forum for her poster "B-Catenin sequesters PPARgamma2 pro-adipoctic activity". She will receive $500 and a certificate. 
- Sima Rahman is selected for Oral Presentation at the OPS 2009 Meeting. The title of Sima's presentation is "B-Catenin Sequesters PPARy2 Pro-Adipocytic Activity"
- Sima is selected for Oral Presentation at the 31st Annual Meeting of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research in Denver, Colorado on September 11-24, 2009, the premier society of bone research. The title of her presentation: "bcatenin sequesters PPARg2 pro-adipocytic activity" by S. Rahma, P. Czernik, B. Lecka-Czerink.

shilong  Dr. Shilong Huang, postdoctoral in Dr. Lecka-Czernik lab will present a poster, selected for presentation during the Welcome Reception and the Plenary Poster Session at the 31st ASBMR meeting entitled "Estrogen deficiency augments TZD-induced bone loss and fat accumulation in bone in vivo" by S. Huang, S. Farhan, L.J. Suva, B. Lecka-Czernik.
Sang Jun Lee graduation, 2007

Sang Jun Lee graduation, "CEACAM1: A Common Regulator of Fat Metabolism and Cell Proliferation", 2007
 
Last Updated: 3/23/15