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Dissertation Defense

2023/2024 Defenses

Dora Obodo (Asiaee Lab)

A Statistical Framework to Quantify Biological Rhythms in Genome-Scale Data

John Cordoba (Chazin Lab)

Flexibility and distributive synthesis regulate RNA priming and handoff in human DNA polymerase-primase

Haley Stubbs (Iverson Lab)

Structural basis of o-sialoglycan recognition and selectivity in α2,3 selective streptococcal

Serine rich repeat adhesins and α2,6 linkage Specific bacterial sialyltransferases

Hope Woods (Meiler Lab)

Development of Frameworks for Computational Protein Structure Prediction Applications

Challenged by Limited Training Data

2022/2023 Defenses

Cody Heiser (Lau Lab)

Molecular Cartography Uncovers Evolutionary and Microenvironmental Dynamics in Sporadic Colorectal Tumors

Jonah Zarrow (Davies Lab)

The Development of Chemical Probes for Detecting and Modulating NAPE-PLD Activity

Lee Cantrell (Caprioli Lab)

Data-Independent Acquisition Mass Spectrometry Measurement of Protein Networks in the

Aging Human Lens and Lens Influx Pathways

Nicole Rodgers (Zanic Lab)

 Investigating the role of CLASPs in microtubule and actin filament interactions

Kavya Sharman (Caprioli Lab)

Heterogeneous Molecular Signatures in Staphylococcus Aureus Infection Assessed by Multimodal Imaging

Brennica Marlow (Meiler Lab)

 Deciphering the continuum of interactions between integral membrane proteins and cholesterol 

Shannon Smith (Meiler Lab)

Computational Efforts in Early-Stage Drug Discovery: A Use-Case Describing the Discovery and Optimization of Protease-Activated Receptor (PAR4) Antagonists

Steven Walker (Olivares Lab)

The ClpP peptidase grips a model protein substrate against external force

Vilma Jallinoja (Houghton Lab)

Host-guest chemistry pretargeted positron emission tomography

Emily Schmitz (Karakas Lab)

Analysis of the structural basis for the gating and regulation of the human type 3 Inositol Trisphosphate Receptor


2022 Defenses

Sean Devan-Xu Lab

Cell Size-Selective MRI for Characterizing Brain Lesions

Spencer Waddle-Donahue Lab

Non-Invasive Function MRI Methods for Measuring Cerebral Metabolism in Patients with Cerebrovascular Disease

Ben Brown-Meiler Lab

Intergration of ligand-and structure-based cheminformatics tools with protein dynamic modeling for drug design

Sara Maddox Groves-Quaranta Lab

Network control of cell identity and plasticity in Small Cell Lung Cancer

Alexandria Oviatt-Osheroff Lab

A Tale of Two Poisons: Overcoming deleterious anticancer side effects and antibacterial resistance

Geena Ildefonso-Quaranta Lab

A Systems Biology Approach to Modeling Signaling Crosstalk in Cell Fate Decisions

Bob Chen-Ken Lau Lab

Tumorigenic Metaplasia in Colorectal Cancer Delineated Through Applied Systems Theory


2021 Defenses

James Hutchison -Chuck Sanders Lab

Advanced techniques for the study of membrane proteins in complex and native lipid environments

Diego del Alamo-Mchaourab and Meiler Labs

Integrative modeling of secondary active transporters

Emily J.  Ross-Cox Lab

Three dimensional modeling of biologically relevant fluid shear stress in human renal tubule cells mimics in vivo transcriptional profiles

Oscar Ortega-Lopez Lab

Analysis and visualization of signal execution in network-driven biological processes

Ben Reisman-Bachmann Lab

Studies on the Mechanism of Action of Selectively Cytotoxic Glycosylated Polyketides

Tony Phipps- Caskey Lab

Safe and Accurate Targeting for Transcranial Focused Ultrasound

2020 Defenses

Lauren Salay-Chazin Lab

Investigation of the Role of Iron-Sulfur Clusters in Polymerase Alpha Primase

Alexander Thiemicke-Neuert Lab

The effect of temporally variable environments on molecular changes in human cells

Austin Oleskie-Rericha Lab

A Stochastic, Molecular Model of Non-small Cell Lung Cancer Fate Decision

Michael Pridmore-Dortch Lab

Multiparametric MRI of Neurodegeneration in the Peripheral Nervous System

Andrew Morris-Ren Lab

Cellular mRNA export factor UAP56 recognizes nucleic acid binding site of influenza virus NP protein

James Pino-Lopez Lab

Mechanism extraction from multi-omic, multiple timepoint data to single cell mechanistic simulations: Modeling drug perturbations at multiple resolutions

Selena Chacon-Fesik Lab

Small molecule inhibitors of the WDR5-MYC interaction

Kevin Jagesar-Mchaourab Lab

Structural Dynamics of H+/Drug Antiport in a Archaeal MATE Transporter

Andrea Perreault- Venters Lab

Understanding Epo-dependent Enhancer-Promoter Interactions in the

Regulation of Erythroid Gene Expression

Abigail Searfoss-Creanza Lab

Harnessing the power of citizen-science data to student the spatiotemporal patterns of birdsong

Jason Ostenson-Damon Lab

Magnetic Resonance Fingerprinting for Rapid Quantitative Imaging of the Liver

Ian Setliff- Georgiev Lab

High-resolution interrogation of antibody repertories using next-generation sequencing

Marion Sauer-Meiler & Crowe Labs

Using protein flexibility to model viral gylcoprotein mutation tolerances and sites of vulnerability


2019 Defenses

Christian Meyer-Quaranta Lab

A Consensus Framework for Measuring Drug Synergy

Kalen Petersen-Donahue Lab

Neurologic Insights from Structural and Functional Connectivity

Alberto Cisneros-Crowe Lab

Role of antibody heavy and light chain interface residues in affinity maturation of binding to HIV envelope  glycoprotein


2018 Defenses

Erin Shockley-Lopez Lab

Biochemical Reaction Networks from a Systems Biology Perspective

Marilyn Holt-Chazin Lab

Contributions to template priming from the human DNA primase [4Fe4S] cluster domain

Alex Sevy- Crowe Lab

Engineering cross-reactivity in the antibody response to influenza and HIV

Sanjay Mishra-Mchaourab Lab

Molecular model of αB-crystallin function in the transparency of the eye lens and stress resistance of the heart

Vandiver Chaplin-Caskey Lab

Precision and Selectivity: New Techniques in Image Guided Focused Ultrasound

Charles Herring-Lau Lab

Cell Fate Relationships Mapped by p-Creode Trajectory Analysis of Single-Cell Data

David Earl-Bachmann Lab

Cell Subset Targeting of Glycosylated Polyketides Revealed by Multiplexed Phenotypic Screening of Natural Product Fraction Libraries and Bioengineered Analogs

2017 Defenses

Bishal Paudel-Quaranta Lab

Understanding Drug Response Dynamics in BRAF-Mutated Melanoma Cells

Yan Xia-Meiler Lab

Integrated Structural Biology for Understanding Membrane Proteins: A TSPO Story

Jennifer Morgan Watchmaker-Donahue Lab

Intracranial Hemodynamic Compensation Mechanisms in Patients with Cerebrovascular Disease

Chrystal Ama Rhea Starbird-Iverson Lab

Structural insights into the role of assembly factors in the assembly, function and flavinylation of Complex II

Joe W.  Alvin-Lacy Lab

Structural and functional studies of large clostridial toxin glucosyltransferase domains

Michela Fooska -Meiler Lab

MS thesis-Op8miza8on of BCL::Fold for Protein Folding de novo and with Cryo-EM Restraints

Pooja Guar- Grissom Lab

Advancements in MRI Temperature Map Reconstruction for Real-Time Guidance of Thermal Therapies

Aliya Gifford-Welch Lab

MRI Characterization  of Brown Adipose Tissue in Adult Humans with Validation by PET-­‐CT

BettyAnn Chodkowski-Niswender and Cowan Lab

Brain Functional Connectivity and Childhood Obesity

Brendan Dutter-Sulkowski Lab

Chemical Biology of Bacterial Metal Acquisition and Homeostasis

Pedro M. Garcia Barrantes-Lindsley Lab

Total Synthesis of Gombamide A and Actnophenanthroline A.
Discovery, Optmiztion and Characterization of Novel Positive Allosteric Modulators for the Metabotropic
Glutamate Receptor Subtype 1.

Samuel DeLuca-Meiler Lab

“Development of Novel Methods for Computational Protein Design and Protein-Ligand Docking”


Kallie Stavros-Stone Lab

Sequence Dependence of the Food Mutagen 2-amino-3-methylimidazo-[4,5-f] quinolone in the Narl Recognition by Solution NMR



Christopher Jarrett- Gore Lab

Physical Basis of Acousto-Optical Imaging



Stephanie Hirst Deluca- Meiler Lab

Protein Structure Elucidation by Combining Computational and Experimental Methods




Congratulations to Patrick Gentry, who successfully defended his PhD dissertation on July 15, 2014.

“Discovery, Optimization, and Characterization of Novel Subtype-Selective M5 Muscarinic Acetylcholine Receptor Ligands”

​Laboratory of Craig Lindsley


Congratulations to Tara Archuleta, who successfully defended her PhD dissertation on May 13, 2014.

“From Gatekeeper to Effector: A Structural and Functional Analysis of the Multifaceted Clamydial Protein, CopN”

Laboratory of Ben Spiller


Congratulations to Sonja Brooks, who successfully defended her PhD dissertation on April 22, 2014.

“Biochemical Characterization of the DMA Glycosylase DEMETER”

Laboratory of Brandt Eichman


Congratulations to Capt. Stephen Hummel, USA, who successfully defended his MS thesis on April 22, 2014.

“Single Cell Tracking and Integer Programming”

Laboratory of Vito Quaranta


Congratulations to Lewis Kraft, who successfully defended his PhD dissertation on April 18, 2014.

“Investigating the Emergent Properties of an Autophagy Protein in Living Cells”

Laboratory of Anne Kenworthy


Congratulations to Jordan Willis, who successfully defended his PhD dissertation on March 27, 2014.

Rational Antibody Design: From Mechanisms of Specificity to Novel Vaccine Strategies”

Laboratories of Jens Meiler and James Crowe


Congratulations to Ghazal Hariri, who successfully defended her PhD dissertation on March 12, 2014.

Development, Optimization, and Evaluation of Tumor-Specific Nanosponge Drug Delivery Systems as Chemotherapeutics”

Laboratory of Eva Harth


Congratulations to Brittney Bates, who successfully defended her MS thesis on December 19, 2013.

Laboratory of Craig Lindsley

Congratulations to Nick Adams, who successfully defended his PhD dissertation on October 24, 2013.

“Development of Simple Methods for RNA Biomarker Extraction and Detection”

Laboratories of Rick Haselton and David Wright


Congratulations to Kelly Kazmier, who successfully defended her PhD dissertation on November 15, 2013.

“Mechanistic Diversity of the Leut Fold Structural Superfamily”

Laboratory of Hassane Mchaourab


Congratulations to Liz Dong Nguyen, who successfully defended her PhD dissertation on June 17, 2013.

“Structural Studies of the Interaction between mGlu5 and Allosteric Modulators”

Laboratory of Jens Meiler


Congratulations to Matthew Deeley, who successfully defended his PhD dissertation on June 12, 2013.

“The benefit of automatic segmentation of intracranial organs at risk in radiation therapy: a multi-rater behavioral investigation”

Laboratories of Charles Coffey and Benoit Dawant


Congratulations to JT Brogan, who successfully defended his PhD dissertation on May 8, 2013.

“Total Synthesis and Biological Evaluation of Alkaloid Natural Products (+)-7 Bromotrypargine and Phidianidines A & B and the Development of a Novel Class of Positive Allosteric Modulators of the Metabotropic Glutamate Receptor Subtype 1”

Laboratory of Craig Lindsley