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Molecular & Cell Biology & Genetics (MCBG) Students & Alumni

Meet Our Students & Alumni

Jill Lawrence, Molecular and Cell Biology and Genetics Program

Jill Lawrence

"Whatever it is you decide to pursue, make sure it is something that you genuinely find fascinating and exciting. Of course you won't feel that way 100% of the time, but the topic should be something that, at the end of the day, you're proud to be focusing on." Read more about Jill.

Andrew Matamoros, Molecular and Cell Biology and Genetics Program

Andrew Matamoros

"For me, the transition into the Drexel environment was really amazing in terms of, first and foremost, the students. They treated me just like I was in there with them, even though I had come through the Bridge program. We would band together, study together and visit each other's labs. It was really welcoming. I think that opened up this idea of collaboration. I started to meet other students' PIs and talk about what kind of work they were doing. There was a sense of connectedness that I found very encouraging. I knew Drexel was the right place for me." Read more about Andrew.

Kelly Whelan, Molecular and Cell Biology and Genetics Program Alum

Kelly Whelan

"In graduate school, it's a time for you to grow. You're trying to grow into who you're going to be, and that doesn't necessarily always jive with what your mentor wants for you, but Mauricio was a fantastic mentor. When I finished at Drexel and was looking for jobs, I had opportunities to become a full-time teacher and I had postdoctoral opportunities. He was the person who really advised me to do a postdoc. I went on to do a postdoc at the University of Pennsylvania with Drs. Hiroshi Nakagawa and Anil Rutsgi, two fantastic mentors, and it was incredibly successful." Read more about Kelly.

Niyant Shah, Molecular & Cell Biology & Genetics Program

Niyant Shah

"I would say I developed a whole gamut of skills during my time in the program. The most obvious skills would be the ones I developed at the lab-bench. Prior to my time in the program, I had very little lab-bench experience; afterward I felt I could confidently work in any molecular biology lab." Read more about Niyant.

Alumni News

Jasmine Peake, PhD

Jasmine Peake, PhD
MCBG 2020, Dissertation mentor: Eishi Noguchi, PhD, Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Jasmine was accepted into the highly competitive PennPORT (Penn-Postdoctoral Opportunities in Research and Teaching Program). This program is funded by the National Institutes of Health to train future investigators and educators. She is currently conducting her postdoctoral research at University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in the lab of Eric J. Brown, PhD. She uses biochemical approaches and mass spectrometry to identify predictive biomarkers for cancer treatment. As a part of her PennPORT fellowship, Jasmine is currently appointed as an adjunct faculty member at Lincoln University, where she teaches Cell Biology (BIO207). Her goal is to become a tenured faculty member at a Historically Black College or University (HBCU).

Yu-Hung Huang, PhD

Yu-Hung Huang, PhD
MCBG 2016, Dissertation mentor: Janet Sawicki, PhD, Lankenau Institute for Medical Research
Yu-Hung is a principal scientist at Rockland Immunochemicals. He leads a team to develop critical reagents and assays for immunodetection of host cell protein (HCP) as well as contaminants that are left behind during the purification process of biopharmaceuticals from expression hosts, such as bacteria, insect, yeast and mammalian cells.

Alexandra Guffey, MS

Alexandra Guffey, MS
MCBG 2020, Mentor: Patrick J. Loll, PhD, Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Alex is a lead medical writer at Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson. She supports development of publications in the immunology therapeutic area. Alex aims to continue refining her writing skills and leveraging her scientific background to deliver high-quality scientific communications to the wider medical community.

Mariana Gadaleta, PhD

Mariana Gadaleta, PhD
MCBG 2015, Dissertation mentor: Dr. Eishi Noguchi: Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Mariana recently obtained a Scientist position at Illumina Inc. As part of the Core Consumables Product Development group, she supports the development of new analysis tools used in the leading edge of genomics research. Mariana works with multi-disciplinary teams leading design improvements to reagents and consumables used in all of Illumina’s sequencing platforms.

Jessica Casciano, PhD

Jessica Casciano, PhD
MCBG 2015, Dissertation mentor: Dr. Michael Bouchard: Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Jessica is a Licensing Officer at University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. She works with investigators in the School of Medicine and supports all activities related to technology commercialization. These activities include identifying, evaluating, protecting, and marketing technologies with commercial potential. Jessica also negotiates license agreements for intellectual property and facilitates the establishment of research collaborations with industry.

Christina Ferrer, PhD

Christina Ferrer, PhD
MCBG 2015, Dissertation mentor: Dr. Mauricio Reginato: Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Christina was awarded a NIH K99/R00 training fellowship to continue her training as Instructor at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School. Christina is studying role of glutathione S-transferase theta 1 in metastatic maintenance and self-renewal in pancreatic cancers.

Justin Cohen, PhD candidate in the Molecular and Cell Biology and Genetics program.

Justin Cohen, PhD, an MCBG graduate (2018, dissertation mentor: Dr. Claudio Torres, Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine) was awarded the Chris Carrino Foundation for FSHD (facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy) postdoctoral fellowship to conduct his postdoctoral research at Yale University School of Medicine. In addition, Justin received a Muscular Dystrophy Association development grant of $140,000 in conjunction with the Carrino Fellowship to study potential therapeutics to treat FSHD. Learn more about Justin's MDA award.

Kelly Whelan, PhD, Molecular and Cell Biology and Genetics PhD graduate

Kelly Whelan, PhD, an MCBG graduate, has accepted the position of assistant professor of pathology and laboratory Medicine at Temple University School of Medicine. Kelly did her dissertation work under the guidance of Dr. Mauricio Reginato, Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology.

Niyant Shah, graduate of the Molecular and Cell Biology and Genetics program.

Niyant Shah, MS, an MCBG graduate, currently holds the role of senior scientist at GlaxoSmithKline, where he is part of a team developing novel small molecule inhibitors of epigenetic targets to treat cancer. Niyant did his MS work under the guidance of Dr. Eishi Noguchi, Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology.

A Molecular & Cell Biology & Genetics program graduate student working in a laboratory at Drexel University College of Medicine.