Recent PhD Dissertations

PhD Program Academics Recent PhD Dissertations
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PhD Program Academics Recent PhD Dissertations

Completing and defending a doctoral dissertation at NYU School of Medicine’s Sackler Institute of Graduate Biomedical Sciences represents the culmination of your scholarly work in our PhD program.

Past doctoral dissertation titles from PhD candidates may help you find potential research topics of interest and identify a thesis advisor.

2016-2017 Doctoral Dissertation Topics

Omotayo Arowojolu

“A Role for the Antioxidant and Unfolded Protein Responses in Vitiligo Onset”
Thesis Advisor: Seth J. Orlow, MD, PhD
Training Program: Molecular Pharmacology

Artur Belov

“Deciphering the Molecular Bases Underlying Fibroblast Growth Factors-Fibroblast Growth Factors Receptor Signaling Specificity and Diversity”
Thesis Advisor: Moosa Mohammadi, PhD
Training Program: Molecular Biophysics

Sam Benezra

“Anatomy of a Forebrain Circuit Enabling Zebra Finch Song Production”
Thesis Advisor: Michael A. Long, PhD
Training Program: Neuroscience and Physiology

Stephen Berger

“A Novel Myosin Scaffold Contributes to Axon Initial Segment Assembly and Distribution During Development and Plasticity”
Thesis Advisor: James Salzer, MD, PhD
Training Program: Neuroscience and Physiology

Nicolin Bloch

SAMHD1 Restriction of HIV-1 Replication: Mechanism and Regulation”
Thesis Advisor: Nathaniel Landau, PhD
Training Program: Microbiology

Nadine Bode

“Mechanisms of Gene Expression Through Homologous Fimbria-Associated Transcriptional Regulators in Proteus Mirabilis
Thesis Advisor: Melanie Pearson, PhD
Training Program: Microbiology

Julia Brandt

“Genetic Mechanisms Required for the Development of the CO2 Chemosensory Neurons of Caenorhabditis Elegans
Thesis Advisor: Niels Ringstad, PhD
Training Program: Neuroscience and Physiology

Erwin Cabrera

“Alzheimer’s Amyloid Beta Heterogeneity: Insights Into Brain Clearance Mechanisms and the Process of Amyloidogenesis”
Thesis Advisors: Jorge Ghiso, PhD, and Agueda Rostagno, PhD
Training Program: Pathobiology and Translational Medicine

David Cantor

“Regulation of Hematopoietic Differentiation by the Chromatin Modifiers Sin3B and Bmi1”
Thesis Advisor: Gregory David, PhD
Training Program: Molecular Oncology and Tumor Immunology

Gang Chen

“From Surface Loop Coil to Dipole Antenna: Radiofrequency Coil Designs Inspired by Ideal Current Patterns for High-Sensitivity MRI at High Magnetic Field Strength”
Thesis Advisors: Christopher M. Collins, PhD, and Daniel K. Sodickson, MD
Training Program: Biomedical Imaging

Devon Chenette

“AU-Rich Element RNA-Binding Factor 1 (AUF1) Promotes Skeletal Muscle Integrity Through Post-Transcriptional Control in Satellite Cell Activation and Differentiation”
Thesis Advisor: Robert Schneider, PhD
Training Program: Cellular and Molecular Biology

Barbara Fontanals Cirera

“Role of Bromodomain and Extra-terminal (BET) Proteins in Melanoma Pathogenesis”
Thesis Advisor: Eva Hernando-Monge, PhD
Training Program: Molecular Oncology and Tumor Immunology

Samuel Cohen

“Signaling to the Nucleus in Excitatory and Inhibitory Neurons”
Thesis Advisor: Richard Tsien, PhD
Training Program: Neuroscience and Physiology

Colleen Rose Courtney

“Investigating Neutralizing Antibody Responses in Diverse HIV-1 African Infections in Yaoundé, Cameroon”
Thesis Advisors: Ralf Duerr, MD, PhD, and Susan Zolla-Pazner, PhD
Training Program: Microbiology

Rémi-Xavier Coux

“Characterization of Mechanisms Maintaining Soma and Germline-Specific Gene Expression”
Thesis Advisor: Ruth Lehmann, PhD
Training Program: Stem Cell Biology

John Dankert

“CRL-mediated Degradation of the Stem-loop Binding Protein”
Thesis Advisor: Michele Pagano, MD
Training Program: Molecular Oncology and Tumor Immunology

Victoria Fang

“Oh, the Places a Lymphocyte Goes: Sphingolipid Transporter 2-Regulated Sphingosine-1-Phosphate Gradients in Immune Responses”
Thesis Advisor: Susan R. Schwab, PhD
Training Program: Immunology and Inflammation

Tenzin Gocha

“Small Biologics-Mediated Manipulation of Cell Signaling Pathways”
Thesis Advisor: Ramanuj Dasgupta, PhD
Training Program: Molecular Pharmacology

Jesse Handler

“Transforming Growth Factor Beta Stimulates Proliferation and Induces Dedifferentiation of KrasG12D Pancreas Cells”
Thesis Advisor: Dafna Bar-Sagi, PhD
Training Program: Molecular Oncology and Tumor Immunology

Ching-Shin Huang

“Crystal Structure of the Potassium Importing KdpFABC Membrane Complex”
Thesis Advisor: David L. Stokes, PhD
Training Program: Molecular Biophysics

Jordan Jastrab

“A Bacterial Proteasome Activator Involved in the Stress Response and Virulence of Mycobacterium Tuberculosis
Thesis Advisor: Heran Darwin, PhD
Training Program: Microbiology

Korey Kam

“The Role of Neuronal Hyperexcitability in a Mouse Model of Alzheimer's Disease Neuropathology”
Thesis Advisor: Helen Scharfman, PhD
Training Program: Neuroscience and Physiology

Diana Klompstra

“Determining the Role of the Cell Adhesion Molecule E-Cadherin in Contact-Mediated Cell Polarization”
Thesis Advisor: Jeremy Nance, PhD
Training Program: Developmental Genetics

Georg Kosche

“The Role of Synaptic Inhibition in the Learning and Execution of a Premotor Neural Sequence”
Thesis Advisor: Michael A. Long, PhD
Training Program: Neuroscience and Physiology

Zachary Kurtz

“Methods for High Dimensional Compositional Data Analysis with Applications to Microbiome Survey Studies”
Thesis Advisors: Martin Blaser, MD, and Richard Bonneau, PhD
Training Program: Microbiology

Jennifer Lee

“A Novel Role for Abelson Tyrosine-Protein Kinase 2: Characterization of ABL2 in Regulating Myoblast Proliferation and Muscle Fiber Length”
Thesis Advisor: Steven Burden, PhD
Training Program: Neuroscience and Physiology

Abba Leffler

“Discovery of Peptide Ligands Using a New Docking Algorithm Applied to Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor Homology Models”
Thesis Advisor: Bernardo Rudy, MD, PhD
Training Program: Neuroscience and Physiology

Shoshana Leffler

“A Mathematical Model of Cerebellum Development”
Thesis Advisors: Charles S. Peskin, PhD, and Daniel H. Turnbull, PhD
Training Program: Developmental Genetics

Gabriel Lutz

“A Herpesviral Ubiquitin Ligase Activates Expression of a Specific Host miRNA Cluster by Degrading ZEB Transcriptional Repressors”
Thesis Advisor: Angus C. Wilson, PhD
Training Program: Cellular and Molecular Biology

Mariela Mitre

“Oxytocin in the Young and Adult Mouse Brain: Receptors and Function”
Thesis Advisors: Moses Chao, PhD, and Robert Froemke, PhD
Training Program: Neuroscience and Physiology

Aram Modrek

“Astrocytoma Mutations IDH1, P53, and ATRX Cooperate to Block Differentiation of Neural Stem Cells via Epigenetic Silencing of SOX2”
Thesis Advisor: Dimitris Plancantonakis, MD, PhD
Training Program: Molecular Oncology and Tumor Immunology

Matthew Murphy

“Wnt Pathway Regulates Expression of Oncogenes and Tumor-Suppressor Genes to Modulate Growth of Colorectal Cancer”
Thesis Advisor: Ramanuj Dasgupta, PhD
Training Program: Stem Cell Biology

Danielle Nagelberg

“Origin, Specification and Plasticity of the Great Vessels of the Heart”
Thesis Advisor: Holger Knaut, PhD
Training Program: Developmental Genetics

Karen Ong

“A Mathematical Model of Bacterial Colonization in Hospital Units and the Effect of Long-Stay Patients”
Thesis Advisor: Charles S. Peskin, PhD
Training Program: Computational Biology

Lisa Ploch

“Role of MicroRNA-125a in Melanoma BRAF Inhibitor Resistance”
Thesis Advisor: Eva Hernando-Monge, PhD
Training Program: Molecular Oncology and Tumor Immunology

Deepshika Ramanan

“Mechanisms of Nucleotide-Binding Oligomerization Domain-Containing Protein 2 (NOD2)-Microbe Interactions in Intestinal Disease”
Thesis Advisor: Ken Cadwell, PhD
Training Program: Immunology and Inflammation

Ramya Raviram

“Analysis of 4C-Seq Data to Identify Chromatin Interactions from Regulatory Elements and Transposons”
Thesis Advisors: Jane Skok, PhD, and Richard Bonneau, PhD
Training Program: Computational Biology

Bisakha Ray

“Methods for Information Content Analysis of Multimodal High-Throughput Biomedical Data”
Thesis Advisor: David Fenyö, PhD
Training Program: Systems and Computational Biomedicine

Dylan Reid

“Single-Molecule Observations of DNA Double-Strand Break Repair by the Human Nonhomologous End-Joining Pathway”
Thesis Advisor: Eli Rothenberg, PhD
Training Program: Molecular Biophysics

Luis Alejandro Rojas

“Regulation of RNA Polymerase II Functions by C-Terminal Domain Methylation”
Thesis Advisor: Danny Reinberg, PhD
Training Program: Cellular and Molecular Biology

Carlos Sanchez

“A Drosophila RNAi Screen Identifies Protein Networks Essential for Germline Stem Cell Maintenance and Differentiation”
Thesis Advisor: Ruth Lehmann, PhD
Training Program: Stem Cell Biology

Julia King Scarpa

“Learning and Performance Variability in a Rodent Model of Multichannel Cochlear Implant Use”
Thesis Advisors: Robert C. Froemke, PhD, and Mario Svirsky, PhD
Training Program: Neuroscience and Physiology

Eric Schafler

“ART-27 Regulates Mammalian Spermatogonial Stem Cell Survival and Differentiation”
Thesis Advisor: Susan Logan, PhD
Training Program: Molecular Pharmacology

Anjelique F. Schulfer

“An Antibiotic-Perturbed Microbiota in Early Life has Long-Lasting Consequences on the Gut Microbial Community and Host Health in Two Murine Models of Disease”
Thesis Advisor: Martin J. Blaser, MD
Training Program: Pathobiology and Translational Medicine

Laura Senatus

“Receptor for Advanced Glycation End Products (Ager) and Diaphanous-1 (Drf1) Suppress Macrophage Reverse Transendothelial Migration and Regression of Diabetic Atherosclerosis”
Thesis Advisor: Ann Marie Schmidt, MD
Training Program: Pathobiology and Translational Medicine

Dov Shamir

“Development of Human Cellular Models and Multiplexing Approaches to Clarify the Mechanism of Action of Tau Immunotherapies for Alzheimer’s Disease”
Thesis Advisor: Einar Sigurdsson, PhD
Training Program: Neuroscience and Physiology

Xiaoshan Shi

“Copper Homeostasis in Mycobacterium Tuberculosis
Thesis Advisor: Heran Darwin, PhD
Training Program: Microbiology

Elina Shrestha

“Modulation of Liver X-Receptor Signaling by a Novel Cofactor PARP1 and Liver X Receptor α Serine 198 Phosphorylation in Atherosclerosis and Diabetes”
Thesis Advisor: Michael Garabedian, PhD
Training Program: Cellular and Molecular Biology

Olga Smolentseva

“The Effect of Commensal Bacillus Subtilis Biofilm on Caenorhabditis Elegans Physiology”
Thesis Advisor: Evgeny Nudler, PhD
Training Program: Cellular and Molecular Biology

Valentina Snetkova

“Enhancers Cooperate to Exert Localized and Long-Range Control of Gene Regulation in Lymphocyte Development”
Thesis Advisor: Jane Skok, PhD
Training Program: Stem Cell Biology

Emir Tinaztepe

“Implications of Iron- and Zinc-Regulated Mycobacterial EsxG-EsxH Release on the Host-Macrophage Immune Response”
Thesis Advisor: Jennifer Philips, MD, PhD
Training Program: Microbiology

Natasha Tirko

“Oxytocin Receptor Signaling Mechanisms in CA2 Neurons and Implications for Hippocampal Circuit Function”
Thesis Advisor: Richard Tsien, PhD
Training Program: Neuroscience and Physiology

Robin Tremblay

“Layer-Specific Reorganization of Neocortical Dendritic Inhibition During Active Wakefulness”
Thesis Advisor: Bernardo Rudy, MD, PhD
Training Program: Neuroscience and Physiology

Amanda Valeta

“Autocrine and Paracrine Signaling Regulates Breast Cancer Stem Cells and Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition in Inflammatory Breast Cancer”
Thesis Advisor: Robert J. Schneider, PhD
Training Program: Molecular Oncology and Tumor Immunology

Brie Wamsley

“Activity-Regulated RNA-binding Proteins in the Development and Assembly of Cortical Interneuron Circuitry”
Thesis Advisor: Gordon Fishell, PhD
Training Program: Neuroscience and Physiology

John Wang

“Local Changes in the Extracellular Matrix Facilitate Fibroblast Growth Factor Diffusion for Focal Signaling”
Thesis Advisor: Holger Knaut, PhD
Training Program: Developmental Genetics

Kirsten Wiens

“Type I Interferon Induction by Diverse Strains of the Mycobacterium Tuberculosis Complex”
Thesis Advisor: Joel Ernst, MD
Training Program: Immunology and Inflammation