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DebBurman Lab

D-Lab: Undergraduate Trainees

The heart and soul of the D-lab are its people. Current students and a growing legion of alumni who are making their mark in diverse scientific careers across the country and abroad.The heart and soul of the D-lab are its people. Current students and a growing legion of alumni who are making their mark in diverse scientific careers across the country and abroad.

Mentoring statement

I enjoy mentoring undergraduates of diverse backgrounds in and out of the classroom and thrive in exciting and empowering them about the scientific process, scientific discoveries, and scientific achievements. I stress the relevance of science within the context of an undergraduate liberal arts education in a multicultural global society and the value of being civic-minded. In addition to active involvement in scientific explorations in the classroom and laboratory, students are encouraged to work with me as peer teachers and writing consultants. Students are encouraged to become involved in undergraduate research with Lake Forest faculty or elsewhere, to attend and present their research at local or national scientific conferences, to engage in career development internships, experience other cultures, and volunteer time for community service. Till date, over 65 undergraduates have been trained in collaborative research experiences in our lab. Most of the graduates have pursued advanced graduate degrees and scientific careers.

CURRENT ASSOCIATES (2017-2018)

Rosemary Thomas ’18, Graduate and Laboratory Manager







Neuroscience and Biology majors
Project: Sumoylation, Phosphorylation, and familial mutants
2015 Richter Scholar
2016 GLC-ASPET meeting, Second Prize
2017 ASBMB/EB meeting (Chicago, IL)
2018 Senior Thesis with Distinction in Neuroscience/Biology
2017, 2018 Bartram Research Scholar
2019 Medical School Applicant

Yoan Ganev ’19


Neuroscience and Chemistry major
Project: Covalent modifications on alpha-synuclein
2016 Richter Scholar
2017-18 Senior Thesis in Neuroscience/Biology
2017 GLC-ASPET meeting (First Prize)
2017 & 2018 Bartram Research Scholar
2018 ASBMB/EB meeting (San Diego, CA)
2018 APDA-Parkinson’s Foundation Grant
2018 SfN meeting (San Diego, CA)

Chisomo Mwale ’19


Neuroscience major
Project: Toxicity of New familial mutants
2016 Richter Scholar
2017-18 Senior Project in Neuroscience
2017 GLC-ASPET meeting (2nd Prize)
2017 & 2018 Bartram Research Scholar
2018 Foster G. McGaw Scholarship
2018 SfN meeting (San Diego, CA)
2018 FUN-SfN Travel Award

Ariane Balaram ’20


Neuroscience and Biology major
Project: PD risk genes and alpha-synuclein
2017 Richter Scholar
2018 Bartram Research Scholar
2018 Nu Rho Psi National Grant
2018 GLC-ASPET Meeting (First Prize)
2018 SfN meeting (San Diego, CA)

Ruqia Bibi ’20

bibi






Neuroscience and Biology major
Project: Latest alpha-synuclein sporadic and familial mutants
2018 Bartram Research Scholar

Leslie Gonzales ’21, Richter Scholar

gonzales

 

 

 



Neuroscience and Psychology major
Project: Acetylation and Glycation Blocking mutants
2018 Richter Scholar

Matthew McMahon ’21, Richter Scholar

Neuroscience major
Project: Acetylation mimicking mutants
2018 Richter Scholar

Bari (Zubair) Mohammed ’21, Richter Scholar

zubair

 

 

 


Neuroscience and Economics major
Project: Acetylation blocking mutants
2018 Richter Scholar

Estella Tcaturian ’21, Richter Scholar

estella

 

 




Neuroscience major
Project: Covalent modifications of alpha-synuclein in yeast
2018 Richter Scholar

Ananta Srivastava, Lake Forest Academy ’18

anantaFuture undergraduate, neuroscience major, Johns Hopkins University
Project: Beta synuclein in yeast

 

Pranav Anand, California Public School ’19

pranavFuture undergraduate, neuroscience major,
Project: Gamma synuclein in yeast

 

 


D-LAB ALUMS
(2001-2016)

Dr. Brandon Johnson ’03

brandon johnsonPhD, Stanford University
Postdoc, Stanford University
Biology & Chemistry double major
Senior thesis 2002-2003
Project: Budding yeast alpha-synuclein model
ASBMB Undergraduate Travel Award 2003
NIH-NRSA Predoctoral Fellowship (2006-2009)
NSF graduate fellowship Honorable Mention 2005

Dr. Samantha England ’04

Samantha England PhD, University of Rochester
Postdoc, University of Rochester
Biology major, Chemistry minor
Project: Fission Yeast model for alpha-synuclein

 


Dr. Nijee Sharma ’04

nijee sharmaMD/PhD, Loyola Stritch School of Medicine
Neurology Residency, University of Calfornia-Davis
Biology major, Chemistry minor
Fellowship, UC San Francisco
Senior Thesis 2003-2004
Project: Proteasomal regulation of alpha-synuclein
Phi Beta Kappa
 Senior Thesis Award 2004
Council of Undergraduate Research Fellowship 2003
ASBMB Undergraduate Travel Award 2004
First Prize, ASBMB Undergraduate competition 2004
Third Prize, Chicago SFN meeting 2003

Rity Upadhyaya ’04

undefinedMA, Northwestern University
Computer Science major

 


Dr. Konrad Bienia ’04

undefinedMD, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science
Biology and Chemistry double major

 

Dr. Isaac Holmes ’05

isaac holmesMD, Rush Medical College
Cardiology Residency, Rush Medical Center
Biology and Chemistry double major
Project: Nucleation polymerization hypothesis and alpha-synuclein
ASBMB travel award 2004
Parkinson’s Disease Foundation grant 2004
First Prize, Chicago SfN meeting 2004

Dr. Sara Herrera ’05

sara herreraMD, Medical College of Wisconsin
Surgery Residency, Detroit City Hospital
Biology and Chemistry double major
Senior Thesis 2004-2005
Project: Ubiquitin-Proteasome regulation, E46K analysis, Nitration
2005 Northwestern Univ SURF Award
NIH diversity research grant 2004-2005
National Institute of Aging ASCB-MAC Travel Award 2004

Dr. Olga Mikhaylov ’05

undefinedMD, Rush Medical College, Surgery Residency, Detroit
Biology major, Chemistry minor
Project: Budding yeast model for alpha-synuclein
Richter Scholar 2002


Dr. Arun Paul ’05

arun-paulMD/PhD, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science; Radiation Oncology Residency, Wayne State University
Biology and Chemistry double major
Project: STP2 regulation of alpha-synuclein
First Prize, Chicago SfN meeting 2005


Dr. Katrina Brandis ’06

katrinaPhD, Washington University St. Louis
Director of Research and Secondary Science Teacher, Mary Institute and St. Louis Country Day School
Biology major
Senior Thesis 2005-2006
Project: Oxidative stress and alpha-synuclein
ASBMB Travel Award 2005
Richter Scholar 2004
2005 Phi Beta Kappa Senior Thesis Award

Melissa Stevenson ’06

undefinedPhysician Assistant, New Mexico State University
Biology major
Project: Chaperone regulation of alpha-synuclein


Dr. Jessica Price ’06

jessica priceMA/PhD University of Wisconsin Madison (current)
Scientist, Nature Conservancy
Biology major, English minor
Project: Endocytosis regulation of alpha-synuclein

Dr. Ruja Srestha ’07

Ruja Srestha

PhD, University of Rochester
Postdoc, University of Berkeley
Chemistry major
Project: Sugar Chaperones and Alpha-synuclein



Dr. Tulaza Vaidya ’07

tulaza vaidyaPhD, University of Rochester
Postdoc, Cornell University
Chemistry major
Project: Oxidative stress and alpha-synuclein

 

Dr. Michael White ’07

michael whiteMD, University of Buffalo; Neurology residency, Washington University
Fellow, Harvard University
Biology major, Chemistry minor
Senior thesis 2006-2007
Project: E46K alpha-synuclein analysis
Second Prize, Chicago SFN meeting 2007


Dr. Michael Zorniak ’07

michael zorniakPhD, University of Wisconsin, Madison;
Postdoctoral Fellow, Scripps Research Institute
Medical Liason, Novartis Inc.
Biology major, Chemistry minor
Senior Thesis 2006-2007
Project: Mitochondrial stress, phosphorylation, and alpha-synuclein
Second Prize, Chicago SfN meeting 2006

Dr. Lokesh Kukreja ’08

lokesh kukrejaPhD and Postdoc, Northwestern University
Biology major, Chemistry minor, Senior Thesis 2007-2008
Project: phospholipid specificity and alpha-synuclein
ASCB Travel Award 2007
Parkinson’s Disease Foundation grant 2007

Dr. Stephanie Valtierra ’08

stephanie valtierra

PhD, Northwestern University (current)
Biology major, Chemistry minor
Senior Thesis 2007-2008
Project: Phosphorylation analysis of alpha-synuclein
ASCB-MAC Travel Award 2007
First Prize, ASCB MAC poster session 2007
Second Prize, Chicago SFN meeting 2008

Dr. Mithaq Vahedi ’08

mithaq vahediMD, Thomas Jefferson University
Biology and Chemistry double major
Project: Endocytosis regulation of alpha-synuclein
Richter Scholar 2006

 
Sina Vahedi ’08

undefinedMD studies, Thomas Jefferson University
Biology and Chemistry double major
Project: E46K analysis of alpha-synuclein
Richter Scholar 2006

 

Tasneem Saylawalla ’08

undefinedBiology and English major
Project: Proteasome regulation of alpha-synuclein
Interested in science journalism

 

Lavinia Sinitean ’08

undefinedMSN, Indiana University
Office Manager, Physician Practice
Biology and Spanish major
Project: Lab Assistant
Interested in public health

 


Alexandra Ayala ’09

alex ayalaK-12 Math/Science Teacher, Teach for America
Biology major, Chemistry minor
Senior thesis 2008-2009
Project: Endocytosis regulation of alpha-synuclein
Honorable Mention, Chicago SFN meeting 2008


Dr. Ray Choi ’09

ray choiMD, University of Colorado; Anesthesiology residency, University of Washington
Biology major, Chemistry and French minor
Senior thesis 2008-2009
Project: Autophagy regulation of alpha-synuclein
Third Prize, Chicago SFN meeting 2009

Dr. Nengding Wang ’09

undefinedPhD, Northwestern University (current)
Biology major, Chemistry minor
Project: Chaperone analysis of alpha-synuclein
Richter Scholar 2006



Michael Fiske ’10

michael fiskePhD studies in Neuroscience, Northwestern University
Biology major
Senior Thesis, 2009-2010
NIH-NRSA Fellowship, 2016
NSF Predoctoral Fellowship 2011 Honorable Mention
Phi Beta Kappa Senior Thesis Award 2010
Parkinson’s Disease Foundation Undergraduate Grant 2009
Barry Goldwater Scholarship Honorable Mention 2009
Richter Scholar 2007
First Prize, Chicago SFN meeting 2009

Jaime Perez ’10

jaime perezOrthotist, Hanger Inc.
MA in Prosthetics/Orthtotics
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
Senior Thesis, 2009-2010
Biology & Art double major
Project: Endocytosis regulation of alpha-synuclein  


Carlos Becerra ’10

undefinedMSN studies, Depaul University
Biology major, Chemistry minor
Project: Proteasome regulation of alpha-synuclein

 

Rebecca Brezinsky ’11

undefinedMPH, Mississippi State University
Biology and Environmental Studies double major
Project: Post-translational modification on alpha-synuclein

 



Julian McLain ’11

undefinedMD Studies, RFUMS
Chemist
Chemistry major, Biology minor
Project: Autophagy regulation of alpha-synuclein
Richter Scholar 2009
Planning on Medical School


Will Press ’11

will pressBiology & Economics major
Project: Proteasome regulation of alpha-synuclein

 


Daniel Sanchez ’11

danny sanchezPathologist Technician, Lake Forest Hospital
Biology major, Neuroscience minor
NIH-ARRA Summer Research Grant 2009
Project: Autophagy regulation of alpha-synuclein


Dr. Keith Solvang ’11

undefinedMD, RFUMS
MA, RFUMS
Biology major, Chemistry minor
Senior Thesis 2010-2011
Project: Phosphorylation and nitration regulation of alpha-synuclein
NIH-ARRA Summer Research Grant 2009
First Prize, GLC-ASPET meeting 2011

Dr. Alina Konnikova ’11

alina konnikova

MD, University of Illinois Chicago; Residency, Medical College of Wisconsin
Biology major, Chemistry minor
Senior Thesis 2010-2011
Project: Autophagy regulation of alpha-synuclein
Richter Scholar 2008
First Prize, GLC-ASPET meeting 2010

Madhavi Senagolage ’12

undefinedPhD studies, Northwestern University
Biology major, Chemistry & Neuroscience minor
Senior Thesis 2011-2012
Project: Endocytosis regulation of alpha-synuclein
Second Prize, Chicago SFN meeting 2011
2011 FUN & SFN Travel Awards for Society for Neuroscience Meeting

Dr. Kayla Ahlstrand ’12

kayla ahlstrandDVM, University of Wisconsin, Madison
Biology and Neuroscience double major
Project: Autophagy regulation of alpha-synuclein
Richter Scholar 2009
2011-2012 LFC-RFUMS Scholar


Dr. Pete Sullivan ’12

peter sullivanPhD, Cornell University
Biology major, Chemistry minor
Project: Autophagy regulation of alpha-synuclein
Richter Scholar 2009
2011-2012 LFC-RFUMS Scholar

Natalie Kukulka ’13,

undefinedMD studies, University of Missouri, Columbia
Research Technician, Northwestern Lurie Children’s Hospital
Neuroscience and Biology double majors, Art minor
Project: Combinatorial familial mutant analysis of alpha-synuclein
Richter Scholar 2010, Senior Thesis 2012-2013
MD applicant 2014
2011 Fall- Study Abroad in New Zealand
Third Prize, Chicago SfN meeting 2013
2013 Parkinson’s Disease Foundation Summer Research Grant

Rida Khan ’14

rida khanMasters studies, Johns Hopkins University
Research Scientist, Abbott Labs
Biology major & Neuroscience minor
Project: Endocytosis regulation of alpha-synuclein toxicity
Richter Scholar 2011
2013-2015 Research Scientist, Valent Biosciences
2015-present MBA/MS Johns Hopkins University

Katrina Campbell ’14

katrina campbell PhD studies in Neuroscience, Northwestern University
NIH IRTA Fellow, Rocky Mountain Labs
Biology major, Spanish & Neuroscience minors
Project: Amino acid determinants of alpha-synuclein pathotoxicity
Richter Scholar 2011
Interested in biomedicine
2012 Fall- Study Abroad in New Zealand
Second Prize, Chicago GLC-ASPET meeting 2012

Ryan Vlaar ’14

Ryan Vlaar

Biology and Environmental Studies major
Project: Combinatorial familial mutant analysis of alpha-synuclein
2011 Richter
2012-2014 Glen Rowan Garden Intern

Michael Herriges ’15

MD studies, St Georges University (U.K.)
Biology and Chemistry major
Project: Combinatorial familial mutant analysis of alpha-synuclein
Richter Scholar 2012
2016 MD studies at St Georges University (UK)


Galina Lipkin ’15

Scientist, Valent Biosciences
Biology & Spanish majors
Project: Amino acid determinants of alpha-synuclein pathotoxicity; Sumoylation of alpha-synuclein
Richter Scholar 2012
2015-2016, Research Scientist, Valent Biosciences
2018 MA in Counseling, Northeastern Illinois University

Maiwase Tembo ’15

PhD studies at University of Pittsburgh Biology/Neuroscience majors
Project: Lysosomal based degradation of alpha-synuclein; New familial mutations
First Prize, Chicago GLC-ASPET meeting 2013
Third Prize, Chicago SfN meeting 2014
2015 Senior thesis with distinction in biology and neuroscience
2015-present PhD studies in Life Science, University of Pittsburgh


Maribel Munoz ’16

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA2018 MD studies, University of Illinois at Chicago
Neuroscience major, Biology & Chemistry minors
Project: C-terminal truncation of alpha-synuclein (GFP at C-term)
Interested in biomedicine
Richter Scholar 2013
2014-2016 Research in Organic Chemistry
2017-2018 Reserach assistant, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science


Sarah Chiren ’16

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAResearch technologist, RFUMS
Neuroscience major; Religion minor
Project: C-terminal truncation of alpha-synuclein (GFP at N-term)
Interested in biomedicine
Richter Scholar 2013
Chicago GLC-ASPET meeting 2013
2016-2017 Research Assistant, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science
2017 MD applicant

Khadijah Hamid ’16

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA2018 DO studies, University of Arkansas
2016-2018 Lab Manager, Northwestern University
Biology/Neuroscience majors
Project: Sumoylation of alpha-synuclein & splice variants
Interested in biomedicine
Richter Scholar 2013
Chicago GLC-ASPET meeting 2014

Jyothis James ’16

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA2018 PhD studies, Texas A&M
Masters in Syrillic languages, Kerala, India
Neuroscience and Philosophy majors
Project: C-terminal truncation of alpha-synuclein (GFP at N-term)
Interested in Neuroethics
Richter Scholar 2013
Chicago GLC-ASPET meeting 2013


Saul Bello Rojas ’16

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA2018 PhD studies, Washington University Saint Louis
2017-2018 PREP program, Northwestern University
2016-2017 Research Technologist, Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine
Neuroscience major and chemistry minor
Project: Synuclein variants and new familial mutants
2015 Chicago SfN meeting
2015 Second prize, GLC-ASPET meeting

Charles Alvarado ’16

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA





2018-present, Middle school Science Teacher, Waukegan
2017-2018 Behavioral Therapist, Lake Forest Hospital
2016-2017 MAT, Lake Forest College
Neuroscience and Education major
Project: Nitrosylation of alpha-synuclein
Interested in K-12 science education
Richter Scholar 2013
First Prize, Chicago GLC-ASPET meeting 2014

Morgan Marshall ’16







2018 Masters in Biomedical Communication studies, UIC
2016-2018 Research Technologist, Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine
Biology major and Art minor
Project: New familial mutants of alpha-synuclein
First Prize, 2016 Chicago SfN meeting

Alexandra Roman ’16

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
2018 MD studies Medical College of Wisconsin
2016-2018 Research Technologist, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and ScienceNeuroscience major; Chemistry and Music minors
Project: Sumolylation of alpha-synuclein
Richter Scholar 2013
Chicago GLC-ASPET meeting 2013
Third Prize, Chicago SfN meeting 2015
Nu Rho Psi national grant, 2015

Logan Graham ’17

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA2017- Vet Tech, Winnetka Animal Hospital Neuroscience major
Project: Splice variants or familial mutants
2014 Richter Scholar
2015 Research in Costa Rica
2017 Research in Equador

Cam Gudmundson ’17

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA2017 Abbvie labs (Scientist)
Biology major
Project: N-domain deletion mutants
2014 Richter Scholar
2017 Abbvie labs (Scientist)

 

Ana McCracken ’17

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANeuroscience major
Project: N-domain deletion mutants
2014 Richter Scholar
2016 Research in Organic Chemistry
2016 Research Structural Biology (Germany)
2018 MD applicant

Peyton Schrag ’17

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABiology major; Neuroscience and Spanish minors
Project: Splice variants or familial mutants
2014 Richter Scholar
2015 Research in Costa Rica
2017 Research in Equador

Emily Ong ’17







2017- Medical Scribe, Lake Forest
Neuroscience major
Project: Substitutions of new familial mutants
Interested in biomedicine
2016 Parkinson Disease Foundation Grant
2017 Bartram Research Scholar
2017 Chicago SfN meeting
2017 ASBMB/EB meeting
2017 Phi Beta Kappa Senior Thesis Award
2017 Senior Thesis with Distinction
2018 MD applicant

Paul Jones ’18







2018 PhD studies Washington University Saint Louis
Neuroscience major and Chemistry minor
Project: Splice variants and C-terminal truncations; PD risk genes
2015 Richter Scholar
2016 Nu Rho Psi national grant
2017 Senior Thesis in Neuroscience
2017 & 2018 Bartram Research Scholar
2017 & 2018 ASBMB/EB meetings
2017 ASCB meeting
2018 ASBMB meeting

Viktoriya Georgieva ’18

Neuroscience and psychology major
Project: Combinatorial mutants of new familial mutants
2015 Richter Scholar
2018 Reserach Technician, Northwestern University

Yuliya Zayats ’18

2018 DO studies, Midwestern University
Biology major
Project: Nitrosylation of alpha Synuclein
2015 Richter Scholar
2016 Research in Costa Rica
2017 MD applicant

Michael Buabeng ’19


Neuroscience major
Project: New familial mutants and altered nitration and sumoylation
2017, 2018 Research at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science

Danielle Sychowski ’19

Neuroscience major
Project: Truncations and splice variants of alpha-synuclein
2016 Richter Scholar
2017, 2018 Research at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science

Niam Abeysiriwardena ’20


Neuroscience and Computer Science major
Project: Substitution of new familial mutants
2017 Richter Scholar
2018 Northwestern University Summer Research

Alexsandra Biel ’20


Neuroscience and Psychology major
Project: Substitution of new familial mutants
2017 Richter Scholar
2018 LFC-RFUMS Summer Research Scholar

Joseph Mountain ’20


Neuroscience major and Religion minor
Project: Substitution of new familial mutants
2017 Richter Scholar
2018 University of Minnesota Summer Research

 


KALAMAZOO ALUMS (1999-2001)

Laura Maxson ’00
Laura Maxson

PA, University of Michigan
PhD program, Yale University
U.S. Fulbright Scholarship
NIH-IRTA Fellowship






Dr. Dan Appledorn ’00
Dan appledorn

PhD, Michigan State University
Postdoc, Michigan State University

 
 


Dr. Aash Bhatt ’01
undefined

MD, Wayne State University
Residency, University of Iowa

 
 
 

Dr. Geetha Athappilly ’01
Geetha Athappilly

MD, Michigan State University
Residency, University of Colorado
 






Dr. Anne Hinz ’02, MD
anne hinz

MD, Washington University St. Louis