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Current Graduate Students

photo of Alfa Dhakal

Alfa Dhakal

Hundley Lab

Entered August 2020

aldhakal@iu.edu

I am a first year grad student in Hundley Lab. My research interest lies in RNA biology and editing. Currently I am working with C. elegans as a model system. I completed my Master's in Biology from Purdue Northwest. I am from Kathmandu, Nepal and I enjoy dancing, listening to audiobooks and trying out new recipes.

photograph of Haddie DeHart

Haddie DeHart

Carpenter Lab

Entered August 2019

hkdehart@iu.edu

I am a second-year PhD student in the Carpenter Lab. My research is focused on a transcription factor in the Sonic Hedgehog pathway. More specifically, I am interested in tGLI1, a truncated form of GLI1, and it’s role in brain cancer growth and progression. Before coming to IU, I lived in Boston, MA, where I first worked for Foundation Medicine, one of the leading companies in precision medicine, and The Center for Advanced Molecular Diagnostics at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. When I am not in lab, I greatly enjoy rowing, running, biking, and binge-watching movies.

Photograph of Nicholas Downing

Nicholas Downing

Zentner Lab

Entered August 2019

nfdownin@iu.edu

I am a 2nd-year student that joined Dr. Gabe Zentner’s lab. I study the role of the Mediator complex in regulating oncogenic expression and androgen signaling in prostate cancer. I joined the CMCB program in August 2019 just weeks after defending my MS thesis from the IU Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in Indianapolis. That work explored the role of Angiomotin-Like-1 in regulating astrocytic morphology and gap junction formation in the context of glioblastoma. Outside of lab, I like playing acoustic guitar, running and hiking with my dog, Liam. Not only is this a good chance to get some fresh air, it’s a good opportunity to tucker HIM out so that he doesn’t make a scene during my Zoom sessions.

portrait of argha ghosh

Argha Ghosh

Entered 2021

arghosh@iu.edu

I entered the CMCB program in spring 2021. Currently, I am doing my first rotation. My research interests include the understanding of cancer initiation and progression, with a deep curiosity in cancer metastasis, tumor immunology, and unravelling of new pathways that can be therapeutically targeted. I have a Master's degree in molecular biology from Indian Institute of Technology, with a thesis, where I have studied the effect of small molecules in targeting the Hedgehog signaling in breast cancer stem cells. Other than that, I love doing photography which includes landscape and wildlife, I am a huge sci-fi fan, my favorite movie being Interstellar. I love to read a lot of popular science books and occasionally paint as well. Hoping to get a golden retriever very soon!

photograph of Ben Greulich

Benjamin Greulich

Hollenhorst Lab

Entered August 2016

bmgreuli@indiana.edu

portrait of kelly hartsough

Kelly Hartsough

Walczak Lab

Entered August 2018

khartso@iu.edu

I graduated from Penn State in 2018 and entered the CMCB program the fall of that same year. Currently, I am a third-year grad student in the Walczak Lab. My research seeks to understand how polyploid cells are able to resume mitosis, as this can lead to genome instability. Outside of the lab, I can be found going on runs with my dog, Oliver.

photograph of Natasha Hockaden

Natasha Hockaden

Carpenter Lab

Entered August 2018

nhockade@iu.edu

I am a 3rd year PhD student in Dr. Richard Carpenter’s lab and I study the involvement of heat shock factor 1 (HSF1) in breast cancer metastasis. Before I started my PhD journey, I majored in biochemistry at DePauw University working in two labs studying zebrafish heart regeneration and stress on the immune system. I also worked as a Flow Cytometry Data Analyst for clinic trial studies at Covance. When I am not being a total science nerd, I binge watch an unhealthy amount of TV and compete in mounted archery with my mule, Mooney, and teach others how to get involved in the sport.

photograph of Emily Jones

Emily Jones

Walczak Lab

Entered August 2020

jonesmj@iu.edu

photograph of Renee Kinne

Renee Kinne

Hollenhorst Lab

Entered August 2020

rekinne@iu.edu

I did my undergrad at Michigan State University and joined the CMCB program in 2020. I’m in the Hollenhorst lab where I’ve been looking into chimeric transcription factors. For fun I like to bake bread and watch Murder, She Wrote.

portrait of ben koch

Benjamin Koch

Innes Lab

Entered August 2018

benkoch@indiana.edu

I entered the CMCB program in 2018 after completing my undergraduate degrees in biology and cello at Indiana University. I work in Roger Innes' lab where we study plant pathogen interaction. Initially I was interested in developing plant vesicles as nanoparticles to carry medicine. My project has morphed over time and now I study the biogenesis of plant vesicles in the context of plant pathogen defense. Outside of the lab, I enjoy making music, exploring new bike routes, and having fun with my girlfriend Gabby and our cats Eloise and Rigatoni (Riggy, for short).

Tara Metcalfe Photo

Tara Metcalfe

Nephew Lab

Entered August 2020

txmetcal@iu.edu

I am a first year CMCB student who entered the program last fall in 2020 and am in the Nephew lab. For my research, I am interested in epigenetics and the role it plays mechanistically in platinum-induced ovarian cancer stem cells. Besides this I previously graduated from Michigan State University and in my spare time I love any type of physical activities and cooking/baking.

Priyanka Mukherjee

Priyanka Mukherjee

Hundley lab

Entered August 2018

primukh@iu.edu

I am a third year PhD student in Dr. Heather Hundley’s lab. My research is currently focused on trying to understand the tumorigenic potential of an RNA-binding protein, ADAR3, in glioblastomas.  Before coming to IU in Fall 2018, I received a dual BS-MS degree from St. Xavier’s College (Kolkata, India). For my master’s dissertation, I studied how chemical and molecular chaperones (sodium phenyl butyrate and ERp29, respectively) could modulate Connexin 43 trafficking to the cell surface. As if experimenting in the lab wasn’t enough, I really enjoy experimenting with food too. I am always trying to learn new recipes, cuisines and cooking hacks. After any crazy day at work, this is what helps me destress.

Vaishnavi sits on a boulder in front of a coastline and flashes a peace sign

Vaishnavi Muralikrishnan

Nephew Lab

Entered August 2017

vmuralik@indiana.edu

I am a 4th year PhD student in the Nephew lab and I study ovarian cancer stem cells. I joined grad school after completing my masters in Biotechnology from India and working in the drug discovery industry for 2 years. I am passionate about science communication and I enjoy trying new recipes and love my chai and naps just a bit too much!

photograph of Jared Ross

Jared Ross

Niu Lab

Entered August 2019

jarlross@iu.edu

John Smith

Walczak Lab

Entered August 2018

jcs12@iu.edu

Photo of Shruthi Sriramkumar

Shruthi Sriamkumar

O'Hagan

Entered August 2015

ssriramk@indiana.edu

photo of Ji Wang

Ji Wang

Mitra Lab

Entered August 2019

jwa7@iu.edu

I am a 2nd-year international Chinese PhD student from Dr. Anirban Mitra’s lab with research emphasis on peritoneal metastasis in ovarian cancer and on immune microenvironment in peritoneal metastasis. I joined the CMCB program in 2019. Before I came here, I was once a medical doctor from the department of gynecology and obstetrics. I have got my Bachelor and Master degree of clinical medicine in China, both of which are equivalent to MD in the USA. Actually, the PhD foreign life is completely new to me and mentors here are really kind to volunteer to help you adapt to new surroundings, just like microenvironmental factors in peritoneal metastasis assisting ovarian cancer cells in adapting to the new microenvironment in greater omental tissues. Now my main job in my lab is to do some bioinformatic analysis on sequencing data or on the public online free database such as TCGA, AOCS, GEO. During my leisure time, I would like to cook Chinese food and to play video games on game consoles. Except for that, I also like watching movies, Japanese manga and so on.

Weini Wang

Nephew Lab

Entered August 2016

wang654@iu.edu

Photo Xue Xiao

Xue (Sherry) Xiao

Mitra Lab

Entered August 2019

xuexiao@iu.edu

I entered the CMCB program in 2019 and I am a second year PhD student in Dr. Anirban Mitra's lab. My research is focused on ovarian cancer stem cell and tumor microenvironment. I got my B.S. in ShanghaiTech University in 2018, after that I worked as a research assistant and studied breast cancer for one year. I love traveling and taking photos.