Meet our 2014 entering students!

Learn more about our new entering class of students and help us welcome them to the department.

Meet our 2014 entering students! click to enlarge Backrow (left to right): Jared Baisden, Benfeard Williams, Jacob Matson and Hashem Meriesh Frontrow (left to right): Sharon Guffy, Hyunna Lee and Andrew Learnera
Jared Baisden

Jared Baisden

Why did you join the department?

Great research, friendly people, and biochemistry!

Hometown: Wooster, Ohio
Undergrad Degree: B.S. Degree in Biochemistry/Biology from Ashland University
Research Advisor: Qi Zhang
Research Interest: miRNA dynamics and protein-RNA interactions
Why did you choose UNC: Warm weather, great research, the small town atmosphere, and the southern lifestyle.
Something interesting about me: I’m a huge fan of concerts. I went to ~60 or more during my undergraduate, and I hope to see more here.

Benfeard Williams

William Benfeard

Why did you join the department?

I like the faculty, students and mix of computational and experimental research.

Hometown: Greensboro, NC
Undergrad Degree: Biophysics from Duke University

Research Advisor: Nikolay Dokholyan
Research Interest: The role of Apolipoprotein E in Alzheimer’s disease using molecular dynamics and biophysical approaches.
Why did you choose UNC? I like the area, faculty, and resources available to students.

Sharon Guffy

Sharon Guffy

Why did you join the department?

Since I knew coming in that I am mostly interested in structural biology...the [department]...tended to fit my interests.

Hometown: Camden, SC
Undergrad Degree: Biology/Chemistry from Wofford College
Research Advisor: Brian Kuhlman
Why did you choose UNC: I was looking for a lab where I could pursue my interest in protein structure while also putting some of my programming experience from my earlier courses to use.

Something interesting about me: Outside lab, I enjoy horseback riding.

Andew Lerner

Andrew Michael Learner

Why did you join the department?

For the opportunity to work in the labs of Dr. Kuhlman and Dr. Strahl.

Hometown: Sacramento, CA
Undergrad Degree: Chemistry from UC Berkeley
Research Interest: Design of light activatable protein switches to study the epigenome.
Research Advisor(s): Brian Kuhlman and Brian Strahl
Why did you choose UNC: It’s an excellent research institution with a strong emphasis on collaboration in an affordable town with mild winters and an amazing coastline.
Something interesting about me: USMC Veteran, Sgt. 2003-2008

Hyunna Lee

Hyunna Lee

Why did you join the department?

This department suits my research interest the most.

Hometown: Monroeville, PA
Undergrad Degree: Biochemistry from the University of Pennsylvania
Research Interest: protein structure, function, and interactions with other proteins through biophysical approaches.
Research Advisor: Sharon Campbell
Why did you choose UNC: I really liked the faculty and the opportunities available in this school.

Jacob Matson

Jacob Matson

Why did you join the department?

Great faculty and friendly atmosphere.

Hometown: Cypress, CA
Undergrad Degree: Biological Science from the University of California, Irvine
Research Interest: regulation of DNA replication origin licensing in the G1 and G0 phases of the cell cycle.
Research Advisor: Jean Cook

Hashem Meriesh

Hashem Meriesh

Why did you join the department?

...the challenging curriculum, the broad spectrum of research interests, and the opportunity to learn from and collaborate with outstanding scientists.

Hometown: Ashburn, VA
Undergrad Degree: Biochemistry from George Mason University
Research Interest: I’m interested in understanding how different environments on chromatin, and the factors that interact with those environments, regulate gene expression.
Research Advisor: Brian Strahl

Why did you choose UNC: I was interested in pursuing research at an institution that appreciated and facilitated interdisciplinary science... and the opportunity to rotate with different Pis from different departments in different fields.
Something interesting about me: I am an avid soccer player, reader of books and really good coffee fanatic.