Congratulations to M&I 2014-2015 Graduates! (Part 3 of 3)

May 2015 Graduate degree candidates:

Lydia Aybar successfully defended her dissertation in July 2014. Lydia's research, conducted in the laboratory of Ronald Falk, revealed that reduced numbers of regulatory B cells in patients with active anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic autoantibody-associated (ANCA) vasculitis permit increased circulating autoantibodies. Dr. Aybar is currently a postdoc at UNC’s Kidney Center, continuing her research on regulatory B cells and the complement system in patients with ANCA vasculitis.

Jason Brunton successfully defended his doctoral dissertation in April 2015. The research he conducted in Tom Kawula’s lab focused on mechanisms by which Francisella tularensis survives and replicates within macrophages. Jason has accepted a Consultant position at ClearView Healthcare Partners.

Megan Meyer successfully defended her dissertation in January 2015. Megan's research was conducted in the laboratory of Ilona Jaspers, investigating the role for protease/antiprotease balances in the context of influenza virus infections. Megan demonstrated (i) that environmental oxidants, such as cigarette smoke, and nutritional antioxidants, such as sulforaphane, shift the protease/antiprotease balance, and (ii) that antiproteases, such as secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor (SLPI), regulate susceptibility to influenza virus infections. Dr Meyer is currently in a science writing/consulting position at Spectrum Science in Washington DC.

Eric Scott successfully defended his dissertation in April 2015. Eric's research was conducted in the laboratory of Steve Clarke. He characterized B cells found in the kidneys of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients and showed that patients with the presence of urine plasma cells, Type I Interferon and CD4+ T cells significantly associated with proliferative lupus nephritis. Eric is currently a post-doctoral scholar in the laboratory of Barbara Vilen at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Sandi Wong successfully defended her dissertation in April 2015. Sandi conducted her dissertation research in the lab of Dr. John Rawls. She used zebrafish and rainbow trout as host models to reveal how interactions between host development, diet, and environment shape assembly of intestinal microbiota. Sandi is currently a postdoctoral scholar in the lab of Dr. Patrick Seed at Duke University Medical Center.