Graduate Program in Pathobiology

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News and Announcements

Pathobiology Thesis Seminar
Friday, June 12, 2020 - 3:30 pm
Speaker: Yu-Ting Chang (Ph.D. Candidate)
Title: Role of Cytochrome P450 Enzymes in FLT3/ITD Acute Myeloid Leukemia Bone Marrow Microenvironment
Place: Zoom Access Link
Advisor: Dr. Rick Jones

Pathobiology Thesis Seminar
Wednesday, May 27, 2020 - 1:00 pm
Speaker: Eva Shrestha (Ph.D. Candidate)
Title: The Urinary Microbiome and Prostate Infection in Prostate Cancer Development
Place: Zoom Access Link
Advisor: Dr. Karen Sfanos

Pathobiology Thesis Seminar
Tuesday, May 26, 2020 - 11:00 am
Speaker: Bo-Ran Choi (Ph.D. Candidate)
Title: The Role of GDE2 in Oligodendrocyte Development and Myelination in the Brain
Place: Zoom Access Link
Advisor: Dr. Shan Sockanathan

Pathobiology Thesis Seminar
Tuesday, March 24, 2020 - 12:30 pm
Speaker: Minling Gao (Ph.D. Candidate)
Title: EGFR Activates a TAZ-Driven Oncogenic Program in Glioblastoma
Place: Zoom Access Link
Advisor: Dr. John Laterra

Pathobiology Thesis Seminar
Friday, March 20, 2020 - 2:00 pm
Speaker: Audrey Knight (Ph.D. Candidate)
Title: Sustained Microglial Immune Responses in an SIV/Macaque Model of HIV CNS Disease
Place: Zoom Access Link
Advisor: Dr. Joseph Mankowski

Pathobiology Thesis Seminar
Friday, March 6, 2020 - 3:00 pm
Speaker: Janelle M. Montagne, M.S. (Ph.D. Candidate)
Title: Interrogating T cell Reactivities using Repertoire Sequencing
Place: Mountcastle Auditorium (PCTB across from Greenhouse Cafe)
Advisor: Dr. Ben Larman

Congratulations, Dr. Gregg Semenza!

As many of you may already know, Dr. Gregg Semenza, a professor at the School of Medicine, was awarded the Nobel Prize this week for his discoveries of how cells sense and adapt to oxygen availability. Dr. Semenza shares this award with two other honorees, Harvard's William G. Kaelin Jr. and Sir Peter J. Ratcliffe of the University of Oxford. Pictured in the article in the link below are two of Johns Hopkins most accomplished coming together to celebrate a fourth Nobel Prize to be awarded to one of our own. Dr. Peter Agre (2003) and Dr. Gregg Semenza (2019) shared a handshake in the company of many colleagues who attended the Monday morning celebration after hearing Dr. Semenza's exciting news.

Read more here:

If these two look familiar, that's because they were our 2018 and 2019 distinguished guest speakers at our annual Pathobiology Retreat. What an honor to have had these two phenomenal, yet humble contributors to science and medicine share their world-renowned research among us! Dr. Semenza is a member of our Pathobiology Program faculty and we proudly congratulate him on this tremendous achievement!

Congratulations to Dr. Youngran Park!

Youngran ParkWe are proud to announce that Dr. Youngran Park, a 2017 graduate of the Pathobiology PhD Graduate Program, along with collaborators, has recently had a 1st author paper published in the journal, Clinical Cancer Research entitled: Loss of ARID1A in tumor cells renders selective vulnerability ionizing radiation and PARP inhibitor therapy.

Youngran Park was born in South Korea and received her bachelor's degree at Korea University. Youngran studied the function of ARID1A in ovarian cancer under the mentorship of Drs. Ie-Ming Shih, M.D., Ph.D. and Tian-Li Wang, Ph.D., and received her Ph.D. in Pathobiology from Johns Hopkins University in October, 2017. She had a post-doctoral training under Dr. Eric Raabe, M.D., Ph.D. where focuses on pediatric brain tumor research at JHU. Currently, Youngran is working on brain tumor research at Korea University. She still strongly believes that the spirit of science is to alleviate human suffering through research.

Keep up the great work, Dr. Park!

Congratulations, Areli!

Zoila Areli Lopez Bujanda Pathobiology graduate student, Zoila Areli Lopez Bujanda, under the mentorship of Dr. Charles G. Drake, was presented the 2019 AACR-Prostate Cancer Foundation Scholar-in-Training Award for her abstract entitled "Androgen regulated IL-8 expression in prostate cancer: Insights into tumor cell mediated immunosuppression" in a poster session entitled "Suppressive Myeloid Cells" at the Annual AACR Meeting in Atlanta, GA on Monday, April 1, 2019. Click here for more details.

Areli was also presented with the School of Medicine Young Investigators' Day Mette Strand Award for the above-mentioned outstanding abstract and was celebrated at the annual awards ceremony on April 9, 2019. Click here for more details.

Congratulations, Dr. Lim!

Yiting Lim, PhD We are proud to announce that Yiting Lim, PhD, a 2014 graduate of the Graduate Program in Pathobiology, has been named a AACR NextGen Star by the American Association for Cancer Research. Currently a postdoctoral fellow in the Dr. Andrew Hsieh Laboratory at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Dr. Lim is working with what is known as the 5-prime untranslated region, or 5'UTR, in messenger RNA. Yiting presented her work at the annual AACR meeting on April 3, 2019 in Atlanta, GA.

Click here for more details.

Congratulations, Byung-Hak Kang (BK)!

Byung-Hak Kang We are proud to announce that Byung-Hak Kang, Ph.D., a 2016 graduate of the Graduate Program in Pathobiology, along with collaborators, is co-first author on a paper published in Cancer Cell titled: "Aging-like Spontaneous Epigenetic Silencing Facilitates Wnt Activation, Stemness, and BrafV600E-Induced Tumorigenesis."

Byung-Hak Kang was raised in Seoul, South Korea. He received his Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from Seoul National University in February 2007. After graduation, he went to Paraguay and spent three years there on behalf of the Korean Official Development Aid Program. Byung-Hak taught veterinary pathology to students and led a disease surveillance program on bovine brucellosis and tuberculosis at the Universidad Nacional de Asunción. From that teaching and research experience, he wished to pursue an academic research career. Through the Johns Hopkins Pathobiology Graduate Program, he joined the world-renowned epigenetic research group in the laboratory of Stephen Baylin, M.D., studying epigenetic changes in early tumorigenesis of colon cancer. Byung-Hak received his doctoral degree from the Johns Hopkins Pathobiology Graduate Program in December 2016. He is currently training within the Veterinary Comparative Pathology Residency Program in the Department of Molecular and Comparative Pathobiology at Johns Hopkins

Way to go, BK, keep up the great work!

Congratulations, Lionel Chia!

Lionel Chia Congratulations to Lionel Chia for his abstract titled: "HMGA1 induces the HOXB13 developmental gene to drive tumor progression in androgen receptor negative, castrate-resistant prostate cancer", Lionel Chia will receive the AACR-Bristol-Myers Squibb Scholar-in-Training-Travel Award to attend the 2019 AACR Annual Meeting, taking place March 29 - April 3, 2019 in Atlanta, GA. Scholar-in-Training Awards are competitive and are presented to those with high-quality abstracts and applications from a large candidate pool.

Lionel is a 4th year PhD student in the Graduate Program in Pathobiology under the mentorship of Dr. Linda Resar, whose laboratory focuses on studying molecular mechanisms leading to cancer, blood diseases, sickle cell anemia, hemophilia and other coagulopathies. Lionel is studying the role of the chromosomal architectural protein HMGA1 in prostate and pancreatic cancer. He hopes that by understanding more about HMGA1, he would be able to develop additional therapies against HMGA1 and its associated pathways to treat cancer. Outside of the laboratory, Lionel's interests include playing his guitar, running, and spending time with friends.

Nice work, Lionel for being recognized as an outstanding young investigator!

Congratulations, Carli Jones!

Carli Jones We are proud to announce that Carli Jones, a 2nd year graduate student in the Pathobiology Graduate Program, along with collaborators, has recently had a paper published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences titled: "Short and Long-Term Changes in Social Odor Recognition and Plasma Cytokine Levels Following Oxygen (16O) Ion Radiation Exposure".

Carli is from Hillsborough, New Jersey and received her Bachelor's of Science in Biology with a minor in Bioengineering from Lafayette College in spring 2017. At Lafayette, Carli worked with Dr. Robert Kurt on projects involving the TLR4 signaling pathway. Since matriculating in the Pathobiology program in fall 2017, she joined the lab of Dr. Karen Sfanos and is studying the effects of radiotherapy for prostate cancer on the GI microbiome. In collaboration with Dr. Sfanos and Dr. Catherine Davis, she was also awarded a seed grant from Space@Hopkins to study the effects of cosmic radiation on the gut microbiome, and the effects of the radiation on the gut-brain axis. She is serving as the VP of Public Relations for the School of Medicine's Graduate Student Association for the 2018-2019 school year. In the future, Carli aspires work for NASA and study the effects of spaceflight on the human body, particularly in the areas of immunology and the gut microbiome. In her free time, Carli enjoys baking, dancing, and fitness. She has also fostered five dogs through City Dogs Rescue since moving to Baltimore.

Keep up the great work, Carli!

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Archives +
Pathobiology Thesis Seminar
Friday, March 15, 2019 - 3:00 pm
Speaker: Drew T. Bell (Ph.D. Candidate)
Title: The L,D-Transpeptidases of P. aeruginosa
Place: Darner Conference Room (MRB/Turner G07, adjacent to fountain)
Advisor: Dr. Gyanu Lamichhane

Congratulations, Audrey Knight!

We are proud to announce that Audrey Knight, a 3rd year graduate student in the Pathobiology Graduate Program, has been awarded an R25 pilot grant from the NIMH titled: "Dysregulation of central nervous system glial immune responses in a cART-suppressed SIV/macaque model of chronic HIV CNS disease."

Audrey Knight is from St. Louis, Missouri and received her Bachelors of Science degree in biology from Illinois College in 2014. While at Illinois College, she conducted several independent research projects focusing on RNA interference, synthetic chemistry, virology, and orchid conservation. Audrey joined the lab of Joseph Mankowski, DVM, PhD, DACVP, in 2016 where she studies the role of microglia in HIV associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND) using an SIV/macaque model.

Pathobiology Thesis Seminar
Monday, September 24, 2018 - 12:00 pm
Speaker: Corey Porter (Ph.D. Candidate)
Title: The Induction and Silencing of Lactoferrin, a Putative Prostate Cancer Tumor Suppressor Gene, in the Early Stages of Prostate Neoplasia and Progression
Place: Mountcastle Auditorium
Advisor: Dr. Karen Sfanos

Congratulations, Hee Sun Choi!

We are proud to announce that Hee Sun Choi, a graduate student in the Pathobiology Graduate Program, has been awarded the MAA Winter 2016 Predoctoral Fellowship. The 2-year award was granted to Hee Sun by the Research Committee of the American Heart Association to fund her project: Role of group 2 innate lymphoid cells in eosinophilic pericarditis.

Hee Sun Choi was born in Seoul, South Korea and received her Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in Biotechnology from Yonsei University in 2009 and 2011, respectively. While at Yonsei University, the main focus of her research was protein folding. Hee Sun joined the laboratory of Daniela Cihakova, M.D., Ph.D., and has been studying the mechanism of the development of pericarditis-inflammation in the heart. Her long term goal is to contribute to developing more effective ways to prevent and treat human diseases.

Pathobiology Thesis Seminar
Tuesday, May 8, 2018 - 1:00 pm
Speaker: Wan Rou Yang (Ph.D. Candidate)
Title: Developing SQuIRE to map the landscape of interspersed repeat expression
Place: Darner Conference Room
Advisor: Dr. Kathy Burns

Pathobiology Thesis Seminar
Tuesday, March 27, 2018 - 2:00 pm
Speaker: Jaeyeun Lee (Ph.D. Candidate)
Title: An antibiotic triggers cell stress responses and Epstein-Barr virus lytic activation
Place: CRB I, 3M42
Advisor: Dr. Richard Ambinder

Pathobiology Thesis Seminar
Friday, March 23, 2018 - 2:30 pm
Speaker: Bradley Poore (Ph.D. Candidate)
Title: Inhibition of Glutamine Metabolism Sensitizes Cancer to Further Pharmacological Disruption and Yields Clinically Viable Treatment Options
Place: Wood Basic Science Auditorium, PCTB/WBSB Ground Level
Advisor: Dr. Eric Raabe

Pathobiology Thesis Seminar
Friday, March 16, 2018 - 2:00 pm
Speaker: Michael E. Urbanowski (Ph.D. Candidate)
Title: Studies on the Mechanism and Inhibition of Tuberculosis Cavitation
Place: Mountcastle Auditorium, PCTB
Advisor: Dr. William Bishai

Pathobiology Thesis Seminar
Monday, November 27, 2017 - 3:30 pm
Speaker: Heidi Hempel
Ph.D. Candidate
Title: The Role of Mast Cells in Prostate Cancer Initiation and Recurrence
Place: Mountcastle Auditorium, PCTB
Advisor: Dr. Karen Sfanos

Pathobiology Thesis Seminar
Tuesday, September 12, 2017 - 3:15 pm
Speaker: Carolyn Tallon
Ph.D. Candidate
Title: BACE1 activity levels inversely influence peripheral axon regeneration: a potential therapy for nerve injuries and diseases
Place: Rangos 490
Advisor: Dr. Mohamed Farah

Pathobiology Thesis Seminar
Monday, July 17, 2017 - 3:00 pm
Speaker: James Pendleton
Ph.D. Candidate
Title: Mechanisms of Chondroitin Sulfate Proteoglycan (CSPG) Mediated Inhibition of Oligodendrocyte Function and Myelination
Place: Kennedy Kreiger Institute Outpatient Center
801 N. Broadway, Room 202
Advisor: Dr. Visar Belegu

Pathobiology Thesis Seminar
Monday, July 10, 2017 - 1:30 pm
Speaker: Breann Yanagisawa
Ph.D. Candidate
Title: Identifying Novel Therapeutic Targets in Acute Myeloid Leukemia
Place: CRB II, Rm 111
Advisor: Dr. Rick Jones

Pathobiology Thesis Seminar
Wednesday, June 14, 2017 - 12:00 noon
Speaker: Youngran Park
Ph.D. Candidate
Title: The Caretaker Role of ARID1A in DNA Repair and The Effects of Targeted Therapy in ARID1A Mutated Cancers
Place: CRB II, Rm 111
Advisors: Dr. Ie-Ming Shih and Dr. Tian-Li Wang

Pathobiology Thesis Seminar
Tuesday, June 13, 2017 - 3:00pm
Speaker: Samantha Semenkow
Ph.D. Candidate
Title: Targeting the Notch Pathway and the Role of the Tumor Microenvironment in Glioblastoma
Place: PCTB West Lecture Hall
Advisors: Dr. Charles Eberhart

Pathobiology Thesis Seminar
Monday, April 10, 2017 - 12:00 noon
Speaker: Rosie Jiang
Ph.D. Candidate
Title: Therapeutic Vaccine and Drug Development for Gynecologic Cancer
Place: Owens Auditorium (between the CRB's)
Advisors: Dr. Richard Roden

Pathobiology Thesis Seminar
Thursday, April 6, 2017 - 4:00 pm
Speaker: Jonathan Ling
Ph.D. Candidate
Title: The Role of Cryptic Exon Repression in Neurogenesis and Neurodegeneration
Place: Darner Conference Room (across from Turner fountain)
Advisors: Dr. Philip Wong

Pathobiology Thesis Seminar
Tuesday, March 28, 2017 - 2:00 pm
Speaker: Allison Hanaford
Ph.D. Candidate
Title: Using a novel human neural stem cell model of aggressive medulloblastoma to investigate new therapeutic strategies
Place: Mountcastle Auditorium, PCTB
Advisors: Dr. Charles Eberhart and Dr. Eric Raabe

Pathobiology Thesis Seminar
Monday, March 20, 2017 - 4:00 pm
Speaker: Meng Su
Ph.D. Candidate
Title: Role of Cytochrome P450 Enzymes in the Acute Myeloid Leukemia Bone Marrow Microenvironment
Place: CRB I, Rm. 3M42
Advisor: Dr. Richard Jones

Pathobiology Thesis Seminar
Speaker: Bo-Yi Sung
Ph.D. Candidate
Title: Human Memory CD8 T Cells Polyfunctionality is Epigenetically Controlled by PRMT1
Date: Tuesday, January 17, 2017
Time: 2:00 pm
Place: MRB G03
Advisor: Dr. Jonathan Schneck

Pathobiology Thesis Seminar
Speaker: Yi-Hsin Lin
Ph.D. Candidate
Title: Generation of a spontaneous HPV-16 E6/E7 expressing pre-clinical tumor model for therapeutic intervention
Date: Monday, November 28, 2016
Time: 3:30 pm
Place: CRB II, 111
Advisor: Dr. TC Wu

Pathobiology Thesis Seminar
Speaker: Michael Ayars
Ph.D. Candidate
Title: RNA Expression Patterns in Pancreatic Intraepithelial Neoplasia
Date: Monday, October 31, 2016
Time: 3:00 pm
Place: CRB II, 111
Advisor: Dr. Michael Goggins

Pathobiology Thesis Seminar
Speaker: Alyssa Walker
Ph.D. Candidate
Title: Survival Pathways in Breast Cancer Cells during Glucose Deprivation
Date: Monday, August 1, 2016
Time: 1:00 pm
Place: CRB II, 1M 13
Advisor: Dr. Edward Gabrielson

Pathobiology Thesis Seminar
Speaker: AByunghak Kang, D.V.M.
Ph.D. Candidate
Title: Single-step BRAFV600E induction of right sided colon cancer phenotype by autonomous Wnt-activation and stem-cell expansion
Date: Monday, June 13, 2016
Time: 1:00 pm
Place: Owens Auditorium (CRB I & II Corridor)
Advisor: Dr. Steve Baylin
Co-Advisor: Dr. Hariharan Easwaran

Pathobiology Thesis Seminar
Speaker: Annie Hsieh
Ph.D. Candidate
Title: Oncogenic MYC Disrupts Molecular Clock and Metabolism in Cancer Cells and Drosophila
Date: Friday, March 18, 2016
Time: 1:00 pm
Place: Mountcastle Auditorium (PCTB)
Advisor: Dr. Chi Van Dang

Pathobiology Thesis Seminar
Speaker: Wan Yee Leong
Ph.D. Candidate
Title: Src Stimulates RUNX1 Trans-Activation to Favor Granulopoiesis
Date: Tuesday, February 23, 2016
Time: 2:00 pm
Place: Darner Conference Room, Turner G007
Advisor: Dr. Alan Friedman

Congratulations Jonathan Ling!

We are proud to announce the outstanding achievement of current Pathobiology graduate student, Jonathan Ling for his recently published article in Science, titled:
"TDP-43 repression of nonconserved cryptic exons is compromised in ALS-FTD"
Science. 2015 Aug 7;349(6248):650-5.
doi: 10.1126/science.aab0983.
Article link:

Jonathan Ling comes from Boston, MA. He received his BS in Biomedical Engineering from Johns Hopkins in 2010. After taking several neuroscience classes, he joined a lab at Johns Hopkins and began researching the role of TARDBP and c9orf72 in the pathophysiology of FTD/ALS. Jon has taken advantage of the synergy between basic science and translational medicine that the Pathobiology program provides to further supplement his research experience.

Watch Jonathan Ling & Dr. Philip Wong take the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge! (As seen on CBS & Fox News)

Congratulations Dr. Cheryl Koh!

Congratulations to former Pathobiology graduate student, Cheryl Koh, Ph.D. for her recently published article in Nature, titled:
"MYC regulates the core pre-mRNA splicing machinery as an essential step in lymphomagenesis"
Nature 2015 Jul 11;523(7558):96-100. Epub 2015 May 11.

These authors contributed equally to this work.
Cheryl M. Koh & Marco Bezzi

Article Link:

Cheryl Mei-Yi Koh, Ph.D.
Agency for Science, Technology & Research
Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (IMCB)
Singapore 138673, Singapore

I am currently studying the role of the protein arginine methyltransferases PRMT5 and PRMT7 in normal hematopoiesis and in Myc-induced lymphomas. My PhD research focused on the network of Myc-driven oncogenic processes in prostate carcinogenesis and was carried out in the lab of Angelo M De Marzo, MD, PhD, at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, USA.

Congratulations on winning the Biotech & Healthcare Case Competition!

The Hopkins Graduate Student Consulting Club (JHGCC) successfully hosted a Biotech & Healthcare Case Competition on Friday, Apr 10, 2015 at the Homewood campus. The Case Competition was a great success with more than 50 teams (over 200 people) registered and 8 judges representing various sponsoring consulting firms on the day. The event culminated in 5 finalist team presentations in front of the client team from Johns Hopkins Medicine International, who were pleased to see the variety and depth of the recommendations that the teams came up with. This event provided undergraduates, graduate students, and postdocs interested in a career in consulting a hands-on opportunity to solve a complex business case and network with professionals in the field.

The 1st place winner is a three-person team from the Pathology Department

Biotech and Healthcare Case Competition Winners
To learn more about the The Hopkins Graduate Student Consulting Club (JHGCC) and the competition, please click here.

Pathobiology Graduate Program Student Awards

Scholar-in-Training Travel Award Winners

Heidi Hempel and Corey Porter were recipients of the Scholar-in-Training Travel Award to attend the AACR Sixth Conference on the Science of Cancer Health Disparities in Racial/Ethnic Minorities and the Medically Underserved. The conference took place November 9-12, 2014 at the Grant Hyatt San Antonio, Texas.

Allison Hanaford received the 2014 Women in Cancer Research Scholar Award for her abstract titled: Targeting glutamine metabolism as a therapeutic strategy in MYC-driven medulloblastoma.

Congratulations Heidi, Corey and Allison!