The University of Chicago's PhD graduates receive divisional and program awards during 2024 convocation

Rockefeller Chapel

During the May 2024 convocation ceremonies at the University of Chicago Medicine, 14 PhD graduates received divisional and program awards for their research projects and scientific presentations.

The PhD Program award winners are:

· Megan Kennedy, Award for Best Dissertation in the Biological Sciences, Interdisciplinary Scientist Training Program: Ecology and Evolution, “Temporal mechanisms of population- and community-level microbial adaptation to shifting resource landscapes” (Advisors: Eugene Chang and Joy Bergelson)

· Juan José Ápiz Saab, Cancer Biology, “Characterizing metabolic adaptations of pancreatic cancer to tumor nutrient stress” (Alexander Muir)

· Katherine Aracena, Human Genetics, “Unraveling the genetic and epigenetic basis of inter-individual variation in immune response to influenza infection” (Luis Barreiro)

· Emily Fogarty, Microbiology, “Revealing the ecological interactions, evolutionary histories and niche boundaries of prevalent human gut plasmids” (A. Murat Eren)

· Soo Ji Hur, Development, Regeneration, and Stem Cell Biology, “Quantitative insights into the role of RTK/MAPK signaling pathway on developmental cell state transitions” (Ilaria Rebay)

· David Klawon, Immunology, “Role of regulatory T cell antigen specificity in T cell tolerance, autoimmunity, and self-nonself discrimination” (Peter Savage)

· Szymon Kordon, Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, “Conformational and functional coupling between extracellular and transmembrane regions define adhesion GPCR latrophilin-3 signaling” (Demet Arac-Ozkan)

· Xiaoxuan Lin, Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, “Hydrogen exchange/mass spectrometry elucidates dynamics of membrane proteins both in vitro and in vivo” (Tobin Sosnick)

· Mira M. Liu, Medical Physics, “Use, optimization, and expansion of quantitative magnetic resonance perfusion imaging in cerebrovascular disease” (Timothy Carroll)

· Victor Mendoza, Molecular Metabolism and Nutrition, “Macrophage inflammation and lipid metabolism in atherosclerosis” (Lev Becker)

· Elizaveta Okorokova, Computational Neuroscience, “Unraveling the neural basis of prehension to build better bionic hands” (Sliman Bensmaia)

· Shivang Sullere, Neurobiology, “Discovery of a cholinergic circuit that relieves pain, despite opioid tolerance” (Daniel McGehee)

· Audrey Williams, Cell and Molecular Biology, “Organization of a planar signaling system that orchestrates collective epithelial cell migration in Drosophila” (Sally Horne-Badovinac)

· Xingruo (Summer) Zhang, Public Health Sciences, “Obtaining more information from location scale models for intensive longitudinal data: Effects sizes, diagnostics, and latent classes” (Donald Hedecker)