Congrats to our 2019 graduating students

It is with great excitement that we congratulate the graduating students and research staff who will be moving onward and upward.

A few of these students and staff shared about their time at the Morgridge Institute, their accomplishments and their plans for what’s next.

Alex Walsh

Medical Engineering, Skala Lab

During her time with the Skala Lab, Alex Walsh worked on the development of endogenous fluorescence signals used as biomarkers for physiological functions, such as immune cell behavior and the body’s response to anti-cancer drugs. Next, Walsh will be moving to College Station, Texas, to join the Biomedical Engineering department at Texas A&M University as an Assistant Professor.

Christine Walsh

Medical Engineering, Skala Lab

As a Data Scientist in the Skala Lab, Christine Walsh applied machine learning techniques for microscopy image analysis. Walsh, whose favorite part about working at Morgridge has been “the collaborative environment and interest in doing good science,” will continue on as a postdoctoral researcher in the Skala Lab.

Joe Sharick

Medical Engineering, Skala Lab

During his time with the Skala Lab, Joe Sharick’s work involved the development of optical metabolic imaging used to study responses to drug treatment in breast and pancreatic cancer. Sharick started his PhD at Vanderbilt University before moving to the Morgridge Institute with Dr. Melissa Skala and her team.

“My work really took off as soon as I began working at the Morgridge Institute,” Sharick says. “There is an exciting atmosphere here that supports the undertaking of the most difficult problems facing human health. I also enjoyed the wealth of opportunities and resources to do meaningful science outreach.”

Outside of the lab, Sharick has enjoyed spending time in Madison relaxing at the Terrace and kayaking on Lake Monona. Sharick will continue as a Postdoc with the Skala Lab after graduation.

Sheila Johnson

Metabolism, Pagliarini Lab

As an undergraduate researcher in the Pagliarini Lab, Sheila Johnson assisted in characterizing unknown steps in coenzyme Q precursor biosynthesis – a “vital cog” in the energy producing machinery of the body.

“It was a really great experience and a great environment to cultivate my interest in biochemical research,” Johnson says. “I have learned so much from my mentor and other graduate students and faculty in my lab. I count it as a privilege to have been able to work at Morgridge.”

After graduation, Johnson will be moving to Boston, Massachusetts, to begin her graduate studies in the Chemical Biology Program at Harvard University.

Lainy Von Bank

Metabolism, Pagliarini Lab

As a research assistant in the Pagliarini Lab, Lainy Von Bank studied mitochondrial proteins using biochemical and molecular biology techniques. Von Bank, whose favorite part about working at Morgridge was the collaborative community inside the lab and out, will be starting the Cellular and Molecular Biology PhD program at UW–Madison this fall.

Gopika Senthilkumar

Medical Engineering, Fab Lab

As part of the BerbeeWalsh Prototype Pathway, Gopika Senthilkumar worked with Dr. Kevin Eliceiri to develop a diagnostic device that uses acoustic sound as a method for brain imaging and localizes the real-sound sources causing symptoms in patients with tinnitus. After graduation, Senthilkumar will begin the Medical Scientist Training Program (MD/PhD) at the Medical College of Wisconsin.

Samuel Broadnax

Medical Engineering, Huisken Lab

As an intern in the Huisken Lab, Samuel Broadnax used embedded systems engineering to help researchers develop new and more efficient ways to observe the natural world. As for next steps, he’s deciding between pursuing graduate school and entering the workforce full-time.

“I’ve loved working with such a diverse group of people,” Broadnax says. “I’ve learned so much from everyone I’ve met through the Morgridge Institute.”

Yiqun Ma

Medical Engineering, Fab Lab

As an undergraduate researcher in the Fab Lab, Yiqun Ma worked on hardware and software development for different projects, including the Laser Safety Monitor System. At the same time, Ma worked on an optical imaging system project with the Eliceiri Lab. This summer, Ma will begin PhD studies in Biomedical Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.

In addition to those featured above, congratulations to all the rest of our staff and students who are graduating and moving onward this semester:

  • Isabel Jones, Medical Engineering, Skala Lab
  • Mohammad Karim, Medical Engineering, Skala Lab
  • Kieran Mulligan, Core Computation, Software Assurance Marketplace (SWAMP)
  • Sophia Seol, Core Computation, Software Assurance Marketplace (SWAMP)
  • Ruth Brandt, Communications Team
  • Aman Nihal, Regenerative Biology, Thomson Lab
  • Alex Satchie, Regenerative Biology, Thomson Lab
  • Morten Seirup, Regenerative Biology, Thomson Lab
  • Hamisha Ardalani, Regenerative Biology, Thomson Lab
  • Matt Brown, Regenerative Biology, Thomson Lab
  • Jessica Thornton, Virology, Ahlquist Lab
  • Katlyn Frane, Virology, Ahlquist Lab
  • Amy Lin, Metabolism, Pagliarini Lab
  • Stephen Squires, Medical Engineering, Fab Lab
  • Puwadej Mahadumrongkul, Medical Engineering, Fab Lab