Congratulations to our graduating students

With the semester winding down, we are thrilled to congratulate graduating students and research staff who are moving on and up. More than 110 undergraduate and graduate students, in addition to post-doctoral fellows, work across six biomedical research themes at the Morgridge Institute.

We asked a handful of students and fellows to share their experiences and plans for what’s next.

Maryse Lapierre-Landry

Medical Engineering, Skala Lab

I completed the first three years of my PhD at Vanderbilt University in Nashville before moving to the Morgridge Institute with the rest of my lab in 2016. I have particularly enjoyed those two years in Madison, especially going to the Farmers’ Market and eating delicious fried cheese curds. Morgridge was a great work environment—the best part was the amount of support provided to organize and participate in scientific outreach activities. After graduating, I’ll be moving to Cleveland to start a post-doc in biomedical optics at Case Western Reserve University.

Kailey Slavik

Virology, Ahlquist Lab

During my time at Morgridge, I have been fortunate to work as both an undergraduate researcher and a research specialist. Morgridge was a truly unique place for me to learn and grow as a scientist, thanks to the supportive mentorship I received, as well as the unparalleled resources available to researchers. My work immersed me in the basic biological questions behind how viruses replicate, which has inspired me to continue investigating these questions as a graduate student. This fall, I will begin my PhD studies in the Virology Program at Harvard University.

Sean Kelley

Medical Engineering, Fab Lab

While at Morgridge, I worked with Brandon Walker on his project designing and building a CT scanner. I ran physics simulations and did thermal and structural analysis on the components to help inform any design changes needed. After graduation, I’ll be backpacking through Southeast Asia and then starting work as an engineer for an environmental consulting firm this December.

Jieru Hu

Core Computation, Software Assurance Marketplace (SWAMP)

I’m an undergraduate student majoring in mechanical engineering and computer science. I worked as a student developer intern in the Software Assurance Marketplace (SWAMP) team. It was really a great experience working at Morgridge because I got a chance to work on real-world problems and develop new exciting features for our software. I am very thankful for this opportunity. After graduation, I will be working as a full-time software engineer for Amazon in Seattle.

Marshall Schlick

Medical Engineering, Fab Lab

During my time at Morgridge, I contributed to the design and construction of a radiation shielding room and an insulating oil vessel. I am a better engineer and person because of my experiences at Morgridge. After graduation, I’m heading to Europe for four weeks to backpack the coast of the Adriatic Sea. I’m really looking forward to some authentic Italian food! When I return, I’m moving to New Richmond, Wis., to begin a career in the medical device industry with Phillips-Medisize.

Amanda Navine

Virology, Ahlquist Lab

I had the great opportunity to work as an undergraduate and then as a research specialist, honing my research skills by studying RNA virus replication complexes. I have refined our understanding of the self-interactions formed by the RNA virus protein responsible for creating the viral replication complex. In the fall, I will begin the Tropical Conservation Biology and Environmental Science (TCBES) Master’s Program at the University of Hawaii. I will be investigating the genetic variation of a newly discovered breeding population of Hawaiian petrels. This knowledge will be critical for designing conservation strategies for this endangered species.

Ellen Arena

Medical Engineering, Fab Lab

I am nearing the end of my Morgridge postdoctoral fellowship in the Medical Engineering Theme. Through the fellowship travel funds, I have traveled throughout the U.S. and Europe to participate in, as well as teach at, international image analysis training courses. This has given me the chance to further my skills as well as network with others in image analysis. I will continue to work with Kevin Eliceiri as a staff scientist, continuing my career. It’s only because of the Morgridge fellowship that I was able to do this and the icing on the cake is I was able to come back home. On top of that, I’m working in a field I never would have predicted years ago!