Trainees

The Tri-Institutional MMPTP has been highly successful in recruiting outstanding trainees. To date, 31 trainees have completed the program: 25 at Duke, three at UNC-CH, two at NCSU, and one at both Duke and NCSU. Of these past trainees, two are governmental scientists, six are in industry, eight are academic research associates, one is a non-tenure track university laboratory administrator, and seven are tenure-track faculty members at research universities. Notably, three of our trainees have received K22 awards (Nielsen, Idnurm and Fortwendel). The following lists each trainee with his or her period of support, mentor, and current position.

Summary of Trainees (April 2019)

Current Trainees

Ben Woods, PhD
Period of Support: 10/2019 – Present
Mentor: Amy Gladfelter, PhD
Venue: UNC-CH
MMPTP Grant Year: 16

José Vargas-Muñiz, PhD
Period of Support: 8/2017 – Present
Mentor: Amy Gladfelter, PhD
Venue: UNC-CH
MMPTP Grant Year: 14

Megan Cullen, PhD
Period of Support: 8/2018 – Present
Mentor: Marc Cubeta
Venue: NC State
MMPTP Grant Year: 15

Nasie Constantino, PhD
Period of Support: 8/2018 – Present
Mentor: Ralph Dean
Venue: NC State
MMPTP Grant Year: 15

Asiya Gusa, PhD
Period of Support: 8/2018 – Present
Mentor: Sue Jinks-Robertson
Venue: Duke
MMPTP Grant Year: 15

Grant Jones, PhD
Period of Support: 8/2018 – Present
Mentor: Bill Goldman
Venue: UNC-CH
MMPTP Grant Year: 15

Past Trainees

Erica Washington, PhD
Period of Support: 10/2015 – 3/2019
Mentor: Richard Brennan, PhD
Venue: Duke
MMPTP Grant Year: 12

Colin Maxwell
Period of Support: 10/2017 – 2/2019
Mentor: Daniel Matute, PhD
Venue: UNC-CH
MMPTP Grant Year: 14

Keats Shwab, PhD
Period of Support: 9/2015 – 8/2018
Mentor: William Steinbach, MD, PhD
Venue: Duke
MMPTP Grant Year: 12

Aaron Smith, PhD
Period of Support: 10/2015 – 9/2018
Mentor: Dennis Thiele, PhD
Venue: Duke
MMPTP Grant Year: 12

Jonathan Williams, PhD
Period of Support: 5/2015 – 6/2018
Mentor: Sue Jinks-Robertson, PhD
Venue: Duke
MMPTP Grant Year: 11
Current Position: Director of Molecular DNA R&D , LabCorp

Stacey Maskarinec, MD, PhD
Period of Support: 8/2015 – 5/2018
Mentor: Vance Fowler, MD, PhD
Venue: Duke
MMPTP Grant Year: 12
Current Position: Faculty, Department of Medicine, Infectious Diseases, Duke University Medical Center

Anna Loksztejn, PhD
Period of Support: 12/2014 – 8/2017
Mentor: Kenichi Yokoyama, PhD
Venue: Duke
MMPTP Grant Year: 11
Current Position: Research Associate Sr; Retinal Ophthalmology, Durham, NC

Robert A. Cramer, Jr., PhD
Period of Support: 06/2004 – 05/2007
Mentor: William J. Steinbach, MD / John R. Perfect, MD
Venue: Duke
Number of MMPTP-Supported Publications: Seven
Current Position: Associate Professor of Microbiology and Immunology; Dartmouth School of Medicine; Hanover, NH

Amy J. Powell, PhD
Period of Support: 05/2004 – 10/2007
Mentor: Ralph Dean, PhD
Venue: Duke
Number of MMPTP-Supported Publications: Three
Current Position: Sandia National Labs; Senior Technical Staff; Systems Biology, DOE; Albuquerque, NM

P. Brian Smith, MD, MPH, MHS
Period of Support: 07/2004 – 06/2006
Mentor: John Perfect, MD
Venue: Duke
Number of MMPTP-Supported Publications: Seven
Current Position: Associate Directory of Research Fellowships, DCRI; Associate Professor of Pediatrics (Neonatology); Chief of the Division of Quantitative Sciences; Duke University Medical Center; Durham, NC

Michael S. Price, PhD
Period of Support: 04/2005 – 04/2008
Mentor: J. Andrew Alspaugh, MD
Venue: Duke
Number of MMPTP-Supported Publications: Three
Current Position: Associate Professor; Biology, Liberty University; Lynchburg, VA

Kirsten Nielsen, PhD
Period of Support: 07/2005 – 07/2006
Mentor: Joseph Heitman, MD, PhD
Venue: Duke
Number of MMPTP-Supported Publications: Nine
Current Position: Associate Professor of Microbiology; University of Minnesota School of Medicine; Minneapolis, MN

Crystal Icenhour, PhD
Period of Support: 07/2005 – 07/2006
Mentor: John Perfect, MD
Venue: Duke
Current Position: CEO; Aperiomics, Inc.; Ashburn, VA

Xiaorong Lin, PhD
Period of Support: 01/2006 – 12/2007
Mentor: Joseph Heitman, MD, PhD
Venue: Duke
Number of MMPTP-Supported Publications: Nine
Current Position:  Gene E. Michaels Professor in Medical Mycology; University of Georgia; Athens, GA

Kimberly R. Bartsch, PhD
Period of Support: 05/2006 – 06/2008
Mentor: Vytas Bankaitis, PhD
Venue: UNC-CH
Number of MMPTP-Supported Publications: Six
Current Position: Adjunct Professor of Chemistry; Stevenson University; Stevenson, MD

Alexander Idnurm, PhD
Period of Support: 02/2007 – 09/2007
Mentor: Joseph Heitman, MD, PhD
Venue: Duke
Number of MMPTP-Supported Publications: Six
Current Position: Senior Lecturer; University of Melbourne, Australia

Marianela Rodriguez-Carres, PhD
Period of Support I: 05/2007 – 12/2008
Mentor: Joseph Heitman, MD, PhD
Venue: Duke
Period of Support II: 01/2009 – 05/2010
Mentors: Marc Cubeta, PhD / Rytas Vilgalys, PhD
Venue: NCSU / Duke
Number of MMPTP-Supported Publications: Five
Current Position: Scientist; BASF Corporation; Research Triangle Park, NC

Kathleen Miglia, PhD
Period of Support: 06/2007 – 06/2010
Mentor: Thomas Mitchell, PhD
Venue: Duke
Number of MMPTP-Supported Publications: Four
Current Position: Laboratory Administrator; Department of Biology; Duke University; Durham, NC

Jennifer Tenor, PhD
Period of Support: 06/2007 – 06/2010
Mentor: John Perfect, PhD
Venue: Duke
Number of MMPTP-Supported Publications: Two
Current Position: Assistant Professor: Department of Medicine (Infectious Diseases); Duke University Medical Center; Durham, NC

Peter V. Decker, PhD
Period of Support: 11/2007 – 10/2010
Mentor: Arno Greenleaf, PhD
Venue: Duke
Current Position: Managing Editor; Editing Services; American Journal Experts, a Research Square company; Durham, NC

Jarrod Fortwendel, PhD
Period of Support: 04/2008 – 04/2011
Mentor: William Steinbach, MD
Venue: Duke
Number of MMPTP-Supported Publications: Eleven
Current Position: Associate Professor, Department of Clinical Pharmacy, University of Tennessee,Memphis

Joshua Burgess, PhD
Period of Support: 02/2009 – 05/2011
Mentor: William Goldman, PhD
Venue: UNC-CH
Current Position: Scientist; Epicentre (an Illumina Company); Madison, WI

Min Ni, PhD
Period of Support: 02/2011 – 05/2011
Mentor: Joseph Heitman, MD, PhD
Venue: Duke
Number of MMPTP-Supported Publications: Two
Current Position: Scientist; Molecular Profiling; Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; Tarrytown, NY

Ryan Georgiana, PhD
Period of Support: 12/2009 – 08/2011
Mentor: John McCusker, PhD
Venue: Duke
Number of MMPTP-Supported Publications: Two
Current Position: Scientist; Renewable Energy Group, Inc.; San Francisco, CA

Wenjun Li, MD, PhD
Period of Support: 04/2012 – 05/2012
Mentor: Joseph Heitman, MD, PhD
Venue: Duke
Current Position: Microbial Genome Curator; NCBI, NIH; Bethesda, MD

Jennifer Horan, MD, PharmD
Period of Support: 08/2011 – 07/2012
Mentor: Barbara Alexander Lodge, MD
Venue: Duke
Number of MMPTP-Supported Publications: Three
Current Position: Instructor; Department of Medicine (Infectious Diseases); Duke University Medical Center; Durham, NC

Richard Festa, PhD
Period of Support: 08/2011 – 07/2012
Mentor: Dennis Thiele, PhD
Venue: Duke
Number of MMPTP-Supported Publications: Three
Current Position: Senior Scientist, Irvine Scientific

Soo Chan Lee, PhD
Period of Support: 03/2010 – 02/2013
Mentor: Joseph Heitman, MD, PhD
Venue: Duke
Number of MMPTP-Supported Publications: Ten
Current Position: Assistant Professor; Univ of Texas, San Antonio

Xuying Wang, PhD
Period of Support: 08/2012 – 03/2013
Mentor: Joseph Heitman, MD, PhD
Venue: Duke
Number of MMPTP-Supported Publications: Three
Current Position: Investigator; GlaxoSmithKline; Marquette Univ

William Franck, PhD
Period of Support: 06/2010 – 05/2013
Mentor: Ralph Dean, PhD
Venue: NCSU
Number of MMPTP-Supported Publications: Four
Current Position: Research; USDA, Northern Plains Ag. Research Lab; Sidney, MT

Jelena Catania, MD
Period of Support: 08/2012 – 07/2013
Mentor: Barbara Alexander Lodge, MD / Aimee Zass, MD, MHS
Venue: Duke
Number of MMPTP-Supported Publications: Two
Current Position: Assistant Professor, Internal Medicine/Infectious Disease, Univ of Central Florida College of Medicine

Ryoko Oono, PhD
Period of Support: 04/2011 – 12/2013
Mentor: Francois Lutzoni, PhD
Venue: Duke
Number of MMPTP-Supported Publications: TBD
Current Position: Assistant Professor, Ecology Evolution & Marine Biology, University of California, Santa Barbara

Wei Song, MD, PhD
Period of Support: 08/2013 – 07/2014
Mentor: Thomas Petes, PhD
Venue: Duke
Number of MMPTP-Supported Publications: TBD
Current Position: Scientist, LabCorp, Research Triangle Park, NC

Stephanie Nay, PhD
Period of Support: 07/2013 – 11/30/2014
Mentor: Sue Jinks-Robertson, PhD
Venue: Duke
Number of MMPTP-Supported Publications: TBD
Current Position: Postdoctoral Fellow; University of Wisconsin

Kevin Roach, PhD
Period of Support: 02/2013 – 06/16/2015
Mentor: Joseph Heitman, MD, PhD
Venue: Duke
Number of MMPTP-Supported Publications: TBD
Current Position: Associate Director of Global Market Insights, Seattle Genetics

Pooja Strope, PhD
Period of Support: 08/2012 – 08/17/2015
Mentor: Fred Dietrich, PhD / John McCusker, PhD
Venue: Duke
Number of MMPTP-Supported Publications: TBD
Current Position: Fungal RefSeq Curator, NCBI

Laura Okagaki-Vraspir, PhD
Period of Support: 09/2012 – 11/2015
Mentors: William Goldman, PhD/ Ralph Dean, PhD
Venue: UNC-CH and NCSU
Number of MMPTP-Supported Publications: 2
Current Position: Freelance Scientific Writer and Editor, MN

Chelsea Boyd, PhD
Period of Support: 4/2014 – 3/2016
Mentor: William Goldman, PhD
Venue: UNC-CH
Number of MMPTP-Supported Publications:
Current Position: Scientific Review Officer at NIAID/NIH

MMPTP Fellows Meetings

Smaller Eukaryotes Meeting (3rd Thursday of each month, unless noted)

Meetings start at 5:45 PM at the NC Biotechnology Center, which is convenient to Duke and most readily reached via Highway 147 to the T.W. Alexander Dr. exit. The NC Biotech Center is just around the corner as you exit the highway (take a right turn off the exit ramp, then a left turn at the first stop light, and the NC Biotech Center is the building on your right, 15 T. W. Alexander Dr., RTP.  In addition to two stellar talks, dinner is provided.
Download meeting schedule

 

EPIC Meetings (last Friday of each month)

The Eukaryotic Pathogens Investigators Club (EPIC) is a monthly, student-organized meeting that brings together scientists that focus on eukaryotic pathogens from multiple departments at Duke University, including Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, Biology, Immunology, Biochemistry, Infectious Diseases, and Pediatrics. Meetings occur on the last Friday of each month from 10:30 – 11:30 am in MSRB 001 and feature two speakers, primarily students or post-docs, giving informal work-in-progress style presentations with questions and discussions highly encouraged.