Graduate Spotlight: UGA ARCS Foundation Scholars
2010 UGA ARCS Foundation Scholars from left to right: Shelley Hooks (mentor); Ronald Blount (mentor); Bonney Reed-Knight; Megan McCormick; Elizabeth Driskell; Phillip Callihan; Carly Jordan; Peggy Brickman (mentor); Julie Rushmore; Mark Tompkins (mentor); Liliana Jaso-Friedmann (mentor); Harry Dailey (BHSI Director); Alecia Septer; Eric Stabb (mentor); and Michael Adams (UGA President).
Phillip Callihan is pursuing a Ph.D. in pharmaceutical and biomedical sciences. His research focuses on the lipid signaling pathways that regulate growth and cell fate in early neural development. Callihan is investigating how Fumonisin B1, a food-borne fungal toxin widely found in developing countries, affects lipid signaling and leads to birth defects of the brain and spinal cord.
Elizabeth Driskell is in a combined veterinary anatomic pathology residency and veterinary pathology Ph.D. program at UGA. She studies the transmission and pathogenesis of wild bird avian influenza viruses in mammals to better understand the potential impact of these viruses on human population. Driskell, a veterinarian, recently completed a residency in veterinary anatomic pathology.
Carly Jordan is pursuing her Ph.D. in cellular biology. Her research focuses on the cell division process in the human parasite Toxoplasma gondii. Jordanís true passion, however, is the classroom. In addition to teaching numerous courses at the graduate and undergraduate levels, she has conducted original research improving the authenticity of laboratory courses.
Megan McCormick is a Ph.D. candidate in psychology. She is examining the barriers that prevent adolescent organ transplant recipients from adhering to their immunosuppressant drug regimens. She hopes a better understanding of this issue can lead to detection and better health outcomes for young patients.
Bonney Reed-Knight is pursuing a Ph.D. in clinical psychology. Her doctoral work focuses on pediatric health, with a particular interest in applying psychological research to improve disease outcomes and quality of life for youth with gastrointestinal disorders, such as inflammatory bowel disease.
Julie Rushmore is a D.V.M./Ph.D. candidate who is receiving training in veterinary medicine and ecology. Her research examines the prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases in African great apes and assesses how social behavior affects pathogen transmission in wild chimpanzees. Due to her extensive research studying public health, disease ecology and wildlife conservation in Africa, Rushmore received this yearís ARCS Global Impact Grant.
Alecia Septer is a pursing a Ph.D. in microbiology. For her dissertation work, Septer is studying the symbiosis between the bioluminescent bacterium Vibrio fischeri and the Hawaiian bobtail squid in order to better understand how environmental cues regulate bacterial communication as they colonize their host.
Story by Rebecca Ayer