Congratulations to the 2024 Graduate Research Symposium winners

Poster presentations


  • 1st Place: Asra Akhlaq, biological sciences, “Diet and insulin signaling promote oocyte health and fertilization in Caenorhabditis elegans.”
  • 2nd placeAaron Lotvola, oncology, “c-Myc is downregulated by ABHD5 in prostate cancer cells.”
  • 3rd placeYogesh Joshi, anatomy & cell biology, “Inhibiting innate immune activation improves Drosophila model of Vps13D-associated neurodegeneration.”


  • 1st place: Elizabeth Slane, applied health sciences, “Flame retardant-induced neural cell death.”
  • 2nd placeArifur Rahman, applied health sciences, “Proteomic profiling of PNPLA3 mutants in human hepatocytes reveals potential pathways in NAFLD.”
  • 3rd placeAmirreza Samarbakhsh, pharmaceutical sciences, “Discovery and development of broad-spectrum antiviral therapeutics by targeting PL protease.”

Platform talks

  • 1st Place: Franziska Loetzner, kinesiology, health & sport studies, “Exploring health-related physical fitness in elite-level Special Olympics Unified Sports.”
  • 2nd placeRachel Sochocki, nutrition & food science,  “Uncontrolled eating differentiates weight loss maintainers from regainers.”
  • 3rd placeMichael VanNostrand, pharmacy & health sciences, “Exploring perceptions of physical activity in individuals newly diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.”

Three-Minute Thesis Competition

  • 1st place: Samantha Heldman, pharmacology, “From broken screens to broken seams: can exposure to LCMs contribute to obesity?”
  • 2nd place: Sarah Black, biological sciences, “Screening the neighborhood: using plants and insects to detect belowground plumes.”
  • 3rd place: Vishaka Pathiranage, chemistry, “Rational design of chloride sensors for living cells.”