Current IMSD Graduate Fellows- Cohort 4

Morgan Barham

Brent Allman 

BA. Brent was born in San Diego, CA, and completed a BA in Mathematics with a minor in Biology at the University of San Diego in 2015. There he did research for four years in avian physiological ecology. In 2014, Brent did a summer of research at the University of Colorado at Boulder where he helped to develop Nudge: open-source software for scientific ethics training. In 2015, Brent became a post-baccalaureate researcher in the University of Georgia PREP program where he gained experience in bioinformatics. He worked under the dual mentorship of Dr. Jessica Kissinger and Dr. Juan Gutierrez to quantify sexual recombination events in Toxoplasma gondii, a unicellular parasite. He joined the Population Biology, Ecology, and Evolution (PBEE) PhD program at Emory in the fall of 2016. Brent is interested in evolutionary modeling and methods development for the analysis of complex biological data.


brianaYasmin Marrero-Gracia

Yasmin graduated from Brandeis University with a BA in Neuroscience in 2014. She is a Brandeis University STEM Posse Foundation Alumnae. As an undergraduate she worked with Dr. Donald B. Katz studying taste processing in rodents using electrophysiological recordings. Before coming to Emory, she worked at the National Institute on Drug Abuse with Dr. Geoffrey Schoenbaum investigating how cocaine addiction affects learning in rodents through use of electrophysiology and optogenetics. She is interested in how perturbations of neural networks such as the reward system can lead to psychological disorders like addiction and OCD.

Jessica CoatesCarolina Montanez-Miranda

Carolina attended the University of Puerto Rico, Cayey Campus, where she obtained her BS in Biology in 2016. She participated in different summer internships through the Endocrine Society Minority Access Program and RISE program, where she had the opportunity to work at the University of California-San Diego, Baylor College of Medicine and Emory University. These experiences let her gain knowledge and skills in the areas of reproductive medicine, cancer biology and neuroscience. She is now part of the Molecular Systems and Pharmacology Program and is interested in researching drug targets and developing novel therapeutic approaches.

SianaElise Ozbardakci

MS (Human Nutrition Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, 2013); BS (Psychology Cornell University, 2012). Elise is a first year graduate student in Emory’s Clinical Psychology program. While working on her Master’s degree, her research focused on eating behavior and motivation. Specifically, she worked on understanding macronutrients’ effects on energy intake. After graduating, she worked on a NIDA-funded cooperative initiative that tested implementation strategies for improving the delivery of evidence-based behavioral health services for youth in the justice system. Elise is currently interested in examining the causes and consequences of childhood and adolescent obesity, and to utilize that knowledge to design early intervention and prevention programs that promote children and families at risk of obesity to adopt behaviors that lead to stabilization of childhood weight, and/or long-term weight loss.

ShaqJuan Rodriguez

BS, Biomedical Sciences Inter-American University of Puerto Rico, 2008; MS Integrative Biology, Kennesaw State University, 2016.  In addition he spent two years as a post-baccalaureate students at Emory University, mentoring by David Katz. His project was about epigenetic mechanism during the germline, which results in his first author manuscript(submit Fall 2016). He is a first year (2016) student in the Genetic and Molecular Biology (GMB) program. Juan's interest are in cell signaling, development and epigenetic modifications.

BijeanJoyce Danielle Sharpe

BS, MS. Danielle graduated from the Georgia Institute of Technology in Spring 2014 with a BS in History, Technology, and Society with a concentration in the history of medicine. After graduation, she attended the University of Florida, graduating in Spring 2016 with an MS in Epidemiology. Danielle joined Emory in Fall 2016 as a PhD student in the Epidemiology department. Her research interests lie in disease surveillance, infectious disease epidemiology, and using mobile technology to deliver health interventions to marginalized populations.