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University of Colorado Denver


PhD in Toxicology

Current Students

Adedoyin, Abraham Adedoyin Abraham is a native of Nigeria. Adedoyin graduated from the University of Ilorin with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry. He then moved to Colorado and earned his M.S. degree in Chemistry from the University of Colorado Denver (Downtown campus) in 2011. He worked as a research assistant in the LaBarbera lab at the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Colorado Denver, Anschutz Medical Campus studying the design and synthesis of Neoamphimedine and other novel anti cancer drug candidates. In 2013, Adedoyin joined the Toxicology PhD program at the University of Colorado Denver, Anschutz Medical Campus. Photo of Toxicology Student
Stefanos Aivazidis is a native of Serres, Greece. He earned his Bachelor in Biochemistry and Biotechnology from University of Thessaly (Larisa, Greece). Research regarding his bachelor thesis was conducted at the Animal Physiology Lab under Dr. Dimitrios Kouretas and focused on the antioxidant effects of whey, soy and beef proteins in C2C12 muscle cells. He joined the Molecular Toxicology PhD program in 2014. Stefanos is interested in investigating pathways involved in neurodegenerative or disorders. Photo of Toxicology Student
Alsaleh, Nasser Nasser Alsaleh earned his BSc degree in Pharmacy in 2010 from the College of Pharmacy at King Saud University (Riyadh, Saudi Arabia). He then joined the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the College of Pharmacy at KSU to pursue his graduate studies. He joined the School of Pharmacy of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Alberta, Canada in the fall of 2011. He worked on a project investigating epoxyeicosatrienoic acids (EETs)-mediated cardioprotection against myocardial ischemia reperfusion injury. He also worked on other projects including the involvement of caveolin-1 in EET-mediated cardioprotection as well as the effect of O2-methylsulfonylethyl compound 5 on the heart function using the Langendorff perfusion system. Nasser received his MSc degree in the winter of 2014. In Fall 2015, he joined the Toxicology program at the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Science, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. He did his first lab rotation at Dr. Ross laboratory where he worked on a project investigating the redox modulation of NAD(P)H:Quinone Oxidoreductase 1 immunoreactivity. Currently, he is doing his second lab rotation at Dr. Brown laboratory in the area of nanotoxicology. Photo of Toxicology Student
Assiri, Mohammed Mohammed graduated from King Saud University in Saudi Arabia with a bachelor degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences. After Graduation, he worked as a pharmacist in Riyadh Military Hospital. After his time at the hospital, he started working as a teaching assistant in the College of Pharmacy at King Saud University. During his time at King Saud, he was teaching the lab of two pharmacology courses, while working on a project investigating the effect of Sunitinib in inducing apoptosis in breast cancer. Mohammed joined the Toxicology program in 2014 and did his first lab rotation in Dr. Brown’s lab studying ER stress induced by silver nanoparticles in endothelial cells. He is currently rotating in Dr. Fritz’s lab studying the acetylation of SOD2. Photo of Toxicology Student
Bhuyan, Pallavi Pallavi Bhuyan is a native of Kolkata, India and graduated with a Bachelor of Technology degree in Biotechnology in 2008 from the West Bengal University of Technology (India). She then received her M.S degree with graduate assistantship in Pharmacology and Toxicology at the University of Toledo in 2010. Her Master’s thesis work consisted of investigating the role of the detoxifying enzyme sulfotransferase in zebrafish development. In 2010, she joined the Molecular Toxicology PhD program at the University of Colorado Denver and following a year of lab rotations, started working in Dr. Manisha Patel’s lab in 2011. She is currently investigating the role of redox mechanisms in controlling neuroinflammation in temporal lobe epilepsy, utilizing both in vitro and in vivo models. She was recently the recipient of the Young Investigator Award at the annual meeting of the American Epilepsy Society as well as the Travel award for the NIH CounterACT meeting in 2013. Photo of Toxicology Student
Chandler, Joshua Joshua Chandler received his B.A. with two majors in Chemistry and Biology from Drury University in Springfield, MO in 2009. His undergraduate research included biopharmaceutical formulation development in the lab of C. Russell Middaugh, Ph.D. at the University of Kansas School of Pharmacy. He moved to Colorado to join the Toxicology Ph.D. program at CU Denver. His thesis project working with Brian J. Day, Ph.D. has focused on the dual role of thiocyanate in host defense and antioxidant properties of lung tissue as well as its potential for therapy in cystic fibrosis. He has also discovered a novel metabolic function of mammalian thioredoxin reductase that mechanistically supports thiocyanate’s role in the human immune system. He is the first author of three publications in peer-reviewed journals and plans to submit additional manuscripts before graduating. He has received multiple honors and awards including a Travel Award from the Society of Toxicology in 2012 and a ToxScholar Outreach Grant in 2013. He mentored K12 teachers in the practice of basic science research as part of the National Science Foundation’s Research Experience for Teachers in 2012 and 2013 and volunteers with the Society of Toxicology’s Undergraduate Education Program and Committee on Diversity Initiatives Photo of Toxicology Student
Chang, Cindy Chuan-Hsin (Cindy) Chang graduated from Tsing Huang University in Taiwan where she received her master degree in Biomedical Engineering and Environmental Sciences. After graduating, she worked in the Institute of Occupational Medicine and Industrial Hygiene in National Taiwan University as research assistant investigating the epigenetic mechanism of dioxin-like chemicals induced infertility. Chuan-Hsin joined Toxicology program in the 2010 and after first-year rotations joined the lab of Dr. David Ross. She is currently studying the biochemical studies on 19-Substituted benzoquinone ansamycin Hsp90 inhibitors. Photo of Toxicology Student
Chang, Gary Kun-Che (Gary) Chang was born in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. He earned his B.S. in Life Science from National Dong Hwa University (Taiwan) in 2006 and his M.S. in Biotechnology from National Tsing Hua University (Taiwan) in 2008. After graduated, he did his military service at Ministry of the Interior, Taiwan for 1 year. After worked at National Taiwan University for 1 year, he transited to University of Minnesota, Dept. of Pharmacology as a research assistant from 2010 to 2011. After that, he joined the Toxicology PhD program, and Dr. David Ross lab in 2011for his first rotation. In 2012, he joined the Dept. of Ophthalmology, Dr. J. Mark Petrash’s lab for his doctoral thesis. His thesis projects focus on but not limit to the prevention of diabetic complication in the eyes. Photo of Toxicology Student
Chen, Xinhiu Xinhui 'Heller' Chen graduated from Central South University in Changsha (China) with a B.M. (Bachelor of Medicine) in Public Health. During his undergraduate years he worked in the laboratory of Dr. Caigao Zhong at Xiangya School of Public Health on the hepatic toxicity of Chromium(VI) . In 2011 Heller joined the Toxicology doctorate program and worked in Dr. Peter Anderson's lab. He is studying the role of endogenous nucleotide pool on the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of anti-HIV pharmaceuticals.; Photo of Toxicology Student
Dhar, Deepanshi Deepanshi Dhar graduated from University of Delhi, India with a BS in Life Sciences followed by MS in Biotechnology. She gained relevant research experience during her tenure at UC Denver in 2012 as a PRA in Dr. Rajesh Agarwal’s lab. The work involved studies on “Nitrogen Mustard induced ocular injuries in rabbit corneas” with respect to the inflammation, angiogenesis and cell death. She joined the PhD Toxicology program at UC Denver in 2013 and assessed the “role of natural agents in cancer chemoprevention”. Her current rotation project is to understand and “target aberrant lipid metabolism in prostate cancer cells under normoxic/hypoxic conditions using nontoxic agents” by incorporating techniques like Western hybridization, Clonogenic assays, and Viability assays.; Photo of Toxicology Student
Furtek, Steffanie Steffanie Furtek is a native of Chicopee, Massachusetts. She earned her B.S. in Biological Sciences with an emphasis in toxicology from Clemson University in 2011. Her undergraduate research was conducted under Dr. Richard Blob, investigating the feeding performance of the Hawaiian sleeper fish. She joined the Toxicology PhD program at UC Denver AMC in 2012, and after her first year of rotations, she joined the laboratory of Dr. Philip Reigan. Steffanie is currently investigating the role of STAT3 activation in glioblastoma multiforme as well as designing small molecule inhibitors that directly target STAT3. Photo of Toxicology Student
Gritz, Stephanie Stephanie Gritz received her bachelor's of science from Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia in Biochemistry and a minor in Chemistry in 2009. She joined the Molecular Toxicology graduate program at the University of Colorado Denver that fall. After a first year of rotations, she joined Dr. Richard Radcliffe's lab in 2010. The major goal of the lab is to determine the role of CNS gene expression and how that contributes to alcohol related behaviors. Photo of Toxicology Student
Heit, Claire Claire Heit is a 2011 graduate of the University of Colorado where she received her M.S. in Environmental Science with a focus in Environmental Health. She entered the Toxicology program in the department of pharmaceutical science in 2011 and joined the lab of Vasilis Vasiliou. Her research is focused on ethanol metabolism in the central nervous system and behavior. Photo of Toxicology Student
Jackson, Brian Brian received his M.S. in Biology at the University of Texas at Tyler. He studies the effects of ALDH1B1 gene polymorphisms on the substrate specificity and activity of ALDH1B1 enzyme, which has been shown to play a role in alcohol metabolism and is a colon cancer biomarker. In addition, he has participated in the naming and evolutionary analysis of major ALDH gene families. Photo of Toxicology Student
McArthur, Debbie Debbie McArthur graduated in 2003 from the University of St. Andrews in the U.K. with a BSc. Honors in Cell Biology and Pathology. She went on to work as a Research Assistant at Albany Medical College and Harvard Medical School before joining the Toxicology Ph.D program in 2012. She is currently in Dr. Philip Reigan’s lab and her research focuses on thymidine phosphorylase as a therapeutic target in glioblastoma. Photo of Toxicology Student
McElroy, Cameron Cameron McElroy, originally from Ohio, graduated from the University of Toledo in 2008 with a B.S. in Pharmaceutical Sciences and a minor in Chemistry. Cameron completed his Master of Science degree in Pharmaceutical Science with a focus on Pharmacology and Toxicology in 2010 from the University of Toledo. While working on his Masters degree, Cameron researched the effects of knocking down expression of sulfotransferases in a zebrafish model. In 2010, Cameron joined the Toxicology program at the University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus and is now working in Dr. Brian Day’s lab, pursuing his PhD in Toxicology. He is currently investigating the role of oxidative stress as a molecular mechanism of chemical warfare agent induced toxicity in the lung. Photo of Toxicology Student
Osgood, Ross Ross Osgood earned his B.S. in Biomedical Sciences from Western Michigan University and joined the University of Colorado Denver Anschutz Medical Campus Toxicology Program in 2011. He works in Dr. Alison Bauer's lab and is studying low molecular weight polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons as environmental pulmonary toxicants. Photo of Toxicology Student
Rogue-Atilano, Amandla Amandla Roque Atilano is a native of Denver, Colorado. Amandla graduated from Mills College where she received her B.S. in Chemistry. Amandla joined the Toxicology program in 2012, and works in Dr. Melanie Joy's lab. Her work focuses on the characterization of xenobiotic transporters in human kidney and heart as mediators of HMG-CoA redcuatse inhibitor uptake and efflux and translation to kidney outcomes. Photo of Toxicology Student
Sandoval, Monica Monica Sandoval is a native of Albuquerque, New Mexico and attended the University of New Mexico where she received a B.S. in Biology and a B.A. in Chemistry in 2010. During her undergraduate years, she researched the affects of arsenic in the drinking water and its correlation with skin cancer development. She also attended the summer program at Baylor College of Medicine in 2010 and researched rotavirus infection. She joined the Pharmaceutical Sciences department in 2012 and is under the direction of Dr. Jared Brown. She is currently investigating the role genetics play in nanoparticle-induced inflammatory responses in mast cells. Photo of Toxicology Student
Singh, Surendra Surendra Singh earned his BVSc (Veterinary Medicine) and MVSc (Masters in Veterinary Pathology) from the Rajasthan Agricultural University, India. He accepted position as an Assistant Professor at the Apollo College of Veterinary Medicine in Jaipur. He worked there for more than three years before joining PhD program in Molecular Toxicology in 2009 under the mentorship of Dr. Vasilis Vasiliou. His Ph.D. research work is focused on ‘The Role of Aldehyde Dehydrogenase (ALDH) 1B1 in Colon Carcinogenesis’. He has also worked on some other projects in Dr. Vasiliou’s laboratory including study on the effects of ethanol in GSH-deficient mice; role of ALDH1B1 in pancreatic development and cancer; ALDH isozymes and ovarian cancers and study on ALDH2 deficiency and alcoholic fatty liver. Photo of Toxicology Student
Sloane, Joshua Josh Sloane is a Denver native, receiving his B.A. in Biology from CU Boulder, followed by a M.S. in Toxicology from the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at Colorado State University. Josh is interested in questions surrounding neurotoxicology and neurodegenerative disorders. Josh also enjoys powerlifting, baseball, football, and playing with his black labrador retriever Rocky.  
Tilley, Cynthia Cynthia Tilley graduated from the University of Texas at El Paso with a double major in Chemistry and Biology in the fall of 2009. She joined the Molecular Toxicology PhD program in 2010 and works in Dr. Rajesh Agarwal's laboratory. Her research is focused on investigating the anti-cancer efficacy of natural phytochemicals in non-melanoma skin cancer. Photo of Toxicology Student
Xiong, Rui Rui Xiong received her B.S. from China Pharmaceutical University in 2009 with a major in Biotechnology and a minor in Pharmaceutical engineering. She entered the University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences through the Toxicology program in 2009, and joined Dr. David Ross lab in 2010. Her research involves elucidating novel mechanisms of toxicity of xenobiotic and endogenous quinones at the level of protein handling, as well as defining the activity of 19-substituted benzoquinone ansamycin Hsp90 inhibitors to induce changes in protein handling systems that protect against mutant A53T α-synuclein aggregation and toxicity. Photo of Toxicology Student