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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

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Graduates of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

(Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University)

 Ryan F. Overcash, PhD (2012)

Advisor: Maria J. Ruiz-Echevarria, PhD

Dissertation: “An examination of the functional role of TMEFF2 in prostate cancer and the translational regulatory mechanisms controlling its expression"

Postdoctoral: Laboratory of Ann Marie Pendergast, PhD; Department of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology, Duke University School of Medicine

Drew Rockett, PhD (2012)

Advisor: S. Raza Shaikh, PhD

Dissertation: “Fish oil disrupts B cell plasma membrane lateral organization and immunological synapse formation"

Postdoctoral: Research Assistant Professor, Department of Physiology and the East Carolina Diabetes and Obesity Institute, East Carolina University

Tamra L. Hunsaker, PhD (2012)

Advisor: Brian Shewchuk, PhD

Dissertation: “Resolving the Role of POU1F1 in Human Growth Hormone Locus Activation"

Postdoctoral: Bert O’Malley, MD, Department of Molecular & Cellular Biology, Baylor College of Medicine

Alona O. Nakonechnaya, PhD (2012)

Advisor: Shewchuk, Brian, PhD

Dissertation: Effects of Exogenous and Autocrine Growth Hormone (hGH) on Prostate Cancer Cell Function

Postdoctoral: Cynthia G. Goodyer, PhD, Department of Pediatrics, McGill University

Vince Contreras, PhD (2010)

Advisor: Brett D. Keiper, PhD

Dissertation: “Multiple Translational Factor eIF4G (IFG-1) Isoforms Regulate Germ Cell Apoptosis"

Postdoctoral: Licensing and Patenting Manager, Office of Technology Transfer at National Institutes of Health, Rockville, MD. 

Vesna Ann Karschner, PhD (2010)

Advisor: Phillip Pekala, PhD

Dissertation: “Post-Transcriptional Regulation of mRNA Metabolism during Differentiation of 3T3-L1 Cells: Role of HuR"

Postdoctoral: Christopher Geyer, PhD., Department of Anatomy & Cell Biology, The Brody School of Medicine, East Carolina University

Svetlana S. Khaymina Hamden, PhD (2010)

Advisor: Joseph M. Chalovich, PhD

Dissertation: “Fesselin and Caldesmon: Natively Unfolded Proteins in Smooth Muscule Regulation"

Mohit C. Mathur, PhD (2009)

Advisor: Joseph M. Chalovich, PhD

Dissertation: “The Distribution of Regulated Actomyosin States is Central to Cardiac Muscle Regulation and Disturbance of this Distribution Leads to Congenital Cardiomyopathies”

Melissa Anne Henderson, PhD (2009)

Advisor: Brett D. Keiper, PhD

Dissertation: “The Unique Roles of IFE-1, a Germline-Specific Isoform of Eukaryotic Translation Factor 4E, During Gametogenisis”

Postdoctoral: Steve L’Hernault, PhD, O. Wayne Rollins Research Center, Emory University

Tara Ann Cartwright, PhD (2009)

Advisor: Ruth A. Schwalbe, PhD

Dissertation: “The Biochemical Characterization of Neuronal K+ Channel N-Glycans and their Role in Regulating K+ Channel Function ”

Postdoctoral: David L. Armstrong, Ph.D., Laboratory of Neurobiology, NIEHS, Research Triangle Park, NC


Brody Building

Message from the Chair:

Phillip Pekala, PhD “In recent years we have seen exciting changes in our understanding of teaching methods that both stimulate and motivate the researcher. Our PhD program is designed to support our students as they progress toward a career in science.”

Please use our website to learn more about our program. Feel free to contact Dr. Phillip Pekala or Dr. Brett Keiper, Associate Professor and Graduate Program Committee Chairman to see if you have what it takes to shape the future in a positive manner.


Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Brody School of Medicine | Greenville, NC 27834
252.744.2675 | Contact Us
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