August 7, 2018

Graduate Students

We have supported graduate student research in evolutionary medicine at Duke, NCCU, NC State, and UNC-Chapel Hill through our Graduate Student Awards. Previously funded projects are listed below by semester of award.

Spring 2020

Christopher Bassil (Duke University)
Evolutionary trade-offs in drug-resistant cancers

Jacob Griffin (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)
Inflammation and aging in a high activity and pathogenic burden environment

Jennifer Jenks (Duke University)
Targeting a neutralizing cytomegalovirus glycoprotein by B cell phylogenetics

Allie Schrock (Duke University)
Comparative study of neuroanatomy & neuroendocrinology in strepsirrhine primates

Fall 2019

Hanna L. Berman (North Carolina State University)
Exploring connections between ​Gardnerella vaginalis​ diversity and preterm birth

Katherine Malinski (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)
Thermal mismatch among hosts, parasitoids, and symbionts

Morgan Maly (North Carolina State University)
Investigating the link among diet, the gut microbiome, and gastrointestinal health in the endangered cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus)

Alexander McCumber (Duke University)
Environmental microbial exposure shapes the gut and lung microbiomes

Khristopher Nicholas (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)
Social and environmental determinants of metabolic dysregulation in the Galápagos

Thomas J. C. Sauters (Duke University)
Experimental evolution of Cryptococcus in response to anthropogenic environmental change

Kelsey Sumner (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)
Plasmodium falciparum bottlenecks to improve intervention effectiveness in Kenya

Chin Yee Tan (Duke University)
Clostridium immunis: An immunomodulatory human-derived, murine-adapted gut commensal

Spring 2019

Zane Swanson (Duke University)
The effect of lifestyle change on health and life history in the Daasanach

Axel Berky (Duke University)
Intergenerational response to chronic trace metal exposure by altering protein expression

Fall 2018

Tess Leuthner (Duke University)
Exploring the role of evolution and the environment on mitochondrial DNA mutagenesis

Sally Bornbusch (Duke University)
Antibiotic resistance as a pollutant and threat to wildlife health

Casey Lindberg (Duke University)
Adaptation-driven alterations in transcriptional responses to multiple stressors

Alejandro Antonia (Duke University)
Leishmania Virulence Factor GP63: Positive selection drives differential disease outcome

Laura Childers (Duke University)
Exploring the adaptation of gut microbial communities to genetic mouse models of
Parkinson’s disease

Alyssa Grube (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)
Lessons from the environmental resistome in Galápagos: A One Health perspective

Yue Hao (North Carolina State University)
Comparative genomics tools for inferring genes involved in mammalian pregnancy and applications to metastatic cancers

Fall 2017

Joseph McGirr (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)
Editing naturally occurring genetic variants affecting craniofacial development

Spring 2017

Jordan Anderson (Duke University)
The Effects of Early Adversity on t-cell Receptor Diversity in Wild Baboons

Jeremy Ash (North Carolina State University)
Using Molecular Modeling and Machine Learning to Study Dynamic ERK-ligand Interactions

Katie Barrett (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)
The Developmental Roles of Leptin and Ghrelin: Mammalian Comparisons

Nicholas Brazeau (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)
The Evolutionary Origins and Global Dispersal of Plasmodium vivax

Temini Ajayi (Duke University)
Investigating a Modern Era Role for IRGM in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

Quantil Melendez (North Carolina Central University)
Epigenetic Regulation of PCSK9 and the Onset of Metabolic Diseases in Diverse Ethnic Groups

Kristen Hopperstad (North Carolina State University)
A Population Genetic and Genomic Approach to Estimate the Evolutionary Potential of Aedes aegypti

Fall 2016

Achsah Dorsey (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)
An Exploration of Iron Deficiency and Morbidity in Peru

Spring 2016

Matthew T. Biegler (Duke University)
Clarifying Promoter and Cell-Type Homologies Across Avian and Mammalian Taxa

Joshua K. Hughey (North Carolina Central University)
Yersinia Pseudotuberculosis to Yersinia pestis – Evolution of the Deadliest Pathogen in History

Kayleigh O’Keeffe (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)
How Microbial Interactions Affect Infection & Gene Expression of a Plant Pathogen

Cody S. Nelson (Duke University)
Cytomegalovirus (CMV) Evolution to Evade Vaccine-Elicited Antibody Responses

Kendra Smyth (Duke University)
Reversing Evolutionary Mismatch Using Biome Enrichment: The Next Step

Fall 2015

Mercy Akinyi (Duke University)
Co-Infections in Wild Primate Populations

Caroline Amoroso (Duke University)
Are Humans Exceptionally Parasitized?

Yuantong Ding (Duke University)
Cancer Evolutionary Model Shedding Light on Clinical Tumor Sampling Strategies

Amanda Lea (Duke University)
Social Effects on the Baboon Epigenome: Critical Periods or Lifelong Plasticity?

Yuxiang Liu (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)
Parallel Evolution of Gene Molecular Mechanisms Underlying Evolution of Hippocampal Function

Sasha Makohon-Moore (Duke University)
Investigation of Genetic and Epigenetic Modifications in Human Adipocytes

Jennifer Niemuth (North Carolina State University)
An Evolutionary Model of Physiologic Adaptations to Hypothermia and Reperfusion

Jaymin Patel (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)
Understanding the Genetic Diversity and Identification of Pathogenic Variants of Malaria in Pregnancy

Laura Sligar (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)
Evolution of Mitochondrial Heteroplasmy in Drosophila

Dustin Wcisel (North Carolina State University)
Transcriptional Response of Immunoglobulin Domain-Containing Innate Immune Receptors

Qinglong Zeng (Duke University)
Ecological and Evolutionary Models of Short Term Microbiome Dynamics