Graduate School of Medical Sciences
A partnership with the Sloan Kettering Institute

Vincent du Vigneaud Symposium Awards

The Vincent du Vigneaud Memorial Research Symposium is a one-day, student-run event held annually, showcasing the cutting-edge research conducted by our graduate students in our labs. The day features a keynote speech, delivered by a preeminent scientist selected by the students; oral and poster presentations by the participating students; and a reception and awards ceremony, honoring the day's winners for best oral presentation and poster presentation.

List of Awardees


Poster Presentation Awards- First Year

Vigneshwari Easwar Kumar, “Regulation of Epigenetic Repression by Macromolecular Interactions.” PI Yicheng Long.

Stephanie W. Tam, “Investigating New Small-Molecule Inhibitors of ICMT.” PI Stephen B. Long.

Ian McBain, “Tissue Specific NK Cells Exhibit Functional Differences.” PI Joseph Sun.

Poster Presentation Awards- Second Year And Above

Winson Cai, “Antigen-Independent Targeting Lysis of Cancer Cells with LIGHT-CAR T Cells.” PI David A. Scheinberg.

Anvita Singaraju, “CD38hi Cytotoxic CD8 T Cells are Expanded Following Checkpoint Blockade and Characterize the T Cell Infiltrate in Checkpoint Inhibitor-Associated Arthritis.” PI Laura Donlin.

Rachel Payne, “Development of a PSMA Heterogeneous Tumor Model for Targeted Radiotherapy.” PI Jason S. Lewis.

Oral Presentation Awards

Ying Xue Xie, “Lysosomal Exocytosis Releases Pathogenic α-Synuclein Species from Neurons.” PI Manu Sharma.

Annalise Schweickart, “Profiling the Metabolomic Effects of the Ketogenic Diet and Elucidating their Role in Health and Disease Outcomes.” PI Jan Krumsiek.

Kathleen A. M. Mills, “Epithelial-Immune Cell Crosstalk Orchestrates Pulmonary Immunity to Aspergillus Fumigatus.” PI Tobias M. Hohl.


Poster Presentation Awards- First Year

Margarida Rosa, “Lipid Scrambling Mechanisms of β1-adrenergic Receptor (β1AR) Revealed by Computational Experiments.” PI George Khelashvili.

Patrick Wallisch, “Engineering Synthetic Enzyme Armed Killer (SEAKER) Cells for the Treatment of Solid Human Tumors.” PI David Scheinberg.

Brittney Bobowski, “H1 Involved in Recruitment to ssDNA as a Possible DNA Damage Response.” PI Yael David.

Poster Presentation Awards- Second Year And Above

Thasin Peyear, “Screening for Lipid Bilayer-Modifying Compounds Using Gramicidin-based Simulation Assays: A Scaffold Based Approach.” PI Olaf Andersen.

Annalise Schweickart, “AutoFocus: A Hierarchical Framework to Explore Multi-omic Disease Associations Spanning Multiple Scales of Biomolecular Interaction.” PI Jan Krumsiek.

Kate Dunmore, “Elucidating the Role of E2F Transcription Factors in Advanced Prostate Cancer.” PI David Rickman.

Oral Presentation Awards

Dianne Lumaquin, “Lipid Droplets are a Metabolic Vulnerability in Melanoma.” PI Richard White.

Anoushka Joglekar, “A Cell-Type Centric View of Isoform Expression Reveals Combination Patterns of Transcript Elements Across Brain Regions and Development.” PI Hagen Tilgner.

Helene Jahn, “Oligomers of the Beta Barrel Protein VDAC Scramble Phospholipids at the Outer Membrane for Efficient Lipid Import into Mitochondria.” PI Anant Menon.


Poster Presentation Awards- First Year

Thasin Peyear, “The Time Course of Amphiphile Translocation Across Lipid Bilayers.”  PI Olaf Andersen.

Nicholas Bartelo, “Predicting Risk of Disease Progression for Pre-diabetic Patients.”  PI Olivier Elemento. 

Tran Hoang, “Detecting EGFR Expression in Bladder Cancer Using [89Zr]Zr-DFO-Panitumumab immunoPET imaging.” PI Jason Lewis.

Poster Presentation Awards- Second Year And Above

Anthony Antonelli, “Mycobacterium bovis BCG Induces CD4 T Cell-Dependent Tumor Immunity Against Bladder Cancer via Tumor-Intrinsic Interferon Gamma Signaling.”  PI Michael Glickman.

Robert Myers, “A Single-Cell Multiomic Investigation of JAK2 V617F Mutant Myeloproliferative Neoplasms.” PI Dan-Avi Landau.

Katherine Lopez, “Maternal Postpartum Exercise Mitigates the Metabolic Cost of a Fat Rich Diet.” PI Miklos Toth.

Jessica Falci, “Novel Autophagy Activators for Aggregated Tau Degradation.” PYueming Li.

Oral Presentation Awards

Bobbie Pelham-Webb, “The Molecular Resetting of Pluripotent Stem Cell Identity during Mitotic Exit.” PI Effie Apostolou. 

Aleksandr Talishinsky, “Distinct Transcriptomic Signatures Predict Sexually Dimorphic Connectivity Changes in Depression.” PI Conor Liston.

Tomer Yaron, "Phosphorylation of SARS-CoV-2 Nucleocapsid Protein Selectively Regulates Viral and Host RNA-Protein Binding and is Essential for Viral Infection.” PI Olivier Elemento and PI Lewis Cantley. 

Alexandra Miller, “A Novel Reporter System Identifies Iron Uptake Virulence Genes in Mycobacteria.” PI Sabine Ehrt


Poster Presentation Award

Alyna Katti, "A Highly Specific Fluorescent, Activable Reporter for Base Editing in Cells, Organoids and Mice." PI Lukas Dow.

Bobbie Pelham-Webb, "The role of Mitotic Bookmarking in the Molecular Resetting of the Pluripotent Stem Cell Identity." PI Professor Effie Apostolou.

Vidur Garg, "Switching Fates to Understand Lineage Decisions and the Rise of Pluripotency." PI Anna-Katerina Hadjantonakis.

Oral Presentation Awards

Emma Schatoff, "The Mode of APC Disruption Dictates Response to Tankyrase Inhibition in vivo." PI Lukas Dow.

Shira Yomtoubian, "Inhibition of EZH2 Catalytic Activity Selectively Targets a Metastatic Subpopulation in Triple-Negative Breast Cancer." PI Vivek Mittal.

First-year Awards

Daniel Worroll, "In vitor Characterization of Key Residues Involved in Small-Molecule Binding to MUSASHI RNA-Binding Protein in Acute Myeloid Leukemia." PI Michael Kahras.

Svena Verma, "Tracking of Cellular Therapeutics in vivo By Use of Membrane Bound Radiometal Chelate Binding Moieties." PI David Scheinberg.


Poster Presentation Awards

Navid Paknejad, “Regulation of Inositol Triphosphate Receptor by Ca2+ and IP3.” PI Richard Hite.

Nevin Yusufova, “Elucidating the Role of Linker Histone Mutations in Chromatin Accessibility and Transcriptional Programming in B-cell Lymphoma.” PI Ari Melnick.

Oral Presentation Awards

Maria Bustillo, “Tension-Sensitive Regulators of Cell Dynamics and Tissue Remodeling.” PI Jennifer Zallen.
Ron Gejman,
“The Fault in Our TCRs: Searching for Off-Targets in T cell Receptor Based Therapies.” PI David Scheinberg.

First-year Awards

Tom Rossetti, “Acute Inhibition of Aromatase Induces an Anhedonic Behavior in Male and Female Mice.” PI Professor Kristen Pleil.
Zaki Molvi, “Monitoring Inflammatory Demyelination via Quantitative Susceptibility Mapping of Basic Protein Degradation.” PI Yi Wang.


Poster Presentation Awards

Pradeep Ramalingam, “Endothelial-Specific mTOR Signaling Drives Hematopoietic Stem Cell Aging.” PI Jason Butler.

Corrin Pimental, "Identification of the Cognate Receptor for the Negative Co-Stimulatory Protein B7-H4.” PI Charles Rudin.

Oral Presentation Awards

Joana Nunes, “UGP2 Contributes to ERK2-Driven EMT in Breast Epithelial Cells.” PI John Blenis.

Mridula Balakrishnan, “Nemaline Myopathy: Identification of Causes and Treatments Using Drosophila.” PI Mary Baylies.

Yun-Han Huang, “A Molecular Switch for Resistance to TGF-β Tumor Suppression.” PI Joan Massagué.

Yan Zhang, “BACE2 as a Differentiation Gatekeeper for Melanocyte Development via Modulation of PI3K/MTOR
Pathway.” PI Richard White.

First-year Awards

Priya Bhardwaj, “Cdc42 Activation Mediates Actin Polymerization in Macrophages During Aggregated LDL Catabolism.” PI Frederick Maxfield.

Heather Jones, “A Pooled High Throughput Screen for T Cell Receptor-Epitope Identification by use of Effector-Target Cell Conjugation.” PI David A. Scheinberg.


Poster Presentation Awards

Ron S. Gejman, “A High-Throughput, Cell-Based Method for Screening T Cell Receptor Mimic Antibodies Against Major Histocompatibility Complex Ligands.” PI David Scheinberg.

Thomas Galassi, “Investigating and Monitoring Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease with a Carbon Nanotube Optical Reporter.” PI Daniel Heller.

Oral Presentation Awards

Emily Mercer, “Evidence that HSPB7 Chaperone Coordinates Cardiac Cytoskeletal Turnover.” PI Todd Evans.

Bharat Vaidyanathan,“The Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor Controls Cell-Fate Decisions in B Cells.” PI Jayanta Chaudhuri.

First-year Awards

R. Lea Sanford, “Membranes Matter: Predicting Drug Toxicity.” PI Olaf Andersen.

Thomas Li, “P75 Positive Tumor Fibroblasts Promote Tumor Metastasis in a Mouse Model of Breast Cancer.” PI Barbara Hempstead.


Poster Presentation Awards

Abigail Horstmann, “ALDH1A2 (RALDH2) in Oral Cavity Squamous Cell Carcinoma.” PI Lorraine Gudas.

José Gabriel Barcia Durán, “S1P1 is Required for the Reprogramming of Endothelial Cells to a Hemogenic State.” PI Timothy Hla and Shahin Rafii.

Oral presentation Awards

Christina Bonvicino, “Isoflurane Depresses Dopamine Synaptic Vesicle Exocytosis.” PI Hugh C. Hemmings, Jr.

Jennifer Knauss, “Characterization of Long Noncoding RNA Sox2ot During Cortical Development.” PI Mary Donohoe and Tao Sun.

Pui-Mun Wong, “Regulation of Autophagy by Coordinated Action of mTORC1 and Protein Phosphatase 2A.” PI Xuejun Jiang.

First-year Awards

Michael Crowley, “Exploring Cross-talk in the Arteriole Hematopoietic Stem Cell Niche through RNA-sequencing.” PI Olivier Elemento and Jason Butler.

Lauren Forbes, “Nanoparticle Properties and their Effect on Stability and Distribution.” PI Daniel Heller.


Poster Presentation Awards

Wei Shao, “Functional Dissection of Centriolar and Its Derived Structures in the Developing Neocortex.” PI Song-Hai Shi.

Oral presentation Awards

Christina Maksymiuk, “Characterization of 2-hydroxy-3-oxoadipate synthase (HOAS) in Mycobacterium Tuberculosis Metabolism.” PI Carl F. Nathan.

First-year Awards

Maria Bustillo, “Spatial Organization of Gene Expression is Maintained During Cell Intercalation in the Expanding Drosophila Melanogaster Embryo.” PI Jennifer A. Zallen.

Second-year Awards

Charles Ferranti, “Ionizing Radiation-Induced "Nanopores" Signal Acid Sphingomyelinase Activation and Cell Surface Translocation.” PI Richard Kolesnick.

Bonnie Quach, “Mechanism of Preventing Doxorubicin-Induced Mitochondrial Toxicity with Cardiolipin- Targeted Peptide, SS-31.” PI Hazel Szeto.


Poster Presentation Awards

Nitya Ramkumar, “Protein O-Glucosyltransferase1 Regulates Mammalian Gastrulation Through Modification of Crumbs2.” PI Kathryn V. Anderson.

Oral presentation Awards

Victoria K. Schulman, “Novel Roles for Sunday Driver (Syd) in Muscle Tissue as a Regulator of Nuclear Positioning and Muscle Function.” PI Mary K. Baylies.

First-year Awards

Wan-Ying Hsieh, “Direct Target Analysis of the MUSASHI2 RNA Binding Protein Uncovers Developmental Pathways that Control HSC Self-Renewal.” PI Michael G. Kharas.

Second-year Awards

Emily J. Mercer, “Elucidating the Role of HSPB7 in the Heart.” PI Todd R. Evans.


Poster Presentation Awards

Jamie L. McBean, "Elucidation of the Substrate Profile of Protein Methyltransferase SET7/9." PI Minkui Luo.

Tina El Rayes, "Metastasis-Incompetent Tumors Systemically Generate Metastasis-Suppressive Niche."  PI Vivek Mittal.

Oral Presentation Awards

Vidhya Rangaraju, "Syn-ATP a Novel Optical Reporter of Presynaptic ATP Levels." PI Timothy A. Ryan.

Kate M. Rochlin, "Identification of a Novel Splicing Factor is Required for Proper Myotendenous Junction Formation and Maintenance in Drosophila." PI Mary Baylies.

First-year Awards

William Mills, "Characterization of Szeto-Schiller Tetrapeptide/Phospholipid Binding." PI Hazel Szeto.

Suranjit Mukherjee, "Development of New Heteroclitic Peptides for B702 and A3/A11 HLA Types for WT1." PI David Scheinberg.

Second-year Awards

Benjamin Burnett, "Kinetic Properties of Elongation Factor-Tu, GTP, and Aminoacyl-tRNA Ternary Complex from Escherichia coli." PI Scott C. Blanchard.


Poster Presentation Awards

Hao-Wei Wang, "Activation of Macrophages by IL-4 and Other Cytokines: Priming for Protumoral Functions." PI Johanna Joyce.

Oral Presentation Awards

Mark Lundguist, "Regulation of Nuclear Actin Pools by MICAL2." PI Samie R. Jaffrey.

First-year Awards

Amy Jia Wang, "Determining the Role of HSP90 Subcellular Localization in HSP90 Inhibitor Resistance in Glioblastoma." PI Gabriela Chiosis.

Second-year Awards

Rachel Niec, "Development and Function of Peripherally Induced Regulatory T Cells." PI Alexander Rudensky.


Poster Presentation Awards

Alex R. Hansler, "Untargeted Metabolite Profiling to Elucidate the Basis for Folate-Responsive Neural Tube Closure Defects." PI Steven Gross.

Manuel Viotti, "The Role ofSOX17 in Mouse Endoderm Morphogenesis." PI Anna-Katerina Hadjantonakis.

Andrew Lerner Wolfe, "Genome-Wide RNAI Screen Identifies MIR-19 Targets in Notch-Induced Acute T-Cell Leukemia (T-All)." PI Hans-Guido Wendel.

Oral Presentation Awards

Ronald S. Bultje, "The Notch Ligand Jagged-1 Regulates Interneuron Fate Determination." PI Stewart Anderson.

Cristina Ghenoiu, "Histone H3 Phosphorylated on Threonine 3 Controls M Phase by Binding the CPC to Activate the Kinase Aurora B." PI Hironori Funabiki.

Drew Thacker, "Meiotic Crossover Control in Budding Yeast: A Color-Based Analysis." PI Scott Keeney.

First-year Awards

Rebecca L. Goldstein, "Malignant Phenotype Characterization in B Cell Lymphomas by Proteomic Analysis of Heat Shock Protein (HSP) Complexes." PI Ari Melnick.

Second- year Awards

Soha Ashrafi,  "A Role for WNT7A in Pre-Synaptic Differentiation of a Mouse Spinal Inhibitory Synapse." PI Julia Kaltschmidt.


Poster Presentation Awards

Nikki Charles, "Nitric Oxide in the Glioma Stem Cell Niche." PI Eric Holland.

Jennifer Chien, "Identification of Notch Receptor Binding Peptides Using Whole Cell Planning Phage Display." PI Yueming Li.

Chao Shi, "CCR2-Mediated Signals Are Dispensable for Inflammatory Monocyte Trafficking Into Liver During Listeria Monocytogenes Infection." PI Eric Pamer.

Oral Presentation Awards

Rebecca Ahrens-Nicklas, "A Dynamic Clamp Method to Unmask Arrhythmias in Murine Cardiac Myocytes." PI David Christini.

Kang Chen, "Immunoglobulin D Enhances Immune Surveillance by Activating Antimicrobial, Pro-Intla matory and B Cell-Stimulating Programs in Basophils." PI Andrea Cerutti.

Vasilena Gocheva, "Tumor-Associated Macrophages Upregulate Cathepsin Proteases BandS to Promote Cancer Growth and Invasion." PI Johanna Joyce.

First-Year Awards

Christina Maksymiuk, "The Protective Effects of SS-31 in Renal lschemia-Reperfusion." PI Hazel Szeto.


Zhucheng Chen. "Mechanism of Homologous Recombination from Crystal Structure ofRECA-SSDNA/ DSDNA Filaments." PI Nikola P. Pavletich.

Macybeth Carrie Garceau, "Identification of PDE5 as a Target of S-Nitrosylation." PI Steven S. Gross.

Jaclyn C. Greimann, ''Activities and Structure of the Eukaryotic Exosome." PI Christopher D. Lima.

Lisa Placanica, "Evidence of an Atypical Gamma Secretase in Cells of Hematopoietic Origin." PI Yueming Li.

Tyler Simpson, "Therapeutic TREG Depletion Generates Robust Systemic Responses and Transferable Anti-Tumor Immunity in an Autologous T Cell Adoptive Cell Therapy Model." PI James P. Allison.

Ameer N. Thompson, "Molecular Mechanism of PH Sensing in KCSA Potassium Channels." PI M. Nimigean.

Kai Xu, "The Study of Interaction Between Henipavirus and their Host Cell Receptors." PI Dimitar B. Nikolov. 

Xiaoxiao Xue, "Kinesin Switch During Epithelial Cell Polarization." PI Geri Kreitzer.

Awards of Excellence

Rebecca Clare Ahrens, "Investigation of Arrhythmias in Anthropomorphized Murine Cardiac Myocytes." PI David J. Christini.

Clare Veronica LeFave, "Oncogenicity of Aberrant Alternative Splicing Events in Gliomas." PI Luca Cartegni.

Judith Mesicek, "Elucidating the Role ofCeramide Synthase in Radiation-Induced Apoptosis." PI Richard Kolesnick.

Elissaveta P. Petrova, "Hedgehog Acyltransferase -A Novel Therapeutic Target in Pancreatic Cancer." PI Marilyn D. Resh.

Kymora Bernisha Scotland, "Analysis ofREX-1 (ZFP42) Function in Retinoic -Acid Induced Differentiation ." PI Lorraine J. Gudas.

Yuan Tian (Female), "Substrate Feedback Regulation of _-Secretase Activity" PI Yueming Li.

First-Year Awards

Christina J. Crump, "Using Salicylhydroxamic Acid and Phenylboronic Acid in Bioorthogonal Chemistry." PI Samie R. Jaffrey.

Armen R. Kherlopian, "Long-Range Connectivity, Event-Driven Networks, and Complex Stimuli:Next Steps in Visual Cortex Modeling." PI Jonathan D. Victor.

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