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Graduate Students +POST-DOCS

Dr. Bethany Brown
Dr. Kevin Byrd

Undergraduates and visiting scholars

Danielle Spitzer

Danielle is originally from upstate New York and was an undergraduate in the lab for three years between 2014-2017, working primarily with graduate student Kendall Lough on a project related to the role that nectins play in cell-cell adhesion and cleft palate. Like Jeet, Danielle graduated early from UNC in three years, and also received highest honors (one of only nine undergrads to do so). In her senior year, Danielle was the president of the Tri-Beta Biological Honor Society, and was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. Danielle also received a prestigious National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program award in her senior year. Danielle is now a PhD student in the Molecular and Cell Biology Graduate Program at the University of California Berkeley in the lab of Iswar Hariharan.

Jeet Patel

Jeet was an undergraduate researcher in the lab for three years between 2014-2017, working primarily with post-doc Kevin Byrd to characterize a novel population of oral stem cells in the palate region. Jeet graduated in three years with highest honors and earned many awards in his time at UNC, including the Tom and Elizabeth Long Research Award to support his thesis research, the Stephen Bradley Award for excellence in molecular, cell and developmental biology research, and the Lawrence Gilbert award for excellence in undergraduate teaching. Jeet spent the summer before his senior year doing an internship in the Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences Center for System Biology where he worked on T-cell receptor diversity in the laboratory of Nicolas Chevrier (now at the University of Chicago). Jeet is now a first-year PhD student in the Molecular & Cellular Biology Graduate Program at the University of Washington in Seattle, and recently joined the Wills lab for his thesis research.

Michelle Mac

Michelle Mac received her B.A. in Chemistry from UNC Chapel Hill in 2015 and was our esteemed lab manager from 2015-2016. While at UNC she was part of Honors Carolina and a Carolina Covenant Scholar, graduating with highest honors and distinction. She is now a second-year PhD student in the UNC Biological and Biomedical Sciences Program (BBSP) in the Curriculum in Microbiology & Immunology. She is conducting her thesis research in the laboratory of Bruce Cairns and Robert Maile.

Christian Agosto-Burgos

Christian received his Bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of Puerto Rico – Cayey in 2016. He spent the summer of 2015 in our lab performing research with Kendall as part of the Summer of Learning and Research (SOLAR) and Research Initiative for Scientific Achievement (RISE). After graduating, Christian enrolled in UNC’s Post-baccalaureate Research Education Program (PREP) where he worked in Kristina De Paris’ lab. He is now a first-year BBSP student at UNC where he recently joined Ronald Falk’s lab in the Curriculum in the Curriculum in Pathobiology & Translation Science.

Savannah Loehr

Savannah is a graduating senior at UNC majoring in Biology, with Minors in Chemistry and Neuroscience. During her sophomore year in 2015-2016, Savannah worked as an undergraduate research assistant in the lab with Jeet and Kevin. Savannah is a member of Honors Carolina, has served as a Peer Mentor in Chemistry in the Morehead Labs, and performed summer research at Alabama State University in the summer of 2015. Savannah will be attending Saint Louis University Medical School in the fall.

Valentina Rivadeneira

Valentina is originally from Miami and transferred to UNC in her junior year from Miami Dade College. She was an undergraduate researcher in the lab for her two years at UNC, where her major project was to characterize cell cycle kinetics in epidermal progenitors. After graduating in 2015, Valentina worked as a technician at the University of Miami, first with Richard Rotundo and later with Stephen Lee, where she is presently. Valentina intends to joins the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology PhD program at the University of Miami this fall.

Anthony Curtis

Anthony graduated from NC State University with a BS in Animal Science in 2008. Before joining the Williams lab as a lab manager in 2013, he worked with Lishan Su in the Department of Microbiology & Immunology at UNC for four years. Anthony joined the lab of Gianpietro Dotti in 2015 and is currently employed at NC State in the Department of Environmental Health and Safety, Division of Biosafety.

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