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Ph.D. Student Spotlight

Meet our spotlighted Ph.D. students and find out what innovative discoveries and new knowledge they are generating in our state-of-the-art labs.
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    James Kennedy, B.S.

    Ph.D. Student

    James graduated from Rowan University in December 2018 with a bachelor's degree in Biological Sciences. He joined RowanGSBS in Fall 2019 in the M.S. program for Cell and Molecular Biology and later transferred to the Ph.D. program in Fall 2021. James selected the research lab of Dr. Ronald Ellis. His thesis project involves defining the sex determination pathway in hermaphrodite Caenorhabditis species with focus on the FEM protein ubiquitination complex which is conserved in humans. Some of his favorite activities outside the lab include reading and crabbing.

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    Kyle Hubble, B.S.

    Ph.D. Student

    Kyle is a current Ph.D. candidate in the Cell and Molecular Biology program. When he was an undergraduate student, Kyle participated in the Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) program at RowanGSBS. During this program, Kyle worked with his advisor Dr. Michael Henry using genetic and molecular techniques to study mitochondrial gene expression. After completing his B.S. in Biochemistry at Stockton University, Kyle joined the GSBS Ph.D. program and continued his research in the Henry lab. His thesis project focuses on elucidating the mechanism of a conserved human mitochondrial translation factor in the yeast model. In his free time, Kyle enjoys using his yeast laboratory skills at home as a hobbyist homebrewer, sourdough baker, and fermented foods enthusiast. 

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    Tirth Patel, B.S.

    D.O./Ph.D. Student

    Tirth is a D.O./Ph.D. student at RowanSOM/GSBS. He graduated from The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) in 2017 with a B.S. in Biology. At TCNJ, he conducted independent student research in the Elliott Lab studying random mutations in the bacterial genome that lead to antibiotics resistance. After graduating, he transitioned into human physiology research for a year at Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. In the fall of 2018, he began studying medicine at Rowan School of Osteopathic Medicine. The following summer, he did a research fellowship in Dr. Benjamin Rood's lab studying social behavior. This experience solidified his interest to become a physician scientist and pursue a Ph.D. After joining GSBS, Tirth now focuses on studying the role of vasopressin in neuronal networks that govern social behavior. Outside of the lab, he enjoys Philadelphia sports (go Eagles!!), table tennis, and spending time with family and friends.

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    Claire Corbett, B.A.

    Ph.D. Student

    Claire graduated from Rowan University in May 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. Claire joined the GSBS Ph.D. program in biomedical sciences in the Fall of 2017. After completing her lab rotations, Claire joined Dr. Jessica Loweth's lab in the spring of 2018. Claire’s project is focused on investigating the role of the basolateral amygdala (BLA) in the expression of incubated cocaine craving, with a focus on assessing sex differences in drug seeking behavior and identifying neuroadaptations within the BLA and the BLA to NAc pathway that may be contributing to these effects.

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    Nicole Hinds, B.S.

    Ph.D. Student

    Nicole is currently a Ph.D. student at RowanGSBS in Dr. Daniel Manvich's lab. She graduated from Rowan University in 2015, where she studied Biochemistry and worked under the mentorship of Dr. Gregory Caputo. While an undergraduate, she assisted in research aimed at characterizing the self-assembly of conductive peptide-porphyrin aggregates.  In the years to follow, Nicole taught Chemistry for Atlantic Cape Community College and ran an Emergency Services Organization in her home town of Buena Vista Township, NJ. Nicole is broadly interested in neuropharmacology and is currently working to assess the neural circuitry underlying drug-seeking behavior and various coping strategies in response to psychosocial stress. While not in the lab or studying, Nicole enjoys spending time with her husband, and hiking with her sister.