MD-PhD Dual Degree Program

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Current MD-PhD Students

Katheryn Lett

Katheryn Lett (M4)

Undergraduate Degree/Field of Study: B.S. Chemistry

Undergraduate Institution: The University of Alabama

Field of Study/Interests: My research focuses on exploring and identifying novel roles of coilin, the Cajal Body marker protein. My medical specialty interest is pediatric hematology/oncology.

PhD Program: Cell and Molecular Biology

PhD Mentor: Michael Hebert, PhD

National/Local Committee Membership/Leadership Positions: American Physician Scientist Associations Mentor for Undergraduate Students

Published Papers as MD-PhD Student:

  • Lett KE, Logan MK, McLaurin DM, Hebert MD. Coilin enhances phosphorylation and stability of DGCR8 and promotes miRNA biogenesis. Mol Biol Cell. 2021 Oct 1;32(20):br4.
  • Logan MK, Lett KE, Hebert MD. The Cajal body protein coilin is a regulator of the miR-210 hypoxamiR and influences MIR210HG alternative splicing. J Cell Sci. 2021 Jun 15;134(12).
  • Monroe JD, Moolani SA, Irihamye EN, Lett KE, Hebert MD, Gibert Y, Smith ME. Cisplatin and phenanthriplatin modulate long-noncoding RNA expression in A549 and IMR90 cells revealing regulation of microRNAs, Wnt/β-catenin and TGF-β signaling. Sci Rep. 2021 May 17;11(1):10408
  • McLaurin DM, Logan MK, Lett KE, Hebert MD. Molecular determinants that govern scaRNA processing by Drosha/DGCR8. Biol Open. 2020 Oct 26;9(10)

Interests/Hobbies: quilting, kayaking, playing volleyball

Shelley Rae Edwards

Shelley Rae Edwards (G3)

Undergraduate Degree/Field of Study: Neuroscience & Cognitive Studies

Undergraduate Institution: Millsaps College

Field of Study/Interests: My research investigates the clinical efficacy, abuse liability, and respiratory effects of novel opioid compounds in search of improved treatments for pain.

PhD Program: Neuroscience

PhD Mentor: Kevin Freeman, PhD

Honors/Awards: A. Wallace Conerly Scholarship

National/Local Committee Membership/Leadership Positions: American Physician Scientists Association (APSA) Co-Chair of Partnerships Committee, Undergraduate student mentor, Discovery Curriculum Committee Member, Physician Scientist Interest Day for Underrepresented Students Event Planning Committee Member

Published Papers as MD-PhD Student:

  • Dos Santos E Santos C, Welch BA, Edwards SR, et al. Immune and Metabolic Biomarkers in a Rodent Model of Spinal Cord Contusion. Global Spine J. 2022;12(1):110-120. doi:10.1177/2192568220950337

Funded Fellowship Application: National Institutes of Health (National Institute on Drug Abuse) F30 Fellowship "Behavioral Pharmacology of Injury Restricted Fentanyl Analogues."

Interests/Hobbies: House Plant Enthusiast, Amateur carpentry/Home Improvement, Furniture Restoration, Balloon Animal Twisting

Portrait of Garner Fincher

Garner Fincher (M2)

Undergraduate Degree/Field of Study: Biology, Chemistry Minor

Undergraduate Institution: Millsaps College

Madeline Griffin

Madeline Griffin (M2)

Undergraduate Degree/Field of Study: Pharmaceutical Sciences

Undergraduate Institution: University of Mississippi

Madison Hansen

Madison Hansen (M2)

Undergraduate Degree/Field of Study: Biochemistry and Music Performance

Undergraduate Institution: University of Southern Mississippi

Jack Berman

Jack Berman (M1)

Undergraduate Degree/Field of Study: Biology with Computational Biology Emphasis

Undergraduate Institution: Georgia Institute of Technology