Andrea Andress Huacachino
Mentor: Trevor Penning, PhD
Andrea is a doctoral candidate in the Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics graduate group. She completed her BS in Chemical Biology and MS in Chemistry from Stevens Institute of Technology. Andrea joined the lab of Dr. Trevor Penning where her research explores the environmental component of polycystic ovary syndrome, PCOS, by characterizing perfluorooctanoic acid, PFOA. She also wants to understand the role of hyperandrogenism in PCOS. Using cellular, biochemical, and computational methods, interactions between the aldo-keto reductase family 1 members (AKR1C), hyperandrogenism, and PFOA in the context of PCOS are explored. Her interest in the topic stems from its connection to toxicology, relevance to women’s health, and impact on social responsibility. Andrea is strongly passionate about environmental justice and involved in various diversity and inclusion initiatives around the Penn and Philadelphia community.
Mentor: Sarah E. Henrickson, MD, PhD
Ceire Hay is an Immunology doctoral candidate in the lab of Dr. Sarah Henrickson. Ceire earned her BS from West Chester University in May 2016. Following this, she joined the laboratory of Dr. Katelyn Byrne at the University of Pennsylvania where she studied mechanisms of CD8 T cell trafficking in the context of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. In 2019, Ceire joined the Immunology Graduate Group and continued to explore her interests in T cell dysfunction under the mentorship of Dr. Henrickson. Ceire is interested in understanding the impact of obese asthma on both CD4 and CD8 T cell effector function. Using both human in vitro and mouse in vivo models, Ceire is employing a multimodal research approach that includes spectral flow cytometry, mass spectrometry, lipidomics and proteomics to better understand how adipose-secreted factors drive altered T cell function in children with obese asthma.
Lindsey Block, PhD
Mentor: Rebecca Simmons, MD
Lindsey is a second year post-doctoral researcher in the Center for Research on Reproduction and Women’s Health (CRRWH). Her research is focused on understanding molecular changes in pregnancy complications, mainly obesity and preterm birth. She is also interested in understanding the impact of environmental toxins, mainly endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs), on pregnancy.
Alekh Paranjapye, PhD
Mentor: Erica Korb, PhD
Alekh is a postdoctoral researcher who joined the Korb lab in the Genetics Department in 2022. There, he studies complex gene regulation in neurons. He earned his PhD in Genetics and Genome Sciences from Case Western Reserve University where he focused on epigenetics and higher order chromatin structure in the human airway epithelium. One of his research interests is in determining the intersection of neurological gene expression paradigms affected by chromatin modifiers that may act as risk factors of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and exposure to the toxicant bisphenol A (BPA).
Anthony Su, PhD
Mentor: Trevor Penning, PhD
Anthony joined Dr. Trevor Penning’s laboratory at the University of Pennsylvania in July 2020 as a postdoctoral researcher. Prior to his postdoctoral career, Dr. Su received his Ph.D. in Toxicology in 2020 from the University of Michigan, where he examined metabolic mechanisms of trichloroethylene toxicity in mammalian models of pregnancy. In the Penning laboratory, Dr. Su researches the role of aldo-keto reductases in the nitroreduction and carcinogenicity of select nitroarenes that are diesel exhaust constituents, including 1-nitropyrene and 1,8-dinitropyrene. Because the nitroreduction of many nitroarenes is thought to involve the formation of carcinogenic metabolites, Dr. Su plans to modulate the nitroreduction of these nitroarenes to investigate altered toxicity. Dr. Su is passionate about implementation of Inclusion, Equity, and Diversity (IDE) principles within academia and rigor and reproducibility in science.
J. Dylan (van Kampen) Weissenkampen, PhD
Mentor: Maja Bucan, PhD
Dylan is a postdoctoral researcher in the Bucan lab in the Genetics department, where he studies autism spectrum disorder (ASD) risk factors. He joined the Bucan lab in January 2021, after obtaining his PhD in Neuroscience from the Pennsylvania State University where he conducted research into integrating multiple modalities to investigate smoking behaviors. In the Bucan lab, Dylan investigates the interplay between genetics and environmental factors on ASD risk and symptomology.