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2014 Sigma Xi

which culminates in the William Potter Lecture. The event will be held this year on April 2nd, 2014 Dorrance H. Hamilton Building Thomas Jefferson University 1001 Locust St. Philadelphia PA.  Students will represent their thesis interest with posters that are structured to show their research thus far. 

Sigma Xi Student Research Day is jointly sponsored by Thomas Jefferson University Chapter of Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society, Jefferson Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and Jefferson Medical College. For more information please contact Dr. Terry Freeman (215) 955-1068

WELCOME Mito Care Center

The MitoCare Center is led by Gyorgy Hajnoczky, MD, PhD. Included in this advanced microscopy facility are Dr. Jan B. Hoek, Suresh K. Joseph, PhD, Gyorgy Csordas, MD and Erin L. Seifert, PhD.

The center is to help uncover the causes of mitochondrial disease-using leading-edge technology and researchers hailing from diverse disciplines. The center also plans to build an online resource for patients and physicians looking for more information about these diseases.

JeffNews; Winter/Spring 2014

Danielle DeCicco Travel Fellowship Award

Jefferson Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences JGSBS Alumni Association Graduate Student Travel Fellowship, funded by the Alumni of the JGSBS.  This helps to fund the students to make presentations at scientific meetings or symposiums.

Danielle’s is conducting her Thesis Research under the mentorship of Dr. Raj Vadigepalli.  Her research interest I'm interested in dynamic regulation of microRNA networks in the brainstem underlying hypertension development.  We used bioinformatics and computational models to understand the network properties at play during the development of hypertension. Our findings provide novel microRNA candidate targets to prevent or revert hypertension.

The Cell & Developmental Biology wants to congratulate Danielle for all of her hard work and participation in the CDB program.

Congratulations Annabel Torres on Receiving The Professor Frederic Rieders, PhD Scholarship Award

This will be Annabel's second year to receive this prominent and well established academic award.  She is in the Cell & Developmental Biology Graduate Program and studies for her thesis under the direction of Dr. Renato Iozzo. Annabel falls in line with "anything worth having is worth working for".  Sacrifice may be necessary to achieve our goals and for Annabel she is doing just that.  A mother of 3 and wife makes her goals even more challenging than most.  We are proud to have her in the CDB Program

2013 WELCOME Faculty & Student Brunch

The tables were decorated with bright yellow linen and in the center were Bird House centerpieces.  It was hard for those attending to realize that Fall was in the air.  The center pieces were made my the Cell & Developmental Biology Education Coordinator Sharon Egleston.

The Faculty and Students and special guest enjoyed a brunch of eggs, bacon, crepes.  While enjoying every bite the opportunity was taken to navigate through the interests of the faculty and the goals of the students. Stimulating conversation was shared by those attending the brunch. Special guests were invited that have contributed to the Cell & Developmental Biology Program throughout the year that are key in orgainizing the students time on campus.

Welcome Stanley Conaway to the Cell & Developmental Biology Program

Stanley is one of three students that will be joining the Cell & Developmental Biology Program for the 2013-2014 Academic Year. Stanley completed his BS in biological sciences at Rowan University.  Soon after he joined Thomas Jefferson and received his MS in biomedical sciences.  Stanley applied to the Cell & Developmental Biology Program with the goal of stem cell research with an interest in cancer. Stanley will certainly be a strong asset to the CDB program.

Rachael Dippold Recipient of the JGSBS Alumni Thesis Prize

Rachael has been a strong presence to the program.  She was liaison, a member of the GSA and contributed her time to the program whenever necessary.  It was not a surprise to see this honor given to Rachael.  We are truly proud of her accomplishments.

Rachael wrote her thesis on "Adaptation to ethanol dysregulates hepatic miRNA expression and alters the dynamic response of miRNAs during liver regeneration".  She worked in the lab of Dr. Yan Hoek who was both her advisor and mentor.  She has received the position of Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

Ronald Vagnozzi Thesis Defense

Congratulations to Ronald Vagnozzi from the Cell & Developmental Biology Graduate Program on his successful defense of his thesis. His thesis was on "Inhibition of the Cardiac~Specific Kinase TNNI3K/CARK: A Prospect for Acute Coronary Syndromes".  Ron made his way through the graduate program in the lab of Dr. Force, his advisor and mentor. Ron accepted a position as Postdoctoral Fellow Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center Division of Molecular Cardiovascular Biology.

189th Commencement Stage resized

The Cell and Developmental Biology Graduate Program wants to CONGRATULATE the CLASS of 2013.

The following students have received their Degree of Doctor of Philosophy:

Rachel Dippold (Molecular Cell Biology) 

Thesis Title: "Adaptation to Ethanol Dysregulates Hepatic miRNA Expression and Alters the Dynamic Response of miRNAs During Liver Regeneration"

Advisor: Jan Hoek, PhD


Melissa Lise Downsbrough Cullimore (Cell & Developmental Biology)

Thesis Title: "Establishing a Role for IL-27 in the Amelioration of MS and EAE" 

Advisor:  A.M. Rostami, MD, PhD


Jun He ( Cell & Developmental Biology)

Thesis Title: "Repression of miR-143/145 Mediates Chromium (VI)-induced Cell Transformation, Tumor Growth and Tumor Angiogenesis via IGF-IR/IRS1/ERK/IL-8" 

Advisor: Bing-Hua Jiang, PhD


Robyn Sussman:  (Cell & Developmental Biology)

Thesis Title: " The Epigenetic Modifier USP22 Regulates the Transition of Embryonic Stem Cells from Self-renewal to Differentiation via Transcriptional Repression of SOX2: 

Advisor: Steven D. McMahon, PhD


David Swope: (Cell & Developmental Biology)

Thesis Title: "The Role of Plakoglobin and Beta-Catenin in Mechano-Electrical Coupling of the Heart" 

Advisor:  Glenn Radice, PhD


The Cell & Developmental Biology Program is proud of all of our students.  We want to acknowledge each and every one's  true success in whatever direction they take.

Dr. Jan Hoek, Director of Cell & Developmental Biology

5th Annual Scholarship Dinner

On Tuesday February 26 Thomas Jefferson held its 5th Annual Scholarship Dinner to introduce scholars for the 2012-13 academic year as well as to show gratitude to the scholarship sponsors.  The event allowed for students to meet and get to know each other during a wonderful evening filled with good food and jazz musice.  One of the guest was our 2nd year Annable Torres who is with Dr. Iozzo's Lab.

Candidate Interviews

On January 25, February 8 and February 22 The Cell and Developmental Biology PhD Program hosted Candidate Interviews for the program.  The Candidates were all exceptional and showed interest and experience in a variety of areas of research. A selection will be made for the students for the 2013 Academic and will be announced shortly.

Interim Director Announced for CDB

The Cell and Developmental Biology Graduate Program is pleased to announce our Interim Director Dr. Jan Hoek.  Dr. Hoek is a respected researcher and faculty member to Pathology and held the title of director some time back with the program.  I am sure that we are all looking forward to working with Dr.. Hoek and support his continued dedication to the students and the CDB program

The Professor Fredric Rieders, PhD Scholarship

The CDB wants to congratulate Annabel Torres as the recipient of The Professor Fredric Rieders, Ph.D. Scholarship. Annabel is a wife, mother of three lovely children and a second year graduate student in Dr. Renato Iozzo's lab.  This endowment gives so generously to our graduate students is supported and established by Dr. Michael F. Reiders for the many years of  contribution that was made by his father's many scientific and humanitarian contributions

Jun He's Thesis Defense

Recent graduate student, Jun He, defended her thesis successfully. Jun has been mentored by Dr. Bing-hua Jang and has been an integral part of his lab. The title for Jun's thesis is "Roles of miRNAs in chromium (VI)-induced carcinogenesis and angiogenesis". The CDB wants to take this time to congratulate Jun on her successful defense.

Congratulations to Dr. Renato Iozzo for being appointed as Editor-In-Chief of Matrix Biology

Dr. Renato Iozzo has recently been appointed as Editor-in-Chief of the journal Matrix Biology beginning January 2013.  This flagship journal is published by Elsevier and is affiliated with both the International Society for Matrix Biology and the American Society for Matrix Biology. Dr. Iozzo served as president of both societies between 2007 and 2010.  Dr. Iozzo’s  efforts follow those of Dr. Bjorn Olsen from Harvard Medical School.  

Dr. Iozzo is presently a Professor of Pathology and Cell Biology at Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia   PA, and is a long-standing member of the graduate program in Cellular and Developmental Biology.  He is also Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and a Professor at the Kimmel cancer Center since its foundation. His research interest is focused on the biology of proteoglycans and their roles in cancer and angiogenesis. He has published over 280 peer-reviewed articles, numerous reviews and edited two books on proteoglycans. His work is one of the most cited in the Proteoglycan and Matrix Biology fields, with over 18,000 citations and an h-index of 76.  For more information about Dr. Renato Iozzo please go to



Renato V. Iozzo, MD, PhD
(Honoris Causa)
Professor, Pathology & Cell Biology
Professor, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Professor, Kimmel Cancer Center
Honorary Professor,
University of Manchester, UK
Member of the CDB Graduate Program

Congratulations to the CDB Graduates of 2012!

Debra Jensen, Post Doc University of Penn
Kate Hahn, Science Faculty, Burlington County Community College
Katie Kidd, Post Doc, Thomas Jefferson University
Richard Carpenter, Post Doc Duke University

Cell & Developmental Biology is proud of all of our students.  We want to acknowledge each and every one true success in whatever direction they take.

Annika Fitzpatrick Barber


The CDB wants to congratulate Annika Fitzpatrick Barber for the following accomplishments:

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