Our Current Graduate Students

Graduate students admitted to the Department of Physiology are committed to becoming independent thinkers and highly successful collaborative scientists.  With our team-based mentoring approach, many of our students successfully earn their own prestigious fellowships as well as travel awards to present their work at major national and international conferences where they can interact with other top scientists and explore future job prospects. Our students are highly competitive for the next stage of their careers because our faculty are committed to delivering top-notch training and highly personalized mentoring and networking opportunities.

Brianna Bourgeois, BS
Degree: BS, Louisiana State University
Mentor: Liz Simon, MVSc, PhD
Focus: Epigenomic mechanisms of chronic alcohol-mediated impaired insulin sensitivity 
Status: MD/PhD Student
E-mail: bbou11@lsuhsc.edu

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Jessi Cucinello-Ragland, BA
Degree: BA, University of Mississippi
Mentor: Scott Edwards, PhD
Focus: Regulation of chronic inflammatory pain by alcohol and endocannabinoids in the basolateral amygdala
Status: PhD Student & NIH Fellow
E-mail: jcucin@lsuhsc.edu
 

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Chelsea Duplantis, BS
Degree: BS, University of New Orleans
Mentor: Rajani Maiya, PhD
Focus: Investigating the role of kappa opioid receptors in stress-induced escalation of alcohol consumption
Status: MS Student
E-mail: cdupl9@lsuhsc.edu

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Joshua Edavettal, MS
Degree: BS, Louisiana Tech University
MS, Tulane University
Mentor: Jason Gardner, PhD
Focus: Cardiac physiology in relation to ethanol and nicotine
Status: MD/PhD Student
E-mail: jedav1@lsuhsc.edu

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Nicholas D. Fried, BS
Degree: BS, University of Maine
Mentor: Jason Gardner, PhD
Focus: Cardiac consequences of vaporized nicotine exposure
Status: MD/PhD Student
E-mail: nfried@lsuhsc.edu
 

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Sophia Marathonitis, BS
Degree: BS, Tulane University
Mentor: Scott Edwards, PhD
Focus: Neurobiological interactions between HIV disease and alcohol use disorder risk 
Status: PhD Student
Email:smara1@lsuhsc.edu

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Laura Monteagudo Romero, MS
Degree: MS, University of Madrid
BS, University of Murcia
Mentor: Scott Edwards, PhD
Focus: Interactions between alcohol consumption and opioids in pain related disease
Status: PhD Student
E-mail: lmont6@lsuhsc.edu
 

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Jonquil M. Poret, MS 
Degree: MS, LSUHSC New Orleans
BS, Xavier University of Louisiana
Mentor: Patricia Molina, MD, PhD
Focus: Alcohol-induced metabolic dysfunction in adipose tissue of SIV-infected Rhesus macaques
Status: PhD Student & NIH Fellow
E-mail:jpore2@lsuhsc.edu
 

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Nathan Sharfman, MS
Degree:
 BS, Rhodes College
MS, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA
Mentor: Nicholas Gilpin, PhD
Focus:Neuroinflammatory role and cannabinoid role of descending pain pathways in Alcohol Use Disorder 
Status: MD/PhD Student
E-mail: nsharf@lsuhsc.edu
 

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Taylor Templeton, BS
Degree:
BS, University of California, Santa Barbara
Mentor: Nicholas Gilpin, PhD
Focus: Investigating the role of central amygdala corticotropin releasing factor on stress-induced cocaine self-administration
Status: PhD Student
E-mail: ttemp2@lsuhsc.edu
 

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Anna K. Whitehead, BS
Degree: MS, Louisiana Tech University
BS, Louisiana Tech University
Mentor: Xinping Yue, MD, PhD
Focus: Impact of chronic nicotine inhalation on the development of lung diseases and associated molecular mechanisms
Status: MD/PhD Student
E-mail: awhi32@lsuhsc.edu

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Graduates

2021

Krystal Courtney D. Belmonte, PhD
Degree: BS, University of Nevada
Mentor: Jeffrey Gidday, PhD
Focus: Transgenerational epigenetics in neuroprotection 

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2020

Zachary Stielper, PhD
Degree: BS, Centenary College of Louisiana
Mentors: Nick Gilpin, PhD & Patricia Molina, MD, PhD
Focus: TBI and alcohol effects on amygdalar endocannabinoids

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2020

Matthew Herrera, MS
Degree: BS, Louisiana State University
Mentor: Flavia Souza-Smith, PhD
Focus: The mechanism of alcohol-induced lymphatic vessel leakage

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2019

M. Adrienne McGinn, PhD
Degree:
BS, University of New Orleans
Mentor: Scott Edwards, Ph.D.
Focus: Role of neuronal stress signaling in chronic pain and drug addiction

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2019

Katherine (Katie) A. Adler, MAT
Degree:
BA University of California, Berkeley MAT University of Southern California
Mentor: Liz Simon, MVSc, PhD
Focus: The effects of alcohol on skeletal muscle stem cell differentiation in SIV-infected rhesus macaques

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2019

Van Ninh, PhD
Degree: PhD Physiology LSUHSC
BS Louisiana State University
Mentor: Jason Gardner, PhD
Focus: Effects of lysyl oxidase on cardiac fibrosis

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2018

Elia El Hajj, PhD
Degree: PhD, Physiology, LSUHSC
BS, Loyola University of New Orleans
MS, Biomedical Sciences, LSUHSC
Mentor: Jason Gardner, PhD
Focus: The effect of lysyl oxidase inhibition on volume overload-induced ECM remodeling, agniogenesis and apoptosis.

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2018

Darryl A. Gaudet Jr., MS
Degree: MS, Physiology, LSUHSC
BS, Louisiana State University Baton Rouge
Mentor: Stefany Primeaux, PhD
Focus: Fat taste receptors and reward pathways affected by binge eating behavior

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2018

Allyson Schreiber, BS
Degree:
 PhD, Physiology, LSUHSC
BS, Louisiana State University Baton Rouge
Mentor: Nicholas Gilpin, Ph.D.
Focus: Prefrontal Cortex Stress Peptides in Traumatic Stress and Alcohol Drinking

schreiber

2017

Alicia N. Ray-Botello, MS. MPH
Degree:
BA, Maryville College 2010
MPH, LSUHSC-NO School of Public Health 2014
Mentor: Nicholas Gilpin, Ph.D.
Focus: Neuroendocrine signaling in context of acute stress-induced alcohol craving

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2017

P. Domonique Smith, MS
Degree:
BS, Northwestern State University of Louisiana
Mentor: Robert Siggins, Ph.D.
Focus: Role of chronic alcohol drinking on DNA methylation

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2017

Rod I. Paulsen, MS
Degree:
B.S., New York University
Mentor: Scott Edwards, Ph.D.
Focus: Prefrontal Cortex neuroadaptations in the context of pain and drug addiction

rodpaulson

2017

Stephen Ford, PhD
Degree:
Ph.D. 2017 LSUHSC Physiology
Mentor: Liz Simon, Ph.D.
Focus:The effects of chronic alcohol exposure on muscle wasting and insulin resistance in SIV-infected Rhesus macaques.

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2017

John Maxi, PhD
Degree:
Ph.D. 2017 LSUHSC Physiology
Mentor: Patricia Molina, M.D., Ph.D.​
Focus: Interaction of alcohol & cannabinoids on neuroinflammation in Rhesus macaques; Acute alcohol effect on TBI outcomes

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2017

Alan Mouton, PhD
Degree:
Ph.D. 2017 LSUHSC Physiology
Mentor: Jason D. Gardner, Ph.D.
Focus: Mechanisms of Alcohol-Induced Cardiac Fibrosis

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2016

Jacques Mayeux, PhD
Degree:
PhD, LSUHSC - NO Physiology
Mentor: Patricia Molina, M.D., Ph.D.
Focus: Neurobehavioral Mechanisms Underlying Escalated Alcohol Drinking Following Traumatic Brain Injury

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2015

Travis Doggett, PhD
Degree: PhD
Mentor: Jerome Breslin, Ph.D.
Focus: Molecular Mechanisms Involved in Acute Alcohol Intoxication-Induced Microvascular Hyperpermeability

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2014

Xu Sophie Teng, PhD
Degree: PhD LSUHSC - NO Physiology
Mentor: Patricia E Molina, M.D. , Ph.D.
Focus: Traumatic Brain Injury and Alcohol: Neuropathological Mechanisms of Impaired Recovery

Sophie 2013

2013

Jessica Bradley, PhD
Degree: PhD LSUHSC - NO Physiology
Mentor: Jason D. Gardner, Ph.D.
Focus: The effects of particulate matter inhalation on ventricular remodeling and dysfunction in response to cardiac injury.

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2013

Kristine Kurtz, PhD
Degree: PhD LSUHSC - NO Physiology
Mentor: Jerome Breslin, Ph.D.
Focus: Evaluating the signaling mechanisms responsible for the tonic and phasic contractions of collecting lymphatic vessels.

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2012

Annie M. Whitaker, PhD
Degree: PhD LSUHSC - NO Physiology
Mentors: Patricia E. Molina, M.D., Ph.D.
Focus: Alcohol and Shock: Mechanisms of Impaired Vasopressin Release ​

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2013

John Nicholas Melvan, MD, PhD
Degree: PhD LSUHSC - NO Physiology
M.D.  LSUHSC - NO
Mentors: Ping Zhang, M.D. /Ph.D. and Gregory Bagby, Ph.D.
Focus: Acute alcohol suppression of granulopoiesis

Nick

2013 

Jesse Sulzer, MD, PhD
Degree: PhD LSUHSC - NO Physiology
​M.D.  LSUHSC - NO
Mentor: Patricia Molina M.D., Ph.D.
Focus: Alternative resuscitation strategies for the intoxicated trauma victim

Jesse