Meet the 2016 Ph.D. graduates and incoming class

As Van Andel Institute Graduate School (VAIGS) prepares to bring in seven new students for the fall, we are also thrilled to see two of our students complete their Ph.D degrees, Casey Droscha and Marie Mooney. The unique educational experience at VAIGS has prepared these students for careers as leaders in biomedical research. We can’t wait to hear more about the impressive impact they make on the health and lives of future generations.

Meet the graduates:

Casey Droscha_255x187Casey Droscha successfully defended his dissertation this past Monday. After graduation, Dr. Droscha will begin working as a Research Scientist with NorthStar Cooperative Incorporated, an agricultural biotech company in the Lansing area.

Undergraduate University: Central Michigan University (B.S.)
Thesis: Characterizing mechanisms of gene transcription in models of bone development
Mentor: Bart Williams, Ph.D.

Marie Mooney_255x187Marie Mooney successfully defended her dissertation in January. In April, Dr. Mooney began a postdoctoral position with Dr. Andre Bachmann in the Department of Pediatrics and Human Development at the College of Human Medicine, Michigan State University (MSU).

Undergraduate University: Michigan Technological University (B.S. bioinformatics, summa cum laude)
Graduate University: University of Cincinnati (M.S. biomedical engineering)
Thesis: Modeling glioma-derived growth factor signal transduction in pediatric glioblastoma
Mentor: Matt Steensma, M.D.

We are thrilled to announce the 2016-2017 incoming class:

Maggie Chassé, who’s originally from Alaska, received her Master’s in biochemistry from Colorado State University.

Wooyoung Choi, VAIGS’ first international student from South Korea, received his Master’s from Tsinghua University in 2012.

Minge Du comes to VAIGS from Stony Brook University and received her Master’s in genetics from Southeast University in China.

Guillermo Flores is an M.D.-Ph.D. candidate who is currently completing his second year of medical school at MSU.

Katie Krajnak, who earned her Master’s in biological sciences from Purdue University Calumet.

Alexis Weber graduated from MSU in 2014 with a B.S. in genomics and molecular genetics, with an additional major in microbiology.