I am originally from Sharkia, Egypt. I did my bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Sciences and a minor in psychology at Rochester Institute of Technology. Currently, I am a PhD student in the Kumar lab. In Kumar Lab, our research focus is Flaviviruses (e.g. West Nile Virus, Japanese encephalitis virus, Powassan virus and etc..) and their role in brain pathology development.
My focus is to evaluate the role of phosphatases’ response during West Nile virus and Japanese Encephalitis Virus infection. This may lead to potential therapeutics to alleviate the excessive neuroinflammation and neuronal cell death caused by such infections. Besides working in the lab, I like to hike which has been amazing in Georgia because of all the beautiful hiking spots and waterfalls.
I study molecular evolution, and how mutations in ancient genes may be the precursor to modern diseases and conditions. I am focusing on the human uricase pseudogene, the function of its protein product, and its role in gout.
I like GSU because of its dedication to diversity and opportunities for collaboration in research. Atlanta is a great city to live in, and I think GSU is an equally great school to pursue a graduate education!
I am third-year Ph.D. student under Dr. Zehava Eichenbau. I got my BS and MS from Middle Tennessee State and brewed beer at a local brewery for 5 years before deciding to pursue a Ph.D. My research focuses on Group A Strep and utilizes a variety of techniques to examine multiple facets of iron acquisition and management within the organism. The goal of my research is to help paint a more complete picture of the process in hopes to advance current therapies to combat Group A Strep infections. When I’m not working in the lab, I take care of two adorable dogs, compete locally and nationally with the Atlanta Gaelic Athletic Association, and indulge in all sorts of different “nerdoms”.
Edroyal (Roy) Womack
I am a 5th-year PhD candidate under the mentorship of Dr. Zehava Eichenbaum at Georgia State University. My research uses molecular approaches to understand host-pathogen interactions with Streptococcus pneumoniae. S. pneumoniae required iron to colonize the human host. During my time at GSU, I have revealed revolutionary mechanisms on how S. pneumoniae steals host iron from hemoglobin. I am a former recipient of the GAANN fellowship and a current holder of the Donald Ahearn Endowed fellowship.
Hometown is Pune, India and I have a B.S. in Microbiology (Abasaheb Garware College) and Biology (Georgia State University). My project is focused on investigating the role of MicroRNA’s involved in the pathogenesis of multiple Flaviviruses in vitro and in vivo. I have also worked on several SARS-CoV-2 variants to study the differential pathogenesis in mice.
Georgia State University’s International Student Association made me feel extremely welcomed when I joined the master’s program. Apart from taking advantage of the top-notch university facilities, I was also lucky to learn under extremely knowledgeable and experienced professors. Being able to work in the BSL-4 facility at the GSU has been a highlight of my educational career at this University.
I employ evolutionary analysis to engineer Elongation Factor-Tu (EF-Tu), a critical translational apparatus that proofreads and delivers aminoacyl-transfer RNA. My research enables efficient site-specific incorporations of various unnatural amino acids, which have emerged as promising tools in molecular targeting, in vivo imaging, and biomaterials.
GSU has plenty of programs that help connect people from different departments. I am glad that we have these opportunities to constantly talk to scientists with different backgrounds and learn about great works in various fields.
It was my dream since my childhood to study at a university with highly advanced research facilities. With many resources and support from GSU, I’m now shaping into a skilled person with a lot of passion and confidence. As an international student, the positive atmosphere I see in GSU from the large and diverse caring community allows me to grow immensely. And I humbly call it the home away from home. The encouraging and supportive mentorships and the inspiration at every turn are invaluable; I’m forever grateful for that. I can’t be more appreciative of my time here and look forward to my future as a PhD candidate in Biology Department at GSU!
Hometown: Conway, Washington
My education background is B.S. in Microbiology from the University of Hawaii, Manoa. M.S. in Tropical Medicine from John A. Burn School of Medicine, University of Hawaii, Manoa. For my Master’s thesis, I developed an animal model using Guinea Pigs to study the pathogenesis of Congenital Zika Syndrome. Georgia State University has an excellent high containment core facility that allows me to expand in my research on Flaviviruses. Soon after beginning my PhD in Biology at GSU, the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic began. Since GSU has the facilities to study emergent pathogens, including SARS-CoV-2, my research switch to analyze the pathogenesis of the different SARS-CoV-2 variants in the lungs and the brain. GSU has helped me grow as a person and a scientist in the years I have spent here working towards my PhD.
Tabassum Tasnim Auroni
Hometown: Dhaka, Bangladesh
Education: B.S and M.S in Microbiology, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh
I am a Ph.D. candidate in the biology department at Georgia State University. My dissertation research focuses on the critical function of an important host cytokine, Interleukin-6 (IL-6), in the pathogenesis of flavivirus encephalitis. The findings from the in-vivo and in-vitro investigations will significantly impact the development of therapeutic interventions to improve flavivirus-mediated neurological disease outcomes.
Since joining the Ph.D. program at GSU, I have got great opportunities to work on multiple projects involving emerging flaviviruses such as West Nile virus, Japanese Encephalitis virus, Powassan virus, and Dengue virus. In response to the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, I also contributed to the ongoing SARS-CoV-2 research in my lab. While working on these projects, I gained extensive experience working in high containment facilities such as BSL-3/ABSL-3. In addition to providing excellent research facilities, GSU has allowed me to explore my mentoring ability. I teach junior Ph.D. and M.S students to oversee our lab’s animal models.
I am working on molecular evolution of purine metabolic pathway with multidisciplinary approach involving molecular biology, computational biology, biochemistry, system biology and mathematical biology.
GSU is a great environment which encourages diversity: students from diverse ethnicities can enjoy diverse lifestyles here, which further promotes diverse research with multidisciplinary approaches.