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Alumni Achievements

(Organized by Graduation Decade and Last Name)

’70s Graduates

Stuart Cohen, BA in Chemistry ’75
Stuart earned a Ph.D. in physical organic chemistry in 1984 from George Washington University, but his dissertation research was done at the National Institutes of Health. He has been working as an environmental scientist for 32 yrs, including 11 yrs with the US EPA. His specialties are environmental fate, risk assessment, and risk management of pesticides, lead, arsenic, and fertilizers. He has been the head/owner of an environmental consulting firm since January, 1991.

James Damewood, BA in Chemistry ’78
James is associate director, Chemistry, Computational Chemistry & Informatics at AstraZeneca in Wilmington, DE.

Dave Merkler, BA in Biochemistry ’79
Dave went on to do a Ph.D. in Biochemistry at Penn State, a post-doc at Temple and Einstein College of Medicine with Vern Schramm. He’s now Associate Professor of Chemistry, University of South Florida.

Donald Milton, BA in Biochemistry ’76
After Donald’s BA, he attended medical school at Johns Hopkins, trained in Internal Medicine at Emory and BU, and Occupational & Environmental Medicine at Harvard. He received a DrPH in Environmental Health from Harvard in 1989, taught at Harvard School of Public Health from 1990 – 2004 and is now Professor in the new School of Health & Environment at University of Massachusetts Lowell. His research concerns the role of bioaerosol exposures in asthma & allergy, and the role aerosols in influenza transmission.


’80s Graduates

Shanta Bantia, PhD in Biochemistry ’85
Shanta is a Section Head, Biological Sciences BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Birmingham AL. BioCryst designs, optimizes and develops novel drugs that block key enzymes involved in cancer, cardiovascular diseases, autoimmune diseases, and viral infections.

Charles Bevins, PhD in Biochemistry ’85
Charles is a Professor at the University of California, Davis. His groundbreaking antibiotic research may prove important in understanding devastating human diseases, including inflammatory bowel disease and cystic fibrosis. Weblink:

Brian Flowers, BA in Biochemistry ’80
Brian went on to receive his MD degree at the University of Maryland Baltimore. He now practices as an otolaryngologist, in York, PA.

Dwight Hooper, BA in Chemistry ’80
Dwight completed his M.D. from Univ. of Maryland School of Medicine. Completed residency in obstetrics and gynecology. Currently Assoc. Prof Univ. of Alabama School of Medicine, Dept Ob-Gyn.

Spiros Nicols, BA in Chemistry ’87
Spiros went on to earn his PharmD. at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy. He is currently a pharmacy practice resident at the VA medical center in Washington DC.

Tayebeh Pourmotabbed, PhD in Biochemistry ’86
Taqyebeh is a Professor at the University of Tennessee in Memphis. Her research is in the area of enzymes involved in arthritis and cancer invasion. She describes her work as trying to figure out how the enzymes function and their role in tumor metastasis.

Barry Willen, BS in Chemistry ’80
After 25 years of owning and running a pharmaceutical manufacturing firm and a Sylvan Learning franchise, Barry is now teaching Chemistry.


’90s Graduates

Robert Day, BS in Chemistry ’93
Robert is currently employed at the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research(NIBRI) in Cambridge,Massachusetts. He was previously employed at Pfizer Global Research & Development (PGRD) in Groton, CT. His research has focused mainly in discovery of agents to treat disorders contributing to metabolic syndrome; the most notable contribution to date is work around Pfizer’s Phase III CB-1 antagonist CP-945,598.

Roberto DeGuzman, PhD in Biochemistry ’98
Roberto conducted research in the area of structural biology and NMR before moving to Scripps as a postdoctoral associate. He is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Kansas.

Daniel Klein, BS in Biochemistry ’99
Brian obtained his Ph.D. (2004) in Molecular Biophysics & Biochemistry from Yale University where he was an HHMI predoctoral fellow. He received a postdoctoral fellowship from the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation in 2005 for his current research at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle.

Brian Lee, PhD in Biochemistry ’96
Brian conducted research in the area of structural biology and NMR before moving to Scripps as a postdoctoral associate. He is currently an Assistant Professor at Southern Illinois University.

Ram Mohan, PhD in Chemistry ’92
Ram is currently a Professor of Chemistry at Illinois Wesleyan University where he has made major contributions in research and to the teaching curriculum. His research concerns the use of bismuth in organic synthesis. In 2002, he was named a UMBC Alumnus of the year.

Gabriella Perez, PhD in Biochemistry ’95
Gabriella conducted research in the area of structural biology and NMR before moving to Scripps as a postdoctoral associate. She is an Assistant Professor at Southern Illinois University.

Richard Perry, BS in Biochemistry ’93
Richard is currently teaching Chemistry at Severna Park High School.

Steven Rowe, BS in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology ’99
Steven Rowe graduated from University of Michigan Medical Scientist Training Program fellowship with both the M.D. and Ph.D. degrees. Steve’s Ph.D. thesis research was performed in the laboratory of Dr. Anna Mapp in the Department of Chemistry. The title of Steve’s Ph.D. thesis was “Characteristics of Activation Domains that Control Potency and Permissiveness of Activation Domain-Binding Sites.” Steve’s thesis research resulted in five publications including first author papers in Biopolymers and in the Journal of The American Chemical Society. Steve will be undertaking residency training in Radiology at the Johns Hopltins Hospital.

Tracey Simmons-Willis, BA in Chemistry ’93
Tracey is currently in Houston working as an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Texas Southern University.

Justin Wu, PhD in Chemistry ’99
Justin conducted research in the area of structural biology and NMR before moving to the NIH as a postdoctoral associate. He is currently an Assistant Professor at Ohio State University.


’00s Gradautes

Bindu Abraham, PhD in Chemistry ’06
Bindu completed her docotoral research work in the pursuit of photochemical initiation protein modification. She is now working at the Proteomics and Mass Spectometry Facility at the National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Disorders/NIH at Bethesda. Her current research involves characterization lipid droplet proteome in the liver cells and study of post tralationally modified hemoglobins in sickle cell anemia.

Kathleen Davies, MS in Chemistry ’04
Kathleen is currently employed at the Food and Drug Administration, Office of New Drugs.

Behzad Farivar, MS in Chemistry ’04
Medical Student at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine. MD expected May 2008.

Stacy Gelhaus, PhD in Chemistry ’05
Stacy is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Center for Cancer Pharmacology in the School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania. She received an NRSA Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Fall of 2007 from the NIEHS for her work on environmental carcinogen metabolism, specifically PAHs.

Luke Higgins, BS in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology ’00
Luke graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a Ph.D. in Chemistry. Luke’s Ph.D. thesis research was performed in the laboratory of Dr. Catherine L. Drennan in the Department of Chemistry. The title of Luke’s thesis was “Structural Analysis of Hydroxypropylphosphonic Acid Epoxidase: A Fosfomycin Biosynthetic Enzyme.” Luke’s thesis work was published in the journal Nature. After his Ph.D. Luke pursued post-doctoral study at Harvard/Brigham and Women’s Hospital in the laboratory of Richard T. Lee. Luke then earned a M.D. degree from Stanford University School of Medicine in 2010 pursuing research in molecular imaging and radiology. Currently Luke is a transitional resident and will be starting a Radiology Residency (Research Track) at Johns Hopkins Hospital working in the laboratory of Dr. Martin G. Pomper M.D., Ph.D..

Anna Korovina, BS in Chemistry ’05
After working at a pharmaceutical company for over a year, Anna is now pursuing her PhD at the George Washington University; concurrently, she works at the Naval Research Laboratory continuing research to finish her dissertation.

Chrysa Latrick, BS in Biochemistry ’03
Chrysa joined the graduate program in Biochemistry at the University of Colorado where she is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in the laboratory of Nobel laureate Tom Cech.

Matthew Loftus, BS in Chemistry ’07
Matt has received the prestigious Jack Kent Cooke Graduate Scholarship. Only 34 students in the nation received this year’s scholarship, which honors high achieving students with financial need. Considered one of the most generous U.S. academic awards, it provides up to $50,000 per year for up to six years of graduate or professional study in any field. Now in his first year at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, Loftus came to UMBC on a Jack Kent Cooke Transfer Scholarship. He spent summers doing volunteer work in Africa and was vice president of Students Taking Action Now in Darfur (STAND). He received the William Donald Schaefer Award for the best applicant to the Maryland International Education Association scholarship when he studied abroad in Cairo, Egypt.

Ronita Marple, PhD in Chemistry ’05
Ronita is now employed with the Procter & Gamble Company in Cincinnati, Ohio. She holds the position of “scientist” in the beauty analytical sciences division of the company, specifically in the hair care franchise. Ronita recently returned from a business trip including stops in Sweden, Russia, England, and Belgium to consult in collaborations at Lund University (Lund, Sweden) and the Russian Academy of Sciences (St. Petersburg, Russia). Ronita has numerous publications in various scientific journals and has given several presentations at international conferences.

Michael Massiah, PhD in Chemistry ’96
Michael conducted research in the area of structural biology and NMR at UMBC. He then conducted postdoctoral studies at The Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Johns Hopkins University before moving to his current position as Assistant Professor at Oklahoma State University.

Jaime Miller, BS in Biochemistry ’06
Jaime has applied and was accepted into the MD/PhD program at UVA.

Stephanie Nunez, BS in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology ’06
UMBC’s 2006 Valedictorian, Stephanie is persuing a combined D.D.S./Ph.D. at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry.

Olubukola Ojewoye, BS in Chemistry ’08
Olubukola was awarded the Pfizer Minority Medical Scholarship, attended the Meharry Medical College and is now practicing medicine in Nashville, Tennessee.

Joy Rogers, PhD in Chemistry ’01
Joy has been working as a research scientist for the past five years at the Materials and Manufacturing Directorate of the Air Force Research Laboratory in Dayton, OH. She is studying structure-property relationships of chromophores for use in nonlinear optical applications.

Meera Shah, BS in Chemistry ’01; MS Chemistry ’02
Meera graduated from Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine with a Doctorate of.Osteopathy. She then obtained an MBA in Healthcare Administration from St. Joseph’s University.

Adjoa Smalls-Mantey, BS in Biochemistry ’07
Adjoa is currently a first year student in Columbia’s MSTP program in conjunction with the NIH/Oxford/Cambridge Graduate Partnership Program.

Kristie Stone, BS in Chemistry ’03
After graduating with a MA in Chemistry from Johns Hopkins University, Kristie accepted a position with the Baltimore City Police to be a part of their Mobile Crime Scene Unit.

Steven Stone, BS in Chemistry ’06
After obtaining a B.S. in chemistry from UMBC, Steve went on to graduate with an M.S. in Inorganic Chemistry from the University of Washington. He am currently working as a Forensic Scientist with the Washington State Patrol.

Olusegun Williams, BS in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology ’05
Olusegun is a former United Negro College Fund-Merck fellow and is now an NSF pre-doctoral fellow in the Department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of California, San Francisco.

Jing Zhou, PhD in Chemistry ’05
Jing is a postdoctoral research fellow at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. She is currently a member of the DANSE (Distributed Data Analysis for Neutron Scattering Experiments) project. The goals of the DANSE project are to build a software system that 1) enables new and more sophisticated science to be performed with neutron scattering experiments, 2) makes the analysis of data easier for all scientists, and 3) provides a robust software infrastructure that can be maintained in the future.