Meet Our Students

Ph.D. Candidates

michael-cozartMichael Cozart, B.A.
Mentor: Zheng
Undergraduate Degree: Ouachita Baptist University

 Research Interests: Determining the functions of canonical transient receptor potential channel 3 (TRPC3) in neurovascular coupling and stroke-induced neural damage. TRPC3 is a cation channel known to regulate intracellular calcium in neurons, astrocytes, vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs), and cerebral endothelial cells – all the principal members of the neurovascular unit. Blockage of TRPC3 has recently been shown to be neuroprotective in a hemorrhagic model of stroke. However, the role of TRPC3 remains unclear as other studies have shown that loss of TRPC3 function is associated with a loss of endothelium-dependent dilation of cerebral arteries, which should in theory lead to an increase in stroke-induced damage. Answering these questions may lead to a pharmacological target for stroke therapy.

max-fordMax Ford, B.S.
Mentor: Prather
Undergraduate Degree: Ouachita Baptist University

Research Interests: In vitro and in vivo investigation of biased ligands at CB1 and CB2 receptors.


ChuckChuck Hay, M.S.
Mentor: Peterson
Undergraduate Degree: Cornell College; Master Degree: University of Nebraska Medical Center

Research Interests: Autoimmunity, pathogenesis, biologic drug development especially monoclonal antibodies as drugs, and drugs of abuse.


Julia for websiteJulia Tobacyk, B.S.
Mentor: Koturbash
Undergraduate Degree: Louisiana Tech University

Research Interests: The role of diet in cancer therapy.



chris-boldenChris Bolden, B.S.
Mentor: Peterson
Undergraduate Degree: University of Mississippi

Research Interests: Utilizing viral expressed scFvs to reduce Methamphetamine’s neuroinflammatory effects.


lascelles-lyncook1Lascelles Lyn-Cook, M.S.
Co-Mentors: Alison Harrill, Ph.D./Philip Mayeux, Ph.D.
Undergraduate Degree: University of Arkansas at Little Rock
Masters Degree: University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

Research Interests: Diversity outbred mice may improve preclinical screening for drug-induced liver injury (DILI).


bill-hyattWilliam Hyatt, B.A.
Mentor: William Fantegrossi, Ph.D.
Undergraduate Degree: Hendrix College

Research Interests: Effects of synthetic cathinones 3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV) and α-pyrrolidinovalerophenone (α-PVP) on impulsivity and vulnerability to psychostimulant abuse.


stephen-shrum1Stephen Shrum, B.S.

Co-Mentors: MacMillan-Crow and Rusch
Undergraduate Degree: Hendrix College

Research Interests: The role of the mitochondrial BK channel in renal cold storage injury.



brittney-garnerBrittney Garner, B.S.
Mentor: Rusch
Undergraduate Degree: East Texas Baptist University

Research Interests: Ion channel remodeling in lymphedema.


samantha-mcclenahanSamantha McClenahan, B.A.
Mentor: Owens
Undergraduate Degree: Vassar College

Research Interests: Exploring the effects of toxins and drugs at the whole-animal level.



lauren-russellLauren Russell, B.S.
Mentor: Fantegrossi
Undergraduate Degree: Southern Arkansas University

Research Interests: Neuro degeneration



catheryn-wilsonCatheryn Wilson, B.S.
Mentor: Fantegrossi
Undergraduate Degree: University of North Carolina at Pembroke

Research Interests: Studying the effects of synthetic cannabinoids using in vivo and in vitro approaches.



christian-cabanlongChristian Cabanlong, B.S.
Mentor: Prather
Undergraduate Degree: University of New Mexico

Research Interests: Signal transduction.


Laura Ewing, M.S.
Mentors: Kotrubash & Lumen (NCTR)
Undergraduate Degree: University of Oklahoma

Research Interests: Interactions of diet and radiotherapy in improving cancer treatment outcomes.