Recent Graduates

Alex W. Alund, Ph.D.

Graduation Date:  June 10, 2016 (supported by SPaT T32 GM106999)

Dissertation Title: The role of reactive oxygen species in alcohol-induced osteopenia and the regulation of bone turnover

Current Position: Analyst and Consultant for PinPoint Testing (

Recent Publications:  Click for a full list of Dr. Alund’s publications.

Yang CS, Mercer KE, Alund AW, Suva LJ, Badger TM, Ronis MJ. Genistein supplementation increases bone turnover but does not prevent alcohol-induced bone loss in male mice. Exp Biol Med. 239:1380-9 2014.

Alund AW, Mercer KE, Suva LJ, Pulliam CF, Chen JR, Badger TM, Van Remmen H, Ronis MJ. Reactive oxygen species differentially regulate bone turnover in an age-specific manner in catalase transgenic female mice. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 358:50-60, cover photograph, 2016.

Alund AW, Mercer KE, Suva LJ, Pulliam CF, Chen JR, Badger TM, Ronis MJ. Protections by dietary antioxidants against ethanol-Induced osteopenia and changes in bone morphology in female mice. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research (in press).

Clark R. Sims, Ph.D.

Graduation Date:  November 4, 2016 (supported by SPaT T32 GM106999)

Dissertation Title: Preclinical studies of targeted therapy in an infant model of sepsis-induced cardiorenal syndrome

Current Position: Postdoctoral fellow at the Arkansas Children’s Nutrition Center with Dr. Aline Andres (

Recent Publications: Click for a full list of Dr. Sims’ publications.

Mercer KE, Sims CR, Yang CS, Wynne RA, Moutos C, Hogue WR, Lumpkin CK, Suva LJ, Chen JR, Badger, TM, Ronis MJ. Loss of functional NADPH oxidase 2 protects against alcohol-induced bone resorption in female p47phox-/- mice. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 38:672-82, 2014.

Sims CR, MacMillan-Crow LA, Mayeux PR. Targeting mitochondrial oxidants may facilitate recovery of renal function during infant sepsis. Clin Pharmacol Ther. 96:662-4, 2014.

Wang Z, Sims CR, Patil NK, Gokden N, Mayeux PR. Pharmacologic targeting of sphingosine-1-phosphate receptor 1 improves the renal microcirculation during sepsis in the mouse. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 352(1):61-6, 2015.

Sims CR, Nguyen TC, Mayeux PR. Could biomarkers direct therapy for the septic patient? J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 357:228-39. 2016.

Emily R Holthoff, Ph.D.

Graduation Date:  May 2, 2016 (supported by SPaT institution match)

Dissertation Title: Identifying Pathologic and Molecular Features that Predict Adverse Clinical Outcomes in Vulvar Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Current Position: 3rd year medical student completing the MD portion of the MD/PhD degree

Recent Publications: Click for a full list of Dr. Holthoff’s publications.

Holthoff ER, Jeffus SK, Gehlot A, Stone R, Erickson SW, Kelly T, Quick CM, Post SR. Perineural invasion is an independent pathologic indicator of recurrence in vulvar squamous cell carcinoma. Am J Surg Pathol. 39:1070-4, 2015.

Jeffus SK, Gehlot A, Holthoff ER, Stone R, Spencer H, Kelly T, Post SR, Quick CM. A fibromyxoid stromal response is associated with an infiltrative tumor morphology, perineural invasion, and lymph node metastasis in squamous cell carcinoma of the vulva. Am J Surg Pathol. 39:1226-33, 2015.

Mazur A, Holthoff ER, Vadali S, Kelly T, Post SR. Cleavage of type I collagen by fibroblast activation protein-α enhances class A scavenger receptor mediated macrophage adhesion. PLoS One. e0150287, 2016.

Holthoff ER, Spencer H, Kelly T, Post SR, Quick, CM. Pathologic features of aggressive vulvar squamous cell carcinoma are associated with an epithelial-mesenchymal transition. Hum Pathol. 56:22-30, 2016.

Predoctoral fellowships awarded to trainees:

American Heart Predoctoral 14PRE20450050 – Clark Sims (7/1/14-6/30/16)
NRSA NIH F31 DK104533 – Clark Sims (1/1/15-12/31/17)
American Heart Predoctoral 16PRE30830010 – Stephen Shrum (7/1/16-6/30/18)
Southern Reginal Education Board Doctoral Scholars – Lascelles Lyn-Cook, Jr. (8/1/16-7/31/17)
NRSA NIH F30 (recommended for funding) – Daniel Meeker (2017-2019)

Time to degree for SPaT trainees (Ph.D. only):

4.1 years (n = 2 trainees)