Recent Graduates

Mary “Allie” Davis Schlieff, Ph.D. 

Graduation Date:  July 12, 2021 (supported by SPaT T32 GM106999)

Dissertation Title: Diphenylamine NSAIDs are bioactivated into hepatotoxic quinone-species metabolites

Current Position: Postdoctoral fellow, FDA Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, St. Louis, MO

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

Cui, H., Carlson, A., Schleiff, M., Divakaran, A., Johnson, J., Buchholz, C., Zahid, H., Vail, N., Shi, K., Aihara, H., Harki, D., Miller, G. P., Topczewski, J. and Pomerantz, W.  4-Methyl-1,2,3-Triazoles as N-Acetyl-Lysine mimics affords potent and selective BET bromodomain inhibitors, Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, 64(14), 10497-10511, 2021.

Flynn, N., Ward, M., Schleiff, M., Laurin, C., Farmer, R., Conway, S., Boysen, G., Swamidass, S. J., Miller, G. P. Bioactivation of isoxazole-containing bromodomain and extra terminal domain (BET) inhibitors, Metabolites, 11(6), 390, 2021.

Schleiff, M., Payakachat, S., Schleiff, B., Swamidass, S. J., Boysen, G., Miller, G. P. Impacts of diphenylamine NSAID halogenation on bioactivation risks, Toxicology, 458, 152832, 2021

Caitlin Caperton, Ph.D.

Graduation Date:  May 17, 2021 (supported by SPaT Institution Match)

Dissertation Title: The dichotomous role of immune cells in thyroid cancer pathogenesis

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

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

Caperton CO, Jolly LA, Massoll N, Bauer AJ, Franco AT, Development of novel follicular thyroid cancer models with progress to poorly differentiated and anaplastic thyroid cancer, Cancers (Basel), 13(5): 1094, 2021

Griffin BA, Caperton CO, Russell LN, Cabanlong CV, Wilson CD, Urquhart, KR, Martins BS, Zita MD, Patton AL, Alund AW, Owens SM, Fantegrossi WE, Moran JH, Brents, LK, In utero exposure to norbuprenorphine, a major metabolite of buprenorphine, induces fetal opioid dependence and leads to neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome, J Pharmacol Exp Ther, 370(1): 9-17, 2019

Julia Tobacyk, Ph.D. 

Graduation Date:  May 17, 2021 (supported by SPaT T32 GM106999)

Dissertation Title: Developing a novel assay for measuring OMA1 activity and investigating the role of OMA1 in renal cold storage

Current Position:  Postdoctoral fellow, Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology and Scholar, Health Sciences Innovation and Entrepreneurship Postdoctoral Training Program, UAMS

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

Tobacyk J, Kc G, MacMillan-Crow LA, Overexpression of MnSOD protects against cold storage-induced mitochondrial injury but not against OMA1-dependent OPA1 proteolytic processing in rat renal proximal tubular cells, Antioxidants (Basel), 10(8): 1272, 2021

Tobacyk J, MacMillan-Crow LA, Fluorescence-based assay for measuring OMA1 activity, Methods Mol Biol, 2276: 325-332, 2021

Shrum S, Tobacyk J, Lo S, Parajuli N, MacMillan-Crow LA, The BK activator NS11021 partially protects rat kidneys from cold storage and transplantation-induced mitochondrial and renal injury, Arch Biochem Biophys, 688: 108410, 2020

Brian Koss, Ph.D.

Graduation Date:  November 18, 2020 (supported by SPaT Institution Match)

Dissertation Title: Epigenetic control of Cdkn2a.Arf protects tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes from exhaustion

Current Position:  Assistant Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, UAMS

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

Koss B, Shields BD, Taylor EM, Storey AJ, Byrum SD, Gies AJ, Washam CL, Choudhoury SR, Hyun Ahn J, Uryu H, Williams JB, Krager KJ, Chiang TC, Mackintosh SG, Edmondson RD, Aykin-Burns N, Gajewski TF, Wang GG, Tackett AJ. Epigenetic control of Cdkn2a.Arf protects tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes from metabolic exhaustion. Cancer Research, 80(21), 4707-4719, 2020

Trentzch M, Nyamugenda E, Miles TK, Griffin H, Russell S, Koss B, Cooney KA, Phelan KD, Tackett AJ, Iyer S, Boysen G, Baldini G. Delivery of phosphatidylethnolamine blunts stress in hepatoma cells exposed to elevated palmitate by targeting the endoplasmic reticulum. Cell Death Discovery, 6, 8, 2020

Taylor EM, Koss B, Davis LE, Tackett AJ. Histone modifications as biomarkers for immunotherapy.  Methods Mol Biol, 2055, 213-228, 2020

Brittney Garner, Ph.D.

Graduation Date:  November 13, 2020 (supported by SPaT T32 GM106999)

Dissertation Title: Unrecognized participation of the lymphatic system in medication side effects and development of salt-sensitive hypertension

Current Position:  Regulatory Specialist/Research Scientist, NuShores Biosciences, LLC

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

Garner BR, Stolarz AJ, Stuckey D, Sarimollaoglu M, Liu Y, Palade PT, Rusch NJ, Mu S. KATP channel openers inhibit lympatic contractions and lymph flow as a possible mechanism of peripheral edema. J Pharmcol Exp Ther, 376(1), 40-50, 2020

Sarimollaoglu M, Stolarz AJ, Nedosekin DA, Garner BR, Fletcher TW, Galanzha EI, Rusch NJ, Zharov VP. High-speed microscopy for in vivo monitoring of lymph dynamics. J Biophotonics, 11(8), e2017700126, 2018

Stephen Shrum, Ph.D.

Graduation Date:  August 11, 2020 (supported by SPaT T32 GM106999)

Dissertation Title: The mitochondrial BK channel as a novel therapeutic target during renal cold storage and transplantation: Its role as a mitochondrial-protective factor

Current Position:  Postdoctoral Fellow, Tocol Pharmaceuticals, LLC, Pharmaceutical Sciences, UAMS

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

Shrum S, Tobacyk J, Lo S, Parajuli N, MacMillan-Crow LA. The BK activator NS11021 partially protects rat kidneys from cold storage and transplantation-induced mitochondrial and renal injury. Arch Biochem Biophys, 688, 108410, 2020

Shrum S, Rusch NJ, MacMillan-Crow LA. Specific BK channel activator NS11021 protects rat renal proximal tubular cells from cold storage – induced mitochondrial injury in vivo. Biomolecules, 9(12), 825, 2019

Tobacyk J, Parajuli N, Shrum S, Crow JP, MacMillan-Crow LA. The first direct activity assay for the mitochondrial protease OMA1. Mitochondrian, 46, 1-5, 2019.

Laura Ewing, Ph.D.

Graduation Date:  July 20, 2020 (supported by SPaT T32 GM106999)

Dissertation Title: Determinants of radiation-induced gastrointestinal toxicity

Current Position: Postdoctoral fellow at Winthrop P.Rockefeller Cancer Institute and Scholar, Health Sciences Innovation and Entrepreneurship Postdoctoral Training Program, UAMS

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

Skinner CM, Nookaew I, Ewing LE, Wongsurawat T, Jenjaroenpun P, Quick CM, Yee EU, Piccolo BD, ElSohly M, Walker LA, Gurley B, Koturbash I. Potential probiotic or trigger of gut inflammation – the Janus-faced nature of cannabidiol-rich cannibis extract. J Diet Suppl, 1-18, 2020

Ewing LE, Skinner CM, Quick CM, Kennon-McGill S, McGill MR, Walker LA, ElSohly MA, Gurley BJ, Koturbash I. Hepatotoxicity of a cannabidiol-rich cannabis extract in the mouse model. Molecules, 24(9): 1694, 2019

Ewing LE, McGill MR, Yee EU, Quick CM, Skinner CM, Kennon-McGill S, Clemens M, Vazquez JH, McCullough SS, Williams DK, Kutanzi KR, Walker LA, ElSohly MA, James LP, Gurley BJ, Koturbash I. Paradoxical patterns of sinusoidal obstruction syndrome-like liver injury in aged female CD-1 mice triggered by cannabidiol-rich cannabis extract and acetaminophen co-administration. Molecules, 24(12): 2256, 2019

Ryan MacLeod, Ph.D.

Graduation Date:  August 15, 2019 (supported by SPaT Institution Match)

Dissertation Title: Novel use of CRISPR technology to investigate bone biology

Current Position: 4th year medical student completing the MD portion of the MD/PhD degree

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

MacLeod RS, Cawley KM, Gubrij, I, Nookaew I, Onal M, OBrien, CA. Effective CRISPR interference of an endogenous gene via a single transgene in mice. Sci Rep. 9(1): 17312, 2019.

Charles Hay, Ph.D.

Graduation Date:  August 14, 2019 (supported by SPaT T32 GM106999)

Dissertation Title: The development and characterization of anti-methamphetamine antibody-based gene therapies to treat methamphetamine abuse

Current Position: Postdoctoral fellow at Medical College of Wisconsin

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

Hay CE, Hambuchen MD, Zintner SM, Small JC, Bolden CT, Fantegrossi WE, Margaritis P, Owens SM, Peterson, EC.  The development and characterization of an scFv-Fc fusion based gene therapy to reduce the psychostimulant effects of methamphetamine abuse. J Pharmcol Exp Ther, jpet.119.261180, doi: 10.1124/jpet.119.261180, 2020

Hay CE, Gonzalez 3rd, GA, Ewing LE, Reichard EE, Hambuchen MD, Nanaware-Kharade N, Alam S, Bolden CT, Owens SM, Margaritis P, Peterson, EC. Development and testing of AAV- delivered single-chain variable fragments for the treatment of methamphetamine abuse. PLoS One, 13(6): e0200060, 2018.

Samantha McClenahan, Ph.D.

Graduation Date:  June 19, 2019 (supported by SPaT T32 GM106999)

Dissertation Title: Development and testing of a vaccine for 3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV) and α-pyrrolidinovalerophenone (α-PVP)

Current Position:  Postdoctoral fellow at Vanderbilt University

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

McClenahan SJ, Hambuchen MD, Simecka CM, Gunnell MG, Berquist MD, Owens SM. Cardiovascular effects of 3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV) in male and female Sprague-Dawley rats. Drug Alcohol Depend. 195: 140-147, 2019.

Hambuchen MD, Hendrickson HP, Gunnell MG, McClenahan SJ, Ewing LE, Gibson DM, Berquist MD, Owens SM. The pharmacokinetics of racemic MDPV and its (R) and (S) enantiomers in femaile and male rats. Drug Alcohol Depend. 179: 347-354, 2017.

Bill Hyatt, M.D., Ph.D.

Graduation Date:  May 28, 2019 (supported by SPaT institution match)

Dissertation Title:  Acute and persistent impulsive effects of the synthetic cathinone 3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV)

Current Position:  Resident, Psychiatry, UAMS Psychiatric Research Institute

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

Hyatt WS, Berquist MD, Chitre NM, Russell LN, Rice KC, Murnane KS, Fantegrossi WE. Repeated administration of synthetic cathinone 3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone persistently increases impulsive choice in rats.  Behav Pharmacol. doi: 10.1097/FBP.0000000000000492. [Epub ahead of print], 2019.

Berquist MD, Hyatt WS, Bauer-Erickson J, Gannon BM, Norwood AJ, Fantegrossi WE.  Phencyclidine-like in vivo effects of methoxetamine in mice and rats. Neuropharmacology. 134(Pt A): 158-166, 2018.

Daniel Meeker, Ph.D.

Graduation Date:  February 15, 2018 (supported by SPaT institution match)

Dissertation Title: Development of a targeted nanotherapeutic approach to the treatment of biofilm-associated Staphylococcus aureus infection

Current Position:  Resident in 0rthopaedic surgery, University of Iowa

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

Meeker DG, Cooper KB, Renard RL, Mears SC, Smeltzer MS, Barnes CL. Comparative Study of Antibiotic Elution Profiles From Alternative Formulations of Polymethylmethacrylate Bone Cement. J Arthroplasty. pii: S0883-5403(19)30231-1, 2019.

Blom A, Cho J, Fleischman A, Goswami K, Ketonis C, Kunustor S, Makar G, Meeker DG, Morgan-Jones R, Ortega-Peña S, Parvizi J, Smeltzer M, Stambough JB, Urish K, Tonelo Zilotto GP. General Assembly, Prevention, Antiseptic Irrigation Solution: Proceedings of International Consensus on Orthopedic Infections. J Arthroplasty. pii: S0883-5403(18)30846-5, 2018.

Zakeyah AA, Whitt J, Duke C, Gilmore DF, Meeker DG, Smeltzer MS, Alam MA. Synthesis and antimicrobial studies of hydrazone derivatives of 4-[3-(2,4-difluorophenyl)-4-formyl-1H-pyrazol-1-yl]benzoic acid and 4-[3-(3,4-difluorophenyl)-4-formyl-1H-pyrazol-1-yl]benzoic acid. Bioorg Med Chem Lett. 2018. 28(17):2914-2919, 2018.

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: Postdoctoral fellow, Pfizer (Connecticut)

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: Senior Research Associate, Arkansas Children’s Nutrition Center

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: Resident Physician at University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

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:

  • Brian Koss – NRSA NIH F31 CA232464 “Epigenetic regulation of metabolic stress pathways in melanoma infiltrating lymphocytes” (2019-2022)
  • Laura Ewing – PhRMA Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship “Role of methionine-gut microbiome interaction in radiation-induced gastrointestinal toxicity” (2019-2020)
  • Samantha McClenahan – NRSA NIH F31 DA046121 “Development of an enantiomeric specific vaccine for 3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV) abuse” (2018-2021)
  • Julia Tobacyk – PhRMA Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship “The therapeutic role of OMA1 in cold storage induced nephrotoxicity” (2018-2020)
  • Stephen Shrum – American Heart Association Predoctoral 16PRE30830010 “Role of mitoBK channels in rat renal cold preservation” (2016-2018)
  • Lascelles Lyn-Cook, Jr. – Southern Regional Education Board Doctoral Scholars (2016-2017)
  • Clark Sims – NRSA NIH F31 DK104533 “Targeting renal perfusion and mitochondrial oxidants in a model of infant sepsis” (2015-2016)
  • Clark Sims – American Heart Association Predoctoral 15PRE20450050 “Renal microcirculatory failure in a rat pup model of pediatric sepsis” (2014)
  • Daniel Meeker – NRSA NIH F31 (recommended for funding, 2017)

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

4.6 years