TL1 Scholars

TST-TL1 2017 Scholars
(July 2017 – June 2018)

Scholar: Sadiya Ahmad
Degree Sought: Ph.D.
Program: IBMS/Cell, Genetics, and Molecular Medicine
Research Interest: Neuroscience, Cell Biology
Mentor: Naomi Sayre, Ph.D.; Assistant Professor, Department of Neurosurgery
Research Topic: Astrocyte Low-Density Lipoprotein Receptor Related Protein 1 and Recovery after Stroke






Sadiya Ahmad graduated summa cum laude from the University of Texas Pan American in 2012, where she earned her Bachelor's degree in Biology with a Minor in Chemistry. She joined Teach For America and taught high school chemistry and physics in the Rio Grande Valley for two years. Sadiya began her research career as a volunteer in a cardiovascular lab at the University of Houston completing a senior Honors Thesis, "The Role of Fortilin, an Anti-apoptotic protein, in cardiac contractility". She is now pursuing a PhD in the Cell, Genetics, Molecular Medicine track of the Integrated Biomedical Sciences program. Currently, she works under Dr. Naomi Sayre in the Department of Neurosurgery investigating the molecular mechanisms that contribute to cognitive decline after brain injury.

Scholar: Robert Cole Boggs
Degree Sought: Ph.D.
Program: UTHSA/Radiological Sciences/Medical Physics Imaging Diagnostics
Research Interest: Traumatic Brain Imaging & Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Mentor: Geoffrey D. Clarke, Ph.D; MRI Division Chief, Radiology
Research Topic:

Establishing resting state functional MRI and magnetic resonance spectroscopy as biomarkers for traumatic brain injury






Robert Cole Boggs graduated from Austin Peay State University in 2013 with a Bachelor of Science in Physics. Robert then joined UT Health Science Center San Antonio's Medical Physics PhD program. He has been working in the Research Imaging Institute (RII) and Texas Biomedical Research Institute (TBRI) conducting research in multi-parametric quantitive MRI measurements to study neuroprotective treatments, predictive biomarkers, cerebral blood flow, cerebrovascular reactivity, and structural/functional deficits associated with traumatic brain injury (TBI). He has produced two pubilcations and four poster presentations for conferences from his research. Currently, Robert is working at the RII focused on establishing functional and spectroscopy imaging modalities to use as biomarkers for TBI for his thesis.

Scholar: Rebecca Lynn Bricker
Degree Sought: Ph.D.
Program: IBMS/Cell, Genetics, and Molecular Medicine
Research Interest: Stem Cell Differentiation
Mentor: Tiziano Barberi, ScD PhD; Southwest Primate Research Center
Research Topic:
Derivation of lens and olfactory placodes from human pluripotent stem cells






Rebecca Bricker graduated from Wright State University in 2010 with a Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences. During her undergraduate studies, she was selected for the Southwest Ohio Council for Higher Education (SOCHE) internship, where she researched the optical and electrical properties of cholesteric liquid crystals. Her research contributed to seven co-author publications. She then joined a bioemdical research lab her senior year where she studied caspase inhibition and cell death in leukemic T-cell lymphoblast line and received the Undergraduate Research Opportunites Scholarship and the merit-based  Choose Ohio First Scholarship. She continued her studies, earning her Master of Science in Molecular Biology in 2012. Rebecca is currently enrolled in the Integrative Biomedical Science PhD program at UT Health Science Center San Antonio conducting her research under the supervision of Dr. Tiziano Barberi at Texas Biomedical Research Institute. She is studying human pluripotent stem cell (hPSC) differentiation and purification through cell sorting; specicially working toward generating lens epithelial cells and olfactory neurons form hPSCs to understand the development of the ocular lens and nasal tissue. Her long-term goal is to become a translational scientist in the field of stem cell biology where she hopes to design cell-based therapies using hSPCs in order to treat deteriorated and diseased tissues.

Scholar: Michael Guderyon
Degree Sought: Ph.D.
Program: IBMS - Biology of Aging
Research Interest: Stem Cell Rejuvenation, Aging
Mentor: Senlin Li, M.D. Professor of Infectious Disease
Research Topic: Reversing Age-related Decline Using Non-cytotoxis Transplantation of Young Hematopoietic Stem Cells






Michael Guderyon graduated from the University of Louisana at Lafayette in 2012 with a Bachelor of Science in both Microbiology and Chemistry. He then completed a Master of Science in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in 2015. His thesis research focused on helicase functions of the Hepatitis C virus. He is currently pursing his PhD in the Integrative Biomedical Science program within the Biology of Aging track, while maintaining his service as a member of the Air Force Reserves. He is research is focused on rejuvenating the hematopoeitic system using novel pre-conditioning regimes.