MARC Trainee Students

Our 2014-2015 MARC Trainee Students

Amy Adkins, Pre-medicine with Engineering Science concentration

Hometown: El Paso
Graduation Date: May 2015

Summer Research: Cardiac mechanics with Dr. Criscione in the Biomedical Engineering School at Texas A&M University.

Summer Research Mentor: John C. Criscione, Ph.D., Associate PRofessor of Biomedical Engineering and Assistant Dean for Graduate Programs at Texas A&M University

Career Aspirations: To earn a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering


Alisha Garcia, Biology major

Hometown: Corpus Christi
Graduation Date:
May 2015

Summer Research: I am participating in the SURF program at the University of Texas-Southwestern in Dr. David Farrar’s laboratory. His lab focuses on immunology; specifically on the regulation of adaptive immune responses by type 1 interferon.

Summer Research Mentor: David Farrar, Ph.D., University of Texas-Southwestern

Career Aspirations: Currently, I am planning to pursue an M.D/Ph.D. dual degree and wish to become a physician/scientist. One day I hope to be performing translational research. I want to learn how to identify significant clinical questions at the bedside and study them in the laboratory. In doing so I would hope to apply useful results from the lab to patients in a clinical setting.


Madeleine Lu, Biophysics major

Hometown: Corpus Christi

Graduate Date: May 2015

Summer Research: At the University of Michigan’s College of Pharmacy, where one of the main focuses of the lab is to study biological clocks in live zebrafish embryos using quantitative confocal imaging and modeling. Working under graduate student Ye Guan and Dr. Yang, I am helping create our own version of FUCCI fish that can detect earlier mitotic events in live embryos that FUCCI cannot.

Summer Research Mentor: Qiong Yang, Ph.D., University of Michigan

Career Aspiration: After my undergraduate education, I plan on attending graduate school for biomedical engineering or bioengineering. I’m trying not to be set on taking a specific path for my future because I want to be open to the multitude of possibilities the field offers.

Adrian Mehrtash, Biology major

Hometown: Chicago
Graduation Date: May 2015

Summer Research: I am currently investigating the physical interactions occurring between different Aquilegia MADS-box proteins. Understanding the process of flower development in Aquilegia offers an important reference point for evolutionary comparisons between different species of flowering plants.

Summer Research Mentor: Elena M. Kramer, Bussey Professor of Biology, Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University

Career Aspirations: I aspire to obtain a tenure-track position at an established university with a broad research base. This would give me the opportunity to conduct research as well as aid in the development of graduate and undergraduate students.


Evelia Salinas, Biophysics major

Hometown: Mission
Graduation Date: May 2015

Summer Research: This summer I am participating in the Stanford Summer Research Program at Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif.

Summer Research Mentor: Arun Sharma, Ph.D., graduate student, Joseph Wu and Sean Wu Labs

Career Aspirations: After finishing my undergraduate degree here at St. Mary’s University. I am hoping to enter a Ph.D program to learn about and conduct research in the biomedical field. More specifically, I am interested in learning about the basic principles of neural information processing and behavioral output.


Jessica Waninger-Saroni, Biology, and Exercise and Sport Science major

Hometown: Santa Claus, Ind.
Graduation Date: May 2105

Summer Research: I am participating in the SMART program at the University of Michigan.

Summer Research Mentor: David Pinsky, M.D., Professor of Molecular and Integrative Physiology; Senior Scholar at Taubman Medical Research Institute; Chief of Cardiovascular Medicine; and Director of the Samuel and Jean Frankel Cardiovascular Center, University of Michigan Health Systems

Career Aspirations: My aim is to become a physician/scientist and pursue a scientific research career at a renowned medical school. This is a unique career that will allow me to engage my passion for solving the medical struggles of patients while explaining the mechanisms that underlie disease.