Student and Alumni News
Maranda Thompson

Maranda Thompson, a PhD Candidate in the MSIA Patient Oriented subplan was selected as the 2021 recipient of the Student Impact Award for the College of Graduate Studies. Maranda was nominated by her peers and professors for this prestigious award, which recognizes her role as a leader and role model.  Maranda has shown her commitment to UNMC and the community through her work.  Maranda has made a positive and lasting impact on UNMC and the community. 





Ke Liao Image

Ke Liao, a PhD student and Graduate Research Assistant in the MSIA Pharmacology & Experimental Neuroscience area, is mentored by and works in the lab under the supervision of Dr. Shilpa Buch.  Ke’s research is focused on autophagy, an intracellular degradation process that involves degradation and recycling of damaged organelles to the lysosome.  Autophagy plays critical physiological and pathophysiological roles both in cellular homeostasis as well as during disease pathogenesis. Ke is interested in what the role of autophagy involves in HIV tat- or cocaine-mediated neuroinflammation. Current studies focus on how extracellular vesicle-mediated cross talking between astrocyte and pericyte involves in regulation of blood brain barrier. Ke also presented on the "The role of autophagy in HIV-tat mediated disruption of blood brain barrier" at the 27th Annual Inter-campus Virology Retreat (2017) and won First Prize-Poster Presentation. Since 2016 Ke has had six papers accepted including a first author paper titled “Cocaine-mediated induction of microglial activation involves the ER stress-TLR2 axis” K Liao, M Guo, F Niu, L Yang, SE Callen, S Buch, Journal of Neuroinflammation 13 (1), 33, 2016

Xiangmin Lv Image

Xiangmin Lv, a PhD student in the MSIA (OB/GYN) graduate program working under the supervision on Dr. Cheng Wang, Assistant Professor in OB/GYN. With a background in cell biology, my research focuses on ovarian development and gynecological cancer. Our early studies demonstrated that a small chemical G-1 is able to suppress ovarian and breast cancer cell growth via blocking cell division, as that of vinca alkaloids. Both in vitro and in vivo experiments suggested that G-1 may be a promising drug candidate against ovarian and breast malignancy. Another part of my research is to investigate the role of the Hippo pathway in ovarian development and cancer progression. Our work shows that YAP, the downstream effector of the Hippo pathway, plays vital roles in ovarian development and cancer progression. Our long term goal is to identify new molecular targets and design drug candidates for improved therapy against female infertility and gynecological malignance.

Xiangmin's career thus far has included several publications, abstracts, presentations and receipt of the Graduate Studies Research Fellowship (2015-2017).

Betsy Becker Image

PhD Candidate Betsy Becker has recently  published a book that she co-edited and also authored several chapters: Bernardo, L.M., & Becker, B.J. (Eds.). (2017). Integrating physical activity into cancer care: An evidence-based approach. Pittsburgh, PA: Oncology Nursing Society. ISBN 978-1-935864-91-2

Betsy also received a Research Grant from the Education Section of the American Physical Therapy Association ($10,000).  This grant is awarded annually for a project that investigates a question of importance to the advancement of education in physical therapy.

Maegan Pissman Image

Maegan Pisman, M.A., BCBA, a student in the doctoral program in applied behavior analysis, presented a talk titled, “Teaching Children with Autism Sportsmanship Skills to Reduce Problem Behavior during Tabletop Games” at the Association for Behavior Analysis International conference in May 2016. One opportunity for children with autism to interact with typically developing peers includes tabletop games (e.g., Candyland), and reinforcing interactions during games may increase the future likelihood of these children playing together. Future research should determine whether sportsmanship skills result in typically developing peers choosing to play more often with children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder.

Saini Valdeep Image

Valdeep Saini, PhD, a recent graduate of the MMI Applied Behavior Analysis Doctoral program, had multiple publications, presentations, a book chapter and a grant awarded.  Valdeep received the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s Graduate Student of Distinction, the Heartland ABA Award for Best Conference Poster and received the 2015 Innovative Student Research Dissertation Grant, presented by the Society for the Advancement of Behavior Analysis.

Congratulations Dr. Saini on your recent graduation and an outstanding graduate student career.