Beko Binder, PhD
As a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Bill Murphy’s group, I feel very fortunate to be pursuing an exciting and challenging path. I received my undergraduate degree in bioengineering from Rice University in 2009, where I was actively involved in academic research projects for all four years. I spent the next year as a post-baccalaureate fellow at the National Institute on Aging, examining transcriptional regulation of pluripotency in mouse embryonic stem cells. In 2014, I completed my PhD in biomedical engineering in Dr. Kent Leach’s lab, where I focused on inhibiting apoptosis in mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and endothelial progenitor cells when co-transplanted for neovascularization in regenerative medicine. I am currently developing approaches for promoting vascular tissue formation and function using a combination of biology and biomaterials-based strategies.
I’ve been very lucky that I always knew I wanted to be a physician. After graduating high school, I was accepted into the accelerated medical program at the Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine. I completed my undergraduate in two years with a Bachelor of Science and a Minor in Chemistry in 2008 from the University of Akron, and then went on to medical school. I first became exposed to research in the summer between my first and second years of med school when I took a job at the Beth Israel Deaconess Cardiothoracic Surgery lab. I spent my time working on the effects of Resveratrol on Angiogenesis and it was during these formative months that I realized I wanted to incorporate bench research into my career as a physician. I graduated from NEOUCOM in 2012 and went on to begin my General Surgery training at the Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine back home in Dayton, Ohio. My exposure to vascular surgery began back in medical school and was quickly cemented as my career of choice after experiences as a resident. I knew I wanted to pursue academic surgery and so I began to pursue research opportunities during residency. I was fortunate to be able to accept a position with the UW Department of Surgery under its T-32 training grant with Dr. K. Craig Kent. I plan to spend my time in the bench lab studying the molecular pathways behind intimal hyperplasia after balloon angioplasty, as well as looking at the use of nanoparticles for periadventitial drug delivery to prevent intimal hyperplasia.
Rebecca Gunter, MD
My two years as a WiSOR research fellow will be spent with the vascular surgery outcomes research group. I completed my undergraduate degree in Sociology at Miami University in Oxford, OH. I took a year off after college, 6 months of which was spent in Guatemala in a Spanish immersion program and volunteering in a local clinic. I then obtained my medical degree at Emory University in Atlanta. During my time there, I worked with Dr. Vinod Thourani, MD in his research on transcatheter aortic valve replacement.
I came to the University of Wisconsin in 2013 to begin my general surgery residency. I chose to join the vascular surgery outcomes research group, which has been focused on reducing hospital readmission in vascular and general surgery patients and in improving transitions of care in the immediate post-discharge period. We are currently in the early stages of a clinical trial using Smartphone technology for the early detection and treatment of wound complications.
Jennifer Philip, MD
As a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Naomi Chesler’s group, I pursue exciting research in the area of vascular tissue biomechanics with a specific focus on pulmonary hypertension. I received my undergraduate degree in chemical engineering from Washington University in 2009. Following which attended the University of Chicago Priztker School of Medicine graduating in 2014. During medical school I completed a one year research fellowship as part of the Howard Hughes Medical Fellows program during which I investigated adverse cardiac remodeling as a precursor to heart failure. I came to the University of Wisconsin in 2014 to begin my general surgery residency. I joined Dr. Chesler’s group due to their use of novel in vivo biomechanic techniques to study the relationship between the right ventricle and pulmonary vascular in the setting of disease as well as their multidisciplinary approach which combines engineering, biochemical and clinical expertise. I’m currently developing a model of secondary pulmonary hypertension due to left heart failure in order to allow for characterization of this disease process and identification of novel therapeutic targets. In addition, I’m studying the role of HIF-1α in regulation of pulmonary artery adventitial fibroblasts.
Danielle Stewart, PhD
Since I was I child I always knew I wanted to change people’s lives through science. I began my collegiate journey at Delaware State University in the fall of 2005. My first exposure to academic research was my sophomore year by learning basic cell and molecular biology methods. Also during my undergraduate studies, I participated in multiple summer research internships in microbiology, genetics and plant pathology to gain more hands-on experience in research. I earned my BS from Delaware State University in 2009. My graduate studies were in the laboratory of Matyas Sandor, PhD, at the University of Wisconsin- Madison. My thesis project was examining how targeting different dendritic cell receptors using monoclonal antibodies coupled to peptides (mAbs) effects CD4+ and CD8+ T cells functions and lineages. I also wanted to determine if mAbs could use as booster vaccine to BCG against Tuberculosis infections. In 2015, I completed by PhD at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Recently I joined the Bo Liu, PhD, research group, which studies normal and malfunctions underlying mechanisms contributing to vascular disease. My current project examines the role of Thrombospondin-1 (TSP-1) on macrophages in abdominal aortic aneurysms.