December 2012 was the first time that an adviser could walk with their Ph.D. student during the Graduation Ceremony. Yousef Alhashem (Ph.D. 2012) is shown with his adviser, Dr. Joyce Lloyd both in their graduation regalia. 2012 was a record year for Ph.D. graduates for the Department of Human and Molecular Genetics where we had eight students defend their dissertations.


Roseann Peterson (Ph.D. 2012), Jackie Meyers (Ph.D. 2012) and Jia Yan (M.S.G.C., Ph.D. 2012) celebrate together at the December Graduation. Jackie and Jia returned to Richmond for the ceremony as they have both started their postdoctoral work at Columbia University and the National Institutes of Health, respectively. Jia is also the first graduate of our M.S. in Genetic Counseling and Ph.D. in Human Genetics dual degree program.


The American Society of Human Genetics meetings are a great way for our alumni to come together and catch up after leaving VCU. The 2012 meeting was held in San Francisco and Drs. Sami Amr, Stephen Williams and Melanie Jones took an evening to have dinner together. All of them received their Ph.D. in 2010 from VCU. Sami is currently, Director of Sequencing at Partners HealthCare in Cambridge, MA, Stephen is a postdoctoral researcher at the Cardiovascular Research Center at the University of Virginia and Melanie is finishing the last year of her Clinical Diagnostic Fellowship at Emory University.


Watts Day celebrates student and postdoctoral research at the VCU School of Medicine as well as Dr. Daniel T. Watts, the first Dean of the School of Basic Health Sciences and Graduate Studies. Laura Lambert was one of the Department’s participants at one of two poster sessions. She is presenting her work in determining the phenotypic consequences of knocking down the Pnpt-1 (polyribonucleotide nucleotidyltransferase) gene in C. elegansPNPT1 was identified during an overlapping pathway screen to identify genes upregulated in both terminally differentiated human melanoma cells and senescent progeroid fibroblasts.


A trip up to Boston, MA enabled Dr. Rita Shiang to have a mini-reunion with three of her former students. All of them currently work at Harvard University. Pictured from right to left are Lin Li (Ph.D., 2006), Rita Shiang, Annie Lee (BBSI, 2009) and Sami Amr (Ph.D., 2010).


During the spring 2013 graduation at the Richmond Coliseum, our graduates and their advisers are waiting for their names to be called to receive their degrees. This is the first year that the students can be accompanied by their advisers when they get hooded. Pictured from left to right, Aditi Chiplunkar (Ph.D. 2013) and her advisor Dr. Joyce Lloyd, Lori Hill (M.D., Ph.D. 2013) and Sureni Mullegama (Ph.D. 2013) and her advisor Dr. Sarah Elsea.