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Med Chem Welcomes 2015 Students

new students
Front: Modestas Filipavicius, Lorela Paco
Back: Dylan Ross, Eleanor Vane

At a combined 2015 orientation event with the department of Pharmaceutics, Medicinal Chemistry chair Kent Kunze welcomed four new students into our graduate program: Modestas Filipavicius, Lorela Paco, Dylan Ross, and Eleanor Vane.  Pharmaceutics has four students entering their graduate program and one student entering their masters program.  Welcome, one and all!

Modestas Filipavicius was born in Lithuania, finished the International Baccalaureate at RCN United World College in Norway, and spent a year in Northern India teaching English and first aid.  He then earned his BA in both Chemistry and Biology at Macalester College (St. Paul, MN).  Modestas worked in Med Chem Associate Professor Kelly Lee’s lab this summer, investigating the HIV envelope glycoprotein expression.  His major research interest is the structural biology of viruses.

Dean Sullivan (left), chairs Thummel (Pceut, 1st row) and Kunze (Med Chem, 2nd row) are ready to begin orientation.

Lorela Paco was born in Athens, Greece and raised in Albania.  She attended the United World College in Trieste, Italy before earning her BA in Chemistry with a Biochemistry emphasis at Macalester College.  Lorela was a Mayo Clinic Innovations Scholar, working with a Mayo investigator on a new drug submission.  She was a summer student at the University of Arizona’s Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine.  Lorela is interested in Cytochrome P450 research and the interface between chemistry and biology.

Dylan Ross is a Washington native, earning his BS in Biochemistry from the UW.  During that time he worked at PhaseRX, a local therapeutics company, where he performed a wide range of bioanalytical studies.  Dylan also worked with Med Chem Professor Bill Atkins on a chiral chromatographic resolution of glutathione conjugates of hydroxynonenal, and as a volunteer in Assistant Professor Abhi Nath’s lab.  He is interested in the basis of functional and catalytic promiscuity in drug-metabolizing enzymes.

crowd having refreshments
After the welcome speeches, refreshments!

Eleanor Vane graduated from Clarkson College in Potsdam, NY with a BS in Biomolecular Science and a 4.0 GPA.  She worked at Carnegie Mellon University, characterizing a promiscuous protein’s interaction with organic dyes for their use in a new fluorescence labeling scheme.  Eleanor was also an Amgen Scholar at UC Berkeley, and she entered the Biological Physics, Structure and Design program at UW in the fall of 2014.  Also in 2014, Eleanor was awarded a five-year Fellowship in the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program.  She has joined Abhi Nath’s lab as a grad student in Medicinal Chemistry. Eleanor’s major research interest is using single molecule and biophysical techniques to study peptide membrane interactions.

Best wishes to our latest Med Chem students as they begin the graduate program!


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