Former Lab Members

Ahmed Gomaa Elsayed, PhD: Former Graduate Student

Ahmed completed the research portion of his graduate studies in the Brusko lab, evaluating the differences between adult and cord blood Tregs, before returning to his home country of Egypt.

Alton Stone, BS: Former Laboratory Technician

Alton Stone is a graduate of the University of Florida.  He received his degree in Microbiology & Cell Science, minoring in Nutritional Sciences.  Alton is from Marianna, a small town near Panama City, FL.  He discovered his love for science during his high school years.  After he graduated, Alton attended Chipola College and declared Microbiology as his major.  During his time at Chipola, he was part of the Academic Bowl Community College National Championship team.

Amy Patel, BS: Former Undergraduate Researcher

Amy has graduated from the University of Florida and is now enrolled in the Anesthesiologist Assistant, Masters in Health Science at NOVA Southeastern University, Tampa (but we know she is still a Gator at heart).

Atilio Atencio, BS: Former Laboratory Technician

Tito worked in the Brusko lab on T cell metabolism studies for a gap year after receiving his undergraduate degree from the University of Florida. He is currently a medical student at Temple University.

Denise Go: Former Undergraduate Researcher

Denise was accepted into the medical school at FSU and will join the Class of 2018. Go Noles!

Emma Cutter: Laboratory Technician

James Thompson, PhD: Former Post-doctoral Fellow

Dr. James Thompson conducted his graduate training at the University of Maryland Baltimore County in the Molecular and Cellular Biology Program. While there he was awarded a DOD breast cancer grant for his research developing human breast cancer vaccines in the laboratory of Suzanne Ostrand-Rosenberg.

Dr. Thompson went on to conduct a post-doctoral fellowship at the Earle A. Chiles Research Institute (EACRI) under the mentorship of Bernard A. Fox. There he contributed to phase I/II clinical trials vaccinating lymphodeplete cancer patients.

Dr. Thompson currently is the SHP Laboratory Manager at Santa Fe College.

Joseph Dean, MS: Former Masters Student

Joseph completed his masters degree in Biomedical Sciences in the Brusko lab working on IL-12 and IL-18 synergism in NK cell and Treg biology. He joined Dr. Liang Zhou lab as a PhD Student in 2017.

Judit Cserny, PhD: Former Graduate Student

Judit received her Ph.D. working toward an IL-2 nanoparticle conjugated Treg therapy in the Brusko lab. She currently works as a postdoctoral researcher in the Joslin Diabetes Center at Harvard University.

Kathryn Davidson, MD: Medical Fellow

Dr. Davidson finished her three-year Maternal-Fetal Medicine Fellowship Program at the University of Florida and has moved on to North Carolina to practice.

Kit Fuhrman, PhD: Former Graduate Student

Kit received his Ph.D. following his work in the Brusko lab. He currently works as a Field Application Scientist for nanoString Technologies based in Boston, MA.

Kristi Balavage: Former Undergraduate Researcher

Kristi Balavage was accepted into the Junior Honors Medical Program, an accelerated B.S./M.D. program, and will join the UF College of Medicine as a member of the Class of 2018.  Kristi plans to be involved in academic medicine so that she will have the opportunity to not only practice medicine, but be involved in research and educating upcoming doctors.

Lin Zhang, MS: Former Biological Scientist

Lin joined the lab in March of 2013 after spending his early career playing badminton for the Chinese Olympic team in the ’08 and ’12 games. Learning badminton as a child, Lin played in high-stakes street games to raise money for food and clothing for his family. Lin has stated that “the years of training and perfecting a drive-serve that could be effective at the Olympic level has reinforced my form and refined my natural awareness to the degree necessary to achieve the pipetting accuracy needed to succeed in the Brusko Lab.”

Lingli Jiang, PhD: Former Laboratory Technician

Lingli graduated with Ph.D. Degree from Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition at University of Florida last year. She has research experience in drugs/nutrients absorption and metabolism, using various kinds of technologies involved in molecular biology, cellular biochemistry and animal physiology.

She was responsible for the lab’s Human Immunophenotyping Project that will eventually amass thousands of patient samples for comparison and might help tailor personalized, precision medicine for insulin-dependent diabetics.

Lola Castro: Former Undergraduate Researcher

Lola is off to a medical program in…

Lucas Zhou: UF Student Science Training Program

Lucas joined the lab for the summer of 2014 as part of the UF-SSTP, a seven week residential research program for selected rising juniors and seniors who are considering medicine, math, computer, science, or engineering careers. We’re excited to find out where he plans to attend for undergrad.

Manasvini Mantripragada: UF Student Science Training Program

Manasvini joined the lab for the summer of 2015 as part of the UF-SSTP, a seven week residential research program for selected rising juniors and seniors who are considering medicine, math, computer, science, or engineering careers. We’re excited to find out where she plans to attend for undergrad.

Michael Murphy, BS: Former Undergraduate Researcher

Mike’s final internship before graduating from Santa Fe State College’s Biotechnology bachelors program was performed in the Brusko Laboratory. During his full-time internship, he learned the basics of cell sorting and flow cytometry in research. He successfully graduated from his program and has moved on to a career in the life sciences.

Ming Jia: Lawrence M. Goodman Trust Award Winner

Ming was awarded a 2012 Lawrence M. Goodman Trust Fellowship and spent the summer of 2013 working on the project “Elucidation of the Role of Signal-Damping Phosphatases, PTPN2 and PTPN22, in Type 1 Diabetes.”

Patrick Verdugo: Former Laboratory Technician

Patrick joined the Brusko lab in late 2013 with the intent to develop a stronger understanding of basic science and has since moved on to a Biological Science position in the Moldawer Lab in the UFHealth Department of Surgery. We look forward to seeing Patrick achieve success in the field of Sepsis research.

Phillip Lichlyter, BS: Former Laboratory Technician

Phil joined the Maureen Goodenow lab after graduating in 2013 as a laboratory technician.

Priya Saikumar Lakshmi, MS: Former Biological Scientist

Priya joined the Brusko lab in January of 2012 after receiving her Master of Science degree in Biotechnology from the University of Central Florida. She is now pursuing her PhD at University of Massachusetts.

Samantha Wong: UF Student Science Training Program

Samantha joined the Todd M. Brusko Laboratory team for the summer of 2013 as part of UF-SSTP, a seven-week residential research program for selected high school students who are interested in careers in medicine, science, engineering, math, or computers.

Samantha comes from a family of dentists and pharmacists, but truly discovered her passion for biology and medicine in middle school.  After graduating high school as part of the class of 2014, Samantha plans to attend university and major in human biology, and hopes to someday become a doctor.

Samantha is attending Stanford University for her undergraduate degree.

Zhao Han, MD: Former Biological Scientist