• Meet Our Students

    They come from far and wide, with a variety of backgrounds. But they all want to be scientists and immunobiologists. They chose the graduate training program at Cincinnati Children’s Research Foundation and the University of Cincinnati to make that possible. 

  • Maha Almanan
    Maha Almanan

    Maha Almanan

    Khartoum, Sudan
    Hildeman Lab

    Research focus: Defining the homeostasis of Regulatory T cells in the process of aging.

    Why did you choose us? The faculty and staff are very friendly and approachable with a very high publication rate. Best thing you've discovered here: Cincinnati is a family-oriented city with affordable housing and lots of fun activities. It also has a broad cultural diversity. Any surprises? Even though the first six months were very tough and demanding, I have gained a tremendous knowledge. I feel very confident and it was truly worth it.

    Maha Almanan

    Olivia Ballard
    Olivia Ballard

    Olivia Ballard

    Canton, OH
    Morrow Lab

    Impressed with the support for new students from faculty, administration and other students. Best thing you’ve discovered here: The amount of cultural activities − theater, music and art. Also, the park system, libraries, zoo, Museum Center, aquarium and the number of free activities for children. Any surprises? How accessible the faculty are. Personal: Practiced as an attorney; law degree from University of Cincinnati.

    Olivia Ballard

    Kyle Bednar
    Kyle Bednar

    Kyle Bednar

    Dublin, OH
    Ridgeway Lab
    Working on biofilm formation in different bacterial strains. Also worked on b-cell wasting in the disease HLH. Why choose us? Liked the professors and everything the facilities and program had to offer. It was a good fit in the distance from home and affordability. Best thing you’ve discovered here: The Hofbrauhaus in Newport, KY, is amazing. Also, events such as the Labor Day fireworks and Oktoberfest.

    Kyle Bednar

    Kate Carroll
    Kate Carroll

    Kate Carroll

    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Katz lab
    Why choose us?
    Cincinnati is my hometown, and everyone here knows how great the biomedical programs at UC and Children's are. I feel privileged to be a part of such a wonderful program. Best thing you've discovered here: The coffee in the S building Starbucks is cheaper than any other Starbucks, including the others on campus. Any surprises? The collaborative nature of the program is something that a lot of places brag about, but I've found it particularly pervasive in this program.

    Kate Carroll

    Ben Davis
    Ben Davis

    Ben Davis

    Rothenberg Lab

    Research focus: genetic and functional analysis of CAPN14 in EoE.

    Why choose us? There is an extraordinary community of Gl allergy immunology researchers. What do you like best about the program? It provides an in-depth immunology education and training. What do you like about Cincinnati? It is a decent size city with a lot of big city entertainment/attractions, but with a small city charm and affordability.

    Ben Davis

    Rahul D'Mello
    Rahul D'Mello

    Rahul D'Mello

    Brecksville, OH
    Medical Scientist Training Program Student
    Rothenberg Lab

    Why did you choose the program? The Immunobiology graduate program offered very strong mentoring in a collaborative environment with the numerous resources of Cincinnati Children's Hospital and Medical Center as well as the University of Cincinnati. Has anything surprised you about the program? The professors are open and receptive to questions and, if they don't have the answers, they will point you in the right direction. What is the best thing you've discovered in Cincinnati? Fun and affordable local restaurants and breweries including my favorites - Terry's Turf Club and Christian Moerlein, fun night life in Mt. Adams and downtown.

    Rahul D'Mello

    Jordan Downey
    Jordan Downey

    Jordan Downey

    Benton, AR
    Karp Lab
    Working on what makes an allergen an allergen. Why choose us? Did a summer of undergraduate research here and really liked the facilities. The immunobiology program also has a lot of research labs to choose from, with a wide range of research projects. Best thing you’ve discovered here: Dewey’s Pizza, Findlay Market, half-price wine night at Teller’s in Hyde Park Square.

    Jordan Downey

    Roger Fecher
    Roger Fecher

    Roger Fecher

    Beavercreek, OH
    Medical Scientist Training Program Student
    Deepe Lab
    Looking at the T-cell response to histoplasma in the absence of regulatory T cells. Why choose us? World-class translational research. Students here tend to be down to earth and interesting. Best thing you’ve discovered here: Cincinnati is a relaxed city with a reasonable cost of living; students can live comfortably here. Great independent record store in Northside. Personal: An avid homebrewer and lover of microbrewery beers.

    Roger Fecher

    Maria Fields
    Maria Fields

    Maria Fields

    Medellin, Colombia
    Chougnet Lab
    Studying the role of Regulatory T cells in HIV Pathogenesis. Has anything surprised you about the program? The program’s faculty are available anytime you need to talk to them and they are really helpful. Also the environment of the program is a really pleasant and everyone in the program helps each other. What is the best thing you've discovered in Cincinnati? Cincinnati is a great place for families.

    Maria Fields

    Dan Giles
    Dan Giles

    Dan Giles

    Pittsburgh, PA
    Divanovic lab
    Why did you choose the program? I was impressed by the research resources available, and how well the faculty collaborates. Has anything surprised you about the program? I have been surprised by how the faculty and older students are so willing to help younger students in class or with research questions. What is the best thing you've discovered in Cincinnati? Terry's Turf Club, off Route 50, has the best burgers I've ever had.

    Dan Giles

    Naina Gour
    Naina Gour

    Naina Gour

    New Delhi, India
    Wills-Karp Lab

    Working on C-type lectin receptors (CLRs) on DCs facilitating recognition of HDM and leading to induction of airway inflammation. Why choose us? Good faculty and opportunities for publication. Best thing you’ve discovered here? Fun place to live; lots of recreation.

    Naina Gour

    Michael Horwath
    Michael Horwath

    Michael Horwath

    Dayton OH
    Medical Scientist Training Program Student
    Deepe Lab
    Studing zinc as a second messenger in Dendritic Cell Activation. Why did you choose the program? Experienced, helpful faculty, collaborative atmosphere, and the opportunity to do basic science research with emphasis on clinical relevance. Has anything surprised you about the program? The degree of collaboration with researchers outside of Immunobiology, including other programs at Children's and other UC faculty. What is the best thing you've discovered in Cincinnati? Being a homeowner as a Grad student! Cincinnati has a variety of quality food and drink, including Findlay Market, 3 great coffee shops by school, and really good Indian restaurants.

    Michael Horwath

    Wenting Huang
    Wenting Huang

    Wenting Huang

    Shanghai, China
    Ridgeway Lab
    Studying the genetics of autoimmune liver diseases. Any surprises? The foundation course in immunology is harder than expected because of little previous study of the field. But with increased knowledge, seminar presentations are much more understandable. Personal: Enjoying that Cincinnati has such a big Chinese community.

    Wenting Huang

    Courtney Jackson
    Courtney Jackson

    Courtney Jackson

    Chougnet lab
    Why choose us?:
    The program provides an opportunity to be a part of a biomedical research community outside of my hometown. Any surprises? It can get pretty hot in Ohio. What do you like best about the program? The faculty want and encourage the students to give feedback to make improvements and make the program better. What do you like best about your fellow classmates? Everyone is willing to work with each other for the greater success of all and not just the individual.

    Courtney Jackson

    Jeremy Michael Kinder
    Jeremy Michael Kinder

    Jeremy Michael Kinder

    Sing Sing Way Lab

    Research focus: Investigating the immunological interactions between mother and fetus during in utero development and the potential for long lasting immunological impacts after birth. Why choose us? Aside from the great research and wealth of opportunities here, this is a close-knit program focused on collaboration between both students and faculty. What do you like best about the program? The program is really set up to help you develop your knowledge of immunology and build on that to begin thinking and developing your own ideas. This starts with the Foundations of Immunology class and carries over into other classes as well as your research. Tell me something about the program, hospital that you didn't expect but are glad about. The availability of all of the research cores here at CCHMC is unbelievable. With the help of these research cores, and the right amount of money, you have the ability to pursue any project or experiment you can think of almost. Resources here are not a limitation of your research.

    Jeremy Michael Kinder

    Jared Klarquist
    Jared Klarquist

    Jared Klarquist

    Portland, OR
    Janssen Lab
    Why did you choose the program?

    • Strong student publication record
    • Collaborative atmosphere
    • Fantastic facility and cores
    • High powered, driven, & funded faculty.

    Best thing you've discovered in Cincinnati? The Taste of Belgium waffles and Coffee Emporium.

    Jared Klarquist

    Jennifer Leddon
    Jennifer Leddon

    Jennifer Leddon

    Coffee Springs, AL
    Medical Scientist Training Program Student
    Cripe Lab
    Studying the role of dendritic cells in oncolytic viral therapy. Why choose us? Excellent faculty, great students. Best thing you’ve discovered here: Graeter’s ice cream.

    Jennifer Leddon

    Kun-Po Li
    Kun-Po Li

    Kun-Po Li

    Taiwan
    Hildeman lab
    I’m working on a project that clarifying the Bcl-2 proteins' roles in T cell development. Why did you choose the program? I chose the program because of the excellent faculties, plenty of resource from Cincinnati Children’s and UC, broad diversities of research fields, and good cooperation between basic and clinical research. What is the best thing you've discovered in Cincinnati? Friendly people, lots of museums and natural parks.

    Kun-Po Li

    Yuan Li
    Yuan Li

    Yuan Li

    Shanxi Province, China
    Zimmermann Lab
    I’m working on understanding the role of Siglec 8 and IL-S on apoptosis and necroptosis of human eosinophils. Why did you choose the program? I was impressed by the diverse disciplines offered by this program. Also, there is a small gap between clinical medicine and basic research at Cincinnati Children’s. Therefore the knowledge we learn here is more applicable and practical. The highly accomplished professors here don't make you feel small, but stand behind you to be supportive, walk beside you as your partner and guide you to be one of them. What is the best thing you've discovered in Cincinnati? Kenwood Mall and Outlet for shopping; Double dragon and Sichuan Restaurant for Chinese food; Newport on the Levee for entertainment.

    Yuan Li

    Ke Liu
    Ke Liu

    Ke Liu

    Xi'an, Shaanxi Province, China
    Harley Lab
    Why choose us?
    The reputation of the medical center. Faculty members are doing great research. Best thing you’ve discovered here: The people are really kind and willing to help. The climate is the same as home. Any surprises? Good surprises: advisers, professors and directors listen patiently and always offer help.

    Ke Liu

    Xiaoming Lu
    Xiaoming Lu

    Xiaoming Lu

    John Harley Lab

    Research focus: I am very interested in how genetic variants affect immune cell function and how this could be related to autoimmune diseases. Why choose us? The program has very good collaborative environment and provides you the free research opportunity with excellent support. Best thing you've discovered here:. Great environment, lots of very very nice people and a lot of beers.

    Xiaoming Lu

    Jonathan McNally
    Jonathan McNally

    Jonathan McNally

    Gaithersburg, MD 
    Katz Lab
    Why choose us?
    The faculty are very open, friendly and well-funded. The faculty here seemed to care the most. Heard back from every professor contacted. Even the ones who were not taking grad students took the time to talk. Best thing you’ve discovered here: The quality and value of the restaurants.

    Jonathan McNally

    Harini Raghu
    Harini Raghu

    Harini Raghu

    Chennai, India
    Flick Lab
    Working to find the mechanism linking hemostatic factors such as thrombin (FII) and its targets to arthritis pathogenesis. Why choose us? Extremely strong research faculty who will provide the right foundation to pursue a career as an independent immunology researcher. Best thing you’ve discovered here: Jungle Jim’s and Cincinnati Nature Center.

    Harini Raghu

    Jana Raynor
    Jana Raynor

    Jana Raynor

    Dahlonega, GA
    Hildeman Lab
    My project is focused on looking at the mechanism(s) of Bim regulation in regulatory T cells. Why did you choose the program? I was first interested in the program because of the diversity of research being conducted at Children's and the excellent reputation of the hospital. When visiting, I was impressed by the collaborative environment and open door policy of the faculty. Additionally, the program's association with Children's and UC is advantageous because it expands the amount of resources and researchers to collaborate with.

    Jana Raynor

    Hesham Shehata
    Hesham Shehata

    Hesham Shehata

    Lusaka, Zambia
    Chougnet Lab
    Why did you choose the program?
    Doing research is indeed not a glamorous profession or hobby, but it is a passion - it is the love for what one does that drives one's ability to nurture the dreams, imagination and desire to know the unknown. I believe that the Immunobiology graduate program is the right place for me to fulfill my research endeavors.

    The nature and structure of the Immunobiology Graduate program including the close relationship between students and faculty provides students with an excellent opportunity not only to excel academically, but to broaden their intellectual horizons as scientists. I believe that this quality marks our program's unique professionalism in education. From the time I joined the program, I believe I have developed a stronger desire for knowing the unknown which I consider to be crucial in the research field. I recommend the Immunobiology graduate program to other students without hesitation.

    Hesham Shehata

    Sara Stoffers
    Sara Stoffers

    Sara Stoffers

    Terre Haute, Indiana
    Lewkowich lab
    Why did you choose the program? I initially began exploring graduate school options in Cincinnati because I wanted to be closer to my family. I decided on the Immunobiology Graduate Program because of the great diversity of research and resources. What is the best thing you've discovered in Cincinnati? The diversity of the various neighborhoods, the excellent locally owned businesses and restaurants, and the classic German architecture and brew.

    Sara Stoffers

    Yi-Ting Tsai
    Yi-Ting Tsai

    Yi-Ting Tsai

    Taiwan
    Rothernberg Lab
    I’m working on epigenetic effect on Eosinophilial esophagitis. Why did you choose the program? I chose the program because of their famous allergy and asthma research related to my interests. What is the best thing you've discovered in Cincinnati? There is a nice art museum and symphony performance.

    Yi-Ting Tsai

    Sam Vaughn
    Sam Vaughn

    Sam Vaughn

    Oroville, CA
    Medical Scientist Training Program Student
    Griffin Lab
    We are working on characterizing a mouse model of myositis, specifically we are investigating the role of the UPR and associated responses, such as autophagy, in the pathology of this inflammatory muscle disease. Why did you choose the program? I am in the MO/PhO program here at UC and I thought that Immunobiology would give me a good solid foundation for both my future in science and in medicine.

    Sam Vaughn

    Akash Verma
    Akash Verma

    Akash Verma

    Chennai, India
    Deepe Lab
    Our lab studies the immune response to the fungal pathogen, Histoplasma capsulatum. My project involves understanding the deregulated immune response in CCR-2 deficient mice following He infection. Why did you choose the program? I chose this program because it is specifically focused in Immunology and also because of the reputation and wonderful research facilities at Cincinnati Children’s.
    "I love the Immunobiology program"
    What is the best thing you've discovered in Cincinnati? The cost of living is very low. I manage to save a lot of money, even on my student stipend.

    Akash Verma