Featured Alumni


TJ Plageman

TJ Plageman."I highly value the rigorous training I received from the Molecular and Developmental Biology graduate program and regard it as a major factor for my career advancement. Not only was I surrounded by fantastic mentors, including my graduate advisor Katherine Yutzey, but I also was immersed in an environment that was extremely collaborative, academic, and technologically advanced. During my training, I became interested in the developmental biology of the eye and used it as a basis for my qualifying exam. After graduating, this experience led me to take a post-doctoral position at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital in Richard Lang’s lab where I identified major mechanisms that contribute to the morphogenesis of the embryonic ocular lens. I have recently taken a position in the College of Optometry at The Ohio State University as an assistant professor where I plan to lead a research group to continue studying mechanisms of embryonic eye development." 





Curtis Grace

Curtis Grace."My training in the Molecular and Developmental Biology program under my mentor, Charles Vorhees provided me with the tools and invaluable experience which served as the foundation of my career and has led to several career opportunities in Developmental Biology/Toxicology.  As a graduate student, my research was focused on the developmental effects of drugs of abuse on long-term learning and memory.  After graduating from the program, I accepted a post-doctoral research position at the US EPA under John Rogers where I studied epigenetic effects of developmental toxicants.  I am currently serving as Study Director for Developmental and Reproductive Toxicology at Covance Laboratories, Inc.  I attribute much of my success to my experiences in the MDB program, my training in the labs of Charles Vorhees and Michael Williams, and the exposure to national meetings in neuroscience and toxicology during graduate school which provided significant networking and collaborative opportunities." 





Tony Stefater

Tony Stefater."I am currently an Ophthalmology Medical Resident at Harvard Medical School. MDB provided me with a dynamic and up-and-coming environment where I worked with an extraordinary mentor who taught and encouraged important science and creativity." 








Chun Han

Chun Han."I am currently an assistant professor at the Weill Institute for Cell and Molecular Biology, Cornell University. My research focuses on the mechanisms underlying the development, maintenance, and degeneration of neuronal dendrites at molecular and cellular levels. My training in the Molecular and Developmental Biology Graduate Program really laid a solid foundation in cell and developmental biology, which profoundly influenced the direction and focus of my postdoctoral and current work. At Cincinnati Children's, I was very lucky to work under the mentorship of Dr. Xinhua Lin and found my passion in morphogen gradient formation and Drosophila research. My years at Cincinnati Children's were full of excitement, as I was immersed in a scientifically vibrant environment in which I was able to learn from other excellent scientists in surrounding labs on a day-to-day basis. I especially appreciate the rigorous training of the MDB Graduate Program, through which I learned essential skills such as critical thinking. With generous support from the program, I was able to attend scientific conferences every year and present my work in the MDB symposiums. These exposures and opportunities played an essential role in my professional growth. I am very happy to see that the program has been enhanced with so many new talented faculty members over the years."