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2015 Research Day Award Winners

WF BioTech Place

The 15th Annual Wake Forest University Graduate Student & Postdoc Research Day was held on Friday, March 20, 2015. This year our students presented at the Wake Forest BioTech Place Atrium and Auditorium. The BioTech Place facilities are part of the growing Innovation Quarter located in downtown Winston-Salem.

The 2015 Research Day included the traditional poster session and the 2nd Annual Three Minute Thesis (3MT) oral competition. Ten students were chosen to compete (from two prior preliminary rounds), and 2 winners were selected (one from each campus), with 2 Runner-up places (again one from each campus). 

All of our presenters, whether from the sciences or humanities, were simply first rate.  Research Day stands as a great community builder and one of the best ways to see and appreciate the excellence of our students and postdoctoral fellows.

We hope that you will join us in congratulating our winners:


Marnie Silverstein
1st Place - Bowman Gray Campus
PhD Candidate - Integrative Physiology and Pharmacology

Marnie SilversteinMarnie Silverstein is in her third year of study in the Integrative Physiology and Pharmacology Graduate Program.  She is studying the effects of chronic selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor use on cardiovascular health under the mentorship of Dr. Carol Shively, PhD.  Marnie previously completed a B.S. degree in Zoology in 2008 at University of Florida and a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine at North Carolina State University in 2012.  Marnie's other research interests include animal models of human disease, social stress, and cardiovascular health.  Marnie is also interested in teaching and is a lecturer in pharmacology for physical therapy doctoral students at Winston Salem State University.

Meijian Guan
Runner Up - Bowman Gray Campus
PhD Candidate - Integrative Physiology and Pharmacology

Meijian GuanMeijian is a third year student in the PhD program in Integrative Physiology and Pharmacology. His research advisor is Dr. Maggie Ng; and his project is titled "Evaluation of the contribution of genetic variants to Type 2 diabetes associated kidney disease in African Americans."


Nicholas Lepley
1st Place - Reynolda Campus
PhD Candidate - Physics

Nicholas LepleyOriginally from Birmingham, AL, Nicholas attended the Wake Forest undergraduate college as a scholarship athlete on the Track and Cross Country team. He double majored in Physics and English before focusing on physics in graduate school. He was awarded a master's degree in Physics in 2013 for his research on computer simulations of advanced Li-ion battery materials and is currently extending that work as part of his doctorate under the direction of Dr. Natalie Holzwarth.

Evan Welchman
Runner Up - Reynolda Campus
PhD Candidate - Physics

Evan WelchmanUnder the direction of Prof. Timo Thonhauser, I study hydrogen storage materials with ab initio computer simulations. I work with materials that store hydrogen in sufficient quantity that it could be used as the primary energy carrier in transportation applications, effectively eliminating the need for fossil fuels.