QBioS Welcomes Third Cohort to Georgia Tech

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The Quantitative Biosciences Ph.D. is proud to welcome its third cohort to the Georgia Institute of Technology. The incoming class of nine students joins us from the United States, Europe, Latin America, and Asia. The new students have home schools in Biological Sciences, Mathematics, and Physics.

Alexandra Carruthers Ferrero earned her bachelor’s degree in physics and mathematics from the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus in Puerto Rico.  Alexandra says, "After searching for a prolonged period of time, I was finally able to find a field and a program that allows me to work on interdisciplinary projects where my background in biology, mathematics, and computer sciences can be applied. Georgia Tech's program in Quantitative Biosciences provides me with the chance to combine these interests and channel them into a myriad of research topics in biology. "

Baxi Chong (Zhong) received his bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering and materials engineering at University of Hong Kong; and master's degree in Carnegie Mellon University. He is interested in applying quantitative modeling methods to understand animal locomotion, including snakes, salamander and centipedes. He is also intrigued by the way biological locomotion can provide insight into robot gait design.  Baxi says that Professor Dan Goldman is the person who ultimately convinced him to join QBioS at Georgia Tech.  Also the program itself, especially the multi-disciplinary design of course is very attractive to me!”

Katalina C. Kimball received her bachelor's degree in biology from the University of Chicago where she performed paleoecology conservation research and was introduced to mathematical biology. After graduating, she spent six months as a research intern at Stanford's PULSE Institute/SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and even volunteered aboard a Scripps research vessel monitoring the long term health of the California coast. She's thrilled to enter a program that allows her to pursue her interdisciplinary research interests in biomechanics and bio-inspired design.

Daniel Lauer received his Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science and Policy from the University of Maryland in 2017. As an undergraduate, he was exposed to the quantitative and technological tools that can be used to analyze data pertaining to ecological systems and the environment. According to Lauer, “The QBioS program is a great fit for my interests: it will allow me to leverage data science and quantitative methods to provide insights about how our global environment can be better protected. I look forward to conducting research in this area, and to contributing to the QBioS community in the coming years."

Andreea Magalie is from Bucharest, Romania. In Spring 2018, she finished her B.A. in Mathematics at Princeton University. She has always been passionate about mathematics and started focusing on it more when she was 12. Andreea later became interested in molecular biology and thus spent a lot of time in college trying to bridge the two disciplines. There were many trials and errors before she found a few topics she was genuinely interested in.

“I chose QBioS because I really like the structure of the program and the focus on helping us - the students - have a good experience. Even before submitting my application and visiting, I could tell there was a lot of thought and work in designing this program. The research fit matters a lot and I think we have a lot of freedom and opportunities, but also a good amount of guidance. It's only been a month, but I do feel that I am getting better at several important aspects in 'quantitative biosciences': computer simulations, research questions, lab reports, etc.”

Rozenn Pineau graduated from Pierre et Marie Curie University with bachelor’s in Biology and Applied Mathematics. She had the opportunity to study abroad in Finland, where she was able to choose her courses, “a luxury as compared to the strict French system: Let’s do plant biology and modeling!”  Rozenn continued to feed her interest for the vegetal world by starting a master’s program in Plant Sciences at the University of Montpellier, and by doing research for one year in Cassandra Quave’s lab, at Emory University, where she was introduced to the intriguing field of microbiology.  According to Rozenn, “I chose the QBioS program to deepen my knowledge and understanding of the mathematics tools tremendously valuable to study and get a better understanding of biological systems.”

Rogelio A. Rodriguez Gonzalez obtained a B.S. in Genomic Sciences from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), Cuernavaca Campus. He started doing research during his last two years of college, first, working at Peña-Miller’s lab, where he developed mathematical models to understand the acquisition and transference of antibiotic resistance plasmids in P. aeruginosa populations. In his last year of college, he worked in Meyer’s lab at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, where he developed computational models to understand in detail the metabolic rewiring of a Bacillus subtilis under different environmental contexts. “After that, I knew it my passion was on solving biological problems by utilizing computational/theoretical approaches,” he says.

“When I started searching for graduate programs QBioS appeared as my top option, a high-quality interdisciplinary program that combines theory and state-of-the-art computational techniques in order to try to answer fundamental questions on how biological systems work,” Rodriguez Gonzalez says. “I’m pretty excited to begin this journey of learning and collaborations with scientists from broad fields.”

Sarah Sundius graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute earlier this year with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and a minor in Biology. Coming from a background in applied mathematics, operations research, and data science, she is eager to apply quantitative methods to biological problems in the realms of ecology and evolutionary biology. In choosing to do her PhD in the QBioS program at Georgia Tech, Sundius says, “I was specifically drawn to the interdisciplinary and collaborative nature of the program and being able to explore biology without losing the strong emphasis on mathematical concepts that I enjoy.  I hope to explore research possibly pertaining to population dynamics and infectious disease.”

Fiona Wood graduated from the University of Kansas with a degree in biochemistry.  She then spent two years as a research technician at Spelman College before joining the QBioS program.  When asked about choosing Georgia Tech, Fiona says, “I developed a love of computer science while working as a technician, and I wanted to further explore that interest alongside biology when I was looking for a PhD program. I think QBioS is a great fit for me because it combines those two passions.”



  • Workflow Status:Published
  • Created By:Lisa Redding
  • Created:09/26/2018
  • Modified By:Lisa Redding
  • Modified:09/26/2018