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Student Spotlights

Thomas Gardner

Thomas Gardner is a 5th year PhD student under the supervision of Dr. Domenico Totorella in the Microbiology department. His thesis work focuses on host-pathogen interactions of human CMV and the development of assays and high-content screenings to study viral infections and develop antiviral therapies. Tom's work has earned him numerous publications, patents, and fellowships. He was named a "young innovator" in Mount Sinai Science and Medicine Magazine in 2013. 


In addition to his work in the lab, Tom recently became co-founder of NovoCount, LLC, which was conceived with four other graduate students and a faculty member while participating in the recently introduced QED course. Tom feels that one of the most rewarding experiences has been seeing his ideas come to fruition as part of his thesis project. He plans on becoming a PI after completing his graduate studies. 


Sarah Levinson

Sarah Levinson joined the PhD program in 2011 and is currently doing her thesis work under the tutelage of Dr. Ross Cagan in the Developmental and Regenerative Biology department. Her project focuses on Drosophila models of RET fusions in order to better understand RTK RET signaling in papillary thyroid cancers and lung adenocarcinomas. Sarah's research goal and determination to identify potential new therapies has led her to combine multiple fields by fusing both development and cancer biology.


Sarah also contributes greatly to the Sinai community as the President and Co-Founder of Women in Science, a teaching assistant for the first year core classes, and as a former graduate student representative for Student Council, all of which have earned her the Outstanding Leadership Award in 2013. According to Sarah, one of the numerous reasons she came to Sinai was its "high quality of research being conducted in a friendly and collaborative atmosphere," which is reflected in both her lab work and participation in the Sinai community. 


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