Welcome, new NS graduate students!

Nutritional Sciences and the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Nutritional Sciences (IGPNS) are proud to welcome a new group of graduate students for the 2016-2017 year!  These incoming students bring a wealth of highly diverse research experience to IGPNS, where most of them will spend their first year rotating through different labs before settling on a particular lab and project.  Profiles of these talented new students are below – please join us in welcoming them to campus!

Heidi Pak


Heidi earned a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and molecular biology from the University of Nevada-Reno in 2011.  Since then, she has been a research assistant in the lab of one of her undergraduate mentors.  Heidi has both extensive research and teaching experience from her undergraduate years.  She completed an undergraduate research thesis through an NSF EPSCoR research grant in which she studies the enzyme ipsidenol dehydrogenase from Ips pini and its role in pheromone biosynthesis.  As a result of this project she became a co-author on two peer-reviewed manuscripts.  She has also given oral presentations at Entomological Society of America and Chemical Ecology Society meetings and been a co-author on several other abstracts.  Additionally, she completed a senior thesis project that was focused on the role of ryanoids on the ryanodine receptor binding and channel function through an NIH INBRE Undergraduate Research Grant. Her career goal is to become a researcher and mentor to future scientists.  She is interested in the Biochemical and Molecular Nutrition Group within IGPNS.

Grace Yang


Grace received her bachelor’s degree from Rice University in May 2016 in Kinesiology.  She has extensive research experience, having worked in an immunology laboratory investigating the role of immune pathology in the development of tuberculosis at the UT Health Science Center at Houston.  She also has experience examining a condition called ileus (a blockage of the intestine) in a laboratory at the University of Houston.  She is interested in the Biochemical and Molecular Nutrition Group within IGPNS, and hopes to work either in academia or industry.

Laura Borth


Laura received a BS in dietetics with a minor in chemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and is a Registered Dietitian. Laura has experience working in a Milwaukee area healthcare system and last year worked through Nutrition and Health Associates in Janesville, Wisconsin with the Women, Infant, and Children Supplemental nutrition program (WIC). As a fellow of the US State Department in the Congress Bundestag youth exchange for young professionals, Laura worked in labs for five months at the Technical University of Munich while studying biology and nutrition. In Munich she gained an understanding of molecular biology and proteomics and had experiences with mouse models and diverse techniques used in molecular biology. These experiences contributed to her interested in the Biochemical and Molecular Nutrition group within IGPNS.

Yirong Wang


Yirong is originally from China where she began her college career at the Communication University of China as a computer science major. She subsequently transferred to Emory University in Atlanta and graduated with a BS in Biology in spring 2016. During her time as an undergraduate she did research in a renal biology lab including the development of a project that resulted in an abstract for the 2016 Experimental Biology meeting.

Yiming Qin


Yiming came to the US to attend the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she double majored in Biochemistry and Nutritional Sciences. During her time here as an undergraduate student she participated in several research projects, most recently in the in the laboratory of Brad Bolling.  As part of her work with Dr. Bolling she received a Hilldale Fellowship to support her research.

Jesse Sheftel


Jesse is originally from Ontario, Canada and has a degree in biochemistry from Queen’s University at Kingston. His main interest in nutrition is the biochemistry of metabolism. During college Jesse was a Dean’s Honor List student, recipient of the Queen’s University Prinicipal’s Scholarship, and a research assistant in four different laboratories.  His previous research experience spans enzymology, work with long noncoding RNA, cell culture, and LC-MS/MS analysis of human sera.  He has presented his work at national and international conferences and before coming to Madison permanently recently completed a four-month visiting research position in the Pike in UW-Madison’s Department of Biochemistry. His long-term goal is to run his own lab with an emphasis on biochemical and molecular nutrition.

James Votava


Profile coming soon!