Santiago Acero Bedoya

Second Year

Lab: Still rotating!

Hometown: Bogota, Colombia/

Lexington, OH

Undergrad: Otterbein University

Fun Fact: The summer after high school I was (and still am) a knives salesmen 

Why CCB: All the prestige and rigor of other top institutions, but with a more collaborative and supportive community. I felt welcomed from the first time I visited the program through Discover UChicago. 

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Stephen Arnowitz

Sixth Year

Lab: Lucy Godley/Fotini Gounari

Hometown: Dayton, OH

Undergrad: Northwestern University

Fun Fact: I interviewed for my technician job the day before my PI got the presidential medal of freedom from Obama. 

Why CCB: My favorite thing about CCB is the combination of a very diverse community with a high degree of interest in collaboration across fields and expertise to address interesting questions. 


David Banks

Third Year- MSTP

Lab: James LaBelle

Hometown: Jacksonville, North Carolina 

Undergrad: University of North Carolina- Greensboro

Fun Fact: I can't taste wasabi or other TRPA1-foods. 

Why CCB: I came to UChicago for the unique training environment it offers. Pritzker emphasizes equity and advocacy in healthcare while research labs across the BSD emphasize rigor and translational impact.

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Chufan Cai

Second Year

Lab: Alex Muir

Hometown: Anhui, China

Undergrad: China Agricultural University & Purdue University

Fun Fact: Love tacos and dogs

Why CCB: I like the flexibility of the program, and also the support for students

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Juan Apiz

Third Year

Lab: Alex Muir

Hometown: Caguas, Puerto Rico

Undergrad: University of Puerto Rico at Cayey

Fun Fact: My grandma is from Lebanon. Lebanese pita bread is the best bread and I will fight anyone on this. And you can get in in Hyde Park Produce! 

Why CCB: I came to UChicago, instead of other places, because of the strong community in the sciences and the university. There's always somebody to answer my questions, hear my thoughts, support my ideas and encourage me to go further. That's cool. 

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Briana Banks

Second Year

Lab: Still rotating!

Hometown: Olympia Fields, IL

Undergrad: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Fun Fact: I've lived in Illinois all my life, and I love food....2 facts :)

Why CCB: I love the sense of community among CCB. I was also super interested in GRIT!


Eric Bueter

Fifth Year

Lab: Russell Smulewitz

Hometown: South Bend, IN

Undergrad: Wake Forest

Fun Fact: I have traveled to over 40 national parks

Why CCB: Great school, great city

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John Cao

Seventh Year

Lab: Lucy Godley



Fun Fact:

Why CCB:


Chang Cui

Sixth year

Lab: Lev Becker

Hometown: Beijing, China

Undergrad: Penn State

Fun Fact: Wine lover

Why CCB: People care


Jess Fessler

Sixth year

Lab: Tom Gajewski

Hometown: Farmington, NY

Undergrad: MIT

Fun Fact: I own a one-eyed orange tabby named Odin

Why CCB: I was drawn to the small, close-knit cancer program over some of the larger umbrella programs I applied to. The faculty know the students, and they want them to succeed! 


Maria Evers

First Year


Hometown: Pleasant Hill, OH 

Undergrad: Ohio University

Fun Fact: I have a cat named Kiwi 

Why CCB: I decided to come to Chicago because the culture felt drastically different than other top institutions in the country; I knew I would thrive both on an academic and personal level. Students and faculty are (In addition to brilliant😉) uplifting, supportive, and genuine. 


Robert Gruener

Sixth year

Lab: Geoffrey Greene

Hometown: Oak Creek, WI

Undergrad: University of Wisconsin - Madison

Fun Fact:

Why CCB: Chicago is great, good vibes from the people I met, great program. 


Katrina Hawley

Fifth Year

Lab: James LaBelle

Hometown: Glendale, AZ

Undergrad: Princeton University

Fun Fact: Has the goal of running the six Abbott World Marathon Majors (has run four so far - Berlin, Boston, Chicago, NYC)

Why CCB: My favorite part of CCB is the welcoming community of faculty and students. 

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Juan Ibarra

Second year

Lab: Shannon Elf/Scott Oakes

Hometown: Zacatecas, Mexico

Undergrad: Aurora University

Fun Fact: Enjoy convos and wine dates with my plants 

Why CCB: The strong and collaborative academic and research culture from across departments and medical center, all immersed in a city that has something to offer for everyone 


Matt Jotte

Third Year- MSTP

Lab: Megan McNerney

Hometown: Denver, CO

Undergrad: Washington University in St. Louis

Fun Fact: Would like to be a Rock n Roll drummer 

Why CCB: The heme malignancy program has an illustrious history (ie Janet Rowley) and continues to have a strong impact on the field (ie Michelle LeBeau, Richard Larson, Lucy Godley). Also, Chicago is a great city to live in/near


Rosie Huggins

Fourth Year

Lab: Geoffrey Greene

Hometown: Oak Park, IL

Undergrad: University of Massachusetts- Amherst

Fun Fact: I brew my own kombucha

Why CCB: I liked the range of options and research in CCB and I love Chicago


Patrick Jonker

Second Year

Lab: Still rotating!

Hometown: Grand Rapids, MI

Undergrad: Calvin University

Fun Fact: I've played the cello for 15 years

Why CCB: CCB is small enough to feel familial. The small number of students allows everybody to know everybody else, and gives a sense of 'togetherness' to working towards a PhD.


Manisha Krishnan

Fifth Year

Lab: Megan McNerney

Hometown: Abu Dhabi, UAE

Undergrad: Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Fun Fact: I am part of a graduate student a cappella group called The Histones!

Why CCB: Everyone seemed very friendly, and the faculty I interviewed with seemed very invested in student success and development


Chris Lee

Fourth Year

Lab: Ray Moellering

Hometown: San Jose, CA

Undergrad: University of California, San Diego

Fun Fact: My favorite UChicago alumnus is Indiana Jones.

Why CCB: The multidisciplinary committee system opens up many research direction choices. 

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Jimmy Lee

Fifth Year

Lab: Xiaoyang Wu

Hometown: Taipei, Taiwan

Undergrad: Tzu Chi University

Fun Fact: When asked to give a fun fact about myself, I always lie.

Why CCB: I heard that the place was famous for studying nuclear reactions, which I assumed was a form of genetic regulation at that time.


Weihan Liu

Third Year

Lab: Megan McNerney

Hometown: Taiyuan, China

Undergrad: University of California Berkeley

Fun Fact: I have a cat named H3K27ac

Why CCB: Intellectual freedom, resources in cancer research

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Jean Lee

Fifth Year

Lab: Sasha Chervonsky

Hometown: Chicago, IL

Undergrad: University of Chicago

Fun Fact: I like to be sad

Why CCB: Great people


Rosy Liao

Fourth Year

Lab: James LaBelle

Hometown: Boston, MA

Undergrad: University of Mighican

Fun Fact: I lived in Switzerland for 3 months when I was four! Sadly the only things I remember are watching Sailor Moon in French and a playground on top of a grocery store

Why CCB: Loved the community feeling of CCB during my interviews and I love that they have the myChoice program!


Wenchao Liu

Fourth Year

Lab: Yingming Zhao

Hometown: Dongyang, China

Undergrad: Peking University

Fun Fact: I cannot stand the taste of Dr. Pepper

Why CCB: The people! Scientists here care about each other, in addition to each other’s research.

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Yue Liu

Fifth Year

Lab: Steve Kron

Hometown: China

Undergrad: Tsinghua University 

Fun Fact: You'll find it on my computer screen ;) 

Why CCB: Summer is not hot here, but I didn't imagine the winter is so long until I came here. 


Ben Nicholson

First Year


Hometown: Lancaster, MA

Undergrad: College of the Holy Cross

Fun Fact: I ran the 2018 Boston Marathon

Why CCB: As an incoming student, I was drawn to CCB's emphasis on the well-being of its students as well as the priority of preparing students to become leaders in their field as graduates.


Logan Poole

Seventh Year

Lab: Kay Macleod

Hometown: Cedar Rapids, IA

Undergrad: University of Northern Iowa

Fun Fact: I once went on a date with Lizzo’s makeup artist (I guess this isn’t really about me, but I’m not very interesting...)

Why CCB: I chose to join CCB at UChicago because the students in the program were so supportive and friendly. I made lifelong friendships on day one. 


Colin Sheehan

Second Year

Lab: Still rotating!

Hometown: Geneva, IL

Undergrad: University of Notre Dame

Fun Fact: Repeat failed fish parent

Why CCB: First, I met many awesome faculty members whose research I was very seriously interested in. Second, I appreciated the strong sense of community and graduate-student-focus within the CCB, and university as a whole. 


Julian Lutze

Fifth Year

Lab: Steve Kron/Megan McNerney

Hometown: San Jose, CA

Undergrad: University of California, Los Angeles

Fun Fact: I have sold a piece of art for real money

Why CCB: In my interview weekend, I felt at home in the program 


Mat Perez-Neut

Sixth Year

Lab: Yingming Zhao

Hometown: Strong Island, NY

Undergrad: University of Illinois at Chicago

Fun Fact: I'm 5'6 but only epigenetically. 

Why CCB: Being a first-gen & coming from a huge state school, I appreciate the structure of our program. Advancing in the program is straightforward, and there is always someone available to help you along the way. 


Jill Rosenberg

Fifth Year

Lab: Jun Huang

Hometown: Boston, MA

Undergrad: Tulane University

Fun Fact: I went to 10 concerts my first summer in Chicago

Why CCB: MyChoice!!!

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Sravya Tumuluru

Fifth Year

Lab: Justin Kline

Hometown: Memphis, TN

Undergrad: Northwestern University

Fun Fact: I lived in India until I was 8 

Why CCB: Sense of community 


William Wagstaff

Fifth Year- MSTP

Lab: Melody Schwartz

Hometown: Buffalo, NY/Atlanta, GA

Undergrad:  Stanford

Fun Fact: I won a hot dog eating contest

Why CCB: I came to UChicago because of how supportive the MSTP/CCB faculty are 

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Peter Yang

Fifth Year

Lab: Marsha Rosner

Hometown: Xi'an, China

Undergrad: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Fun Fact: I enjoy skydiving and flying airplanes.

Why CCB: One of the reasons that made me join the program is the MyChoice program. Thanks to the various workshops and seminars, I'm better prepared for my career after graduating from UChicago.


Emma Wilkinson

Second Year

Lab: Still rotating!

Hometown: Woodridge, IL

Undergrad: Loyola University Chicago

Fun Fact: I had perfect attendance throughout all of high school.

Why CCB: I liked how close the CCB students were; not just acting as peers, but as friends. I also liked how CCB integrated both basic and translational research and is greatly integrated with the Cancer Center. 


Anqi Yu

Second Year

Lab: Lixing Yang

Hometown: China

Undergrad: Peking University

Fun Fact: Always speak slowly

Why CCB: I like people here in CCB and the great academic atmosphere of UChicago


Allen Zhu

Fourth Year- MSTP

Lab: Chuan He

Hometown: Kansas City, KS

Undergrad: University of Chicago

Fun Fact: At one point I knew all the words to Hamilton the musical

Why CCB: Good research; still wanted to explore the city; like the Midwest