Bridges to the Baccalaureate Program

The following profiles provide a snapshot of the QCC Bridges program and the types of accomplishments our students achieve.

Nadia Aboley
(PharmD)

Nadia AboleyWith the goal of becoming a pharmacist firmly in mind, Nadia joined the Bridges program and conducted research on cancer cell biology with Dr. Sullivan and Dr. Rotenberg (Queens College). Her project on actin structure and MARCKS phospholoration received a 2nd Place Award from MACUB, 1st Place from ACS MARM and 1st Place at the CUNY Science and Technology Conference. The following summer, Nadia investigated age related muscle decline through the RISE research program at Rutgers University. Nadia transferred to SUNY Buffalo and received her PharmD in 2012.

Maurice Anderson
(BS Applied Psychology, MPP)

Maurice AndersonWhile in the Bridges program, Maurice worked with Dr. Villegas at York College on developing a rat model of Alzheimer’s disease. Maurice transferred to New York University and earned a BS in applied psychology with a minor in sociology. He received a Masters in Public Policy (M.P.P.) with a concentration in Social and Urban Policy from the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government. His paper on “The Role of Cultural Dissimilarity Factors on Child Adjustment Following Foster Placement” was published in Children and Youth Services Review (2012).

John Bonnes
(BS Biology, DO Doctor Osteopathic Medicine)

John BonnesAfter serving in the US Army, John enrolled at QCC with the goal of becoming a physician. Through the Bridges summer program, John conducted research on cell death in Dr. Zakeri’s lab at Queens College. He transferred to SUNY Binghamton where he received a BS in biology. He then enrolled in St. George’s Medical School and Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine. John was awarded the DO degree in 2012 and entered a residency training program.

Simone Edwards
(BS Biology, MPH, DrPH – in progress)

Simone EdwardsWhile in the Bridges program, Simone worked on analyzing cell shape and size using optical diffusion. After transferring to Stony Brook University, she went on to earn her BS degree in Biology. Simone was then admitted to NY Medical College where she received a master’s degree in public health. She is currently in her third year of the public health doctoral program and working for United Cerebral Palsy.


Isoken Igbinogehene
(BS Chemical Engineering, MS Chemical Engineering)

Isoken IgbinogeheneIsoken (David) worked with Dr. Gao on a computational study of weak organic acids in water and presented his results at several regional and national meetings. Isoken transferred to SUNY Stony Brook where he received a BS in chemical engineering. He was then admitted to the chemical engineering program at City College. After earning his Master’s degree in 2010, he accepted a position with Corning Industries.


Marie-Pierre Payen
(BS Neuroscience, PhD – in progress)

Marie-Pierre PayenMarie-Pierre’s project on fractal analysis of cranial sutures led to her 2007 ABRCMS Quantitative Science award. The following summer, she conducted neuroscience research in the MURSP summer research program at Tufts University. Marie-Pierre transferred to Queens College and enrolled in the MARC program. After graduating with a BS in neuroscience, she entered the doctoral program in neuroscience at Boston University. Marie-Pierre has applied for a National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) NRSA F31 fellowship to support her research on Huntington’s disease.

Carlos Penaloza
(BA Biology/Biochemistry, MA Biology, PhD Biology)

Carlos PenalozaThrough the Bridges summer program, Carlos conducted research on cell death in Dr. Zakeri’s lab at Queens College. He transferred to Queens College, joined the MARC program and continued his research with Dr. Zakeri. After graduating with his BA, he entered the CUNY biology doctoral program. Carlos worked on characterizing sex differences in stress response, at the cellular level, by identifying factors influencing response. He received his PhD in May of 2012 and intends to stay in academia, while having his own research lab.

Elana Santos
(BS Biology)

Elana SantosElana worked in Dr. Gadura’s lab studying antibiotic induced changes in bacteria. This research led to her 2010 ABRCMS Molecular Biology award. Elana transferred to SUNY Stony Brook receiving her BS in 2013. Originally intending to become a physician, Elana has decided instead to pursue a graduate degree in mathematics. She is taking advanced math classes at Queens College prior to applying to the master’s programs.

Guy Surpris
(BA Biology/Biochemistry, PhD – in progress)

Guy SurprisGuy’s research with Dr. Sullivan on cancer cell biology led to his 2007 ABRCMS Cell Biology award. Guy transferred to Queens College and enrolled in the MARC program. After graduating with a BA in biology/biochemistry, he entered the MERGE-ID (MEdically-oriented Research in Graduate Education - Infectious Disease) track in the Immunology doctoral program at Tufts University. The program is specifically designed to provide strong training in the basic microbiology and immunology of pathogenic organisms and host responses as well as in-depth knowledge of the pathogenesis, diagnosis, prevention, treatment, and epidemiology of infectious disease.

Evelyn Teran
(BA Biology, MA Biology)

Evelyn TeranAs a Bridge student, Evelyn studied periodontal disease bacteria with Dr. Subramaniam and Dr. Schneider. She transferred to Queens College, enrolled in the MARC program and conducted research on frog embryo development in Dr. Seeling’s lab. After graduating with a BA in biology, Evelyn was accepted into the NSF Bridge to the Doctorate Program. She continued working with Dr. Seeling completing a Master’s thesis on cell signaling during embryogenesis in 2012. Evelyn is currently serving as Bridges Program Coordinator. Her goal is to earn a DDS degree and continue doing research.

Verona Young
(BS Biology, MD – in progress)

Maurice AndersonThe Bridges Program provided Verona with the opportunity to participate in two research projects. During the first year, she studied cell signaling in mammary gland tumors with Dr. Nguyen. Subsequently, Verona worked in Dr. Melendez’s lab at Queens College studying the molecular basis of autophagy. Verona transferred to SUNY Stony Brook receiving her BS in 2012. She is currently pursuing her MD degree at the Stony Brook School of Medicine.