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GSA

The Graduate Student Association's (GSA) mission is to promote community among GSBS students and to advance the GSBS identity within the biomedical community while providing a student forum for discussion of common needs; working cooperatively with the faculty and administration to build a recognized and respected institution; and to develop student fellowship by coordinating social activities.

The GSA plays an integral role in the operation of the GSBS, and functions as the official organization representing the student body. 

Contact us: GSBS_GSA@uth.tmc.edu


GSA 2023-2024 OFFICERS

PRESIDENT
Takese McKenzie 
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I am an international student from the beautiful island of Jamaica. Currently, I am a 4th year Neuroscience PhD student in the lab of Dr. Jian Hu. My research is focused on understanding the role of prostaglandins in central nervous system myelination. In my free time, I like to listen to music from different genres and bake banana bread. I am excited to serve as the GSA President for 2023 – 2024 as I am passionate about implementing changes that benefit the wellbeing of my fellow peers. Takese.McKenzie@uth.tmc.edu 

VICE PRESIDENT
René Girard 
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I’m a 3rd year student in the

Molecular and Translational Biology program in the lab of Dr. Harry Karmouty-Quintana. My research is looking at the effects of alternative polyadenylation in lung injury and fibrotic diseases. I’m originally from Honduras but call New Orleans home. For my hobbies, I like to play board games, play guitar, and listen to a variety of podcasts. I’m hoping to help bring some fun into the GSA and get to know my peers in throughout the graduate school. Rene.A.Girard@uth.tmc.edu

SECRETARY
Alexandra McConnell 
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I am a 4th year Neuroscience PhD student in the lab of Dr. Valentin Dragoi. My goal is to utilize novel electrophysiology techniques to help understand how the cortex processes visual information during complex tasks, such as foraging. I am from the city with the best breakfast tacos and professional basketball team: San Antonio, Texas. Outside the lab, I enjoy running (I am training for my first marathon in October!), spending time with my dogs, and I have recently taken up pickleball! As GSA secretary, I am eager to support my fellow graduate students on their own academic journeys. Alexandra.McConnell@uth.tmc.edu

TREASURER
Yimo Sun 

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I am a 5th year PhD student in the Immunology program, conducting research in Dr. Greg Lizee's lab. My primary focus is investigating the role of MHC-I cytoplasmic tail in T cell immunity. Beyond science, I have a strong passion for classical music and literature. As a GSA officer, I aim to raise awareness about the challenges encountered by my fellow graduate students and strive to enhance the overall quality of our academic life. Yimo.Sun@uth.tmc.edu


Student InterCouncil

The GSA officers work with the UTHealth Houston Student InterCouncil (SIC) on institution-wide issues. The SIC is the UTHealth Houston student governance organization and is the recognized forum of student opinion and the primary vehicle for student participation in the governance of UTHealth Houston. The organization is comprised of representatives from each of the six schools and from at-large student and international student constituencies.