NSPS Officers - 2018/2019

Kai Zhang, President:

Research Interests: Kai Zhang is a third year graduate student attending the Pharmacology PhD program in the college of medicine. Kai is working on EtOH neurotoxicity and trying to develop anti-inflammatory strategies in the prevention or the treatment for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) in the laboratory of Dr. Jai Luo. Kai is also a graduate student senator at-large in UK Student Government Association (SGA) and a board member at Graduate Student Congress (GSC). Other interests: snowboarding, skateboarding, hiking and fitness.

Shayan Mohammadmoradi, Vice- President:

Research Interests: Shayan is a Ph.D. student in Dr. Alan Daugherty's laboratory at the Saha Cardiovascular Research Center. His current research focus is the role of cell-specific toll like receptor 4 (TLR4) in aortic aneurysm and atherosclerosis.  Shayan is also one of the American Heart Association | American Stroke Association Early Career Spokesperson. Outside the scientific realm, Shayan is a personal trainer, a public speaking coach and an amateur photographer. He tweets @MoradiShayan, blogs at shayanmoradi.com and he is the Winner of World’s Best Husband Award (Category: nagging).


Courtney Turpin, Secretary:

Research Interests: 

Courtney Turpin is a Ph.D. student in Nutritional Sciences in the laboratory of Dr. Brett Spear. Courtney’s research focus is the role of Zinc Fingers and Homeoboxes 2 (Zhx2) in obesity-derived fatty liver disease. In addition to being an officer in NSPS, she has also served as a member of the BGSO (Biomedical Graduate Student Organization) Community Outreach committee. Outside of research, Courtney enjoys running, reading, and spoiling her dog.



Jessie Hoffman, Treasurer:


Research interests: Atherosclerosis, environmental pollutants, intestinal health, gut microbiome, dietary fiber.  Jessie graduated from Newberry College in Newberry,  South Carolina in 2013 with a B.S. in Biology.  She received her M.S. in Nutrition in 2015 from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro where she conducted research regarding the benefits of consuming grapes on attenuating obesity and related health outcomes.  She began the Nutritional Sciences PhD program in 2015 in Dr. Bernhard Hennig’s lab as a trainee within the UK Superfund Research Center.  Her current research focuses on the way that nutrition can combat the negative health effects associated with exposure to environmental pollutants. She is also a recipient of the NIH T32 Training Grant.  Other interests: fitness, cooking, playing soccer, hiking, and spending time with family and friends. 

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