Current Postdoctoral Fellows

Maria Rodolis Cropped Profile Pic
Maria Rodolis, PhD
Chemistry Department

Originally from a small rural town in the Dominican Republic, Maria Rodolis migrated to New York where she grew interest in the STEM fields. In 2006, Maria began her studies at SUNY New Paltz where she majored in Chemistry and minored in Biology. Throughout her undergraduate studies, she embarked on various research projects at SUNY New Paltz and abroad at La Selva Biological Station in Costa Rica and at the Center of Molecular Biology Severo Ochoa in Spain. In 2010, she was awarded the New York State Chancellor’s award and obtained her B.S. in Chemistry. Soon after graduating, Maria Rodolis was awarded an NSF GRFP fellowship to conduct her PhD studies at the University of Warwick in the United Kingdoms. Her PhD research project focused on the Interaction of Translocase MraY with the Antibacterial E Protein from Bacteriophage ΦX174. The results of her research project has been submitted to a high-ranking journal for publishing. In January 2014, Maria began an AGEP-T FRAME funded postdoctoral research project at Stony Brook University under the leadership of Professor Nicole Sampson where she will be investigating various processes involved in mammalian fertilization.

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Cindy Leiton
Cindy V Leiton, PhD
Anesthesiology Department

A native Colombian, Dr. Leiton has long-standing interest in education, teaching and research. She discovered this through her involvement in her high school’s urban debate league in the small city of Providence, Rhode Island, where her family migrated to when she was 9 years old. As captain of her high school debate team, she became intrigued by the factors that shape individual learning and confidence building, and she developed an appreciation for the importance of scientific research to inform decision making at the government and public health levels. After graduating from a high school, she went on to the University of New Haven (UNH) where her first research experience was in clinical research through a position as a student assistant in the Obstetrics and Gynecology department at Yale University. There, she was involved with various aspects of both the clinical and the basic side of research studies that sought to understand why demographically disadvantaged women in the New Haven area were experiencing a high rate of pre-term delivery. This experience led her to look for additional research opportunities at other institutions, and that led her to the Alliance for Graduate Education in the Professoriate (AGEP) at Stony Brook University. Through the summer research experience provided by AGEP, she found her doctoral research laboratory and advisor and joined the Molecular & Cellular Pharmacology graduate program in the Pharmacological Sciences Department at Stony Brook University upon graduating from UNH. 

Dr. Leiton's doctoral research focused on understanding how metallo-enzymes known as the Matrix Metallproteases are involved in brain development, particularly in the cells that generate the brain’s white matter, the oligodendrocytes. In her work, she characterized a signaling pathway mediated by metallo-enzymes that regulates the development of the oligodendrocytes. Outside of the lab, she mentors, teaches and advises many students through her involvement with Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) and AGEP at Stony Brook and in the greater NYC area at nearby institutions. As a postdoc, her research is now focused on understanding how the brain copes with oxygen deprivation and which cells may be targeted to circumvent such an event which can occur upon stroke, traumatic brain injury and other types of trauma. Additionally, Dr. Leiton’s goal with the AGEP-T FRAME’s program is to learn about the many tools available to teach and leverage them to develop curriculums that will provide a strong platform for student learning in the classroom and lab. 

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AGEP-T (Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate – Transformation) is funded by the National Science Foundation.
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