GPSA Executive Board

GPSA President

Stephanie Molina

GPSA President Stephanie Molina is a doctoral student in the Interdisciplinary Health Sciences program within the Department of Health Physics & Diagnostic Sciences under the direction of Dr. Steen Madsen. By applying her interdisciplinary background (B.S. in Health Physics, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology; UNLV), she is investigating the development of a cell-based drug delivery approach for the treatment of cancers by photochemical internalization, a photonic technique. Her goal is that studying the in vitro efficacy of drug-carrying delivery vehicles will translate to an effective treatment protocol for diffuse brain tumors. As a member of the GPSA Executive Board, Stephanie hopes to expand graduate student services and continue to encourage collaboration between departments for research, scholarly, and creative activities as the university moves forward with top-tier initiatives.

GPSA Vice President

Sidath Kapukotuwa

GPSA Vice President, Sidath Kapukotuwa (Sid), is a doctoral student in the Interdisciplinary Health Sciences program within the Department of Health Physics and Diagnostic Sciences under the mentorship of Dr. Francis Cucinotta. Sid obtained his undergraduate degree in Nuclear Medical Science in 2012 from the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka. He has been a graduate student at UNLV since 2014, finishing his master’s degree in Medical Physics in 2018. His dissertation research interests are focused on studying the effects of radiation on the neuronal architecture of the hippocampus. Sid has been the GPSA representative for the Department Health Physics and Diagnostic Sciences since 2018 and serving in the Sponsorship Committee as well. He is hoping to serve the continued growth and improvement of the GPSA.

GPSA Treasurer

Mathew Sunil Varre

GPSA Treasurer, Mathew Sunil Varre, is a 3rd-year doctoral student in the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Health Sciences program (Biomechanics) within the Department of Kinesiology and Nutrition Sciences (KNS). He has been a graduate student at UNLV since 2017 and has been performing research under the supervision of Dr. Janet Dufek (KNS) and Dr. Mohamed Trabia (Mechanical Engineering). Mat obtained his previous graduate degrees in Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering from the University of Kansas (2011) and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (2015). Mathew’s research focuses on the treatment and rehabilitation of children and adults with neurological and musculoskeletal disorders using biomechanical analysis and computer modeling techniques. He is currently working on identifying and discriminating the risk of foot ulcers at various stages of disease progression in individuals with diabetes. As a member of the GPSA Executive Board, Mathew intends to take initiative on student mental health/stress management and create awareness of career pathways after graduate school.

GPSA Secretary

Nicole Thomas

GPSA Secretary, Nicole Thomas, is currently pursuing her Masters of Science in Curriculum & Instruction with a focus in Science Education. Nicole's current research interests include identifying and addressing misconceptions in STEM. Nicole is a 2019 Nevada NASA Space Grant Consortium Fellow, a member of UNLV Scientista, and a member of 500 Women Scientists. She hopes to inspire young women and underrepresented groups to pursue degrees in STEM. In addition to her role in GPSA, she is currently the Graduate Assistant for the undergraduate student government, CSUN, as well as an office assistant within the Graduate Commons. Nicole received her Bachelor’s in Biology from UNLV, where she conducted research in microbial ecology and evolution. She plans to pursue her Ph.D. in a related field and to use these degrees to make a valuable impact on the scientific community. She hopes to further establish the importance of clear dissemination of science content through education and communication.