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Current Students

Laura Szczesniak

Laura Szczesniak

PhD (4th year)

Department: Pharmacology
Advisor: Richard JH Wojcikiewicz, PhD


[1] Schulman, J. J., Szczesniak, L. M., Bunker, E. N., Nelson, H. A., Roe, M. W., Wagner, L. E., 2nd, Yule, D. I., and Wojcikiewicz, R. J. H. (2019) Bok regulates mitochondrial fusion and morphology, Cell Death Differ 26, 2682-2694.

[2] Schulman, J. J., Wright, F. A., Han, X., Zluhan, E. J., Szczesniak, L. M., and Wojcikiewicz, R. J. (2016) The Stability and Expression Level of Bok Are Governed by Binding to Inositol 1,4,5-Trisphosphate Receptors, J Biol Chem 291, 11820-11828.


NIH F30 through NIGMS (awarded in 2019)

Student Profile:

I joined Upstate in June 2015 as an MD/PhD student. I am a graduate of SUNY Geneseo (Chemistry/Spanish), where I carried out research for 3 years. I chose MD/PhD for the ability to translate from the lab to the office. The process of carrying out medical research from start to finish is something that I would love to do after receiving a dual degree. My first rotation was in the lab of Dr. Richard Wojcikiewicz, in the Pharmacology Department.

Upstate is a great place to be because the environment is very positive. I have not met any students thus far that compete with each other about grades, or anything of that nature. Everyone is here for each other, which is nice to know considering our rigorous schedule.

In my spare time, I like to go running, play with my dog Stella, or do other outdoor activities like hiking and rock climbing. I enjoy Syracuse because I can do a lot of different things without having to drive too far. However, the food festivals are definitely my favorite part of Syracuse!