Cohn Fellowship

Group photo

Every year the Cohn Family Foundation provides grant funding to support junior faculty at Rush University who are mentees in the Rush Research Mentoring Program. The Cohn Fellowship allows mentees to gather preliminary data for research proposals and continue their research activities.

Class of 2023 Cohn Fellows
The following faculty members were selected as the Class of 2023 Cohn Fellows after a very competitive process.

Adrienn Markovics, MD, PhD, is an assistant professor in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery, RUSH Medical College. Her research focuses on inflammatory joint disease and newly orthopedic implant-associated infection. She is particularly interested in investigating if activation of a protein tyrosine phosphatase can be exploited to the treatment of inflammatory arthritis and in the development of local drug delivery systems to fight periprosthetic infection. Her Cohn Research Fellowship will investigate the electrochemical deposition of pharmacological agents onto metal implants to treat and eradicate peri-prosthetic infection.


Amanda L Marzo, PhD, is an assistant professor in the Department of Internal Medicine (Division of Hematology, Oncology and Cell Therapy) in RUSH Medical College. Her research focuses on immune oncology with an emphasis on metastatic breast cancer. Her most recent work uses a combination of agents including the seasonal influenza vaccine in combination with immunostimulatory agents to potentiate the effectiveness of immune checkpoint inhibition therapy in metastatic triple negative breast cancers that are resistant to current therapies. Her overall goal is to overcome the resistance and promote the rapid restimulation and generation of tumor-killing immune cells capable of driving tumor clearance and durable antitumor immunity to improve the outcomes of patients with metastatic breast cancer. Her Cohn Fellowship research will determine the impact of tumor growth and breast cancer metastasis has on atrial fibrillation, the most common cardiac arrhythmia. She will also quantify the impact immunotherapies have on atrial pathophysiological remodeling.


Chundo Oh, PhD, is an assistant professor in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery, RUSH Medical College. She received a PhD in Life Science from GIST in Korea and completed her postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Genetics at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Her postdoctoral training with Dr. Benoit de Crombrugghe, MD identified important genome-wide transcriptional regulation during bone development. Currently, she is a member of International Spine Research & Innovation Initiative, which is an interdisciplinary team of clinicians and scientist whose goal is to understand and treat spine related disorders and its associated pain. She is a member of the Orthopaedic Research Society and the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research. She received the 2022 Cohn Fellowship Award for her studies to help to determine the regulatory mechanisms of beta-catenin and CCL2 in disc degeneration and back pain to develop biological strategies in these animal models that can ultimately be translated to benefit patients with back pain. 


Xiaoran Liu, MSc, PhD, FAHA, is an assistant professor in the Department of Internal Medicine. She is also a nutritional epidemiologist and clinical trialist at the RUSH Institute for Healthy Aging. Her research focuses on diet and lifestyle intervention to prevent cardiometabolic diseases, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and cognitive decline. She received this year’s Alzheimer’s Association Research Grant. Her current research investigates the link between dietary antioxidants and risk of cognitive decline among population with varying genetic risk profiles. Her Cohn Fellowship research will investigate the impact of nutrients in modifying the relation of blood biomarkers of neurodegeneration and risk of Alzheimer’s disease. The investigation will facilitate in informing when to introduce dietary intervention for the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease.

Class of 2022 Cohn Fellows
  • Puja Agarwal, PhD
  • Lauren E. Bradley, PhD
  • Kajal Gupta, PhD
  • Alana E. Kirby, MD, PhD
  • Carrie Richardson, MD, MHS  
Class of 2021 Cohn Fellows
  • Vaskar Das, PhD
  • Klodian Dhana, MD, PhD
  • Frank C. Ko, PhD
  • Colleen Stiles-Shields, PhD
  • Lai Wang, MD, PhD
Class of 2020 Cohn Fellows
  • Faraz Bishehsari, MD, PhD
  • Lionel C. Clement, PhD
  • Kristen Haut, PhD
  • Kevin C. Jones, PhD
  • Lauren M. Little, PhD, OTR/L
  • Dominika A. Winiarski, PhD
Class of 2019 Cohn Fellows
  • Dawn Bounds, PhD, APRN, PMHNP-BC
  • Shannon Halloway, PhD, RN, FAHA
  • Meghan Moran, PhD
  • Robin Pourzal, PhD
Class of 2018 Cohn Fellows
  • Sandra Gomez-Perez, PhD, RD, LDN
  • Nelia Jain, MD
  • Tieshi Li, PhD
  • Amanda L. Persons, PhD
  • Antonia Zaferiou, PhD
Class of 2017 Cohn Fellows
  • Christopher Ferrigno, PhD, PT
  • Philip Held, PhD
  • Gian Pal, MD
  • Ryan Ross, PhD
  • Allison Wainer, PhD
Class of 2016 Cohn Fellows
  • Jamie Cvengros, PhD
  • Mahboobeh Mahdavinia, MD, PhD
  • Rachel E. Miller, PhD
  • Natalie Stevens, PhD
  • Jitesh Pratap, PhD
Class of 2015 Cohn Fellows
  • Aimee Hodowanec, MD
  • Joan O’Keefe, PT, PhD
  • Tochukwu M. Okwuosa, DO
  • Latha Soorya, PhD
  • Christopher Stewart, PhD


If you are interested in applying for the Cohn Fellowship next year, please feel free to email us at