Ph.D. student passes away

Sebastian had been researching new treatments for small-cell carcinoma at Vanderbilt.


Claire Barnett

Spring at Vanderbilt. (Photo by Claire Barnett)

Eva Durchholz, News Editor

On March 21, pharmacology Ph.D. student Melaine Sebastian passed away in Nashville. 

Sebastian lived in Louisiana most of her life, and was working towards a Ph.D. in pharmacology at Vanderbilt. As part of the Lopez Lab, she was helping research new treatments for small-cell carcinoma. Before coming to Vanderbilt, Sebastian received a Bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from Tulane University.

“Melaine’s love was her family, and her passion was to help them and many others through her education and research,” her obituary from Martin and Castille funeral home said. “She worked tirelessly to give to and advocate for the underprivileged. Her legacy will not soon be forgotten by all who knew and loved her.”

Sebastian is survived by her two parents, four grandparents, three siblings, a nephew and 17 first cousins, according to her obituary.

A private graveside service was held for Sebastian this morning in Louisiana, and a memorial mass and celebration of life will be held at a later date for all friends and family, her obituary said.

The University Counseling Center is currently supporting Vanderbilt students through telemedicine. Students may call 615-322- 2571 to schedule an appointment. The Student Care Network has also compiled telemedicine resources for students.