Cell Biology Research Scholars Program (CRSP)
Online Workshop in Experimental Design
CRSP is an eight-week online workshop in experimental design for undergraduate students with a passion for scientific discovery and fundamental biology. This workshop is designed for a diverse group of individuals who have the desire to explore and pursue careers in life science research necessary for transformative breakthroughs in the future.
Cell Biology Research Scholars Program (CRSP) encourages undergraduate students seeking on-campus research internships to apply to Harvard Summer Honors Undergraduate Research Program (SHURP), a program which places students in Cell Biology labs. Apply to SHURP via the Leadership Alliance.
If you would like to be considered for the online workshop, then please apply as instructed below.
Beginning in 2021, CRSP will offer an 8-week online summer course on “Collaborative Experimental Design and Analytics” for undergraduate students interested in continued career development in STEM research fields. This course will blend a combination of video lecture, reading materials and live discussion groups to help students enhance their skills in rigorous scientific investigation. Through a series of weekly assignments and a final project proposal presentation, students will work closely with peers and PhD-level instructors to learn many elements of sound research planning. Students will also receive instruction in scientific presentation, career portfolio development, and navigating PhD program admissions. This course is ideal for rising freshman and sophomore students who plan to engage in future research internships and undergraduate thesis projects.
1. Letter of intent
Letters should outline why attending an HMS summer minicourse on this topic would be of value. Letters should be a maximum of 2 pages, using single-spaced, 11-point Arial or Times New Roman font.
2. Curriculum vitae and biography
Your current CV should include:
- educational background with all relevant undergraduate coursework completed to date
- cumulative GPA (major and non-major)
- extracurricular academic and leadership activities
- employment history (if any)
- contact information (phone and email) of 3 references
- a one paragraph, personal biography
- a photograph to aid your interviewer
Generate a single PDF file containing your letter of intent and your CV/biography. PDF file name should contain your last name, your first name, and program year separated by underscores (e.g. franklin_rosalind_2021.pdf, einstein_albert_2021.pdf). Submit your application below. Applications are due by February 15, 2021.
Current CRSP Scholars
My name is Kaytlin Alzugaray and I am a senior Honors College student at Florida International University in Miami, Florida. Currently, I am completing my dual bachelor’s degrees in biology and psychology, two minors in sociology and anthropology, and three certificates in women and gender studies, occupational therapy, and physical therapy. Since 2016, I have conducted quality research in 4 laboratories, presented at 19 conferences, and earned a fellowship position in the MARC U*STAR program. In addition to conducting laboratory research, I gained over 1,330 hours of clinical training as a paramedic and emergency medical technician at the age of 19- years-old. In the future, I intend on enrolling in an M.D./Ph.D program and becoming a physician-scientist committed to investigating new pharmacological treatment options for cancer patients. Overall, my passion to help others has evolved and become an integral part of the educated, versatile, and motivated woman I am today.
My name is Dulamkhuu Bujaa and I am a Mongolian student in France doing intensive undergraduate studies in Math and Physics at Université de Paris. During my master's and PhD, I intend to specialize in biophysics (in particular Molecular & Cellular Biotherapies) and work at the interface between medical research and hospitals. After my PhD, I would like to return to my country to do research in cancer treatment and contribute to improving health standards there. Given my academic background in math, physics, and programming and my previous lab experiences, I hope the CRSP program will help me deepen my knowledge in biology.
Outside of the classroom, I enjoy backpacking, watching sports competitions, and playing guitar.
I am a rising senior at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas majoring in Biology along with double minor in Chemistry and Math. I was born and raised in New Delhi, India. I aspire to pursue a career in healthcare as a physician. My interest in biology developed in my high school biology course when we witnessed the process of mitosis in onion peel cells under a microscope. Undergraduate experiences such as research and advanced biology courses have strengthened my resolve to pursue a career in biological sciences. Outside of class, I like to read fiction novels, hike and travel. Additionally, I also enjoy volunteering at the food bank in San Antonio.
My name is Simay Dolaner. I am a senior at Bahcesehir University (Istanbul, Turkey) majoring in Molecular Biology and Genetics. Since March 2018, I have been working as an undergraduate research assistant in a cancer biology laboratory at Bahcesehir University. I am fascinated by the unexpected nature of cancer cells and particularly focused on examining the gene pathways which lead to tumor development and identifying genes that cause diverse effects in different types of cancer. I am thrilled by the opportunity of integration of computational approaches and practical investigations to see the big picture along with the small details which are hidden in the corners. After completing my undergraduate degree, I am planning to improve myself in the field of Cancer Biology and take my studies to a more advanced level with MSc. and Ph.D. degrees. Outside of the lab, I enjoy traveling, painting, reading, and philosophical thinking, which expands my horizon and enables me to think outside of the box.
My name is Mehdi Elfiali and I am a rising junior at Columbia University where I am pursuing a Biology major, as well as a Chemistry minor. I am originally from Montclair, NJ. I spent my first year of college at Wesleyan University -- before transferring to Columbia -- where I played on the Men’s Varsity Soccer Team. In my free time, I like to listen to music, exercise, spend quality time with family and friends, and experience new cultures through their cuisine. My passion for research, along with my personal interest in cancer, led me to join the Abate-Shen Laboratory. Currently, I am working on a project that seeks to better understand prostate cancer initiation through the use of genetically-engineered mouse models (GEMM’s). Ultimately, I intend to pursue becoming an MD-PhD, allowing me to continue doing research and also have a positive impact on the day-to-day lives of my patients.
I am a rising sophomore at Oxford College of Emory University, where I am majoring in the Quantitative Sciences, concentrating in Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology, with a minor in Science, Culture, and Society. I live in Plano, Texas. My passion for biomedical research led me join the Liang lab at Emory University School of Medicine to work remotely with the computational subgroup in analyzing cryo-EM data. Outside of my work and studies, I love to read literary classics, from Animal Farm to Treasure Island, create art, play the viola, and write and read poetry. After graduation, I plan to pursue a research career as an M.D./Ph. D in Oncology. I am fascinated by the intersection between scientific research and clinical medicine. As an MD-PhD, I will be able to gain insights from a clinical perspective that will deepen my understanding on specific, disease-related research questions.
I am a senior at Florida Atlantic University double majoring in Biology and Neuroscience. I am from Miami, Fl and the daughter of two Cuban immigrants. As a first generation Cuban American, I saw that with hard work and dedication anything is achievable. My passion for biochemistry and genetics guided me to join Stanhope Lab at FAU John D. MacArthur Campus in Jupiter. My current research focuses on the manipulation of pigmentation gene Homeodomain Interacting Protein Kinase 2 (hipk2) in danio rerio. After graduation I plan to pursue a PhD in Biomedical Sciences to investigate cellular diseases and possible methods of treatments. Outside of research my passions are art, baseball, and traveling.
I grew up in Hunan Province, China. Currently, I am a rising sophomore at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, double-majoring in Biochemistry and Cognitive Science. I have been obsessed with cancer research because of my mother’s decade-long battle with cancer. Since grade ten, I started reading about the human immune system and its cancer-fighting mechanism and am determined to devote myself into cancer research as my life-long career, helping more cancer patients and their families. I aspire to pursue a PhD in the future and focus on the field of Chimeric Antigen Receptor T cell (CAR-T cell), to study how it can be re-engineered to attack solid tumor. In my spare time, I love working out and doing all kinds of court sports including tennis, badminton, and basketball. I am also keen to explore the outdoors via cycling, mountain climbing, hiking, and traveling (road-trips most of the time).
My name is Viveka Jain, and I’m currently a rising sophomore at New York University majoring in Global Public Health/Biology and minoring in Genetics. I am originally from Long Island, New York. Science has always been my favorite subject, and my extracurricular experiences throughout high school and college have only increased my desire to study it at the graduate level. I am very interested in biological research, especially translational research. My postgraduate plans include pursuing an MD-PhD and eventually working at the interface between the clinic and the laboratory as a physician-scientist. I am also passionate about learning about biomedical science in its sociocultural context, which fuels my interest in public health. Outside of academics, I like painting (especially portraits), reading (I’m reading The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot at the moment, and highly recommend it), and volunteering through various community service organizations.
I am a rising junior majoring in chemistry and concentrating in neuroscience and public health at Williams College. I am from San Diego, CA. My research interests include oncology and molecular biology with a focus on neuroscience. Previously, I conducted computational research to elucidate metabolic pathways attributed to bladder cancer and the inflammatory bowel diseases. Through the CRSP program, I hope to gain insight on biological research and the scientific investigation process. After graduating from Williams, I would like to attend medical school and ultimately work as a physician. Outside of research, I love rock climbing, swimming, and playing the cello.
I am a junior at the University of Pittsburgh majoring in Biological Sciences and minoring in Chemistry with guaranteed admission to the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. I was born in State College, Pennsylvania, but I have lived most of my life in Pittsburgh, so my loyalties lie with the Pitt Panthers. I have been a research intern at Dr. Yingze Zhang’s Translational Research Core Lab at the University of Pittsburgh for around three years, which kindled my interest in research. I was most involved in a project regarding Toll-interacting protein (TOLLIP) and its role in protecting bleomycin-induced apoptosis. In my free time, I play acoustic guitar, paint with watercolors, and follow competitive figure skating.
I was born in Michigan, USA and raised in Bangalore, India; giving me the opportunity to assimilate different cultures. I’m currently pursuing my undergraduate studies at St Joseph’s college (Autonomous), Bangalore – majoring in Biotechnology, Zoology and Chemistry. From mapping genetic pedigree charts in high school to understanding the role it plays in various biological systems –Genetics, molecular biology and stem cell research have been my predominant areas of interest. I’m passionate about working in the field of research, to find solutions for medical conditions, at the microscopic level. My project on natural farming and hybrid seeds, helped me understand the stereotypes in the field of genetics and I thrive to help break these myopic notions. Theoretical projects on cell signaling pathways broadened my horizons on how different cellular processes are interrelated, which I find truly intriguing. After graduation, I plan to pursue my masters and PhD in these fields of science. Beyond academics, I’m a classical singer and hold a four year diploma in fine arts, with a keen interest in creating art from different eras. I also love travelling, discovering new places and cultures.
Sung Jae Lee
I am currently a third-year student at the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, with an ambition to pursue a Pharm.D./Ph.D. dual degree. At my university, I am involved in Honors Research, with a focus on interstitial lung disease and nitric oxide. Outside of the lab, I hold the position of Class Council President and co-founded a non-profit organization in New Brunswick, NJ, aiming to humanize the homeless population. I am also a volunteer vaccinator at the largest COVID-19 vaccine clinic in New Jersey. I hope to translate my experiences into a career as a university professor pursuing oncology research.
In my free time, I enjoy golfing, playing soccer, cooking, shopping, and going to the gym with my friends. Lastly, I cherish traveling to Korea to spend time with my family, who all reside there.
My name is Jennifer Lin and I am from Virginia. I am currently a freshman at the College of William & Mary. I plan on majoring in the Computation Biology and Applied Mathematics Track. My interests include genetic biology, cellular biology, biostatistics, and computational modeling. In my free-time, I like to read, draw, and play the piano and violin.
I’m Jenny, and I’m currently a rising third-year student at the University of Toronto, St. George campus. I am double majoring in Molecular Genetics & Microbiology and Immunology, and minoring in Creative Expression & Society. Though I was born in Ontario, I grew up in New York, where I attended Scarsdale High School. As a U of T student, I am a Laidlaw Research & Leadership Scholar studying the regulation of transcription factor Runx3 expression within early proprioceptor development with the De Nooij Laboratory of the Department of Neurology at Columbia University. I am also working with the Anderson Lab at U of T’s Department of Immunology to better understand the role of Runx factors in transcriptional regulation of early thymocyte development. By delving into both sensory neuron development and thymocyte development, I aim to elucidate the regulation of Runx genes through the analysis of their cross-systems roles. Following graduation, I hope to earn an M.D./Ph.D. and work as a physician-scientist as well as provide immigrant and underrepresented undergraduates opportunities to pursue STEM. Outside of academics and research, I volunteer as a grant writer for a local charity and am an incoming U of T Residence Don. I also enjoy reading and writing poetry, practicing skateboarding and volleyball, embroidering old T-shirts, and listening to alternative rock.
Hello everyone! My name is Roosevelt Lu, but most people know me as Ross Lu. I was born and raised on the island of Oahu. Currently, I am attending Cornell University as a rising junior studying Biological Sciences and concentrating in Computational Biology. My hobbies include playing basketball and the cello. After graduation, I plan to work in the research field and hopefully attend Medical School. My research interests are in immunology and cancer. Last summer, I worked at my local hospital, Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children. During winter breaks, I routinely volunteer at the Adventist Health Castle hospital as a COPE Health Scholar. I’m excited to meet the instructors and other participants in this program.
My name is Tiler McPherson, I’m a rising senior at Hampton University, currently majoring in biology on the pre medical track. My passion for studying science has been eminent since I was in middle school. I am interested in conducting research in cancer and infectious diseases. During my free time I like to dance, spend time with family traveling, and eat at restaurants I’ve never been to. I also like to tutor young children and volunteer at food banks. In the coming weeks I aspire to start my very own non profit community service organization, where I would make care packages for those in need. Upon graduation, I aspire to attend medical school to one day work in family medicine or as a pediatrician. Through the CRSP program, I intend on learning how to accurately conduct research, as well as gaining the knowledge and techniques I'll need to be successful in the medical field. Later on down the road, I plan on sharing my knowledge in science with those who are interested, while also aiming to encourage the youth in both mine and less fortunate communities.
Angelina Quint is a health and human rights activist passionate about making a positive difference in the world. Born in California, she has moved over fourteen times in her life and has had the incredible opportunity of meeting an array of different people—each with their own stories, backgrounds, and beliefs. As a result, she has come to embrace the true diversity of others and strives to continuously bring all people to the table. Angelina’s lifelong goal is to enact positive global change—whether it be by advocating for the rights of individuals with disabilities, improving the living conditions of unhoused populations, or bridging the world’s health disparities. In college and beyond, she sees herself focusing her attention on initiatives that inspire change through the intersection of health, medicine, research, community service, and human rights advocacy. As an aspiring physician, researcher, public health advocate, and human rights activist, Angelina aims to continue uplifting the voices of underrepresented populations and discovering new ways to solve the world’s health barriers. Beyond her passions for science and community service work, Angelina enjoys reading, sparking spontaneous conversations, exploring dessert shops, and traveling the world.
I was born in Akron, Ohio and grew up right outside the city in Green. Currently, I am a sophomore studying Neuroscience and Spanish at the University of Michigan. This past year, I participated in a research project dedicated to surgical training education in residency programs across the nation, in which I hope to complete my first publication. I have also accepted a laboratory position next year to research the molecular mechanisms of bariatric surgery components. My research interests lie in the intersection of neural mechanisms and surgical practices. After graduating, I hope to pursue a MD/PhD joint degree in order to be established as a practicing physician while continuing to indulge my intellectual curiosity. My professional goals include pursuing a surgical career while contributing to the advancements of the medical field with cultivating research findings. Outside of laboratory research, I remain active in school by participating in a project team focused on nutritional improvements of children with Cerebral Palsy in low-income areas in South Asia. In my free time, I love travelling and being outdoors- especially hiking!
My name is Precella Silvia and I live in Surabaya, Indonesia. Currently, I’m a sophomore at University of Surabaya majoring Biotechnology. I discovered my interest in Biology when I was in Middle School and managed to join Biology Olympiad Club in High School. I participated many competitions ranging from Science, Literature, and Arts during my school life. Besides that, I also love music. I played piano since I was in second grade and it became one of my hobbies. For the last 2 years, I learned to make digital artworks and it lead me to have my own online business. In my college, I’m also an activist in sounding student’s aspirations by joining Student’s Representative Board. This year, I’m qualified to teach as an assistant in Analytical Chemistry laboratory. My passion of teaching always makes me wanted to become a private tutor. I currently teach Mathematics, Physics, and Chemistry for middle / high schoolers. My dream is to pursue my PhD overseas and do more research in biomedicine, bioinformatics, and also renewable bioenergy. So that, I can find affordable cure for those in needs and make some new sources of renewable energy for the people in my beloved country, Indonesia.
Hello! My name is Shruthi Sivasubramanian and I am a freshman at the University of Massachusetts Amherst studying Psychology with a focus on Neuroscience. I am planning to go into Medicine and/or research. In my free time, I enjoy listening to music, taking photos, and sewing!
I am a junior at Baylor University majoring in Health Science Studies with a minor in Biology. I am also a part of one of the Honors programs and a first-generation college student. I am originally from New Jersey. I am the youngest son of Enrique and Reina Solis.
My interests are in attending a MD/PhD program to do research and practice in the medical field. One of the areas I plan to specialize is in Oncology with an interest in Hematology-Oncology to work towards future treatments for patients in the laboratory and in a clinical setting. I hope to be able to have my own medical practice while maintaining my research work in the laboratory. In my free time, I enjoy traveling, hiking, and practicing yoga. I also serve my community by volunteering at a hospice center and a charity organization.
I am a junior at the University of Washington majoring in bioengineering and minoring in mathematics. I grew up in Taipei, Taiwan and I went to high school in Queensland, Australia. I am passionate about discoveries in the life sciences that contribute to a holistic understanding of the causes of diseases. Aside from research in cellular and molecular biology, I am also passionate about using engineering principles in the context of biomedical research to design tools that solve problems in diagnostics and treatment of diseases. Currently, I am investigating the interaction between SARS-CoV-2 viral proteins and host proteins. I am also working on an aptamer discovery project for my senior capstone. Outside of academics and research, I spend time swimming, playing the piano, walking my dogs and cooking.
Previous CRSP Scholars
Yuanyun "Rose" Huang - Liao Lab
I'm a junior studying general biology in Cornell University. I am from Beijing, China. I have great interests in tackling biological problem with quantitative and mathematics approaches, and my long-term goal is to pursue Ph.D. in biophysics that contains both theoretical study and bench work. I'm currently working in a crystallography lab studying the structure of macromolecular using varies physical methods. Outside of classes, I participate in the Chinese drama club doing backstage work and work as a biology student advisor helping with freshman in their first-year transition. I also like to tree climbing.
Morgan Martin - Puigserver Lab
My name is Morgan Martin. I was born and raised in Atlanta, GA, and, currently, I am a junior at Hampton University, majoring in Cellular and Molecular Biology. I have had a passion for science since elementary school, and my undergraduate experiences have increased my desire to explore the biological sciences at the graduate level. My research interests include microbiology and immunology, particularly infectious diseases. Outside of the laboratory, I enjoy traveling, dancing, reading, and volunteering through various community service organizations. I would love to eventually share my passion for biomedical research with the next generation of aspiring biologists.
Kendall Oliver - Liberles Lab
I am rising junior at Yale University where I am majoring in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology. I am originally from Orlando, FL. In my free time, I love to travel, spend time with friends and family, and go camping and kayaking. I also spend much of my free time volunteering at the CT Hospice. My current research in the Breslow Lab involves the use of functional genomic tools to dissect ciliogensis of the mammalian primary cilium. After graduation, I would like to attend a MD/PhD program and ultimately work as a physician scientist. Through the CRSP program, I hope to expand my knowledge of biological research science and gain the scientific skills necessary for my success.
Rhea Sahu - Moazed Lab
I was born in India, and moved to Switzerland when I was twelve years old. I am currently a third year Honors international student at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) majoring in Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology, with a minor in Biomedical Research. My passion for research and molecular biology, especially epigenetics, led me to join the Jacobsen Lab at UCLA. My present project involves identifying DNAJ1 domains for transcriptional activation and SUVH1 recruitment function in a methylation-directed transcriptional activator complex in Arabidopsis. After graduation, I plan on attending graduate school in order to obtain a PhD and continue my research career. Some of my interests outside of lab include dancing and performing, mentoring undergraduates who want to get involved in research, volunteering at soup kitchens and food banks, hiking, and reading.
Asjah Wallace - Haigis Lab
My name is Asjah Wallace and I am junior Cellular Molecular Biology major at Hampton University. I am originally from Charlotte, North Carolina. I am a member of the MARC Program as well as Beta Kappa Chi Honor Society. At my home institution, I have worked in 2 labs over the past two years as an intramural research opportunity. I am interested in pursuing my PhD in Cancer Biology with the intent of research Tumor Angiogenesis. I want to make an impact on the world with what I can discover through my research. Outside of research, I would love to travel the world and experience different cultures and their cuisines.
Lianjie "Jerry" Wei - Shao Lab
I was born and grew up in Beijing, China, and I came to the U.S. at the age of 15 for high school. I am now a junior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill majoring biochemistry and biology. At UNC, I engage in research focusing on the structure-function-inhibition relationship of a class of gut microbial enzymes critical in enterohepatic recirculation and gut toxicity of drugs. I would like to do research in cell biology to broaden my views as an aspiring scientist and to add more experimental techniques to my toolbox. I would love to pursue a PhD and a career in life sciences to help developing therapeutics for people suffering from chronic diseases and genetic disorders. In my free time, I love traveling, playing soccer, climbing, reading, and trying all kinds of cuisines.
Linh Chu - Haigis Lab
I am a junior at Gustavus Adolphus College, majoring in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology with minor in Management. I am from Hanoi, Vietnam. Upon graduation, I want to obtain a PhD and pursue biomedical science career, with the goal to help improve the community’s health conditions within my laboratory. I also love traveling, learning about other cultures, trying different cuisines and sharing my passion with people coming from different backgrounds in doing researches.
Chloe Le Moing - Chouchani Lab
I was born in Trenton, New Jersey and grew up near the shore. I attended a magnet high school specializing in biotechnology, where I conducted independent research projects and cultivated my passion for biological sciences. I’m currently attending Cornell University, engaging in research on the molecular nutrition of selenium and the functional genomics of antioxidant enzymes. I aim to pursue a PhD in cellular biology so I may go into professional research, a career which I have long aspired for. I would love to explore the field of astrobiology at some point in my time as a student and researcher, as well as gain experience teaching others about the joy of studying life science. My current interests include art, taiko, backpacking, and urban exploration.
Aislinn Mayfield - Van Vactor Lab
I am a junior biology major at Carleton College. My interests include cancer cell growth and regeneration as well as cell signaling in the central nervous system. In addition to my interests in cell biology, I also have a passion for visual art. My health-related externships and research experience as a TRIO McNair Scholar have sparked my desire to pursue a research-focused medical career. Overall, I hope to continue building my background in biological science and further develop my research skills. These experiences will continue to prepare me for a research-oriented career and further motivate me to become a medical researcher.
Olutosin "Tosin" Owoeymi - Harper Lab
I am currently a student at The Johns Hopkins University pursuing a B.S. in Molecular & Cellular Biology. I am a US-born, first-generation immigrant born to parents who immigrated to the United States from Nigeria. I was raised in Ellicott City, MD where my advanced science professors in high school first introduced me to the world of research. I have been deeply passionate about biology since my accelerated biology course in my first year of high school and have recently developed a strong inclination towards cancer biology. My passion for biology resulted in my matriculation to a university deeply centered around the importance of research where I could be introduced to a field that I had not previously explored. I have explored protein interactions between 14-3-3 and N-myc Down Regulated Gene1, the cause of prostate cell neurodifferentiation, and androgen treatment as a possible repair mechanism trigger at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins under the direction of Sushant Kachhap, PhD. In my research, I am particularly interested in discovering more common genetic causes of cancer as well as understanding how genetic abnormalities may disrupt different signaling pathways. Outside of the lab, I enjoy dancing competitively, educating other students on campus about African cultures, mentoring underrepresented students, volunteering as a patient advocate at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, and cooking.
Hayley Schultz - Moazed Lab
I am a junior at Vassar College majoring in Biology. I became obsessed with biology as a high school sophomore and still am. I’m particularly fascinated by epigenetics and cellular biology with a focus on human health. Ultimately, I plan to pursue a PhD and prepare to teach and inspire undergraduate students to pursue careers in Biology. My independent research at Vassar focuses on the function of miR-33 in pigmentation regulation in the AKT/insulin signaling pathway in Drosophila. In addition to my academic pursuits, I’m a member of the Varsity Swim Team and have a love for training and competition.
Milky Abajorga - King Lab
I grew up in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and am a junior at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). I transferred from Clark University and currently study Biomedical Sciences and Biotechnology, and Molecular Biology. I am interested in molecular biology and hope to pursue a career in academia doing extensive research in molecular biology and genetic engineering. I am obsessed with p53 and find yeast and drosophila absolutely amazing for their genetic epidemic to that of humans. My prior research experience includes researching the chaperone protein, Hsp90, in Saccharomyces cerevisae to investigate the fitness landscape of the middle domain of this heat shock protein. I am also interested in public health and have traveled to Haiti and China to observe and participate in the administration of healthcare. I enjoys reading and dancing though my dancing skills are, to say the least, not exceptional. I also love traveling and indulging in various cuisines.
Ashwin Balaji - Liao Lab
I was born in Upland, California and have lived in and around the Greater Los Angeles Area my entire life along with my mother, my father, and my older brother, residing in the cities of Claremont, Upland, Rancho Cucamonga, and Rialto. I attended Saint Mark’s Episcopal School for pre-school through eighth grade and Damien High School. I currently attend Amherst College and am a member of the Class of 2019. Academically, I am most interested in biology at the molecular and cellular level, leading me to a major in Amherst College’s Biochemistry & Biophysics Program. I have also found interest in and involved myself in activities such as debate and mock trial. Outside of these academic pursuits, I enjoy many hobbies and interests such as golfing, fishing, working on and driving remote control cars, hiking, spending time at local beaches, and pursuing various musical endeavors. Music has been an especially large portion of my life. I began with lessons in guitar and piano at the age of eight and involved myself in many ensembles during high school such as the drumline and the concert band. Currently, I am a member of a Jazz combo at Amherst College, in which I play drum set. Beyond music at Amherst College, I also play with the Amherst College Men’s Ultimate Frisbee Team. My biography is not complete without mentioning my joy of spending time with family, especially my supportive extended family members also living in California. I always look forward to our frequent gatherings.
Kayla Ingram - Van Vactor Lab
I am a Chicago, Illinois native attending Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia as a MARC scholar/trainee, and a molecular/cellular biology major interested in pursuing a biomedical research career in neuroscience and education initiatives. I am a Illinois Math and Science Academy alumna where I completed and published research on the motivational factors of gifted and talented Black and Latino students engaged in STEM. I am currently doing biomedical research on the toxicity mechanisms of tau oligomers in Alzheimer’s Disease at Hampton University, and previously did summer research at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine on finding substrates of UBE3A with intentions of understanding Angelman Syndrome and related neurodevelopmental disorders. Ultimately, I hope to own a neuroscience research facility where I can provide nonconventional opportunities producing STEM and biomedical research education initiatives for underrepresented students.
In my free time, I enjoys basking in nature, learning and experiencing new things, admiring and engaging in all forms of art, reading books of many genres, conversing with friends, and volunteering as a tutor and mentor of underrepresented students.
April Lee - Haigis Lab
I am currently a junior at Cornell University completing a degree in Biology, with a concentration in Molecular and Cellular Biology. I grew up in Sudbury, Massachusetts where I attended Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School, though I am currently residing in Alpharetta, Georgia. I first realized that I wished to pursue the field of molecular and cellular biology during my biology class sophomore year of high school. Since then, I have tried to be as involved in and learn as much about biology as I can, whether that be through taking interesting biology classes at college or spending the vast majority of my free time in lab. I have held two research positions prior to this program. One was in the Laboratory of Nanomedicine and Biomaterials at Brigham and Women’s Hospital where I conducted research on nanoparticles containing anti-cancer drugs. The other was part of my undergraduate studies in Cornell’s Department of Molecular Medicine using both classic molecular techniques and structural biology to analyze the function of various proteins. In this lab I’ve successfully purified, crystalized and obtained the structure of the active site-containing domain of an endonuclease, which revealed its catalytic mechanism. I was also heavily involved in solving the structure and mechanism of the DNA binding domain of another protein. I am very interested in studying the molecular mechanisms behind cellular functions and pathways, especially in terms of cellular aging and disease. When I am not spending my time in class or in the lab, I enjoy being an active executive member of Alpha Chi Sigma, a professor chemistry fraternity, and captaining the Alpha Chi Sigma intramural soccer team that I founded. I also enjoy playing tennis, basketball, softball and horseback riding when possible. I love cell biology and hope to continue to study and research it as much as I can!
Susana Najera - Harper Lab
I was born and raised in Tijuana, Mexico and immigrated to the United States at the age of 12. I a first-generation college student at San Diego State University double-majoring in cellular and molecular biology, and Spanish, with a minors in chemistry, counseling, and social change. During my time at San Diego State, I have joined 11 honor societies, been an active member of five campus organizations, and contributed countless hours to volunteer work with underserved populations. I have maintained a 3.94 GPA while conducting laboratory research at San Diego State, interning at the UCSD Medical Center, mentoring middle and high school students, and serving as a STEM ambassador for local youth. After graduation I plan to complete an M.D./Ph.D. program focusing on oncology research to prepare for a career teaching at the university level, while conducting clinical research in the biomedical sciences. I enjoy hiking, reading, and serving my community through mentorship, tutoring, and by providing free health care services through different on-campus organizations.
Nathaniel Rolfe - Shi Lab
I grew up in San Marino, California, a suburb of Los Angeles. I am the only child of two international bankers, one specializing in Asia and the other in Latin America. In elementary school, I became engrossed in baseball and developed into a Red Sox fan, due to my father’s roots in Boston. At the age of 12, my passion for baseball would lead to a slipped vertebra, which would have to be surgically fused. During my recovery from the surgery, I became immersed in physics, a passion that morphed into an interest for almost every branch of science. It was during my time spent in the hospital that I began to entertain the idea that I might one day become a medical researcher. As I entered high school, I returned to the baseball field while continuing my studies in science. In 2015, I began studying at Haverford College and joined Haverford College’s cricket team, the only varsity cricket team in the United States. While the undergraduate years are, undeniably, a time of change, my love for the natural sciences, and in particular for biology, has only grown during my time at Haverford, and cricket has proved to be an interesting alternative to baseball.
Preethiya Sekar - Salic Lab
I am a junior at Carleton College majoring in Biology with a minor in Biochemistry and South Asian Studies. My coursework and research experience in the biomedical sciences have affirmed my interest in the field of cancer biology. After college, I plan on pursuing some form of graduate studies focused specifically cancer biology. In addition to research, I am interested in studies concerning South Asia and making STEM more accessible to underserved populations. In my free time I love to run, play soccer, and knit.
Madeline Topf - Liberles Lab
My name is Maddie Topf and I am a junior at Carleton College. I'm from Ames, Iowa. In addition to being on the women's soccer team at Carleton, I play clarinet in a quintet and serve as a board member of a cooking club. I'm interested in cellular neuroscience as well as the brain-gut link. I love being able to see the stars at night.
Felicia Wranitz - Moazed Lab
I am a rising junior at the University of Pittsburgh, majoring in Biology and Anthropology, with a minor in Chemistry. Upon graduating I hope to pursue an MD/PhD. I am passionate about genetics and am currently doing genetics based fertility research at Magee Womens Research Institute in Pittsburgh at the Rajkovic laboratory. I am especially interested in gene regulation and epigenetics. This summer I will be researching in the field of genetics in the laboratory of Dr. Moazed as part of the CRSP Internship Program at Harvard.
I am the daughter of William and Theresa Wranitz who preside in rural Pennsylvania, and I am very involved in my community. I enjoy volunteering in my local emergency room, at local schools and library, and with the Special Olympics. I am a Girl Scout, and earned my Gold Award for writing a book of science experiments for elementary school children. I also received the Girl Scout Trail Blazer Award for my work helping to inspire girls to pursue their dreams and explore areas that interest them, especially in the sciences. In my free time I enjoy Polynesian dancing, and perform at luaus throughout my community; I even performed at Walt Disney World.
Breanna Titchen - Finley Lab
I am a current sophomore at Gettysburg College who is highly interested in Cell Biology, and more specifically, Cancer Biology. I am completing my BS degree in Biology, with a minor in Chemistry. I am very passionate about scientific research and intend to obtain my Ph.D. in Molecular Biology with a Cancer Biology concentration. In my spare time, I enjoy reading a myriad of novels, fundraising for cancer, administering fitness, teaching yoga, and running. My main goal in life is to study cells and cancer with hopes of helping others along the way.
Margaret Weber - Shi Lab
I am from Pittsburgh, PA and am currently a sophomore at Middlebury College. My interests lie at the intersection of medicine and research. I am fascinated by the complexities of biological processes including tumor growth, genetics, and infectious diseases. Additionally, I was fascinated to find aspects of research such as problem solving and reasoning to also be applicable to multifaceted global issues. My fascination in global issues has led me to present at a conference in Qatar, study the Holocaust in Poland, and implement a fundraiser to buy a solar panel for a school in rural Nepal. My travels and experiences have given me a unique view of the world and have influenced my desire to use my passion for medicine to help others. Next fall, I am hoping to travel to India, South Africa, and Brazil to study global health. My passion for both the sciences and international studies led me to a liberal arts college where I can pursue both interests through a Molecular Biology and Biochemistry major and a prospective South Asia Studies minor. Outside of the classroom, my hobbies include painting, charcoal drawing, hiking, and rock climbing.