Melanie Brady is a 6th year graduate student in the Interdepartmental Neuroscience Program (INP). Melanie’s graduate work under the mentorship of her thesis advisor, Professor Flora Vaccarino, focuses on the development of human induced pluripotent cell (iPSC)-derived organoids to study the developmental origins of Tourette syndrome. Her research objectives are to uncover the molecular underpinnings of Tourette syndrome that could lead to clinical therapies. Melanie has been very active in the Yale community and has taken an active role in diversity and inclusion initiatives. Through her work in the office of Diversity, Inclusion, Community and Engagement (DICE) she created the “Relate, Elevate, Succeed, Take Heed” (R.E.S.T.) lecture series, where MD/PhD alumni of color return to campus to talk about their careers after leaving Yale. Melanie is involved in a number of teaching and outreach activities for children of underrepresented backgrounds in the New Haven community with an emphasis on enlightening high school and undergraduate students to the areas of STEM. She has taught at many summer events such as the Pathways to Science Summer Scholars Program. Here at Yale Melanie works tirelessly to bring various underrepresented groups together to improve campus community and belonging.
Sharif Kronemer is a 5th year graduate student in the Interdepartmental Neuroscience Program (INP) and he is conducting his thesis work in the laboratory of Professor Hal Blumenfeld. Sharif is a Gruber Fellow and has been extremely active throughout his graduate career by taking on several leadership positions here at Yale. Sharif has been a representative of the INP graduate students at the Graduate Student Assembly and has chaired the INP outreach committee where he organized efforts to connect with middle and high school teachers to bring neuroscience to the classrooms of schools in the greater New Haven area. Sharif was a co-director of the OpenLabs project which runs events to promote science through interactive demonstrations for middle and high school children. He continues to be heavily involved in outreach, teaching and public speaking about science to the New Haven community. Sharif’s graduate work in Professor Blumenfeld’s laboratory focuses on the identification of the spatial and temporal characteristics for the neural mechanisms of visual consciousness. His thesis research is on track to make significant contributions towards a better understanding of the fundamental brain networks for consciousness and may offer clinical insight towards detecting and treating patients with disorders of consciousness.