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Students & Trainees

  • Ryan Bahar is a fourth-year medical student at Yale School of Medicine and aspiring diagnostic radiologist and clinician-educator. Upon graduating, he will stay at Yale for a preliminary medicine year in 2024-2025 before pursuing residency in diagnostic radiology at the University of California San Francisco. Ryan proudly descends from Michigan farmers on his mom's side and, on his father's, Iranians who fled to the U.S. after facing persecution in the 1980's. He grew up in Georgetown, MA, where he was valedictorian of his high school class and went on to study Neuroscience at Brown University. At Brown, Ryan worked full time while completing his studies, teaching in the Providence and Brown communities, conducting sleep research, and volunteering as an EMT. He graduated magna cum laude as the Department of Neuroscience prize recipient in 2018. In between college and medical school, Ryan pursued a Fulbright Scholarship as a cultural ambassador and English teacher in rural Czech Republic. At Yale, he has been heavily involved with radiology and medical education scholarship. Under the mentorship of Mariam Aboian, MD, PhD, he studied diverse applications of artificial intelligence in neuro-oncology, focusing on machine learning tools that can predict glioma tumor grade as well as volumetric tools for assessing treatment response in pediatric low-grade gliomas. Additionally, Ryan has engaged in projects aiming to uplift the role of the clinician-educator in academic medicine, namely a study of clinician-educator track-like programs in U.S. medical schools (mentored by Janet Hafler, EdD) and another study quantifying and evaluating faculty educational activities (under Jeremy Moeller, MD, MSc). His scholarly efforts have culminated in first-author publications in Cancers, Frontiers in Oncology, Medical Education Online and Neurology: Education. Most recently, advised by Thilan Wijesekera, MD, MHS, he completed his doctoral thesis entitled, "Radiology Education for U.S. Medical Students in 2024: A State-of-the-Art Analysis." Outside of research, Ryan has held extensive leadership and teaching roles at Yale. During his final year, he produced and oversaw the Fourth Year Show ("YSM: Yale School of Mystery"). Earlier in medical school, he reestablished the Medical Education Interest Group, co-developed a Medical Education elective, and collaborated on the blueprint for the new Medical Education Concentration. He also enacted changes to class recording and attendance policies and developed a protocol for responding to national incidents of trauma as one of four Medical Student Council officers representing the student body in Deans meetings. As Head Admissions Ambassador, he shaped the applicant interview day experience as well as post-acceptance recruitment through the Second Look Planning Committee. He has co-led the Diagnostic Radiology Interest Group since his first year and is the medical student liaison for the Radiological Society of Connecticut Resident and Fellow Section. He has engaged in near-peer teaching as a peer instructor for ultrasound workshops, session facilitator for the Introduction to the Profession course, associate course director for the Clinical Reasoning course, and interview instructor for the Clinical Skills course. He helped developed curriculum on caring for transgender and gender diverse patients for the Clerkship precedes. He has also served the broader New Haven community co-leading the Anatomy Teaching Program for high school students and volunteering as a patient navigator. In his spare time, he is an avid amateur long-distance runner (having finished the Newport Marathon and REVEL Mt. Charleston Marathon in 2023), downhill skier, and bell collector.
  • Postgraduate Associate

    Whitney (she/her/hers) is a second-year Ph.D. student in the Social and Behavioral Sciences Department. After completing her MPH at YSPH in 2020, she joined the Housing and Health Equity Lab, directed by Dr. Danya Keene. Whitney has worked on multiple projects in the lab, including Project ReSIDe, a mixed-methods, longitudinal R01 investigating the impacts of rental assistance and diabetes, and the COVID Eviction Project, a series of interviews investigating the impacts of rental moratoria during the pandemic. She is committed to understanding how housing can impact mental and physical health equity. Her dissertation research will focus on how housing displacement due to extreme climate events impacts individual and community health.
  • Kenneth is an MD-PhD student pursuing PhD training in the Department of Epidemiology of Microbial Disease advised by Ted Cohen. His work uses spatial and decision-analytic methods to improve the control and care of childhood tuberculosis. His scientific interests are in using modeling to extend clinical and epidemiological research to address critical problems in public health. His career aspiration is to be a physician-scientist who advocates for children, families, and communities, with a particular focus on improving access to evidence-based healthcare.
  • Research Associate 3, HSS

    Originally from the rural South, Tyler Harvey is a MD/PhD (Public Health) student at the Yale School of Medicine. Tyler holds a BA in Urban Studies from Rhodes College and MPH from the Yale School of Public Health. Prior to graduate school, Tyler was a Thomas J. Watson fellow where they completed an international fellowship across six diverse low-income countries titled, "Embodied Poverty: Experiences and Voices of the Poor, Sick, and Surviving." As a graduate student in public health, Tyler served as the Executive Director of HAVEN Free Clinic, a student-run primary health care clinic that partners with Yale to provide services to the New Haven community free of charge. Prior to beginning the MD/PhD program, Tyler was the Center Administrator at the SEICHE Center for Health and Justice, an academic center focused on addressing the health harms of mass incarceration. From 2023 - 2024, Tyler was a Public Voices Fellow with TheOpEdProject in partnership with the AcademyHealth, publishing numerous opinion pieces on health equity in top media outlets, including The Hill and Newsweek. As a MD/PhD candidate, Tyler plans to pursue a PhD in Public Health. Tyler's research focuses on examining structural determinants of health and understanding how to improve the health of marginalized populations. Tyler's research has been published in leading medical and public health journals, such as JAMA Network Open, LGBT Health, and Social Science and Medicine and has been used alongside work with local and international agencies, including the NYC Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice and World Health Organization.
  • Postdoctoral Fellow

    Luis Miguel Mestre, Ph.D., MS, is a Post Doctoral Fellow at The Consultation Center, Department of Psychiatry. Dr. Mestre's got his Ph.D. in Epidemiology with a minor in Data Science from Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington; his doctoral training was focused on quantitative epidemiology, statistics, obesity, aging, cigarette smoking, and health disparities. Dr. Mestre's current work as a post-doctoral fellow is in substance use, especially cigarette smoking, health disparities and substance use, and substance and obesity from a psychosocial perspective. Recent projects include polysubstance use in marginalized groups, clinical trials intervention in smoking cessation, food aversion, and eating disorders and their interaction with tobacco use, and substance use and obesity.
  • I am a Yale medical student who is currently pursuing a research year with the Vascular Medical OutcomeS (VAMOS) lab, where I investigate how social determinants of health impact carotid revascularization outcomes. In addition, I currently sit on the Yale Safety and Security Committee as a Student Representative. My current career goal is becoming an academic medicine cardiologist who conducts clinical outcomes research while providing mentorship to underserved/underrepresented medical students. My premedical, public health, and clinical endeavors have largely been shaped by working with Hispanic/Latino and uninsured/low-income populations. I have also worked with Hispanic/Latino populations through premedical mentorship, serving as the premed liaison for YSM’s Latino Medical Student Association / National Medical Student Association as well as leading the MD cohort for the inaugural Yale PATHS program, where Yale MD / PhD / MD-PhD students provide longitudinal, individualized mentorship for underserved/underrepresented premedical students across the country. I also serve as a medical school Personal Statement Reviewer at the Yale Office of Career Strategy, and advise premedical students in my own time. As Student Representative on the Yale Safety and Security Committee, I help the committee identify and manage safety/security projects such as traffic safety. Prior, I served as YSM Traffic Safety Representative, where I brought classmate concerns to respective committees, advocated and wrote letters/letter templates for local hearings concerning traffic safety, and educated/updated peers on local traffic safety issues. Traffic safety/design is often treated as an afterthought in both the medical and public health realms, when in reality it is a key player for many of the medical/public health disparities we face. Through my endeavors, I hope to make New Haven a safer, more walkable/accessible city.
  • Alex is a graduate student in the Levy Decision Neuroscience Lab at Yale. She received her B.S. in Neuroscience from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities where she worked with Drs. Ann Haynos and Lisa Anderson to investigate decision-making and ruminative processes in eating disorders. This work, in tandem with her time in Dr. Ben Hayden's lab examining the neural basis of decision-making in rhesus monkeys, lent to her current interests in translational neuroscience research examining transdiagnostic properties of cognition and behavior. Now as a graduate student in Ifat Levy's lab, she plans to conduct her thesis research on the neural underpinnings of value updating for personally salient foods in obesity with binge eating. Outside of the lab, Alex is passionate about advocating for community well-being and support at the program, university, and national levels. She has served in leadership roles on the Interdepartmental Neuroscience Program Executive Committee, the Yale Graduate and Professional Student Senate, and the Graduate Research and Development (GRAD) Coalition which supports the work of the U.S. House of Representatives GRAD Caucus.
  • Dee Rivera is a graduate student in the department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science at Yale. Previously, she developed a bio-inspired linear systems model of muscle contraction and implemented this model as a control system for a commercially available powered lower limb prosthesis. Her current research interests include the study of muscle as a material, mathematical biology, and the intersection of biological physics and human rehabilitation. Dee received an Associates in Applied Science from Coconino Community College (2016) and a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering with minors in Mathematics and Biology from Northern Arizona University (2020).
  • I am originally from the small town of Willow in Arkansas. I moved to Nashville, Tennessee, to attend Vanderbilt University where I earned a Bachelor's of Engineering in Biomedical Engineering. After college, I worked full-time in the Knapik Laboratory at Vanderbilt University Medical Center studying a rare musculoskeletal disorder called cranio-lenticulo-sutural dysplasia. When I'm not holding a pipette, I can usually be found drinking coffee, playing with my two cats, or writing poetry.
  • Ben received his B.S. in Behavioral Neuroscience from Northeastern University, where he completed three research co-op’s at Harvard Medical School, Merck, and Massachusetts General Hospital. As a PhD student in the Lim Lab, he is focusing on the cell-type specific role of Nemo-Like Kinase (NLK) and lysosome regulation in the context of protein quality control in neurodegenerative diseases such as spinocerebellar ataxia type 1 (SCA1), Alzheimer’s disease, frontotemporal demential (FTD/FTLD), and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
  • Emily J. Siff is a 3rd year neuroscience PhD student in the Carlson Lab. She studies the insect nervous system via behavioral and computational approaches. Previously, Siff achieved cognitive science (MS), neuroscience (BS), and creative writing (BA) degrees at Brown University. She has experience with — and enthusiasm for — biological, cognitive, and computational research.At her core, Siff has two dreams: (1) to ensure science and medicine have better access to rigorous, accurate statistical methods and (2) to address the (often related) challenges of intersectional accessibility and the climate crisis.
  • Alexa is a PhD student in the Interdepartmental Neuroscience Program. She is studying the roles of acetylcholine and norepinephrine in stress in order to better understand how these neurotransmitters respond to acute and chronic stress conditions. Previously, she attended Northeastern University, where she studied redox dysregulation following early life adversity and graduated with a B.S. in Behavioral Neuroscience