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Peer Advising by Senior Students

Program Goals

The goal of the PASS Program is to facilitate peer-to-peer mentoring in which senior students pass down program specific (i.e. based on PhD department or clinical interest) information to junior students.

Additionally, the PASS Program aims to provide junior students with an easily accessible academic support system that remains pertinent as they progress through different stages of training, but is also flexible and adaptable to accommodate those who have changed their PhD departments or clinical interests.

For more information, please contact PASS Coordinators Zach Kloos, Dan Barson, Sam Olyha or Jeff Duncan.


Fall meeting:

This event will be held in a “speed dating” format. Student Mentor(s) representing different departments will be seated at different tables, and junior students will rotate through tables associated with departments they are potentially interested in joining. In addition to meeting their Student Mentor(s), the Mentees will learn:

  1. Department-specific requirements (i.e. when to qualify, which classes to take)
  2. Recommendations regarding PIs to rotate with, or to have on their thesis committees
  3. Information and tips about longitudinal clinical activities

Spring meeting:

This event will also be held in a “speed dating” format but in a more casual setting. This event will allow Mentors to “check-in” with their Mentees, as well as allow junior students who have changed departments to connect with a new Mentor.

Mentor training dinner:

This mandatory training session will occur once a year prior to the fall meeting. It will cover topics including:

  1. Debrief: The survey results will be presented (see Metrics and Analytics below) and a selection of the “challenging cases” will be presented as teaching points.
  2. Feedback: Mentors will be asked to give feedback and share general thoughts about the program.
  3. Mentoring guidelines: How often to contact Mentees, what to do if they ask questions you cannot answer, etc.
  4. Effective mentoring strategies: How to encourage Mentee participation, how to provide guidance without being discouraging, etc. “
  5. Above my pay-grade”: Discuss situations in which Student Mentors should consult with the Faculty Supervisor, or situations in which they should recommend their Mentees contact a faculty member (i.e. MD/PhD Academic Advisor, Dean Angoff, etc).

PASS Student Mentors

Matt Alsaloum

Academic department: Interdepartmental Neuroscience Program
Research Interests: Neuronal excitability, peripheral mechanisms of pain, ion channel disorders
Clinical Interests: Ophthalmology, anesthesia, and clinical trial design
Other interests: Basketball, science fiction, hiking, horror movies, and listening to too many podcasts

Dan Barson

Yale email address
Academic Department: Interdepartmental Neuroscience Program
Research interests: activity-dependent mechanisms of mammalian brain development
Clinical interest: neurodevelopmental disease
Other interests: Hiking, snow-sports, my puppy-monster, cooking, traveling, the New York Yankees.

Hannah Batchelor

Academic department: Neuroscience
Research interests: Systems neuroscience, reward learning, cortical plasticity, substance use disorders
Clinical interests: Psychiatry, substance use disorders
Other interests: Baking, snuggling my two cats, thrift shopping/fashion, music, traveling, self-care, antiracism and DEI efforts, mentorship, Wednesday Evening Clinic, leadership/community building.

Jes Cerdeña

Yale email address
Academic department: Anthropology
Research interests: I am a biocultural and medical anthropologist interested in the biological underpinnings of health disparities. My dissertation research focuses on intergenerational trauma in the Latin American migrant community in New Haven, using both ethnographic and epigenetic methods.
Clinical interests: I am generally interested in primary care, whether family medicine, adult internal, peds, or med/peds.
Other interests: Blasting music while cooking colorful vegan dishes, reading novels, singing Broadway diva ballads in the shower, biking with my husband, Ignacio, and playing with my two dogs, Marshmallow & Toby.

Ryan Chow

Academic department: Genetics
Research interests: tumor immunology, synthetic biology, bioinformatics, genome editing
Clinical interests: oncology
Other interests: music, video games, tennis, carving stone seals

Pasha Davoudian

Academic department: INP / Psych
Research interests: cellular and circuit effects of psychedelics, synaptic physiology, functional ultrasound
Clinical interests: interventional psychiatry, neuroradiology, neurology,
Other interests: backpacking, fermented foods, podcasts, coffee

Matthew Dong

Academic department: Immunobiology
Research Interest: Applications of next-generation genetic tools towards the advancement of immunology and immunotherapy
Clinical Interest: Hematology/Oncology and Rheumatology
Other Interests: Cooking, traveling, food adventures, and Bay Area sports

Margret Erlendsdottir

Academic department: Biostatistics, Yale School of Public Health
Research interests: Causal inference, clinical trials, time-varying treatments and confounders
Clinical interests: Internal medicine
Other interests: Playing piano, climbing, being active

Sarah Fitzpatrick

Academic department: Interdepartmental Neuroscience Program
Research interests: Genetics and brain development, neurodevelopmental disorders
Clinical interests: Internal medicine? Neuro? Psychiatry? Complete change of plans? (figuring it out)
Other interests: Salsa dancing, biking everywhere, MakeHaven, hiking, hosting dinner parties, podcasts

Luis Gonzalez

Yale email address
Academic department: Cellular & Molecular Physiology
Research interests: Vascular remodeling after vascular interventions
Clinical interests: Surgery; plastic surgery
Other interests: Board games, video games, strategic card games (MTG), and going to the gym

Sydney Green

Yale email address
Academic department: History of Medicine
Research interest: history of medicine; hospital-based intimate partner violence response programs, anti-carceral feminism, health activism
Clinical interest: undecided
Other interests: knitting, live music, all things South Florida!

Kenneth Gunasekera

Yale email address
Academic department: Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases (Yale School of Public Health)
Research interests: Infectious disease transmission modeling, spatial disease mapping/spatial statistical modeling, cost-effectiveness analysis, diagnostic evaluation, implementation science, pediatric tuberculosis, HIV
Clinical interests: Pediatrics, infectious disease
Other interests: Swimming, running, learning language, Long Island!

Rachel Hennein

Academic department: Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases, Yale School of Public Health
Research interests: health equity, mixed methods, implementation science
Clinical interests: psych or peds but TBD
Other interests: pottery, food, gardening

Grant Higerd

Yale email address
Academic department: Cellular and Molecular Physiology
Research interests: Cell biology and physiology. High throughput screening and drug discovery.
Clinical interests: Internal medicine, infectious diseases
Other interests: Rock climbing, cooking vegan food, Effective Altruism

Woong Y. Hwang

Yale email address
Academic department: Genetics
Research interests: Genetics/Cell Biology/Nuclear Transport/Wnt signaling
Clinical interests: Pediatrics/Internal Medicine
Other interests: Singing (acapella), Traveling, Fitness

Zach Kloos

Yale email address
Academic department: Microbiology
Research interests: Vector-pathogen interactions, especially those between bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi and ixodid ticks.
Clinical interests: Infectious disease and transplant surgery.
Other interests: Cycling, fly fishing, and all things baseball.

Sahana Kribakaran

Academic department: Interdepartmental Neuroscience Program, Psychology
Research interests: trauma studies, affective and developmental neuroscience, critical psychology, liberation psychology
Clinical interests: child and adolescent mental health & medicine, health justice and activism
Other interests: plants (peep the 🌱!), dancing, spending time under the sun

Katie Leiby

Yale email address
Academic department: Biomedical Engineering
Research interests: Lung tissue engineering and regeneration
Clinical interests: Thoracic surgery and lung transplantation
Other interests: Running, cooking, exploring nearby hiking/camping spots, playing the bells in Harkness Tower

Anna Lynn

Academic department: Biomedical Engineering
Research interests: In utero nanoparticle delivery of gene editing agents
Clinical interests: OB/GYN, fetal medicine
Other interests: Martial arts, dancing, rock climbing, reading

Alyssa Mitson-Salazar

Yale email address
Academic department : Immunobiology
Research interests: allergy, mast cells, Tregs, intestinal homeostasis
Clinical interests: internal medicine/allergy & immunology
Other interests: hiking, cycling, cats, gardening, tacos, home improvement projects

Mytien Nguyen

Academic department: Immunobiology
Research interests: Host-microbe interaction
Clinical interests: Surgery
Other interests: Running, hiking, traveling

Sam Olyha

Yale email address
Academic department: Immunobiology
Research interests: lncRNAs in the immune system
Clinical interests: internal medicine (possibly heme/onc)
Other interests: turtles/tortoises, hiking, running, rowing, swimming, cooking/baking, podcasts, board games

Tyler Shelby

Academic department: Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases, Yale School of Public health
Research interests: Infectious Diseases (TB/HIV/Hep C/COVID-19), Implementation Science, Behavior Change, Harm Reduction
Clinical interests: Emergency Medicine
Other interests: Music, outdoors, baking, gardening, board/video games

Taylor Takasugi

Academic department: Experimental Pathology
Research interests: Telomeres, telomerase, DNA damage, DNA repair
Clinical interests: Lab Medicine
Other interests: Cooking and videogames

Elizabeth Woo

Academic department: Interdepartmental Neuroscience Program
Research interests: Neuronal-glial interactions in aging and Alzheimer’s disease
Clinical interests: Undecided, but interested in Cardiology, Ophthalmology, Neurosurgery, Neurology
Other interests: Singing/making music, trying new foods, learning new languages, traveling, visiting art galleries!

Anchi Wu

Academic department: Immunobiology
Research interests: Microbiome, host-microbe interactions, environmental determinants of inflammatory/autoimmune diseases
Clinical interests: Pediatrics, rheumatology, gastroenterology
Other interests: Hiking, baking, running, cartoons, birding, gardening

Amy Zhao

Academic department: Genetics
Research interests: genomics, single-cell transcriptomics, precision medicine, interstitial lung diseases, computational biology
Clinical interests: internal medicine
Other interests: playing board games, baking, traveling, swimming, running

Sijin (Sisi) Zheng

Academic department: Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology (MCDB)
Research interests: chemical biology, structural biology, pharmacology, targeted protein degradation, molecular glues
Clinical interests: surgery/procedural specialties
Other interests: running/biking/hiking, traveling, cooking/baking, and Catan

Cheryl Zogg

Yale email address
Academic department: Chronic Disease Epidemiology, Yale School of Public Health
Research interest: surgical outcomes, health services research (access to care, disparities, health policy evaluation)
Clinical interest: academic surgery (trauma/emergency general surgery, orthopedic trauma)
Other interests: dance, running, theater, good books, travel