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Welcome First-Year MD-PhD Students!

August 11, 2021

We are so excited to finally MEET our incoming first-year students who had to interview and have their “second look” via Zoom. But on August 9th, they will be inducted to our Yale School of Medicine family during a modified but in-person White Coat Ceremony, followed by MD-PhD Program Orientation on the following afternoon. Here are just a few fun facts and pictures:

J. W. Allen
Emory University; BS: Biology
Fun fact: My first name, Jerry William, is technically two first names, as I was named after both of my grandfathers on either side of my family.

Anis Barmada
University of Illinois at Chicago; BS: Biological Sciences & Chemistry
Fun fact: I went to three different schools in two countries for my four years of high school! I was born in Canada while my parents were visiting it, and they went back to Syria when I was only a month old. I grew up in Syria, visiting Canada for the first time (after my birth!) when I was nearly fourteen years old. I then moved to the United States at 17 years old, and it was then that I first started speaking English. Finishing my last year of high school and college in Illinois, where my research involved making mice—and myself—cry, I then spent a year in the UK pursuing a master's degree. I am now beyond excited to return to the U.S.—living for the first time on the east coast—to start my MD/PhD at Yale!

Suley Bozal
University of Connecticut; BS: Biophysics
Fun fact: I have a number of seemingly unrelated interests. I love cooking, hiking, fishing, woodworking, kayaking, and judo. I am also passionate about working with immigrant populations as an English tutor. In all, I enjoy most the challenge of learning new things.

Bridget Chen
Johns Hopkins University; BS: Neuroscience & German
Fun fact: I really enjoy traveling to and exploring new places. Every time I visit a new city, I have a mini bucket list: visit a historical monument, eat the local cuisine, and -- the real money guzzler-- find a stationery store to buy notebooks, pens, and postcards :)

Samiksha Chopra
University of California-Los Angeles; BS: Neuroscience
Fun fact: When I am not working in the lab or playing with my pet guinea pig, Lotus, I am into native beekeeping! I have a particular interest in the native bees of California and New Zealand.

Kerri Davidson
Princeton University; BA: Molecular Biology
Fun fact: I was amongst the first group of athletes to compete at the London 2012 Olympic Stadium a few months before the worlds best athletes took center stage!

Victoria Fan
Stanford University; BS: Biology with Honors in Neurobiology
Fun fact: At age 8, I was given a pet goldfish along with a feeder fish. Back then, both lived in a small one gallon tank. The feeder fish, which I named Silver Dotcom, outlived the goldfish by 13 years and thrived in my 64-gallon aquarium despite losing one eye. Silver was a very athletic fish. Inspired by its technique, I became a distance swimmer.

Kyle Gavulic
Vanderbilt University; BA: Medicine, Health, and Society & French
Fun fact: I’m a Midwesterner at heart, but thanks to many great friendships and distant family, I am fluent in French and have lived, worked, studied, and conducted research in France.

Max Greenwald
Middlebury College; BA: Neuroscience
Fun fact: After college I spent a year in South and Central America hostel-hopping and working odd jobs without any specific plans. At points this left me working as a breakfast chef in Cusco, Peru and serving as a shaman’s assistant at an ashram near Cochabamba, Bolivia!

Daniel Jovin
Temple University; BS: BioEngineering
Fun fact: I am trilingual. I grew up speaking Romanian and German in my house and actually learned both before learning English. As a child, I spent many summers in Romania and Germany and almost moved to Germany in high school.

Saeed Juggan
Dartmouth College; BA: Biology; Chemistry
Fun fact: I despise warm weather. People are always shocked by this take, especially when they learn that I grew up in Florida.

Emily Kessler
Wesleyan University; BA: Chemistry & Molecular Biology & Biochemistry
Fun fact: I was a competitive diver (springboard, not deep sea!) throughout high school and college and love water sports, including skiing which is kind of a version of a water sport!

Jaspreet Kohli
Cornell University; BA: Biological Sciences
Fun fact: A fun fact about myself is that I'm a jazz trombonist! I never really learned my music theory, but still fell in love with the art of improvisation. Mostly trained by ear, I've learned to love a large repertoire of jazz music, and have had the honor of playing alongside my idol Wynton Marsalis.

Yona Lei
Syracuse University; BS: Biochemistry
Fun fact: I am originally from a small Cantonese city that is known as the "first home of overseas Chinese". Also, for those of you that have watched the movie Remember the Titans, which is based on the true story of the football team of an integrated high school in Virginia in 1971. That high school is the same one I attended. I enjoy trying new foods/restaurants and working out.

Talia Lichtenberg
Lewis and Clark College; BA: Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Fun fact: I am half-Persian and love Persian music, poetry, and food like Ghormeh sabzi and shish kabob. Music and dance are my favorite ways to relax. I grew up dancing ballet and performed in pointe shoes in the Nutcracker and still love to take classes. I also have had all the songs from the Phantom of the Opera memorized since I was five and am known to spontaneously recite a verse.

Sarah Mahoney
Emory University; BA: Economic & Biology
Fun fact: I could live a happy life given only hummus, peanut butter, and unlimited podcasts.

Ryland Mortlock
University of Southern California; BS: Chemical Engineering (Biochemical Engineering)
Fun fact: I love basketball and also traveling. In the picture, I am traveling with a friend on the way to play basketball in Tamsui, Taiwan!

Wesley Tung
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; BS: Molecular Biology
Fun fact: I'm an avid musician! In college, I minored in music and played mostly alto/tenor saxophone with a sprinkle of piano if I was feeling adventurous. I primarily dabble in the classical arts, but will attempt to play jazz if asked nicely/bribed (although I will warn that I have literally zero improv skills).

Matthew Yuen
Dartmouth College; BA: Neuroscience
Fun fact: I became a barber in college as a fun way to meet new people and finance my love for Thai cuisine. I still cut hair to this day and would be more than happy to help you look sharp!

Elizabeth Zhang
Yale University; BS: Molecular Biophysics & Biochemistry
Fun fact: I once made bulgogi dinners for 100 people.

Submitted by Reiko Fitzsimonds on August 09, 2021