From the Bay Area in California, Josef graduated from Berkeley with a BA in biochemistry. As an undergraduate, he worked in Dr. Michael Rape's lab, exploring the role of ubiquitin ligases in ALS pathology. Before joining Yale, he was a member of Dr. Kole Roybal's lab at UCSF building engineered T cells which modulate the tumor microenvironment to augment cellular therapies against solid tumors.
Entering Classes Information
For the academic year 2022-2023, the Yale MD-PhD program has 160 students currently enrolled from a variety of backgrounds and interests.
Organizations on this page
2022 Entering Class
- Tanvi is a first-year MD/PhD student from New Jersey. She graduated from Rutgers University in 2022 with a degree in Cell Biology and Neuroscience and a minor in Linguistics. During undergrad, she worked in the lab of Dr. Debra Laskin, investigating inflammation in models of mustard gas induced pulmonary injury and characterizing lung inflammation in a model of NASH liver injury. At Yale, she plans to continue conducting research on molecular mechanisms of inflammation and the innate immune system.
- Agnieszka graduated with Honors from Skidmore College in 2017, completing her studies with a BA in Molecular and Cellular Biology and a minor in Computer Science. During her undergraduate career, she led several studies on understanding circadian dysregulation in Alzheimer’s, developing computational methods for assessing axon dynamics in fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, and developing transgenic zebrafish models for studying spinal cord injury recovery. For the last three years, she has worked as a medical scribe and researcher at the Cardiovascular Research Institute at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (ISMMS). She led and operationalized the convalescent plasma program during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, which ultimately resulted in the development of HIG at Mount Sinai in collaboration with Immunotek. Additionally, Agnieszka was the lead scientist on various NASA Human Research Program and Translational Research Institute for Space Health-funded projects in the Goukassian lab. These projects focused on elucidating acute and chronic effects of ionizing radiation on cardiovascular disease risks. Her work at ISMMS caused her to pivot directions with her newfound interest in cardiology. As an MD/PhD candidate, Agnieszka is interested in investigating the interplay of inflammation and clonal hematopoiesis in cardiometabolic disorders and cardio-oncology.
- Raúl A. García-Rosario was born and raised in Carolina, Puerto Rico. In 2020, he graduated with a B.Sc in Cellular-Molecular Biology from the University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras. During his undergraduate career, he developed an interest in neuroscience research and decided to pursue an MD-PhD. From 2020 to 2022, Raul was a Postbaccalaureate IRTA Research Fellow at the National Institute on Aging in the Laboratory of Behavioral Neuroscience (Neurocognitive Aging Section), where he studied the neuroadaptations underlying memory resilience in aging. His clinical experience identified the immediate need for the translation of basic research findings into therapeutics. That is why, as a physician-scientist, Raul hopes to accelerate this translation by conducting research with a more direct emphasis on patients’ needs. Raul's research experiences/interests include neuroregeneration, neurodegenerative diseases, neurocognitive aging, learning, memory, cognition, and behavioral neuroscience.
- Allison Law is from Natick, Massachusetts and graduated from Harvard College in 2020 with an A.B. in Organismic and Evolutionary Biology. In 2021, she earned her MSc from the University of Oxford in the History of Science, Medicine and Technology. Under the supervision of Dr Mark Harrison, Allison received a distinction for her dissertation, “Domestic Medicine in Working-Class England, c.1850-1914.” Prior to matriculation at Yale, she worked for NHS England on the COVID-19 vaccination program in Oxfordshire.As an MD-PhD student, Allison continues to research nineteenth- and twentieth-century medical knowledge in non-professional settings and hopes to shed light on the contributions of lay-practitioners to the body of medical knowledge.
- Linda is a MD-PhD student interested in integrating computational and experimental approaches to investigate questions at the genomic level. She graduated from Swarthmore College with high honors in Biochemistry & Computer Science and is a proud QuestBridge alum. As an undergraduate, she explored non-canonical DNA structures and their interactions with small molecule ligands in Liliya Yatsunyk's lab. After graduating, she joined Daniel Bauer's lab at Boston Children's Hospital / Dana-Farber Cancer Institute to work on evaluating the genotoxicity of therapeutic gene editing strategies and developing tools to facilitate more comprehensive off-target analysis.
- Michele is an MD-PhD student interested in studying gene expression regulation and genomic based therapies for disease. She grew up in Philadelphia, PA where she graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2022 studying Biochemistry and Biophysics. While at Penn, she worked on researching the structure and function of Integrator subunits 15 and 6 in the labs of Dr. Gardini and Dr. Wilusz respectively. Additionally she investigated the functions and structures of circular RNAs during her time in the Wilusz lab. firstname.lastname@example.org
- Born in Ghana, Bismark moved to New York in 2017 and completed his undergraduate degree in BS Biology at Stony Brook University. At Stony Brook, Bismark spent three years working with Dr. Sandeep Mallipattu on investigating the pathophysiology of Krüppel-like factor 6 in diabetic kidney disease. His research interests cut across basic and translational work on understanding the molecular mechanisms of diseases using a range of wet and dry lab skills. Aside research, Bismark is an avid sports fan with interests in basketball and soccer.
- Timothy Paris is a medicinal chemist from Rapid City, South Dakota. In 2021, he graduated from South Dakota State University with Bachelor of Science degrees in chemistry, biochemistry, and psychology. As South Dakota State’s 11th Goldwater Scholar, Timothy developed novel, etherification reactions between nucleophilic carbanions and electrophilic peroxides in the laboratory of Dr. Rachel Willand-Charnley. On campus, he held several teaching assistant positions in organic chemistry, social psychology, human anatomy, and physiology, while serving as a Community Assistant with the University’s Housing and Residential Life. Timothy graduated with Honors distinction from the Van D. and Barbara B. Fishback Honors College. Timothy conducted post-baccalaureate research with the Sarafen ChEM-H Medicinal Chemistry Knowledge Center at Stanford University. There, he benefited from the mentorship of Dr. Mark Smith and collaborated with Drs. Jeffrey Glenn, Ted Jardetzky, and Edward Wood. His work centered around the synthesis of broad-spectrum antiviral prodrugs and antiinflammatory molecules for the treatment of allergic reactions. Timothy plans to train in chemistry for his graduate studies. He is broadly interested in surgical oncology, internal medicine, pediatrics, and hematopathology. In his free time, Timothy enjoys spending time with friends, running, lifting weights, and touring Connecticut’s beautiful hiking trails.
- Anh was born in Vietnam and moved to San Francisco, California at the age of 11 with his family. Anh graduated from the University of California, Berkeley in 2019 majoring in Molecular and Cell Biology. He then spent the next three years working in Dr. Robert Raffai’s lab at the University of California, San Francisco studying macrophage immunometabolism and microRNAs in atherosclerosis and cardiometabolic disease. His research interests focus on investigating the mechanisms and impact of immune cell’s metabolism and inflammation on chronic inflammatory diseases. His other interests outside of the laboratory include public health projects and serving the underserved communities. Anh finds it oddly relaxing spending time in the lab to do cell and tissue culture and take care of his experimental mice. Besides that, he enjoys being in the kitchen to cook Vietnamese dishes. In his free time, he also likes to play basketball, soccer, and badminton.
- Matthew Ponticiello (he/him) is an M.D.-Ph.D. student intending to pursue his Ph.D. in Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases. His research interests include implementation science, infectious diseases (HIV and TB), global health interventions, and mental health. Matt hopes to use his M.D.-Ph.D. training to integrate social science and epidemiologic methods to improve the uptake of evidence-based medicine. Matt earned his B.S. in Global and Public Health Sciences at Cornell University. He then worked at the Weill Cornell Center for Global Health in the lab of Dr. Radhika Sundararajan. Previously, his research focused on improving the uptake of HIV care in eastern Africa by collaborating with traditional healers. Matt also contributed to the development of a community health worker-delivered gestational diabetes screening program in Pune, India.
- Adriana is originally from Northern New Jersey, and recently graduated from the University of Pennsylvania where she studied Medical Anthropology, Hispanic Studies, and Chemistry. Her research interests lie at the intersection of clinical medicine, biology, and social science. As an MD-PhD candidate, Adriana will continue her investigation of fertility and pregnancy experiences of women in low-wealth communities.
- Eva Rest (she/her) is an M.D.-Ph.D. student intending to pursue her Ph.D. in Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases. Her research interests include disease modeling, dynamics of respiratory and vaccine-preventable diseases, public health interventions, and global health. Eva hopes to use her M.D.-Ph.D. training to integrate clinical infectious disease care with dynamical disease models and data-driven surveillance.Eva earned her M.S. in Global Infectious Disease at Georgetown University where she studied respiratory disease dynamics and spatial heterogeneity in vaccination patterns in the lab of Dr. Shweta Bansal. Previously, she researched nicotine and harm reduction strategies for substance use disorders at the University of Illinois Chicago's Institute for Health Research and Policy. She completed her undergraduate education at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service, studying global health and health policy.
- Anne Elizabeth is an MD-PhD student intending to study how early life stress exposure alters neurodevelopment. She graduated summa cum laude from Princeton University in 2020 with an AB in Spanish and Portuguese and a certificate in Neuroscience. At Princeton, she worked in Dr. Cate Peña's lab studying early life stress. After graduation, she worked in Dr. Michelle Bosquet Enlow's lab at Boston Children's Hospital conducting research on how children's environments influence their mental health outcomes.
- Born in Moscow, Russia and raised in Rockford, IL, Elena attended the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, where she received a B.S. (Honors) in Molecular and Cellular Biology with a minor in Chemistry and a B.A. (Honors) in Germanic Studies with a concentration in German Literature and Culture. After graduating in Spring 2020, she completed a two-year post-baccalaureate fellowship in Dr. Larry Samelson's lab at the National Cancer Institute where she studied the role of actin in regulating T-cell signaling and function. She also independently pursued research with Dr. Tanjala Purnell at Johns Hopkins University's Schools of Medicine and Public Health to learn more about health disparities research, focusing on kidney transplantation and health equity. As an MD/PhD candidate at Yale University, she hopes to utilize interdisciplinary techniques to better characterize health and disease with aims of identifying new therapeutic targets. Her current interests lie in T-cell biology, autoimmune disease, and kidney disease. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, traveling, being outdoors, running, and reading philosophy.
2021 Entering Class
- Growing up in Damascus, Syria, Anis immigrated to the United States when he was seventeen years old in September 2015. Completing his senior year at Wheeling High School in the U.S., he enrolled at the University of Illinois Chicago pursuing a bachelor's degree with a double major in biology and chemistry and a minor in mathematics. Fascinated by the immense potential in developing novel analytical chemical and mathematical tools to solve pressing biomedical problems, he conducted research on diabetic eye disease while volunteering at an ophthalmology clinic to serve patients of the same life-changing, blindness-causing disease conditions. After graduating, he then pursued an MPhil in Genomic Medicine at the University of Cambridge in the UK, while conducting research at the Wellcome Sanger Institute investigating altered immune responses in COVID-19 patients with pre-existing autoimmune conditions using single-cell multi-omics. Anis hopes to advance biochemical and computational technologies to address currently incurable diseases, as well as contribute to the crafting of a new era of healthcare without disparities.
- Originally from Canton, Michigan, Bridget attended Johns Hopkins University, where she earned her Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience with a second major in German, in 2019. Bridget began cultivating her interest in medicine and research as an undergraduate, when she joined a basic behavioral neuroscience lab led by Dr. Patricia Janak, to examine neural circuits involved in potentiating addictive behavior in rodents trained under various conditioning paradigms. Around the same time, she joined Dr. Rebecca Gottesman's stroke and neuroepidemiology lab, examining the interface between cardiovascular disease and neurological health and in particular, the potential causal link between stroke and dementia. In her gap year, Bridget had the opportunity to dissect factors driving racial health disparities in stroke care with Dr. Roland Faigle. Clinically, her interests span from stroke neurology and psychiatry to obstetrics and gynecology - with a special interest in pathophysiological perturbations and mental health challenges during perimenstrual and peripartum periods. In her PhD, Bridget is looking to explore the brain-body interface, in various physiological and pathological processes. She may also choose to forge deeper into neural circuits involved in mediating addictive behavior, to illuminate sex differences, with hopes that elucidating such differences may lead to future sex-specific translational therapies. She is also interested in examining the immunological response to brain injury post-stroke in a translational mouse model. Outside of research and medicine, she enjoys playing volleyball, tangoing, teaching ultrasound, leading APAMSA, mentoring, and learning about languages and cultures. She also loves playing with her two kittens and teaching them new tricks.
- Samiksha graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2019 with a BS in Neuroscience. Her research avenues thus far have centered on Major Depressive Disorder, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, neurodegenerative diseases like Huntington's Disease, and electrophysiology. Future interests include but are not limited to neurodevelopment, epilepsy, substance use disorders, and the circuitry of addiction.
- Born and raised in London, UK, Kerri came to the United States in 2015 to pursue further education. She graduated from Princeton University in 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in Molecular Biology and certificate in Global Health Policy. After college, she spent two years as a Research Technician in the lab of Dr. Susan Parkhurst at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer research center where she studied the mechanism of Nuclear Envelope Budding using the Drosophila system.
- Kyle A. Gavulic was born in Flint, MI and raised in the small neighboring town of Goodrich. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in French and in Medicine, Health, and Society with a concentration in health economies and policies from Vanderbilt University. Prior to affiliating with Yale, Kyle served as a Health Policy Services Analyst in the Department of Health Policy in the Vanderbilt School of Medicine. In this capacity, he conducted quantitative health services research under the supervision of Dr. Stacie Dusetzina, focusing on high-cost prescription drugs and the Food and Drug Administration’s accelerated approval pathway. Kyle was also a teaching and research assistant to Dr. Melinda Buntin. From July 2020 to May 2022, Kyle also served as Editorial Intern of JAMA Health Forum.Kyle is now a MD-PhD candidate at Yale planning to pursue a PhD in Health Policy and Management. His research interests include access to and coverage of high-cost prescription medications, LGBTQ health, access to care and health outcomes for underserved populations, financial burden of health care spending, non-medical determinants of health, comparative health systems, and diversity of the physician workforce. His research in LGBTQ health disparities with Dr. Gilbert Gonzales and in U.S. prescription drug policy with Dr. Stacie Dusetzina has led to publications in the American Journal of Public Health, JAMA Internal Medicine, JAMA Health Forum, Journal of Adolescent Health, and Medical Care Research and Review. He serves as co-leader of Yale School of Medicine's Chapter of the American Medical Student Association (AMSA), a mentor in the Program to Advance Training in Health & Sciences (PATHS), and a member of the MD/PhD Diversity & Inclusion Committee.
- Max Greenwald is an MD/PhD Student interested in neuropsychiatry. He received a B.A. in Neuroscience from Middlebury College in Middlebury, VT in 2018. In 2016, Max completed a summer project studying the biogenesis of dense core vesicles (DCVs) using molecular biology approaches in Michael Ailion’s lab at the University of Washington in Seattle, WA -- Max's hometown. He spent the next two years in Glen Ernstrom’s lab at Middlebury College studying interactions and mechanisms of synaptic vesicles proteins involved in neurotransmitter loading, completing a senior thesis which earned him High Honors in Neuroscience. Following these experiences, Max became interested in human neuroscience and clinical research and was awarded a research fellowship at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). After a year spent backpacking in South & Central America, he worked for two years at NIMH in the Experimental Therapeutics and Pathophysiology Branch (ETPB) clinical research lab under Carlos Zarate researching ketamine’s psychoactive and rapid-acting antidepressant effects. Max remains extremely interested in translational psychiatry research working with human subjects, with a special interest in pro-neuroplastic psychoactive therapeutics and non-ordinary states of consciousness. Outside of medicine, Max is an avid lover of traveling and the outdoors, and he tries to spend as much time as humanly possible outside of work hiking, running, eating, talking with friends, and spotting critters in the woods.
MD-PhD Student, MD-PhD ProgramDaniel is a second year MD-PhD student. He received his B.S. in Bioengineering from Temple University. Prior to Yale, Daniel worked with research groups at Virginia Commonwealth University/the McGuire Veteran's Affairs hospital and Temple University to study cardiovascular disease in clinical, translational, and basic contexts. He is currently interested in understanding cardiovascular biology and disease using multi-disciplinary thinking and skillsets.
- Jaspreet was born in Delhi, India, but grew up in the coastal town of Falmouth, Maine. He attended Cornell University, where he graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in Biological Sciences in 2020. As an undergraduate, he researched the role of microRNAs in the onset and progression of equine common variable immunodeficiency. Following his undergraduate training, he worked with the Elowitz group at Caltech to help design and implement synthetic circuits to tackle T cell exhaustion in context of CAR-T therapy. Outside of the classroom and laboratory, he is an avid jazz trombonist, tennis player, basketball & football fan, console gamer, and advocate for students with disabilities.
- Witnessing the progression of Alzheimer’s disease firsthand impassioned Talia to understand the brain. At West Linn High School in Oregon, she participated each year in the International Science and Engineering Fair for her epidemiological study in her statistical risk model of Alzheimer’s disease. At Lewis & Clark College, Talia joined the lab of Dr. Tamily Weissman studying cell death in zebrafish neural development and received the Barry M. Goldwater Fellowship. In 2020 she graduated summa cum laude with Departmental Honors in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology for her thesis investigating the influence of BMP signaling on clonal survival in the zebrafish hindbrain. Through the Yale MD-PhD program, she plans to investigate molecular mechanisms underlying neurodegenerative disease. Outside of research, she enjoys playing piano and the French horn and believes that both music and research foster collaborative communities of creative people.
- Sarah graduated in 2019 summa cum laude from Emory University with degrees in Economics and Biology. After several years in a clinical research lab studying post-cardiac surgery outcomes of pediatric patients with connective tissue disorders, she decided to shift focus to health economics. Sarah's senior thesis analyzed the effects of a novel public health initiative on neonatal health. At Yale, Sarah is pursuing joint MD and PhD degrees with the understanding that clinical experience and knowledge in health economics serve as complements, each informing and improving the practice of the other.
- Ryland is a second year MD-PhD student pursuing his PhD in Genetics. Prior to coming to Yale, Ryland completed a two-year Postbaccalaureate Research Fellowship at the NIH where he applied computational methods to study hematopoietic stem cell and natural killer cell biology in the laboratory of Cynthia Dunbar. He graduated summa cum laude from the University of Southern California in 2019 with a degree in Chemical Engineering and was awarded the Viterbi School of Engineering Outstanding Research Award. Ryland conducted research on computational systems biology at USC in the laboratory of Stacey Finley and through a summer internship at MIT with Doug Lauffenburger. Outside of the classroom, he enjoys volunteering at HAVEN free clinic, playing basketball, and spending time with friends.
- Wesley Tung grew up in Central Illinois where he attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign studying Molecular and Cellular Biology. In 2019, he graduated with many academic distinctions, completing a honors thesis on the role of the RNA-binding protein hnRNPI in intestinal homeostasis. Following his graduation, he travelled to the National Institutes of Health where he studied the genetic contributions of a defective Type I Interferon pathway in conferring viral infection susceptibility in humans. These experiences defined his interests in medicine, clinical immunology and virology, where he hopes to pursue in his future academic career. He is currently participating as part of Yale's MSTP as an NIH Oxford/Cambridge Graduate Partnership Program Scholar.
- Matthew is from New York and graduated from Dartmouth College in 2019 with a B.A. in neuroscience. In college, he worked with Dr. Matthijs van der Meer and investigated theta rhythms in the brain. He then joined Yale's Department of Neurology and worked with Dr. Kevin Sheth as a postgraduate research associate, driving the development and deployment of a novel portable MRI device. With these dual experiences in basic and clinical research, Matthew is motivated to conduct integrative bench-to-bedside research as a physician-scientist to advance the diagnosis and treatment of brain disease.
- Elizabeth is an MD-PhD student with a research interest in infectious disease epidemiology. Before coming to Yale, Elizabeth worked on quantifying the impact of the HIV epidemic on cancer incidence in the US as a fellow in the Infections and Immunoepidemiology Branch at the National Cancer Institute. She is interested in the use of infectious disease modelling to inform precision public health policy.
2020 Entering Class
- Philip attended the University of Maryland, Baltimore County where he graduated with concentrations in Biochemistry/Molecular Biology and Statistics. After graduating, he accepted a research position at Vanderbilt University with the Department of Biomedical Informatics where he investigated the off-target effects of statins using BioVU. Philip’s research interests are within the realm of clinical informatics, machine learning, natural language processing, and digital health.
- Born and raised in the Philippines, Patricia came to the United States in 2013 to pursue further education. She graduated summa cum laude from UCLA in 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology; Minor in Biomedical Research. She was awarded highest departmental honors for her senior thesis conducted in the lab of Dr. Stephanie Correa where she helped characterize the transcriptional architecture of the ventromedial hypothalamic nucleus using single cell RNA-sequencing and in situ hybridization. After college, she spent two years as a postbac fellow in the lab of Dr. Glenn Merlino at the NIH where she studied the mechanism of cancer organotropism using metastatic melanoma cells in mice. As a future physician scientist, she is passionate about improving the healthcare system and expanding research opportunities in her home country. Outside of school, she enjoys exploring the outdoors, cooking Filipino food, spending afternoons in art museums, and mailing postcards to friends around the world.
MD-PhD StudentDaniel A. Colón Ríos was born and raised in Puerto Rico. He graduated in 2018 from Universidad de Puerto Rico - Recinto Universitario de Mayagüez (UPR-RUM) with a major in Chemistry. He subsequently moved to New Haven and joined Dr. Faye Rogers lab as a postgraduate associate, where he studied the cellular response to excessive levels of nucleotide-excision repair (NER)-recognized DNA damage. As a postgraduate associate, he also completed the Yale Cancer Center Cancer Biology Training Program (CBTP) and served as an interpreter at the HAVEN Free Clinic. Daniel is now a third year MD-PhD Student in the Glazer Lab studying PARP inhibitor resistance mechanisms. He serves as class representative in the Diversity & Inclusion Committee and continues to be involved in the Student National Medical Association - Latino Medical Student Association (SNMA-LMSA) joint chapter at Yale School of Medicine. Out of academics, Daniel enjoys spending time with friends, playing volleyball, going to the beach and traveling.
- Ruben De Man is an MD/PhD student in the Cellular & Molecular Physiology graduate program. His PhD work in the laboratory of Naftali Kaminski seeks to characterize the relationship between aging and cellular senescence in lung tissue at the single-cell level.
- Victoria is an MD-PhD student in the lab of Michael Higley. She is currently interested in understanding how sensory information is functionally represented at multiple scales in the brain in both model systems and human patients. Prior to coming to Yale, she completed her undergraduate training at Stanford University where she worked under the direction of Dr. EJ Chichilnisky for six years and Dr. Charles Yu for two years. During that time, Victoria contributed to the development of novel technologies for the treatment of incurable blindness. Her primary focus involved developing an electrical stimulation pattern for use in a high fidelity artificial retina, as well as designing a miniature optical system for use in an electronic corneal prosthesis.
- I was born in New Delhi, India, and raised in Frederick, Maryland, USA. While studying biomedical engineering in Washington, DC, I had the opportunity to explore a wide spectrum of research topics including single-neuron mass spectrometry in Dr. Vertes' analytical chemistry lab at GWU and high intensity therapeutic ultrasound with GWU and the FDA. I developed a particular interest in medical imaging research and after graduation, I spent two years at the National Institute on Aging primarily focused on using advanced MRI techniques to study age-related processes pertaining to brain tissue microstructure including demyelination, axonal damage, and iron accumulation. Informed by my experience at the NIA, I am interested in developing and applying advanced imaging, signal processing, and machine learning techniques to study neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's disease. Outside of research I mentor middle-school STEM students. I also enjoy hiking, working out, art, and hanging out with my dog.
- Cynthia Lo is an MD/PhD candidate working in the Gonzalez Lab and a graduate student in the interdepartmental neuroscience program. She is working on a vascularized biomimetic model of neural tissue, with the ultimate aim of being able to study neuropathologies. Prior to Yale, she worked at Formlabs as a materials scientist on a biocompatible resin for SLA printing after graduating from MIT in 2018 with a BS in Engineering from the Department of Materials Science and Engineering.
MD/PhD StudentI am originally from Ossining, NY, a town in the suburbs of New York City. During high school, I began working in the cancer biology laboratory of Dr. Goutham Narla at Mount Sinai studying small molecules that activate a tumor suppressive phosphatase, PP2A. Being a part of this group galvanized my passion for cancer research and led me to study Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology at Yale for undergrad. I completed my senior thesis in the laboratory of Dr. Craig Crews, studying PROteolysis TArgeting Chimeras (PROTACs) and stayed in the Crews lab for my two gap years before beginning medical school. For my PhD, I am interested in defining mechanisms of resistance to cancer targeted therapies and developing novel approaches to treat these refractory malignancies. Outside of the lab, I enjoy working out, visiting local breweries, and following Arsenal FC in the English Premier League.
- I grew up in Washington, DC before attending Harvard College. At Harvard, I received Magna Cum Laude with highest honors in the History of Science with my thesis on disability rights and feminist activism in 1980s-90s Boston. Following my undergraduate education, I conducted clinical research at Boston Children's Hospital in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, focusing on the effects of scoliosis-related disability and invasive scoliosis treatment on patients and their families. This experience inspired me to pursue medicine as well as history, through Yale's MD-PhD program in the History of Science and Medicine. My interests are at the intersection of disability rights, reproductive justice, and medical education.
- 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.
Research Assistant 1 MSStacy Uchendu grew up in Houston,Texas and attended Wesleyan University where she graduated with Honors in Chemistry and fostered a sustaining interest in the reciprocal influence between science and society. She joined the MD/PhD program at Yale School of Medicine in 2020 and is currently a graduate student in the Interdepartmental Neuroscience Program. As a joint member or Amy Arnsten’s and Nii Addy’s labs, she studies the mechanism of L-type calcium channels in the context of stress and addiction. Her work inside and outside the clinic and lab revolve around improving health and well-being for marginalized communities and takes many forms such as researching disease mechanisms that disproportionately affect these groups, educating underserved families about nutrition, and advocating for better access to healthcare. She is commited to continuing this work as a future Neuroscientist and Psychiatrist.
2019 Entering Class
MD-PhD StudentBrendan Adkinson is an MD-PhD candidate in the Multimodal Imaging, Neuroinformatics, & Data Science (MINDS) Lab within the Interdepartmental Neuroscience Program. His research focuses on using human neuroimaging to build machine learning models that predict individual symptom profiles and outcomes in psychiatry. He also evaluates how these models may be biased in underrepresented patient populations, particularly rural populations. Before matriculating at Yale, Brendan worked under the mentorship of Dr. Alan Anticevic, focusing on studies of schizophrenia, autism, and OCD, including a pharmacological manipulation with ketamine. Brendan graduated summa cum laude as a member of Phi Beta Kappa from Marietta College where he was a letterman on the varsity football team and captain of the varsity tennis team. Outside of the classroom, Brendan is founder of Elevation Med Prep (elevationmedprep.org), an advisor to Cocoa360 (cocoa360.org), and a member of Vox Church.
- Jafar is an MD/PhD student interested in T cell function, particularly in autoimmune disease. He is currently trying to better understand how T cells reach the kidney and persist in lupus nephritis, and their role in causing kidney damage.
- I was born in New Britain, CT and raised in Haverford, PA as the middle of three girls. I fostered a passion for developmental biology while studying Hoxa5 in the Mansfield Lab at Barnard College. After graduating, I spent one year as a research technician at Weill Cornell. I am now conducting my thesis research in the Sozen lab, studying the impact of the gestational environment on early embryonic development.
- I was born and raised in New York City. After graduation I spent several years studying the gut microbiome after bariatric surgery as well as numerous other aspects of metabolic disease. I am currently working in the lab of Dr. Silvia Vilarinho to better understand rare liver disorders using a combination of wet lab and bioinformatics approaches. Outside of research I thoroughly enjoy cooking, craft beer, and coffee.
- Born and raised in Shanghai, China, I came to the United States at the age of nineteen and attended Vanderbilt University, where I majored in Biomedical Engineering. In my spare time, I enjoy learning different languages and traditional Chinese art forms, such as Beijing Opera and crosstalk. Fun fact about me: I joined the marching band in my college with no prior knowledge of football. It was a wild experience but a lot of fun!
- I was born in Sesimbra, Portugal and moved to the United States when I was three months old. In high school, I participated in a bioethics research program through which I explored the creation of a donor, or “savior,” child through pre-implantation genetic diagnosis. As a Yale undergraduate, I discovered a passion for pursuing cancer biology research alongside medical training. I spent two years post-graduation investigating cancer drug resistance at the Broad Institute in Cambridge, MA. Outside of science and medicine, I love drawing, reading, jogging, knitting, and trying new types of foods and recipes! A fun fact about myself is that I love donuts, although when I once tried to make them when I was younger, the dough didn’t rise properly and they looked more like cookies than donuts!
- Jeff is an MD/PhD student in the Department of Microbial Pathogenesis at Yale University School of Medicine in the laboratory of Dr. Craig Roy where he is studying the mechanisms of secreted bacterial proteins that manipulate eukaryotic cell signaling processes. Jeff attended Haverford College where he earned his Bachelors of Science in Biology. After completing his undergraduate degree, Jeff investigated the molecular mechanisms of microbial pathogenesis at Uniformed Services University in the lab of Alison O'Brien, and then Harvard Medical School in the lab of Marcia Goldberg. He has continued his studies of host-pathogen interactions focused on the organism Coxiella burnetii and understanding the molecular and biochemical activities of bacterial secretion system client proteins. He volunteers as a co-director of the Longitudinal Care Coordination program at the HAVEN student-run free clinic where he oversees a team of patient navigators and senior clinical team members to coordinate the efficient delivery of care to HAVEN's most vunerable patients.
- Chelesa Fearce graduated Phi Betta Kappa and Magna Cum Laude from Spelman College in 2017, where she majored in biochemistry and minored in philosophy. Upon graduating, she spent two years at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD, where she was in a molecular neuropharmacology lab studying dopamine receptor signaling. She is currently a student in the MD/PhD program and is interested in drug development for psychiatric disorders. Most notably, Chelesa has been featured on several new outlets, including The Atlanta Journal Constitution, BET, and The Huffington Post. Despite being homeless throughout her childhood, she graduated Valedictorian of her high school class and was awarded a full scholarship to college and subsequently, Yale School of Medicine. Fun Fact About Me: I love Stephen King movies and novels.
- I grew up in Southern California and graduated from USC. I spent a few years doing computational cancer genomics research which eventually led me to the interface of genomics and tumor immunology. I am currently interested in the intersection of cancer biology, immunology, and machine learning to improve and/or develop novel therapies for cancer patients. Outside of research and medicine, I spend my time playing soccer on the club team here at Yale, playing pick-up basketball with classmates, and eating (probably too many) chocolate chip cookies.
- I grew up in Bronxville, NY and headed south to North Carolina for college. I graduated from Duke University in 2017 with a degree in biomedical engineering (biomechanics and bioelectricity concentrations) and a minor in music. As an undergraduate, I did research in cellular mechanobiology. After graduating, I stayed at Duke and worked in molecular cardiology in Howard Rockman's lab, investigating G-protein coupled receptor biophysics in the heart. Currently, I am a graduate student in Professor Stuart Campbell's lab, where I am studying arrhythmias using iPSC-derived engineered heart tissues. Outside of science, I play the piano (mostly classical, a bit of jazz and musical theater), compose, and enjoy road biking.
- I graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with a double major in Biological Engineering and Brain & Cognitive Sciences. In the past, I studied infant social cognition using functional near-infrared spectroscopy in the Saxe Lab at MIT. At the Mayo Clinic, I led a protein engineering project working with tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases-1 (TIMP-1) to alter the inhibitory profile toward cancer biomarkers, matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). Moving forward, I will continue to pursue cancer research, specifically tumor immunology, immunotherapy, and neuro-immunology. Fun fact: I was invited to train at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, CO for volleyball!
- After completing her undergraduate degree at Georgia Tech, Ann spent 9 months in India conducting public health research with a Fulbright research fellowship. Ann plans to continue public health research during her PhD with a mixed-methods approach. Ann enjoys spending time hiking and outdoors.
- I grew up in the U.S. Virgin Islands on St. John and went to undergrad at the University of the Virgin Islands on St. Thomas, where I graduated with a B.S. in Biology. I am currently interested in research in tissue engineering here at Yale and would like to pursue a degree in Biomedical Engineering in addition to my medical degree. In terms of hobbies and interests, I enjoy playing tennis and guitar and telling people who see my height and ask about the weather that being 6'5" does not cause colossal microclimate differences.
- I was born in Tallahassee, Florida, and raised on a small farm near Greensboro before moving to Homestead in South Florida. Afterward, I returned to North Florida for college and graduated Summa Cum Laude from Florida State University with a degree in Chemical Engineering and a focus in Biomedical Engineering in December 2018. My passion for cancer research was kindled by personal experiences and nurtured by my mentor, Dr. Jeremy Chambers, with whom I worked on understanding mitochondrial JNK signaling in cancer during high school, through the Florida International University Summer Research Internship program. Fascinated by the intricate complexity of cancer biology, I continued to pursue cancer research throughout my undergraduate years, exploring various topics in cancer research at FSU, the Wistar Institute, and Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center. Throughout my research experience, I have employed systems biology approaches, analyzing the graphs/network states from high-dimensional -omics data, including transcriptomics, proteomics, somatic mutations, and metabolomics, to study these highly organized cellular processes. I have gained expertise in bioinformatics techniques in conjunction with "wet lab" cell biology experimentation, in the labs of my mentors Drs. Amy Sang, Timothy Logan, David Speicher, and Vito Quaranta. My senior design project (with now InnoHealth Diagnostics) piqued my interest in point-of-care diagnostics and the challenges of developing rapid, cost-effective nucleic acid amplification testing. We developed a simple, disposable prototype device and protocol that could detect pathogen DNA in a urine sample through a colorimetric DNA intercalator that was detectable (without additional instrumentation) after loop mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) of the target sequence. Our team was awarded the FSU Jim Moran Micro Grant, the 2019 Mark K. Scott Infinity Fund Prize InNOLEvation Challenge Award, and competed in the 2019 ACC InVenture competition, with special thanks to the mentorship of Drs. Cesar Rodriguez and Emily Pritchard. Presently, I am pursuing translational cancer research questions in Dr. David Rimm's lab at Yale, surrounding HER2-low cancer and emerging antibody-drug conjugates. Overall, my research interests include discovering biomarkers for treatment response and characterizing drug-tolerant or immune-repressed states in patient tumors. In this area of research, I am utilizing my expertise in data science and bioinformatics while expanding my knowledge of statistics and machine learning to investigate these complex problems. I am also intrigued by the engineering hurdles in creating robust diagnostic assays and systems to deliver fast, accurate, and reliable results to guide patient care. In the future, I aspire to blend these elements in my research career as a physician-scientist and engineer. When I am not in the lab, I enjoy playing golf (having competed in the US Kids Tour in Florida), programming, and indulging in science fiction.
- I was born in Calcutta India, and moved to Edison, New Jersey for high school. I then attended Boston University, majoring in Biology and Philosophy. My interest in research began during a summer internship at the Weizmann Institute of Science, where I studied daily changes in mitochondrial numbers. Upon coming back to Boston, I began working on the biochemistry of circadian rhythms at Harvard Medical School, studying the native, endogenous structure and function of the transcription factor responsible for regulating all mammalian cellular circadian rhythms. I also spent a summer at the EPFL in Switzerland investigating robotics and its application in the diagnosis and treatment of psychosis. As an MD-PhD student at Yale, I want to learn how to rigorously think about science and become the best physician that I can be. Outside of school, I love to read philosophy/ethics, eat good food, pursue my love for stand-up comedy, and listen to classic rock.
- I grew up in Aurora, Colorado, and spent time at the University of Colorado before coming to Yale. I am interested broadly in voltage-gated ion channels as they relate to both normal function and disease. Outside of academics, I love playing and watching all kinds of sports, exploring breweries, and finding new places to eat.
- Born in Virginia and raised in New Jersey, I graduated from Rutgers University with a BA in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry. I was fortunate to research under Dr. Paul Copeland, who studies the rare amino acid- selenocysteine. In his lab I researched selenoprotein translation in vitro and in Danio Rerio. On a sunny Saturday you can find me out hiking with my wife and dog, and Sunday attending Trinity Church. Fun Fact: In my spare time, my brothers and I brainstorm and modify laboratory equipment in order to brew better tasting coffee.
- Deanne Yugawa is currently pursuing an M.D./Ph.D. at the Yale School of Medicine. She graduated from the University of Utah with degrees in Biology (with Honors) and Economics. During her undergraduate career, Deanne completed internships at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Hawaii Pathologists' Laboratory, and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) at HHS. Deanne's past research focused on the role of Ptf1a (p48) in pancreatic cancer initiation. She is currently a member of the lab of Luisa Escobar-Hoyos where she studies the role of RNA splicing in pancreatic cancer. In her free time, she enjoys reading mystery novels, exploring Japan, and going home to Hawaii.Fun Fact About Me: I never saw snow until college, but ended up living in a city where the snow was often taller than me.
2018 Entering Class
- Nathaniel received his B.S. in Chemistry magna cum laude from the George Washington University (GWU) in 2017. As an undergraduate with Dr. Ioannis Eleftherianos and Dr. Douglas Nixon, he studied neuro-immune interactions influencing pain sensitization in Drosophila. As postgraduate research associate at GWU's Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Tropical Medicine he worked on identifying markers of T-cells latently infected with HIV-1 in addition to studying a novel mechanism of HIV-1 mediated immune evasion. In 2018, he enrolled in the Yale MD/PhD program and will be working to understand neuro-immune circuitry underlying different disease states in Dr. Ruslan Medzhitov's lab.
- Hannah grew up in a suburb of Detroit, Michigan and graduated with a B.S. in Neuroscience from Michigan State University in 2016. She spent her summers between school doing research and exploring new places, including a study abroad research experience in Dusseldorf, Germany and an internship at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. After graduating, she spent two years in Baltimore, Maryland working as a post-baccalaureate at the National Institute on Drug Abuse. In Geoff Schoenbaum's lab, she worked full time studying the role of dopamine in associative learning in rats. She became involved in the community through her work with the Baltimore Needle Exchange program and as a case manager at a free community health clinic. Hannah joined the MD-PhD program at Yale in the Summer of 2018 where she completed her first graduate school rotation through the START Program. She has since become heavily involved in the addiction medicine and psychiatry communities at Yale; she was part of the inaugural cohort of REACH (Recognizing and Eliminating disparities in Addiction through Culturally-informed Healthcare) Scholars and leads the medical school's branch of the Addiction Medicine Collaborative. She is highly involved in the MD-PhD program as a student council rep and through her work with admissions. Hannah will join Jess Cardin's lab in Fall of 2020 to complete her PhD in Neuroscience. Hannah enjoys baking, is a life-long cat lover, recently adopted two adorable pet rats, loves to travel, and is hoping to pick up her violin again one of these days.
- Pasha received his B.A. in neuroscience with highest distinction from the University of Virginia where he studied thalamocortical circuits involved in absence epilepsy. Following his undergraduate training, he was a research associate at the Allen Institute for Brain Science where he described the patterns of connectivity and characterized synaptic physiological properties of mouse and human neocortical networks. In 2018, he enrolled in the Yale MD/PhD program where he will conduct his thesis work with Alex Kwan examining cellular and circuit effects of psychedelics.
- Sarah was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio and attended Ohio State University as an Eminence Fellow with a major in Neuroscience. While at OSU, she founded and ran the Theatre Arts Group, a program at a local high school in which she taught students about theatre and wrote and directed two plays with a team she ran. What started as her passion project has since expanded to multiple schools in Columbus, OH. In addition to theatre, Sarah has been interested in brain development and neurodevelopmental disorders since high school when she worked with children with autism at Camp Stepping Stones every summer. She then spent 5 years working on clinical trials and conducting translational and basic research on autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and fragile X syndrome (FXS) at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, OSU, and the UC Davis MIND Institute. After graduation, she worked at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital for two years in Dr. Craig Erickson’s lab studying FXS before leaving the Midwest for Yale’s MD-PhD program in 2018. After two years of medical school, she is now a 5th year in the program and a PhD candidate in Dr. Ellen Hoffman’s lab, where she studies the roles of ASD-associated chromatin modifier genes in early brain development using zebrafish. She has served as a primary care provider in the Wednesday Evening Clinic for the past 2 years to stay connected to clinical medicine while in graduate school. Additionally, she is the head graduate affiliate for Davenport college, co-chair of the MD-PhD student council and PASS mentor, and president of the Yale Salsa Society. When not in the lab or clinic, her hobbies include salsa dancing, biking for commute and fun, most forms of exercise and outdoor activities, spending quality time with friends, her partner, and dog, building things at MakeHaven, and listening to podcasts.
- Rachel matriculated to Yale in 2018 to pursue MD/PhD training at Yale School of Medicine and Yale School of Public Health. She graduated from Duke in 2016 with a double major in global health and psychology. At Duke, she began conducting global mental health research, with her thesis focusing on adolescent mental health in rural Kenya. After graduating, she took a gap year to study malaria elimination in low- and middle-income countries at UCSF, and another to study the intersection of nutrition, epigenetics, and cardiovascular disease at the Framingham Heart Study. At Yale, Rachel is completing her dissertation on implementation of evidence-based tuberculosis care in Uganda in Dr. Luke Davis' lab. Rachel is also affiliated with Dr. Sarah Lowe's Trauma and Mental Health Lab to study the psychological impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on healthcare workers. Rachel hopes to advance her training in biostatistics and mixed methods throughout her MD/PhD training.
- Tyler is a fifth year MD/PhD student in the Genetics Department co-mentored by Dr. Siyuan Wang and Dr. Andrew Xiao. He earned his bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from Northeastern University in 2017. During his undergraduate studies, Tyler interned at Tetraphase Pharmaceuticals working on tetracycline antibiotic development, and Epizyme Inc., working on developing small molecule epigenetic inhibitors for molecularly defined cancers. In addition to his internships, Tyler worked in a lab at Northeastern studying axolotls, working to understand the nervous system’s role in tissue regeneration. Tyler is studying chromatin biology during human embryonic development, gaining understanding to help propel him into a career studying mammalian regeneration and repair. Building an understanding how the earliest stem cells safeguard their genome during development, we can uncover new proteins that enhance human genome stability.
- Brooks Leitner attended the University of Maryland, College Park, where he earned his bachelor's degree in Kinesiology, with Honors in 2015. There, he earned undergraduate researcher of the year in 2015 for his work on the effects of exercise on brain function in Dr. J. Carson Smith's lab. He moved on to the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD for a Postbaccalaureate position in the Diabetes, Endocrinology, and Obesity branch of the NIDDK. There, he studied human brown adipose tissue anatomy and function, and its role in human energy metabolism in the labs of Drs. Kong Chen and Aaron Cypess. Brooks enrolled in Yale's MD/PhD Program in 2018, and completed his PhD in Cellular & Molecular Physiology in 2022 in the lab of Dr. Rachel J. Perry, investigating the intersection of metabolic fitness and cancer and sepsis.
- Sakura received her B.A. in anthropology and biology from Washington University in St. Louis in 2017. As an undergraduate, she pursued research projects on medical decision-making in Madagascar and brown adipose tissue in mice with normoglycemic obesity. After graduating, she studied applied biological anthropology at the University of Cambridge as a Gates Cambridge scholar. Her MPhil dissertation compared metabolic rates and fluctuating asymmetry in collegiate rowers. At Yale, Sakura is studying the impact of obesity on maternal and child health in Samoa. She is mentored by Dr. Richard Bribiescas and Dr. Nicola Hawley. Her dissertation project will examine the impact of obesity on female reproductive function in Samoa.
- Duy is an MD/PhD student at Yale interested in functional genomics, developmental neurobiology, and pediatric neurosurgery. Duy previously majored in neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University, where he was a Goldwater Scholar and Woodrow Wilson Research Fellow. His NIH F30-funded PhD work, co-mentored by Kristopher Kahle and Nenad Sestan, focused on understanding the molecular genetic mechanisms of developmental brain disorders using unbiased functional genomic approaches in human patients paired with hypothesis-driven neurobiology studies in animal models. Duy's works have led to new understanding of genes involved in formation of the brain-cerebrospinal fluid interface and the embryological mechanisms underlying hydrocephalus, the most common reason for brain surgery in children. His findings have led to first-authored publications in Nature Neuroscience and Neuron and contributing author publications in Nature, Nature Medicine, Journal of Cell Biology, JAMA Neurology, and JAMA Pediatrics. Duy's long-term goals are to define the cellular and molecular pathology of nervous system disorders to thereby develop precision medicine approaches for the care of patients with developmental neurocranial malformations. Google Scholar: https://scholar.google.com/cit... Pubmed: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.go...
- Prior to joining the Yale MSTP, Jordan completed her undergraduate studies at Emory University, conducting research under the mentorship of Dr. David Weiss on heterogeneity of resistance phenotypes within populations of multi-drug resistant bacterial pathogens. A classical microbiologist by training, her interest in host-microbe interactions led Jordan to affiliate with the Department of Immunobiology to pursue her PhD in the lab of Noah Palm, studying gut microbiota and their impacts on human health and disease, taking particular interest in the microbiota-gut-brain axis. Outside of the lab, Jordan enjoys caring for her two wonderful dogs (a young, boisterous English Springer Spaniel named Finnigan and an elderly, shy Pug-Beagle mix named Goose) and playing board games with friends (Gloomhaven and Pandemic Legacy are her current favorites).
- Anchi grew up in Fremont, CA. For college, she studied biomedical engineering at Duke study and became interested in understanding the way environmental factors can influence human health. She spent most of her summers in Dr. Lawrence David's lab tracing the evolution of the ubiquitous enzyme beta-galactosidase from bacteria to animals and working to understand this metabolic enzyme's function across multiple forms of life and how that can inform our understanding of prokaryote-eukaryote interactions. She spent one gap year at the NIH in Bethesda, MD as part of their their postbac IRTA program under Dr. Thomas Markello in the Undiagnosed Diseases Program. While at the NIH, she helped develop a computational program capable of detecting variants in UDP patients' genomes that are likely candidates in causing their respective conditions. For her thesis, she is Dr. Noah Palm's lab in the Immunobiology department, studying the microbiome (TBD). Since coming to Yale, she has been involved in the HAVEN Free Clinic, the Ultrasounds Acapella group, the MD/PhD Diversity and Inclusion Committee, and the Volunteering in Pediatrics program. She has also been a part of the leadership of the Pediatrics Interest Group, Music in Medicine, and Palliative Care Scholars. In her free time, she enjoys gardening, cooking, and hiking.
- I was born in Los Angeles, CA and grew up in Connecticut and Massachusetts. In high school, I developed a passion for understanding the etiology of diseases as well as for applying computational tools to solve biological questions. I continued to explore these interests in my coursework in Statistics and Data Science and Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology at Yale College as well as in my wonderful research experiences. I am currently interested in pursuing a Ph.D. that focuses on discovering underlying causes for idiopathic diseases.Outside of school, I am passionate about advocating for women in STEM and medicine and serve as a co-leader for Women in Medicine. I also enjoy being a JCTM for HAVEN, reading, cooking, board gaming, and staying active (swimming, rowing, and hiking).
- I was born in Guangzhou, China, immigrated to the United States when I was two, and raised in Vestavia Hills, Alabama, a suburb of Birmingham.For undergrad, I attended New York University where I majored in Biochemistry and minored in Math and Psychology. During my time, I was involved in the chemistry department and served as a peer tutor for general chemistry and biochemistry. I also worked in Professor Nathaniel Trasseth's lab studying pathological mutations in the kinase domain of FGF receptors, using solution state NMR techniques to probe and characterize how these mutations allosterically lead to aberrant kinase activation. After graduation, I continued to work on this project and started work towards an NMR solution structure of Grb2, a downstream FGFR kinase substrate. At Yale, I am involved in MD/PhD and MD admissions, Ultrasounds (the YSM acapella group), Graduate Student Assembly, and Medical Student Council, currently serving as a Class Representative and previously as President. In my free time, I like to bake and try new recipes, run and lift, bike and hike, and go to New York and travel. Research wise, I am interested in the intersection between chemical and structural biology, specifically structure based drug design. I am doing my PhD in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology in Professor Craig Crews' lab using PROTAC technology to expand the druggable proteome.
2017 Entering Class
- Born in NYC, I (he/him) have lived up and down the East Coast including nearby Branford for elementary school. I graduated from Cornell in 2015 where I pursued a degree in Biological Sciences concentrating in neurobiology/behavior. There I worked in the lab of David Smith studying the activity of hippocampus during memory retrieval and interference. I then spent 2 years at the NIH before coming here working in the lab of Chris McBain studying corelease of GABA and glutamate in VGluT3+ CCK interneurons in hippocampus. Currently I am a graduate student in the lab of Jess Cardin. Clinically I am interested in psychiatry, neurology, and pediatrics. Scientifically, I am generally interested in neuroscience from genes to behavior. Specifically I'm interested in the development and function of the various classes of cells in cortical circuits and their role in shaping information in the context of different behavioral states. In my spare time I play the piano, paddle on the Sound with Manu'iwa Outrigger in Milford, volunteer as a CASA, visit family, and read as many books as I can.
- Elsie graduated from the University of California - Riverside with a B.S. in Biochemistry. As an undergraduate she studied gene regulation with an emphasis on the transcriptional regulation of cell growth, differentiation, and cancer initiation under the mentorship of Dr. Ernest Martinez. After graduating, she spent two years at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine studying brown adipose tissue physiology and the role of macrophage fatty acid oxidation in obesity under the guidance of Dr. Michael J. Wolfgang. Elsie joined the MD/PhD program at the Yale School of Medicine in 2017 and the laboratory of Dr. Vishwa D. Dixit in the Department of Immunology in 2019. She is interested in exploring neuro-immune interactions outside of the central nervous system and in broadly understanding how these interactions might regulate behavior, metabolism, inflammation, and defense against pathogens. At Yale, she has served on the HAVEN Free Clinic leadership board, SNMA/LMSA executive board, and sits on the Committee for Diversity, Inclusion, and Social Justice (CDISJ). Elsie was born and raised in Long Beach, CA. In her spare time she enjoys reading, art museums, photography, and rock climbing.
- My research focuses on translational studies of malaria in sub-Saharan Africa with an emphasis on parasite dynamics and treatment pharmacology and how these impact the emergence and spread of drug resistance. I currently work as an MD/PhD student in the Parikh Lab in the Department of Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases at the Yale School of Public Health. My previous research at the University of Texas at Dallas focused on altered cellular metabolism in cancer and other pathological conditions. I was previously enlisted as a cavalry scout in the US Army and deployed twice in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom and New Dawn. Afterwards I earned a BS in Biology and a MS in Biotechnology at UTD before joining the MD/PhD program at the Yale School of Medicine in 2017.
- Jon originally hails from California and attended University of California, Davis completing degrees in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology with a minor in Neuroscience. After graduation, Jon worked for several years at University of California, San Francisco working in the laboratory of Dr. Leor Weinberger before accepting a position in the MD/PhD program at the Yale School of Medicine. Jon is currently conducting his PhD research in SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis in the laboratory of Dr. Akiko Iwasaki.
- Dan Li (also known as Dan-Dan Li) graduated from Harvard College with a Bachelor of Arts with high honors in Chemical and Physical Biology and a minor in Mathematical Sciences in 2015. She is currently a fifth year MD/PhD candidate doing her PhD study in Former Dean Sten Vermund’s lab on the impact of COVID-19 on women and children. As an aspiring OB, Dan holds issues affecting women and children’s lives close to heart. She is the founder and CEO of Education without Barriers, a 501c(3) nonprofit aims to bridge the education accessibility gaps through free, real-time online education and mentorship for vulnerable children across the globe.
- Kingson hails from Philadelphia, the city of brotherly love. He attended the University of Pennsylvania where he obtained his bachelor's in biochemistry and master's degree in organic chemistry. During undergraduate he was a residential adviser, chemistry tutor, member of various cultural clubs, and a mentor for freshmen and first generation college students. Given his background in biochemistry and organic chemistry, Kingson is very interested in the mechanisms of drug action and the design of small molecule inhibitor therapies. He is currently a 3rd year MD/PhD student in the Bindra and Herzon labs studying mechanisms of DNA alkylation damage and synthetic lethal interactions in IDH mutant glioblastomas. Outside of lab, Kingson can often be found at home cooking, out in the cinemas watching the latest Marvel movie, at the gym working out, wasting time on Reddit, and in New York City on the weekends. If you see him, strike up a conversation about medicine, science, cats, corgis,cooking, or personal finance.
MD/PhD Student, Therapeutic RadiologyA native of Kansas City, Anna graduated from the University of Kansas with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering. She joined the MD/PhD program at the Yale School of Medicine in 2017. Currently, Anna is conducting her graduate thesis work in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, where she is focused on in utero delivery of polymeric nanoparticles for fetal gene therapy. Anna’s clinical interests include adolescent gynecology, neonatal medicine, and fetal therapy.
- Born and raised in West Orange, NJ, I completed my undergraduate education at Washington University in St. Louis (2009-2013). Following college, I pursued training in human brain imaging at the University of Texas at Dallas (2013-2017). I now work in the lab of Alex Kwan studying how rapid-acting antidepressants work and ways to individualize antidepressant treatment. In my spare time I can be found hanging out in the mountains, making music, experimenting in the kitchen, or trying something new.
- I was born in Kansas City but spent most of my early life in a small town in Southeast Kansas. I went to PIttsburg State University in Kansas for undergraduate, where I studied biochemistry, played jazz, and researched the use of magnetic nanoparticles as diagnostic tools for infectious diseases. I recently completed my PhD at Yale School of Public Health under the mentorship of Dr. Luke Davis, and my dissertation work evaluated the implementation of contact tracing for COVID-19 using mixed methods. My primary research interests include implementation science, global health, infectious disease, harm reduction, and social networks. Clinically, I am interested in family medicine and plan to pursue full-spectrum training in order to one day practice rural family medicine. Outside of work, I like playing music, baking, fishing, and exploring the outdoors. My favorite time of year is Fall/Winter, but that has nothing to do with the weather and everything to do with eggnog.
MD, PhD Student, NeuroscienceBorn in Boston, MA, Elizabeth grew up in Paris for a couple years and Glenview (suburb of Chicago, IL) for the majority of her life. She attended the University of Chicago where she received a B.A. in Economics with a minor in Biology. She joined the Thinakaran lab, a neurobiology lab, and her research focused on understanding the role of Rab35 GTPase in modulating APP processing in Alzheimer's Disease in a cellular model. Currently, she is being co-mentored by Drs. Amy Arnsten and Lauren Sansing and is interested in studying how neurons communicate to microglia and astrocytes in the setting of aging and how that contributes to the region-specific vulnerabilities seen in Alzheimer’s Disease. Outside of the lab, she is also interested in policy surrounding drug pricing and how as physicians we can better advocate for changes in the policy and pricing schemes.She is an avid learner of foreign languages and loves to travel to learn about new cultures. She is also part of the Citations (Yale Graduate and Professional Student A Capella), has served as MSC president (2017-2018), and loves desserts and all things Broadway Musicals.
2016 Entering Class
- Emmanuella Asabor is a joint MD Candidate and PhD Student in Epidemiology at Yale University Schools of Medicine and Public Health whose research sits at the intersection of social medicine, epidemiology, and health policy. Emmanuella has been recognized as a Forbes 30 Under 30 Honoree and a Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Research Fellow for her research and advocacy in COVID-19, police violence, asylum medicine, and global health. Her research has been featured in the New York Times, Forbes, Vanity Fair, USA Today, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and more. She earned her bachelor’s at Harvard University where she studied the history of medicine and global health. She also holds a master’s degree in African Studies from the University of Cambridge. Prior to Yale, she shaped supportive housing policy in New York City through a joint New York University and New York State Department of Health initiative. In her spare time, she enjoys travel, cooking, Nigerian literature, and occasionally re-living her opera-singing past.
- Ryan is an MD/PhD student. His graduate work with Sidi Chen focused on harnessing CRISPR technologies to understand the genetic regulation of cancer progression and anti-tumor immunity.
MD-PhD Student, MD-PhD Program; Dardik Lab, Surgery
- 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.
- Grant Higerd is an MD/PhD student of Dr. Stephen Waxman. His graduate work explores the trafficking of voltage-gated sodium channels in sensory neurons, with the goal of identifying novel mechanisms for non-addictive treatments for pain.
- Sam Olyha is an MD/PhD student in the lab of Dr. Carrie Lucas. Her graduate work explores the role of transcription factor ELF4 in regulating the poising of CD4+ T cells towards an inflammatory state.
- MD-PhD student in Dr. Sandy Chang's lab studying telomere biology.
- MD/PhD Student
- Cheryl K. Zogg, PhD, MSPH, MHS, is an MD-PhD Candidate at Yale School of Medicine. She completed her PhD in Chronic Disease Epidemiology with an emphasis on quantitative analysis and biostatistics. As an MSTP student, Cheryl is funded via an Individual NRSA Fellowship from the National Institute on Aging (MD-PhD F30 grant) and Yale's MD-PhD Medical Scientist Training Program (T32 grant). Cheryl’s research centers around the fields of surgical health services and outcomes, striving to understand how the organization of health systems, social determinants of health, and variations in access influence the outcomes and quality of surgical care. To date, Cheryl has published more than 100 peer-reviewed papers and, in 2018, was recognized in Forbes 30Under30 for her research in healthcare.Website: LinkedIn
2015 Entering Class
- Jennifer Chen is an MD/PhD student in the labs of Stephanie Eisenbarth and Craig Wilen. Her graduate work explores mechanisms of antibody production during allergy and SARS-CoV-2 infection.
- Professional: I am an 8th year MD/PhD student at the Yale School of Medicine. My research interests have led me to focus on the role of the cerebellum in higher cognitive functioning, an emerging field that promises to shed light on both neuropsychiatric disorders and developmental programs. My PhD thesis under the mentorship of Prof. Nenad Sestan examined human-specific features of the cerebellum using single-cell RNA sequencing and in vitro cell culture and brain organoid models. As a future physician-scientist, I hope to work towards anchoring the understanding and treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders in biological mechanisms. Extracurricular: In my spare time, I also enjoy playing piano, rowing, and playing board games.
- EducationBA, University of California, BerkeleyI am an MD/PhD student in the Sidi Chen Lab investigating methods with which to apply next generation genetic tools to cell-based immune therapies.
MD/PhD Student, Therapeutic RadiologyI study DNA repair, nucleic acid structure, and novel gene editing technologies with clinical interests in hematology/oncology. Other interests of mine include biotech entrepreneurism, healthcare in underserved populations, and LGBTQ health.
- Margret Erlendsdottir is a student in the dual degree MD/PhD program at Yale University. She is pursuing her PhD in the research group of Dr. Forrest Crawford in the Department of Biostatistics of the Yale School of Public Health. Her research interests focus on the development of statistical methods in causal inference and their applications in clinical comparative effectiveness research.
- Carrie is an MD/PhD student at Yale School of Medicine. Her graduate work in Microbiology is in the Kazmierczak lab, where she studies the interactions between the bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa and the pathogenic free-living amoeba Acanthamoeba castellanii. She received a B.A. from Johns Hopkins University in 2010 and a M.S. degree from Rutgers University in 2015. Her master's thesis research involved host-pathogen interactions between innate immune cells and Mycobacterium tuberculosis. She is interested in infectious diseases, especially chronic infections, mycobacterial diseases, opportunistic infections, and diseases caused by free-living amoebae.
- Originally from Las Cruces, NM, Danielle earned her BA in Biology at New Mexico State University in 2015 before starting at Yale to pursue her MD-PhD later that year. In 2017, she began her PhD in Genetics and joined the laboratory of Dr. Murat Gunel, where she is focusing on employing various single-cell and next generation sequencing technologies to understand the molecular basis of meningioma tumorigenesis and microenvironment. After completing her joint degrees, Danielle hopes to go on to train in neurosurgery, where she aspires to emulate her mentors in becoming an active neurosurgeon-scientist. Danielle is an active member of the Yale community and is dedicated to mentorship and encouraging others to pursue the surgeon-scientist training. She is a co-founder of the Yale Neurosurgery Interest Group, the Cushing Society and has served as a member of Diversity and Inclusion Committees of the MD-PhD program (past) and Yale Neurosurgery Department (present), as well as on the MD Admissions committee. She is a Graduate Affiliate of Berkeley College, where she serves as a mentor to Yale College students and enjoys teaching Human Anatomy as a TA and tutoring students in biology and chemistry as a private tutor.
- Professional: I am an 8th year MD-PhD student at the Yale School of Medicine. For my PhD thesis under the mentorship of Prof. Andrew Xiao in the Dept. of Genetics, I studied the function of a newly discovered epigenetic mark, DNA N(6)-methyladenine, in stem cell fate decisions during trophoblast development and hematopoiesis. I am interested in pursuing a physician-scientist career at the intersection of epigenetics, stem cell biology, and human disease.Hobbies: Hiking, Biking, A Cappella, Cricket
- Jonathan Park is an MD-PhD student studying applications of CRISPR gene editing technologies for immuno-oncology in the Sidi Chen lab. His graduate work has focused on discovering novel immunotherapy targets and precision engineering for CAR T-cells.
MD/PhD Student, Therapeutic RadiologyGene editing and gene delivery
2014 Entering Class
- Daniel is an MD/PhD candidate working with Michael Crair and Michael Higley in the Department of Neuroscience. His research is at the interface of cellular and systems neuroscience, developing novel imaging methods to understand how large-scale patterns of brain activity influence the firing of individual or groups of neurons and how these patterns of activity change across development and subserve behavior. Prior to coming to Yale, he received an AB from Princeton University and an MPhil from University of Cambridge, where he discovered his interest in cellular and systems neuroscience. When not in lab or on the wards, he can be found being walked around the East Rock neighborhood by his dog, Leo, or exploring new hiking trails throughout New England.
- With insights from biological and sociocultural anthropology, Jes studies the intersection of adversity and health. Her dissertation research centered the experiences of women who migrated from Latin America to build lives for themselves and their children in southern Connecticut. This research will be published as a book by the University of California Press entitled Pressing Onward: The Imperative Resilience of Latina Migrant Mothers in May 2023. In the book, Jes describes how migrant mothers enact "imperative resilience," or cognitive and social strategies that enable women to press onward, or seguir adelante, despite traumatic histories and ongoing oppression. She emphasizes the need for more supportive policy environments to help migrant mothers to live more fully.Jes has enjoyed funding support from the National Science Foundation, the Wenner-Gren Foundation, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Recently, Jes received recognition through the Pisacano Leadership Program in Family Medicine, the P.E.O. Scholars Award, and the American Academy of Family Physicians Foundation Emerging Leaders Program. Jes enrolled in the MD/PhD program in 2014 after graduating magna cum laude from Washington University in St. Louis with an A.B. in International Studies and Spanish. She plans to apply her training as a family physician-anthropologist and health policy advocate.
- Abigail is an MD/PhD candidate in the lab of Todd Constable. She received her PhD in 2021, with anticipated graduation in 2023. She received her A.B. with highest honors from Princeton in 2013, where she studied psychology in the lab of Jonathan Cohen, and received certificates in Quantitative and Computational Neuroscience and French. Following graduation, Abigail received a ReachOut56-81-06 fellowship to support a year working in the healthcare department of ProMujer Nicaragua.Abigail's research focuses on the application of computational modeling and machine learning techniques to human neuroimaging data to reveal the neural bases of complex cognitive processes, traits, and clinical symptoms. She hopes to integrate this skillset with training as a psychiatrist to yield more precise understandings of the macroscale neural circuits underlying (dys)function. Outside of lab, Abigail worked with the Behavioral Health Department at Yale's student-run free clinic (HAVEN), which she directed from 2017-2018, and as a Pivotal Response Treatment clinician at the Child Study Center under the supervision of Dr. Pamela Ventola. She has presented her work at various conferences, including the Society for Neuroscience, Organization for Human Brain Mapping, and Flux Congress meetings, and has received various recognitions for her work, including an F1000 recommendation, the NIH Outstanding Scholars in Neuroscience award, and the YCCI Multidisciplinary Pre-doctoral Training Program in Translational Research Fellowship.
- I am a 6thyear MD-PhD interested in the intersection of cell biology and neuroscience in the context of neurodegenerative disease. After finishing my undergraduate degree in Chemistry at Franklin & Marshall College, I spent one year in France pursuing a Master’s degree in Biochemistry under a Fulbright grant. My research interests have evolved over time from organic chemistry, to human genetics of cholesterol metabolism and atherosclerosis, and now to cellular and molecular neuroscience, which feels like the right place for me. In my free time I like to climb rocks, try to build things out of wood, attempt to keep plants alive, and read books.
- I grew up in Thief River Falls, MN and went to Concordia College in Moorhead, MN. I spent a year at the University of Oxford studying various aspects of Neisseria type four pili molecular biology. I obtained my PhD in the lab of Todd Constable through the Interdepartmental Neuroscience program, studying individual differences in the developing functional connectome.Fun fact about me: obsessed with bikram yoga--I do a killer triangle pose.
- I was born and raised in Seoul, South Korea until I was fifteen. In the late 1990’s, Korea’s economy faced major financial crises, which greatly impacted my family both financially and emotionally. However, my mother saw an opportunity to work as a nurse in the United States, and despite the language barrier, she received the sponsorship and the permanent residency for my family. I am grateful for my parents’ sacrificial love and the opportunity to study in the US.After graduating from the University of Rochester, I joined Randall Peterson’s lab at Harvard University as a full-time research associate during which I conducted independent research on genomic editing tool development. My work demonstrated for the first time that the bacterial immune system called CRISPR/Cas9 can be utilized to modify any gene of interest in a whole living organism. My research resulted in a first author publication in Nature Biotechnology and a two-method paper to share this platform with other scientists.My current research at Yale focuses on unraveling the nuclear transport mechanism of beta-catenin in canonical Wnt signaling that affects heart development as well as numerous cancers. As a physician-scientist in training, I want to capitalize on the unique opportunity to advance personalized medicine by investigating patient-driven translation research. Fun facts about me: I can speak a little bit of American Sign Language and you may see me walking on the street and signing words (i am not a weirdo. I am just practicing my signing skills :)
- Katherine is an MD/PhD candidate at the Yale School of Medicine. She received her PhD in Biomedical Engineering in 2022, working in the lab of Laura Niklason. Her research focuses on lung alveolar tissue engineering, with a particular interest in applying physiological principles and insights from stem cell biology to achieve tissue regeneration or repair. Prior to starting medical school, she received her BS in Biomedical Engineering from Yale. She plans to pursue a career as an academic surgeon-scientist.
- Alyssa is an MD/PhD candidate in the Department of Immunobiology at the Yale School of Medicine. She conducted her PhD in the laboratory of Ruslan Medzhitov. Her research focuses on the noncanonical function of regulatory T cells in intestinal homeostasis and allergic inflammation. She plans to pursue a career as an academic physician-scientist.
2013 Entering Class