Meet our Current Students

Class of 2023
The Class of 2023 at "The Lawn," a new nearby park

 


Class of 2023

Isabel Anez Bruzual

Isabel Anez Bruzual

Isabel is originally from Caracas, Venezuela. She obtained her undergraduate degree from Boston University, where she double majored in Neuroscience and Psychology. Following graduation, Isabel started working at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) as a Clinical Research Coordinator. During her three years at MGH, she led a biomarker study and clinical trials for patients with familial ALS and presymptomatic carriers of an ALS causative mutation. Her experience with this patient population led her to pursue a career in genetic counseling. Outside of school, she enjoys traveling, working out, and spending time with friends and family.

Kaley Arnold

Kaley Arnold

Kaley is from Florham Park, New Jersey and graduated from the College of New Jersey in 2020 with a Bachelor of Science in biology and a minor in public health. While at TCNJ she created an organization called Healing Arts which promotes mental health and wellness though the therapeutic power of art. Since college, she completed an internship at the Cancer Institute of NJ in the Precision Medicine Oncology department. She currently works as a contact tracer and case investigator for the NJ Department of Health. Kaley is interested in learning more about pediatric genetic counseling during her training. Outside of genetics, she enjoys horseback riding, painting, and spending time with friends and family.

Brianna Berlin

Brianna Berlin

Brianna was raised as a Jersey girl but is a Colorado native through and through. After graduating from Rutgers University with a degree in Cell Biology and Neuroscience, she moved back west to pursue reproductive physiology and cancer genetics research at the University of Colorado. During her time in Denver, she worked as an ophthalmic medical scribe and volunteered as a hospice counselor. These experiences and her passion for patient advocacy led her to pursue genetic counseling. In her free time, she can be found gaming, baking, and hiking with her dog, Mozart.

Lan Chen

Lan Chen

Lan is from Madison, Mississippi, and graduated from Vanderbilt University with a bachelor’s degree in neuroscience and minor in anthropology. As an undergraduate student, she conducted research on the epigenetic effects of vagus nerve stimulation on learning and memory pathways. She also mentored and taught middle school science in Nashville through the Vanderbilt VSVS program and served as vice president and co-director of Project Heal, now a chapter of the Global Medical Missions Alliance. She gained exposure to the field of genetic counseling in her role as a coordinator for a clinical trial evaluating neuropsychiatric comorbidities in Huntington’s disease. In her free time, Lan enjoys playing ultimate frisbee, trying new recipes, and watching Premier League soccer.

Elizabeth Coffran

Elizabeth Coffran

Elizabeth is from Marshfield, Massachusetts. She obtained her undergraduate degree in Biology from Boston College. As an undergraduate student, she worked as a research assistant, teaching assistant, and a tutor at a local elementary school. She spent her summers interning at the Psychiatry Neuroimaging Laboratory at Brigham and Women's Hospital and at the Genetics and Aging Research Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital. After graduation, she started working as a Clinical Research Coordinator at Ora, Inc. In her free time Elizabeth enjoys traveling, going to the beach, and spending time with friends.

Anna Duemler

Anna Duemler

Anna is from Green Lane, Pennsylvania. She graduated from the Pennsylvania State University in 2018 with a degree in Biology with an option in vertebrate physiology. Following graduation she started a post baccalaureate fellowship at the National Institutes of Health. She started in Dr. Christina Annunziata’s lab, analyzing the mechanisms of an immunotherapy clinical trial for ovarian cancer. In 2020 she began working with Dr. Kathleen Calzone’s group, developing a project analyzing the association between the CDH1 gene, cleft lip and/or palate, and family history of gastric or breast cancer. During her time at the NIH she also worked as a crisis counselor, volunteered at the Colorectal Cancer Alliance, and spent time shadowing various genetic counselors.

Kimberly Gaiser

Kimberly Gaiser

Kimberly is from New Jersey and graduated from Bucknell University in 2018 with a major in Psychology and a minor in Public Policy. Upon graduation, she completed a postbaccalaureate program at Thomas Jefferson University and worked in the 22q and You Center at CHOP as a clinical research assistant. This part time role led her to a full-time role in Clinical Genetics as a Scribe while continuing research on 22q11.2 deletion syndrome. This past year, she organized and implemented the annual 22q and Boo event and 22q Awareness Day (11/22). Kim enjoys reading any book off Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club list, attempting the daily NYT crossword puzzles, and sending snail mail to loved ones.

Brielle Gehringer

Brielle Gehringer

Brielle is from Maple Shade, New Jersey. She attended the University of Pennsylvania for her undergraduate education and graduated in 2018 with a B.A. in Biology. Since then, she has been a research coordinator of the ASPE Study at Penn, a genetic study of autism spectrum disorder. Her experience with clinical research has inspired her to pursue a career in genetic counseling. In her free time, you can find Brielle at a concert or on the beach!

Hannah Hadgu

Hannah Hadgu

Hannah was born and raised in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. She attended Gettysburg College and graduated in May of 2019 with a B.S in Biology and a double minor in English and Peace and Justice Studies. After graduation, Hannah moved to Philadelphia where she worked as the Genetic Counselor Assistant for the Genetics team at the Main Line Health Hospitals. In this role, she had the opportunity to shadow cancer, prenatal, and cardio genetic counseling sessions. Hannah looks forward to exploring prenatal genetics further throughout her time at the University of Pennsylvania. In her free time, Hannah enjoys watching musicals, staying active, and spending time with her friends and family.

Alicia Harrison

Alicia Harrison

Alicia is from the mountains west of Denver, Colorado. She graduated from Case Western Reserve University in 2017 with degrees in Biochemistry and International Studies. While in school, Alicia gained additional valuable experience volunteering with Global Medical Brigades, University Hospital, and the Cleveland Sight Center. After two years as a genetic counseling assistant at Austin Cancer Center, Alicia joined the Genomes2Veterans team at the Boston VA, doing translational genomics research. In her free time, Alicia enjoys travel, photography, and reading too many books at a time.

Kellyn Madden

Kellyn Madden

Kellyn grew up a few miles from Philadelphia, across the Ben Franklin Bridge in South Jersey. She graduated from Dickinson College in 2019 with a major in molecular biology and a minor in English. After graduating, she worked at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia doing bench research on pediatric cancers. Kellyn is interested in studying the intersection of health disparities and genetic counseling and hopes to aid in the process of bringing equity to America’s health care system after she earns her degree. For fun, she enjoys hiking, playing guitar, and hanging out with her golden retriever, Rigby.

Kyle Mahoney

Kyle Mahoney

Kyle is from Chichester, Pennsylvania. He graduated from the Pennsylvania State University in May of 2021, receiving a degree in Biology with a focus on genetics and development. In his final year of school, Kyle began volunteering with Crisis Text Line and was able to do cancer and COVID-19 research in a lab on campus. He was able to gain shadowing experience during the summers of his freshman and sophomore years, and by doing simulated genetic counseling sessions. During the summers Kyle worked at a summer camp as a counselor, and eventually taught environmental education at the camp. Kyle enjoys playing video games, watching TV, and supporting the 76ers.

Daniel McGinn

Daniel McGinn

Daniel was born at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. He grew up in Voorhees, NJ and attended Moorestown Friends School. Daniel attended Davidson College, earning a BS in Biology as well as captaining the men’s lacrosse team and working as a CHOP summer research assistant before assuming the roles of clinical coordinator and GCA upon graduation. Daniel had the privilege of presenting his research findings at national and international meetings and interfacing with outstanding clinicians, patients and families who inspired him to pursue a career in genetic counseling, back where it all began - at UPENN.

Juliet Milani

Juliet Milani

Juliet grew up in Lower Merion, Pennsylvania, just outside of Philadelphia. She graduated from Middlebury College in 2021 with a degree in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry and a Psychology minor. Before joining Penn’s program, she spent a summer interning at Penn’s Basser Center, where she confirmed her interest in genetic counseling as a career. She also worked as a lab assistant at Fox Chase Cancer Center, conducting anti-cancer research. Aside from genetic counseling, Juliet enjoys singing and playing the guitar, puns, and fitness.

Jasmine Purcell

Jasmine Purcell

Jasmine is from Lorton, VA. She graduated from Christopher Newport University in May 2019 with a B.S. in Biochemistry and minors in Leadership Studies and Spanish. At CNU, she was selected as a Presidential Scholar and had the opportunity to study abroad at the University of Oxford. After graduation, she worked as a Genetic Counseling Assistant at GeneDx where she was able to gain invaluable experience with genetic tests. Her interests include expanding access to genetic testing for underserved populations. In her free time Jasmine enjoys volunteering with Crisis Text Line, baking and going to the beach.

Amy Ren

Amy Ren

Amy is from Boston, MA, and graduated from Dartmouth College in 2015 with a degree in Medical Anthropology. After college, Amy worked at Voyager Therapeutics in Cambridge, MA, doing gene therapy research for neurodegenerative disorders. Her work focused on AAV capsid evolution and developing a CNS-specific gene delivery platform. She started volunteering as a crisis counselor for Crisis Text Line in the spring of 2020. She is fascinated by psychosocial and ethical considerations in genetic counseling and is excited to start patient-facing work in the clinic. Amy loves running, baking, podcasts, surviving triathlons, all things nerdy, and cheesy dad jokes. Most importantly, she cannot wait to get a puppy with her significant other after graduation!

Abigail Ward

Abigail Ward

Abbie grew up in Dover, New Hampshire, and graduated from Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences University in 2016 with a degree in Health Sciences and a minor in Health Psychology. After graduating, she stayed in Boston and worked in clinical research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, focusing on tumor sequencing in pediatric solid malignancies. This work helped deepen her interest in pediatric genetics and oncology, which she hopes to continue in her career as a genetic counselor. In her free time, Abbie enjoys hiking, snowboarding, and cheering for Boston sports teams!


Class of 2024

Suzi Birnbaum

Suzi Birnbaum

Suzi is from the suburbs of Philadelphia and graduated from Muhlenberg College in 2018 with a bachelor’s in biochemistry and minors in German studies and Asian studies. After graduating, she worked as a laboratory technician in the Sundaram lab at UPenn, studying apical extracellular matrix in the nematode, C. elegans. At the same time, she also completed a Master of Bioethics while at UPenn; learning about issues in disability bioethics, patient advocacy and more strengthened her desire to work at the intersection between science and patient care. In her free time, Suzi loves all things crafting- knitting, crochet, embroidery, and sewing.

Jen Borowka

Jen Borowka

Jen is from Chappaqua, New York.  She graduated from Bucknell University in 2020 with a degree in neuroscience.  After graduating, she worked at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute as a Clinical Research Coordinator. At Dana-Farber, she worked on studies aimed at improving the treatment and outcome of patients with Glioblastoma and other brain cancers.  Her work there helped her develop a passion for patient advocacy and research. In her free time, Jen enjoys going on walks, cooking, and live music!

Allaina Brock

Allaina Brock

Allaina is from Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania, and graduated from Bryn Athyn College with a bachelor’s in biology and a minor in psychology. While at Bryn Athyn College, she worked as a biology tutor and a molecular biology research assistant. She loves sports and was thrilled to be able to play Division III volleyball. As an undergraduate, she had a clinical genetics internship at Fox Chase Cancer Center and did crisis counseling. After graduating, Allaina moved to New Jersey and started working at T.E.A.L.® - Ovarian Cancer Foundation in Brooklyn, New York. She loves going out in New York City, hiking, reading, and all things concerning coffee.

Camille Brown

Camille Brown

Camille is originally from Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. She graduated from the University of the Sciences in 2020 with a degree in biomedical sciences and a minor in microbiology. She also played Division II softball for USciences during her undergraduate career. Since graduating, Camille has been working as a clinical research coordinator at Shriners Hospitals for Children in Philadelphia and volunteering for the Crisis Text Hotline. These experiences with advocacy and exposure to rare disease populations have strengthened her desire to join the field of genetic counseling. In her free time, Camille enjoys cooking, listening to true crime podcasts and spending time with her pets.

Teresa Chai

Teresa Chai

Teresa is from Burlington, Massachusetts. She graduated from Northeastern University with a B.S. in cell and molecular biology and a minor in psychology. While at Northeastern, Teresa gained valuable experience through two co-op opportunities: the first as an In-Vitro Cancer Biologist at Ikena Oncology and the second as a Genetic Counseling Assistant at the Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Cancer Risk Assessment. Following graduation, she returned to work as a GCA full time and continued volunteering with Crisis Text Line. In her free time, Teresa enjoys taking dance classes, traveling, and trying new foods with friends.

Mackenzie Coston

Mackenzie Coston

Mackenzie is from Bellingham, Washington, and graduated from the University of Washington in 2019 with a degree in molecular, cellular, and developmental biology. After graduating, Mackenzie worked at the Allen Institute for Cell Science as a microscopist and chaired the Seattle chapter of the non-profit organization, Young Women In Bio. Additionally, Mackenzie has volunteered with Crisis Text Line, the American Cancer Society and the Epilepsy Foundation of Washington. Mackenzie is passionate about expanding access to genetic care and inspiring the next generation of genetic counselors. In her free time, Mackenzie can be found baking or cooking, being active, crocheting, and reading.

Katie Gianforcaro

Katie Gianforcaro

Katie grew up in Pennsylvania and graduated from the University of Delaware's honors program with a degree in biological sciences and a minor in Spanish for healthcare. Following graduation, she worked as a prenatal and reproductive genetic counseling assistant at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. Katie is passionate about increasing access to carrier screening and hopes to further explore the role of genetic counselors in fetal care. Outside of genetics, she enjoys spending time with friends and family, reading, and going to the beach.

Shannon Gray

Shannon Gray

Shannon is from Cleveland, Ohio, and graduated from the Ohio State University in 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in molecular genetics and zoology. After graduation, she worked for two years as a clinical research assistant studying melanoma at the James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute. She also volunteered for the Sexual Assault Response Network of Central Ohio and Big Brothers Big Sisters. These experiences sparked her interest in working with minority communities to bring education and awareness of the importance of genetic counseling. In her free time, Shannon enjoys roller skating, traveling, and spending time with her cat.

Ingrid Lee

Ingrid Lee

Ingrid was born and raised in Taipei, Taiwan. She graduated from Barnard College of Columbia University in May 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in cell and molecular biology. During college, she volunteered at Camp Kesem, a summer camp for kids impacted by a parent’s cancer. Following graduation, she worked as a clinical research coordinator in the Thermoregulation and Exoskeleton programs in spinal cord injury research at the Bronx VA. She then transitioned to teratology research, joining the MotherToBaby Pregnancy Studies team that explores how certain medications and vaccines affect pregnancy. Her previous experience has led to her passion to support women and children’s health. In her free time, you can find her baking and dancing to her 90’s music playlist!

Sam Levy

Sam Levy

Sam is originally from Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, and graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 2021, where he majored in molecular biology and minored in chemistry and Mediterranean art and archaeology. At Pitt, Sam enjoyed his experiences as an undergraduate teaching assistant and research intern. After graduating, Sam began working as a genetic counseling assistant at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. He has also volunteered with a crisis hotline at a local domestic violence resource center and with a program serving hospitalized senior citizens. In his free time, Sam enjoys running, tennis, skiing, and walking his dogs.

Breanna Lima Martinez

Breanna Lima Martinez

Breanna is from Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, and graduated from the University of Toronto in 2021 with a HBSc in molecular genetics and microbiology. During her undergraduate study, she was involved with the Innis College Student Society, La Mosaic student magazine, and completed minors in Psychology and French Studies. Prior to entering the program, she was a volunteer at the Zane Cohen Centre for Digestive Diseases and Kids Help Phone. Breanna enjoys reading, journaling, cooking, and traveling in her spare time. She is also an avid event planner, including planning her own Quinceañera, Innis College Orientation, Pub Nights, a Formal Gala, and surprise birthday parties for friends.

Apurba Mainali

Apurba Mainali

Apurba is originally from Edmonton, Alberta, and graduated from the University of Alberta in 2020 with a Bachelor of Science in molecular genetics. After graduating, she worked as a genetics assistant at the Edmonton Medical Genetics Clinic working with pediatric patients. She also helped found a community group for Nepalese-Canadian youth that organizes local events and serves as a platform for members to share their experiences. In her free time, Apurba enjoys hiking, traveling, and exploring local restaurants and coffee shops.

Angelia Manuelito

Angelia Manuelito

Angelia Manuelito is from the Pueblo of Acoma, New Mexico. She graduated from Columbia University with her B.A. in evolutionary biology of the human species in spring 2022.  In high school, Angelia conducted a community-based research project presenting on the benefits of genetic testing and population screening for the prevention of congenital diseases within indigenous communities. Since then, she’s been interested in addressing and repairing the relationship between western science and indigenous medicine so both may benefit from genetic technologies. Angelia enjoys reading, running, and exploring the East Coast.

Caroline Mayk

Caroline Mayk

Caroline is from West Chester, Pennsylvania.  She graduated from Bucknell University in 2022 with a B.S. in neuroscience and a children’s studies minor.  During her time at Bucknell, she was a member of the varsity swim team, a study group facilitator, and a Near Peer counselor at a local middle school.  In the summer of 2021, she worked at Geisinger’s Genomic Medicine Institute where she evaluated the cardiovascular genes that were newly added to the third version of the ACMG’s Secondary Findings List for the Geisinger MyCode Community Health Initiative.  Caroline enjoys spending time with her family, listening to podcasts, and cheering on Philadelphia sports teams.

Anna Prentice

Anna Prentice

Originally from Vancouver, BC, Anna is a 2022 graduate of the University of Toronto in molecular genetics and English. While completing her undergraduate degree, she worked in a comparative genomics lab researching heart development. During this project, she was involved in a collaboration with the SickKids Cardiac Genome Clinic—a team including research genetic counselors—with the goal to identify conserved enhancers impacting congenital heart disease. In the future, Anna hopes to integrate her passion for research into her work as a genetic counselor. In her free time, Anna also enjoys baking, hiking, and musical theatre.

Becca Reef

Becca Reef

Becca grew up in the small town of Sharon, Massachusetts and graduated from the University of Rochester in 2020 with a Bachelor of Science in neuroscience and a minor in clinical psychology. As an undergraduate, she was a passionate member of the Inspiration Project, a local group connecting students to individuals with cerebral palsy to write memoirs together. Following graduation, she joined the pediatric neurogenetics program at Boston Children’s Hospital as a genetic counseling assistant.  Outside of her love for genetics and patient education and advocacy, Becca enjoys cheering for the New England Patriots, going to the beach, and exploring local farmer’s markets.

Baergen Schultz

Baergen Schultz

Baergen grew up in Centennial, Colorado. She graduated from Lewis & Clark College in 2019 where she majored in biology with a minor in neuroscience. As an undergraduate, she worked in a neurobiology lab where she studied the cellular mechanisms of Parkinson’s disease. Following graduation, she supported genomics research consortia as a Scientific Program Analyst at the National Human Genome Research Institute. During her time in Washington, DC, she also volunteered at an inpatient hospice center. In her free time, she enjoys baking, reading, and spending time outdoors.

Kara Skorge

Kara Skorge

Kara is from Jasper, Indiana, and is a 2021 graduate of Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, where she majored in biochemistry and minored in psychology. She has since spent her time working in a clinical pharmacology research lab at Vanderbilt University under Dr. Dan Roden and Dr. Andrew Glazer, classifying genetic variants of uncertain significance relating to heart defects and arrhythmias. She has always had a passion for genetic counseling and was inspired by her late grandfather to one day specialize in adult-onset neurodegenerative disorders. In her free time, she has loved getting involved with the community through leading service projects for her former sorority (Chi Omega), substitute teaching for a local middle school, and performing in local and school-wide musical theatre productions.