Trainee Advocacy Alliance

Who is the Trainee Advocacy Alliance (TAA)?TAA Logo

TAA is a collaborative group of Biomedical Graduate Studies (BGS) graduate students, Biomedical Postdoctoral Program (BPP) post-docs, and Penn faculty members from across the University who are committed to creating, nurturing, and maintaining a Penn biomedical research community that embodies inclusivity, diversity, and equity. With the full support and access to resources within IDEAL Research, TAA will provide trainee support for members of the Penn Medicine research training community especially those from under-resourced backgrounds and identities that are historically underrepresented in the biomedical sciences.

All TAA members complete trainings in restorative justice, inclusive mentorship, and mental health intervention to ensure that individuals from all identities are embraced and advocated for within biomedical research.

You can always reach out to TAA@pennmedicine.upenn.edu with any questions.

Who can use TAA as a resource?

TAA is a resource for trainees facing adversity within the biomedical research community - especially those from under-resourced or historically underrepresented backgrounds experiencing racial, gender, disability, or other identity-based discrimination.

Trainees Include

  • Graduate Students
  • Post-Bacs
  • Post-Docs
  • Medical Students
  • Master's Students
  • Research Technicians
  • Undergraduate Student Interns
  • High School Student Interns
  • Any other individuals working under an advisor

TAA Services

  • Providing a supportive environment to discuss experiences
  • Confidential counseling and guidance
  • Role playing conversations
  • Email reviews
  • Navigation and referral to official Penn resources
  • Mediation services
  • Direct intervention
  • Assistance in filing an official complaint – incident reporting

Want to know more about TAA?

  • View the TAA Handbook

  • Follow us on Social Media

  • Reach out to us

    • Email a member from the TAA Leadership Team

  • Attend our events

    • Keep an eye out for dates announced on TAA social media and BGS bulletins!

  • Want to become a TAA member?

Leadership

Dan KesslerFaculty Leader

*Note*: Dr. Kessler is a Mandatory Title IX Reporter

Affiliated Graduate Groups: Cell and Molecular Biology -- Developmental, Stem Cell, and Regenerative Biology

Email Address: kesslerd@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Why did you choose to join the Trainee Advocacy Alliance?

Helping talented young scientists overcome the challenges and difficulties of graduate school to thrive and succeed has been the most satisfying aspect of my professional life. I am committed to the success and wellbeing of every BGS student and joining TAA was a natural continuation of this focus in my role as a teacher, advisor, mentor and graduate group chair.

What experiences and strengths do you bring to the Trainee Advocacy Alliance?

I have served as CAMB graduate group chair for over 12 years, and as chair for the DSRB program of CAMB for the prior 5 years. I have partnered with and advocated for students facing all manner of challenge and difficulty to define solutions that allowed students to succeed and thrive.

Research Interests & Experience: I am a developmental biologist with an interest in the regulation of cell lineage regulation in the early vertebrate embryo, with a specific focus on transcriptional, signaling, genomic, and epigenetic regulatory mechanisms.

Link to Faculty Bio.: Daniel S. Kessler | Faculty | Perelman School of Medicine

Fun Fact: Yoga is my happy place.

Faculty LeaderElizabeth Heller

Affiliated Graduate Groups: Neuroscience, Pharmacology, Cell and Molecular Biology

Email Address: eheller@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Why did you choose to join the Trainee Advocacy Alliance?

I chose to join TAA to support trainees in their professional development.

What experiences and strengths do you bring to the Trainee Advocacy Alliance?

I have mentored trainees from diverse backgrounds and at various levels since 2003 as a graduate student, and since 2016 as a faculty member.

Research Interests & Experience: The Heller Lab studies transcriptional regulation by exposure to drugs of abuse and stress, in mouse models of addiction and depression. Our goal is to elucidate the mechanisms underlying the perseverative nature of these disorders.

Link to Lab website: Heller Lab

Fun Fact: I am a huge fan of hip-hop. I grew up listening and going to shows, including tons of roots shows when I first lived in Philadelphia from 1998-2002 as a Penn undergrad.

Robin BaileyGraduate Student Leader

Affiliated Graduate Group: Cell and Molecular Biology -- Gene Therapy and Vaccines

Email Address: robin.wilder@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Why did you choose to join the Trainee Advocacy Alliance?

Throughout my education I have been supported by programs that provided an oasis on campus for underrepresented minorities navigating the field of science. As a TAA member, I would like to foster similar support systems at Penn.

What experiences and strengths do you bring to the Trainee Advocacy Alliance?

I have mentored fellow students from underrepresented minorities in science and have experience planning community service events that encouraged peers to not only care for but also interact with the members of our community.

Research Interests & Experience: My research focuses on using gene therapy to restore vision in individuals with inherited retinal diseases and blindness. My current focus is validating a treatment for gyrate atrophy and investigating photoreceptor regeneration.

Fun Fact: I am Chamorro (the indigenous people of Guam).

Jill EisenhauerGraduate Student Leader

Affiliated Graduate Group: Cell and Molecular Biology -- Gene Therapy and Vaccines

Email Address: eisej@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Why did you choose to join the Trainee Advocacy Alliance?

As a Korean-American adoptee, I have never fit into the generalized Asian-American stereotypes placed upon me. Throughout my career, I have been able to share my AAPI narrative and pursue my STEM-related goals with the endless support from my past mentors and professors. I would like to join TAA with the hopes of giving back that same mentorship while creating a safe and inclusive scientific community.

What experiences and strengths do you bring to the Trainee Advocacy Alliance?

In undergrad, I was a member of Presidential Envoys, a student ambassador organization, at the University of North Florida and served as Vice President of Marketing where I focused many social media efforts towards informing students about our organization as an opportunity to network and grow professionally within the Jacksonville community. I also worked as a lab assistant where I was able to mentor and train students from a local community college!

Research Interests & Experience:  Currently, I am interested in understanding ways to design DNA-encoded monoclonal antibodies as a therapeutic for protection against infectious diseases. I am also interested in DNA vaccine design.

Fun Fact: I own 14 berets and counting! All different colors!

Mikel HaggadoneAffiliated Department: Microbiology

Email Address: Mikel.Haggadone@Pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Why did you choose to join the Trainee Advocacy Alliance? 

It is my belief that - above all else - the goal of academic science is to empower human flourishing. This requires that trainees feel valued, validated, and supported, and I am proud to be part of TAA's mission to achieve this at Penn.

What experiences and strengths do you bring to the Trainee Advocacy Alliance? 

My journey as a scientist has been nonlinear with several "wrong turns" and "setbacks" (including but not limited to dropping out of my first Ph.D. program). Because of this, I've gained valuable insight into the importance of supportive mentorship and leadership and the need to cultivate emotional well-being in academic science. I have extensive experience with leveraging community support to help trainees navigate their journeys through graduate school with a particular focus on mental health.

Research Interests & Experience: My long-term research interest is to understand how innate immune cells sense and integrate metabolic cues in their environment to orchestrate host defense against bacterial pathogens.

Fun Fact: I have run several marathons and ultramarathons!

TAA Members - Faculty

Ahmara Ross*Note*: Dr. Ross is a Mandatory Title IX Reporter

Affiliated Graduate Group: CAMB and Neuroscience

Email Address: ahmara. ross@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Why did you choose to join the Trainee Advocacy Alliance?

Encountered issues in my own training, have maneuvered them, and want to mentor and encourage others to do so.

What experiences and strengths do you bring to the Trainee Advocacy Alliance?

Junior faculty so close to training, I am a URM in a male dominated surgical specialty, continue to take leadership and group leading sessions personally.

Research Interests and Experience: Vision research, induced pluripotent stem cells, eyes, and retinal ganglion cells.

Fun Fact: I bake my own bread with a 20-year-old sourdough starter.

Andrew J ModzelewskiAffiliated Graduate Group: DSRB

Email Address: amodz@upenn.edu

Why did you choose to join the Trainee Advocacy Alliance?

To be a more effective mentor and help grad students and post docs navigate this difficult time of their lives. There are a lot of hard decisions to make. I've made enough mistakes for all of us. No need to re-invent that broken wheel.

What experiences and strengths do you bring to the Trainee Advocacy Alliance?

I've experienced "good" and "terrible" mentoring, so at the very least I can relate to various situation and share what I've tried to do to improve my situation. I'm also first gen and was low-income during school, so "I get it".

Research Interests and Experience: Reproduction/Meiosis (Cornell PhD) and Cancer/Embryo/Transposons (UC Berkeley).

Fun Fact: I live in the oldest* home in the United States. (*more details in person!)

Link to lab: www.theModzLab.org

Avery PoseyAffiliated Graduate Groups: PGG, GTV, IGG

Email Address: aposey@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Why did you choose to join the Trainee Advocacy Alliance?

To provide mentorship to individuals from underrepresented groups in STEM.

What experiences and strengths do you bring to the Trainee Advocacy Alliance?

Personal experiences, 15+ years of diversity training, advocacy and recruitment, and director of research training program for underrepresented students.

Research Interests and Experience: Cancer immunotherapy and gene therapy.

Fun Fact: I was once a member of a house and participant in the ballroom scene, which was popularized in the TV series "Pose".

Link to Faculty Bio.: Avery D Posey | Faculty | Perelman School of Medicine

Benjamin F. Voight*Note*: Dr. Voight is a Mandatory Title IX Reporter

Affiliated Graduate Group: Genomics & Computational Biology

Email Address: bvoight@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Why did you choose to join the Trainee Advocacy Alliance?

To support equity, diversity, and inclusion efforts within the Biological Graduate Studies program.

What experiences and strengths do you bring to the Trainee Advocacy Alliance?

I have and have healthy knowledge and understanding of several training opportunities in bioinformatics on Penn's Campus. I serve at the chair of the Genomics and Computational Biology Graduate group, and also the Director of the Bioinformatics concentration for the MSTR program. I also co-direct GCB/CIS/MSTR535 (Introduction to Bioinformatics).

Research Interests and Experience: I am a statistical and population geneticist interested in characterizing the relationship between DNA sequence variation and susceptibility to complex traits. Over my career, I have mapped thousands of genetic loci influencing susceptibility to complex traits, particularly type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular, and liver disease. My group also develops methods for population genomics inference problems, focused on characterizing variation in mutation rate and genomic targets of natural selection in human populations.

Link to my website: http://coruscant.itmat.upenn.edu

Fun Fact: My middle name is Franklin.

Brian CapellAffiliated Graduate Group: Cell and Molecular Biology -- Genetics and Epigenetics

Email Address: BCapell@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Why did you choose to join the Trainee Advocacy Alliance?

Having been a trainee for many years spanning undergraduate, med school and grad school, plus a postdoc, I have seen and experienced many of the challenges and stumbling blocks that arise. I would love the opportunity to take those lessons and use them to ease the way and benefit and help others advance their careers.

What experiences and strengths do you bring to the Trainee Advocacy Alliance?

I think some of the strengths I bring to the TAA stem simply from the fact that the physician scientist track has been long and offered both a range and diversity of experiences and challenges along the way. I've worked in many different environments and with broad array of people and personalities. I hope those years of experience can be of value to others who are now taking similar paths and facing similar challenges.

Research Interests & Experience: The Capell Lab seeks to understand how epigenetic and epitranscriptomic gene regulatory mechanisms contribute to disease, and in particular, cancer. By combining the incredible accessibility of epithelial tissues like human skin, with the most cutting-edge epigenetic and epitranscriptomic techniques, we aim to identify novel targets to treat disease.

Link to Lab Website

Link to Faculty Bio.: Brian C Capell | Faculty | Perelman School of Medicine

Fun Fact: I was an art history minor in college, and visiting museums both at home and when traveling is a favorite escape.

Craig BassingAffiliated Graduate Group: Cell and Molecular Biology

Email Address: bassing@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Why did you choose to join the Trainee Advocacy Alliance?

Throughout my 19 years at Penn, I have advised CAMB students formally. In recent years, many BGS students from other graduate groups have sought my counsel based on recommendations of CAMB students. I joined TAA to make myself formally and visibly available to any PSOM student or postdoc trainee.

What experiences and strengths do you bring to the Trainee Advocacy Alliance?

I bring 19 years of experience in advising graduate students about diverse topics including complex and sensitive issues negatively impacting their personal, academic, and/or professional well-being. My advising strengths include persistent and follow-through advocacy of trainees, particularly in encouraging and empowering their self-advocacy.

Research Interests and Experience: My research interests are in elucidating molecular mechanisms that govern lymphocyte antigen receptor gene diversification processes to establish effective adaptive immunity while suppressing autoimmunity and oncogenic genomic lesions. I have 25 years of experience in this aspect of molecular and cellular immunology.

Link to lab: https://www.med.upenn.edu/apps/faculty/index.php/g20000320/p5078061

Fun Fact: I find that my trainee advocacy skills do not translate effectively for coaching 8-10-year-old boys in baseball and basketball.

Crystal ConnAffiliated Graduate Groups: Pharmacology, Cell and Molecular Biology -- Cancer Biology, Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics

Email Address: Crystal.Conn@Pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Why did you choose to join the Trainee Advocacy Alliance?

To be any form of a mentor, one needs to continuously learn and grow in proficiencies as an educator which includes fostering DEI awareness and support. I joined the TAA because I see a need for trainee mentorship that has been lacking in academia for far too long and I wanted to be properly trained to provide an open space for communication while cultivating an inclusive community in our programs.

What experiences and strengths do you bring to the Trainee Advocacy Alliance?

As a first-gen, non-binary, mixed individual navigating my training and career I have experienced and witnessed a variety of challenges. My personal goals are focused on maintaining wellness with positive solutions for progress. I hope my experiences aid in mentoring and echoing the voices of the next generation of researchers to create an inclusive and supportive environment.

Research Interests & Experience: The Conn Lab studies post-transcriptional, dynamic responses during disease progression with a focus on mRNA translational regulation for oncogenic survival.

Link to Lab Website

Fun Fact: I've lived across 4 states, in 15+ homes/Apts, & love to explore new locations!

Link to Faculty Bio.: Crystal S. Conn | Faculty | Department of Radiation Oncology | Perelman School of Medicine

 

David FeldserAffiliated Graduate Group: Cell & Molecular Biology -- Cancer Biology, Immunology

Email Address: dfeldser@upenn.edu

Why did you choose to join the Trainee Advocacy Alliance?

I wanted to be a better mentor.

Link to lab webpage: https://www.med.upenn.edu/feldserlab/

Donita Brady*Note*: Dr. Brady is a Mandatory Title IX Reporter

Affiliated Graduate Groups: Pharmacology, Cell and Molecular Biology -- Cancer Biology, Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics

Email Address: bradyd@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Link to Faculty Bio.: Donita C. Brady | Faculty | Perelman School of Medicine

Eileen ShoreAffiliated Graduate Group: CAMB (G&E and DSRB)

Email Address: shore@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Why did you choose to join the Trainee Advocacy Alliance?

Graduate school - and life - is filled with new and sometimes difficult challenges. My sibs and I were first generation to go to college - we didn't know what we didn't (but needed to) know in order to be successful. Happy to support, encourage, listen.

What experiences and strengths do you bring to the Trainee Advocacy Alliance?

I don't know - but everyone needs and deserves help and support at some time. I value the opportunity to gives this to others.

Research Interests and Experience: Rare genetic diseases of extra-skeltal bone formation - mechanisms and pre-clinical studies.

Link to lab: https://www.med.upenn.edu/orl/shorelab/

Fun Fact: A favorite experience - bungee jumping from the Kawarau Bridge in New Zealand.

George BurslemAffiliated Graduate Group: BMB

Email Address: George.Burslem@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Why did you choose to join the Trainee Advocacy Alliance?

To support Trainees and to help increase Inclusion, Diversity and Equity in STEM.

What experiences and strengths do you bring to the Trainee Advocacy Alliance?

A strong commitment to effective and supportive mentoring, gained through experience and extensive training.

Research Interests and Experience: Chemical biology of post-translational modifications.

Link to lab: burslemlab.com

Igor Brodsky*Note*: Dr. Brodsky is a Mandatory Title IX Reporter

Affiliated Graduate Group: Immunology, Cell and Molecular Biology -- Microbiology, Virology, and Parasitology

Email Address: ibrodsky@vet.upenn.edu

Why did you choose to join the Trainee Advocacy Alliance?

To support trainees from marginalized groups who might experience bias incidents, and to foster an environment of inclusivity within the Penn research community.

What experiences and strengths do you bring to the Trainee Advocacy Alliance?

I bring a commitment to the ideals of equity, inclusion, and diversity, and the desire to ensure that no trainee has to go through instances of microaggression or bias feeling alone or unsupported.

Research Interests and Experience: My lab is interested in understanding innate immunity to bacterial pathogens. We study how activation of cell death signaling pathways promote control of bacterial infection using a combination of in vitro and in vivo model systems.

Link to lab: http://brodskylab.squarespace.com/

Fun Fact: I enjoy rock climbing with my family.

Joel BabdorAffiliated Graduate Group: IGG / PGG

Email Address: joel.babdor@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Why did you choose to join the Trainee Advocacy Alliance?

To support the next generation of scientists.

What experiences and strengths do you bring to the Trainee Advocacy Alliance?

I understand the challenges that come with navigating academic settings as a minoritized scientist and first generation scientist. I work at being an ally and support for other minoritized groups. I also have first hand experience in successfully navigating challenging workplace environments and pivoting to more supportive workplace environments that foster success and growth.

Research Interests and Experience: The Precision Immunology and Microbiome Medicine laboratory that aims at understanding immune health, through a multi-systems approach that explores the dialogue between the human immune system and the microbial exposome. The lab uses high-throughput, high-dimensional profiling approaches and multimodal computational methods to study clinical and model systems data. One of the lab long-term goals is to better define immune health and contribute to the development of precision microbiome-medicine therapies to improve immune interventions for patients.

Fun Fact: I love rock climbing and hiking.

Link to lab: babdorlab.com

Katharine BarAffiliated Graduate Group: Cell & Molecular Biology -- Microbiology, Virology, and Parasitology

Email Address: bark@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Why did you choose to join the Trainee Advocacy Alliance?

I wish to contribute to a supportive educational environment.

What experiences and strengths do you bring to the Trainee Advocacy Alliance?

Medical and graduate training experience.

Research Interests and Experience:

I'm an assistant professor of medicine interested in translational HIV research.

Fun Fact: I can whistle very loudly.

Katherine UyhaziAffiliated Graduate Group: DSRB, GTV

Email Address: katherine.uyhazi@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Why did you choose to join the Trainee Advocacy Alliance?

Graduate school is hard enough when everything is going well, and can be overwhelming when challenges are added to the mix! I would like to help trainees navigate the challenges and create a welcoming, inclusive environment for future generations of scientists.

What experiences and strengths do you bring to the Trainee Advocacy Alliance?

I have had various training experiences in college, med school, grad school, and as a postdoc, and hope to help others navigate the bumps along the road to these career paths.

Research Interests and Experience: I am an ophthalmologist who specializes in genetic blinding diseases. My lab studies the developmental biology of the eye and develops gene and cell therapies for inherited retinal disease.

Link to lab: https://www.uyhazilab.org/

Fun Fact: I spent a summer in Switzerland and developed a lifelong love of chocolate croissants.

Kellie Jurado*Note*: Dr. Jurado is a Mandatory Title IX Reporter

Affiliated Graduate Groups: IGG, CAMB

Email Address: kellie.jurado@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Link to Faculty Bio.: Kellie Ann Jurado | Faculty | Perelman School of Medicine

Why did you choose to join the Trainee Advocacy Alliance? 

I believe in the TAA mission, and the strength of community.

What experiences and strengths do you bring to the Trainee Advocacy Alliance? 

I am an action-driven advocate for underserved and marginalized populations.

Research Interests and Experience: Early life immunity.

Fun Fact: I have over 50 indoor plants!

Link to Lab Website: https://www.jurado-lab.com/ 

Kim Sharp*Note*: Dr. Sharp is a Mandatory Title IX Reporter

Affiliated Graduate Groups: Biochemistry and Molecular Physics, Genomics and Computational Biology

Email Address: SHARPK@UPENN.EDU

Why did you choose to join the Trainee Advocacy Alliance?

I am a strong believer in their mission.

 

What experiences and strengths do you bring to the Trainee Advocacy Alliance?

Many years involvement in graduate education, including 10+ years as chair of the Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics graduate group.

 

Research Interests & Experience: Simulation of proteins, nucleic acids, virtual drug discovery.

 

Link to lab website

 

Link to Faculty Bio.: Kim A. Sharp | Faculty, Perelman School of Medicine

Fun Fact: I bike to work from the suburbs every day.

Knashawn MoralesAffiliated Graduate Group: Epidemiology and Biostatistics -- Biostatistics

Email Address: knashawn@upenn.edu

Why did you choose to join the Trainee Advocacy Alliance?

I hope to ensure the success of all of our trainees.

What experiences and strengths do you bring to the Trainee Advocacy Alliance?

I am organized, a good listener, honest, and respectful.

Research Interests & Experience: I am a collaborative statistician with a primary focus in mental health and behavioral modification interventions for asthma, insomnia, weight management, and HIV/STD risk reduction.

Link to faculty bio page: https://www.dbei.med.upenn.edu/bio/knashawn-h-morales-scd

Fun Fact: I enjoy movies and traveling.

Mary Mullins*Note*: Dr. Mullins is a Mandatory Title IX Reporter

Affiliated Graduate Group: Cell and Molecular Biology -- Developmental, Stem Cell, and Regenerative Biology

Email Address: mullins@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Why did you choose to join the Trainee Advocacy Alliance?

I am committed to changing the environment at Penn for our underrepresented graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, so that it is one where all trainees can thrive to become the best scientists they can be.

What experiences and strengths do you bring to the Trainee Advocacy Alliance?

I am active in racial justice efforts here at Penn, including co-chairing the BGS and BPP Combating Racial Inequities Committee (CRIC), and co-leading the Research Pillar of Action for Cultural Transformation in PSOM. I am also active as the graduate program chair of DSRB in educating our students and faculty about systemic racism and how we can change it. As a woman scientist I understand the feeling of not fitting the mold and I want to change that to make STEM inclusive for all.

Research Interests & Experience: My lab studies how a BMP morphogen signaling gradient forms, is maintained, and is interpreted to specify multiple cell types along the embryonic dorsal-ventral axis. We also study the membraneless Balbiani body organelle in oocyte polarity and maternal regulation of embryonic development in the zebrafish.

Link to Lab Website

Fun Fact: After receiving a fitbit as a present, I have become obsessed with my steps.

Link to Faculty Bio.: Mary C. Mullins | Faculty | Perelman School of Medicine

Matt GoodAffiliated Graduate Groups: Cell and Molecular Biology -- Cell Biology, Physiology, and Metabolism

Email Address: mattgood@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Why did you choose to join the Trainee Advocacy Alliance?
To help foster inclusivity and diversity within the Penn biomedical research community.
 
What experiences and strengths do you bring to the Trainee Advocacy Alliance?
Assistant professor with perspective of having recently been a postdoc and started a research lab at Penn. Participated in diversity recruitment for CAMB through outreach lectures at local universities.

Research Interests & Experience: My lab is interested in the unique cell biology of early development. We study mechanisms regulating the maternal-zygotic transition and the assembly of membraneless organelles.

Link to lab website

Link to Faculty Bio.: Matthew C Good | Faculty | Perelman School of Medicine

Fun Fact: I played basketball under the lights of the Palestra as part of the faculty-student game.

Michael HarhayAffiliated Graduate Group: Epidemiology and Biostatistics

Email Address: mharhay@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Why did you choose to join the Trainee Advocacy Alliance?

As a recent Penn Medicine PhD student and post-doc myself, I am eager to contribute to the community's health from the other side as a junior faculty member.

Research Interests & Experience: My research program principally focuses on the design and analysis of randomized trials.

Link to Faculty Bio.

Meera SundaramFaculty Leader

Affiliated Graduate Group: Cell and Molecular Biology -- Developmental, Stem Cell, and Regenerative Biology

Email Address: sundaram@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Why did you choose to join the Trainee Advocacy Alliance?
I liked the fact that TAA grew out of a student-initiated peer support network, and I welcomed the opportunity to work side-by-side with these students to support our community. There is so much that faculty can learn from our students.
 
What experiences and strengths do you bring to the Trainee Advocacy Alliance?
As a female scientist from an immigrant and mixed race family, I have navigated complicated issues of culture and identity in my personal life. I also have administrative experience as a former chair of the G&E graduate program and former PI of the Genetics training grant.
 
Research Interests & Experience: My lab uses C. elegans to study mechanisms that shape and protect epithelial tubes.
 

Link to Faculty Bio.: Meera V. Sundaram | Faculty | Perelman School of Medicine

Fun Fact: I am an amateur genealogist with almost 5000 people in my researched family tree.

Michael P. HartAffiliated Graduate Group: Cell and Molecular Biology -- Genetics and Epigenetics, Neuroscience

Email Address: hartmic@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Why did you choose to join the Trainee Advocacy Alliance?

I am committed to training the next generation of neuroscientists and geneticists including fostering a supportive, inclusive, and collaborative environment for trainees at all levels and from all backgrounds, instilling rigorous research values, and promoting a general passion for learning and science.

What experiences and strengths do you bring to the Trainee Advocacy Alliance?

As a young LGBTQ+ faculty member, I have a strong connection with positive and negative experiences I had as a student and postdoc. These experiences make me want to work hard to create an environment where the voices of current trainees are listened to and supported during both positive and negative experiences.

Research Interests & Experience: My lab studies the role of genes associated with neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric disorders in the plasticity of neuronal circuits and behaviors. I did my PhD training in the Neuroscience Graduate Group at Penn and my postdoctoral training at Columbia University in New York City.

Link to lab website: www.mphartlab.com

Fun Fact: I am an identical twin.

Rajan JainAffiliated Graduate Group: Cell and Molecular Biology -- Developmental, Stem Cell, and Regenerative Biology

Email Address: jainr@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Why did you choose to join the Trainee Advocacy Alliance?

To help in ongoing efforts to strengthen training.

Research Interests and Experience: Our lab studies how 3D spatial organization and genome folding directs cell fate decisions and organogenesis.

Link to lab website: https://www.med.upenn.edu/jainlab/

Ricardo CastilloAffiliated Graduate Group: Epidemiology and Biostatistics Graduate Group

Email Address: cricardo@upenn.educricardo@upenn.edu

Why did you choose to join the Trainee Advocacy Alliance?

I am a FGLI Latino so I am enthusiastic about joining TAA because of its commitment to fostering an inclusive, diverse, and equitable biomedical research community at Penn. I believe TAA’s dedication to offering support for individuals facing adversity or distress aligns with my values and emphasizes the importance of building a supportive community throughout the challenges of research training.

What experiences and strengths do you bring to the Trainee Advocacy Alliance?

My main strength relevant to TAA is in my experience mentoring grad and undergrad students in the U.S. and Peru. I've also worked in underserved communities in North Carolina and in Latin America.

Research Interests and Experience: I have focused my research on the epidemiology of zoonotic diseases in urban areas, the fastest-growing ecosystems in the world. I study the socio-spatial dynamics of urban zoonotic diseases and the optimization of mass vaccination campaigns to control epidemics. I am also working on the intersection of social inequalities, access to health services, and the emergence of infectious diseases.

Link to lab: https://www.dbei.med.upenn.edu/bio/ricardo-castillo-phd-dvm-msph

Fun Fact: I have many random hobbies (falconry, three cushion billiards, archery...).

Sarah HenricksonAffiliated Graduate Groups: Immunology, Cell and Molecular Biology -- Microbiology, Virology, and Parasitology

Email Address: henricksons@email.chop.edu

Why did you choose to join the Trainee Advocacy Alliance?

I was previously in the Minority Student Network and I'm thrilled to have joined this group.

What experiences and strengths do you bring to the Trainee Advocacy Alliance?

Supporting trainees, both in my lab and in the graduate programs more broadly, is a fundamental part of being a faculty member and I'm eager to help in any way I can.

Research Interests & Experience: My lab studies the impact of chronic inflammation and inborn errors of immunity on T cell immunometabolic function.

Link to Lab Website

Fun Fact: I'm a dual citizen (United States and Canada).

Link to Faculty Bio.: Sarah Henrickson | Faculty | Perelman School of Medicine

Scott Gordon*Note*: Dr. Gordon is a Mandatory Title IX Reporter

Affiliated Graduate Groups: Immunology, Cell and Molecular Biology -- Microbiology, Virology, and Parasitology

Email Address: gordons1@chop.edu

Why did you choose to join the Trainee Advocacy Alliance? 

Training opportunities and community building.

What experiences and strengths do you bring to the Trainee Advocacy Alliance? 

Suicide crisis management experience and mindfulness/meditation experience.

Research Interests & Experience: Immunology, reproductive biology.

Link to Lab Website: scottgordonlab.org

Fun Fact: Dedicated dad of 2.

Sunny ShinAffiliated Graduate Groups: Immunology, Pharmacology, Cell and Molecular Biology -- Microbiology, Virology, and Parasitology

Email Address: sunshin@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Link to Faculty Bio.: Sunny Shin | Faculty | Perelman School of Medicine

Will BailisAffiliated Graduate Groups: Immunology, Cell and Molecular Biology -- Microbiology, Virology, and Parasitology

Email Address: bailisw@chop.edu

Why did you choose to join the Trainee Advocacy Alliance?

I want to take a more active role in helping address systemic discrimination and inequality within academia, in hopes it can help make the Penn research community a safer and more inclusive space for trainees.

What experiences and strengths do you bring to the Trainee Advocacy Alliance?

I hope I can be an open, compassionate listener and strong advocate for trainees in need of support.

Research Interests & Experience: The Bailis lab studies how metabolism and the compartmentalization of metabolic reactions control immune cell behavior.

Link to Lab Website

Link to Faculty Bio.: Will Bailis | Faculty | Perelman School of Medicine

Fun Fact: I ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch every day during my PhD.

TAA Members - Graduate Students

Bailey NanceAffiliated Graduate Group: Cell and Molecular Biology -- Cancer Biology

Email Address: Bailey.Nance@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Why did you choose to join the Trainee Advocacy Alliance?

As an IDEAL Research Fellow, I am very passionate about supporting, advocating for, and connecting with other underrepresented trainees. Being a part of the TAA allows me to extend the same support systems and resources that have been pivotal for my personal and professional growth during my time at Penn.

What experiences and strengths do you bring to the Trainee Advocacy Alliance?

With my involvement in both Ernest E. Just Biomedical Society and by participating in the IDEAL Council with GAPSA over the last 3 years, I have been able to connect with graduate students, amplify the voices of student leaders, and advocate for marginalized graduate students with Penn administration. I hope that with these skills and connections, I can continue to do so with the TAA!

Research Interests & Experience: My research focuses on cancer metabolism, specifically looking at how protein structure effects function and localization of a key moonlighting enzyme in adult soft tissue sarcomas.

Fun Fact: I make a Spotify playlist for every occasion (even failed experiments!). I am slowly curating the soundtrack to my graduate school career.

Brian GoldspielAffiliated Graduate Group: Cell and Molecular Biology -- Microbiology, Virology, and Parasitology

Email Address: GoldspiB@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Career Stage: MD/PhD student, currently PhD years

Why did you choose to join the Trainee Advocacy Alliance?

I was hoping to work within the Penn community in order to help students feel safer and more connected to their surroundings. I think it's fundamental to use my own privileges to support those who do not have access to the same privilege that I have.

What experiences and strengths do you bring to the Trainee Advocacy Alliance?

As a medical student, I worked in community clinics where I learned trauma informed care, and worked with patients from disadvantaged backgrounds. This experience taught me skills of resilience, patience, and dedication to those with different backgrounds than mine.

Research Interests & Experience: Broadly, I am interested in metabolic circuits between host and pathogen, and am studying how intracellular bacterial pathogens re-program host metabolism to create a niche for growth.

Fun Fact: I've sung on Broadway! To an empty audience, but still counts!

Franklin Staback-RodríguezAffiliated Graduate Group: Immunology

Email Address: fds@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Why did you choose to join the Trainee Advocacy Alliance?

To help shape STEM into a more inclusive and diverse environment.

Research Interests & Experience: I am a PhD candidate interested in T cell cytoskeletal signaling and migration.

Fun Fact: I collect & barrel age Scotch whiskey.

Gaby RiceAffiliated Graduate Group: Cell and Molecular Biology -- Developmental, Stem Cell, and Regenerative Biology

Email Address: Gabriella.Rice@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Isaiah RozichAffiliated Graduate Group: Immunology

Email Address: irozich@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Research Interests & Experience: My research interests include better understanding the relationship between the immune system and the microbiome, and how pathologies can potentially develop when their communication pathways are disrupted.

Jingru ZhaoAffiliated Graduate Group: Cell and Molecular Biology -- Gene Therapy and Vaccines

Email Address: jingruz@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Why did you choose to join the Trainee Advocacy Alliance?

I want to help others navigate conflicts and make Penn a more welcoming place for every trainee.

What experiences and strengths do you bring to the Trainee Advocacy Alliance?

I know from personal experiences how frustrating and daunting it can be to reach out for the support needed when discrimination happens, especially in the academic setting/workplace. At Penn, I was able to get the help I needed from my lab and I would like to provide that for others.

Research Interests and Experience: I'm studying the epigenetic mechanisms and 3D genome architecture that promote expression of key oncogenes in triple-negative breast cancer.

Link to Google Scholar page: https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=jkd4TkMAAAAJ&hl=en

Fun Fact: Despite many attempts to learn, I cannot ride a bike.

Jorge AcuñaAffiliated Graduate Group: Cell and Molecular Biology -- Microbiology, Virology, and Parasitology

Email Address: Jorgeac@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Why did you choose to join the Trainee Advocacy Alliance?

I chose to join because I feel there should be a lending hand and open ears available for anyone seeking help of any kind throughout their time at Penn.

What experiences and strengths do you bring to the Trainee Advocacy Alliance?

I bring previous experience from managing a biology honor society and small research team from my community college and believe I can listen as well as be a guide for those seeking help of any kind.

Research Interests & Experience: My research interests have always revolved around microbiology and infectious diseases, particularly with virology. I have experience working with bacteriophages and mammalian viruses.

Fun Fact: I am a black belt in Tae Kwon Do.

Katie StrelauAffiliated Graduate Group: Cell and Molecular Biology -- Microbiology, Virology, and Parasitology

Email Address: kstrelau@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Why did you choose to join the Trainee Advocacy Alliance?

I joined the TAA to (1) Actively address racism & discrimination in my community, (2) Better educate myself on how to be a supportive, cognizant, compassionate, & effective ally of minority & historically oppressed groups, & (3) Leverage the privilege of my whiteness to sensitively communicate with & educate other white people on matters involving minority & historically oppressed groups & facilitate difficult conversations which might not be possible without a privileged mediator/advocate.

What experiences and strengths do you bring to the Trainee Advocacy Alliance?

I strive to listen to others’ experiences, reflect on my own actions, & be open to criticism. I know that as a white person in the US, I inherently have racist and discriminatory beliefs embedded in my psyche. I try to continually identify, confront, & correct those beliefs. I am also committed to apologizing for & learning from the mistakes I make on my anti-racist journey. I believe an open-minded, self-critical (yet self-compassionate) approach is essential to anti-discriminatory endeavors.

Research Interests & Experience: I study SARS-CoV-2 viral transmission in Philadelphia from a microbiological and epidemiological perspective. My work prioritizes understanding transmission within historically oppressed Black and Brown communities in Philadelphia, which have been hit hardest by the pandemic.

Fun Fact: I have a white pit bull named Franklin, after both Rosalind Franklin and Ben Franklin!

Kim ApodacaAffiliated Graduate Group: CAMB - GTV

Email Address: kapodaca@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Why did you choose to join the Trainee Advocacy Alliance?

I chose to join TAA because my time at Penn hasn't been a completely positive experience. My first year was very lonely - I am naturally a shy and introverted person when you first meet me, so making new friends and connections was difficult. It was also my first time on the East Coast and living in a big city. I never want another student or person to feel this way. Through TAA, I hope to remind students that they matter and SO deserve a spot at this table.

What experiences and strengths do you bring to the Trainee Advocacy Alliance?

I am Mexican American and Native American (Piro-Manso-Tiwa). I am the first in my family to pursue a PhD. Neither of my parents hold a degree and pushed me to excel in my academics so that I would not struggle as they have. Family and community is very important to me, so leaving all my friends and family 2,000+ miles behind to go to grad school was difficult. I am a very empathetic and caring person who loves to meet and help people, so please don’t hesitate to reach out!

Research Interests & Experience: I love immunology and cell biology! I am in the Linette/Carreno lab, and my project is focused on creating a Universal CAR T cell therapy. I actually have previous experience in plant biology as my undergrad project involved genetically editing chile pepper plants to overcome fungi pathogens.

Fun Fact: My soul mate is my dog Percival (Percy). He is a rescue greyhound.

Kyabeth Torres-RodriguezAffiliated Graduate Group: Cell and Molecular Biology -- Cancer Biology

Email Address: Kyabeth.Torres-Rodriguez@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Leena BabikerAffiliated Graduate Group: Immunology Graduate Group

Email Address: leena.babiker@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Research Interests & Experience: I am investigating vaccine response in transplant patients, and chronic graft versus host disease (a complication of allogeneic transplant) pathogenesis.

Maria Fernanda Carrera RodriguezAffiliated Graduate Group: Cell and Molecular Biology -- Genetics and Epigenetics

Email Address: mariafcr@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Research Interests & Experience: My lab studies the interception of chromatin biology and cancer. I am interested in the mechanisms of how chromatin modifiers regulate oncogenes and the possibility of targeting them to ameliorate cancer phenotypes.

Fun Fact: I currently own 23 different types of house plants and I'm always looking for more.

Maya HaleAffiliated Graduate Group: Cell and Molecular Biology -- Developmental, Stem Cell, and Regenerative Biology

Email Address: Maya.Hale@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Why did you choose to join the Trainee Advocacy Alliance?

Having a support system of scientists of color and people who value diversity, who understand the trials of earning a PhD and give a safe space for me to express the unique stresses of being a Black Woman in STEM has been extremely beneficial to my mental health throughout graduate school. I would like to be a part of and expand that support system for other students in BGS.

What experiences and strengths do you bring to the Trainee Advocacy Alliance?

I have experience mentoring students who identify within underrepresented groups in STEM, as well as students who have mental health struggles. I also have a good knowledge of Penn resources for academic, wellness, and discriminatory intervention. Additionally, I will use skills learned in my Psychology degree for empathetic listening and the creation of a safe space.

Research Interests & Experience: My thesis research studies how axon guidance proteins at the growth cone membrane are regulated during midline crossing in the embryonic mammalian spinal cord.

Fun Fact: I once skipped school and flew to Vegas for a tattoo consult, only to get turned down for being too young.

Max KlapholzAffiliated Graduate Group: Cell and Molecular Biology -- Cancer Biology

Email Address: maxklap@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Why did you choose to join the Trainee Advocacy Alliance?

I think it's important that we show up for each other and maintain our community as a safe, inclusive, and inviting space to do the best we can-- scientifically and humanly.

What experiences and strengths do you bring to the Trainee Advocacy Alliance?

I really care about promoting a positive work culture within Penn BGS and in academia generally.

Research Interests & Experience: I study epigenetic mechanisms that prevent T cells from fighting off viral infections and cancers.

Link to Google Scholar Page

Fun Fact: When I'm not at the lab bench, I enjoy cooking and spending time with friends and family.

Michelle CullyAffiliated Graduate Group: Immunology

Email Address: michelle.cully@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Research Interests & Experience: Normally bronchus associated lymphoid tissue (BALT) formation is induced by inflammation, but in mice lacking IKKα in lymphatic endothelial cells, BALTs form spontaneously. I aim to elucidate the mechanism of spontaneous BALT formation and determine their impact on immunity.

Samuelle DelcyAffiliated Graduate Group: Pharmacology 

Email Address: samuelle.delcy@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Why did you choose to join the Trainee Advocacy Alliance? 

As an Ideal fellow, I am committed to provide additional support for my peers in any way that I can.

What experiences and strengths do you bring to the Trainee Advocacy Alliance? 

I am an immigrant, woman, first generation, ESL, black student. I believe that with the experiences that I have faced due to these labels, I can relate to different groups of students. I also serve in several leadership roles and am willing to advocate for students and helping them find the proper support even if I am unable to provide it myself.

Research Interests & Experience: Neuroinflammation, TBI, microglia, behavior

Fun Fact: I am unapologetically obsessed with "The Office".

Link to Lab Website: https://www.med.upenn.edu/apps/faculty/index.php/g275/p17558

Taylor Miller-EnsmingerAffiliated Graduate Group: CAMB-MVP

Email Address: taylor.miller-ensminger@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Why did you choose to join the Trainee Advocacy Alliance? 

I believe that great science requires a supportive community. When we don't feel we belong or are being properly supported, we can't be expected to put out great research. I hope to help other trainees who are facing conflict and give them support so they can continue to do the science they are passionate about.

What experiences and strengths do you bring to the Trainee Advocacy Alliance? 

I'm proud to be a queer woman in STEM. I've found a lot of support around these identities in the scientific community, but I've faced negative experiences while holding these identities as well. I feel that these experiences have driven me to advocate for queer people and women in STEM.

Research Interests & Experience: I am co-mentored by Drs. Kellie Jurado and Colin Conine. My project sits at the intersection of virology, immunology, epigenetics. Before coming to Penn, I completed my BS and MS at Loyola Chicago.

Fun Fact: I've been certified to scuba dive since I was 11. I've completed over 300 dives!

Timothy CaterAffiliated Graduate Group: Cell and Molecular Biology -- Genetics and Epigenetics

Email Address: trcater@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Why did you choose to join the Trainee Advocacy Alliance?

I want to use my time in graduate school to not only advance myself professionally, but also give back to the profession. I want to help empower fellow students, regardless of ethnicity, background or creed, to feel supported by their community, able to shape their own graduate experience and find ways to thrive.

 
What experiences and strengths do you bring to the Trainee Advocacy Alliance?
I enjoy listening to others and bringing smiles to people I meet. I feel I have much to learn from the stories and experiences of others. I volunteered with similar student advocacy programs at my undergraduate university, and have always found the work very fulfilling.
 
Research Interests & Experience: I am interested in RNA binding proteins and how they effect post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression in T-cell biology and immune activation. Particularly studying how T-cells control and tune mRNA translation.
 

TAA Members - Postdoctoral Researchers

Beth Harvey Affiliated Department: Cell and Development Biology

Email Address: bharvey@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Why did you choose to join the Trainee Advocacy Alliance? 

I am very committed to increasing and fostering diversity in science. I hope to help accomplish that by being an advocate and providing support for trainees.

What experiences and strengths do you bring to the Trainee Advocacy Alliance? 

My career goals include becoming a Principle Investigator and mentoring research trainees toward achieving their own career goals in research and science. I understand that graduate and postdoctoral training can at times be both exciting and difficult. I have had many different positive and negative experiences in my career as an Asian woman, adopted from Korea and raised in America, with a visible physical disability and mother to two children. I make a point to continually solidify a foundation of skills so that I may be an effective mentor to a diverse community of trainees. By participating in initiatives like the TAA, I will be a listening ear and advocate to any trainees that need help navigating difficult times or situations in their lives and careers.

Research Interests & Experience: My graduate research used biochemical techniques and mass spectrometry to study glycobiology. I still am interested in glycobiology, but I made a decision in my postdoctoral training to jump into neuroscience and learn new methods. Now, I use genetic approaches and in vivo microscopy to study neural regeneration in zebrafish, specifically axonal regeneration of the optic nerve.

Link to Lab Website: https://www.med.upenn.edu/granato/

Fun Fact: I love to bake cookies, cakes, pies and other desserts!

Hannah ShoenhardAffiliated Department: Neuroscience

Email Address: hshoen@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Why did you choose to join the Trainee Advocacy Alliance? 

I want to help trainees build confidence in advocating for themselves.

What experiences and strengths do you bring to the Trainee Advocacy Alliance? 

I completed a PhD in neuroscience at UPenn, so I'm very familiar with the institution and know what grad students are going through.

Research Interests & Experience: Behavioral Genetics, sensorimotor decision-making, Zebrafish, Drosophila, memory, and sleep.

Link to Lab Website: https://www.med.upenn.edu/sehgallab/

Fun Fact: I took part in the College Jeopardy! tournament for my alma mater, Scripps College.

Jeet PatelAffiliated Department: DSRB

Email Address: jeet.patel@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Why did you choose to join the Trainee Advocacy Alliance? 

I want to develop the skills to help trainees navigate academia and promote a system in which they have access to resources and support that will allow them a safe and comfortable environment to focus on their training.

What experiences and strengths do you bring to the Trainee Advocacy Alliance? 

I have training and experience with equity in STEM education, specifically incorporating education practices that enable students from different backgrounds to succeed. I have been apart of trainee support systems and peer mentoring initiatives in my undergraduate and graduate universities and hope to apply skills I have previously gained and those that I develop via the TAA to support trainees at Penn.

Research Interests & Experience: I study the regulation of cell fate and pattern formation in the embryo. My research focuses on embryonic signal transduction to both understand how signals are globally transduced to give rise to different signaling outcomes and to use this system to define how the same signaling pathway can be used to diverse signaling outcomes. Specifically, I am studying how BMP signaling in the Zebrafish embryo is regulated at the cellular and biochemical levels to patterning the dorsoventral axis.

Kahealani UeharaAffiliated Department: Microbiology

Email Address: ueharak@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Why did you choose to join the Trainee Advocacy Alliance? 

Being one of the only Native Hawaiian/Indigenous students in my matriculation year, I am passionate about providing peer support for Indigenous/Native American students in their career progression. You are not alone!

What experiences and strengths do you bring to the Trainee Advocacy Alliance? 

I am a first-generation college graduate from low-income household Waipahu, Hawaiʻi. I moved from Hawaiʻi to Philadelphia and have faced the difficulties in adjusting to a new culture, environment, and dealing with homesickness.

Research Interests & Experience: My research interests broadly span the elucidation of biochemical mechanisms underlying metabolic disorders, such as type 2 diabetes, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and cancer. Throughout my academic career, I have aimed to study metabolic flux, circadian regulation of metabolism, regulation of systemic glucose and lipid homeostasis, and substrate utilization.

Fun Fact: Allen Iverson blew a kiss to me once.

Kristen KripAffiliation: Research Staff

Email Address: kristen.krip@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Why did you choose to join the Trainee Advocacy Alliance? 

Inclusion and advocacy are important to me and I'd like to help make sure everyone has a place at UPenn and feels heard.

What experiences and strengths do you bring to the Trainee Advocacy Alliance? 

As a non-traditional student, I've often had to advocate for my own needs and the needs of my peers. I was president of a club, which had the purpose of diversity and inclusion in STEM.

Research Interests & Experience: I love the human microbiome and how it affects health and the progression of disease. I currently work in Dr. Joel Babdor's lab (Precision Immunology and Microbiome Medicine) studying just that.

Fun Fact: I talk to turtles and lizards the way some people talk to dogs. I can't help it. They're just so cute.

Marisa JeffriesAffiliated Department: Neurology and Penn Biomedical Postdoctoral Programs

Email Address: jeffriesm@chop.edu

Why did you choose to join the Trainee Advocacy Alliance? 

I joined the TAA because I wanted to both learn how to support my peers with helpful advocacy methods, and contribute to providing encouragement and assistance to my community.

What experiences and strengths do you bring to the Trainee Advocacy Alliance? 

I have a multicultural background; my father is a Chinese-Indonesian immigrant to the U.S. and my mother is from Appalachia; I am a first generation college student on my mother's side. Experiencing life with such a mixed background has given me a unique perspective on the challenges of "fitting in" and being understanding of the wide range of opinions and life experiences of others. As a postdoc, I also have experienced some of the challenges of both undergraduate and graduate education, especially in the biomedical sciences. As a mother to 2 young children, I also understand that there are particular challenges in being a parent in academia.

Research Interests & Experience: Neuroscience

Fun Fact: I am a Sci-Fi nerd whose favorite TV show is the 2000s Battlestar Galactica series. I have the full Collector's Edition Blu-ray set!