McKay DEI Committee

Committee Members

Eileen Shore, Professor (she/her/hers)  

I believe that every person should have access to opportunities to reach her/his full potential. I am an optimist. As a faculty member, my greatest joy is seeing my students and others develop and grow as they engage their passions for learning and science. As a member of our department DEI Committee, I am fully committed to a supportive environment in which all can learn and learn how to follow their dreams.
Sarah Gullbrand, Research Assistant Professor (she/her/hers)  

I am passionate about fostering an inclusive, safe and supportive environment for all faculty, staff and trainees in McKay. I am also excited about leveraging our DEI committee to impact the broader community in Orthopaedics by facilitating the involvement of underrepresented minorities in science and engineering, particularly women.
Michael Hast, Research Assistant Professor (he/him/his)  

I have an interest promoting accessibility of research and improving relationships between members of our community. My goal is to serve as a leader who inspires a new generation of diverse and inclusive scientists to enjoy the challenges of research and to push the boundaries of discovery.

Matthew Fainor, Research Engineer (he/him/his)

My interests lie in the intersection between biotechnology and our social lives and how they shape one another. I'm invested in actively growing with members of McKay to become more cognizant of the role research plays in shaping our world in order to stop perpetuating inequalities. At the same time, I'm interested in helping McKay make paths into research more accessible for anyone who might want to engage with science.
Sung Yeon Kim, PhD Student (she/her/hers)

I’m passionate about helping those who are traditionally under-represented in STEM navigate a career in the field. I am especially interested in STEM outreach programs that engage with middle/high school and undergraduate students.
Sienna Pyle, PhD Student (she/her/hers)

Science should be accessible regardless of gender identity, race, disability, or socioeconomic status. I hope to build a more inclusive environment within the field through outreach and education opportunities!
Talayah Johnson, PhD Student (she/her/hers)

I hope to use my position as an African American woman in STEM to help other minority students see their goals as attainable and inspire students to pursue their dreams by means of furthering their education in STEM fields. I am actively involved in programs that directly help reduce barriers to admission and better serve the Philadelphia community.
Michael Duffy, Postdoctoral Fellow (he/him/his)

I am passionate about providing opportunities for young people, particularly under-served communities, to have a hands-on experience with engineering and science. Through these experiences I would like participants to be able to visualize themselves choosing science and engineering as a career and learn about what paths can be taken to realize this career choice.
Maggie Tamburro, MD-PhD Student (she/her/hers)

I am particularly interested in ensuring that the research we do in McKay is accessible and beneficial to our local community. Through outreach efforts, I hope we can inspire and energize local youth to encourage them to consider a career in science.
Emily Sharp, PhD Student (she/her/hers)

One of the most wonderful things about the research we conduct at Mckay is the potential it has to change and impact the world around us. But, in order to do this to the fullest extent, we have to acknowledge the ways in which we must change to create a more inclusive and equitable environment for all, and persistently work to achieve those changes. I'm excited to work with my peers to identify and implement such changes both within our research community and the broader STEM landscape.
Christopher Panebianco, PennPORT Postdoctoral Fellow (he/him/his)

I'm passionate about developing engaging outreach activities and providing exciting research experiences to aspiring scientists from diverse backgrounds. I joined McKay through the PennPORT Program, which integrates biomedical research at Penn, teaching at minority-serving institutions, and mentoring students from diverse backgrounds. As a PennPORT Fellow, I plan to conduct orthopaedic outreach activities, incorporate orthopaedic research into my classes at minority-serving institutions and recruit students from underserved communities to work on musculoskeletal research projects at McKay.
Elizabeth Seidl, PhD Student (she/her/hers)  


I am passionate about exposing underrepresented youth to science and career paths in STEM. Additionally, I think it is important that we are actively and intentionally working to make our lab space a welcoming space to all.

Past Members

Sereen Assi, PhD Student (she/her/hers)
I believe in the power of education in providing equal opportunities for everyone regardless of their backgrounds and identities. As a refugee, I am also passionate about amplifying the talents of students from underrepresented communities and increasing their participation in STEM and orthopedic research.
Hannah Zlotnick, PhD Student (she/her/hers)
I am passionate about expanding McKay's opportunities for undergraduate research, and building a sense of community amongst the existing McKay personnel across labs and education levels.
Richa Gupta, Staff Member (she/her/hers)
As a member of the DEI committee, I hope to contribute to outreach efforts that shape a community with a shared excitement and dedication to our work in the field of orthopaedics and to the mission of scientific inquiry as a whole. I also hope to continue making McKay a more inclusive community within itself, providing comfort and encouragement for all members to explore our unique backgrounds and unite into a shared strength in creating meaningful change.
Ana Peredo, PhD Student(she/her/hers)
One of my goals as a member of the DEI committee is to help McKay develop educational programs that provide mentorship and training to underrepresented minority students in the field of orthopaedic research. As a Latina woman in engineering, I am also committed to equity and will work with the committee to establish an inclusive, welcoming environment that empowers everyone to bring their unique identities forward.
Catherine Bautista, PhD Student(she/her/hers)
I am excited to help make McKay a more supportive place for those who are orwho would be passionate about orthopedic research but have been traditionally excluded from the field. I believe that, as members of a community, we have a collective responsibility to work towards achieving diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Tala Azar, PhD Student(she/her/hers)
During high school, I was exposed to scientific research through a partnership program with a nearby college that exposed me to the importance of science outreach and communication. Now, I want to be a part of helping McKay and orthopaedic research be accessible to younger students in our community through outreach initiatives. I am also passionate about ensuring that our environment is welcoming and equitable for people of all identities and sexes.
Brittany Taylor, Assistant Professor at the University of Florida (she/her/hers)
Committee Advisor and University of Florida Liaison

Former McKay Postdoctoral Fellow
Most of my efforts have been towards promoting equality and diversity throughout the broader University, however I have an invested interest locally within McKay. One of my final goals before transitioning out of Penn is to work with the DEI committee on forming the foundation for a reformed McKay that is more welcoming, thriving, and inclusive.
Sanjana Hemdev, Masters Student(she/her/hers)
I deeply believe that scientific interest and prowess are blind to race, gender, disability, and sexuality. The realm of research is ever-evolving, and creating a supportive environment in STEM spaces is essential - not only to improve the quality of research produced but also to cultivate more holistic thought among researchers. As a woman of color, I am passionate about expanding the diversity of the STEM community and guiding budding researchers towards the resources they need to excel.
Annapurna Pranatharthi, Postdoctoral Fellow(she/her/hers)
I am passionate about making scientific research more accessible to students from diverse racial and economic backgrounds. Being part of the DEI committee at McKay gives the opportunity to build a platform for screening and fine-tuning the skills of motivated and talented, but under-privileged students. I would like to contribute by facilitating interactions between scientists and students. I believe this would expand the scientific community in a way that is more sensitive and inclusive of a diverse representation of individuals in the field.
Elisabeth Lemmon, VMD-PhD Student(she/her/hers)
I am passionate about outreach and community building, particularly through organizing external workshops that focus on diversity, inclusion, mental health awareness, and implicit bias.
John Drazan, Postdoctoral Fellow(he/him/his)
I have served as the STEM Director for 4th Family Inc, a grassroots non-profit based out of Albany, NY, since 2012. In that time I have engaged over 10,000 youth in STEM programming through sports. By authentically situating STEM within sports, we reach entirely new populations of youth to show them that science is simply about asking and answering interesting questions rather than test tubes or robots.
Grey Hallstrom, PhD Student(he/she/they)
My focus is on raising awareness on LGBTQIA+ issues, specifically in the Trans and Non-binary communities. I want to create an atmosphere that is welcoming and accommodating for Trans/Non-binary students. Lastly, I want to improve the representation of Black Queer students in STEM and improve the visibility and inclusion for Trans/Nonbinary students at all levels.
Rahul Gawri, Postdoctoral Fellow(he/him/his)
My aim behind being involved in DEI related initiatives is to contribute to the already thriving inclusive work environment and make it even better. With my varied experiences spanning countries and continents and having lived and worked in very diverse and non-diverse places, I hope to leverage them and help further McKay Laboratory's vision of it being a place where everyone can grow as an individual and as a team.
Joel Boerckel, Professor
I am passionate about creating a welcoming, safe, equitable, and collegial community in McKay. As co-chair of the McKay DEI committee, I'm so excited to help put these values into practice.
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