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Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Student Profiles

DEGREE PROGRAM - Master of Health Science (MHS)

Kim Aquino

Javaughn Baker

 Brendan Blackford

Laura Budurlean

Carlos CastellanosAmandeep Cheema

Alice Chen

Qinyu Chen

Shang-Jung Cheng

Deanna Cotsalas

Amelia FittsMegan Fong

Danyelle Fraser

Adrienne Green

Kaylin Gonzalez

Liya HaileKatherine Hamlet

Noor Hason

Sophia Heitmiller

Jason Hirshberg

Joshua Hsu

Deasty Imara

Brandon Ing

Joana Karanxha

Ilma Khanbabi

Alexandra KuhajdaBobby Kwan

Julian Lane

Krystynne Leacock

Dixon Lee

Kathlyn Lesko

Anthony Lordi

Maria Luebke

Daniel Lyle

Metabel Markwei

Veronica Ortiz

Veeral Patel

Lia PennZachary Perdun
Lauren RoccoNicolette Roque

Shae Rowlandson

Nicole Salevitz

Sadhvi SaxenaYajas Shah

Joseph Shen

Ambika ShivarajpurDeki Tsering

Nastasha Vartak

Erin Vigil 

aquinoKim Aquino

Kim was born in Pasig, Philippines and mostly grew up in San Antonio, TX. He graduated from the University of Texas at San Antonio with a BS in Biology. Kim prides himself on being able to contribute to the battle of fighting health inequity and closing the health literacy gap, which he did as a Health Equity intern at the American Heart Association this past summer. Kim chose JHU because it’s his dream school and he didn’t want to pass up the opportunity to learn at an institution with an undefeated reputation in medicine and public health. His future goals include but aren’t limited to, becoming a certified health educator, getting into medical school to become a physician, earning an MPH, opening low-cost health clinics in the Philippines, and maybe eventually being involved in academia and becoming a professor.

bakerJavaughn  Baker

Javaughn was born and raised in Panama City, FL. He then graduated from Emory University with a B.S. degree in Chemistry. Javaughn is a Gates Millennium Scholar and can translate ancient Greek and Latin. Javaughn chose to attend Johns Hopkins because it’s a premier institution with outlets to become a physician and my aspiration to attend medical school. His future career goal is to become an obstetric anesthesiologist and follow his research interests in reproductive health.

blackfordBrendan Blackford

Brendan was born and raised in a town called Eastport, which is located on the east end of Long Island. Growing up, he worked hard to become an Eagle Scout. He went on to graduate from Goucher College in 2014 with a major in biological sciences and minor in psychology. In college, Brendan was one of the first students to take a medical trauma internship for credit at the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Unit. Currently, Brendan works for Johns Hopkins’ School of Medicine as a research assistant studying nicotine and human behavior, but he’d like to transition over to tissue growth, repair, and traumatic injury rehabilitation. Brendan chose Johns Hopkins because he knew if he excelled here, he could excel anywhere. Plus, the system in place at Johns Hopkins is designed to provide students with a supportive and diverse network of faculty members that will coach and guide students in a positive and fulfilling direction. In the future, he plans on applying to medical school through the military.

budurleanLaura Budurlean

Laura was born in Dej, Romania, and lived there until she moved to Reading, Pennsylvania after 1st grade. She graduated from Penn State Berks in May 2015, and was the first person to achieve a degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at that campus. Laura presented her undergraduate research, an ongoing project for about three years now, at a graduate research conference in April. The Journal of Life Sciences contacted her to publish a paper on her research in their journal. Laura chose JHU because it is a prestigious and well respected institution. In the future, she would like to work in skincare formulation for cutaneous regeneration therapies and also do epithelial research and study collagen.

castellanosCarlos Castellanos

Carlos was born and raised in San Diego, California. He attended JHU as an undergrad and one of his biggest accomplishments is graduating with a B.S. in Neuroscience. His research interests include brain tumors and pain research. In the future, Carlos would like to become a neurosurgeon. He chose to continue at the Johns Hopkins school of Public Health because it is the number one school of Public Health.

cheemaAmandip Cheema

Amandip was born in Houston, Texas and grew up in Buffalo, New York. He graduated from the University of Buffalo in 2015 with a Master’s of Science degree in Biological Sciences. He has conducted ophthalmology research and presented it at the American Academy of Ophthalmology national research conference. In addition, Amandip has conducted scientific research using estrogenic compounds to alleviate the muscular dystrophy phenotype in drosophila melanogaster. Amandip chose Johns Hopkins because their world class education will help prepare him for medical school. In the future, Amandip hopes to attend medical school, and conduct translational and scientific research during his schooling and career as a physician.

chenAlice Chen

Alice was born in Taipei, Taiwan and moved to Vancouver, Canada when she was four. She moved back to Taipei when she was ten, and after four years, moved back to Vancouver to finish up her pre-college studies. Alice graduated from Johns Hopkins University with a B.A. in Public Health Studies. Alice really enjoyed the public health classes, topics, and detailed focus of professors at JHSPH. Alice is motivated to make an impact in the health field, and is motivated by intellectuals who excel and are passionate about their field of study. In the future, Alice plans to become a doctor, with an interest in child orthopedics and international health.

chenQinyu Chen

Qinyu is from China, and attended Zhejiang University and earned her B.S. in Biotechnology. Qinyu has earned several academic scholarships, such as a First-Class Scholarship for Outstanding Merits in 2013-2014. Qinyu picked Johns Hopkins because it’s her dream school since she decided to continue studying in the US. The MHS program will give her the latest academic knowledge and skills necessary to discover and tackle complex health issues, domestically and internationally. Qinyu is interested in researching AIDS and chronic diseases because her country will soon need experienced researchers to solve complex diseases. In the future, she would like to work with an NGO to enrich herself and help people in need.

Shang-Jung Cheng

Shang-Jung is from Taipei, Taiwan. She did both her undergraduate and graduate work at National Taiwan University. As an undergraduate, she double majored in Agricultural Chemistry and Public Health, and her graduate work was in Physiology. Shang-Jung did an oral presentation at an international conference as a graduate student, and has submitted an article for a writing competition which earned an honorable mention. Shang-Jung chose Johns Hopkins because it’s a dream school for those interested in biological science. Shang-Jung is interested in cancer research, and she would like to work in academia in the future.

cotsalasDeanna Cotsalas

Deanna was born in Mineola, NY, and grew up on Long Island. She graduated on the Dean’s List from Johns Hopkins University and earned a B.A. in Public Health Studies and a minor in Anthropology. While at JHU, Deanna was the president of Crossover Basketball, a mentoring/ coaching club, and the National Panhellenic Council. She also received many awards from Pi Beta Phi. Deanna is familiar with JHSPH since she was a Public Health studies major and took classes at Bloomberg during her senior year and has experienced the opportunities that JHSPH can provide. She has already done pancreatic research, and would like to do genetic research in the field of oncology. Deanna would like to become a pediatric surgeon.

fittsAmelia Fitts

Amelia was born in Norfolk, VA. Growing up, she mostly spent time in Virginia Beach, VA, but also lived in Northern Virginia, and Fort Meade, MD. She graduated with a B.S. in Biology from Virginia Commonwealth University as one of the first individuals in her family to go to college, and the first to pursue a Master’s degree. Amelia has served as a teaching assistant, worked with Duke Youth Programs for five summers, and became a lacrosse coach who led her team to a conference title. Amelia chose Johns Hopkins because she felt that it offered her the best opportunity to build a strong foundation for her future career, while also allowing her to stay close to friends and family. In the future, Amelia plans to become a general practitioner or pediatrician for a rural community in the Appalachian Mountains.

fongMegan Fong

Megan was born and raised in Santa Clara, California. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology from University of California, Santa Cruz. Megan works for a biomedical blog which aims to make science and medicine more understandable for readers. Since her involvement with the biomedical blog, she is interested in public health because it allows her to help people learn more about the importance of their health. She chose Johns Hopkins because she wanted to be challenged to grow both academically and personally.

fraserDanyelle Fraser

Danyelle was born and raised in Baltimore, MD, and graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a B.S. in Psychology. Danyelle was previously a Research Specialist for the one of the largest clinical research groups at the University of Pittsburgh. She presented research for her group at research at poster sessions throughout the university. She chose JHU because the MHS program would push her, academically, to prepare for medical school in the future. She spent the last three years doing clinical research in an Emergency Department so she is interested to work in acute care settings in the future.

gonzalezKaylin Gonzalez

Kaylin was born and raised in San Diego, California. She graduated from Johns Hopkins University with a B.A. in Public Health Studies. Kaylin received the opportunity to conduct research in South Africa on MDR-TB, and her research interests center around infectious diseases. She chose to continue at Johns Hopkins because of the faculty and student environment which helped her to grow academically and personally. While Kaylin’s passion lies in research, her overall career goal is to become a physician and use her public health training, as well as medical training, to work internationally.

greenAdrienne Green

Adrienne was born in Mineola, NY and I grew up in Hempstead, NY. She went on to graduate from Oakwood University with a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry. Adrienne chose JHU because it has a renowned psychiatric research department. She has a multitude of research interests. She’s only partly fulfilled her interest in neuroscience and psychiatric research. However, she’d love the chance to work on some translational studies in programmed cell death, Alzheimer’s, fear, pain, and/or aging.

haileLiya Haile

Liya was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, but moved to the US when was four, and has lived in Richmond, Virginia since. She attended Virginia Commonwealth University from 2011 to 2015, and graduated with a BSc in Chemistry with a concentration in Biochemistry and minor in Anthropology. Liya made the Dean's List for the last three years while she attended VCU, and was named Outstanding Supplemental Instruction Leader of Fall 2014. Liya’s previous research focused on immunocytochemistry techniques that analyze the histone acetylation level and pattern in zebra fish during embryonic development. She chose JHU because of the excellent research facilities and connections to the scientific community. 

hamletKatherine Hamlet

Katherine was born in Camden, NJ, and grew up in Cherry Hill and Voorhees, NJ. It took her three years to graduate from Johns Hopkins University with honors and a B.S. in Molecular and Cellular Biology, and will begin graduate school at 20 years old. Katherine was a varsity athlete during her undergraduate career, and currently holds the high jump school record at her high school and JHU. Katherine chose JHSPH because it’s the number one public health school in the country, and because of Dr. Barry Zirkin. She works in the Cone lab at JHU studying the vaginal immune response to lactobacilli and bacterial vaginosis bugs, and her research interests include women's health and reproductive health. She plans to attend medical school to become a physician.

hasonNoor Hason

Noor was born in Boulder, Colorado and grew up in a small town outside of Boulder named Louisville. She attended the University of Colorado at Boulder and graduated a semester early in 2013 with a B.A. in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology. Noor had an abstract on Nutritional Knowledge in High School Students accepted for presentation at the 2015 ACG conference. Noor chose JHU because she wants to be the best physician she can possibly be and knows JHU will bring several opportunities to change the way she thinks. Noor is interested in cancer research because she has seen cancer affects the quality of life through her 11-year-old cousin, who was diagnosed with cancer. She hopes to combine her research skills with a career in clinical medicine.

heitmillerSophia Heitmiller

Sophia was born and raised in Baltimore, MD. She attended and graduated from Johns Hopkins University with a B.A. in Behavioral Biology with a Psychology minor. This past summer, Sophia became a certified yoga instructor, as she finished the Charm City Yoga teacher training summer intensive.

Sophia chose Johns Hopkins for several reasons including the location, the prestige, the challenges and the opportunities, - but most importantly, she’s believes that JHU is where she’s found home and she can’t imagine herself anywhere else. In the future, she plans to attend dental school.

hirshbergJason Hirshberg

Jason was born and raised in Boulder, Colorado. He then attended The University of Colorado at Boulder to study Molecular, Cellular, & Developmental Biology. Jason chose Johns Hopkins because of the outstanding faculty and bright peers that he is privileged to learn from and with, respectively. He is also interested in translational research and medicine.

hsuJosh Hsu

Josh was born in Temple City, California. Throughout his childhood, he never stayed in one place for more than a year, until he eventually settled down in New York during high school. He graduated from Drew University with a Bachelor's in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology. Josh has attained extensive learning experience from an anesthesiologist in anesthesia, pre-operative procedure, and post-op. He has also been a clinical assistant on several clinical studies at Weill Cornell Medical College, and competed in the North Jersey American Chemistry Society Section’s 67th Annual Undergraduate Research Conference and placed top 5 among contenders. Josh chose JHU because of the opportunity for students to work with experts in their respective fields. His research interests include Immunology and Oncology, along with their respective molecular pathways, reproductive biology, and drug discovery research. In the future, Josh aspires to become a physician who practices either Anesthesiology, Emergency Medicine, or internal medicine.

imaraDeasty  Imara

Deasty was born and raised in Jakarta, Indonesia. She graduated from Bandung Institute of Technology with a Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology, but attended Osaka University for a year as a part of an exchange program. While she was in Japan, she got the chance to learn and work on genome engineering technology. Deasty chose Johns Hopkins because it’s a favorable place to nurture her academic curiosity and stimulate innovations. Her research interests are the study of genetic engineering and its advances on the development of gene therapy or personalized medicine in treating cancer and genetic disorder.

ingBrandon Ing

Brandon was born and raised in Honolulu, HI. He then went on to attend the University of Washington to earn his B.S. with College Honors in Biochemistry. He received a Master's degree in education while teaching full time as a middle school math and science teacher for three years and has run one marathon each year since he returned to Hawaii three years ago. Brandon had great experience with the Johns Hopkins School of Education, and has also heard great things about the Bloomberg School of Public Health. He looks forward to learning more about the biochemical nature of cancer and to gain the greatest amount of knowledge of different treatments to provide patients with the best care. His ultimate career choice is in medical oncology.

karanxhaJoana Karanxha

Joana was born in Albania, and moved to the US when she was four. She grew up in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania while her mom completed her PhD, and now she lives in Tampa, Florida. She attended JHU as an undergrad and earned her B.S. in Biomedical Engineering. Joana originally chose JHU based on a good feeling she had when she visited the school. After her undergraduate experience, attending Hopkins for graduate school was a no brainer. She has previously worked in an atherosclerosis lab, a yeast genomics lab, and a tissue engineering lab. Joana is interested in JHMRI, and stem cell research, regulation, and impacts on their development. Her ultimate career goal is to become a physician.

Ilma Khanbabi

Ilma was born in Toronto, Canada and was raised in Karachi, Pakistan. She earned a B.A. in Political Science and English from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a B.S. in Biology from the University of North Carolina-Wilmington. Ilma set a record as a first year Biology teacher passing a state mandated test for students at an inner city High School in Houston. Ilma chose JHU because of its research, mentorship, dynamic community and learning opportunities. Ilma has research interests in endocrinology, reproductive medicine, stem cell, genes, and development.

Alexandra Kuhajda

Alexandra was born in Baltimore, and grew up in Baltimore, and Lutherville, MD. She graduated from Johns Hopkins University with a degree in Cellular and Molecular Biology. Alexandra participates in local community service and volunteers in the medical field. Alexandra chose Johns Hopkins because she likes the opportunity to integrate biological sciences with the ability to solve real life health problems and disease processes on both an individual and community level. In the future, Alexandra would like to eventually pursue an MD, and go on to practice medicine with an emphasis on public and community health.

kwanBobby Kwan

Bobby was born in Baltimore, and grew up in Columbia, MD. He then attended UMBC and earned his B.S. in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology. Bobby is the first person in his family lineage to pursue graduate education. Johns Hopkins is Bobby’s dream school and associates the school with academic prestige and world-class medicine, so being a part of the Hopkins network is a great honor. In the future, Bobby plans to go into structure-based drug design after he gets his Ph.D. in molecular biophysics from Hopkins. Then, he wants to pursue a tenure-track faculty position at a research university.

laneJulian Lane

Julian was born in Baltimore City, but spent the majority of his life in Woodlawn, MD, located in Baltimore County. He graduated from JHU with a B.S. in Neuroscience. His proudest accomplishments include being the first in his family to earn his Bachelor’s degree, and when he pledged his fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha. Julian chose Johns Hopkins because he loves Baltimore, and he wants to continue to apply and develop the work ethic he used during his undergraduate years to earn his Master’s degree. Julian is interested in neuroscience research and has aspirations to become a neurosurgeon.

leacockKrystynne Leacock

Krystynne was born in Washington D.C., and grew up in Beckley, WV. She attended West Virginia University and graduated magna cum laude with a degree in Biology, and as a university honors scholar. Krystynne chose Johns Hopkins because it is a leading research facility that will facilitate learning, engage her interests, and help her achieve her professional and academic goals. Krystynne’s future career goals and research interests include working as a surgical oncologist and studying the genetic influence basis of cancer.

leeDixon Lee

Dixon was born in Houston, Texas, and grew up in Birmingham, Alabama. He graduated with a B.S. in Neuroscience from Furman University. Dixon applied for and received grant funding for an independent research project during undergrad. Dixon chose Johns Hopkins because he felt it was a good way to challenge his self and that this program would be a good way to help him to get into and prepare for medical school. In the future, he hopes to go to medical school and possibly specialize in neurology.

leskoKathryn Lesko

Kathryn was born and raised in Berkeley/Oakland, California. She attended the University of Chicago and received a B.A. with Honors in both biology and music. During her senior year, she completed independent research and wrote an honors thesis in Developmental Neurobiology, as well as independent field research for her thesis in Ethnomusicology. She chose JHU because the MHS program allowed more flexibility and offered more interesting classes than other programs she looked at. In the future, she would like apply to MSTP programs and to devote her life to Women's Health and would love to study reproductive immunology, specifically the mother-fetus interaction and its relationship to recurrent miscarriage. 

lordiAnthony Lordi

Anthony was born and raised in Lafayette Hill, PA. He earned his BA from Johns Hopkins University in Public Health Studies. As an undergraduate, Anthony was a member of the Johns Hopkins University varsity swim team, and earned 21 All-American honors and 2 national titles. Anthony picked chose BMB’s MHS program because it will give him the best opportunity to explore his interest in healthcare through study of the biological bases of health, and through the larger public health scope. He has taken classes at JHSPH, and experienced the innovative and inspiring culture that exists at Bloomberg. Anthony is interesting in researching the effect of cancer and chronic diseases on this country’s aging population.

lyleDaniel Lyle

Daniel was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico and lived there until he attended the University of Virginia. He graduated with a B.S. in Biochemistry and a minor in Mathematics and pursued additional biology coursework at The University of New Mexico after college. Daniel has dual citizenship in the U.S. and Switzerland. Daniel chose Johns Hopkins because he wants to expand his knowledge of many of the more complex human biological systems at the molecular level, learn more about cellular mechanisms of cancer, and better prepare him to get into medical school. In the future, Daniel would like to work with communities and local healthcare leaders to improve preventative medicine outcomes, thereby reducing high rates of costly emergency room visits and chronic, non-communicable disease incidence rates.

markweiMetty Markwei

Metty was born and raised in Accra, Ghana, West Africa. She moved to the U.S. to attend and graduate from Yale University in 2015, with a B.A. in Anthropology, with a concentration in Medical Anthropology and be a fellow in the Global Health Studies program. Metty wrote and directed an African drama/musical production at Ghana's national theatre in high school, as a fundraiser to build a free public library in the Aklamador village with classmates. Metty found the JHU YouTube channel in college and loved the culture of the school and wanted to hone her passion to contribute to knowledge and healthcare. She chose Johns Hopkins because of its cutting edge research in the sciences and medicine. She is interested in women’s health, chronic disease epidemiology and cancer. Her goal is to potentially become a doctor, and to build a research hospital in Africa that partners with institutions in the U.S., to contribute to healthcare worldwide.

ortizVeronica Ortiz

Veronica was born and raised in Norwalk, CT but her family is originally from Medellin, Colombia. She recently graduated from Franklin and Marshall College with a degree in Biology and departmental honors. She completed a two-year independent research project titled, “Development of a Single-Fiber Preparation to Investigate the Contractile Properties of Obliquely Striated Muscles.” Veronica chose Johns Hopkins because she likes the flexible curriculum that will allow her to take a variety of science and public health courses that will benefit her. She is interested in health disparities, especially in underprivileged communities. In the future, she wants to become a physician and hopes to work with the Latino community, both in the United States and throughout Latin America.

patelVeeral  Patel

Veeral was born and raised in Grosse Pointe Woods, MI. In stayed in Michigan to attend Kalamazoo College. Veeral got to work with public health when he assisted a Radiology Oncologist in a retrospective study on the accessibility to breast cancer diagnosis and treatment. It was his first exposure to the issues and impediments of accessing health care services. Veeral’s research interests are molecular mechanisms involved in tissue repair, cancer, and immunity. He chose Johns Hopkins because he wanted access to the forefronts of research relating to cancer as well as classes and facilities relating research to public health.

pennLia Penn

Lia was born in Hartford, Connecticut but grew up in Baltimore. She went to Villanova University and graduated with a B.S. in Biology. Lia chose Johns Hopkins because the university will give her a chance to work on some of the public health crises facing Baltimore. She also likes the balance of science and public health offered by the MHS program. In the future, she hopes to research infectious diseases, specifically HIV/AIDS and TB. Lia would also like to go to medical school and work with Doctors without Borders as a specialist in infectious diseases.

perdunZach Perdun

Zach was born and raised in Greenville, SC and moved to Anderson, SC to attend Anderson University in 2010. He graduated with honors in 2015 with a B.S. in Biology with a minor in Chemistry and heavy coursework in Psychology. Zach was the recipient of the Anderson University's Cancer Scholar Award. Zach chose JHU because of the quality of academic and research education, and the opportunity to develop the academic, research, and critical thinking skills necessary to be better prepared to treat my community as a physician and scientist. He is interested in cancer biology and immunological responses to cancer. In the future, he wants to enter an MSTP or research heavy MD program.

roccoLauren Rocco

Lauren was born at Hill Air Force Base in Utah, but grew up all over the world since both of her parents were in the Air Force. After Utah, she lived in Guam, Alabama, Virginia, Germany, Maryland, & Florida. Lauren graduated from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN in December 2014 with a B.A. in Neuroscience. In 2011, after participating in Dig Pink for 3 years in high school, Lauren was recognized nationally for her fundraising efforts by the Side-Out Foundation, a breast cancer support organization that partners with volleyball teams worldwide. The Side-Out Foundation also published her essay on the impact of breast cancer. Lauren chose Johns Hopkins, because she believes it gives her the best chance to accomplish her dream of becoming a physician, her goal since she was 5 years old. BMB will prepare her for the intensity of medical school, with an interesting curriculum in line with her own background & medical interests. In the future, she wants to go to medical school & become a physician specializing in sports medicine.

nicoletteNicolette Roque

Nicolette was born and raised in Miami, Florida. She attended Johns Hopkins University as an undergraduate and completed her B.A. in Earth and Planetary Sciences in six semesters. In her free time, Nicolette likes to play with her dog, Lucas, spend time with family and friends, and mentor students for the Maryland Science Olympiad. She is half Cuban and grew up speaking both Spanish and English. Nicolette’s research interests lie within health disparities and access to care. She chose Hopkins because of its location and its prestige - she loves the surrounding East Baltimore community because of its rich cultural history and its variety of opportunities for community involvement. 

rowlandsonShae Rowlandson

Shae was born and raised in Milwaukee. He then attended the University of Vermont to pursue a major in biochemistry and a minor in pharmacology. Shae has done extensive research on whole-body metabolism, diabetes, and fighting the obesity epidemic. He wants to works with society to advocate for healthier lifestyle practices, and learn how to provide care for patients with preventable diseases.  Shae chose Johns Hopkins because it presents a lot of opportunities, challenges, perspectives, and learning experiences that I want to be exposed to, that he would not be able to access easily, elsewhere. In the future, Shae is driven to expand his research, and pursue either medical practice, or public health through further practical experience.

salevitzNicole Salevitz

Nicole was born in Manhattan and grew up in Scottsdale, AZ. She attended Johns Hopkins as an undergraduate and earned her B.A. in History of Art. She is proud of her degree because she accomplished balancing her humanities interests while still pursuing her pre-med requirements. Nicole chose JHU because she knows the caliber of professors and peers at Hopkins are extraordinary, which will push her harder to succeed. In the future, she wants to become a physician. Nicole has done extensive epilepsy and neurological research that I find extremely interesting, yet is open to new research areas that may arise in the coming years.

saxenaSadhvi Saxena

Sadhvi was born in Vancouver, Canada, moved to New Mexico when she was 8, before settling down in Maryland when she was 11. In 2013, she graduated with a B.S. in Biological Sciences with concentration in Neurobiology and Physiology from the University of Maryland in College Park. In addition, she just finished her M.S. in Clinical Investigation from the Boston University School of Medicine. In the past year, she worked as a full time Clinical Research Assistant in cognitive neurology lab, as a part-time consultant at a health care start-up company, and studied as full-time graduate student. Sadhvi would like to become a physician, and also learn about health policy, global health problems, and how to advocate for the use of personalized treatment and continued rehabilitation for individuals with brain injury or a diagnosis of a neurological disorder.

shahYajas Shah

Yajas was born and raised in Mumbai (Bombay), India. He graduated from the University of Mumbai and graduated with a dual major BSc in Life Sciences and Biochemistry. He has presented a paper on obesity at the Research Scholars' Meet in 2014Yajas chose Johns Hopkins because of the high quality education offered in biological and biomedical sciences. He also likes how his research interests in cancer biology, human reproduction and neurodegenerative disease, line up perfectly with research conducted at JHU. In the future, he hopes to further research his interests at a doctoral level, to provide low cost, innovative methods for the diagnosis and treatment. He also wants to encourage undergraduate research in India, as this facility is not readily available to students.


Joseph  Shen

Joseph was born in Taiwan, and grew up in Taiwan and Seattle. He went to the University of Washington, Seattle, and earned his B.S. degrees in Biochemistry and Microbiology. As a junior, Joseph attended a University of Washington Exploration seminar to India, where he gained a vivid impression of the consequences of lack of access to health care. He interacted with leprosy patients, which helped him realize the important roles of medical and public health professionals. Joseph chose Johns Hopkins because of the opportunities to integrate his knowledge of cancer biology and genetic epidemiology into my primary focus on cancer detection and prevention, and take the community service-learning courses will also allow me to gain more clinical experience. Joseph’s research interests include Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma (HNSCC), and regenerative medicine of skin and tissue. In the future, Joseph would like to become a surgical oncologist to develop new therapies to cancer patients and improve patients' quality of life after treatment.

vartekNatasha Vartak

Natasha was born in England and grew up both in India and Brunei. She attended the State University of New York at Geneseo and majored in Biochemistry. Natasha chose Johns Hopkins because she believes it would allow her to experience a holistic approach to public health which includes diverse science electives, as well as unique volunteering opportunities. She is interested in structural biology and in the future, Natasha would like to work towards applying to medical school.

vigilErin Vigil

Erin was born in Amarillo, Texas and grew up there and in eastern New Mexico. She attended Johns Hopkins for undergrad and graduated with a BS in cellular/molecular neuroscience. Erin has been doing basic science and clinical research since high school. During her undergraduate career, she researched ALS in mice models for her first two years, and researched at the JHU Wilmer Eye Institute during her last two years. Erin chose JHU because she wanted to build upon the opportunities she found at Hopkins during her undergraduate career, in addition to continuing to be a part of an inspiring and challenging academic environment surrounded by people who love science as much as she does. In the future, Erin would like to attend medical school and become a physician. In particular, specializing in ophthalmology to treat and study retinal diseases.