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Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Student Profiles

DEGREE PROGRAM - Master of Health Science (MHS)

Sean BrownCaitlin BryanDaniel Chang
Mengyin ChenAlex ColeThomas Cronin
Yasmeen ElsakaryKyrra EngleJeffrey Eyring
Brendan Fowl Javaughn GrayJingting Han
Bixi HeDelcora HugginsChristopher Hurtado
Yeong Je JeongAlexandra KappazRoche Kapoor
Shahrzad KhaiatSakshi KhuranaYoo Jin Kim
Jonathan KonelBrian KrahlOhemaa Kwakyi
Ashley LauEmily LavellHans Liu
Amanda LourencoJennifer MansourLuis Monslave
Balaganesh NatarajanDao NguyenKenneth Ofori
Noordeep PanesarSoo ah ParkJohn Petrie
Juliet PhamMaria ReateguiPamela Saavedra-Rivera
Elham ShamsAnnu SharmaZach Silverstein
Zorawar SinghDanielle SteffanBryanna Stukes
Lesley SummervilleJarrett TaylorRavi Thombre
Esteban UriasNicolas WangMatthew Wen
Musi ZhangXueqi Zhao 

Sean Brown

seanSean was born and raised in New Jersey. He graduated from Johns Hopkins University in the fall of 2015 with a B.S. in Molecular and Cellular Biology. During his undergraduate studies, Sean was a student research assistant in two different labs. In Dr. Xin Chen’s lab, he studied the metabolic control of stem cell development in Drosphilia melanogaster testes. In the second, Dr. Barry Zirkin’s lab, Sean studied how the presence of various factors contributes to the development of stem cells and differentiation of those cells into testosterone-producing cells in adult rat testes. He hopes to continue research in the reproductive stem cell arena.

    Sean enjoys playing basketball and has a passion for music. A combination of Dr. Zirkin’s mentorship and the vast resources offered by the BMB MHS program led Sean to choose JHSPH. He aspires to attend medical school to become a surgeon. 

Caitlin Bryan

caitlinCaitlin Bryan was born and grew up in Emmaus, Pennsylvania. She just graduated from Lehigh University in May where she studied Biopharmaceutical Engineering and played Division I field hockey. While at Lehigh, she achieved patriot league academic honor roll and was a student athlete mentor. Caitlin had the opportunity to work as a research scholar for the Lehigh Valley Health Network in the dental department, where she presented her research and shadowed dentists during their residencies.

    She enjoys working out, playing sports and loves to read books, especially mystery novels. Caitlin is very social and loves spending time with family and friends. Something interesting about her is that she is the oldest of 4 siblings and all 4 were in undergrad at the same time. She chose BMB because Johns Hopkins has a longstanding respectable reputation in health care and she believes the education she will gain from this program will help her achieve her goal of attending dental school and becoming a dentist. Caitlin’s long-term goal is to become an orthodontist and join her father and grandfather’s practice.

Daniel Chang

danielDaniel Chang was born and raised in Lima, Peru and moved to Paterson, NJ at the age of 11. He graduated from the Johns Hopkins University in 2016 with a Bachelor of Arts in Public Health Studies. He is the first one in his family to have graduated from a prestigious institution outside of his native country. He worked all throughout his college career as a dance instructor at the Arthur Murray Dance Studio, as well as with one of the most renowned Latin dance companies in Baltimore: SalsaNow. During his time at Hopkins, he founded a chapter of the oldest Latino fraternity in existence, Phi Iota Alpha, as well as Baila, the only Latin dance team at the Homewood campus. He also played Latin percussion with the Peabody Latin Jazz Ensemble for 3 years.

    In his spare time, Daniel enjoys playing several musical instruments, DJing for local events and venues, teaching weekly dance classes, and spending time with his 4 year old Hungarian Vizsla. Although Daniel is an eighth Chinese, he is actually fluent in Spanish and most of his family is in South America. The BMB program at Bloomberg is a very important step in Daniel’s education, as he wants to soon after pursue medical school and become a world renowned surgeon.

Mengyin Chen

mengyinMengyin Chen was born and grew up in Shaoxing, Zhejiang Province, China. She graduated from the Beijing University of Chemical Technology in 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in Biotechnology. She has conducted cancer research about autophagy both at her university and Cancer Research Institute of Shandong Province. In addition, she has conducted scientific research on the structure and function of monolignol ferulate transferase and strategic research on extracting sulforaphane from broccoli seeds.

   In her free time, she likes reading, watching drama and taking part in outdoor activities. She has done some volunteering and hopes to continue that. Mengyin is very curious about science. She chose Johns Hopkins because she really loves biology and JHU is second to none in this field. In the future, she hopes to be a professor and have her own lab to do research in biology.

Alex Cole

alexAlex Cole was born and raised in Orlando, Florida. In May 2015, he graduated Summa Cum Laude  from the University of South Florida (USF) with a B.S. in Biomedical Sciences. During his time at USF, Alex was an executive member of the local chapter of the Sigma Chi Fraternity and the USF Interfraternity Council, the local a chemistry tutor, a member of the Baker Natural Products Research Group, and a USF Ambassador.

   He enjoys weight training, outdoorsmanship, and culinary arts. Alex has torn his left ACL three times. After gaining experience working in an emergency department and volunteering at a local hospital on the inpatient oncology floor, he has been inspired to apply his academic strengths to the study of reproductive and cancer biology at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. After gaining his master’s degree, Alex plans to pursue an MD-PhD program.

Tom Cronin

tomTom Cronin grew up in Hershey Pennsylvania. He studied Spanish at Franklin and Marshall College while also completing the pre-med curriculum. While in school, he spent a lot of time working as a translator. He worked with Hershey Foods to translate for the largely Spanish-speaking work force. Tom also used his Spanish to work on a community survey project in Lancaster PA, whose population is 40% Spanish speaking. The project was run by a health clinic interested in finding ways to reduce emergency room visits. 

    In his spare time, Tom enjoys playing soccer, hanging out, playing video games, and reading. He chose this program to strengthen his resume with a rigorous science course load, while also gaining some background in public health. After this program, Tom plans on either pursuing medical school, or finding a job in the public health field.

Yasmeen Elsakary

yasmeenYasmeen Elsakary was born in Secaucus, New Jersey and grew up in Rahway, New Jersey, right outside of New York City. She attended Rutgers University and received her B.A. in Biological Sciences, with minors in Women’s and Gender Studies and Nutrition, in 2016. As an undergraduate, Yasmeen conducted research at the Rutgers Center of Alcohol Studies studying the effects of chronic mild stress and prolonged alcohol consumption on macrophage activity in the liver of osteocalcin knockout mice.

    Outside of academia, Yasmeen enjoys reading, eating, volunteering, and engaging in community activism. Interestingly enough, it was this passion for social justice and feminism that brought her to the field of public health. Yasmeen chose Johns Hopkins because of the impact the school has made, and continues to make, around the world. She hopes to one day become a physician to serve marginalized communities, and further pursue her interest in women’s health and reproductive rights throughout her career.

Kyrra Engle

kyrraKyrra Engle grew up in Sunnyvale, California. She graduated from the University of Redlands in 2010 with a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Sociology and completed a post-baccalaureate health professions program at the University of California, Berkeley in 2015. She has worked as a clinic assistant and health educator at Planned Parenthood for the past three years. In addition, Kyrra has worked for community development organizations on four different continents and seen firsthand the way individual health problems are born from larger societal forces.

   In her free time, she enjoys dancing, practicing calligraphy, reading, and traveling. Kyrra chose Johns Hopkins because their world class education and learning environment will help prepare her for medical school. This will be her first time living on the east coast and owning a scarf!

Jeffrey Eyring

jeffreyJeffrey Eyring was born and raised in Rock Springs, Wyoming and has lived in Utah since 2004. He graduated from Weber State University in 2014 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Microbiology. He has assisted in research of antibiotic resistance in bacterial isolates from hospital populations. In addition, he assisted at the University of Utah School of Medicine in researching late-life depression in aging veterans.

   In his free time, he enjoys playing basketball, watching football, and perusing the internet for the latest development in technology and science. Jeffrey spent two years living overseas in Hong Kong, so he always looks forward to living in a new place and experiencing new things and people. Jeffrey chose Johns Hopkins because of their rich history in medical education. He hopes to attend medical school where he can use his training from Johns Hopkins to improve people’s lives.

Brendan Fowl

brendanBrendan Fowl grew up in Baltimore and is thrilled to be home. He attended undergrad at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota and graduated in 2014 with a B.A. in Biology. Following graduation, he moved to Boston and took a research assistant position in the Camargo Lab at Boston Children’s Hospital. His work at Children’s focused on the role of the Hippo Pathway in cellular maintenance, proliferation and oncogenesis. At the beginning of this summer he moved back to Baltimore and has been working in the Kavran Lab in BMB.

   At Carleton, Brendan was on the baseball and track and field team. He still loves to play baseball, as well as, pretty much any pick-up game that’s going on. He is looking forward to taking advantage of all the community partnerships Hopkins has to offer and wants to find a community health organization to work with throughout the school year. Brendan hopes to continue on to medical school where he would love to go into pediatric oncology and continue with oncology research.

Javaughn Gray

javaughnJavaughn Gray was born and raised in Nassau, Bahamas. He attended Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida where he completed his Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. He has also attended Johns Hopkins University where he completed his Master of Science degree in Biotechnology through the Health Science Intensive Post-Bacc program. Javaughn’s biggest accomplishments thus far would have to be obtaining his bachelors and master’s degrees in the U.S. He has research experience in organic synthesis, stem cell biology and renal physiology. He is most interested in studying signaling pathways and their effects on angiogenesis/tumor cell proliferation.

   His favorite thing to do is play his guitar and write music. Javaughn chose to continue his education at JHU in BMB because of all the opportunities JHSPH has to offer and the large amount of flexibility in coursework that will allow him to explore new areas. His goal is to pursue an MD through a research-heavy program. 

Jingting Han

jingtingJingting Han was born and grew up in Beijing, China. She graduated from the University of California, San Diego majoring in Pharmacological chemistry. She has conducted biochemistry research and presented it at undergraduate research conferences and at the UCSD undergraduate symposium. Jingting has conducted scientific research using different software to calculate the distance between the alpha carbon of each atom in a protein to discover the conformational change of each protein.

   In her free time, she likes sleeping, cooking, mostly Chinese food and cookies, drawing and reading. Jingting can speak Chinese, of course, and English. An interesting thing about her is that she does not like coffee. She chose JHU because of the world famous education and diverse culture. Her future goal is having the ability to follow her own heart while enjoying life, and help others to have a better life.

Bixi He

bixiBixi He was born and grew up in Liaoning, China. She graduated from Beijing Normal University and received the Bachelor of Science degree in Biotechnology. Bixi applied a funding project for undergraduate students, which aimed to screening the optimal derivative among three kinds of derivatives of GCC, and then explored its pharmacological function and its immunosuppression mechanism.

   She likes running, playing badminton and watching movies. She also likes to watch basketball games. Bixi chose BMB because Johns Hopkins is a well-known university with well-arranged courses and expert professionals holding the leading role both in the academic research and practical application areas. She believes studying in BMB can help her to acquire integrated knowledge required for a PhD. In the future, Bixi wants to apply to a PhD program and do research in biomedical sciences.

Delcora Huggins

delcoraDelcora Huggins was born and raised in Newport News, Virginia. She graduated from the Johns Hopkins University in 2016 with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Neuroscience and Molecular Cellular Biology. She has worked at the Johns Hopkins Hospital conducting clinical research with epileptic and substance abuse populations.

   Delcora spends a lot of her time working out and playing basketball; a hobby she has maintained since the age of five. When she’s not in the gym, you can find her reading neuroscience and biology journals, volunteering, or hanging out at the Inner Harbor. She chose Johns Hopkins because over the past four years, it has become her home and she enjoys both the challenges and insights the school has to offer. In the future, she hopes to attend medical school, and dedicate her time to clinical and scientific research that will lead to advancements in the fields of neuroscience and neurosurgery.

Christopher Hurtado 

christopherChristopher Hurtado was born and raised in Miami, Florida. He graduated from Johns Hopkins University in 2016 with a B.S degree in Neuroscience. He is currently working on several projects at the Wilmer Eye Institute, investigating the role of various neuro-immunological interactions in regulating retinal regeneration in the zebrafish model system. Christopher chose Johns Hopkins because of its world class education as well as the various opportunities to get involved in the surrounding East Baltimore Community.

   In his spare time Chris enjoys embracing his Hispanic culture through the art of dance. Christopher plans to attend medical school and become a pediatric neurosurgeon. 

Yeong Je Jeong (YJ)

yeongYeong Jin Jeong (YJ) was born in South Korea, and grew up there until the age of 13. Then he moved to the United States to study and then back to South Korea after college in 2012. He graduated from North Carolina State University with a bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences. Back in Korea, YJ helped out his family by working for their real estate business. He learned to invest and produce profit by remodeling the properties and selling them. He enjoyed his work and so far he managed to sell 12 properties.

    In his free time, he enjoys playing basketball, weightlifting, reading and hiking. YJ is fascinated by carpentry and he wishes to make it his hobby someday. He chose Johns Hopkins BMB program because he remembered how he loved studying science in college. And he trusts that the best institution to learn it is at Hopkins. His future goal is to become a dentist and conduct stem cell or regenerative research in the field. 

Alexandra Kappaz

alexandraAlexandra Kappaz was born in Washington, D.C. and grew up in Bethesda, Maryland, living in Singapore for a brief time. She attended the Johns Hopkins University for her undergraduate studies, earning her B.Sc. in Molecular and Cellular Biology. In addition to the associated studies for her major, Alexandra also engaged in research at a yeast genomics lab at JHU, and pursued a pre-medical track. Following her graduation in 2015, Alexandra expanded her clinical experience by working as a medical assistant for a private surgical firm specializing in general and laparoscopic surgery.She also volunteers at a therapeutic riding facility for disabled children and adults, which allows her to combine her passion for giving back to the community, and the love for horses she developed throughout her competitive equestrian career. While Alexandra’s decision to attend Johns Hopkins was significantly influenced by factors such as the school’s prestige and its incredible ability to guide students to success in the medical and scientific fields, it was her positive undergraduate experience at JHU that solidified her decision. In the future, Alexandra plans to attend medical school and become a physician. 

Roche Kapoor

rocheRoche Kapoor was born in New Delhi, India and grew up near Chicago, Illinois. He attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and graduated in 2015 with a B.S. in Molecular and Cellular Biology. While at UIUC, he conducted research on Inhalation Anthrax and presented his findings at the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS).

In addition to research, he worked as a Resident Advisor (RA) at Illinois Street Residence Hall and served as the President of PRISM.

    In his leisure time, Roche likes to watch documentaries, cook, and play tabletop games. He was named after the Sanskrit word for anger because his father had an infamous temper in his youth. Roche chose Johns Hopkins because of the tremendous emphasis the university puts on the intersection of social justice and healthcare policy. In the future, Roche hopes to attend medical school and focus on bringing quality healthcare to marginalized communities. 

Shahrzad Khaiat

khaiatShahrzad Khaiat was born in Shiraz, Iran and immigrated to Vancouver, Canada in 2010 after she finished her secondary school. She graduated from the University of British Columbia with B.Sc. Degree in Microbiology and Immunology and a minor in Spanish. She has conducted research at ICORD (International Collaboration on Repair Discoveries) on neurogenesis and rehabilitation after spinal cord injury. She has also conducted research experiments at UBC microbiology and immunology lab, and physiology lab. She swam with the UBC synchronized swimming club for 4 years and competed in the Canadian University Synchro Swimming League (CUSSL) national competitions. She also participated in a study abroad program in Spain, Barcelona to practice her Spanish and study Spanish literature. She speaks English, Farsi and Spanish  and her hobbies include swimming, beach volleyball, dancing, traveling and hiking.

   She chose to study BMB at John Hopkins University to prepare herself for medical school, meet new people and expand her networking. She hopes to enter medical school and continue her interest in the area of research. She also hopes to use her abilities as a physician to contribute to helping the underprivileged areas in South America.

Sakshi Khurana

sakshiSakshi Khurana is ethnically Indian but was born and brought up in Jakarta, Indonesia and has also lived in Auckland, New Zealand. She graduated from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) in 2016 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and Biotechnology with a minor in Entrepreneurship.  During her undergraduate career, she researched cytoskeleton proteins in plant cells. In particular she worked with a microtubule associated protein which plays a role in polarized cell growth. Sakshi continues to be interested in the impact of mutated proteins on organismal development but hopes to move into research impacting human health and is particularly interested in the mutations involved in cancer.

   In her free time, Sakshi was involved with international community governance and diversity programing at WPI and is very passionate about educating people on the importance of diversity in academic institutions. She enjoys going to the gym, reading, watching TV shows and can speak English, Hindi, Bahasa Indonesia and intermediate Spanish.

She chose Johns Hopkins because of its commitment to protecting health through medical research. She hopes to use her time at Johns Hopkins to realize her specific research interests. In the future, Sakshi aspires to pursue her PhD and conduct research that could impact millions of lives around the world.

Yoo Jin Kim

yooYoo Jin Kim was born in South Korea and moved to the United States at the age of 9. Since then, she has spent her time in Chicago, IL. Yoo Jin graduated from Johns Hopkins in 2015 with majors in Neuroscience and Spanish. After graduation, she made the decision to further explore medicine and the healthcare system while developing her scientific interests. Yoo Jin always had an inclination towards BMB throughout her classes at Hopkins which led her to choose the BMB program. Here, she plans to explore aspects of BMB apart from her initial interest in Neuroscience and to pursue a research project to better prepare herself for the translational and scientific research she hopes to pursue in her future career as a physician.

   During her free time, Yoo Jin either walks her two puppies or pursues her musical hobbies: playing the piano and singing.

Jon Konel

jonJon Konel was born in Valhalla, New York and grew up in Nutley, New Jersey. He graduated from The Johns Hopkins University in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychological and Brain Sciences. He has conducted kidney transplant research at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine for the past two years and was published in the American Journal of Transplantation in July 2016.

    In his free time, Jon likes to sing, prepare his family’s Ecuadorian recipes, and travel. He is also currently training for a half marathon in the Baltimore Running Festival this October. Jon chose Johns Hopkins because education at this school is one-of-a-kind, and the opportunities are endless. In the future, Jon hopes to attend medical school and utilize the insights gained at the JHSPH in his future career. 

Brian Krahl

brianBrian Krahl was born and raised in Salisbury, Maryland. He received his interdisciplinary bachelor’s in biology, chemistry, and neuroscience from Salisbury University in the spring of 2015. In addition to his course work at SU, he conducted undergraduate research in functional and structural oligodendrocyte changes in hyperglycemic zebrafish.

    In his free time he dabbles with wood working. He has no regrets except not attending baseball camp with his cousin as a child, because he most certainly would be playing for the Orioles by now. He chose JHU because he knew he would get the foremost education and research training in the molecular biology field. Also, for Brian JHU is located in state, and in the most biotech dense region in the country. After graduating from JHU, Brian intends to go on to earn is Ph.D. in molecular biology, and work in pharmaceutical R&D.

Ohemaa Kwakyi 

ohemaaOhemaa Kwakyi was born in Athens, Georgia but was raised in Accra, Ghana in West Africa. After completing elementary through high school in Ghana, she moved back to the US for college. Ohemaa graduated from Johns Hopkins University with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology. Over her undergraduate career she was involved in clinical research studies pertaining to chronic diseases and genetic disorder, specifically, Asthma and Skeletal Dysplasias.

   She is very passionate about dance and was captain of her dance team for three years. In addition to dance, she enjoys watching Korean dramas, plays four instruments and speaks English, Twi (Akan) and French. She chose BMB because of its dedication to utilizing the intersection between scientific research and public health expertise to solving pertinent health issues. She aspires to be a pediatrician oncologist and work with chronic disease care and management in developing countries.

Ashley Lau

ashleyAshley Lau was born and raised in San Francisco, California. She graduated from Johns Hopkins University in 2016. She has conducted scientific research in trying to explore new therapeutic strategies for Alzheimer’s disease in mouse models.

   In her free time, she enjoys reading, fencing, and taking nature walks. She chose the BMB program at JHU because of the vast array of research opportunities, and hopes to learn more about how public health practices aid in the prevention of diseases. In the future, Ashley hopes to attend medical school.

Emily Lavell

emilyEmily Lavell was born in Philadelphia, PA and grew up in New Jersey. She earned a B.A. in Neuroscience from Johns Hopkins in 2013 and worked for three years in the Neurosurgery research lab of Dr. Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa. Her work in research has resulted in publications including a cover-page article in Molecular Cancer Research, contributions to the book Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology, several poster presentations including at the 2015 AACR conference, and an oral presentation at the Mayo Clinic’s 2016 Neurosurgery Research Symposium.

   In her free time, she enjoys volunteering at the Harriet Lane clinic, running at Loch Raven reservoir, cooking and going to yoga. She chose Johns Hopkins because she is grateful to have called Hopkins home since 2009, and recognizes all the institution has to offer. She looks forward to studying Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and earning a certificate in Gerontology. In the future she hopes to become an academic clinician and explore public health solutions for the aging population.

Hans Liu

hansHans Liu was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota – “the Land of 10,000 Lakes”. At the age of four, he traversed the Pacific with his family and arrived in Beijing, settling in their humble abode located minutes away from the soon-to-be Bird's Nest of the 2008 Olympics. After completing elementary and middle school in Beijing, he returned to Minneapolis for high school, and subsequently attended Washington University in St. Louis for undergrad, with a major in Chemistry (Biochemistry concentration). Post-graduation, Hans worked at the NIA on telomeres, and thereafter, conducted research on cytomegalovirus at Johns Hopkins.

   Upon completing the BMB program at Johns Hopkins, Hans plans to pursue a PhD degree in preparation for a career in biomedical research, with the goal of gaining useful knowledge and putting it to good use.

Amanda Lourenco

amandaAmanda Lourenco was born and raised in a small town just outside of Amherst, Massachusetts. She graduated from Johns Hopkins University in 2016 with a B.S. in Molecular and Cellular Biology and a minor in Women Gender and Sexuality Studies. Amanda has performed research at the JHU Homewood Campus studying neurocognitive aging, as well as at the Bloomberg School of Public Health studying the formation and function of the male gamete as it pertains to male infertility.

  As an undergraduate she was very involved within her sorority, Kappa Kappa Gamma as well as in the Greek community and was named the 2016 Fraternity and Sorority Life Woman of the Year. For fun, Amanda enjoys tutoring elementary school students, traveling, live music festivals, and party planning. She even interned two summers as a wedding planner! Amanda looks forward to continuing her education within the BMB Program at the Bloomberg School of Public Health because it offers an excellent program where she can further her knowledge of reproductive biology with the added aspect of public health that she hasn’t been exposed to previously. In the future Amanda hopes to pursue either medical school or a PhD in which she can focus on reproductive health.

Jennifer Mansour

jenniferJennifer Mansour was born in San Jose, California and grew up in Haymarket, Virginia. She graduated from the University of Virginia in 2016 with her Bachelors of Arts in Biology. At the University of Virginia she conducted stem cell therapy research in the treatment of diabetic retinopathy. Jennifer spent additional time working as a teaching assistant, volunteering as an EMT, and mentoring pre-medical students.

   When she was young, Jennifer was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder which inspired her to become a physician. Jennifer chose Johns Hopkins for the unique curriculum and innumerable opportunities that will help her become a successful physician. She hopes as a physician to improve preventative medicine specifically through education. In her free time, Jennifer enjoys gardening, cooking and running. 

Luis Monslave

luisLuis Monslave was born in La Habana, Cuba and grew up in Tampa, Florida. He graduated from the University of South Florida in 2015 with a B.S. in Biomedical Sciences. He has conducted smoking cessation research and presented it at the Moffitt Cancer Center Scientific Symposium. He also conducted melanoma prevention research in which clinical trial participants receive results of their analyzed MC1R gene to assess how varying risk for skin cancer impacts their preventative behavior. In addition, he has completed over 1000 hours of physician shadowing and 400 hours of volunteer work as a Spanish-speaking interpreter for a free clinic.

   In his free time, Luis loves to explore new restaurants and bars, play various sports, dance and travel. He chose to attend Johns Hopkins because of the exceptional medical and public health programs and because the MHS will prepare him for medical school. Luis looks forward to living in Baltimore since it will expose him to new experiences and opportunities, like seeing snow for the first time in sixteen years and networking with some of the most renowned health professionals in the world. Luis hopes to become a surgeon and create a successful business that he can pass down to his children.

Balaganesh Natarajan

balaganechBalaganesh Natarajan was born in Shotley Bridge, England and grew up in Mountaintop, Pennsylvania. He graduated from Drexel University in June 2016 with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Biology and a minor in Psychology. During his sophomore year, he conducted research pertaining too epigenetic modes of gene control specifically associated with neurogenesis using Drosophila fruit flies as a model system. During his junior year, Balaganesh was involved in biophysics research pertaining to cell injury in cancer cells. Through months of research during his junior year, he was able to come out with his very own poster titled, "Temperature Dependent Responses in Live Mammalian Cells”. He was also second author for the poster of the physics graduate student of the lab, whose research was focused on cell repair and apoptosis using biophysical tools such as an infrared laser to study them. This poster was titled, "A Fast Temperature Jump Method to Study Cellular Thermal Response", and was presented on May 1st, 2015.

   In his free time, he likes playing tennis, ping-pong, badminton, and hiking. He can also speak Tamil, Spanish, and English. Balaganesh chose Johns Hopkins because of their noteworthy education opportunities that will help him prepare for the field of medicine, which is his ultimate goal. In the future, Balaganesh hopes to attend medical school, and specialize in cardiology.

Dao Nguyen

daoDao Nguyen was born and grew up in Da Nang, Central Vietnam. In 2009, he began his study abroad in the U.S as a high school student. In 2013, he received an associate degree in general sciences from Portland Community college. Dao then graduated from Pacific University - Oregon in 2016 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. From the summer of 2015 until his graduation, Dao has conducted a funded research on the presence and prevalence of antibiotic resistance genes and related mobile genetic elements in environmental metagenomics DNA samples utilizing basic molecular methods, a study that Dao and his colleagues are looking forward for a publication in 2016.

   In his free time, Dao enjoys playing guitars, and making arts. Soccer is his favorite sport. During this winter of 2014, Dao traveled back to Vietnam and volunteered at Da Nang Cancer Hospital, where he sparked his interest in studying public health. Attending the MHS program at JHSPH, he is eager to further explore the intersections between the fields of public health and medicine. The program will provide new opportunities and expose him with ideas to achieve his goals to involve in biomedical researches and international medical relief as a physician in the future. 

Kenneth Ofori 

kennethKenneth Ofori was born in Accra, Ghana and grew up in Nsawam in the Eastern Region of Ghana. He graduated from the University of Ghana Medical School in 2013 with an MB CHB. He was the valedictorian of his graduating class.

   He enjoys reading poems and playing soccer for leisure.  Kenneth chose BMB because he aspires to do cancer research and believes the program will provide him with a firm foundation in cancer biology and cell signalling.

Noordeep Panesar

noordeepNoordeep Panesar was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario, so don’t mind her when she says “eh.” She completed a Bachelor of Health Science at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario and then attended Johns Hopkins University for a Post-Baccalaureate Master of Science in Biotechnology with a concentration in the Health Science Intensive Program. She is proud of her achievements; such as earning her bachelor and master’s degrees, disciplining herself to stay active, and for overcoming the bystander effect by offering aid to a person who was unconscious due to a drug overdose.

   Her interests include showering her cat with affection; cooking and eating; hanging with her friends and family; exploring; rap and deep house; and working out. Noordeep chose BMB because it will give her the foundation to pursue an MD/MPH by studying medicine and science with a public health focus.

Soo-ah Park

soo-ahSoo-ah Park was born and raised in Seoul, Korea. She graduated from the Towson University in 2014 with Bachelor’s degree in Science. After graduation, she participated in research in Dr. Drummond Barbosa’s laboratory as a visiting scholar. She is very passionate and enthusiastic for her future life doing research and hopes to gain more experience while completing her master’s work at JHSPH.

   In her free time, she likes watching TV, meeting friends, and swimming. She can speak Korean, and English. She taught TOEFL at Pagoda academy located in Korea for two years. Soo-ah chose Johns Hopkins because the world class education will help prepare her to be a great researcher. She is willing to build relationships with new people and have new experiences at Hopkins. In the future, Soo-ah hopes to pursue her PhD degree at Hopkins, and conduct research. Eventually, she wants develop medicine that helps people.

John Petrie

johnJohn Petrie was born in Manhasset, New York and grew up in Setauket, New York. He graduated from the Johns Hopkins University in 2016 with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Neuroscience. While attending Johns Hopkins, he represented the university as a member of the varsity fencing team achieving a career total of three hundred wins. 

   In his free time, John continues to fence as well as cycle and run. John has conducted scientific research for Stony Brook University investigating the molecular effects of hypoxia on memory in mice. He chose to study at the School of Public Health in order to be prepared for medical school in the future. 

Juliet Pham

julietJuliet Pham was born and raised in Austin, Texas. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 2015 in 3 years with a Bachelor of Science and Arts (BSA) in Biology, with a minor in English. She was in the International Baccalaureate Diploma program and entered college with 24 credits. Juliet has been a tutor, teaching assistant, editor, writing instructor, and guest speaker. She has shadowed a family practitioner for over 5 years and was a medical shadowing intern for an otolaryngologist, a nephrologist, a dermatologist, and an oral & maxillofacial surgeon. Juliet has known that she wanted to be a doctor at the age of 6. She chose Johns Hopkins because of its phenomenal curriculum. Her goal is to be an educator, a researcher, and a world-class physician.

Juliet is very passionate about community service, and she has acted as lead coordinator in three service projects, which she created and organized.

    She enjoys playing piano at nursing homes and working with special needs and autistic children. Her hobbies include spending time with family and playing tennis.

Maria Laura Reategui

mariaMaria Laura Reategui was born in Lima, Peru and moved to Puerto Rico when she was ten years old. She finished high school in Puerto Rico and then moved to Baltimore for college. She graduated from Johns Hopkins University in 2016 with a B.S in Molecular and Cellular Biology and a B.A in Romance Languages. She has conducted lysosomal storage disease as well as cancer research.

   In her free time, she likes to go to the gym, hang out with her friends and go shopping. Maria Laura also loves dancing salsa, merengue, and bachata and speaks Spanish, English, French and Portuguese. She chose Johns Hopkins because the curriculum and diverse opportunities will help her become better prepared for medical school. She is very excited about staying in Baltimore especially now that her two brothers will also be studying in Johns Hopkins as undergraduate students. In the future, Maria Laura would like to be a doctor and join an organization like doctors without borders. In that way she will be able to travel and put into use her medical knowledge as well as her language skills.

Pamela Saavedra-Rivera 

pamelaPamela Saavedra-Rivera was born and raised in sunny south Florida. She graduated from Johns Hopkins University in 2016 with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Neuroscience with a Cellular and Molecular concentration. She has conducted neurology-related research with time on: Glioblastoma Multiforme, hydrocephalus, and circulating tumor cells. She is a member of the Student National Medical Association and was nominated to attend their national conference this past March.

   In her free time, she likes to draw, dance, learn new languages, and cook. She is in the process of learning German and Japanese. Pamela chose Johns Hopkins because of the incomparable program that will further prepare her for medical school. She is excited to spend more time in Baltimore and engage in public health focused volunteer work. In the near future, Pamela hopes to attend medical school and continue her people-focused service endeavors through local and international health outreach through medical school and into her practice as a physician.

Anagha Sadasivan

Elham Shams

elhamElham Shams was born in Tehran, Iran and I moved to United States when she was ten years old. She grew up in Davie, FL and attended Florida State University for her undergraduate education. Elham majored in biology and minored in chemistry and psychology.

   She enjoys swimming, reading novels and bird watching. In college, she published an observational study on the red-headed woodpecker that detailed its behavior and habitat. Elham chose BMB to enhance her understanding of the biological processes that occur within the human body. She decided to attend Johns Hopkins University in order to immerse herself in a culturally diverse and accepting environment that is on the forefront of medical research. Elham hopes that the knowledge gained from the program will allow her to excel as a future medical student and become a compassionate physician.

Annu Sharma

annuAnnu Sharma was born and raised in Baltimore, MD. She graduated on the Dean’s List from Notre Dame of Maryland University where she earned a BA in Biology and a minor in Computer Science. She has conducted asthma pathogenesis and epigenetics research at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and research focusing on molecular mechanisms of cardiovascular disease at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. She speaks three languages including English, Punjabi, and Hindi. After she obtains her MHS, she plans on attending medical school. Annu chose to attend Johns Hopkins and enroll in the BMB program because she wants to be challenged and also prepare herself for her future career as a physician. While doing so, this will allow her to stay close to her family and friends.

Zach Silverstein 

zachZach Silverstein was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. He graduated from Brown University in 2013, double majoring in economics and biology. Zach considers his greatest accomplishments to have been his helping to determine the structures of two proteins responsible for mediating resistance to the antibiotic fosfomycin, his summiting of Mount Kilimanjaro, and his ultimately finding Waldo in the infamous “The Land of Waldos.”

   In his free time, he enjoys running, trivia, rewatching episodes of Seinfeld, reminiscing in the antics of Calvin and Hobbes, and witnessing the Cleveland Browns find new ways to break his heart. Zach’s reason for choosing BMB is a desire to further his academic and professional interests, gain guidance for his future endeavors, and to be surrounded by peers and colleagues who will push him to be the best he can be. As for the future, Zach hopes to attend medical school and to become a physician specializing in pediatric infectious disease.

Zorawar Singh

zorawarZorawar Singh was born in India and his parents eventually decided to immigrate to the United States. Having moved around a lot, he has lived in Pittsburgh, Texas, California, and now resides in Seattle, Washington. After high school, he went attended Saint Louis University, where he received a Bachelors in Science in Biology. Aside from being involved volunteer organizations on campus, Zorawar worked to organize his own medical brigade to India, where he worked with physicians to provide free care to underserved populations.

   In his spare time, Zorawar enjoys traveling, sports, and the outdoors. He chose the BMB program because he thought it would give him a great opportunity to not only further his scientific understanding but also begin to understand health care on a more macroscopic scale. Zorawar hopes to leverage the knowledge he gains while in the BMB program and apply it to his future career as a physician. 

Danielle Steffan

danielleDanielle Steffan was born in Amherst, New York and grew up in Gowanda, New York. She graduated from the University at Buffalo in 2016 with a Bachelor’s of Art degree in Health and Human Services. She graduated a semester early and Magna Cum Laude. She is a NYS certified Basic Emergency Medical Technician and volunteers with Hospice Buffalo.

   Her hobbies include playing coed football, riding her bike, and baking desserts. She also grew up on a farm raising various animals, such as cows, pigs, and chickens. Danielle chose Johns Hopkins because of the caliber of education that will help to prepare her for a physician assistant program. She hopes to attend school next year to become a physician assistant and provide exceptional health care to those in need.

Bryanna Stukes 

bryannaBryanna Stukes was born and raised throughout Southern Maryland. She graduated from Spelman College in 2013 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy. Following graduation, Bryanna worked as an intern at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, GA as well as a medical scribe at the University of Maryland Baltimore Washington Medical Center. Afterwards, Bryanna served in Peace Corps Ecuador as a health volunteer. It was here that she spent two years working as a public health promoter with a focus on women’s health and empowerment.

   In her free time, Bryanna enjoys staying physically active. She has extensive experience in long distance running, dancing, and yoga practice. She also enjoys reading and studying philosophical texts that address sociopolitical justice. Bryanna chose the Bloomberg Biochemistry and Molecular Biology MHS program because of the excellent academic reputation, the familiar location, and the unique curriculum. Following matriculation, she will pursue medicine with a focus of serving in underserved populations and alleviating health disparities.

Lesley Summerville

lesleyLesley Summerville was born and raised in Richmond, Virginia. She recently graduated from Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Virginia, where she majored in Cellular, Molecular, and Physiological Biology with a minor in Leadership Studies.

   Lesley has been an equestrian for her entire life and rode competitively for many years. Now that she’s in a more urban area, she spends more of her free time doing yoga, reading, crafting, and cooking. Lesley spent the entire summer before beginning classes at JHSPH working full time as a volunteer in Dr. Coulombe’s lab. She is thrilled to attend Johns Hopkins because of their incredibly accomplished faculty, advanced facilities, and world-renowned reputation. Her ultimate goal is to attend medical school and to focus on cancer research and treatment in the future. 

Jarrett Taylor

jarrettJarrett Taylor was born in Bellevue, Washington and grew up in the greater Seattle area. He graduated from Johns Hopkins University with a BS in Molecular in and Cellular Biology. He conducted obesity and weight loss research at the Johns Hopkins Weight Management Center. Additionally he conducted diabetes research, regarding the investigation of treatments for Diabetes using a genetic mouse model via examination of pancreatic beta cells, in the Cell Biology Core of Diabetes Research Center at the Johns Hopkins Hospital.

   In his free time he enjoys playing soccer, reading, and spending time with friends. Johns Hopkins provides him with the opportunity to prepare him for medical school and beyond. Baltimore has been his home for four years now but this next year gives him the opportunity to explore the city further. Jarrett hopes to attend medical school as well as conduct scientific research. 

Ravi Thombre

raviRavi Thombre was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. He attended the University of Miami and majored in biology with minors in chemistry and German. At the University of Miami, he had the chance to participate on the varsity cross-country team, as well as partake in various different service organizations and initiatives. He received several awards such as the ACC scholar-athlete award, as well as deans & provost list honors, and was named a German student of the year his senior year of college.

   In his free time he enjoys playing and watching sports with friends, running, biking and hiking, as well as reading and watching movies. Peculiarly, he has seen almost every episode of the show South Park over three times. His reasons for choosing BMB are to broaden the foundation of his scientific knowledge, have the opportunity to continue to do research and learn under the guidance of world-renowned Johns Hopkins staff, as well as seek out avenues to perform service in the Baltimore community. He hopes to one day attend medical school and work with underserved communities. 

Esteban Urias

estebanEsteban Urias was born in El Paso, Texas and has spent most of my life in Juarez, Mexico, and El Paso. He graduated from Johns Hopkins University in 2016 with a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering. During college, he conducted research on the metabolic patterns of cancer cells and designed a surgical tool for spinal surgery. Esteban also enjoys volunteering at local clinics in Baltimore as a patient/doctor Spanish translator.

   His hobbies include archery, tennis, basketball, and swimming. Esteban can speak English, Spanish, and a tiny bit of French. He chose the MHS program in order to learn more about the field of biochemistry and prepare himself for medical school. His future goals are to attend medical school and pursue a career as a surgeon.

Nicholas Wang

nicholasNicholas Wang was born in Ottawa, Canada and grew up in Portland, Oregon. He graduated from the University of Toronto in 2016 with a Bachelor of Applied Science in Biomedical Engineering and is hoping to get into an MD/PhD program after his MHS at Johns Hopkins. He has done research in optogenetics and tissue optics at the Oregon Health & Sciences University and completed a thesis project at the University of Toronto in quantitative fluorescence microscopy of receptor dynamics.     Outside of academics, Nicholas enjoys lifting, playing basketball, and finding new places to eat.

Matthew Wen

matthewMatthew Wen was born in St. Paul, MN but spent most of his childhood in a Chicago suburb. He graduated from Johns Hopkins University in May 2016 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Molecular and Cellular Biology. Over the past few years, he performed biological research involving the cancer cell signaling pathway at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, Hepatitis B Foundation, and the JHSPH Biochemistry and Molecular Biology department.

    Matthew loves staying active by participating in outdoor recreation, such as hiking, camping, or rock climbing. He also runs and weightlifts when not exploring the great outdoors. Additionally, he enjoys reading and music, as seen by his participation in multiple musical groups throughout his lifetime. After performing research at the JHSPH BMB department for a few years, Matthew became closely acquainted with several of the faculty members, which prompted his desire to attend the BMB MHS program. He hopes to eventually pursue a medical degree, using the knowledge obtained from the BMB program to better prepare him for a career in medicine.

Krystal (Musi) Zhang

krystalKrystal (Musi) Zhang was born in China and moved to Boston after finishing middle school. She then relocated to Texas and graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a B.S. in Cell and Molecular Biology. She developed a strong interest in research as an undergrad and had conducted experiments to study autism and non-invasive prenatal testing at Baylor College of Medicine.

   Krystal is a serious food lover and enjoys trying out cuisines from different cultures. She chose JHSPH because it is the best public health school in the country along with the excellent research opportunities it offers. In the future, she plans to attend medical school and use her public health training to work internationally.

Xueqi Zhao

xueqiXueqi Zhao was born in China and grew up there. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2015 with a Bachelor degree in Biochemistry. She has conducted research in many areas including cancer and metabolic disorder.

   In her free time, she likes watching TV dramas and travelling. She chose BMB at John Hopkins because it is dedicated to provide students innovative thoughts and technologies to prepare them to become research scientists. In the future, she hopes to work in a clinical research institute or lab.