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Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Student Profiles

DEGREE PROGRAM -  Master of Science (ScM)

Shang-Jung Cheng

Anthony Leung Lab

Joshua Hsu

Pierre Coulombe Lab

Bobby Kwan

Scott Bailey Lab

Krystynne Leacock

Pierre Coulombe Lab

Metabel Markwei

Janice Evans Lab

Zachary Perdun

Phil Jordan Lab

Yajas Rakesh Shah

Jiou Wang Lab

Joseph Shen

Pierre Coulombe Lab

Natasha Vartek

Photini Sinnis Lab

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.

Josh 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.

Bobby 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.

Krystynne 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.

Metty 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.

Zach 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.

Yajas 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.

Natasha Vartek


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.