GABE AU
Gabe Au is a sophomore studying biophysics interested in protein characterization and engineering, synthetic biology and patent law. Outside the academy, Gabe researches in Dr. Chuan-Hsiang Huang’s lab, where he helps decipher protein relationships in cancer signaling pathways by performing analysis for a massively multiplexed cell barcoding technique. At the Commercialization Academy, Gabe hopes to gain experience in the patenting side of technology transfer and is excited to learn about and analyze the novel technologies being developed at Hopkins.
Favorite Quote: “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the present.” Master Oogway

ANNA BAGNELL
Anna is a Ph.D. candidate in the Cellular and Molecular Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Her thesis work in the lab of Dr. Charlotte Sumner uses novel in-vivo mouse and in-vitro human blood-brain barrier models to study pathological mechanism underlying an inherited neurological disease, Charcot Marie Tooth Disease Type 2C. Prior to her graduate training, she received her bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and neuroscience from the University of South Carolina. Outside of lab, she is also involved in Hopkins Biotech Network running the Mentorship-Match Program, and enjoys walking dogs as a Rover dog sitter.
Favorite Quote: “Science has taught me that everything is more complicated than we first assume, and that being able to derive happiness from discovery is a recipe for a beautiful life.” Hope Jahren

GRANT BUTSCHECK
Grant Butscheck is a Ph.D. candidate in the molecular microbiology and immunology program at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. His thesis work in the lab of Dr. Andrew Pekosz uses fluorescent microscopy and primary cell culture models to study mitochondrial-mediated innate immune signaling during influenza infection. Prior to training at Hopkins, he received a bachelor’s degree in biology and psychology from the University of Georgia.
Favorite quote: “Little by little, a little becomes a lot.” Tanzanian Proverb

KATE DeNATALE
Kate DeNatale is a first-year MBA student at the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School pursuing the Health, Technology, & Innovation track. She is also pursuing a certificate in Mental Health Policy, Economics, & Services through the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Prior to her time at business school, her professional experience included managing business operations in hospital and private-practice settings. She graduated from the University of Denver with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, minoring in biology and chemistry and a concentration in cognitive neuroscience. Through her fellowship, Kate is excited to learn how to build sustainable business models that lead to actionable policy change. She is passionate about creating innovative healthcare delivery systems that increase access, safeguard patient autonomy and celebrate diversity.
Favorite Quote: “Imagination is the only weapon in the war with reality.” Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

AUTUMN DIGGS
Autumn is a first-year student in the Master of Science in Nursing Program at the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, ultimately pursuing a career as a nurse practitioner. Prior to her graduate studies, she attended Dartmouth College where she received her bachelor’s degree in psychology. She was involved in numerous research studies within both the Cognitive Science and Psychological and Brain Sciences Departments. Autumn is excited to combine her love for medicine, research, and social justice to deliver transformative technologies to both patients and health care providers.
Favorite Quote: “Not everything that is faced can be changed. But nothing can be changed until it is faced.” James Baldwin 

TAYLOR EVANS
Taylor Evans is a Ph.D. candidate in the cellular and molecular medicine program at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Her thesis work in the lab of Dr. Jennifer Erwin focuses on molecular neurogenetics and the dynamics of repetitive elements in neurodevelopment and neurodegeneration. Prior to her graduate training in Dr. Erwin’s Lab, Taylor worked at the School of Medicine researching the molecular genetics of cystic fibrosis. As a scientist, she’s passionate about disease heterogeneity, molecular genetics, creative ideas and innovative solutions. Outside of the lab, Taylor enjoys exploring Baltimore and runs a blog documenting her life at the intersection of style and science.
Favorite Quote: “Creativity and science are internally linked, as the core of both is discovery.”

DAMINI FREY
Damini Frey recently graduated with a bachelor’s degree in materials science and engineering with a minor in entrepreneurship and management from Johns Hopkins University. During her undergrad, she worked under the DCG lab group, researching characteristics of additive manufactured magnetic materials. Damini is looking forward to exploring the business and commercialization side of engineering research. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, reading and spending time with friends.
Favorite Quote: “If you can dream it, you can do it.” Walt Disney

WENDY GRANT-MCAULEY
Wendy is a Ph.D. candidate in the Cellular and Molecular Medicine program at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. In the laboratory of Dr. Susan Eshleman, she studies the antibody response to HIV infection in the context of early viral suppression, and how reactivity to specific epitopes impacts intrahost viral evolution. Prior to training at Johns Hopkins, she earned her master’s degree in applied molecular biology from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and her bachelor’s degree in biology from Jacksonville University.
Favorite Quote: “Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.” Ruth Bader Ginsburg

ARIEL LEONG
Ariel Leong is a second-year medical student interested in taking part in the conversation of how technology, especially artificial intelligence, is best contributing to medical improvements. She came to Hopkins after five years in sunny California, obtaining a bachelor’s degree in biology and a master’s degree in computer science from Stanford University.
Favorite Quote: “Always walk through life as if you have something new to learn and you will.” Vernon Howard

JAMIE MEDINA
As a senior fellow at the Commercialization Academy, Jamie manages a cohesive team of talented fellows that evaluate the potential of novel technologies. Jamie is a Ph.D. candidate in the Cellular and Molecular Medicine program at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. His thesis research uses next-generation sequencing approaches to detect cell-free tumor DNA in liquid biopsies for early and advanced-stage cancers. Prior to graduate training, he received his bachelor’s degree in biology from Bridgewater State University and performed cancer research at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

ERIN MIHEALSICK
Erin Mihealsick is a second year Ph.D. candidate in the graduate program in immunology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Her thesis work in Eileen Scully’s lab involves the understudied role that sex plays in altering HIV transcription. She received her bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and genetics from Clemson University in 2020. Outside of lab, Erin enjoys volunteering with outreach organizations to introduce science to underrepresented groups and exploring Baltimore’s brewery scene.
Favorite Quote: “And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.) Dr. Seuss

DANIELLE NICKLAS
Danielle is a Ph.D. candidate in pathobiology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. As a member of Gyanu Lamichhane’s lab, she investigates antibiotic targets and drug resistance in nontuberculous mycobacteria in order to develop better antimicrobial chemotherapies. She is passionate about translating scientific findings into real-world solutions and previously conducted preclinical testing on antimicrobials and medical devices as an industry scientist. At Johns Hopkins, Danielle continues to develop her business experience while exploring the intersection of science and management as an active member of the entrepreneurial community, including as CEO of NovvaCup, a student-led startup. She plans to apply her business background and experience in drug development and medical device testing to the biopharma industry through a career in consulting or venture capital.

IFUNANYA NWOGBAGA
Ifunanya is a Ph.D. candidate at the Program of Molecular Biophysics at Johns Hopkins University. Under his advisor, Dr. Brian Camley, he develops and tests mathematical models that leverage the relationship between cell shape and motion to accurately predict cell behavior. Prior to Johns Hopkins, he received his bachelor’s degree in chemical and biological engineering from Princeton University. As a Commercialization Academy fellow, he’s excited to be able to leverage his technical background to advance the impact that scientific research can have on society at large.
Favorite Quote: “A place where someone still thinks about you is a place you can call home.” Jiraiya, from Naruto

MARY OMOTOSO
Mary is a Ph.D. candidate in biomedical engineering program at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. In the lab of Jonathan Schneck, she studies how biomaterial-based platforms can be utilized to alter T cell metabolism for enhanced adoptive cellular therapies. Prior to Johns Hopkins, Mary received her bachelor’s degree bioengineering from North Carolina A&T State University. For the 2021-2022 school year she served as co-chair of BME EDGE to help other BME Ph.D. students explore nonacademic career options. Outside of her studies, Mary enjoys playing the guitar, writing music with friends, and baking.
Favorite Quote: “In all work, there is profit.”

LEXI ORLINKSY
Lexi graduated with a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering from Columbia University. As an undergrad, she pursued a variety of research opportunities in immunology and worked as a medical assistant at the Simmons-O’Brien & Orlinsky, a dermatology practice in Maryland. In the Commercialization Academy, Lexi researches and analyzes novel technologies submitted by faculty to provide insight in order to further the commercialization strategy.
Favorite Quote: “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

MITCHELL PORTER
Mitchell Porter is a Ph.D. candidate in the chemistry-biology interface program working in the Department of Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences at Johns Hopkins. Under his advisor, Dr. Ronald Schnaar, he uses chemical approaches to synthesize a suite of glycolipid derivatives to probe their molecular function. Outside of his research and intellectual property interests, Mitchell likes to construct crosswords and sew.
Favorite Quote: “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second-best time is now.”

SARA SALEHI
Sara Salehi is a Ph.D. candidate in the biomedical engineering program at Johns Hopkins University. Her thesis is on the development of a machine perfusion system for preserving vascularized composite allografts (VCA). In the lab of Dr. Warren Grayson and in collaboration with plastic and reconstructive surgeons, Sara has developed a novel rodent animal model to study oxygen delivery and ischemic injury during VCA preservation. Sara received her master’s degree in biomedical engineering from the State University of New York at Binghamton and a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Tehran. Outside of the lab, she’s the mother of a two-year-old girl who takes up any and all of her time not spent in school.
Favorite Quote: “If you’re not willing to be a fool, you can’t become a master.” Jordan B. Peterson

RACHEL SHAPIRO
Rachel Shapiro is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the Whiting School of Engineering. Her thesis work, in the lab of Laura Ensign at the Center for Nanomedicine, focuses on local drug delivery to mucosal membranes, specifically vaginal drug delivery to prevent preterm birth, alleviate vaginal atrophy and treat other female reproductive tract diseases. Prior to her graduate studies, Rachel received a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Northeastern University and started a science-and-technology-based sleepaway camp for kids in Los Angeles. Outside of the lab, Rachel is a mentor for Womxn Mentoring Whiting, on the e-board of Women of Whiting, and enjoys finding new dogs to pet.
Favorite quote: “Working hard for something we don’t care about is called stress. Working hard for something we love is called passion.” Simon Sinek

ALEX SHAVER
Alex is a fourth-year Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Under the guidance of Dr. Netz Arroyo, he develops electrochemical aptamer-based sensors for the continuous monitoring of drug concentrations in the body. Prior to his graduate career, Alex earned degrees in chemistry and microbiology from the University of Alabama. In his free time, he loves to bake cookies.

ALIYAH SILVER
As a Commercialization Academy fellow, Aliyah develops and executes marketing campaigns to generate interest in Johns Hopkins technologies from potential industry partners. Aliyah is a third-year Ph.D. candidate in the Molecular Microbiology and Immunology program at Johns Hopkins. She works in the lab of Dr. Jamie Spangler at the School of Medicine’s Translational Tissue Engineering Center, where she is engineering novel molecular platforms for targeted stimulation of immune clearance. Aliyah earned her bachelor’s degree in biological sciences from the University of Maryland in College Park.
Favorite Quote: “Nothing will work unless you do.” Maya Angelou  

JOE VARRIALE
Joe is a fourth-year Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. His thesis project under the mentorship of Dr. Robert Siliciano investigates the role of adaptive immunity in the context of a cure for HIV. In addition to his graduate work, Joe is an avid biotech investor and a co-director/host of the Hopkins Biotech Podcast.
Favorite Quote: “Nature uses only the longest threads to weave her patterns so that each small piece of her fabric reveals the organization of the entire tapestry.” Richard Feynman 

LUKE ZHAO
Luke Zhao is a medical student at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Prior to medical school, he earned bachelor’s degrees in biochemistry and in biotechnology. Post-college graduation, he joined Putnam Associates as a life sciences consultant and worked on multiple commercialization projects of immunotherapy and gene therapy products. Outside of school and work, Luke enjoys mixing music, climbing and running his photography Instagram page.
Favorite quote:
Master Oogway: “Look at this tree. I cannot make it blossom when it suits me, nor make it bear fruit before its time… No matter what you do, that seed will grow to be a peach tree. You may wish for an apple or an orange, but you will get a peach.”
Master Shifu: “But a peach cannot defeat Tai Lung!”
Master Oogway: “Maybe it can… If you are willing to guide it, to nurture it. To believe in it.”

ANSON ZHOU
As a Commercialization Academy fellow, Anson uses data analysis to identify technologies at Johns Hopkins that have high commercial potential to expand the number of licenses within the JHTV portfolio. Anson is a sophomore undergraduate studying biomedical engineering. He is a member of the Hai-Quan Mao Lab at the Institute for NanoBioTechnology and the Translational Tissue Engineering Center, where he develops biomaterials devices for nerve and soft tissue regeneration. He is also a co-founder of Pediafeed, a startup creating a novel pediatric gastrostomy tube. Anson is a board member of the Biomedical Engineering Society, serves as vice president of the Society for Biomaterials, and works as a member of the Access and Diversity Committee at the Office of Admissions.
Favorite Quote: “Do what you feel in your heart to be right – for you’ll be criticized anyway.” Eleanor Roosevelt

JUSTIN ZHOU
Justin is a junior at Johns Hopkins studying biomedical engineering with a minor in entrepreneurship and management. As a member of the Searson Group at the Institute for NanoBioTechnology, Justin constructs microfluidic models of the blood-brain barrier to study neurodegeneration. Additionally, he participates in the BME Design Team program, where he worked on reducing the incidence of catheter-associated UTIs by tracking bacteriuria concentration, and is currently leading a team to develop a low-cost task trainer model for arthrocentesis. Outside of research and design, Justin is involved with the MedTech Network, Hopkins Sport Taekwondo, First-Year Orientation, and Alpha Kappa Psi Professional Business Fraternity.
Favorite Quote: “You can disagree without being disagreeable.” Ruth Bader Ginsburg

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Stewart Neifert

Associate Director of Strategic Initiatives