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 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
Zachary Bernstein is a third year Ph.D. candidate in the department of Biomedical Engineering at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. His thesis work in the lab of Dr. Jamie Spangler involves designing antibody glycoengineering platforms and investigating the immune biology of de novo cytokines. Prior to Johns Hopkins, he received a bachelor’s degree in Biomedical and Mechanical Engineering at Duke University. Outside of lab, Zach enjoys running and trivia throughout Baltimore.
Favorite quote: “The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds the most discoveries, is not ‘Eureka!’ but ‘That’s funny…’” Isaac Asimov
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
Tracy Chung is a Ph.D. candidate in the Biomedical Engineering program within the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She conducts her thesis work in the lab of Dr. Peter Searson, focusing on leveraging tissue-engineered models of the blood-brain barrier to study the role of cerebrovasculature in Alzheimer’s disease and other brain diseases. Before beginning her doctoral work at Johns Hopkins, she received her bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering from Yale University. Outside the lab, Tracy is passionate about advocating for women in STEM (having previously served as the president for Women of Whiting), and enjoys cooking, amateur mixology, reading, and writing movie reviews in her free time.
Favorite quote: “Imagination is the only weapon in the war with reality.” Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
Habben is a Ph.D. candidate in the department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the Johns Hopkins University Whiting School of Engineering. Her thesis work in the lab of Professor Konstantinos Konstantopoulos focuses on using molecular biology and microfluidic techniques to understand how physical confinement induces cell dissociations from collectively migrating cancer cells. Prior to her training at Hopkins, Habben received a bachelor’s degree from SUNY Polytechnic Institute CNSE in Nanoscale Engineering with a minor in Applied Mathematics. In her free time, Habben enjoys being active, reading, exploring the Baltimore food scene, and spending time with friends and family.
Favorite Quote: “You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it” – Maya Angelou
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.”
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
Anna is a Ph.D. candidate in the Cellular & Molecular Medicine graduate program at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She is completing her thesis work in the co-led lab of Ken Pienta and Sarah Amend in the department of urology, focusing on the implication of the epigenome on the maintenance and function of the polyaneuploid cancer cell state in a prostate cancer model. Anna completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Richmond in 2018. In her free time, she enjoys reading, cooking, hiking, and going to concerts/shows.
Favorite Quote: “…For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.” – Walt Whitman
Jake is a JD candidate studying at the University of Maryland Carey School of Law. After completing his bachelor’s in political science from American University, he worked as a research analyst at the Edison Electric Institute in Washington, DC. In that role Jake analyzed state legislation and regulatory proceedings pertaining to distributed generation and grid modernization projects. As a fellow with the Commercialization Academy, he is eager to learn how the law can support the adoption of advanced renewable generation and grid infrastructure technologies. Jake enjoys keeping up with the news, discussing politics and philosophy, and spending an evening attending a play or symphony.
Favorite Quote: “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” Henry David Thoreau
Erica Lee is a fifth year MD PhD candidate in the Cross Disciplinary Graduate Program in Biological Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Her thesis work in the labs of Dr. Sami Tuffaha and Dr. Ahmet Hoke investigates surgical interventions and nanoparticle-based drug delivery systems for the improvement of functional motor recovery and prevention of chronic pain following peripheral nerve injury. Prior to medical school, Erica received a Combined BS/MS in Neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University with a minor in Visual Arts. Outside of the lab, she enjoys traveling and learning new culinary and artistic techniques.
Favorite Quote: “Science for me is very close to art. Scientific discovery is an irrational art. It’s an intuition which turns out to be reality at the end of it – and I see no difference between a scientist developing a marvelous discovery and an artist making a painting” -Carlo Rubbia, Nobel Prize in Physics
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
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
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
Kevin Nguyen is an undergraduate student at Johns Hopkins studying biomedical engineering, focusing on cell and tissue engineering. A researcher in the Carl Wu lab, he seeks to understand complex gene regulatory networks using single-molecule imaging and computational genomics. He is also heavily involved in the BME Design Team program, where he created a device that increases the accuracy of post-biopsy site localization and a mechanism that increases patient safety and stability during IR procedures. In addition to his studies, Kevin is invested in Vietnamese Student Association and Theta Tau Professional Engineering Fraternity, enjoys working out, and advocates for Vietnamese worker health.
Favorite Quote: “The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet.” Aristotle
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.”
Bronwyn Patterson is a rising 3rd year undergraduate at the University of Pennsylvania. She is a candidate for a B.A. in Environmental Studies with a concentration in Sustainability and Management, and recently participated in the year-long Kleinman Center Energy Policy Seminar as an Undergraduate Fellow. She is also a member of the Varsity Cross Country and Track Teams at Penn, where she runs the 800m and 1500m races primarily. Bronwyn is particularly interested in sustainable technology transfer, specifically how energy tech and policy are connected to political and social issues such as resource distribution and climate financing. Favorite Quote: “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second-best time is now.”
Will Rong is a M.S. candidate in Engineering Management at Johns Hopkins. He previously received his B.S. in Materials Science and Engineering with a minor in Entrepreneurship and Management from Hopkins. Will has a strong interest in renewable energy and sustainable development. Outside of school and work, he enjoys photography and dancing in the JHU Eclectics dance team.
Favorite Quote: “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eyes.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Natalie is a Ph.D. candidate in the cellular and molecular medicine program at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Her thesis work in Dr. Jennifer Elisseeff’s lab seeks to understand the role of the gut microbiota in the immune response to biomaterials. Prior to her graduate training, she received her bachelor’s degree in molecular biology from Loyola University Chicago and worked on mosquito-borne diseases at the Bloomberg School of Public Health. Outside of lab, Natalie enjoys creating content for the Sci’more podcast.
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 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 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.
Amanda Stellman is a first-year MBA candidate at the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School and is pursuing the Health, Technology, and Innovation pathway. After studying psychology at the University of Maryland, she started a career in Clinical Research Operations. Amanda’s professional experience includes trial management and R&D project management within start-up biotech companies that are working to develop drug and digital therapeutic treatments for neurological and psychological disorders. Amanda is passionate about medical technology and helping products reach the market. She is excited to learn more about commercialization at the Academy.
Favorite Quote: “Ideas have legs.”
MARK SCHUWEILER Mark Schuweiler is an MD student at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He is excited to be working at the intersection of technology and clinical care. Prior to medical school, he worked as a consultant for Optum. There, he worked on projects designing health technology products and optimizing clinical delivery systems. He earned bachelor’s degrees in Biochemistry and Business Management from the University of St. Thomas. Away from work, you can find him enjoying the sunshine on a hike, thrift-shopping for books, or taking in a baseball game.
Favorite Quote: “Ninety percent of the game is half mental.” –Yogi Berra
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 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.
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.”