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Dr. Huang

2016 Huang Fellows

The Huang Fellows Program trains students to understand science in the context of and in service to society.
Jules Frost

Jules Frost

As an international student who grew up across several continents, I learned from a young age to appreciate the nuances of different cultural and communal societies. At the same time, I saw how sciences could still be shared across all of these societies. My current interests are in physics and the philosophical implications of its modern quantum and cosmic discoveries, and in the political science of institutions, scientific, educational and otherwise, and how they alter the fabric of society. My goals are to understand the influence of scientific research on our philosophical and political understandings of society, and to reconcile the division between hard sciences and human interaction.

Posters:

  • Detecting supernovae: modelling the change in detection of neutrino emission of pre-supernova stars
    Mentor: Kate Scholberg, Ph.D., Department of Physics
Michael Gulcicek

Michael Gulcicek

There’s an art to balancing the arts and sciences. Racing from my local high school in Madison to the Educational Center for the Arts in New Haven, I sought to cobble together a cohesive mesh of theater and traditional academics, of humanities and sciences. While this dual-high school experience instilled in me an unmatched appreciation for the arts and sciences, I strive to connect more cogently these conventionally disparate disciplines while at Duke. Thus, I’m drawn to the Huang Fellows Program, an opportunity to walk along intersecting lines of ethical, scientific, and political inquiry, a program in which to explore how psychological consideration may shape policy or how ethical obligation may hinder scientific feasibility. In seeking this intentional intersection, I hope to find this balance; I hope to master this art.

Posters:

  • Perceived Reality: How much of what we remember actually happened?
    Mentors: Matt Stanley, PhD, Gregory Stewart, PhD, Felipe De Brigard, Ph.D., Department of Philosophy
Robyn Guo

Robyn Guo

I am originally from Flemington, NJ and am currently a student in the Trinity College of Arts and Sciences. I am pursuing a BS in Biology and a certificate in Genome Sciences and Policy. During my first semester, I was part of the Genome Sciences FOCUS cluster, which piqued my interest in the intersection of policy and the natural sciences, particularly in the field of personalized genomics. As an aspiring physician-scientist, I am also interested in exploring the ethics involved in clinical care and medical research.

Posters:

  • Characterization of Chlamydia CXCL10 cleavage
    Mentors: Kelly Pittman, PhD, Dennis Ko, Ph.D., Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology
Parker Hao

Parker Hao

As an undergraduate pursuing both Electrical Computer Engineering and Economics, I am hugely drawn by the connections between the two. Thus, I am thrilled to join the Huang Fellows Program and expand my understanding of science and engineering in the context of society. I am also passionate about startups. The greatest startups, I believe, succeeded mainly because of their societal implications, which I really valued in my own startups. Bearing the dream of efficient use of college items, I joined and developed an app called WheeShare, which is a belongings exchange platform funded by Duke Innovation Co-Lab. As a member of Acoustical Society of America, I created an acoustics startup called Washing-Wallet, which had entered the second round of Duke Startup Challenge. It’s an ultrasonic device that could wash clothes intelligently and cheaply so that people in under-developed counties could wash clothes easily while saving considerable water. After graduation, I plan to work on my own startup or join a revolutionary startup.

Posters:

  • Low-cost Substitutes for Low-orbit Satellites: Optimization of Endurance Quadcopter Using Solar Power and Helium Balloons
    Mentor: Michail Zavlanos, Ph.D. Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering
Alison Huang

Alison Huang

I am currently pursuing a double major in Electrical and Computer Engineering and Computer Science in the Pratt School of Engineering. In high school, I was very involved with my debate and math team, and in college I have become a writer for the Duke Political Review. I have always been intrigued by many issues surrounding the technology sector, from the ethical debate surrounding the growth of Artificial Intelligence to the correlation between unemployment and the automation of jobs. The Huang Fellows Program seemed like the perfect opportunity to further explore these topics.

Posters:

  • Mapping cortical neurons in monkeys using a hidden Markov model
    Mentors: Po-He Tseng, PhD, Bastien Orset, Miguel Nicolelis, Ph.D., Departments of Neurobiology and Biomedical Engineering
Kushal Kadakia

Kushal Kadakia

I am an undergraduate interested in studying biology, public policy, and global health. On campus, I have pursued these interests by conducting basic science research on the biophysics of calcium ion channels and studying intellectual property regulation of vaccines. I also serve as a Senator for Academic Affairs in Duke Student Government, and as a representative on the Duke University Honor Council. Excited by the intersection of disciplines, I hope to pursue a career in translational biomedical research or international healthcare policy. [Mr. Kadakia is an A.B. Duke Scholar and, as part of that program, will spend the summer after his freshman year at Oxford. He will join his class this fall and will do his immersive summer as a Huang Fellow following his sophomore year.]

Maegha Lanka

Maegha Lanka

I decided to become a Huang Fellow because I am fascinated by the intersection of ethics and science. My passion for animals and for preserving our environment drove me to seek out opportunities such as Winter Forum 2016, which allowed me to better understand the societal implications of conservation projects working to protect endangered species. As a freshman at Duke, I intend to pursue a degree in Environmental Sciences & Policy and a certificate in Marine Science Conservation & Leadership. I hope that the interdisciplinary nature of these two certifications will help me gain new insight into the intersection of science and society. My long-term goal is to help better the lives of animals, while also addressing the needs of our society by pursuing a doctor of veterinary medicine, working in conservation biology, and working to promote ethical policy regarding issues such as animal testing.

Posters:

  • Functional Roles of the Forelimb and Hindlimb During Horizontal Quadrupedalism on Tree Branches in Aotus and Eulemur
    Mentors: Michael Granatosky, PhD, Jandy Hanna, PhD, Daniel Schmitt, Ph.D., Department of Evolutionary Anthropology
Shweta Lodha

Shweta Lodha

I am a freshman from Duke University. I plan to major in Biology and minor in both Chemistry and English, with the hopes of one day attending medical school. Prior to coming to Duke, I conducted two summers worth of biochemical research analyzing a novel mechanism of action through which Vitamin D3 alleviates negative effects of hypoglycemia. I look forward to being a Huang Fellow as I believe the integration of science and the humanities is vital to understanding the depths of some of the larger, complicated problems that impact our world today. At Duke, I am also involved with Duke Choir, Duke Chamber Choir, and Happy Kids Healthy Kids, a non-profit organization designed to decrease childhood obesity by implementing after-school fitness and health education programs in local elementary schools. One day, I hope to use what I learn through the Huang Fellows Program to better integrate science into society and service to others.

Posters:

  • Towards the Identification of an Olfactory Receptor that Regulates Prostate Cancer
    Mentors: Hiroaki Matsunami , PhD, Tatijana Abaffy, Ph.D., Department of Molecular Genetics, and Microbiology
Jesse Mangold

Jesse Mangold

I graduated from Indian Hills High School in Oakland, New Jersey as a participant in the University Program in Science, Medicine, and Research. As an undergraduate student at Duke, I am interested in pursuing a major in Biology with a concentration in Genomics, a certificate in Genome Sciences & Policy, and a minor in Global Health. Additionally, I am excited to explore the intersection of biomedical research with law, ethics, and policy in a quickly developing community at Duke as a 2016 Huang Fellow. After graduation from Duke, I hope to attend medical school and possibly take part in an MPH/MD joint-degree program.

Posters:

  • Does early initiation of marijuana use exacerbate HIV-associated neurocognitive impairment? Mentors: Sheri Towe, PhD, Andrea Hobkirk, PhD, Christina Meade, Ph.D., Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Laura Naslund

Laura Naslund

I am a first-year undergraduate student from Raleigh, North Carolina pursuing a BS in Environmental Science and Policy and a certificate in Genomic Sciences and Policy. My interest in science policy began through my work as a student researcher in the Neiman lab at the University of Iowa, studying the effect of agricultural toxins on snail reproduction. I continued to pursue this interest through my freshman Genomic Science Focus. During my time at Duke, I hope to study the public perception and funding of basic science research.

Posters:

  • Freshwater salinization, it’s not just a coastal problem: Impacts of mountaintop mining on a regional scale
    Mentors: Matt Ross, Emily Bernhardt, Ph.D., Department of Biology
Jordan Richardson

Jordan Richardson

I grew up and went to high school in Platte City, Missouri before coming to Duke to pursue an undergraduate degree in Neuroscience. On campus, I am involved in multiple service-oriented organizations that work with and advocate for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. While I love being involved with these groups, my true passion lies in helping individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities clinically. It is this passion that is driving me to pursue an M.D. in Pediatric Neurology, as well as pushing me into neurological research on the physiological manifestation and epidemiology of these crippling conditions. I hope to be able to continue and deepen my research this summer as a Huang Fellow, as well as learn more about the societal and ethical repercussions my research could have on my community.

Posters:

  • The Acute and Long Term Toxicity of Dextromethorphan in the Developing Brain
    Mentors: Arsen Hunanyan, PhD, Adriana Azar, Mohamad Mikati, Ph.D., Department of Pediatric Neurology
Benjamin Sosin

Benjamin Sosin

I am a pre-medical Trinity student intending on a Neuroscience major and a philosophy minor. I am fascinated by the expansion of knowledge in the medical and neuroscience fields, as well as how this new knowledge should be applied to help the sick. I think the interdisciplinary approach of this Fellowship will give me an exceptional groundwork from which to learn about the ethical implications of such scientific advancements, and how these implications translate into policy issues which ultimately affect the ways in which new knowledge will be used to treat patients.

Posters:

  • Perceived Reality: How much of what we remember actually happened?
    Mentors: Matt Stanley, PhD, Gregory Stewart, PhD, Felipe De Brigard, Ph.D., Department of Philosophy
Skye Tracey

Skye Tracey

I am a biology major from Chapel Hill, North Carolina and a flutist in the Duke University Wind Symphony and Duke University Marching Band. The Huang Fellowship will help me to further the study of science in the service and context of society. I feel that women must show leadership in STEM fields, especially to be positive influences on younger women and to encourage them to pursue STEM careers. I am a volunteer for Females Excelling More in Math, Engineering, and Science (FEMMES), a program that links elementary and middle school aged girls in Durham to female mentors who are studying in the STEM fields. FEMMES is all about providing young girls and young women exposure to science with female role models. My ultimate goal is to pursue a career in clinical research. I first became exposed to scientific research while participating in the Summer Ventures in Science and Mathematics summer program at Appalachian State University. I am currently working in the lab of Dr. Jeremy Kay on the molecular basis of cell to cell recognition in the nervous system.

Posters:

  • Expanding the MEGF10 protein toolbox
    Mentors: Jingjing Wang, Jeremy Kay, Ph.D., Department of Neurobiology
Gary Wang

Gary Wang

I am a first-year student from Bothell, Washington with academic interests at the intersections of neuroscience, public policy, and global health. Throughout my studies, I have discovered that, while I am fascinated by basic scientific research in its own right, I am most passionate about its translation and application to society, whether in the form of a new clinical treatment, educational method, or innovative technology. More specifically, I am interested in how new developments in neuroscience can benefit patients and improve quality of care. During my time as a Huang Fellow, I hope to continue building my scientific knowledge while thinking critically about its social and ethical impacts and how those factors inform policy decisions. In the future, I plan to pursue a career in health care, either in the clinical realm or in the nonprofit sector.

Posters:

  • My brain made me do it: neuroscience in the criminal courtroom
    PI: Nita Farahany, Ph.D., School of Law, Duke Initiative for Science & Society
Leah Yao

Leah Yao

I am a student in the Trinity College of Arts and Sciences looking to major in Neuroscience and minor in Psychology. As a Huang Fellow, I want to explore areas of behavioral neuroscience, as well as gain experience with health policy analysis. Specifically, I have always been interested in the interactions of drugs, brains, and behavior. However, I also find myself gravitating towards understanding the ethical and policy perspectives behind the research, as well as its implications for people. I plan to use the unique interdisciplinary nature of this program to establish a strong background in both science and health policy with the hope of attending medical school in the future.

Posters:

  • My brain made me do it: neuroscience in the criminal courtroom
    PI: Nita Farahany, Ph.D., School of Law, Duke Initiative for Science & Society
Ada Zhang

Ada Zhang

As a person interested in both social change and science, I want to explore the many possible applications of scientific research in our changing world. My current interests include the US criminal justice system, mental health therapy, and neuroscience research – my goal is to study all of these areas while also examining the many overlaps between them, specifically in terms of policy change and ethical implementation of research discoveries.

Posters:

  • My brain made me do it: neuroscience in the criminal courtroom
    PI: Nita Farahany, Ph.D., School of Law, Duke Initiative for Science & Society
  • Consumer-grade EEG devices: is brain data privacy a salient concern?
    Mentors: Beatrice Capestany, Nita Farahany, Ph.D., School of Law, Duke Initiative for Science & Society