Dr. Huang
Dr. Huang

Huang Fellows

Class of '23 |Class of '22 | Class of '21 | Class of '20 | Class of '19"

2024 Class

Chintala_Gayatri

Gayatri Chintala

I am a Trinity student from Northern Virginia intending to pursue a Program II in Computational Neuroscience. After graduating, I plan on going to medical school in order to study clinical neuroscience in order to further understand plasticity in the developing brain. In my studies, I would like to explore this idea by understanding how a growing mind becomes resilient from experiences such as trauma or neurological damage. How does the brain rewire itself from that point? How does this rewiring affect growth? Learning?

Through the Huang Fellows program, I would like to broaden my understanding of how we respond to neurological trauma as a society by also pursuing a study of care ethics in our medical and political system. More specifically, the responses we can take to change our economy and education system to provide support and enable brains that think differently to reach their full potential. Duke, I participate in PASH, Spoken Verb, Duke Disability Alliance, and Duke Enable. I am also an Alice M. Baldwin Scholar.

Davis_Julia

Julia Davis

I am a first-year and prospective neuroscience major from the Boston area. After my time as an undergraduate at Duke, I intend to pursue a Ph.D. in psychoneuroimmunology (PNI). Following that, I envision being a professor of neuroscience studying neuroimmune responses, the gut-brain axis, and the implications of both on the etiology and treatment of disease. I am interested in the ways that environmental toxins and maternal stress factors influence the development of an infant’s gut microbiota and immunity to certain diseases. Specifically, I intend to investigate the pathways and mechanisms between the brain and gut that lead to neurodevelopmental disorders. As a Huang Fellow, I am excited to explore the potential that PNI has to identify prevention methods and therapies for certain mental and neurocognitive illnesses by focusing on highly interconnected systems and processes throughout the body. When I’m not pursuing these academic interests, I am dancing with Duke’s ballet company Devils en Pointe or playing 70s and 80s blues and rock songs on the electric guitar.

Guan_Amy

Amy Guan

I am a first-year student from Ames, Iowa, and am planning to major in biomedical engineering on the pre-med track. Over the years of assisting my grandparents and volunteering at local nursing homes, I have witnessed happy but more frequently sad and frustrating helpless moments.  It’s not unheard of that someone wants to end life faster. These older adults, due to aging or illness, are physiologically and psychologically weakened/disadvantaged. A spark within me ignites my profound interest in understanding the “why” to the progression of aging in positive and negative directions, and equally importantly, the feasibility of utilizing computer/IoT/AI/biomedical technologies to assist older adults in their daily life activities. As a Huang Fellow, I am excited to explore new opportunities to widen my perspective on developing meaningful ways of enhancing the quality of human life. I hope to pursue an MD-PhD degree and to eventually join the efforts of the interdisciplinary field involving medical doctors, gerontologists, engineers, sociologists, psychologists, and many others, in helping people age and live healthily and happily.

Huang_Angela

Angela Huang

I’m a first-year student pursuing a Program II major that explores psychiatric disorders through the lens of disability studies and health policy. I’m fascinated by how culture influences the way that psychiatric disorders are perceived, and, more importantly, how these shifts in perception can then change the way that treatment and support is sought. Since disability studies is a developing field with a complicated relationship with the healthcare system, I’m excited to dive into the ethics and social implications of healthcare practices and policy as a Huang Fellow. Eventually, I hope to develop a career as an MD/Ph.D. in the social science/ humanities that incorporates disability studies research and policy into a psychiatric setting.

Kandel_Reeva

Reeva Kandel

I am a first-year undergraduate student from Cary, NC. I am planning to major in Statistics and Global Health on the Pre-medicine track. I hope to gain an understanding about the statistics behind research and policy that will aid me in the future with my pursuits. I would like to attend medical school in order to work towards improving women’s health and access to maternal care around the world. Currently, working with Duke and Yale NUS’s Global Care Policy Index (GCPI) Project, I have come to realize that there is a lack of protections and data available, pertaining to underserved women around the world. Through the project, I have come to believe that the intersection of statistics, policy, and obstetrics and gynecological practices could be heavily improved internationally and aid millions of women living in abysmal situations. Through the Huang Fellowship, I am excited to learn more about the ethics associated with international research and outreach, and how I can implement an ethical approach to my future endeavors.

Labrador_Amy

Amy Labrador

I am a pre-med student from Miami, FL intending to major in Global Health and Psychology. Through a medical ethics seminar in the Knowledge in the Service of Society FOCUS cluster, I discovered my interest in patient-centered care and its impact on patient wellbeing. I became fascinated by the intricacies of efficient patient-provider communication and cultural humility. As a Huang Fellow, I hope to explore the cultural and language barriers to patient-centered care as well as work on healthcare transformation in racial and ethnic minorities. At Duke, I am currently involved in the Student Collaborative on Health Policy (SCOHP), where I collaborate with my peers to engage with the Durham community and advocate for patient resources. I am also on the SCOHP podcast team where I interview Duke faculty and record episodes in hopes of educating the Duke student body on health-policy related matters. Through the Huang Fellowship, I am excited to continue learning more about the intersection of ethics, policy, and health humanities.

LaTrenta_Alex

Alexandra LaTrenta

I am a first-year Trinity student from Connecticut planning to double major in Biology and History while exploring Decision Science on the pre-health track. My fascination with immunology and the complex interactions which protect us from pathogens inspires me to pursue an MD/Ph.D. after graduating from Duke. The prospect of developing immunotherapies to combat disease as a physician-scientist appeals to my natural scientific curiosity and my desire to improve lives. As an avid science journalist, I also view communication of public health issues as crucial to facilitating trust in scientific information and empowering the public to protect their health. The exploration of bioethics and science policy will help me become a better advocate for ethical and empathetic standards in biomedical research and medicine. Outside of academics, I enjoy pursuing my lifelong passion for dance in the Duke Momentum Dance Company, volunteering at FEMMES+ (Females and Allies Excelling More in Math, Engineering, and Science), and training to become a Duke Tour Guide. As a Huang Fellow, I am eager to collaborate with my talented peers, forge a strong connection with an inspiring mentor, and broaden my interdisciplinary interests.

Matthew_Lee

Matthew Lee

I am a first-year undergraduate student from Cedar Falls, Iowa planning on studying computer science. I was first introduced to biomedical informatics while interning for a neurology lab during high school; since then, I have been fascinated by novel predictive models and computational methods in biology and medical sciences. These innovations are already proving to be incredibly powerful tools, and researchers and tech firms alike are pushing the boundaries of what is possible through machine learning and artificial intelligence. However, the ever-evolving ethical issues in health informatics such as bias/inequality and data privacy will also have to be considered as we shape the future of healthcare. As a Huang Fellow, I am extremely excited to learn from and discuss with faculty and peers the social and moral responsibilities of a career in science.

Lee_Sunggun

Sunggun Lee

I am a first-year student from Baton Rouge, Louisiana planning to major in Biomedical Engineering. I am interested in projects related to health equity and international development through designing tools and technologies that are low-cost and accessible. To best prepare myself for the future and make a small impact now, I am involved in organizations and clubs such as Duke Engineers for International Development and Engineering World Health. Through my involvement in these communities, I have had the privilege to meet diverse groups of people and learn under experienced mentors and driven teammates. As a Huang Fellow, I hope to continue to grow in knowledge, experience, and empathy and learn about science in service to society. Outside of school, I enjoy playing the violin, hiking with my family, and playing soccer.

Leeman_Julia

Julia Leeman

I am a first-year student from Charlotte, NC intending to double major in Neuroscience and Music. After my undergraduate years, I plan to attend graduate school and pursue a career as a professor. As a professor, I hope to use my love for teaching to inspire my students to make a difference in the world. I am fascinated with the potential for lifelong musicianship to delay the symptoms of dementia. I hope to implement research of this connection to advocate for expanded music education in primary and secondary schools. At Duke, I perform with the Opera Theater, Chorale, and Chamber Choir. I am also a Peer Tutor at Duke and have written for the Chronicle. As a Huang Fellow, I look forward to forming connections with others dedicated to serving society through scientific research and learning more about the ethical implications of my future work.

Leeman_Sophia

Sophia Leeman

I am a Pratt first year from Charlotte, NC intending to major in Biomedical Engineering. My scientific curiosity is piqued by innovative medical techniques such as genetic engineering, stem cell engineering, and brain-computer interface. I have developed a strong desire to experience research first-hand ever since my very first exposure to scientific literature in the FOCUS Program on Genetics and Genomics. The insights gained from research are what drive engineering innovation, patient treatment, and policymaking. As a performer at heart, I can’t help but describe this desire as a need to be in “the room where it happens.” From my experience developing prosthetics with Duke eNable, I have witnessed the way that science can empower individuals and am eager to learn how I can use science to serve society. Outside of academics, I am a dedicated member of the performance community at Duke, and you can find me performing with Duke’s Opera Theatre, Chorale, and Chamber Choir.

Lewars_Kaitlyn

Kaitlyn Lewars

I am a first-year student from Rockaway, New Jersey planning to major in Biology and Global Health. My passion involves the intersection between policy and biological research. As scientific advancements such as genetic editing, geoengineering, population control, etc. increase, so do the ethical implications, which is why science and its societal implications can no longer be separated and ignored. As an aspiring scientist, I hope to ensure that scientific innovations benefit everyone regardless of financial status and money set aside for scientific innovation is appropriated fairly. After graduation, I hope to pursue a Ph.D. in the biomedical field specializing in microbiology, pharmacology, or immunology and later pursue a career working with institutions like WHO, CDC, NIH, or anywhere I can pursue my passion to support better healthcare in underserved communities. I hope to work with other experts to study age-related and other diseases, finding cheaper solutions, and enabling access to medications for all communities in need. Outside of academics you can find me at the Duke Club Taekwondo Team practices or helping high school students as an Executive Board member at the start-up Nile Prep. I also sit on the Duke German Diversity and Inclusion Committee, working with German professors at Duke to make the department more inclusive and diverse. As a Huang Fellow, I am excited to be surrounded by students with similar yet diverse interests in science and society.

Nagamoto_Emily

Emily Nagamoto

As a prospective Earth and Ocean Science major, I am fascinated by the way the natural world works, and how we as humans fit in. I am passionate about understanding the cycles and systems of the earth, anthropogenic effects, and how inequity is reflected in one’s relationship with the environment. While at Duke, I have become very interested in science communication, especially as it relates to climate change and I have been working for the podcast Operation Climate as well as the Undergraduate Environmental Union. Originally from southern California, I love hiking, vegan baking, and going to the beach. As a Huang Fellow, I hope to explore and contribute to research at the intersection of climate science, data, environmental policy, and people. I am so excited to learn and grow with my peers, and I am very grateful for this opportunity!

Osman_Alaa

Alaa Osman

I am a first-year from Orange Park, Florida, pursuing a BSE in Biomedical Engineering. My greatest interests in the field include biomechanics, tissue engineering, and regenerative medicine. As an engineer, I aspire to create affordable medical technologies for all, focusing on mobility-centered disabilities. Additionally, I am intensely passionate about environmentalism and intend to accomplish this in a sustainable manner. Through the Huang Fellows Program, I hope to better understand how innovation intersects with social issues, especially concerning accessibility and communication in STEM. Moreover, I love to play the piano and am working towards a minor in Music. Outside of the classroom, I can be found practicing my repertoire or participating in Duke’s eNable club for prosthetics.

Patel_Saajan

Saajan Patel

I am a Trinity student from Cary, North Carolina interested in majoring in Chemistry and minoring in Global Health. Coming from a diverse family with relatives across the world, I have always been fascinated with the field of international relations and its ability to connect people thousands of miles away. Currently, I am interested in exploring how present and past civil conflicts in regions, such as Venezuela, Uganda, and Myanmar, influence healthcare outcomes for civilians and refugees. As a Huang Fellow, I hope to understand the economic, political, and social barriers that prevent healthcare access for marginalized communities within these areas. Furthermore, I am also passionate about exploring the intersection of religion and healthcare. Many patients often turn to their religious and spiritual beliefs when making medical decisions. As an aspiring medical physician, I believe an understanding of a patient’s unique religious beliefs is critical in providing interpersonal care and communicating with a patient on an individual level. Outside of academics, I enjoy playing basketball, spike ball, and coaching congressional debate in Durham Public Schools.

Salgado_ Anthony

Anthony Salgado

I am an undergraduate pre-med student from Atlanta, Georgia hoping to major in political science. My passion lies between the intersection of policy, medicine, and marginalized communities. My Mexican-American identity is very important to me and servicing those in the Latinx community is my life’s goal. Throughout this pandemic, we have seen firsthand how forgotten Latinx and Black communities are in health. Because of this, I hope to one day become a physician. This will allow me to combat some of the issues we see in misinformation, conspiracies, communication, and representation. Furthermore, I believe an equitable health plan needs to be inclusive from start to finish. This includes working with grassroots community-based organizations and holding those in office accountable. As a Huang fellow, I hope to explore these fields and through an interdisciplinary lens of problem-solving. Outside the classroom, I write for the Chronicle op-ed, am an ambassador for Blue Devil Care, serve as an Ad-hoc Duke Student Government Senator, and help many first-generation, low-income students on and off-campus.

Sanz_Isabelle

Isabelle Sanz

I am a first-year student from Charlotte, North Carolina pursuing a major in Mechanical Engineering with a certificate in Aerospace Engineering. In light of the climate crisis and emerging space age, the intersection of aerospace and energy has caught my attention. We are at the genesis of renewed vigor to not only rediscover outer space but perhaps to also embrace it as a second home because of climate change. With an unknown future ahead of us in terms of space and energy, I strive to engineer cleaner, more sustainable technology that will better protect society physically and environmentally. After my undergraduate studies, I will seek a Master’s in Aerospace Engineering and work at a defense organization. Outside of the classroom, I write for the Energy Club’s Research Journal, work on the Hyperloop Club’s Aero & Structures team, play piano, and create art projects. As a Huang Fellow, I am eager to better understand the societal implications of my engineering and collaborate with others about how to best serve society through science.

Sethi_Ronit

Ronit Sethi

I am an undergraduate student from Princeton, NJ pursuing majors in biology and global health. With the growing impact of the mental health crisis in our country, I am interested in using the intersection of patient care, policy, and social innovation to reform our current system of mental healthcare. As someone who has witnessed the fragmentation, financial inaccessibility, and inadequate preventative care surrounding mental health, especially among minority communities, I hope to work towards a world that is more holistically able to support the health of every individual. As such, I currently plan to attend medical school and pursue a career combining psychiatry and health policy, drawing on patient experiences to create reimagined models of mental health care. Currently, I am involved in a DGHI SRT project that works with a community partner in India to assess the mental health outcomes of orphan children in residential care homes. I also direct an organization, called Diversity Discovered, which distributes books and lesson plans on cultural awareness and tolerance to a network of over 50 classrooms in the U.S. As a Huang Fellow, I look forward to further exploring my interests and discovering the role I can have in using science to positively impact society.

Clare Sparling

I am a first-year from Northern Virginia, and I am planning on majoring in biology and environmental science with a minor in chemistry. From climate change to plastic pollution, humans are impacting the environment in an unprecedented manner. The Anthropocene presents great challenges both for the natural world and human society. Working with local environmental advisory councils and the EPA, I have witnessed scientists and policymakers come together to tackle these issues. As someone who loves science’s probing nature and need to address the underlying “why,” watching scientists use their research to inform policy decisions inspired me. As a Huang Fellow, I hope to conduct research at the intersection between human health and the environment in order to protect and foster life both today and tomorrow.

Wei_Grace

Grace Wei

I am a freshman from Berkeley, California, hoping to pursue a major in Neuroscience with potential minors in Computational Biology and Environmental Studies. As a premed doing neuroregeneration research, I’m interested in becoming a rehabilitation physician and helping patients regain functions lost to disease. I also hope to address environmental impacts in healthcare by helping expand the scope of epigenetic precision medicine across the medical specialties. Outside of class, you can find me climbing, swimming, and playing in music ensembles. The purpose of science is to serve society, and I believe that open conversations are necessary for scientists to fulfill that purpose. I’m looking forward to participating in such conversations through the Huang Fellowship.

 


 

2023 Class

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Ankoma_Kristin

Kristin Ankoma-Sey

I am a first-year student from Houston, Texas planning to major in Cultural Anthropology with a minor in Chemistry. After graduation, I hope to attend medical school and later pursue a career in medicine. I am fascinated by how societal issues and the history surrounding them affect the delivery of healthcare. For example, one of the issues I am most interested in is how race and access to healthcare affect the high maternal mortality rate in the United States. As a member of Duke University’s Honor Council, I have engaged in several discussions about ethics, and I believe addressing and understanding the role of ethics in science, healthcare, and medicine is vital in order to recognize and meet the medical needs of underserved communities. As a Huang Fellow, I am excited to have the opportunity to participate in research and conversations that involve society, ethics, and science.

Castelino_Rithik

Rithik Castelino

I am a premed, Environmental Chemistry major from the San Francisco Bay Area, working towards becoming a general surgeon. I am especially interested in humanitarian work in disaster zones and low-resource settings across the globe. But before dedicating the rest of my life to studying the human body, I am spending my undergraduate years studying the natural world with a focus on climate change. I am currently a member of the Shindell Research Group in the Nicholas School of the Environment where I have developed a passion for utilizing climate models to study the impacts of climate change. Outside of academics, you will often find me training for my next tournament with the Duke Club Taekwondo team or playing some fantastic music with the Duke University Marching Band.

Focht_Wyatt

Wyatt Focht

My name is Wyatt Focht, and I am a sophomore from Naples, Florida.  Over the course of my four years at Duke, I plan to pursue a double major in Electrical & Computer Engineering and Computer Science, as well as a Master’s degree in Fintech during my senior year.  I am interested in the various fields of computer science, such as machine learning and artificial intelligence, and their potential applications towards solving the blossoming issues facing humanity.  At Duke, I am the Director of Technology and Communication for Engineering Student Government and Hardware Division Lead for Duke Applied Machine Learning Group.  As a Huang Fellow, I hope to refine both my skills and knowledge by connecting with a community of similarly-driven individuals and gleaning advice from those with more experience than I.

Gadiraju_Nikhil

Nikhil Gadiraju

I am an undergraduate student from Apex, North Carolina majoring in Biomedical Engineering with a minor in Chemistry. My scientific passion lies in understanding the implications of engineering and technology in the field of neuroscience and medicine. During my experience during the Huang Fellows program, I worked alongside Dr. Christina Silcox at the Margolis Center for Health Policy. The work I conducted explored the applications as well as the associated barriers to effectively implementing artificial intelligence (AI) – driven medical technology into our healthcare system. Specifically, I spent time identifying the relevant AI-driven healthcare technologies currently on the market, the organizations developing these devices, as well as the key players in this field. Working at the intersection of health policy and engineering was eye-opening and provided me with a better view of the regulatory pathway healthcare technology must undergo prior to complete implementation in the healthcare industry. More broadly, this experience improved my perspective as an engineer by shedding light on the policy and regulation experienced by novel devices following development. Outside of the Huang Fellows program, I am involved in Bass Connections and actively volunteer in the Durham community. In my free time, I enjoy playing ultimate frisbee with Duke Brimstone.

Ghanem_Maya

Maya Ghanem

Maya is a sophomore at Duke University studying cultural anthropology and chemistry on the pre-med track. She aspires to address the impacts of environmental degradation on health outcomes in marginalized communities. As a Lebanese and Syrian Muslim American, her advocacy and research is focused on environmental health and justice in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), a heavily impacted but often overlooked region in environmental discourse.  On Duke’s campus, Maya conducts research with Dr. Weinthal and Dr. Sowers on the impacts of energy infrastructure on human health in the MENA region. Additionally, she is a Mellon Mays Fellow, the Justice Coordinator of the Undergraduate Environmental Union, a Kenan Ethics in Place Fellow, an ActFor.Us contributor, the Duke MSA weekly events chair, and a Juhood staff writer.

Griffin_Madison

Madison Griffin

I am a member of the class of 2023 from Durham, North Carolina majoring in Biology with a concentration in Marine Biology. I am passionate about research and I am interested in marine mammal sociality and how anthropogenic disturbance can disrupt mother offspring relationships and family structure. I am interested in how research can be used to inform conversation policy. I am excited to research the intersectionality between animal behavior research and policy through the Huang Fellows Program. Outside of the classroom, I am interested in music and educational policy.

Hunter_Kyla

Kyla Hunter

I am a second-year student from Princeton, New Jersey pursuing a major in Mechanical Engineering and a certificate in Energy and Environment. Broadly, I am interested in the application of technology to environmental issues, and the overall social implications of a changing climate. Technology regarding clean energy alternatives and carbon sequestration hold tremendous potential to address the global environmental crisis. Yet, these solutions must also consider the way in which different populations across the world are so disproportionately impacted by climate change. I someday hope to contribute to the integration of innovative technology and necessary policy changes to create climate solutions that align with the concept of environmental justice. On campus, I am a Residential Assistant for first-years and a tour guide for the Pratt School of Engineering. In my free time, I can often be found drawing in my sketchbook or playing the piano in the common room. As a Huang Fellow, I am grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with others who share similar passions and work towards using science in the service of society.

Kleidermacher_Paige

Paige Kleidermacher

I am a freshman from Miami Beach, Florida, interested in environmental science and policy as well as economics. I am considering the possibility of a law degree to confront the challenges of environmental science in the context of government and corporate policy. The world faces unprecedented challenges with the threat of climate change along with the depletion of our natural resources. Sustainable business models with policies that encourage innovation of environmentally friendly technologies will be increasingly important. How we communicate these various threats is exceedingly critical: policies and arguments supporting them require precise wording and reliable scientific evidence. I am excited to pursue the study and application of those interests in science and public policy as a Huang Fellow!

Liu_Andrew

Andrew Liu

My name’s Andrew Liu and I’m a Pratt student from Houston, TX hoping to major in Mechanical Engineering and Computer Science and minor in Chemistry. While I’m not stitching together catapults, I enjoy singing, listening to movie soundtracks, and playing a plethora of sports. Though I’m previously a lover of the hard sciences, I have always had a soft spot for the natural environment. With humanity and more importantly, mother nature, potentially at the brink of runaway temperature rise, I feel that anthropogenic climate change is more relevant than ever. Among the global sources of greenhouse gas emissions, energy contributes almost half of all emissions and more than three times as many as any other source. As such, I’m enthusiastic about the prospect of researching original engineering systems paired with novel chemical reactions to create cleaner energy innovations, and I can’t wait to explore the impact of such research as a Huang Fellow. I’m excited to join a community of ambitious, like-minded individuals.

Liu_Y_Andrew

Andrew Y. Liu

My name’s Andrew Liu and I’m a Pratt student from Cleveland, OH hoping to major in Biomedical Engineering and minor in Philosophy. Volunteering at Care Alliance, a local hospital that provides free medical care to homeless people, I was inspired to pursue medicine to help improve the lives of people who were powerless to affect their health. At the same time, I was involved in structure-based drug design research at the Cleveland Clinic. This confluence of experiences led to my goal of becoming a physician-scientist, a position that will allow me to simultaneously innovate medical care while applying novel remedies. The interface of new drugs and treatment is a societal question, and I hope that being a Huang Fellow will equip me with the critical skills required to meet these demands. Ultimately, I hope to tie research and care together to broaden the range of available treatments and expand the scope of access to medical care. I can’t wait to join an ambitious community of like-minded individuals.

Lee_Grace

Grace Lee

I am a second-year Trinity student from Atlanta, Georgia, pursuing a Neuroscience major and a certificate in Science & Society. I am fascinated by the inner workings of the brain and about the potential causes of and treatments for neurodegenerative disorders. At Duke, I currently work in Dr. Henry Yin’s lab studying the basal ganglia and volunteer with groups such as Threshold, an organization that helps people with neurological disorders reintegrate into society, as well as Help Desk, a program that works to connect patients with resources in the community in order to address health inequities. My dream is to conduct research on Alzheimer’s Disease while working with policy experts to create public health infrastructures that help people with neurological disorders and their families. As a Huang Fellow, I hope to learn more about the social and ethical implications of my research and about how to take an active role in the translation of research into policy.

Lo_Ashley

Ashley Lo

I’m a member of the class of 2023, and I’m interested in health applications of computer science. I’m fascinated by the potential for technology to revolutionize scientific research and how it can be leveraged to solve problems in the health sector. Given the ethical and societal issues that inevitably arise when using artificial intelligence and big data, I believe it’s important to carefully weigh the costs of using these tools with the potential insights they provide. As a Huang Fellow, I hope to explore the potential risks associated with these tools in greater depth and develop a more nuanced understanding of the ethical considerations in science research. Beyond academics, I’m also part of Duke’s varsity fencing team and look forward to becoming involved with research.

Rancu_Albert

Albert Rancu

I’m a first-year student from Clemson, South Carolina planning to major in biophysics and neuroscience. At Duke, I am currently working in Adam Wax’s BIOS lab in the biomedical engineering department. In the future, I think I’d like to pursue a career as a physician-scientist, combining quantitative work with an empathetic profession. Finding the connection between social responsibility and the pursuit of new scientific discoveries is what led me to the Huang Fellowship. I am excited to continue understanding this complex relationship over my next few years at Duke and through this program.

Shuffer_Hannah

Hannah Shuffer

I am a member of the class of 2023 from Cleveland, Ohio. I am planning on double majoring in Chemistry and Cultural Anthropology. My desire is to become a physician that works in an underserved area. I am enthralled with all of the possibilities that the field of medicine has to offer. Currently, I enjoy participating in Best Buddies, Duke Synapse, Blue Devils vs. Cancer and Duke PAWS. I am honored to have been selected as a Huang Fellow, and I believe that the program will act as a firm foundation to learn more about both my scientific interests and the role that I can play in effectively serving others.

Sun_Albert

Albert Sun

Coming to Duke, I’ve realized that harnessing data is crucial to an intricate understanding of issues such as climate change and mass incarceration. I plan on pursuing a Math/CS double major and Statistics minor to understand how data-driven advocacy and the study of equitable algorithms can support efforts to fight for social equity. Outside of class, you’ll find me building something with my friends in Duke Applied Machine Learning or hanging out with my residents as a RA. The Huang Fellows program has allowed me to conduct research, collaborate with inspiring peers, and receive valuable mentorship opportunities!

Venkatakrishnan_Aarushi

Aarushi Venkatakrishnan

I am a sophomore from Charlotte, NC, studying Biology and Computer Science. I’m passionate about fostering strong connections between people and plan to pursue a career in User Experience design to do so. I worked under Dr. William Parker in his Immune Dysfunction and Evolutionary Mismatch Lab to study the biota alteration theory and how it may translate to future therapies. I’m currently the Communications Team Lead at the Center for Global Reproductive Health where I’ve been able to create a platform for students to engage and collaborate with researchers from various disciplines. As a Huang Fellow, I want to use my experiences in the sciences to communicate more effectively to others and make medicine more approachable.

Vitsupakorn_Shawin

Shawin Vitsupakorn

I’m an undergraduate student from Virginia pursuing co-majors in global health and biology. I am passionate about advancing global health equity, especially through clinical and community-based participatory research. I’m particularly interested in health(care) disparities across rural-urban, intra-urban, and public-private divides, as well as HIV/AIDS research. The practice of medicine and public health raises a whole host of ethical questions. For example, how do we ensure that interventions are sustainable? How do we work to decolonize global systems of power and knowledge? These are necessary conversations to be had, and I look forward to continuing them during my time at Duke and beyond.

Wei_Celine

Celine Wei

I’m a first-year from Colleyville, Texas and I am currently planning to major in the Literature Program in Global Cultural Studies and minor in Sociology, and I am involved in Asian American political development with the Asian American Alliance and help with the Asian American Studies Working Group. Through Huang Fellows, I’d love to examine how the current forms that science and healthcare take are largely contextual to the hegemonic histories and cultures they emerge from, shaping who’s knowledge and experiences are included (or excluded) within scientific spaces, discussions, and ideologies. While we should strive to achieve a higher level of care, we should also ask ourselves what we consider a higher level of care, along with what forms of health interventions can occur before and after a physician visit. I am also interested in bridging the gap between philosophical and scientific conceptions of the mind, which many believe to house our very being. As someone who is currently working in the Williams lab, I anticipate that furthering my knowledge in both will help answer some of humanity’s oldest questions. The newest developments in the field of neurohumanities are very exciting to future developments in these ideas.

Wen_Eileen

Eileen Wen

I am a second-year Trinity student from Falls Church, Virginia pursuing majors in Neuroscience and Economics, with a certificate in Science and Society. At Duke, I work under the guidance of Dr. Christina Williams in discovering the implications of exercise therapy and menopause in Alzheimer’s Disease pathology. While this enables me to explore the biological mechanisms of neurodegenerative disease, my experience as a Huang Fellow has also allowed me to recognize the value of bridging basic science to its broader social, political, and ethical implications. At the Margolis Center, I investigated health disparities of aging populations from a sociological lens, an experience in which I realized true holistic patient care requires addressing social in addition to medical needs. Currently, I am also interested in understanding healthcare’s economic facets and how the finance of medicine shapes the delivery of care. As a Huang fellow and aspiring physician, I am excited to continue exploring the intersections of science with other disciplines to understand how science best serve society.

Zhong_Judy

Judy Zhong

I am a pre-med student of the Class of 2023 from the suburbs of Philadelphia. Although still undecided, I am considering a major in Economics with an I&E certificate. In high school, I spent a few years working in a molecular biology lab, but I always felt there were issues beyond the science itself that need to be addressed. Currently, I am interested in exploring how biotech startups can be geared more towards social impact through human-centered design. Additionally, I also hope to investigate the relationship between health policy and patient care at the ground level. At Duke, I am launching an environmental tech startup called buddies and involved in Asian InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and Duke University Union. As a Huang Fellow, I hope to gain a greater understanding of the ethics behind my career plans in the medical field.

 


 

2022 Class

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Pallavi Avasarala

Pallavi Avasarala

I am a second-year undergraduate from Northern Virginia, planning to study Neuroscience and Sociology. I am interested in the humanistic, societal, and research aspects of medicine and believe that they play an important role in treating patients. I hope to explore these factors further as a Huang Fellow by analyzing how listening to patients’ stories, showing empathy, and conducting research all interact together to impact patient care. I am also interested in the business side of medicine and hope to learn more about how health policy and economics affect healthcare practice and efficiency. After graduation, I plan on obtaining an MD/MBA degree, eventually pursuing a career in medicine.

Raymond Chen

Raymond Chen

I am a Trinity student from New Jersey studying computer science and statistics. Currently, my interests lie in the tech industry, where I hope to pursue engineering and product roles. I believe there is a huge opportunity to create positive impacts on others through technology and startups. However, society lives in constant fear of potential dangers. In fact, many of them are often unfounded, such as forms of programmed automation behaving aberrantly. As a Huang Fellow, I’m learning how society views and approaches these issues, along with how scientists and researchers can better communicate concepts to laypeople in order to improve their perceptions. There is no doubt technology will change our lives in ways we can’t predict, so instead of dreading that change, I believe we need to welcome it and adapt to it. Outside the classroom, I am passionate about design, photography, and music. I am also a badminton player with over a decade of international competitive experience.

Rishi Dasgupta

Rishi Dasgupta

I’m a second-year from Cincinnati, Ohio and am fascinated by the inherent interconnectedness of the natural world. For example, mathematical relationships explain the physical properties of the universe; physical properties give rise to chemical interactions between molecules; chemical interactions are the foundation for the biological processes necessary for life; biological processes engender cognition, consciousness, and emotion; these mental processes are the very bases of humanity itself. It amazes me how the fundamental principles of the universe have somehow built upon themselves in such a way that they have created human beings. I’m enamored by the human experience – how we are moved by music, how we can be so good and evil at the same time, how we question our own existence. In that vein, I want to study what it means to be human through the lens of neuroscience, sociology, and evolutionary anthropology. Through these disciplines, I hope to gain a richer understanding of humanity – how we interact with the world and each other, why we do the things we do, and how we can best serve one another. I look forward to diving into this understanding of humanity, as well as my place in society, through the Huang Fellows program.

Tyler Edwards

Tyler Edwards

I am a member of the class of 2022 from Apex, North Carolina. I plan to major in biology with a certificate from Science and Society, though I also have an academic interests in journalism and documentary studies. In my free time, I enjoy performing original poems as a member of Spoken Verb, participating in productions with Hoof ‘n’ Horn, and exploring Durham on the weekends. I am also a proud Alice M. Baldwin Scholar. I am passionate about research, effective science communication, and ethics and was first introduced to Science and Society when I participated in the Science and the Public FOCUS cluster. I was drawn to the Huang Fellowship for the opportunity to study science through a hands-on research experience while also discussing the ethical obligations of scientific work. I look forward to the opportunity to develop as a member of the scientific community as a Huang Fellow.

Elizabeth Gu

Elizabeth Gu

I am a third-year undergraduate from Buffalo, NY, studying Biology and Global Health. I am passionate about public health, particularly the oral healthcare crisis in America. My interest is in how policy and social determinants impact access to oral healthcare and how those factors are reflected in efforts to improve oral health. I am part of a Bass Connections Project Team that partners with Lincoln Community Health Center to increase the efficacy of referrals to community resources for non-medical and social needs and works with Meals on Wheels Durham to promote digital literacy. I also work with David Ridley to study practices of the pharmaceutical industry. Outside of class, I serve as Director of Internal Operations for The Sarafian Foundation and as chapter president of Chi Omega Fraternity. I am also a member of Duke Pre-Dental Society and Duke Remote Area Medical. In my free time, I enjoy painting, getting lost in the Duke Gardens, and baking delicious treats for friends. As a Huang Fellow, I hope to gain a better understanding of the complex interactions between policymakers, lobbyists, and constituents in the realms of healthcare policy and public health.

Sarafian_Joshua

Joshua T. Sarafian

I am a member of the Class of 2022 from Sacramento, California double majoring in Biology and Global Health with a minor in Chemistry. At Duke, I have worked with Dr. William Parker in his Immune Dysfunction and Evolutionary Mismatch Lab studying the biota alteration theory and alternative medical therapies for autoimmune and neurodegenerative diseases. I have also studied the impact of science communication, drug safety, and emerging infectious diseases all through a public health lens. Beyond that, I am interested in further exploring the biological and societal nuances surrounding non-communicable diseases, the threat posed by vaccine hesitancy and antibiotic resistance, effective science and public health communication as well as the social, cultural, political, and ethical considerations of biomedical science research. After graduation, I plan on pursuing an MD/Ph.D. degree and a career as a physician-scientist so that I can practice medicine while conducting research in the fields of immunology, cancer biology, epidemiology, neurology, and/or infectious diseases. As a Huang Fellow, I have gained an undeniable love for the intersection of science and society, and I hope to continue to learn and grow throughout my professional pursuits.

Rishabh Jain

Rishabh Jain

I am a second-year student from the San Francisco Bay Area studying Biomedical Engineering. I believe that personalized genetics, machine learning, and regenerative medicine are dramatically reshaping the landscape of human healthcare. I saw this up close as an intern at an aging research institute, where in weekly bioethics discussions, my peers and I considered issues surrounding end-of-life care and the implications of someday indiscriminately and indefinitely extending lifespan. Through the Huang Fellows Program, I hope to engage in dialogue about the forces that impel or hinder medicine’s “progress” from disparities in healthcare access across racial and socioeconomic lines, to the ethical questions at the heart of the complex biotechnology ecosystem, to the critical decisions health policymakers must confront. I’m excited to discover how such conversations, combined with an intensive research experience, will inform and direct my future aspirations.

Megan Jane Knauer

Megan Jane Knauer

Megan is a junior from Centerville, Ohio. She is pursuing a self-designed major titled “Medical Utilitarianism,” which focuses on how medical policies reflect larger societal values. She’s particularly interested in how we can redistribute resources to make healthcare both accessible and affordable. During her Huang Summer, she worked at the Margolis Center under Drs. Corinna Sorenson and Gillian Sanders Schmidler. She has continued her work as a research assistant during the school year and as a summer intern again over the next two summers. She’s working on projects including perspectives in cost-effectiveness analysis, non-financial incentives to decrease low-value care, the Lancet Commission’s Global Burden of Hearing Loss working group, and tracking COVID-19 decision modeling efforts. When not trying to learn as much as she can about healthcare, she also is Vice President of Education for The Girls Club, a coxswain on the Varsity Women’s Rowing Team, the team representative for the ACC’s Unity Group, a member of the CAPE program, and a Margolis Scholar.

Ishaan Kumar

Ishaan Kumar

I am a second-year student from London, England, planning on majoring in Philosophy, with English and Chemistry minors. I’m interested in pursuing a career as a physician-scientist, combining an exploration of the ethical implications of the future of the biomedical sciences with the daily task of providing high-quality of care. I believe the way that we conduct research and deliver care is too often focused on purely the science, and the ethics is relegated and outsourced away. I want to have the ethical discussions around future technologies now. In my view, they must play as important a role as the science itself. I hope to use the Huang Fellows platform in order to delve into the science that has interested me for many years, as well as consider the human implications of research and biomedicine.

Erica Langan

Erica Langan

I am a third-year student from Cincinnati, Ohio pursuing a major in Biology and the Science & Society Certificate. I currently work in a cell biology lab studying lung development and regeneration, and simultaneously conduct health policy research centered around identifying gaps in knowledge and access to healthcare in rural areas. After Duke, I hope to pursue an MD-PhD degree and become a physician-scientist focusing on stem cell biology and regenerative medicine, while also contributing to policy efforts to address social determinants of health and work towards equitable healthcare access. Intertwined with my passion for scientific discovery has been a strong draw towards literature and language motivated by a desire to understand better the means through which people of all backgrounds and experiences communicate with one another. As a Huang Fellow, I seek to explore the ways in which language can both facilitate interpersonal communication (i.e. between doctors and patients), and how it can implicitly shape the way in which we view the world, specifically how we interpret and evaluate the breadth and brilliance of scientific information in fields that seem to be expanding faster than the speed of light.

Tauseef Nadeem

Tauseef Nadeem

I’m a third-year undergraduate student from Dyersburg, Tennessee, doing a Program II in “Addiction: Brain, Bodies, and Books.” Grounded in biomedical sciences, this holistic approach ranges from analyzing neurochemical mechanisms to investigating social health disparities that underly drug addiction and dependence. Furthermore, I examine the lived experiences of addicted individuals by studying narratives of disease, stigma, and substance use. Currently, I work in the Meade Lab that uses multimodal neuroimaging techniques and behavioral measures to investigate how HIV and substance abuse affect brain structure and function, and I also work in the Kuhn Lab that employs animal models to study the neurobiology of addiction. I’m fascinated by the intersections between literature and science, particularly the literary representations of the brain and mind in contemporary works.

Alex Oesterling

Alex Oesterling

I am in the Class of 2022 and am majoring in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science with a concentration in Machine Learning. Although my curricular interests have changed throughout my career as an undergrad, the Huang Fellowship has imparted in me a lifelong value for societal impact and the tools and community to see these values through in the research I do. I still work in the David R. Smith lab from my initial summer experience, investigating advanced metamaterial antenna for use in sustainability. We use the antenna to detect human-related activity such as breathing and moving in order to intelligently control air conditioning and other power-consuming appliances.  After publishing a paper on my initial studies, I am now developing deep network solutions for human presence classification using the measurements taken by our antenna. In addition, I am also a member of Guillermo Sapiro’s lab where I am looking at two important ethical implications of machine learning. First, I am studying fairness in deep learning. Many corporations have been under fire for using facial recognition software that performs poorly on minorities due to imbalanced training sets. The lab has developed a scheme for fairness which optimizes a model for performance on an arbitrary subset of a dataset (in society, any minority) in addition to overall accuracy. Second, I am investigating backwards compatibility. If a hospital uses a diagnosis algorithm, and then the software company releases an update, the hospital should expect the algorithm to perform equally well on cases that it correctly identified in the past. However, even if accuracy increases in an update, there are no guarantees that a second model will predict each cause the same as the past iteration. Even more difficult is to allow for model improvement on previously wrong cases while preventing degradation of previously correct cases.

Paper: https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/9285239

Smith Lab: http://people.ee.duke.edu/~drsmith/

Sapiro Lab: http://sapirolab.pratt.duke.edu/

Joy Reeves

Joy Reeves

I’m a second-year student from Frederick, Maryland, planning to major in Environmental Science & Policy. Having grown up in a rural area, I’ve developed both a love of the outdoors (hiking, distance running, and outdoor service) as well as an overall passion for protecting the environment. I am most interested in solar energy, conservation, and the policy and paradigm shifts needed to address climate change. One vision I have is to incorporate solar technology into disaster relief; I would like to one day help replace antiquated and unreliable electrical infrastructure in locations like Puerto Rico with decentralized renewable solar grids, which resist weather damage, protect systems from terrorism, promote energy independence, and ensure a life-saving energy source for developing nations. My vision is to travel abroad as an innovator, educator, and spokeswoman for clean energy. As an environmental scientist – as well as a cartoonist and lover of the arts – my interest in Huang Fellows stems from my eagerness to study and share science with others.

Richards_Megan

Megan Richards

I’m a junior studying Electrical and Computer Engineering with a concentration in machine learning and a Science and Society certificate in Digital Intelligence! My interests are in machine learning and policy, specifically in the technical sides of governance, fairness, translatability, and bias. I spent my Huang summer (and am currently) working with the Center for Global Women’s Health Technologies on automated diagnosis of cervical cancers, where I’m evaluating interpretability approaches to improve model robustness across demographics, locations, and clinical subpopulations. I am deeply grateful for my Huang experience, and credit it both for introducing me to research and for shaping my love of systematic-meets-technical problems. I also sing in Duke’s Chorale, am an RA, and help facilitate Duke’s Effective Altruism fellowship program.

Paul Rajeev Sabharwal

Paul Rajeev Sabharwal

I am a junior from Richmond, Virginia studying Computer Science with a Certificate in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics. In addition to my studies at Duke, I sing in Duke Chorale and Rhythm and Blue a cappella, debate the Constitution with Moot Court, and work with researchers in Children’s Health and Biochemistry. Through my coursework and activities, I have enjoyed applying my interests in data-driven computing and political systems to healthcare. I hope to continue learning the skills of these disciplines in order to better understand healthcare issues and hopefully contribute to facing these challenges. 

Dev Seth

Dev Seth

I am a second-year undergraduate student from Indore, India. At Duke, I plan to pursue a Program II in “Artificial Intelligence & Society,” which combines physics, philosophy, computer science, and visual and media studies to study the future of humanity and our engagement with AI. I am especially interested in topics such as existential risk, machine consciousness, transhumanism, and Artificial General Intelligence. In conjunction with these academic interests, I also write about U.S. policy regarding Robotics and AI for SciPol, Duke’s science policy publication. On campus, I am involved with Duke Student Government as a Senator for Services and Sustainability, and with the Bull City Scholars program as a volunteer tutor. Through the Huang Fellows program, I aim to continue exploring AI in the human context, and develop the skills needed to effectively confront ethical challenges posed by this human-tech interaction.

Ruhama Tereda

Ruhama Tereda

I am a second-year pre-health student interested in Public Policy and Chemistry at Duke. Although I currently live in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, I was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. I am interested in exploring the relationship between health policy, patient care, and female empowerment through the Huang Fellows program. Additionally, I am interested in the role that healthcare providers have in the lives of their patients, and what ethical responsibilities they have. At Duke, I am grateful for the amazing communities I have through the Cardea Fellows and University Scholars Program. Along with my inspiring peers, I hope to traverse the often uncertain and novel ethical quandaries at the intersection of science and policy through research and conversation. In my career, I hope to work on making healthcare accessible, efficient, and equitable for underserved communities around the world.

Venkat Shashank Vege

Venkat Shashank Vege

I am a second-year undergraduate from Aurora, Illinois, pursuing a double major in Neuroscience and Chemistry, while on the pre-med track. In addition to my biomedical passions, I am a part of Wayne Manor, a selective living group on campus, and Duke Rhydhun, a competitive Bollywood fusion dance team. I also work in a cell biology and biophysics lab, where I am interested in the applications of my GPCR research regarding highly specific pharmaceuticals, while being passionate about improving the access of the healthcare and medical treatments realm where that research is applied. This deep passion in the improvement of access to highly required treatments is what has driven me as a Duke student to become a Huang Fellow. The Fellows pushes for an interdisciplinary method of solving real life problems, which is far more beneficial and impactful in any setting, especially medical. In the future, I aim to obtain my MD/PhD and serve my society through biomedical research and healthcare reform while directing a major philanthropic venture for improved access to medication.

Neha Vyas

Neha Vyas

I am a second-year student from Los Angeles, California pursuing a co-major in Global Health and Neuroscience. On campus, I work at the Center for Neurodegeneration and Neurotherapeutics, investigating neurodegeneration in Huntington’s disease under the guidance of Dr. Audrey Dickey. I am particularly interested in understanding healthcare disparities and how both equitable and quality care can be implemented globally. In order to make universal healthcare a reality, each country’s unique social, economic, and cultural environment must be taken into account. Interdisciplinary thought and research is essential in order to implement care models tailored for an individual’s unique environment. As a Huang Fellow, I wish to explore and better understand the complex intersection of ethics, policy, and science and their role in the future of medicine and healthcare access. I value the Huang Fellowship because interdisciplinary research and thought is more necessary than ever in 2019, as we still battle guaranteeing basic human rights both domestically and globally.

Amy Yoon

Amy Yoon

I’m a second-year from Orange County, California, and I intend to double major in Environmental Science & Policy and English. My interest in the study of the natural world was piqued by an introductory environmental science class I took my first semester at Duke. Through a case study of North Carolina’s hog industry, I became aware of the extensive effects of climate change and the issues of environmental justice with its disproportionate effect on people of minority identities. My passion is to use narratives and an understanding of social identity theory to improve communications surrounding environmental issues. As a Huang Fellow, I want to engage in research about relevant environmental issues and learn to develop and implement more effective environmental policies in the context of larger society.

 


 

2021 Class

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Balogun_Ayo

Ayooluwa Balogun

I am an undergraduate student from Lagos, Nigeria; studying Mechanical Engineering with a certificates program in Energy & the Environment, and Global Development Engineering. I am interested in how energy technology can be used to fill the wide gaps in rural electrification and serve lower-income communities around the world. My time at Duke has given me several opportunities to explore the engineering, business, and policy aspects of energy accessibility. On Duke, I have been involved with previous energy research projects, volunteer programs, and the Every Nation Campus (ENC) Christian ministry. The Huang fellows program has allowed me to explore how engineering development can be geared towards serving people, and how different forms of science play a role in shaping human society. After graduation, I will continue to pursue this interest through my career as a management consultant.

Preeti Bhanap

Preeti Bhanap

I am a first-year student from Raleigh, North Carolina, and I plan to major in biology (with the genomics concentration), and pursue minors in computer science, French, or Russian Literature. At Duke, I have had the chance to pursue research in plant biology and pulmonary medicine. However, although I am passionate about research, I do not want to be stuck in the STEM bubble. My motivation in becoming a Huang Fellow is to understand how science can make a difference; that is, to be immersed in scientific concepts, and yet understand the societal and ethical context behind them. It is my top priority to make science accessible to the public; I hope use my education as a Huang Fellow to continue my work in science outreach.

Seva Castleberry

Seva Castleberry

I am a junior from Los Angeles, CA, studying sociology and chemistry. I’m currently a 3rd year Huang Fellow. When I first became a Huang fellow, I was, perhaps expectedly, an excited premedical student. I was fascinated by the healthcare system and driven to participate as a physician. Now, 2 years out of Huang Fellows, I am still fascinated by the healthcare system, but I am not just driven to participate. I am driven to change it. I intend on going to law school and pursuing a career in health policy. I credit Huang Fellows for this, graciously. Huang Fellows let me engage not simply in my interests, but beyond my interests. It introduced me to passions I didn’t even know existed and guided me towards an interdisciplinary scholarship that I would not have otherwise found.

Raksha Doddabele

Raksha Doddabele

Everyone who knows me knows that my deepest passion is marine conservation. I interned at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, volunteered at a turtle conservation center in Thailand through Duke Engage, and currently research hypoxia in marine animals as part of a Bass Connections team. But one of my most important experiences as a young scientist was my freshman summer as a Huang Fellow. Through seminars with professionals involved in all aspects of science, I learned that my biology major didn’t have to be a pipeline into healthcare or clinical research. Marine conservation is tricky, because these issues don’t exist in a vacuum; they require well-integrated, well-thought solutions that involve policy, science, and ethics. The Huang Fellowship taught me how to analyze complex problems from all lenses, as well as how to effectively communicate my science to any audience. Equipped with these skills, I hope to dedicate my life to protecting and understanding the fragile, beautiful creatures in our oceans.

Nimish Garg

Nimish Garg

I am a first-year undergraduate from Denver, Colorado interested in studying biology. Learning about epigenetics and ethical research as part of the Genomics and Genetics Focus cluster helped spark my interest in the field of molecular genetics and microbiology as well as the disciplines of ethics and society. I am hoping that by engaging in scientific investigation I can further my passions and discover more about the microscopic interactions that give rise to life and disease. The Huang Fellows Program values interdisciplinary research and allows me to combine my interests in the fields of science, ethics, and culture. As a Fellow, I am excited to learn about how to ground my own investigations in the greater context of society and hope to use my experiences to guide the path to becoming a better scientist, future physician, and citizen of the world.

Gabriel Goldhagen

Gabriel Goldhagen

I am a Pratt student who is pursuing a major in Biomedical Engineering with a certificate in Science and Society. Extracurricularly, I am a member of Speak of the Devil, a member of Duke Enable, and a member of IEEE. I currently work in the Grill Lab, working on a project modeling the vagus nerve. My professional interests include developing neural stimulation and sensing technology and binding that technology in order to develop immersive virtual reality systems. As a Huang Fellow, I hope to explore the intersection of science and social justice in terms of advocacy and learn about the potential ethical implcations of my academic interests.

Felicia Guo

Felicia Guo

I’m an undergraduate student from Atlanta, Georgia studying Sociology and Global Health. During my first year at Duke, I knew I was interested in medicine, but feared being boxed into the traditional sciences. Being a Huang Fellow helped change both my perception of medicine as well as the entire trajectory of my research career at Duke. Throughout the course of our summer programming, I had the opportunity to explore the intersection of science (and medicine) with ethics, policy, technology, and even education by getting more involved with research, immersed in the Durham community, and connected with amazing faculty and researchers. Since then, I’ve been able to partake in a range of interdisciplinary research including health policy projects with the Duke-Margolis Center, as well as global health projects with the Duke Global Health Institute. Currently, I work with the Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity, investigating protective factors that can alleviate chronic conditions from disproportionately burdening minority populations.

Shikhar Gupta

Shikhar Gupta

I am an undergraduate student from the San Francisco Bay Area, studying Neuroscience and Public Policy. From a young age, I enjoyed learning science, especially life science, so I believed my only career option was to pursue medicine and become a doctor. However, the Huang Fellows program opened my eyes to a number of interdisciplinary opportunities to approach science with the lens of societal needs. I saw this as a chance to combine my interests in science, law, policy, and ethics, to understand laws and policies that affect scientific progress, how science and medicine impact the practice of law and creation of policy, and how to best address the ethical issues that arise from advances in biotechnology. With these interests, I pursued a number of interdisciplinary opportunities, including conducting neuroethics research through a Bass Connections team, and learning about federal science policy while interning at the NIH. Building off the valuable insights from my summer with the Huang Fellows program, I hope to pursue law school, with a career in bioethics/biotechnology policy and law, using these skills to maximize science’s impact on society.

Boyoung (Michelle) Kim

Boyoung (Michelle) Kim

I am an undergraduate student pursuing a major in biology and minors in computer science and chemistry. Though I have always been drawn to the sciences, I have often felt that the topics were made mechanical and lifeless, something I found strange as I continued to grow interest in a career in medicine and in serving people, since one of my strongest beliefs is that every life has a value and that patients are more than names on paper. As a Huang Fellow, I am excited to explore the human-focused side of science that I have been craving to learn more about. With collaboration, progress that affects those in my direct community and halfway across the world is made possible, and I would like to be a part of this process through research while enhancing my knowledge of society in order to understand the implications future research may have on individuals.

Daniel Kim

Daniel Kim

I am a current undergraduate student pursuing an interdepartmental major in Computational Biology and a certificate in Innovation & Entrepreneurship. On campus, I am involved in the Student Organization Finance Committee as Vice Chair, Bass Connections, hackDuke, and Scale & Coin Business Society. During the summer portion of my Huang Fellowship, my research was primarily focused on the microbiome and helminthic therapy, an alternative autoimmune therapy. Currently, I am interested in the intersection of computational data analysis and healthcare to improve global health practices. In the future, I hope to work at a nonprofit foundation specializing in global health services or a biotechnology startup.

Sophia Li

Sophia Li

I am an undergraduate student from Acton, Massachusetts pursuing a major in Neuroscience and a minor in Political Science. As someone who is fascinated by the field of neurolaw, I seek to discover how knowledge of the inner mechanisms of the brain can be used to regulate human behavior on a societal scale. Neuroscientific advancements can improve the reliability of the decisions and rules that govern people’s everyday lives, but it is up to lawyers and policy makers to implement those changes. Currently, I conduct research in the Woldorff Lab at the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, investigating the neural and psychological mechanisms underlying human attentional, perceptual, and cognitive processes.

Lydia Lin

Lydia Jing Lin

I am an undergraduate student from Diamond Bar, California pursuing a major in Neuroscience and a minor in Computer Science and Chemistry. I am interested in promoting awareness of mental well-being and am also fascinated by the biological bases of the brain and how they are affected in disorder. In line with this, I have continued working in Dr. Debra Silver’s lab studying the genetics involved in neurodevelopment ever since being connected to her lab through the Huang Fellowship. Being a Huang Fellow has provided valuable insight into the different paths that are available to contribute to society. Through the program and my coursework, I have come to realize the interconnected significance of ethics, policy, sociology, and science throughout our society. While I am set on my path of becoming a physician and researcher, this experience has encouraged me to consider interdisciplinary thinking and collaborations such as the applications of Computer Science and the Humanities in medicine and science. On-campus, I am involved in several student organizations such as Duke Synapse, which educates members on mental illness through volunteering in the local community with a non-profit called Threshold Clubhouse, and Duke PAWS, a friendly organization for students with a love for pets to come together and help animals in the community. In the future, I hope to continue these integral life experiences and explore how I can best contribute to society in the field of medicine.

Olivia Liu

Olivia Liu

I am a pre-medical student from Houston, Texas, and I am interested in majoring in chemistry and minoring in history or psychology. These academic pursuits reflect my wide range of interests, as I seek to explore both the sciences and the human experience during my time at Duke. Currently, I am conducting solid-state chemistry research in the Haravifard Lab, which seeks to understand the fundamental physics of exotic quantum materials. The pursuit of fundamental scientific knowledge truly excites me, as I believe this understanding is necessary for the application of science to society. On campus, I am also involved in a number of student organizations, such as Peer for You, an organization that actively supports mental well-being among Duke students, and ArtsConnect, a service organization that conducts art workshops with kids at the Emily K Center. As a Huang Fellow, I am excited bridge my scientific interest with my passion in the humanities and arts.

Aneesha Raj

Aneesha Raj

I am a Trinity undergraduate student from Charlotte, NC on the pre-med track, and I’m pursuing a double major in Biology and Global Health. Aside from my academic interests at Duke, I am the captain of Duke Dhamaka, a competitive Indian dance team, and work in a placental biology lab investigating both environmental policies controlling electronic waste and the impact of e-waste chemical exposure on preterm births in pregnant women. I have always had a love for science, and my background as a debater in high school encouraged me to participate in discourse surrounding issues of policy. My involvement with the Cognitive Neuroscience & Law FOCUS program at Duke first allowed me to combine these two interests, and appreciate the interconnection between scientific inquiry and ethical implications. As a Huang Fellow, I am so grateful to be a part of a community that approaches medicine holistically and explores multidisciplinary problem-solving. In the future, I hope to obtain my MD/MPH and serve the community by becoming a physician who is also actively involved in public/global health policy.

Aditya Santoki

Aditya Santoki

I am a first-year student from Atlanta, Georgia studying Chemistry and Computer Science. I am interested   in understanding how the results of the research I conduct in lab are equitably distributed in society and how new medical treatments are affordable and accessible, how basic science research can reduce health disparities, and how national health policies incorporate scientific evidence. I pursued basic science research throughout my freshman year in a neurobiology lab investigating the molecular basis of Huntington’s Disease. Outside of academics, I cofounded the Duke Low-Income First Generation Engagement group to connect first generation students to academic opportunities on campus. After graduating, I plan on attending medical school.

Daniel Sprague

Daniel Sprague

I am an undergraduate from Reston, Virginia pursuing a double major in computer science and neuroscience with a certificate in Science & Society. I am most interested in the fields of artificial intelligence and neurotechnology. I hope to combine my understanding of the technical elements of these technologies with my understanding of ethics and social justice to ensure that they develop on a trajectory that enables all people to flourish. Since my time in the Huang Fellows I have continued to work within the Science & Society initiative through course work and research to make these aspirations a reality.

Rebecca Torrence

Rebecca Torrence

I am an undergraduate from Chattanooga, Tennessee, and I am pursuing a major in Neuroscience with a certificate in Policy, Journalism, and Media Studies. As a writer, I’ve always been interested in effective communication. Through the Huang Fellows program, however, I’ve realized the importance of accurate, clear, and concise communication about science and policy. In a world of fake news and constantly conflicting perspectives, I want to help pave a straight path to the empirical truth, both by changing the way scientists interact with the public and the way the public interacts with science. After Duke, I hope to use what I’ve learned from both of my programs of study and the Huang Fellows to make this happen.

Eugene Wang

Eugene Wang

I am a first-year undergraduate from Tucson, Arizona pursuing a major in either Economics or Public Policy Studies with minors in Biology and Global Health. Coming into Duke, I was highly interested in following a traditional career in medicine and scientific research, working in the lab of Dr. Dennis Ko my first semester. However, it was not long before that changed. Participating in the “Global Health: Problems and Paradigms” Focus cluster opened my eyes to viewing treatment through a macroscopic lens grounded in the social sciences. Additionally, my role as an associate consultant for TrimAI, a chatbot technology seeking to streamline the collection of medical data, has allowed me to comprehend the intersections between business and medicine. As a Huang Fellow, I hope to continue exploring these areas of interest, especially in regards to how innovation and financial analysis can be used to improve healthcare efficacy.

Jason Zhang

Jason Zhang

I am a member of the Class of 2021, majoring in Neuroscience and Biology with a minor in Religious Studies. I’m interested in exploring how our experiences and beliefs influence emotion and help guide the ways we perceive the world. Throughout college, my interests developed a focus on neural and social factors that influence mental health and social behavior, and I began studying emotion regulation and depression in the LaBar Lab here at Duke. I currently work in the Bilbo Lab, studying how the immune system interacts with the brain to influence social behaviors related to autism spectrum disorders. Through the Huang Fellows program, I learned to better recognize the ways research can impact society and to see its relevance to daily life. Moving forward, I hope to continue to develop my appreciation for and ability to apply these ideas towards bettering society.

 


 

2020 Class

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Elise Cai

Elise Cai

I am an undergraduate student originally from Plano, Texas, planning to major in biology. In high school, I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to conduct research in traditional scientific laboratories. However, as someone whose love for science stems from both its academic side and its ability to benefit society, I believe it is just as important to understand the ethics, policy, and social implications behind my research, as it is to understand the technical science of my research. To this end, I am more than excited to have the opportunity to explore scientific research and its potential societal impacts through the Huang Fellows Program.

Yannet Daniel

Yannet Daniel

I am a Trinity student from Cary, NC pursuing a major in Biology and a minor in Global Health as I am particularly interested in the ways cultural competency is practiced through medicine. During my time at Duke, I have learned that the science cannot be separated from the individual it benefits and the way in which the Huang Fellowship nurtures this mentality is what drew me to the program. On campus, I work in a lab within the Center for Global Women’s Health Technologies that seeks to make cervical cancer screenings more accessible in lower-income countries through medical devices like the Pocket Colposcope. This summer, through the DGHI Student Research Training Program, I will be working with local NGOs and District Officers in Mityana District, Uganda to help implement sustainable community health programs and complete a 10-year collaborative effort.

Victoria Grant

Victoria Grant

I am an undergraduate student with an academic interest in biology and environmental science. Those who know me best might say my passion for animals is one of my most defining characteristics. I have always had a desire to help animals and for the past few years, I have been exploring different careers by volunteering at the Phoenix Zoo. After completing my education, I hope to work in the animal conservation field, concentrating on genetics. In today’s world where science is often refuted, I strongly believe in the importance’s of the use of science and its implications on society. I want to further pursue my interest in science and the policies that effect the scientific community by obtaining the Science and Society certificate. I hope through my studies I will be able to protect endangered species, while enlightening the world of the importance of science.

Katelyn Hefter

Katelyn Hefter

I’m a Pratt student interested in studying the brain from every angle – from how our brains can be understood and altered by the electricity and magnetism they emit, to how changes in neural circuitry can shape the way we interact with the world around us. I’m passionate about mental illness, potential treatments for mental illness through the use of brain machine interfaces, and the intersection of these topics and our legal system. When not studying or working in a lab studying the electrophysiology and behavioral markers of autism in mice, I serve as a resident assistant to first year students, volunteer through FEMMES (Females Excelling More in Mathematics, Engineering, and Science), and play the trumpet in the Marching / Pep Band, the Wind Symphony, and occasionally Hoof ‘n‘ Horn’s pit orchestra.

Richard Huang

Richard Huang

I am a member of the Class of 2020 from Boston, Massachusetts pursuing majors in Neuroscience and Chemistry. My coursework in both disciplines has made me appreciate the hard science and my experience in clinical research has exposed me to the societal implications of what we study in the classroom. It’s shown me that scientific research and discovery can often operate separately from patient wellbeing however it is critical to value both equally. While a hard line to straddle effectively, the physician-patient relationship holds the utmost importance in the medical field. Through the Huang Fellows Program, I have undoubtedly been pushed to navigate this relationship, which I hope to further explore throughout college and in the future.

Jamie Karl

Jamie Karl

I am from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and a student at theTrinity School of Arts and Sciences. As a biology major and an English minor, I am interested in the fundamental processes that perpetuate life and the experiences that define the shared human experience.
As a Huang Fellow, I want to study the significance of narratives in medicine. Every patient that comes into a doctor’s office tells a story of his/her symptoms, and a physician’s job is to help her/his patient reach the best possible ending for his/her story. I plan to use this program’s focus on the intersection of humanities and science to solidify my science knowledge while increasing my appreciation for people’s stories in hopes of attending medical school and becoming a physician.

Ralph Lawton

Ralph Lawton

I’m from Avondale, PA, studying Economics and on the pre-medical track. I’m really interested in the intersections of health and economics, in particular Development. I believe that a firm grounding in the social sciences will enable me to be a better researcher, physician, and leader. On campus, I work in an economics and population health research lab, volunteer for Duke EMS, am a member of the Robertson Scholars Leadership Program, and I shoot archery. After Duke, I plan to go onto medical school, and hope to pursue a career in medical research.

Claudia La Rose

Claudia La Rose

I am a student from Waconia, Minnesota, studying Sociology and Global Health. I am interested in pursuing a career in medicine and currently volunteer on the Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant Unit at Duke Hospital. A future goal of mine is to help make access to quality healthcare a global reality. During the fall of my freshman year, I participated in the Ethics Focus Cluster, which introduced me to the Kenan Institute of Ethics. I now participate the Kenan Institute’s refugee program that partners Duke students with refugee women in the local Durham community to assist them with their English skills. I am also a member of Team Kenan, a student run group on campus that strives to promote discussion about deeper, thought-provoking issues. Together, my interests in the sciences and in ethics led me to the Huang Fellows program. The program’s emphasis on using science to serve society parallel my own values, and I wholeheartedly support the goal of conducting research to positively impact society.

Olivia Lee

Olivia Lee

I am from Oakland, California studying Sociology and Global Health. I am hoping to attend medical school in the future. I am fascinated by every aspect of the human body, and I have always been passionate about every part of the human experience from art to literature to science. I have loved my experience in the Huang Fellows because I believe I can make a difference in the world through the intersection of policy and science. To that end, I do research in the Imagination and Modal Cognition lab under Professor Felipe De Brigard. We are currently working on a Bass Connections project examining how people make moral decisions, especially about politically charged topics.

Tyler Lian

Tyler Lian

I am a pre-health student from Old Lyme, Connecticut, interested in studying math, statistics, and their applications in biology and medicine. In particular, it is exciting to see mathematics play a larger role in the field of medicine unlike ever before. Already, math has become “biology’s next microscope,” so to speak, as advanced mathematical models and learning algorithms give scientists greater access to what they cannot physically see. As a prospective doctor and researcher, I want to inquire into this more human side of mathematics, one that serves people and patients, and the ethics and policy entangled within.

Valedie Oray

Valedie Oray

My academic interests as Biology and Sociology double major is the application of science for pressing issues, such as climate change and immigration, and is what initial drew me to the Duke Initiative for Science and Society and the Huang Fellows program. This passion led me to experiences abroad through DukeEngage and the School for Field Studies to explore the different solutions coming forward to solve climate change, and the significant challenges that still fact it. Additionally, I am working within the Initiative as a research assistant to explore media conversations regarding DNA testing at the U.S.-Mexico border, and the ethical consequences of using DNA testing for refugees. This research was presented at the 2019 ASHG Conference in Houston, TX. Outside of my academic work, I enjoy playing with the Duke Symphony Orchestra as a bassist, and I also enjoy tenting for the Duke-UNC basketball game.

Reagan Portelance

Reagan Portelance

I am from Mooresville, NC, and I am currently studying Biomedical Engineering and Electrical and Computer Engineering. For the past two years I have been working in Dr. Michael Lynch’s metabolic engineering lab developing E. coli strains that will conjugate lipids to biologics to improve their durability. I am beginning to expand my involvement in the lab beyond biomedical engineering to include more computational pursuits such as developing code to be used in the experiments. I hope to continue to expand my involvement in research throughout my remaining time at Duke. I am currently undecided about my career path, but research is one avenue that I am considering, so I hope to explore it as much as I can.

Liam Pulsifer

Liam Pulsifer

I come from a large, diverse family: one filled with lawyers, writers, engineers, and thinkers of many different stripes. It’s their example that inspires me to ponder questions of the natural world and its relationship with humanity. My recent interests include computer science, social science, and philosophy, and I’m especially drawn to the use of data science as it relates to human behavior on a population scale. When I’m not working with computers, I enjoy making music in the marching band and wind symphony, reading, and playing basketball.

Brian Rhee

Brian Rhee

The adventure of committing oneself to an unanswered question, enduring through a sequence of trial and error, to achieve even the smallest victory in the laboratory: this is what draws me to science research. As an undergraduate who is interested in biology and chemistry, I am thrilled to join the Huang Fellows Program in order to explore a dimension of research that was often neglected in my past—the ethical implications of my research and the process at which my substantial results would be translated into policy changes that would affect the current treatment of Alzheimer’s patients or affect today’s usage of fossil fuels. Making the most of the Huang Fellows Program’s focus on the societal impact of research, I am focused on providing a service for society through the sciences and through a future career in medicine. Currently I am working in an orthopedics laboratory studying mechanotransduction in the context of the development of osteoarthritis.

Kunal Shroff

Kunal Shroff

I am majoring in neuroscience and chemistry with a concentration in biochemistry. I was drawn to the Huang Fellows Program because their goal of integrating science into society resonated with my own beliefs of how science should shape and be shaped by the general public. In addition to the Huang Fellows program, I am chair of community affairs for Synapse and am an active member of the ScienceDays club. Both of these clubs work to spread scientific ideas into the Durham community. Ultimately, I hope to help spread scientific ideas and general interest in science to communities across the world. The Huang Fellows program has provided me with a solid foundation of fundamental skills to help speak to the general public about scientific principles and ideas.

Jake Wong

Jake Wong

I’ve always seen my interests as twofold, but at times, conflicting. I came into college enjoying both technical problem solving and the vibrant exchange of ideas afforded by literature—two realms often attributed to different types of people. However, engaging these intersections with the Huang Fellows program has convinced me that even the most rigorous pursuits, like math and biology, can be inspired by creativity and storytelling. Like literature, they help us reimagine the world and our place inside of it. I am currently studying biology with a minor in English, and as I eventually graduate and apply to medical school, I hope that these perspectives can guide me in becoming a better physician.

 


 

2019 Class

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Jules Frost

Jules Frost

As an international student who grew up in New Zealand, Singapore and England, I’ve always appreciated the importance of macro-level interactions between countries. Although I came to Duke intending to study Physics, my time as a Huang Fellow taught me the importance of quantitative studies for other applications and I grew more interested in the society aspects of the fellowship. After some academic exploration, I chose instead to do a B.S. Interdepartmental Major in Economics and Political Science with a specific focus on International Political Economy and to minor in Statistics. I use statistical analysis and qualitative methodologies to analyse economics and international relations between countries. My current academic interests are the behaviours of hegemonic and dominant states over time, the interactions of China and the United States with developing countries in the last 60 years, and the political and economic developments in South East Asia since independence.

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 have strived to connect more cogently these conventionally disparate disciplines while at Duke. Through the Huang Fellows Program, I worked in a lab that studied the philosophy of consciousness. My interest in profound theoretical knowledge of human individuals, societies, and cultures led me to major in Global Culture Studies (literature) and French. While abroad in Paris, I took classes on Jean Paul Sartre and Marcel Proust at the Sorbonne. I received a grant to return to Paris in December-January 2018/2019 to pursue research for my senior honors thesis in the French department. My thesis explores the philosophical implications of butoh, an avant-garde Japanese dance that uniquely explores ideas of consciousness and being. Throughout my life, I plan on immersing myself in the arts and exploring other cultures, starting by teaching English in India from June 2019 to March 2020 as a U.S. Student Fulbright Scholar.

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 currently pursuing a BS in Biology and a minor in Medical Sociology. 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 research. I currently work in a Molecular Genetics and Microbiology lab where I study host-pathogen interactions in Salmonella infection.

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

Hi! I’m majoring in Computer Science and minoring in Math. Aside from classes, I spend my time leading meetings as the Tech Sphere leader of Delta Sigma Pi (business fraternity) and the recruitment chair of Zeta Tau Alpha. I love baking, running, and spending time outside (especially at the beach)!

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

Kushal Kadakia is currently a Rhodes Scholar pursuing an M.Sc. in Epidemiology at the University of Oxford. At Duke, he studied biology and public policy, graduating summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. On campus, Kushal was elected Student Body Vice President, served as Honor Council Chairman, and was a student representative on the Duke Board of Trustees. He conducted basic science research in the Kirsch Lab and health policy research at the Duke-Margolis Center. Kushal also interned at the NC Governor’s Office, CMS, and BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina. He aspires to a career in medicine and health policy.

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 certi cate in Marine Science Conservation & Leadership. I hope that the interdisciplinary nature of these two certi cations 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 current fourth-year undergraduate studying Neuroscience, while pursing a minor in Chemistry and a certificate in Ethics and Society. On campus, I have been actively involved with diverse research projects that have expanded my understanding of the various dimensions underlying health care. Throughout my time at Duke, I have worked on separate projects to respectively understand the mechanisms motivating prostate cancer development, and investigate medication adherence behavior in rheumatoid arthritis patients. I have also discovered a passion for working to understand and address healthcare needs of refugee populations. Inspired by my time in Dublin, when I worked with medical professionals to create and implement a health literacy curriculum for adult refugees, I created and currently teach a house course at Duke, entitled “Understanding Refugee Healthcare Needs and Determinants.” Finally, I founded and currently lead Duke She’s the First, an organization that works to fundraise and raise awareness on campus about global educational inequities that impact young girls.

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 am originally from Oakland, NJ and I graduated with High Distinction in May 2019 with a B.S. in Biology & Global Health. During my Huang summer, I studied the neurocognitive outcomes of people living with HIV and drug addiction in the lab of Dr. Christina Meade. This experience piqued my curiosity in HIV and motivated me to first volunteer with and then eventually direct Know Your Status, a peer-to-peer HIV testing program at Duke. Moreover, I joined the laboratory of Dr. Sallie Permar at the Duke Human Vaccine Institute. In the lab, I am interested in investigating maternal immune correlates of protection against transmission of HIV from mother-to-child. With support from the Program, I shared my senior thesis research in a platform presentation at the 2019 Pediatric Academic Societies Meeting and published in Cell, mBio, and Vaccines. After graduation, I have continued my research as a technician in the Permar Lab and have applied to MD/PhD programs. In the future, I hope to carve a career as a physician-scientist focused on translational viral immunology and sexual and gender minority health.

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 member of the Class of 2019 from Raleigh, NC. During my time at Duke, I pursued a Biology major with an Ecology concentration and a certificate in Science and Society. I am broadly interested in anthropogenic impacts on freshwater ecosystems. As a Huang Fellow, I worked with Dr. Emily Bernhardt’s lab to examine how aquatic insects propagate mountaintop mining contamination from aquatic to terrestrial food webs. From this experience and my Huang Fellows training, I learned the necessity of applying an integrative approach to the study of freshwater, a resource in which anthropogenic impacts are often difficult to visualize and costs are often externalized. I am continuing to build on this socially-minded, scientific training by pursuing a PhD in Ecology at the University of Georgia where I work with Dr. Amy Rosemond as a Georgia Research Education Award Traineeship (GREAT) Fellow.

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

Jordan Richardson graduated in 2019 with her B.S. in Neuroscience and minors in Chemistry and History. Jordan is passionate about the ethics and epistemology of emerging medical technology, specifically how we reify biases or conceptions about personhood and value, as well as disability ethics and activism. At Duke, Jordan did basic and clinical research in the Mikati lab on Alternating Hemiplegia of Childhood, was President of Duke Special Olympics, and completed her thesis in the social biases present in medical frameworks of neurodevelopmental disability. Jordan is currently a post-baccalaureate research trainee in biomedical ethics at the Mayo Clinic, and plans to pursue an MD.

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.

Skye Tracey

Skye Tracey

I am originally from Chapel Hill, NC and am currently pursuing a BS in Biology and the certificate with Science and Society. Following my Huang summer, I have delved further into understanding the intersections between science and society as an intern at the National Academies of Medicine through Duke Engage in Washington DC. In the future, I hope to combine my interests in neurobiology, science communication, and improving health by pursuing a dual MD-PhD degree. On campus, I continue to work in the lab of Dr. Jeremy Kay, with whom I spent my Huang fellows summer. In my research, I am interested in identifying the role of cell surface proteins implicated in cell to cell recognition in the nervous system. I hope to use my time at Duke to promote the importance of science as a means to advance and improve society, which is why I am a volunteer for Females Excelling More in Math, Engineering, and Science (FEMMES). This program links elementary and middle school aged girls in Durham to female mentors who are in the STEM fields. I also volunteer at Lenox Baker Children’s Hospital and with Liberty hospice.

Posters:

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

Gary Wang

I am a senior from Bothell, WA studying Neuroscience and Health Policy with a minor in Chemistry. During my time at Duke, I have learned how medicine, business, and policy are fundamentally intertwined, and it is at this intersection that I seek to build my career. Broadly speaking, my interests lie in value-based care transformation, addressing social determinants of health, and improving access to care for underserved populations. I am currently working on my honors thesis in health policy, focusing on the design and implementation of a pediatric accountable health community in North Carolina. After graduation, I will be taking a gap year to apply to medical school and work at Aledade, an organization partnering with independent primary care providers to create and support physician-led ACOs.

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

After graduating from Duke in 2019 with a B.S. in Psychology and minor in Chemistry, I am now currently attending Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City as a first-year medical student. I am pursuing my continued interest in Health Policy research and volunteering at Weill Cornell’s student run Community Clinic.

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

I am interested primarily in the intersection of health and society, especially in regard to the health disparities that disproportionately affect underprivileged communities, both in the US and abroad. In practice, this means examining the distal causes of health disparities and the effects that they have upon patients who hold minority identities, as well as exploring strategies to achieve true health equity. In particular, I am interested in leveraging policy-driven solutions to create meaningful, feasible, and accessible change for marginalized communities. Additionally, I am interested in the power of stories and narratives to drive some of this change – I believe that there is immense power in elevating the voices of those who are marginalized, and I am interested in exploring some of these possibilities. Some of my current foci include examining the biological processes behind implicit racial bias and developing neuroscience-driven ways to decrease that bias; analyzing effective policy solutions to decrease barriers to care for marginalized communities both in the US and abroad, with a focus on urban areas with extreme levels of inequity such as Hong Kong; and exploring how the intersection of sexuality and gender affects mental health outcomes and social belonging for Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) young adults.

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
  • Expanding the Collective Voice For Health Equity & Access