Dr. Huang
Dr. Huang

Huang Fellows

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

2022 Class

 

Pallavi Avasarala

Pallavi Avasarala

I am a freshman 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 Martinsville, NJ, planning to major in computer science and neuroscience. Outside the classroom, I am interested in technology, environment, and photography, and I am a competitive badminton player. Academically, the human brain has been the center of my fascination with biology for years. The idea that chemicals, proteins, and cells can construct a complex organ with the capability of sensing, understanding, and acting on the world is mind-blowing to me. Alongside, I grew interested in the computational analysis involved in systems neuroscience research. Ever since, computer science has been the focus of my academic studies. I believe these two subjects could tie in together in the field of AI, where concepts such as artificial neural networks draw on ideas from both areas. As I continue studying computer science, neuroscience, and AI at Duke, I hope that as a Huang fellow, I can learn more about the ethical and societal impacts that these topics may offer.

Rishi Dasgupta

Rishi Dasgupta

I’m a first 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 first-year from Buffalo, NY, interested in studying Biology and Global Health. I am passionate about public health, particularly the oral healthcare crisis in America. I would like to pursue a DDS/DMD as well as an MPH to better understand how policy and social determinants impact access to oral healthcare and how those factors are reflected in efforts to improve oral health and the way oral healthcare practitioners treat their patients. Volunteering at various low-cost dental clinics has given me a unique perspective on how the shifting policies and attitudes surrounding oral healthcare have changed the oral healthcare landscape for patients and practitioners alike. I was formerly an intern at the Cao Lab at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, where I studied the interactions of B- and T-cell markers on graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). I am currently involved in Duke’s Pre-Dental Society, as well as Devilthon. In my free time, I enjoy the outdoors, painting, and baking delicious (but not necessarily healthy) treats for my 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.

Joshua T. Sarafian Hames

Joshua T. Sarafian Hames

I am a first-year undergraduate from Sacramento, California pursuing a double-major in Biology and Global Health. While I have a traditional scientific passion for biology, I am particularly interested in understanding the biomedical ethical basis of decision-making with an emphasis on comprehending “the physician mystique.” Additionally, I have a newfound interest in grasping the biological and societal nuances surrounding emerging infectious diseases and the crisis that vaccine hesitancy and antibiotic resistance poses to our ever-growing interconnected community. After graduation, I plan on pursuing a M.D./PhD or M.D./MPH dual-degree and hope to practice medicine while conducting research on emerging infectious diseases and other public health threats. The Huang Fellows Program values the interdisciplinary research I strive to take part; and as a Fellow, I hope to learn, grow, and explore the intersection of science and society.

Rishabh Jain

Rishabh Jain

I am a first-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

I am a first year student from Centerville, Ohio. While at Duke I have participated in neurobiology research at the Nowicki Lab and found a passion for research and scientific inquiry that I hadn’t had before Duke. With the incredible opportunities afforded to the Huang Fellows, I hope to explore that passion for scientific inquiry further and learn more about the intersection of neuroscience and policy. I hope to research into how development affects decision making and how decision making affects policy, bridging the gap between science and society. I could not be more excited to take part in the Huang Fellows program this summer and spend time surrounded by peers who are excited to tackle challenging ethical and scientific questions together.

Ishaan Kumar

Ishaan Kumar

I am a first 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

My name is Erica Langan and I am a first-year student from Cincinnati, Ohio. I am currently planning to major in Biology with minors in Global Health, Spanish, and/or Linguistics. After Duke, I hope to pursue an MD-PhD degree and become a physician scientist, potentially in the field of oncology, immunology, or neurology. I have always known that I wanted to pursue medicine as a career, but intertwined with my love of calculus, chemical reactions, and biological systems 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 want 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 first-year undergraduate from Dyersburg, Tennessee, hoping to pursue a major in Neuroscience with minors in English and Psychology. Both literature and biological sciences have fascinated me since as long as I can remember, and these fascinations have evolved into my interest in the medical humanities. I believe studying narrative medicine would be integral to my future career as a physician-scientist. I’m particularly interested in both the neuroscientific investigation of depression and other mental illnesses as well as the sociological research on mental health disparities among gender and sexual minorities. As a Huang Fellow, I’m excited to explore the interdisciplinary nature of this scientific endeavor.

Alex Oesterling

Alex Oesterling

I am in the Class of 2022 and am majoring in Biomedical Engineering with a minor in Philosophy. Originally from Menlo Park, California, in the heart of Silicon Valley, I grew up surrounded by startups and tech culture. I have observed startup fever cause people to prioritize products over progress, and I have seen engineers and other STEM professionals lose sight of why they are doing science in the first place: not to simply profit from technology but to use technological innovation to solve the societal and ethical challenges of our time. In addition to pursuing engineering at Duke, I want to explore the intersection of ethics and cognitive neuroscience. I am captivated by our ability to discover the tangible neural correlates of human behavior and moral reasoning, and hope to use my technical mindset and skills to approach ethical problems. As a Huang Fellow, I hope to gain a new ethical lens through which I can view my career as an engineer. Furthermore, I am excited to collaborate with a group of talented, like minded peers who are all striving towards becoming conscientious and responsible scientists. I want the tools to be able to engineer responsibly and create a positive impact by solving society’s problems.

Joy Reeves

Joy Reeves

I’m a first 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.

Megan Richards

Megan Richards

I’m a first year student from Orlando, Florida looking to study Biomedical Engineering and Global Health. As a Huang Fellow, I’m excited to explore how understanding the human aspects of global health disparities can be used to drive development of effective technological solutions. Here at Duke, I sing in Chorale, work in a Pediatric Immunology Lab, and otherwise love to spend time hiking, listening to podcasts, and thrifting. I’m hoping to pursue a career in humanitarian work or nonprofits combating healthcare inequalities and improving quality of life through product design.

Paul Rajeev Sabharwal

Paul Rajeev Sabharwal

I am a first-year student from Richmond, Virginia planning to study Chemistry and Computer Science. A lifelong passion for math and science combined with a newfound fascination with philosophy and law are what drew me to the Huang Fellows program, and I hope to continue to develop these and many other interests with my peers over the next several years. In addition to my studies at Duke, I compete in constitutional argument in Moot Court and sing in Duke Chorale. You can find me around campus studying for Orgo, trying to get people to go hiking, wondering why my code won’t work, or debating almost anything with anyone. I look forward to connecting these two aspects of my education in complement with each other and putting those lessons into practice inside and outside of the program.

Dev Seth

Dev Seth

I am a first-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 first-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 first-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 first-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 first-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

Ayooluwa Balogun

Ayooluwa Balogun

I am an undergraduate student from Lagos, Nigeria; studying Mechanical Engineering with a certificate program in Energy and the Environment. I am interested in how energy technology can be used to fill the wide gaps in rural electrification and serve low-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 campus, I have been involved with previous energy research projects and I currently serve as a volunteer counselor for Camp Kesem. 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.

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 sophomore from Los Angeles, California, majoring in sociology, pursuing the science and society certificate, and minoring in chemistry. As a Huang fellow, I took a multi-disciplinary approach and researched both health policy and hematology. Doing so allowed me to better understand the gap between law and medicine, and more broadly, science and the humanities. Presently, I am interested in learning and developing novel methods towards health equity. Equipped with knowledge and skills from Huang fellows, I am confident in that pursuit, whether it be through law or medicine.

Raksha Doddabele

Raksha Doddabele

I’m a first year student from Knoxville, Tennessee, planning to major in biology to work in wildlife conservation. My summers have always consisted of hiking in the Smoky Mountains, lounging in a hammock by the lake, and cliff jumping in quarries. Perhaps this early immersion in the outdoors is what instigated my appreciation and awe of the environment. With climate change as the biggest issue facing my generation, the fear is usually that humans will be impacted. Often overlooked is the fact that other organisms are already suffering its effects. Climate change will only heighten the sensitivity and vulnerability of many keystone species that uphold the intricate food webs that humans are also entangled in. Solving the problem of climate change and conserving the earth’s biodiversity will require globally integrated initiatives in science and policy.

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 a first-year from Atlanta, Georgia and am hoping to study Global Health and Sociology. I’m especially interested in the relationship between demographics and health outcomes which has also prompted me to pursue an MD/MPH degree after graduating so I can bridge health disparities on a micro and macro level. But it was only after I worked in a physician’s clinic that I realized the inherently educational aspect of science—the necessity for it to be widely communicated and clearly understood to be its most useful to society. The Huang Fellows program allows me to do just that: to directly explore the ethical implications of science distribution—whether it be technology, health information, or care —and consider the necessary changes so that science can be its most beneficial and equitable for all, regardless of demographic.

Shikhar Gupta

Shikhar Gupta

I am currently a sophomore from the San Francisco Bay Area. At Duke, I am pursuing a degree in Neuroscience, the Science & Society Certificate, and a Chemistry minor, while on the pre-medical track. From a young age, I enjoyed the traditional sciences and pushed myself towards a career in pure medicine. However, the Huang Fellows program opened my eyes to a number of interdisciplinary opportunities to approach medicine with the lens of societal needs, considering the political administration, ethical considerations, and societal impact of science. This pushed me to pursue medicine and science from a variety of perspectives, notably including research in translational neurology in the Duke School of Medicine, research in neuroethics through a Bass Connections team, and experiences with national science policy through the DukeEngage program. Building off the valuable insights from my summer with the Huang Fellows program, I hope to one day pursue medicine, medical policy, or medical law, in a way that bridges science and society and maximizes science’s impact on society.

Boyoung (Michelle) Kim

Boyoung (Michelle) Kim

I am an undergraduate student pursuing a major in biology and minor in computer science. 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 a sophomore undergraduate from Diamond Bar, California, majoring in Neuroscience and minoring in Computer Science and Chemistry. I am fascinated by how the neurons and chemical transmitters in the brain can become complex emotions, decisions, and thoughts. At Duke, I am working in Dr. Debra Silver’s lab studying Nop56, a gene involved in cortical development, and volunteering at Duke University Hospital, gaining new scientific knowledge and an understanding of the human side of medicine. As a Huang Fellow, I hope to continue these integral life experiences, making meaningful contributions to science while simultaneously building an understanding of the ethical implications of my actions. I was first attracted to Huang Fellows due to this interdisciplinary perspective, opening new paths of thought. As an aspiring physician and researcher, I hope to integrate this intersection of science and ethics into my future so as to consider the more human side of science and provide the best service I can to society.

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 intersectionalities to approach 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 a current freshman from Reston, Virginia planning to study neuroscience and biophysics. I have always had a deep passion for science, but my High School debate experience opened up a whole new world of opportunity for academic engagement. I quickly realized that objective scientific fact alone cannot answer extremely relevant questions pertaining to ethics, equality, and societal well-being. After college, I plan to pursue a career in both clinical and research-based medicine. An interdisciplinary approach is beneficial to any field, but in medicine especially, a strong understanding of ethics and social dynamics is essential. I am incredibly excited to gain experience in working full time in research this summer, while also continuing to explore the integration of science and society.

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 an undergraduate from Gainesville, Florida interested in exploring cognition through a quantitative perspective. Seeking to understand abstract constructs like memory, communication, personality, and emotion in a scientific framework can imply quantification and certainty but using these tools can often feel unintuitive. Though many neurological functions like motor control and sensory perception seem to operate according to definitive biological pathways of purposeful neurochemical communications, it’s fascinating but difficult to imagine being able to attribute aspects of markedly human thought to these same frames of rigid causality and unambiguous explanations. I hope to contribute to the methods we use to describe cognition by evaluating the influence of the social, creative, and cultural settings from which it arises, and to find new ways of helping those suffering from neurological and psychological disorders. As a Huang Fellow, I hope that through the pursuit of my curiosity I become more aware of how societal context influences the direction of science and changes from the progress it guides.

2020 Class

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

From conducting studies in cognitive neuroscience research at the Lustig lab at the University of Michigan during my senior year of high school in Bloomfield Hills to currently studying developmental neurobiology under the direction of Dr. Debra Silver, I have been continuously drawn to learning about the mechanisms of the human brain and understanding its functions. My additional interests in understanding and arguing underlying ethical reasoning behind health and research policy has prompted me to pursue a double major in Biology under a Neurobiology concentration and Public Policy. The intersection of the humanities and the sciences is what led me to become a Huang Fellow as I hope to better expand my interests in these fields and promote a multidisciplinary attitude towards political endeavors. Outside of my academic interests, I am heavily involved in the music department at Duke University, participating in Duke’s Opera Workshop and privately studying voice under the direction of Dr. Susan Dunn. I plan to pursue an MD/MPP after graduating from Duke University and fulfill my aspirations of becoming a physician. However, I hope to be involved in health policy development or research ethics as a part of my profession.

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

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 a senior Angier B. Duke Scholar from Houston, Texas studying biology, public policy, and chemistry. A junior-elect to Phi Beta Kappa, he has conducted and published research in health policy and the basic sciences, completing honors theses in both subjects and earning the Duke Faculty Scholars Award. A Truman Scholar, Kushal was elected as Student Body Vice President, served as Chairman of the Honor Council, and was appointed three times as a voting member of Duke’s Board of Trustees. He also led a successful campaign to make Duke a smoke-free campus, served on the North Carolina Governor’s policy team, and interned for the Chief Medical Officer of BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina. Following graduation, Kushal will attend the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar before returning to the US to pursue his MD at Harvard Medical School.

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 from Oakland, NJ and I am studying Biology & Global Health. My experience at Duke, especially as a Huang Fellow, has challenged me to approach health problems that lie in more than one disciplinary dimension. From evaluating the neurocognitive outcomes of people living with HIV/AIDS and substance use disorders in the Meade Lab during my Huang summer to investigating the immune correlates of protection against mother-to-child transmission of HIV for my senior thesis in the Permar Lab, I have been fortunate to have opportunities to think critically about research questions specific to HIV/AIDS that range from microscopic to macroscopic in scale. I also serve as a Director of Know Your Status, a student-run volunteer organization providing free, confidential HIV testing to the Duke community. Altogether, these experiences have impressed upon me the importance of diversity in background and in thought to achieving progress in addressing health disparities through biomedical research, clinical care, and policy advocacy. After graduation, I will continue my research full-time within the Permar Lab at the Duke Human Vaccine Institute, and plan to pursue MD/PhD training with sights on a career as a physician-scientist.

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 on a project in Dr. Emily Bernhardt’s lab examining how aquatic contamination from mountaintop mining impacts the connection between aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. 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. In the fall, I will continue to build on this socially-minded, scientific training by pursuing a PhD in Ecology at the University of Georgia’s Odum School. There I will be working 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

As a second year undergraduate at Duke, I am currently pursuing a Neuroscience Major and a Chemistry Minor on a premedical track. While I am involved in many leadership roles programs such as the Penny Pilgrim George Women’s Leadership Initiative and the Ascend Women’s Scholars Program, my true joy resides in working with people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities through the Special Olympics. My passion for this community combined with my interest in science and medicine makes me a devoted advocate for eliminating health care inequality for people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. I founded and direct a program at Duke called the Special Olympics Health Alliance that pairs pre-health students with Special Olympic Athletes in the community to improve health knowledge and exposure, and I will be working this summer in Costa Rica to connect Special Olympic Athletes there to medical providers in the community. Being a Huang fellow truly showed me how important it is to think about science in context of not only what it can do for the world, but what it also can take from the world in return. As a future Pediatric Neurologist, public health advocate, and researcher, I know this special training will be crucial to my success.

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

I am a student from Philadelphia majoring in Psychology and minoring in Chemistry. As a Huang Fellow, I researched the use of neuroscience in the criminal courtroom with SLAP lab, coding and analyzing hundreds of court opinions to understand how scientific data affects legal defenses. I continued to pursue policy research the following school year under Bass Connections in the North Carolina Medicaid Reform Advisory Team. To better understand the basic science behind health policies, I conduct research in Dr. Edward Levin’s NeuroBehavioral Lab. My research focuses on testing drug treatments like Memantine on nicotine addiction in rats. On campus, I am involved in Project Sunshine, DukeHAND and Breaking Out.

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