Dr. Huang
Dr. Huang

Huang Fellows

Class of '18 | Class of '17 | Class of '16"

 

2018 Class

Ayooluwa Balogun

Ayooluwa Balogun

I am a current first-year student from Lagos, Nigeria hoping to major in Mechanical engineering with a minor in Energy Engineering. My passion for renewable energy systems and fuels developed when I saw how several economies have failed due to their gross overdependence on petroleum-based fuels. Petroleum fuels are inefficient and a could be phased out by accessible, portable, and inexpensive renewable fuels, which are still in development. I believe the Huang fellows program would help me gain the fundamental experiences that I need to build a career centered on making clean energy access globally affordable.

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 first-year student from Los Angeles, California, and I am planning on studying English and chemistry. I am particularly interested in the humanistic aspects of medicine, but as an undergraduate I have yet to be able to assiduously research such a subject. This is why I am excited for the Huang Fellows Program. As a Huang Fellow, I hope to explore the relationship between empathy, narratives and patient care. I believe that these are essential aspects of medicine; they must exist in tandem with good science. Ultimately, I would like to apply what I learn about this intersection to an eventual career as a pediatrician.

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 a first-year undergraduate from San Jose, CA. At Duke, I am planning to study Psychology, while completing the Science & Society certificate and a Chemistry minor, on a pre-med track. From a very young age, I really enjoyed science and knew I wanted to pursue it in the form of medicine. As I learned more about the medical field, I became interested primarily in neuroscience and biopsychology, currently exploring these fields through research in the Brain Injury Translational Research Center at Duke. However, having competed in debate in high school, I developed a strong interest in public and global affairs, which I expected to be completely isolated from science. As I began to study and consider Global Health, Public Policy, and Ethics, especially in the context of medicine, I learned that science and society have an inseparable relationship, in which both have a profound impact on each other. Being selected as a Huang Fellow presents the perfect opportunity for me to study this relationship with my peers using unique resources, and applying what I learn to my future practice as a physician would allow me to serve society to the best of my abilities.

Boyoung (Michelle) Kim

Boyoung (Michelle) Kim

I am an undergraduate student pursuing a double major in biology and computer science. Though I have always been drawn to the sciences, I 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 originally from Fairfax, Virginia, with an academic interest in biology and global health. On campus, I am involved in the Student Organization Finance Committee, the Scale & Coin Business Society, and a Boba Tea Startup. During second semester, I also performed research with helminths under the direction of Dr. William Parker at the Duke Medical Center. As a Huang Fellow, I hope to further study the microbiome and deepen my understanding of helminthic treatments and biota diversification. After graduation, I plan on pursuing either an M.D./M.B.A or a PhD/M.B.A. and work in the microbiome industry. I hope to eventually start my own company or private practice that utilizes microbiota to treat autoimmune and gastrointestinal conditions.

Sophia Li

Sophia Li

I am a first-year student from Acton, Massachusetts looking to pursuing a double major in Neuroscience and Political science with a certificate in Science & Society. As someone who is fascinated by the field of neurolaw, I seek to discover how our knowledge of the inner mechanisms of the brain can be used to regulate human behavior on a societal scale. I am especially interested in the multidisciplinary construct of pain—particularly, the role that neuroscience can play in evaluating and quantifying pain in the legal world. Ultimately, I hope to pursue a career in health law, especially medical malpractice law, so that I can transform the potential judicial applications of neuroscience into a reality. 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. Through integrating the sciences and humanities, The Huang Fellows program will enable me to investigate this intersection between neuroscience and the law.

Lydia Lin

Lydia Lin

I am a first-year undergraduate from Diamond Bar, California, studying Neuroscience and Computer Science. 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. Amy Bejsovec’s genetics lab 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 first year undergraduate student from Charlotte, NC on the pre-med track, and I”m planning to major in Neuroscience and obtain a certificate in Science & Society. Aside from my academic interests at Duke, I am involved in Duke Dhamaka, a competitive Indian dance team, and work in a behavioral psychology lab investigating the social contexts of goal formations and motivation behaviors. 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 allowed me to combine these two interests, and appreciate the interconnection between scientific inquiry and ethical implications. I am so excited to contribute to a community that works to make scientific findings more accessible, and approaches medicine holistically. In the future, I hope to obtain my MD/MPP and serve the community by becoming a physician who is also actively involved in health policy or research ethics.

Aditya Santoki

Aditya Santoki

I am a first-year student from Atlanta, Georgia studying Chemistry and Global Health. I am interested in understanding how the results of the research I conduct in lab are equitably distributed in society—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, and I am a Duke Student Government Senator. After graduating, I plan on attending medical school and becoming involved with national healthcare policy reform.

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 a first-year undergraduate from Chattanooga, Tennessee, and I am pursuing a double major in neuroscience and linguistics with a minor in computer science. I’ve always been fascinated by language as both a cultural and neurological mechanism, and I am enthralled by people – how and why they do what they do, both individually and collectively. I took a class first semester called Neuroscience and Human Language as part of the Neuroscience and Law FOCUS Cluster, and I found that the study of neurolinguistics combines my interests perfectly. I hope to pursue a career as a neurolinguist after Duke, and I am so excited to start my path to that career as a Huang Fellow.

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 first-year undergraduate from Gainesville, Florida interested in neuroscience and computer science. I’m particularly interested in understanding, and perhaps one day simulating, abstract concepts like memory, thought, personality, and emotion. Connecting these ideas to the physical world and what we see can seem unintuitive, but plenty of functions like motor control or sensory perception are defined by well-orchestrated electrical impulses and impossibly precise neurochemical cascades. It’s fascinating to imagine being able to translate these distinctly human characteristics from one realm into another, as well as the potential these ideas hold in aiding people who suffer from neurological disorders. Keeping the societal context these traits are rooted in at the forefront as I pursue my curiosity is what I hope to accomplish as a Huang Fellow.

2017 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 a first-year student from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina attending the Trinity School of Arts and Sciences. I am looking to major in biology or evolutionary anthropology with a minor in English. 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 passions as twofold, but at times, conflicting. I came into college enjoying the technical problem solving of science and engineering, but also the vibrant exchange of ideas afforded by literature and the humanities—two realms that can often attract different groups of people. However, three semesters of classes and a summer with the Huang Fellows program have convinced me that even the most technical pursuits, like math, have room for creativity, storytelling, and new ways of interacting with the world around us. Recently, I have been interested in how innovative models of education can not only bring learning (in both STEM and humanities fields) across cultural and stereotypical divides, but also foster collaboration, awareness, and discourse surrounding these subjects. After graduating, I hope to work 2-3 years in applied math industries before applying to medical school.

2016 Class

Jules Frost

Jules Frost

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

Posters:

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

Michael Gulcicek

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

Posters:

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

Robyn Guo

I am originally from Flemington, NJ and 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

During my time at Duke I have been studying biology, public policy, and global health. I have conducted and published peer-reviewed research on accountable care, biomedical innovation, and radiation oncology, and interned on the policy team of the North Carolina Governor. Beyond academics, I have also served as Student Body Vice President, Chairman of the Honor Council, a panelist on the Undergraduate Conduct Board, and a voting member of the Duke University Board of Trustees and the Presidential Advisory Council on Investment Responsibility. Following my 2019 graduation, I hope to matriculate to medical school and pursue a career in health care 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 studying neuroscience and ethics, with a focus on global migration. I am currently working to better understand the relationship between science and society through cellular and molecular biology research, qualitative research investigating the medication adherence behavior of rheumatoid arthritis patients, and a systematic research project analyzing the state of maternal healthcare in refugee and asylum seeking populations in Ireland. In addition to research and academics, I tutor refugee women on campus and lead Duke She’s The First, a club devoted to promoting education in low income countries, and increasing dialogue and awareness on campus about global education inequity and inequalities. After graduation, I hope to continue researching how healthcare can be optimized in migrant communities, and use my knowledge of medicine to inform policy.

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 studying Biology & Global Health with a focus on Emerging Infectious Diseases. My hope is to reduce the global burden of preventable infectious diseases and help deliver on the ultimate promise of global health equity. I work in the Permar Lab at the Duke Human Vaccine Institute, investigating maternal and infant immune protection against vertical transmission of neonatal viral pathogens including HIV, CMV, and ZIKV. On campus, I am involved with Know Your Status, a student-run volunteer organization providing free, confidential HIV testing to the Duke community, and the Duke Healthcare Policy Forum, an organization that aims to engage students with pertinent questions rooted at the core of key modern-day healthcare policy issues. Previously, I have been a member of the 2017 SRT team in Roatán, Honduras and a research assistant in the Meade Lab of the HIV & Addictions Research Program. Poster: Risk Factors for Eye Health in Roatán, Honduras Mentors: Dennis Clements, MD, PhD, MPH, Peggy Stranges, RN, Duke Global Health Institute & Clínica Esperanza Best Undergraduate Poster at 2017 Duke Global Health Research Showcase.

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 from Raleigh, NC pursuing a Biology major with a Computational Biology minor and a certificate in Science and Society. I am broadly interested in the ecological impacts of human disturbance. Currently, I am working on a project in Dr. Emily Bernhardt’s lab studying how aquatic contamination from mountaintop mining impacts the connection between aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. From my experiences in lab and through the Huang Fellows program, I have gained an interest in how scientists can best engage stake-holders to create public policy informed by their scientific findings. After Duke, I plan to pursue a Ph.D. in Ecology, with the hope of pursuing a career in academic research.

Posters:

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

Jordan Richardson

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 from Bothell, WA studying Neuroscience and Health Policy, with a minor in Chemistry. Throughout my time at Duke thus far, I have learned how science, medicine, business, and politics are all inextricably intertwined. Recognizing the need for more physicians with policy and business knowledge, I plan on pursuing a joint MD/MBA program in the future. I hope to serve patients both at the bedside in clinical practice, and through administrative work aimed at making health care more cost-effective, accessible, and personalized. Being a Huang Fellow has allowed me to explore these passions and think critically about the social and ethical impacts of scientific discovery. I am excited to continue my involvement with Science & Society in the years to come.

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