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© 2017 Harvard College Undergraduate Research Association

Rosina Bierbaum

Dr. Rosina Bierbaum is a Professor and Dean Emerita at the University of Michigan with appointments in both the School of Natural Resources and Environment, and the School of Public Health. Her experience extends from climate science into foreign relations and international development. She chairs the Scientific and Advisory Panel of the Global Environment Facility, serves on President Obama's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, is an Adaptation Fellow at the World Bank, and a lead author of the recently completed U.S. National Climate Assessment. Rosina served for two decades in both the legislative and executive branches of the U.S. Government, and ran the first Environment Division of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). She was selected by the World Bank to co-direct its World Development Report 2010, which focused on climate change and development. She has lectured on every continent, and in more than 20 countries.

Rosina served as Dean of the School of Natural Resources and Environment from October 2001 – October 2011. In that decade, she facilitated the creation of a new undergraduate Program in the Environment; enhanced interdisciplinary teaching and research by recruiting thirty-two new faculty to the School, developed new Master’s tracks to link engineering, architecture and urban planning, and natural resources; tripled research activity; and expanded the mission of the School to include global change.

She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Ecological Society of America, received the American Geophysical Union’s Waldo Smith award for ‘extraordinary service to Geosciences, and the Environmental Protection Agency’s “Climate Protection Award”. Bierbaum is also a board member for the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the Wildlife Conservation Society, the Federation of American Scientists, the Environmental and Energy Study Institute, the Climate Reality Project, and the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement. She has a BA in English, a BS in Biology, and a Ph.D in Ecology and Evolution.

George Daley

George Q. Daley, M.D., Ph.D. is the Samuel E. Lux IV Chair in Hematology/Oncology, Professor of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology and Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, Director of the Stem Cell Transplantation Program at Boston Children’s Hospital and Dana Farber Cancer Institute, and an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Dr. Daley received his bachelor's degree magna cum laude from Harvard University (1982), a Ph.D. in biology from MIT working with Nobelist David Baltimore (1989), and the M.D. from Harvard Medical School (1991), where he was only the twelfth individual in school history to receive the degree summa cum laude. Dr. Daley pursued clinical training in internal medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital, where he served as Chief Resident (94-95), and a fellowship in hematology/ oncology at the Brigham and Women’s and Children’s Hospitals. He is currently a staff physician in Hematology/Oncology at the Boston Children's Hospital and Dana Farber Cancer Institute. He was a founding member of the Executive Committee of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, has served the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) as past-President (‘07-‘08) and Clerk (’12-15), and has anchored the special task forces that produced the ISSCR Guidelines for Stem Cell Research (2006), Clinical Translation (2008), and the latest Revisions and Updates (draft released June 26, 2015). Dr. Daley has been elected to the US National Academy of Medicine (formerly called the Institute of Medicine), American Society for Clinical Investigation, American Association of Physicians, American Pediatric Societies, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and American Association for the Advancement of Science. Dr. Daley was an inaugural winner of the NIH Director’s Pioneer Award for highly innovative research and has received the Judson Daland Prize from the American Philosophical Society for achievement in patient-oriented research, the E. Mead Johnson Award from the American Pediatric Society for contributions to stem cell research, and the E. Donnall Thomas Prize of the American Society for Hematology for advances in human induced pluripotent stem cells. Dr. Daley’s research exploits mouse and human disease models to identify mechanisms that underlie cancer and blood disorders.

Jeffrey Friedman

Dr. Jeffrey Friedman is a physician scientist studying the genetic mechanisms that regulate body weight. Dr. Friedman's research on various aspects of obesity received national attention in late 1994, when it was announced that he and his colleagues had isolated the mouse ob gene and its human homologue. They subsequently found that injections of the encoded protein, leptin, decreases body weight of mice by reducing food intake and increasing energy expenditure. Current research is aimed at understanding the genetic basis of obesity in human and the mechanisms by which leptin transmits its weightreducing signal. He is currently a Professor at the Rockefeller University, an Investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the Director of the Starr Center for Human Genetics. Dr. Friedman's affiliation with The Rockefeller University began in 1980, where he was awarded a Ph.D. degree in 1986. He was appointed Assistant Investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at Rockefeller in 1986, promoted to Associate Investigator in 1991, and Investigator in 1997. Dr. Friedman received an MD. degree from Albany Medial College in 1977 and completed a medical residency at Albany Medical College in 1980. Dr. Friedman was born in Orlando, Florida, on July 20, 1954, and grew up in North Woodmere, Long Island. He graduated from Renssalaer Polytechnic Institute magna cum laude and, at the age of 22, received his medical degree from Albany medical College of Union University in Albany, New York. While at Albany Medical College, he was elected to Alpha Omega Alpha, the medical honor society. After completing a residency in Internal Medicine at Albany Medical Center Hospital, Dr. Friedman came to Rockefeller as a postgraduate fellow and associate physician in 1980. From 1980 to 1981, he also served as a postgraduate fellow at Cornell University Medical College. In 1986, he received a Ph.D. under the tutelage of Professor James E. Darnell, was appointed assistant professor, and became an assistant investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Dr. Friedman was appointed Professor at Rockefeller in 1995 after serving as Associate Professor and Head of Laboratory of Molecular Genetics at the Institution since 1991 and in 1998 awarded the Marilyn M. Simpson Professorship. In 1995 he was appointed Director of the Starr Foundation Center for Human Genetics.

Evelynn Hammonds

Professor Hammonds is a member of the faculty at Harvard University. She was the first Senior Vice Provost for Faculty Development and Diversity at Harvard (2005-2008). From 2008-2013 she served as Dean of Harvard College. She holds honorary degrees from Spelman College and Bates College. Professor Hammonds is also the director of the Project on Race & Gender in Science & Medicine at the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard. Prof. Hammonds is the author of several articles about the HIV/AIDS epidemic, gender and science, and African American women and feminism. She holds undergraduate degrees in physics and electrical engineering from Spelman College and the Georgia Institute of Technology, a master’s degree in physics from MIT and a PhD in the History of Science from Harvard.

Alexander Kamb

Alexander Kamb has almost two decades of experience in the biotechnology sector (including founder of one company) and the biopharmaceutical industry. He specializes in genetics, structural biology, neuroscience and oncology. He has published widely in these areas with nine peer-reviewed papers in the Science and Nature journals, including the most highly cited scientific publication of 1994.

Dr. Kamb received his A.B. from Harvard University and his Ph.D. from Caltech. His thesis work culminated in the molecular cloning and characterization of the first potassium channel gene (Shaker locus in D. melanogaster), one of the fundamental determinants of electrical excitability in the nervous system (Kamb et al., Cell 1987; Kamb et al., Neuron 1988).

As a postdoctoral fellow at UCSF with Harold Varmus and Robert Stroud, Dr. Kamb invented an extremely rapid and broadly applicable method for cloning gene family members (Kamb et al., PNAS 1989). He used this method to identify human potassium channel genes as well as genes in model organisms which are involved in development (e.g., C. elegans Wnt). During his postdoctoral work he also solved crystal structures for the cancer drug target thymidylate synthase (Kamb et al., Biochemistry 1992a; Kamb et al., Biochemistry 1992b).

In 1992 he became the third employee at a startup company called Myriad Genetics, focused on identification and commercialization of human disease genes/diagnostics. During the next few years, he led the Myriad teams that cloned the major familial breast cancer genes, BRCA1 (Miki et al., Science 1994) and BRCA2 (Tavtigian et al., Nature Genetics 1996), and the major familial melanoma susceptibility and multiple tumor suppressor gene CDKN2 (Kamb et al., Science 1994). All these genes were commercialized by Myriad as proprietary diagnostic tests.

He founded a biotechnology company in 1996 (Arcaris), specializing in somatic cell genetics, which was sold in 2003, whereupon he joined Novartis as Global Head of Oncology. In 2006, Dr. Kamb joined Amgen to direct oncology research at their South San Francisco site. In 2007 he took over the leadership of the Neurosciences Therapeutic Area. In February 2010 he was promoted to Vice President, Research, Neuroscience. In 2010 he also established a new, independent group within Amgen Research called the Genome Analysis Unit, focused on cross-therapeutic-area strategic deployment of ultra-high-throughput DNA sequencing technology. In 2011 he was promoted to Senior Vice President, and currently heads Amgen’s entire discovery research organization (~1000 FTEs).

Robert Lue

Robert A. Lue is a professor in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology and the Richard L. Menschel Faculty Director of the Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning at Harvard University, where he is responsible for fostering innovative teaching in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) and elevating its profile on campus. Rob earned his Ph.D. in biology from Harvard and has taught undergraduate courses since 1988, garnering recognition as one of Harvard’s foremost leaders in undergraduate education.

Rob has a longstanding commitment to interdisciplinary teaching and research, and chaired the faculty committee that developed the first integrated science foundation in the country to serve multiple science majors as well as the needs of pre-medical students. In a previous stint as the dean of the Harvard Summer School of Arts and Sciences, Rob started the first summer study abroad programs to carry Harvard credit in fields ranging from the natural sciences to the arts and humanities. From 2004 to 2015, Rob served as the director of Life Sciences Education at Harvard, where he led a complete redesign of the introductory curriculum – creating some of the largest and most popular science courses on campus – that redefined how Harvard can more effectively foster new generations of scientists as well as science-literate citizens.

A national figure in life sciences education, Rob co-leads the National Academies Summer Institute on Scientific Teaching at Harvard and has co-authored several undergraduate biology textbooks. His scientific multimedia projects have received numerous awards for their scientific accuracy, educational utility, and vibrant 3-D portrayals of the cellular world. In 2012, Rob’s extensive work on using technology to enhance learning took a new direction when he became the faculty director of HarvardX, Harvard’s university-wide initiative that includes the edX partnership in online education with MIT. At HarvardX, Rob helps to shape Harvard’s engagement in online learning in a way that reinforces its commitment to teaching excellence and works to expand its reach and impact globally.

As the faculty director of the Harvard Ed Portal, Rob oversees the integration of undergraduate education with community outreach on Harvard’s Allston campus, bringing together Harvard and the Allston-Brighton community to share the excitement of learning. He also has a long history in pre-college education, and consequently founded and directs the Harvard Life Sciences Outreach program, which serves over fifty high schools across Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island.

Eesha Khare

Eesha Khare is a junior at Harvard University studying Biomedical Engineering. In 2013, Eesha developed a nanomaterial supercapacitor energy-storage device with faster charging times to potentially replace conventional batteries in consumer electronics. For this research, Eesha was awarded the Young Scientist grand prize award at the 2013 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair and was named one of Forbes 30 under 30 in Energy. Eesha is passionate about developing technology for a sustainable world and has spoken on multiple platforms including Women in the World, Chicago Ideas Week, the Conan show and the NBC Today show. Currently, Eesha is interested in developing materials for clean energy and biomedical access. In addition to her passion for science research, Eesha is actively involved in the Institute of Politics at Harvard, where she served as the Chair of the Women's Initiative in Leadership and on the Student Advisory Committee.

Nafis Jalil

Nafis Jalil is currently in his third year study of Geological Engineering at The University of British Columbia. He completed two summer internships at the environmental engineering research group, Civil Engineering Department UBC, assisting a PhD student in the first summer and later contributing in a collaborative research project called "Passive Membrane Filtration for Drinking Water Treatment in Remote and Rural Communities", on which he will be presenting at the conference. In addition to environmental engineering technologies, Nafis is interested in Hydrogeology and Geotechnical Engineering. He is originally from Dhaka, Bangladesh and is also a professional photographer.

Matthew Harding

Matthew Harding started playing around with robots as one of the founders of his high school's FIRST Robotics Competition team, Team 4150 FRobotics, established in 2011. He currently attends Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), completing his third year studying Electrical and Computer Engineering and exploring varied interests with minors in Physics and Neuroscience. With a passion for science fiction and intelligent machines, his goal is to contribute to the generation of research that will bring robots into our homes, roads, and daily living. Working under Dr. Erol Sahin (KOVAN Laboratory, Middle East Technical University), Dr. Siddhartha Srinivasa (Personal Robotics Laboratory, CMU Robotics Institute) and Dr. Matt Mason (Manipulation Laboratory, CMU Robotics Institute), Harding's research focus is in learned autonomous systems, robot manipulation, and human­robot interaction for the field of personal robotics.

Kirin Gupta

Kirin Gupta is a senior at Harvard College studying Social Studies and Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality with a minor in Ethnicity, Migration, and Rights. Her primary research methods are historical and anthropological. Her ongoing research, outside of this yearlong case study and theoretical research, concerns female suicide bombers and gendered violence in the Global South. She is currently a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow and spent her time at Harvard directing a few feminist and sexual health groups on campus, including the International Women's Rights Collective and Sex Week at Harvard. She will be pursuing a Rockefeller Fellowship next year.

Sitan Chen

Sitan Chen is a senior at Harvard College concentrating in mathematics and computer science. His current interests are in the areas of geometric complexity theory, counting complexity, pseudorandomness, and complex geometry. Honors include Phi Beta Kappa, CRA Outstanding Undergraduate Researcher Finalist, Davidson Fellowship, Intel STS, and Siemens Competition National Finalist. Invited talks include the Simons Institute for Computing "Classification Program for Counting Complexity" workshop and Harvard's Theory of Computation seminar. This project was completed under the guidance of Professor Leslie Valiant with the support of a Herchel-Smith Research Fellowship. Sitan is also an avid classical pianist and former baritone of the Harvard Glee Club.

Varsha Jayasankar

Varsha Jayasankar is a sophomore in the Integrated Science (iSci) program at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Born in Georgia, Varsha spent the the first few years of her in Florida before moving to the Niagara Region of Canada in 2002. She graduated from Sir Winston Churchill Secondary School, Class of 2014. Varsha has been interested in science since middle school, participating in over 25 science fairs between 6th and 12th grade. She is a 7-time competitor at the Niagara Regional Science Fair and a 4-time competitor at the Canada Wide Science Fair. In 2014, Varsha a member of the Canadian team at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, where she placed 4th. Varsha was also featured on Maclean’s Magazine (Canada’s oldest news magazine) as a Future Leader of Canada. She also was a participant in the Bessie F. Lawrence International Summer Science Institute at the Weizmann Institute in Israel. In addition to her scientific endeavors, Varsha is a member of the McMaster University Gymnastics team, and is an avid piano and violin player. She intends to pursue a career in drug discovery and pharmaceutical research.

Martin Carlino

Martin Carlino is a proud native of Long Island and a senior at Harvard College, concentrating in Government with a focus on political theory and American history. He is currently writing his thesis, which examines the evolution of American executive power beginning with the formation of the Constitution from the raw material of Enlightenment thinking and culminating in the crucible of civil war. The figure of Abraham Lincoln has long been his role model and academic muse, and Martin is excited to be giving his first ever talk on the 16th president and the crisis through which he guided the nation. In his free time, Martin enjoys running, cooking, gardening, listening to Frank Sinatra and 90s hip hop, and playing Dungeons & Dragons, though usually not all at once. He has absolutely no idea what he’s doing with his life after graduation, and is convulsed by existential angst whenever anyone asks him.

James Lawniczak

James Lawniczak is a Chemistry and Mathematics junior at the University of Michigan interested in solar energy, organometallic catalysis, bioinformatics, chemistry education, and Polish culture. In the Sanford Lab at the University of Michigan, James is developing a novel reaction involving selective functionalization of C-H bonds on amines, which has direct applications to the synthesis of important classes of pharmaceuticals. Previously, he has researched solar energy storage in the Nocera Lab at Harvard as part of the Harvard-Amgen Scholars Program, and developed software for analyzing bioinformatics data in the Martin Lab at the University of Michigan. Starting last year, he has been teaching a supplementary discussion section for organic chemistry at his university. In the future, he would like to develop green chemistry approaches to make important reactions more environmentally friendly. He plans to complete a Ph.D. in organometallic chemistry and ultimately lead a research group as a professor.

Andrew Saydjari

Raised in central Wisconsin, Andrew began his career in chemistry by journeying to the East Coast in order to work on materials chemistry at the Naval Research Lab in Washington, D.C. He published his first two papers while still in high school on imperative spectroscopic corrections to account for Fabry-Perot interferences in thin films and the first electrochemical deposition/characterization of bromophenol blue on a gold substrate. In addition to chemistry, he has a penchant for physics and math which drives his interdisciplinary approach to research—frequently spreading him between multiple lab groups. Currently, Andrew is pursuing both a B.S./M.S. in Chemistry and a B.S. in Math at Yale University and is preforming terahertz spectroscopy research in the Schmuttenmaer group. However, Andrew not only loves to research and learn, but also to teach. An aspiring professor, he is a dedicated tutor and volunteers his weekends to create and teach classes to New Haven high school students through SPLASH@Yale (the most recent entitled, “Abstract Algebra: Questions Teachers Refused to Answer in High School”). For Andrew, the highest good is the asking and answering of questions—learning and knowledge consists solely in this.

Nicholas Rivera

Nick Rivera is a fourth-year undergraduate studying physics at MIT. He works in the Photonics and Modern Electromagnetics group, which is run by Prof. Marin Soljacic. His interests currently span many areas in the study of light-matter interactions, with primary focus on developing both theory and experimental platforms for realizing unconventional light-matter interactions for novel applications. In addition to his research efforts, he is also involved in the undergraduate physics community at MIT, where he is the president of the Society of Physics Students.

Kathleen DiNapoli

Kathleen DiNapoli is a senior at Wake Forest University currently studying biology and physics. Beginning her freshman year, she joined the lab of Dr. Gloria Muday whose research interests include molecular genetics and hormone signaling in both plant and mammalian systems. Kathleen's project has focused on the genetic and biochemical controls of root formation in the model crop species tomato and in particular she is interested in understanding how we can use plant biology to address issues of food security. She was named a Beckman Undergraduate Research Scholar in 2013, which has helped to support her work over the past two years. Her work has been presented at 10 conferences around the country and has been recognized by multiple organizations including the Award of Excellence in biology from the 2015 NCRC. She is very excited to be back this year to share her work again.

Laura Beth Fulton

Laura Beth Fulton is a sophomore engineering student at the University of Pittsburgh. Fulton strives to become an exceptional woman in engineering by coalescing her research knowledge, coding development skills and eagerness to learn. As a nationally recognized science fair winner in high school and an undergraduate researcher she appreciates the connection between medicine and engineering. During the academic year, Fulton conducts research as an intern at the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine in the Department of Craniofacial Regeneration under the direction of Dr. Elia Beniash. In the summer of 2015, Fulton conducted nanotechnology research at the University of Pennsylvania as a Summer Student Scholar in the Drndic laboratory as part of the Penn NSF-funded Nano/Bio Interface Center Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU). Fulton shares her love of science with others through her initiative Science for Success which received Microsoft funding for 2014-2015 to promote STEM to young girls and Fulton co-chairs She Innovates, the University of Pittsburgh’s only all-female hackathon. Fulton enjoys playing the flute in the University orchestra, participating in Honors College events on campus and playing the bagpipes as a member of the Carnegie Mellon Bagpipe and Drum Band. In the future, Fulton hopes to continue research by attending graduate school and envisions performing cross-disciplinary research.

Workshops/Panels: 11 AM

Medical School

A panel representing diverse perspectives, from administrative to student roles, will discuss the decision to go to medical school and the application process.

Jordan Anderson Jordan is a second-year medical student at Harvard Medical School with interests in health policy, healthcare management, and improving the US healthcare system. Jordan grew up in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Roanoke, Virginia, and attended Auburn University where he studied biomedical sciences, pursued research in organic chemistry, and competed as an All-American swimmer. After college Jordan completed an MPhil in Medical Anthropology at Oxford University on a Rhodes Scholarship, where he wrote his dissertation on how biomedicine deals with uncertainty. After completing studies at Oxford, Jordan began working for a start-up population health and accountable care organization called MissionPoint Health Partners working at the leading edge of efforts to reduce healthcare costs and improve quality of care for populations of people across the country. Jordan is currently pursuing research in medical education as well as research focused on bundled payments and the delivery of coordinated healthcare through the Partners Healthcare system.

Victor Chiappa, a native of Long Island, New York, Victor Chiappa, MD, attended college at Harvard and then medical school in Syracuse at Upstate Medical University. He came to Mass General in 2003 and completed his residency in 2006. Since then he has been on staff in the department of medicine as an inpatient clinician educator. He was also recently named Associate Program Director for Preliminary Medicine within the internal medicine residency program. He greatly enjoys mentoring residents and medical students and has an interest in medical education, enhancing quality feedback, and improving the efficiencies with which we take care of patients.

Fidencio Saldaña Dr. Saldaña is a clinical cardiologist at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, with a particular interest in caring for Latino patients. He is an Assistant Professor of Medicine and currently serves Assistant Dean for Student Affairs, and Associate Director Office of Multicultural Affairs at Harvard Medical School He is also an the Assistant Program Director for the Internal Medicine Residency at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital. As an educator, he is the co-director of the Practice of Medicine, the clinical skills course at HMS, and has been intimately involved in the design and implementation of Harvard’s new medical school curriculum. He is a committed and award winning educator and strives to reach out to the underserved. His goal is to continue to mentor, teach, and be an advocate for issues in minority health. Dr. Saldana is a graduate of Stanford University and completed his medical degree at Harvard Medical School in 2001. He earned his Masters in Public Health from the Harvard School of Public Health in 2005. He completed his internal medicine residency, chief residency, and cardiology fellowship at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He is originally from Los Angles, CA. and resides in Roslindale, Massachusetts with his wife and three children.

Graduate School

A panel representing diverse perspectives, from administrative to student roles, will discuss the decision to attend graduate school and the application process.

Andrew H. Beck, MD, PhD, is director of the Molecular Epidemiology Research Laboratory in the Department of Pathology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC). He is also an assistant professor of pathology at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Beck earned a master of medical science in biostatistics and his medical degree from Alpert Medical School at Brown University. He completed his residency in anatomic pathology and a clinical fellowship in molecular genetic pathology from Stanford University School of Medicine. He then joined the Advanced Residency Training at Stanford (ARTS) program and completed a doctor of philosophy in biomedical informatics from Stanford University School of Medicine. The driving goal of the Beck laboratory is to develop, apply, and integrate methods in molecular pathology, biomedical informatics, and computational image analysis for translational cancer research, leading to improved diagnostics and therapeutics for patients.

Mohan Boodram, Dean for Admissions and Financial Aid at the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, has held administrative positions in graduate admissions and financial aid since 1988. In his current role, he oversees the admissions process for 13,000 applicants to the 56 GSAS graduate programs, and the distribution of over $190M in financial aid to 4000+ graduate students each year. He previously served as Director of Admissions and Financial Aid at the Medical School, and Associate Dean for Enrollment and Student Services at the Graduate School of Education. Dean Boodram holds a B.S. in Applied Mathematics from Yale University and a master’s in Statistics from GSAS.

Alyson Ramirez is a 2nd-year PhD student in the Molecular and Cellular Biology Department at Harvard University. Her work with Dr. Alex Schier and Dr. Susan Mango is supported by the NSF GRFP Predoctoral Fellowship. Alyson earned her B.S. in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology at the University of California, Los Angeles. At UCLA, Alyson participated in multiple research programs including HHMI EXROP and MARC U*STAR.

Race, Class and Gender in Science (RCG)

A workshop in which you will learn about issues of race, class, and gender that affect the research environment.

Sheila Thomas is a faculty member in the Division of Medical Sciences (DMS) PhD Programs and Department of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. She also serves as Associate Dean of Academic Programs and Diversity for the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS). Her previous research interests are in cancer cell signaling; and while her administrative roles have taken her away from the research, she is still actively involved in teaching and advising students in the DMS PhD programs. As Dean, she oversees diversity efforts for Harvard’s 57 PhD programs from recruitment to retention. She serves as Faculty Director for the Summer Honors Undergraduate Research Program (SHURP), Summer Research Opportunities at Harvard (SROH) and the Graduate School’s post-baccalaureate program, GSAS Research Scholar Initiative. She also sits on the admissions committees for many of the life science PhD programs as well as the MD/PhD program. Dr. Thomas received her BA in Biochemistry and Molecular and Cellular Biology from Northwestern University, her PhD in Molecular Genetics from University of Pennsylvania, and did her post-doctoral training at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.


Global Health (GLH)

In this workshop, we learn about the global health landscape and current global health interventions from a distinguished researcher.


Charles A. Nelson III, PhD, is Professor of Pediatrics and Neuroscience and Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. Elsewhere at Harvard he holds faculty appointments in the Harvard School of Public Health and the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and sits on the steering committee for the Harvard Center on the Developing Child and the Harvard interfaculty initiative on Mind, Brain, and Behavior. In addition, he holds the Richard David Scott Chair in Pediatric Developmental Medicine Research at Boston Children’s Hospital, and is Director of Research in the Division of Developmental Medicine. His research interests center on a variety of problems in developmental cognitive neuroscience, including developmental trajectories to autism; and the effects of early adversity (including psychosocial deprivation) on brain and behavioral development. He chaired the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Early Experience and Brain Development, and served on the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) panels that wrote From Neurons to Neighborhoods, and more recently, New Directions in Child Abuse and Neglect Research. Among his many honors he has received the Leon Eisenberg award from Harvard Medical School, an honorary Doctorate from Bucharest University (Romania), was a resident fellow at the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center (Italy), and has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.


Brevia, as the official publication of the Harvard College Undergraduate Research Association, provides a forum for science, culture and other big ideas. It is committed to bringing all disciplines of research out of the ivory tower and into the discourse of the interested public. In this workshop, learn more about the publication and how to communicate specialized research to the general public.

Amir Bitran Amir Bitran is a senior at Harvard and Co-Editor in Chief of Brevia. Amir is majoring in physics at Harvard, with an emphasis on biophysics. He has conducted research in various central biophysical topics, such as the role of force in interactions between molecules, and the problem of biological self-assembly (how systems spontaneously adopt the structure that is required for them to perform their function). Amir’s strong interests in sharing his work with the general public and in promoting understanding of research inspired him to join Brevia. In addition to his work in research and Brevia, Amir is an avid composer of classical music.

Jessi Glueck Jessi Glueck is a junior at Harvard and Co-Editor in Chief of Brevia. She is majoring in English with a Classics minor. Jessi has a wide array of academic interests in the humanities and the sciences, and her time with Brevia has allowed her to engage with knowledge from diverse fields. She also works as a writing tutor at the Harvard College Writing Center.

Workshops/Panels: 2:30 PM

Startups and Entrepreneurship

A panel of CEOs and directors will discuss the process of launching startups and the entrepreneurial spirit that paved their paths.

Chris Adams brings to Cydan more than 20 years of business development, transactional and commercial planning experience in orphan drug development as well as a successful track record in private and public biotech fund raising. Prior to joining Cydan, Dr. Adams was President of CMA Biotech Consulting where he worked in an advisory role for a number of development stage orphan drug companies. Previously, Dr. Adams was Chief Business Officer of FoldRx Pharmaceuticals Inc., where he was responsible for business strategy, licensing and business development. He led the M&A process, which resulted in the acquisition of the company by Pfizer in October of 2010. Prior to FoldRx, Dr. Adams was Senior Vice President, Business Development for ViaCell Inc., and Vice President, Business Development for Transkaryotic Therapies Inc. Previously, Dr. Adams served Director of Business Development for the Pharmaceutical Division of Ciba-Geigy Limited, Basel, Switzerland. Dr. Adams has a diploma in organic chemistry and biochemistry and a PhD in organic chemistry from the University of Zurich. Dr. Adams also holds an MBA from INSEAD of Fontainebleau, France.

Eveline Buchatskiy is Director for the premium startup accelerator Techstars in Boston, US. She is responsible for selecting the best startup companies from around the world, to provide them with a strong incubation program, and help them raise additional funds for their continued growth as a global company. Prior to her position at Techstars, Eveline was a founding Managing Partner for Eastlabs accelerator based in Kiev, Ukraine. She has gained tremendous experience in creating entrepreneurship ecosystems from ground zero and is a founding member of the Board for UAngel business angel investment network in Ukraine. Eveline was former CEO of leading media company Ekonomika, and CEO of high-tech startup APCT, winner of the second annual “Silicon Valley Open Doors” contest in 2006. Before moving to Ukraine, Eveline worked for 10 years as an engineering associate on several multi-million dollar projects for top industrial gas company Praxair, Inc. based in New York. Eveline received her Bachelors of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from University of California at Berkeley, her Master of Engineering degree from State University of New York, and her executive MBA from INSEAD.

Jason Hafler joined Sanofi-Genzyme BioVentures in 2014 with a background in early stage biotech investing and transactions. Prior to SGBV, Jason was the Director of Corporate Development at RaNA Therapeutics, LLC a company co-founded by his previous firm Atlas Venture. While at Atlas, Jason was an Associate in the Life Sciences group and a Board Observer for several portfolio companies. Previously, he was a Flagship Ventures Entrepreneurial Fellow, and consulted for the technology transfer company at the University of Cambridge while performing his doctoral research. Before his time at Cambridge, Jason was an analyst at JSB Partners LP, an investment banking firm, focusing on advisory and business development activities in the life sciences space. Jason currently serves on the Board of Directors of NeuroVia Inc. and serves as a Board Observer for Navitor Pharmaceuticals. In addition, he is a member of Board of Trustees at the Buckingham Browne and Nichols school and on The Board of Directors of The Magdalene College Foundation. Jason graduated with honors from Bowdoin College and has a Ph.D. in Medical Genetics from the University of Cambridge.


Learn about the intersection of industry and research from a panel of individuals with extensive industry experience.

Lauren Celano is the Co-founder and CEO of Propel Careers, a life science search and career development firm focused on connecting talented individuals with entrepreneurial innovative life sciences companies. Lauren is very passionate about working with individuals with strong scientific backgrounds to find exciting growth opportunities in the life sciences industry. Before Propel, she spent about 10 years in the life sciences industry working with companies to advance drug molecules through SNBL USA, Aptuit, Quintiles, and Absorption Systems. She has a B.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Gettysburg College and an MBA with a focus in the health sector and entrepreneurship from Boston University. Lauren is on the Board of MassBioEd, the Advisory Board of the Boston University School of Public Health Pharmaceuticals Program, and the Advisory board for Endicott College Boston. She also serves on the Gettysburg College Entrepreneurial Fellowship Advisory Council and the programming committee of the Capital Network.

Phil Hu Phil Hu is a current student at Harvard Business School, and he worked at McKinsey for two years after graduating from Yale University in 2012 with a degree in Applied Mathematics concentrating in Computer Science. He has conducted research in mathematics since 2006, and he has published three papers. Phil was a Research Science Institute scholar, a Bessie F. Lawrence fellow and an Intel STS semifinalist. Currently, he is the founder of cleverlayover, a flight search engine that finds cheaper flights by combining two roundtrip tickets.

Yakov Pechersky is an Organism Designer and Engineer at Ginkgo Bioworks. He holds a BA in Chemical and Physical Biology from Harvard University. He is excited about using the chemical machinery that biology utilizes to produce any desire compound or material. At Harvard, Yakov studied the biosynthesis of unusual bacterial secondary metabolites in the laboratory of Professor Emily Balskus, and has several publications in chemical biology, biophysics, and computational immunology. Yakov was born in St. Petersburg, Russia, and is a Jack Kent Cooke Scholar.


Learn from distinguished researchers about bioethical considerations and implications in science research.

Jeantine Lunshof is a philosopher and bioethicist, and Assistant Professor in the Department of Genetics, University Medical Center Groningen. She studied Philosophy and Tibetan Language & Culture at Hamburg University (Germany), and Philosophy, Ethics, and Health Law at the University of Amsterdam (Netherlands). She obtained her PhD at VU University Amsterdam with a thesis on the impact that developments in genomic sciences have on practical ethics and normative theory. Jeantine is a Visiting Scientist at Harvard Medical School, Department of Genetics, and Ethics Consultant to the Church lab since 2006. In 2006, she developed the innovative model of Open Consent that forms the normative backbone of the Personal Genome Project. Her current research is on conceptual and normative issues in systems and synthetic biology, with focus on the impact of genome editing through CRIPRS-Cas9 technologies. Jeantine is an Associate Faculty Member of the Harvard Center for Bioethics, and a member of the Synbio Group at the MIT Program on Emerging Technologies (POET).

Andrea Smidler is a Ph.D. candidate at Harvard University where she is working to develop gene drives in the malaria mosquito. After graduating from the UNC- Chapel Hill in 2011, and receiving her Master’s from U. of Strasbourg in 2012, she began her doctoral research at Harvard. As a joint member of the Flaminia Catteruccia and George Church laboratories she is at the forefront of mosquito genetic engineering for next generation vector control strategies. So far during her short career she has co-authored seven publications, has advised on a Woodrow Wilson Center Program on Emerging Technologies panel, and has co-authored a patent on CRISPR gene drives among other achievements.

Social Science

Learn from a distinguished researcher about the process of conducting social science research and an academic career in a social science field.

Kristin L. Leimgruber is a postdoctoral research fellow working with Dr. Felix Warneken in the Social Cognitive Development Group at Harvard University. Kristin works with young children and capuchin monkeys to gain insight into the development and evolution of cooperative behaviors. More specifically, Kristin is interested in the role of factors such as reputation management, prospection, and social experience in the emergence of reciprocal altruism. Kristin received B.S. in Zoology and Biological Aspects of Conservation from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2005 and her Ph.D. in Psychology from Yale University in 2014.