Meet the 2017 Summer Research Program Student Participants

Bailey Aaron

I am very excited to be part of the Institute for Public Health Summer Research Program as I have a deep interest in and passion for global medicine. This summer I am looking forward to contributing to the research of ETEC bacteria, a group of pathogens responsible for causing severe diarrhea, prevalent in developing countries. I chose the public health program at Washington University because I am interested in approaching medicine through the lens of public health. I aspire to become a doctor and I believe this program will help me on my academic and professional journey. Born and raised in Western Massachusetts, I now attend school in Vermont at Green Mountain College, where I study biology and play for the women’s soccer team.

Lauren Aycock

I am a fourth year biomedical engineering student at Georgia Tech, and I am pursuing a career in the global health field. I’m currently applying to MD/MPH programs, where I hope to focus on pediatrics and infectious disease. I’ve lived in Atlanta, GA for sixteen years, so I’m excited to explore life and culture in the Midwest. This summer, I’ll be working with Dr. Jacco Boon to study the genetic reassortment and genome packaging of influenza in order to prevent pandemics. Outside of the lab, I love to travel, and I visited all seven continents in 2016.

Jihyun Byun

Hello! My name is Jihyun, and I’m an undergrad Plan II and Public Health major at the University of Texas at Austin. I’m originally from South Korea, but graduated from high school in the Rio Grande Valley, located right on the Texas-Mexico border. While there, I had the opportunity to learn about the health disparities that are so pervasive in the area and be involved in projects to increase awareness of government programs to remedy them​. Since then, I’ve sought out opportunities to be involved in health policy to help disadvantaged populations and hope to pursue a career in that field. I’m incredibly excited and grateful for the chance to participate in the IPH program and work with Dr. Mark Manary, who’s pioneered influential programs to help malnourished children in ​developing countries​​, and learn more about analyzing the efficacy of aid programs.

Cormac Everard

My name is Cormac Everard and I’m an undergraduate medical student entering my penultimate year in University College Dublin, Ireland. I’m delighted to be taking part in the IPH Summer Research Program at Washington University, which has such a strong reputation in Infectious Disease and Global Health. I’m particularly excited to be working with Dr. Rupa Patel, Director of the PreP Program for HIV in the University. For me, Pre Exposure Prophyllaxis (PreP) is a game changer in the field of HIV Prevention, and to have the opportunity to delve into research in this area is an incredible privilege. I have some experience in HIV prevention field work at home and in Thailand, so to work on the academic side is something I’m really looking forward to. I’m also excited to get to know the other scholars and explore some of the fun events St. Louis has to offer over the summer.

Savannah Jordan

My name is Savannah Jordan and I am from Charlotte, North Carolina. I have just completed the first year of my MPH program, focusing on global health, at Saint Louis University. I am excited to be working with Dr. Shanti Parikh this summer in Iganga, Uganda researching gender engagement in regards to HIV treatment and prevention. My background is in anthropology which adds to my eagerness to learn from Dr. Parikh because she does a remarkable job of combining the fields of public health and anthropology. I am grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the IPH Summer Research Program and I look forward to applying the knowledge I have gained during my first year of graduate school while receiving hands-on experience in the global health field. I also cannot wait to explore Uganda!

Amber Lee

My name is Amber Lee and I’m from Portland, Oregon. I am so grateful for the opportunity to join the IPH Summer Research Program and very excited for all that I will learn under Dr. Kathleen Bucholz’s mentorship. I will join Dr. Bucholz’s research team to investigate racial and ethnic factors in substance abuse. I just completed my first two years of college at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. Starting this fall, I will pursue an undergraduate degree in Human Development at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York as a transfer student. Dr. Atul Gawande’s writing spurred my interest in public health, and inspired me to explore the many opportunities that an education in public health provides. My coursework at Purdue this past year reinforced my interest in public health, which led me to apply to the WUSTL IPH Summer Research Program. I am eager to establish a career related to the health and welfare of children and families, and I’m confident that my education and experience this summer will enable me with the ability to effectively influence public policy and health promotion in the future.

Carmen Lyon

My name is Carmen, and I am a rising junior from Washington University in St. Louis. I am originally from the foothills of Northern California, about an hour west of Lake Tahoe. The reason I chose the Summer Research Program is because I wanted to experience the more clinical research aspect of public and global health. Last summer, I worked in Uganda implementing public health reform and really enjoyed my experience, and I wanted to continue to work in the public health field.  In addition to working in a lab, I’m looking forward to exploring Missouri, specifically all the cool outdoor spots that I’ve never had time to travel to during the school year.

Narayani Mukerji

My name is Nara, I am a Physiology student entering my final year in University College Dublin, Ireland. After completing this degree, I intend to pursue medicine. Achieving this prestigious opportunity to work in, and learn from the IPH Summer Research Program, is an honor and I’m really looking forward to starting.

I will be working with Dr. Christina Stallings to research new strategies to treat mycobacterial infections. This is really important because M. tuberculosis is still a prominent pathogen in the global health crisis. My background in science and familiarity with laboratory research will assist me in this aim. The program is giving me the chance to travel to the US and engage with experts in the field of global and public health, as well as meet new people and explore St. Louis, all of which I’m excited to do.

Courtnie Phillip

My name is Courtnie Phillip and I am originally from Brooklyn, New York. I recently graduated from Tufts University with a BA in International Relations and a concentration in Global Health. I plan on pursuing a MD/MPH focused in Maternal Health in the near future. I am passionate about understanding the social and cultural mechanisms that influence disparities in healthcare quality, access, and health education. Specifically, I am interested in working with women in underserved areas, and examining the intersection between women in the context of their lives, their health outcomes, and the health services that they need, are offered, and use.

This summer I will be working with Dr. Adetunji Toriola to study the determinants of mammographic density and their relation to breast cancer development. Through this experience I aim to learn more about the ways in which research findings are implemented at the community level to meet population needs. I also enjoy traveling and I am looking forward to exploring a new city and meeting new people and professionals with similar interests.

Vineet Raman

I am a rising junior at the University of Georgia majoring in Biology, Spanish, and Latin American & Carribbean Studies. I’ve previously researched leprosy in India, the ACA in Georgia, and Zika in Latin America, and am excited to work with Dr. Amy McQueen this summer on a pilot project that aims to characterize the unmet needs of type II diabetics on Medicaid. In the future, I hope to pursue an MD/MPH and build a career around health disparities and health equity. The IPH Summer Research Program will undoubtedly provide me the opportunity to gain exposure in my desired field, and I’m thrilled to have the chance to work at one of the top institutions in the country. I look forward to getting to know the St. Louis area and my fellow program participants.

Rajadhar Reddy

My name is Raj Reddy and I’m a rising senior and Eugene McDermott Scholar at The University of Texas at Dallas. Born and raised in the Rio Grande Valley, I am interested in interdisciplinary research in medicine, particularly in health disparities and health policy. I spent the last year studying medical humanities in the UK and interning as a Bill Archer Fellow in Washington, DC. Through the IPH Summer Research Program, I look forward to building my skills in academic public health research. I also enjoy traveling and am excited to explore St. Louis and the surrounding area this summer. I hope to pursue a career in medicine and public health in the future.

Evelyn Shen

My name is Evelyn Shen and am a rising senior at here at Washington University in St. Louis, but I’m a Texas girl at heart. Currently, I’m pursuing a major in Anthropology: Global Health and Environment and a minor in Medical Humanities. I went abroad last fall to South Africa on a community health program, and I am currently applying to medical school. I would eventually like to end up in primary/preventive healthcare at a community clinic. I have done lab research before, but I am really excited about getting to experience field-based public health research with the IPH Summer Research program. I’ll be working with Dr. Allison King to pilot a card sort activity to evaluate children’s developmental abilities. I’m excited to meet students from different universities and to experience the things St. Louis has to offer that I never have time for during the school year!

Alayna Sibert

I am a native of St. Louis, Missouri. I have recently completed a Master of Science degree in Nutrition and Dietetics at Saint Louis University. I am interested in numerous public health concentrations which include: community health, behavioral health, and public health nutrition. I decided to apply to the IPH Summer Research Program due to previously participating in Washington University’s Community Research Fellows Training Program, which focused on community participatory research. I love to garden and teach children how to grow fruits and vegetables. I also have a passion for the history, urban design, and architecture of the city of Saint Louis. This research opportunity will allow me to integrate food and nutrition with the history of Saint Louis. I am eager to work under the mentorship of Dr. Eric Mumford exploring food provision in the Mill Creek Valley and the Ville neighborhood of Saint Louis, Mo. from years 1900-1950.  I look forward to meeting the other program participants and experiencing all that this program has to offer.

Kyle Smith

I am a rising senior at the University of Rochester studying economics and computational biology. Originally, I’m from Madison, New Jersey, a small town about 40 minutes outside of New York City. I was initially interested, and am now so excited to be able to participate, in the IPH Summer Research Program because of the opportunity to dig into hands-on health research with top-tier investigators that share my passions. I’m looking forward to working with Dr. Mary Politi for my eight weeks in St. Louis, and am thrilled to be able to explore a new city in a part of the country I’ve not had the privilege of experiencing.

Delphine Zhu

My name is Delphine and I am a rising junior at Smith College double majoring in neuroscience and anthropology. I hope to pursue a career in public health and medicine, and am looking forward to engaging in global health research through the IPH Summer Research Program. I will be spending the majority of the eight weeks in Iganga, Uganda under the direction of Dr. Parikh investigating gendered care in HIV/AIDS. I’ve lived on the West Coast my entire life (Bay Area, CA to Seattle, WA), so I am excited to explore St. Louis and Uganda. I am grateful to have this opportunity to learn from and meet other students interested in public health through the program.

Alison Zuercher

My name is Ali Zuecher and I’m from Phoenix, Arizona. I am currently attending Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, VA, pursuing a Biology major and Sociology minor. I was honored to have been chosen and accepted by the IPH Summer Research Program. As I searched for a summer internship that would shape and fuel my passion for women’s health, Washington University’s IPH Summer Research Program caught my attention. I am grateful to have this incredible opportunity to learn more about the public health field, gain experience in the laboratory, meet students with similar passions, and explore the city of St. Louis.