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Current Research Ambassadors

Aastha Bansal Headshot

Aastha Bansal

Aastha is a fourth-year studying Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology on the pre-med track and currently conducts research at the Emory School of Medicine. As a member of Dr. Drane's lab in the Department of Neurology, she studies object recognition and associative learning in epilepsy surgical patients through the administration of novel neuropsychological assessments. She also serves as a clinical research intern for the Grady Trauma Project, where she interviews under-represented minorities in the Atlanta community to examine the relationship between estradiol, depression, and trauma and better understand racial disparities in psychiatry. Aastha has previously participated in the Emory SURE program and served as a SURE RA to continue working on her research projects.

Adi Pucha Headshot

Adi Pucha

Adi Pucha is a third-year student originally from Atlanta, Georgia, studying Biology and Computer Science on the pre-med track. Adi has worked in the Patel Lab in the Emory Department of Orthopedics since the fall of his first year at Emory. His research interests lie in the fields of sports medicine and biomedical engineering. He specifically works with cell-instructive biomaterials to guide tissue-engineering strategies for repair and regeneration of musculoskeletal tissue. Some of Adi’s on-campus involvements include serving as finance chair for the Emory Indian Cultural Association, co-president of the Emory Undergraduate Service Journal Club, a Biology 141/142 Lab LA, a PHA peer mentor, and a NS&FP peer ambassador. Post graduation, he hopes to pursue an MD-PhD and eventually work as a clinical researcher at the intersection between novel biomaterial research for tissue engineering and implementation in the clinic.

Alexia Marriott Headshot

Alexia Marriott

Alexia is a junior majoring in neuroscience and behavioral biology. She has been working in David Weinshenker's lab in the Department of Human Genetics since her first year, studying the role of the locus coeruleus in Alzheimer's disease. In 2022, she participated in the Emory SURE program, where she worked on a project investigating changes in social behavior in a rat model of Alzheimer’s disease. She spent the past summer at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in Patricia Jensen's lab, where she worked on a project studying the development of neurons in the locus coeruleus. Alexia is interested in understanding the role of the locus coeruleus-norepinephrine system in neurodegenerative disorders and hopes to earn her PhD in neuroscience and pursue a career in research.

Andrew Wang Headshot

Andrew Wang

Andrew Wang is a junior from Lake Charles, Louisiana, studying NBB and Music on the pre-medical track. On campus, Andrew is involved with SAHI, RAM, ASO, and PhiDE, and he conducts neuroscience research at the Emory National Primate Research Center, where he studies the correlation between early life stress and structural/cognitive defects within multiple brain regions. Additionally, Andrew works as a research intern with the CHOA Department of Pediatric Nephrology, scribes at Piedmont Atlanta, and is a research fellow at the Marcus Autism Center. Andrew is passionate about volunteering in clinical settings and areas lacking accessibility to healthcare services, and he is fascinated by the intersection between healthcare and music. In his free time, Andrew enjoys eating at the DCT, playing basketball, and thrifting. He also enjoys trying new restaurants, and he is a huge sneakerhead!

Angel Hailemariam Headshot

Angel Hailemariam

Angel is a senior at Emory double majoring in Chemistry and Human Health. For the last three years, she has researched racial healthcare disparities among pregnant women in Dr. Smith’s lab at the Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics at Emory’s School of Medicine. Over the summer, she interned at an infectious disease doctor’s office in her hometown of Tallahassee, Florida where she gained experience in a clinical setting. Next year, Angel will continue researching in Dr. Smith’s lab under the Emory Prospective Opportunity for Women's health Research (EmPOWR). Outside of her research endeavors, Angel is an active member of the university’s club crew team and enjoys listening to music and volunteering to teach English to refugees in her community. She plans to become a physician and help foster equality within the medical field.

Arielle Segal Headshot

Arielle Segal

Arielle is a senior from North Potomac, Maryland, majoring in Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology and minoring in Dance and Movement Studies. She has been a member of Dr. Weinshenker’s human genetics lab since her sophomore year, studying locus coeruleus neurodegeneration in a mouse model of Parkinson’s Disease. Arielle is excited to work on her honor’s thesis in Dr. Weinshenker’s lab this year. Last summer, Arielle interned at the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health, where she worked in a pediatric oncology lab, studying the impact of Vitamin C on the activation and cytotoxic potential of CAR T-cells. Arielle also serves as the President of Emory Atlanta Pediatric Cancer Outreach (APCO). She loves working with children in a clinical environment and strives to attend medical school in her future. Arielle is always willing to engage with her fellow students about their research goals!

David Kim Headshot

David Kim

David Kim is a fourth-year undergraduate student at Emory University majoring in Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology. His research interests lie within the field of neuroscience focused on axonal regeneration in the peripheral nervous system. He has worked with Dr. Arthur W. English in the English Lab where he co-authored a research paper on treatments promoting the regeneration of motor and sensory axons after peripheral nerve injury. He will continue his undergraduate research with Dr. Jill Ward and her lab in the Department of Cell Biology at Emory University School of Medicine. Outside of academics, David enjoys spending time with his friends and family, playing sports like tennis/badminton/golf, and volunteering around his community. In the future, David plans to enter medical school to achieve his goal of becoming a neurosurgeon while continuing to understand more about the complexity and intricacies of the human body and the brain.

Ella Akridge Headshot

Ella Akridge

Ella is a third-year Psychology and Anthropology double major on a Pre-PhD track. She is a research assistant in the REACT Lab at the Emory Child and Adolescent Mood Program, where she studies mood disorders in the adolescent and teenage population. Specifically, her research interests include emotion regulation and cross-cultural approaches to mental health, early childhood adversity, and intervention strategies. She previously participated in the SIRE program and is active on campus in the FLI and ResLife communities.

Katelyn King

Katelyn King

Katelyn is a senior interested in cancer and genetic research. She has conducted research on triple-negative breast cancer, prostate cancer, and genetic birth defects at Oxford College, Johns Hopkins University, and Weill Cornell Medicine, respectively. She serves as a resident advisor on the Clairmont campus, an advising fellow for the free pre-college advising program Matriculate, and a digital operations coordinator for the Emory Matriculate Advising Fellow Leadership Team. After earning a B.S. in biology, she plans to pursue a Ph.D. in cancer biology and address the socioeconomic factors that drive health disparities in her biomedical research career.

 Merom Arthur

Merom Arthur

Merom Arthur is a third-year majoring in Human Health and minoring in Film and Media on the premedical track. She is a clinical research intern at Grady Trauma Project in the pregnancy study and has been for 1.5 years. The study looks at how symptoms of PTSD can impact the mood and lives of pregnant African American women. This past summer she worked as a Research Trainee at Children’s National Research Institute in Washington D.C. Her research focused on birth defects, specifically congenital heart defects, and using newer technology to analyze data. Merom sings in Emory VOIS and IV worship, she loves reading, media and production, volleyball, is taking up tennis, and obtaining new talents!

 Rachel Lee Headshot

Rachel Lee

Rachel Lee is currently a third year at Emory as a Biology major and Music minor on the pre-medical track. She currently conducts research at the Sarafianos Lab in the Emory School of Medicine, where she investigates the infectivity of SARS-CoV-2 in various cell lines and drug activity. In the past, Rachel was a ORISE fellow at the CDC and she recently completed the SURE program at Emory. Rachel also works as a Learning Assistant for BIOL 141L and volunteers at the Winship Cancer Institute. In addition to research, Rachel is assistant principal violist of the Emory University Symphony Orchestra, as well as Communications Officer for BioME. She enjoys reading sci-fi, listening to classical music, and making digital art. In the future, Rachel hopes to attend medical school and work with infectious diseases and public health.

 Rowan Salls Headshot

Rowan Salls

Rowan Salls, a Latinx individual, is a fourth-year student at the College, passionately pursuing a major in Anthropology and Human Biology complemented by a minor in Neuroethics. Throughout their academic journey, Rowan has actively participated in research programs such as SIRE and SURE at Emory University and is currently a research assistant in the Ancient DNA-Lindo Lab and Kenney Laboratory. Their research interests lie in the fields of Epigenetics, Cancer Biology, and Neuromodulation Pain Management, having actively contributed to labs specializing in these areas. Driven by a strong sense of purpose, Rowan has set their sights on pursuing a Ph.D. in Neuroscience or Biological Anthropology.

 Sanjana Kunnikuru Headshot

Sanjana Kunnikuru

Sanjana is a fourth-year student majoring in Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology with a minor in Quantitative Sciences. She is currently doing research in neuro-oncology investigating medullablastomas. In her free time, she volunteers at Winship and enjoys biking and spending time with family.

 Summayah El Azzioui Headshot

Summayah El Azzioui

Summayah El Azzioui is a senior at Emory double majoring in Human Health and Linguistics. She began research in the SIRE Program and worked on a project through The Center for Reproductive Health Research in the Southeast, focused on the impact of religious stigma on access to abortion in Georgia. Currently, Summayah conducts research in Dr. Ken Kishida's computational neuroscience lab at Wake Forest School of Medicine. She studies the role of neighborhood-level social factors in characterizing decision-making behaviors among patients with varying depression severity. Summayah also serves as President of the Alpha Nu Chapter of Theta Nu Xi Multicultural Sorority, Inc., and as a staff member on Volunteer Emory's Social Justice Education Team. In her free time, she enjoys sewing, baking, reading, and learning languages. After graduation, Summayah aims to attend medical school and pursue a career as a physician-scientist, combining her interests in medicine and epidemiological research.

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