2016 Honor Society inductees A-C

A-C  D-G  H-I  K-L  M-R  S  T-Z

Helena AwadHelena Awad, Wesleyan University
Helena Awad is a senior at Wesleyan University majoring in chemistry and molecular biology and biochemistry with a certificate in molecular biophysics. Helena is currently a member of Manju Hingorani’s biochemistry lab, which works to kinetically characterize enzymes involved in DNA replication and repair and mainly focuses on the mismatch repair (MMR) pathway. Helena’s specific project examines the effect of cancer-linked single amino acid mutations in Thermus aquaticus MutS (a homolog of human MutSα and MutSβ, the first protein in the MMR pathway). Her project aims to better understand how these amino acids contribute to MutS function and how these mutations cause MMR defects and cancer. 

On campus, Helena works as a chemistry teaching assistant, volunteers with Wesleyan Science Outreach, and serves on the steering committee of Wesleyan Women in Science. She is also co-leader of a student forum in physics, a course that she designed with another student to make certain physics and biophysics topics more accessible. Additionally, Helena volunteers with the Wesleyan Refugee Project and International Refugee Assistance Project by helping to obtain documentation for Iraqi refugees applying to resettle in the United States. Helena will remain at Wesleyan for a fifth year in order to pursue a master’s degree in molecular biology and biochemistry.

Austin BlackAustin Black, Bellarmine University
Austin is currently involved in signal transduction research with Dr. Mary Huff at Bellarmine University. The research focuses on understanding if the endocrine disruptors cadmium and arsenite initiate cellular growth through interactions with estrogen receptors in non-small lung tumor cells. He is involved with student government among various other committees on campus. His plan is to work for a year while obtaining his MBA before going on to medical school. He hopes to work in hospital administration so that he can instill his passion for a holistic approach to medical practice and focus on the patient-doctor relationship that is vital to any healing process. His hobbies are reading, lifting weights and hiking.

Brady BrooksBrady Brooks, Saint Leo University
It was not until college that Brady became passionate about the sciences. During his first semester, Brady enrolled in a cell biology class and it was here that he became greatly interested in the molecular processes of the cell. He later enrolled in a computational biology class and found his passion for computational biology, more precisely protein modeling and molecular docking with a hint of bioinformatics. Brady is currently involved in various research projects, including computational mutagenesis, molecular docking, and wet-lab site directed mutagenesis. Brady hopes to ultimately attend a graduate program relating to the biomedical sciences with a computational emphasis. Being a part of the ASBMB Student Chapters program has benefited him greatly. Through his chapter, Brady has been able to participate in multiple scientific outreach programs that were fun for him, as well as the local community surrounding his university. Brady’s favorite hobbies are sport bike riding and scuba diving. 

Katie BurrellKatie Burrell, University of Arizona
Katie’s interest in science has always been inspired by her mother, a 5th grade science teacher. Katie followed in her footsteps when she first joined of the University of Arizona’s ASBMB chapter of the Biochemistry Club and became involved in the outreach for young students all across Tucson. Encouraging students to become scientists has become a huge part of her time at UA, and she finds it incredibly fulfilling to see the excitement in a child’s eye from an experiment. 

Her goal is to encourage kids to pursue science in school and later in their careers. She is a senior studying biochemistry and molecular & cellular biology with a minor in psychology. Her research interests have narrowed to the field of pharmacology from working in two pharmacology research labs during her time as an undergraduate. Her research work has included determining the mechanisms of action of therapeutic effects of the compound ATRA assessing the permeability of analgesics to the blood brain barrier during induced episodic migraine. She will be starting a PhD program in pharmacology this fall. 

Christopher ChanChristopher Chan, University of Arizona
Since freshman year of high school, Chris has had a strong affinity for the sciences. He was involved in the Science Olympiad and Envirothon, which he competed in on a bi-national level. At the University of Arizona’s Honors College, Chris conducts research in the departments of chemistry and biochemistry, neuroscience and cognitive science. His honors thesis focuses on constructing a computational model of non-opioid pain receptors for chronic neuropathic pain and applying non-invasive brain stimulation in a clinical setting for cognitively impaired populations. Through the University of Arizona’s ASBMB Student Chapter, Chris has worked with economically disadvantaged middle school students to promote and engage in scientific inquiry. Chris is also a part of the Visiting Scholars program through which undergraduates present their research and college experiences to Tucson and Vail high school students. He enjoys encouraging students of all ages to pursue their interests, even if their interests lie outside the field of science. 

Chris is heavily involved in the children’s ministry at a local Chinese church. He is seeking a career in the health care field. Chris hopes to apply to medical school after graduation and plans to enter a PhD program in neuroscience or biochemistry.

Jasmine CubukJasmine Cubuk, Stockton University
Jasmine has always admired research. As a child, she was interested in doing little at-home experiments. At Stockton University, she is a junior biochemistry and molecular biology major with a minor in holistic health. Jasmine is also a teacher’s assistant for various laboratories and a research student. She began her research as a sophomore under the supervision of Dr. Pamela Cohn and Dr. Shanthi Rajaraman.  Her research is polymer-based chemistry. She and her research partners are working to synthesize and characterize hydrogels. They recently presented at Pacifichem 2015 in Hawaii and made it into the top 10% of finalists in the student poster competition. 

Jasmine is the outreach coordinator for Stockton’s chapter of the ASBMB. She has helped coordinate and run numerous blood-drives in her hometown, as well as a STEM program at her local Boys and Girls Club. Becoming a member and officer of this chapter has given her many opportunities to reach out to the community and share her love of science. After graduation, she hopes to be accepted into a doctorate program in biochemistry.