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Fall 2015 Newsletter

Women’s Pre-Health Leadership Society Johns Hopkins University

Table of Contents 2

A message from our Co-Presidents


Summer Adventures


Recap: Spring 2015


Alumnae Updates

17 Acknowledgements

Editors: Yi Shao & Christine McEvoy

A message from our Co-Presidents: Greetings! Welcome back to another great year! We are thrilled to share the inaugural WPHLS Fall Newsletter with you. Enclosed in this newsletter, you will find current and alumnae member updates, as well as highlights from Spring 2015. In the past few months, WPHLS members took a break from the classroom to further explore their pre-health passions. From work in local research labs to international experiences, WPHLS has been all over the globe. Now, as we return to campus, we are excited to continue strengthening our relations with the Baltimore community, as well as expanding our presence on campus. To this end, we were honored to receive the Outstanding Student Organization Program Award by the Office of Student Activities this past April. We hope you enjoy our newsletter! If you have any inquiries, please do not hesitate to contact us at wphls.jhu@gmail.com. Warm wishes, Saachi Nangia and Nina Modanlo WPHLS Co-Presidents, 2015-2016

Check out WPHLS Online!

Facebook: Johns Hopkins Women's Pre-Health Leadership Society NEW! Twitter and Instagram: @wphls REDESIGNED! http://wphls.org 2

Ellie Burton

I did research at Duke in the math department, using MATLAB to examine how downsampling the point clouds representing lemur teeth affected the continuous procrustes distance between teeth.

Priya Dave

I worked on tobacco research for Battelle as a public health research intern. I also tutored Chemistry at the Johns Hopkins Learning Den, did research in the Chemistry department, and applied to medical school.

Hayley Strasburger

This summer I started an exciting new project in a Multiple Sclerosis lab full time in Baltimore. I'm very excited to continue the project this year. Pictured left: Hayley hard at work (on her birthday!)

Sai Talluru

I was a student researcher at Kovler Diabetes Laboratories at the University of Chicago Medical Center this past summer. I collected medical information from 300+ patients who were diagnosed with diabetes (before one year of age) in order to better analyze their insulin therapies. I learned about rare forms of diabetes often overlooked by most physicians & genetics, as well as the impact of early consultation and intervention on diabetes management.

Mahima Sukumar

I was a Business Development Intern at MedNexus, a digital health startup that created a semantic search engine for medicine. It was an amazing experience in impacting health through another platform. I enhanced inbound marketing by being up-to-date on the latest digital health, medical, and health policy news and using that knowledge to engage with thought leaders on social media. Pictured right: Mahima at the Empire State Building while working in NYC!


SUMMER 2015 ADVENTURES Spandana Mandaloju

I had a research internship at the Lab for Child Development under Aimee Stahl and helped investigate whether children learn novel words better after the observation of surprising vs. unsurprising events. I also shadowed Dr. Dolores Njoku, a pediatric anesthesiologist, in the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg Children's Center, learning about the importance of careful communication within a team in order to avoid medical errors during surgeries.

Elisabeth Fassas

I worked in a lab on campus this summer doing chromosome research, and then I went to Greece to visit family!

Pictured above: Spandana at Amarillo Botanical Gardens in Texas

Yi Shao

I took the MCAT in June, returned to Baltimore to work on my research project in the Gallagher lab on a potential schizophrenia treatment, and began the medical school application process.

Amy Zheng

I continued my research on the protein Hfq and its binding to small RNAs in the Woodson Lab. I also began to pick up on my new project which hopes to find a link between this binding and antibiotic resistance. Outside of the lab, I practiced new pieces for Peabody and spent time with friends and family on mini-hiking trips. Pictured left: Amy on holiday with her family at Finger Lakes in New York!


SUMMER 2015 ADVENTURES Gauri Bhatnagar

I worked in Cape Town for two months at St.Josephs' Home for Children with Chronic Illnesses, a secondary/tertiary rehabilitation care facility that cares for children from disadvantaged homes. I volunteered in the clinic area, assisting the nurses, therapists, and care workers. I got to be hands-on with children of all ages, from the babies in Sunflower Ward to the preteens in the Lily Ward. We also researched and evaluated the Block Therapy Program for ways to improve its effectivePictured above: WPHLS Members Gauri & Karly enjoy ness and efficiency. It was such a great experience. tea time in South Africa!

Shriya Aswathi

I traveled to rural Honduras for Global Brigades to help set up free clinics and shadow doctors in medically under-served regions. I then worked for Booz Allen Hamilton Strategy and Technology Consulting as a Defense Intelligence Group Summer Intern under the Cooperative Biological Engagement Program, a US Department of Defense contract. My work involved the use of big data, epidemiology techniques, and bio-surveillance software tools to detect, mathematically model, and respond to biological threats around the world, such as the emergence of infectious diseases or trafficking of biological weapons.

Pictured above: WPHLS Members Gauri & Megan take on Cape Town!


Karly Raber

I was in Cape Town, South Africa (with Gauri) working with youth in Khayelitsha (one of the poorest areas of the city) who are effected by HIV. I helped them apply to college, planned lessons for them, and conducted a daylong workshop about sexual and behavioral health. Pictured left: Karly checking off her bucket list! Pictured below: Karly & her Cape Town team!

Nina Modanlo

In June, I spent two weeks in Huehuetenango, Guatemala. I participated in a research project organized by Curamericas, an international NGO dedicated to reducing the alarmingly high rates of maternal and child health in remote regions of the world. This project centered around the local midwives in Huehuetenango, called "Comadronas." I interviewed roughly 50 Comadronas to evaluate their attitudes and perceptions towards the local reproductive health centers, built and stafffed by Curamericas. I am currently writing a report documenting my findings. An absolutely incredible experience!

Ashley Ezema

This summer I did a public health internship funded by the CDC called PLLUSS (Public health leadership learning undergraduate student success). It was an 8-week research intensive program at Kennedy Kreiger Institute. After the program, I traveled throughout Europe for three weeks on my own which was amazing!

Katie Clark

I worked for two months this summer as a camp counselor at a Christian Sports Camp in Lampe, Missouri, and then the rest of the time at home working on my medical school applications. Pictured above: Nina with her friend at a local school in Santa Domingo, Guatelama


WPHLS Spring Conference Saturday, April 11th, 2015 Mudd/UTL Atrium

“Collaboration in Medicine” “Now, more than ever in clinical medicine and research, work is being done with a team approach. Whether taking care of a hospitalized patient or keeping populations healthy or answering important scientific questions, it is key for multiple individuals with different areas of expertise to join together to get the job done.”

Maria Oliva-Hemker, M.D.

Chief, Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition Stermer Family Professor of Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease Johns Hopkins Children’s Center


The theme of our 6th annual conference, “Collaboration in Medicine”, sought to highlight the interactions between healthcare professionals across a variety of specialities essential for providing holistic care to patients. We fostered meaningful conversations and personal connections between speakers and small groups of undergraduate students in a series of round table discussions and enligthening talks from Drs. Oliva-Hemker and Perry. Over 60 male & female students attended from Princeton, Towson, the University of Maryland, George Washington, and Johns Hopkins.

In their words... “It was a great experience. It is always inspiring to meet students who want a career that will make a real difference in the lives of others. Congratulations on putting on an important event like this.” Robert Siliciano, M.D., Ph.D. Director, MD-PhD Program Prof. Medicine, Molecular Biology and Genetics Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

“I most enjoyed learning about how the physicians balance work & personal life. It was interesting to hear of the challenges that especially the female practitioners have faced in choosing a medical career, but also how rewarding they have found it to be." Emily Toler President, Alpha Epsilon Delta Pre-Medical Honors Society Class of 2016: Molecular & Cellular Biology Johns Hopkins University


University of Maryland School of Medicine Carissa Baker-Smith, M.D., M.S., M.P.H.

Asst. Prof. of Pediatrics

Johns Hopkins School of Medicine Maria Oliva-Hemker, M.D.

Dir., Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition; Prof. of Pediatrics

Dejan Budimirovic, M.D.

Asst. Prof. of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences; Medical Director, Fragile X Clinic, Kennedy Krieger Institute

Aravinda Chakravarti, Ph.D.

Director, Center for Complex Disease Genomics; Prof. of Medicine, Pediatrics, Molecular Biology & Genetics

Arjun Chanmugam, M.D., M.B.A. Assoc. Prof. of Emergency Medicine Jean Kim, M.D., Ph.D. Rakhi Naik, M.D.

Assoc. Prof. of Otolaryngology Asst. Prof. of Medicine & Oncology

2015 Conference Team Left to right: Audrey, Eva, Natalie (Chair), Brittany, Hayley, Melanie, & Sai


Thank you to all of our wonderful speakers & Conference team for a memorable event!

Dolores Njoku, M.D.

Dir. Pediatric Anesthesiology Fellowship Program; Assoc. Prof. of Anesthesiology & Critical Care Medicine, Pathology, & Pediatrics

Henry Perry, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H. Senior Scientist, Health Systems Program, Dept. of International Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Carisa Perry-Parrish, Ph.D.

Asst. Prof. of Pediatric Medical Psychology

Marty Radvany, M.D.

Asst. Prof. of Radiology and Radiological Science & Director, Interventional Neuroradiology, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center

Robert Siliciano, M.D., Ph.D.

Director, MD-PhD Program; Prof. Medicine, Molecular Biology & Genetics


WPHLS: Spring 2015

Meet WPHLS: We accepted 13 new members this past Spring!

Bringing Ladies and Science Together (BLAST)

We continued our partnership with the Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women (BLSYW) through our STEM mentoring program BLAST. We received positive feedback from our mentees doing fun science experiments & additional homework help at the end of each session. We will be redirecting our efforts to expanding to more schools and are excited to return to BLSYW in the fall!

Child-Life Therapeutic/Recreational Playroom

We enjoyed playing with the children at the Kennedy Krieger Institute (KKI) in a variety of motor developing activities.


Collaborations with the Alpha Epsilon Delta Pre-Medical Honors Society What I Wish I Knew Panel

WPHLS and AED co-hosted a second pre-med panel of sophomores, juniors, and seniors, who discussed their skills, experiences, and tips that have contributed to their success as pre-meds!

Women’s Dignity Drive

In a project spearheaded by Hopkins Feminists President Carlene Partow, WPHLS partnered with AED & several other student organizations to organize a female hygiene products drive that would enable women to adequately manage their periods, improving their personal health and physical comfort. A total of 4,440 tampons and 3,153 pads were collected and delivered to the female PLASE transitional shelter in Baltimore City.

President of Hopkins Feminists, Carlene Partow, with workers at the PLASE Women’s Shelter

Project PLASE Shelters

WPHLS also continued visiting the Project PLASE transitional shelters with members of AED to share information about HIV/AIDS, maximizing nutrition, and other topics that the residents may find useful and interesting.


Collaboration with AED & Post-Baccalaureate Program

Conversations in Medicine (CiM): On February 17th, the CiM Symposium welcomed a panel of healthcare experts to discuss the ins-and-outs of the Affordable Healthcare Act. Moderated by Dr. Donald Steinwachs, the panel was well-attended and engaging. This was the final event of the 2014-2015 symposium. The panel included Dr. Roy Ziegelstein (Vice Dean for Education at JHSOM), Tyler Mains (founder of MERIT), Adam Schneider (Community Relations Coordinator for Healthcare for the Homeless), and Ramy El-Diwany (co-founder of Charm City Clinic).

Pictured (left to right): Ramy El-Diwany, Adam Schneider, Dr. Steinwachs, WPHLS Chair Nina Modanalo, & AED Chair Yi Shao


STI Campaign: In continuation of last fall’s campaign, we co-hosted an STI testing day in February with CHEW and SHAC (off-shoot groups of the JHU Health Center) to offer a free chlamydia screening clinic! We planned a second STI testing day at the health center, which had an even higher turn-out!

Pictured (left to right): Ariel Paskin (C.R.N.P.), Molly Merkel, Elisabeth Fassas, Katy Olive (C.R.N.P.), & Nina Modanlo

Congratulations to WPHLS! 2014-2015 Outstanding Student Organization Program Award


Sheila Razdan


Class of 2012: Public Health & Spanish for the Professions Shelia is pursuing a Masters in Public Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, concentrating in Epidemiology with a focus in child health and patient safety. She will then complete her fourth year at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, with plans for a residency in pediatrics.

Claire (far left) with best friends at vet school!

Claire Lyons

Class of 2013: Molecular & Cellular Biology

Sheila at the American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting in San Francisco!

Claire has started her second year of vet school at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University. This summer, she worked as a laboratory animal intern at Genzyme to help solve 'orphan diseases,' a rare but devastating condition, and a variety of other disorders. She has also studied the longevity of efficacy of sustained-release buprenorphine in guinea pigs as a method of long-term pain management following painful procedures.

Maddie Fryer

Class of 2014: Public Health After graduating from Hopkins, Maddie conducted immunology research in the Johns Hopkins Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Department. She is starting a two year program at Harvard Medical School for a MMSc in Immunology, with future plans to attend medical school



Abby Wang

Class of 2014: Neuroscience

Abby climbing Wayna Picchu!

Since graduating, Abby has worked with Reading Partners, a non-profit tutoring organization, through AmeriCorps. She is currently starting medical school at UCSF in September. She recently went to Peru, took a bus up to Machu Picchu (no shame, that hike is insane), and climbed Wayna Picchu, the peak that overlooks the ancient city. It is there she had the opportunity to try guinea pig.

Malvi Hemani

Class of 2015: Biomedical Engineering & Computer Science Malvi is starting her “gap� year by working at Deloitte in Federal Healthcare Tech Consulting This summer she traveled to Budapest, Prague, Vienna, and Salzburg.

Malvi (right) and sister in Prague!

Cindy Zhang & Lisa Ni* Class of 2014: Biology & Spanish *Class of 2015: Biomedical Engineering Pritzker School of Medicine at UChicago

Victoria Huang

Class of 2015: Molecular & Cellular Biology & Public Health Johns Hopkins School of Medicine


Cindy (left) and Lisa (right) at their White Coat Ceremony!


WPHLS is generously supported by the Office of Pre-Professional Advising and the Parents’ Fund. Many thanks to our advisors, Ms. Snydman & Dr. Fisher. WPHLS accepts applications during Intersession of each academic year.

2015-2016 Executive Board Co-Presidents: Nina Modanlo & Saachi Nangia Secretary: Amy Zheng Treasurer: Sai Tallaru Public Relations: Christine McEvoy Programming: Shriya Awasthi & Hayley Strasburger Community Engagement: Nicole Michelson & Ellie Burton Social: Katie Clark & Ellen Marcus


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Women's Pre-Health Leadership Society Fall 2015 Newsletter  

Women's Pre-Health Leadership Society Fall 2015 Newsletter  

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