Meet our current scholars
Deja Robinson obtained her B.S. in both Biology and Biochemistry with a minor in Pre-Professional Health from Marshall University in 2023. Deja’s main interests are in cardiovascular physiology and disease, specifically understanding the changes in heart function and communication after injury. Through research, she hopes to contribute to the development of new therapeutics for heart disease
Kaylee Ha obtained her B.A. in Biochemistry at the University of Washington in 2023. During undergrad, Kaylee worked in a lab that focused on the mechanisms of Alzheimer’s Disease. She is interested in memory, cognition, and neurodegeneration. Kaylee hopes to continue her studies in neurodegeneration with the goal of contributing to the development of therapies for neurodegenerative diseases.
Mariel Kristine Micael obtained her B.S in Cognitive & Behavioral Neuroscience from the University of California, San Diego in 2023. While at UCSD, she joined the lab of Dr. Nicola Allen at the Salk Institute for Biological Sciences where she investigated the involvement of astrocytes in both Alzheimer’s Disease and Down Syndrome. She is currently interested in memory and the neurobiology of neurodegenerative diseases. As a PREP scholar, she hopes to gain confidence as a scientist and explore new questions within the field of glia research.
Milan (Milo) Rogan graduated in 2023 from Wayne State University with a Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences and a minor in History. She has research experience in genetics using Drosophila melanogaster as the model organism for chromosome research involving survival and the Y chromosome. Currently, she has an interest in bacteria and other species of microorganisms. She hopes to pursue a career in microbiology and seeks to gain more knowledge with research in other organisms
Ricardo Mercado obtained his B.S. in Biology (with a specialization in Molecular and Cell Biology) from Central Washington University in 2023. Ricardo is interested in immunology, cell biology, and cancer biology. Through his research he hopes to make discoveries that can make an impact in people’s lives. Ricardo aspires to run his own research lab that helps mentor first generation and underrepresented scientists.
Meet our alumni scholars
Arisa Sek is a neuroscience graduate student at Oregon Health & Science University. They obtained their Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a double minor in Biology and Chemistry at Portland State University in 2021. During their time in PREP in Arpy Saunders’ lab, they worked to develop a new barcoded rabies virus that is suitable for in vivo analysis. Arisa is interested in how long-term memory is formed and stored in the brain and the molecular mechanisms behind it. They also plan to conduct outreach for the AAPI community. Contact Arisa.
Alejandra Ortiz-Correa obtained a B.S in Biology (with a concentration in Biotechnology) from the University of Puerto Rico in Ponce in 2022. During PREP, Alejandra's work in the Ozburn lab focused on studying brain regions activated during excessive drinking in a mouse model used for Alcohol Use Disorder research. With this research experience, Alejandra hopes to build a career focused on studying behavior and neural development in the context of neurodegeneration.
Bryan Ramirez Reyes obtained his B.S. in Biotechnology (minor in Chemistry) from Cal Poly Pomona in 2022. Bryan’s main field of interest is immunology, more specifically host-pathogen interactions. Through his personal experiences, he recognizes the vast impact a disorder, infection, disease, etc. can have on one’s life and the importance of medication and other forms of treatment. As a PREP Scholar, Bryan studied homeostatic interferon-lambda's role in protecting neonatal mice exposed to rotavirus in the Nice lab. Through research, he hopes to contribute to the development of new therapeutics and treatments for treating infectious diseases. Alongside research, he also hopes to aid efforts in increasing diversity in the field and academia, as well as addressing disparities in health and health care in the United States.
Saheli Singh obtained her B.A. in Biology with a minor in neuroscience from Lewis & Clark College in 2022. Saheli is interested in the neurobiology of neurodegenerative diseases. As a PREP Scholar, she studied the role of endocannabinoid receptor signaling on astrocyte development in the Monk lab. As a Neuroscience PhD student at University of California, San Francisco, Saheli aims to study the underlying mechanisms that contribute to the development of neurodegenerative diseases.
Michelle Garcia obtained her B.A. in Chemistry (concentration in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology) from Williams College in 2021. Michelle's main interest is studying viral infectious diseases, particularly mechanisms of host pathogenesis and drug development. The COVID-19 pandemic has only reinforced Michelle's conviction to delve into the depths of viral disease mechanisms and help the scientific community be more prepared in future epidemics/pandemics.
Maria Hayes obtained her B.S. in Psychology from Portland State University in 2019. Maria is interested in the neuropsychology of mental health, stress and affect. Maria hopes to contribute to the work of utilizing clinical science to help provide accessible interventions that aid in healthy neurodevelopment. Maria is now a graduate student in OHSU's Clinical Psychology PhD program.
Isa Maxwell obtained his B.A. in Biology from Lewis & Clark College in 2021. Isa hopes to study neurobiology and work with developmental and disease models. Isa's ultimate goal is to study ad help further characterize the mechanisms underlying neurodegenerative illnesses. Isa is now a Neuroscience PhD student at OHSU.
Joselinne Medrano obtained her B.A. in Neuroscience (minor in Race, Ethnicity, and Migration Studies) from Colorado College in 2020. As an undergraduate Joselinne became captivated with learning what networks are involved in behavior, including reward, and how epistemologies guide our perceptions and responses to the world around us. As a PREP scholar, she investigated the role of anti-inflammatory signaling in binge-like drinking behaviors in the Ozburn lab. Joselinne is currently a graduate student of OHSU's Neuroscience Graduate Program in the Ozburn and Williams labs.
Tony Munoz obtained his B.S. in Biology (emphasis in Neuroscience) from the University of Oregon in 2021. A majority of Tony's research experience has come from working in an olfactory lab at the University of Oregon's Institute of Neuroscience. Moving forward Tony is deeply invested in working in pain research due to his relationship with pain. Tony is now a Neuroscience PhD student at OHSU in the Murthy lab.
Nina Luong is a neuroscience graduate student at Oregon Health & Science University. She obtained her Bachelor's of Science degree in Human Physiology from the University of Oregon in 2019. During her time as a postbaccalaureate scholar at OHSU (2020-2021) in Dr. Kevin Wright's lab, she investigated the somatosensory development in Lunatic Fringe mutant mice, as well as the role of a specific transcription factor on developing cells in the retina. Nina plans to continue researching neurodevelopment during her time in graduate school and becoming involved with AAPI outreach. Contact Nina.
Allie Taylor is a 2020-2021 Neuroscience Post-Baccalaureate Scholar at the Vollum Institute. She received a B.A. in Biology from the University of North Texas in May 2020. During her time in the post-bacc program, she worked in the lab of Kelly Monk studying the development and maintenance of myelin in the peripheral nervous system. In the Fall of 2021, she will be joining the Neuroscience Graduate Program at Johns Hopkins University, where she plans to continue researching myelination and glia-neuron interactions. Contact Allie.
Dennisha King is a neuroscience graduate student at the University of Rochester. She obtained her Bachelor's of Science degree in Neuroscience and Public Health from Agnes Scott College in 2019. During her time as a postbaccalaureate scholar at OHSU (2019-2020), she was a research assistant in the lab of Dr. Vivek Unni studying the protein alpha synuclein and its DNA interactions. Dennisha plans to continue practicing translational neuroscience research. Contact Dennisha.
Raquel Miralles - Professional bio coming soon
Yessica Santana is a neuroscience graduate student at Oregon Health & Science University. She obtained her degree in Global Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2017. During her time as a postbaccalaureate scholar at OHSU (2019-2020), she investigated the role of a particular transcription factor in the specification and morphological maintenance of the starburst amacrine cell in the lab of Dr. Kevin Wright. Yessica plans to continue her post-bacc project in her graduate years while simultaneously participating in ways to broaden access to scientific research for URMs. Contact Yessica.
Rachel De La Torre is a neuroscience graduate student at Oregon Health & Science University. She obtained her B.S. in Microbiology/Molecular Biology from Portland State University in 2015. During her time as a postbaccalaureate scholar at OHSU (2018-2019), she studied the mechanisms used by astrocytes to remodel the nervous system in the lab of Dr. Marc Freeman. Rachel plans to lead her own research as an independent investigator studying healthy and diseased brains with an ultimate goal of influencing policies related to neurological diseases. Contact Rachel.
Katherine Thanyamongkhonsawat is a neuroscience graduate student at Duke University. She obtained her B.S. in Biomedical Engineering (minor in Neuroscience) from the University of Texas at Dallas in 2018. During her time as a postbaccalaureate scholar at OHSU (2018-2019), she studied synaptic transmission in AII amacrine cells of the retina in the lab of Dr. Henrique Von Gersdorff. Katherine plans to continue investigating sensory systems by decoding their circuit.
* NPBI was a pilot neuroscience postbacc program for the current PREP program.