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Meet the 2019 MSTP Summer Scholars

Posted by on Tuesday, June 25, 2019 in Science Advocacy .

This summer the Vanderbilt MSTP is hosting 6 undergraduate MSTP Summer Scholars. This summer program is designed to expose students from diverse backgrounds to the career of a physician-scientist and help prepare them to apply to MD/PhD programs. These students are on campus for 9 weeks completing a research project and gaining clinical shadowing experience. In addition, they have many opportunities to connect with and learn from current MSTP students, the MSTP Leadership Team, and Vanderbilt physician-scientists. Get to know a bit more about these 6 students below and say “hi” when you see them around campus!

(from left to right in the photo: Johnathan Bailey, Jakari Harris, Michelle Narvaez Ramos, Maria Grimaldo, Kamiya Bridges, Isaiah Swann)

Johnathan Bailey
Undergraduate Institution: The University of Alabama at Birmingham
Year: Rising Junior
Major: Biomedical Sciences
Hometown: Montgomery, Alabama
What are you working on this summer? This summer I am studying whether alveolar epithelial cells have the capacity to uptake and handle iron within the lab of Dr. Julie Bastarache.
Fun fact: I am a collegiate eSports athlete that enjoys building computers.

Jakari Harris
Undergraduate Institution: Hampton University
Year: Rising Senior
Major: Chemical Engineering
Hometown: Atlanta, GA
What are you working on this summer? I am working in the lab of Dr. Meena Madhur in the Department of Molecular Physiology & Biophysics and my project is “The Role of Hypertensive Stretch on Endothelial PD-L1 Expression.”
Fun Fact: I play on the Hampton University Women’s Golf Team.

Michelle Narvaez Ramos
Undergraduate Institution:
University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez
Rising Junior
Major: Industrial Microbiology
Hometown: San Germán, Puerto Rico
What are you working on this summer?: I am studying how bone marrow inflammation after necroptosis induces DNA damage in mouse models of Myelodysplastic syndrome in Dr. Sandra Zinkel’s lab.
Fun fact: I have played violin for 12 years and I am trilingual.

Maria Grimaldo
Undergraduate Institution: Texas A&M University
Year: Rising Junior
Major: Plant & Environmental Soil Science, B.S.
Hometown: League City, TX
What are you working on this summer? I am participating in Dr. David Aronoff’s lab and am defining when immune suppression or an inflammatory immune response is observed depending on the ratio of macrophages to cytotrophoblasts  in response to gram-negative and gram-positive pathogen-associated molecular patterns.
Fun Fact: I danced Classical Ballet for 16 years and performed in shows including The Nutcracker, Edward Scissorhands, Dracula, and Sleeping Beauty.

Kamiya Bridges
Undergraduate Institution: Winston Salem State University
Year: Rising Senior
Major: Biology, Public Health Minor
Hometown: Charlotte, NC
What are you working on this summer? This summer, I am working in Dr. Kaylon Bruner-Tran’s lab where I will be investigating how necrotizing enterocolitis induces lung injury in premature infants using murine models.
Fun fact: One day I hope to start a program where I, along with other professionals, can mentor young minority women who are first generation college students or are from low-income neighborhoods and are considering professional degree programs.

Isaiah Swann
Undergraduate Institution: The University of Texas at Dallas
Year: Rising Senior
Major: Neuroscience
Hometown: Marietta, GA
What are you working on this summer? This summer, I am working in the lab of Dr. Bruce Carter in the Department of Biochemistry. I am working on optimizing a perineurial glia co-culture technique and multiwell microelectrode array system to study the relationship between Jedi-1, an engulfment receptor, and sensory neuron excitability.
Fun fact: I play third base (/baseball) for the UT-Dallas Comets (whoosh!).