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Introducing the Vanderbilt MSTP Incoming Class of 2020!

Posted by on Thursday, June 25, 2020 in Student Spotlight .

The Vanderbilt MSTP is excited to introduce the incoming class of 2020, who started program orientation (virtually) on June 16th. We are delighted to have such a bright group of future physician-scientists join our program. Some of them certainly come to us with an interesting skillset! Welcome, new M1s!


Kimberly (Kimmy) Bress
Hometown: Melbourne Beach, FL
Undergraduate: University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Major: Neuroscience and Mental Health Studies
Research Interest: Neuroscience and mental health, rehabilitation, diseases of/injury to the central nervous system, disability and accessibility
Fun fact: I can pogo stick and jump rope at the same time!!


Neil Chada
Hometown: Hillsborough, NJ
Undergraduate: Temple University
Major: Bioengineering, Minor in Sociology of Health
Research Interest: Application of biomedical engineering techniques on a cell/tissue level to any disease system
Fun fact: If you ever need sriracha, hmu – I usually carry around a keychain with it 😉


Joe DeCorte
Hometown: New Orleans, LA
Undergraduate: Louisiana State University
Major: Mathematics and Biochemistry
Research Interest: I am interested in how the immune system is implicated in disease and how we can modify its activity through effective drug design/delivery.
Fun fact: I walked 2 miles to get the Popeyes chicken sandwich when they came out. And they were sold out.


Nada Elsayed
Hometown: Zagazig, Egypt
Undergraduate: University of Cincinnati
Major: Chemistry, Arabic, Neuroscience
Research Interest: Neurological disorders of childhood
Fun fact: I used to work in a pre-school!


Kyle Enriquez
Hometown: America. I have moved 17 times in 20 years, but never left the Continental US.
Undergraduate: Stanford University
Major: B.S. Chemistry, M.S. Biology
Research Interest: I find my research and clinical interests align with Infectious Diseases; specifically virology and the discovery of alternative strategies to antibiotics for treating bacterial infections.
Fun fact: I have helped build ice skates for a Paralympian.


Arlene Garcia
Hometown: Philadelphia, PA
Undergraduate: University of Pennsylvania
Major: Cell and Molecular Biology
Research Interest: Microbiology and evolutionary biology
Fun fact: I’m a moderately decent cook and baker


Jeewoo Kim
Hometown: McLean, VA
Undergraduate: University of Virginia
Major: Neuroscience
Research Interest: I’m interested in neuroscience in general, but some specific areas are addiction/decision making/eating disorders and computational neuroscience.
Fun fact: I’ve recorded 1 second (almost) every day for the past 3 years


Drew Kittleson
Hometown: Doylestown, PA
Undergraduate: Northwestern University
Major: Neuroscience
Research Interest: My research interest is in the genetic bases and behavioral manifestations of mood/anxiety disorders.
Fun fact: I was in Madrid when Spain won the World Cup in 2010 and got to participate in the crazy celebrations that ensued!


Hailey Kresge
Hometown: Lancaster, PA
Undergraduate: Vanderbilt
Major: Neuroscience
Research Interest: I’m interested in changes that occur to the heart and brain with aging.
Fun fact: I was eliminated in the first round of a spelling bee for misspelling “basketball”


Kaitlin McKernan
Hometown: Libertyville, IL
Undergraduate: The University of Michigan
Major: Biochemistry, Minor- Spanish
Research Interest: I’m interested in genetics/epigenetics and immunology (hopefully do some combination of the two) in the context of cancer biology, autoimmune diseases, and/or women’s and child’s health (esp. maternal-fetal and neonatal health).
Fun fact: I can make caramel apples.


Joseph Ramsey
Hometown: Memphis, TN
Undergraduate: Tulane
Major: Spanish and Neuroscience
Research Interest: Developmental neuroscience and cell biology
Fun fact: I wore a bow tie every day to school my senior year in high school


Ericka Randazzo
Hometown: Norwalk, CT
Undergrad: University of Connecticut
Major: Physiology & Neurobiology and Pathobiology
Research interest: My background is in developmental neuroscience/neuro-oncology, but I’m interested in looking into osteogenesis, fracture healing, and bone biomechanics.
Fun fact: I (intentionally) wear two differently colored shoes when I run. They’re always the same brand and model and have the same amount of mileage on them.


Ariel Thorson
Hometown: Oklahoma City, OK
Undergraduate: Vanderbilt
Major: BME
Research Interest: endocrinology and metabolism
Fun fact: I once adopted 23 goldfish after the engineering council’s failed goldfish raffle (no one bought tickets for the raffle)


Jordan Washecheck
Hometown: Tulsa, OK
Undergraduate: University of Redlands
Major: biochemistry and molecular biology
Research Interest: Addiction, drug discovery
Fun fact: I will eat literally any food in the world, but I hate sweet potatoes and everything made from them (yes… even sweet potato fries, doesn’t matter how much sugar you put on them)


Raymond Zhang
Hometown: Chapel Hill, NC
Undergraduate: Wheaton College
Major: Biochemistry
Research Interest: Cancer immunology
Fun fact: I built a small home climbing wall as a quarantine project