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2016 Class

MARC Undergraduate Student Training for Academic Research

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Yusra Elkhitam

('14- '16), Biology major

Evanah Hill

('14- '16), Public Health major

Kristin James

Kristin James is from South River, NJ, and attended South River High School. A biology major at Temple University, her scientific interests surround health disparities, with a special focus on women's health. Working with Dr. Sharon Herring at the Center for Obesity Research and Education (CORE), she is studying effective weight control methods within pregnant minority communities. As a third year student, she often spends her time tutoring high schoolers at Frankford High School in Math and Science through the AVID program. She has also participated in Project Shine, a program working to improve immigrant literacy in the Philadelphia area. She is currently the Events Coordinator for Temple University's Health Outreach Peer Educators (TU HOPE), an organization with a mission of educating the Philadelphia community about health disparities and overall well-being. In her free time she enjoys reading, exercising, and taking adventures around the city.

Cornelius Moody

A Philadelphia native, Cornelius Moody attended Franklin Learning Center High School, barely one mile away from Temple's campus. He currently works in the lab of Dr. Susan Patterson, who's research interests are in biological and cellular mechanisms of learning and memory with some focus on the central nervous system's interaction with the immune system and the deterioration of this interaction with age. Cornelius is currently assisting in an investigation of the effects of acute immune challenges in rats on learning and memory, using electrical recordings of hippocampus slices. He plans to continue working in an academic research setting as he defines his niche in the vastly broad and interdisciplinary field of neuroscience.

Victoria Onyeachu

('14- '16), Biology major

Sierra Williams

Sierra Williams is from Capitol Heights, Maryland and attended Charles Herbert Flowers High school where she graduated in the top 5% of her class. Originally, she attended State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF) to study Environmental Science her freshman year but is currently a junior at Temple University majoring in Chemistry. Her areas of scientific interest include organic chemistry, cosmetics, and agriculture. At Temple, she serves as the Community and Career Coordinator for the Temple University Chemical Society and is a member of the American Chemical Society Scholars Program.

Last summer, Sierra conducted research at Johns Hopkins University under the guidance of Dr. Rokita, where she explored reversible DNA alkylation of Quinone Methides. She then followed up by presenting their research at the 2014 Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students in San Antonio, Texas. Currently, she is working with Dr. Wuest on the synthesis of promysalin, which is known to both promote and prevent bacterial growth in Pseudomonas. Their aim is to understand the mechanistic relationship between promysalin and biofilms.

This summer, she plans to work at the Naval Research Laboratory. In the future, she intends to earn her Ph.D. from UC Berkeley in Organic Synthesis and eventually work at a government institution conducting research, such as the USDA.

When Sierra is not focused on her academics, she enjoys painting nails, shopping, spending time with friends, and cooking.

Khea Che Wolff

('14- '16), Biology major

Laura Baratta

('14- '16), Chemistry major