2020 Program Participants

Sakina Ali is a senior at Smith College in Northampton, MA, majoring in Biochemistry and Computer Science as a Posse Leadership Scholar. She is passionate about combining experimental results with clinical observations. After graduating in 2021, she plans on pursuing an MD-PhD dual degree in computational biology. Currently, she is working on a research project involving the computational bio-assemblies of virus
capsid structures. Specifically, she and her team are investigating how the asymmetric unit can be used to reduce the amount of space the entire virus potentially takes up in memory. When Sakina is not in class or cooped up in her room coding, you can find her dancing with Smith’s South Asian Dance Team, SC Masti or on a mountain, hiking with her friends.

Antonella Basso is a rising senior at Agnes Scott College, pursuing a bachelor’s degree in mathematics with minors in artificial intelligence and philosophy. Upon graduating in the spring of 2021, Antonella hopes to gain professional work experience in areas related to applied mathematics, data, and technology, and prepare for a graduate program in computational science, data analytics, or machine learning. With her experience in developed quantitative skills, Antonella aspires to pursue a career that allows her to exercise her love for mathematics and technology in contribution to groundbreaking scientific developments and the betterment of people’s lives.

Vincent Buckman earned his Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry at Washington and Lee University in 2020. In the summer of 2019, he conducted research in the Massion Lab at Vanderbilt Ingram Cancer Center where he studied the XCT transporter and its role in Cancer Metabolism. His research interests include the use of computational and experimentational tools to study gene expression as it relates to cancer. Vincent plans to pursue a dual MD/PhD degree with a doctorate in cancer biology. In the fall, he will take on a role as Triage Consulting Inc. as a clinical consultant.

Daniel Chan is a senior at Brown University double concentrating in biochemistry and public health and will be graduating in 2021. Daniel chose these two fields of study because he believes it’s important to learn about health on both a molecular and societal level. Outside of
the classroom, Daniel is engaged in research ranging from the pharmacogenomics of neuropathy to kidney medicine. Growing up as a first-generation college student in the immigrant community of San Francisco, Daniel always had an innate desire to bridge the health disparities experienced by underserved communities. Daniel wants to apply his computational skills to perform impactful research that can address these problems and create meaningful changes in the landscape of public health. Daniel hopes to pursue these goals through an MD/MPH program; by developing a strong background in public health as he studies medicine, Daniel hopes to support the most vulnerable and disadvantaged members of society and empower them with enhanced access to quality medical care.


Runa (Yan) Cheng graduated from Swarthmore College in 2020, majoring in Biology with minors in Statistics and Chemistry. She attempted to engineer the human HSPs to ameliorate neurodegenerative diseases at the Shorter Lab. In the fall, she will join the NIH IRTA Postbaccalaureate program to study autoimmune diseases and mature as a researcher. She is very passionate about bioinformatics, big data analysis and modeling, and she aspires to become a physician scientist. She hopes to contribute to translational advances in biomedicine and help further the  understanding of diseases.

Caroline Echeandia-Francis graduated from Washington University in St. Louis in May 2019 with a double major in biology and psychological and brain sciences. Driven by her passion for caring for our aging population, Caroline aspires to use biostatistics research to provide data driven information to older adults and their caregivers in order to help them make informed, personalized decisions surrounding eldercare. Participating in Harvard T.H. Chan School’s Summer Program in Biostatistics and Computational Biology will provide Caroline with the foundational training to make an impact through her research. She is thrilled to participate in the program and eager to engage with her fellow cohort members as well as Chan School graduate students and faculty!

Erick Miguel Ivanovich Méndez is a student at the University of Puerto Rico on the Río Piedras Campus. He is majoring in Mathematics and concentrating in statistics and computational mathematics. Erick is currently thinking about minoring in Chemistry.  After choosing a minor, Erick plans to graduate within the next 2 to 3 years. Erick is planning on entering the School of Medicine in the UPR system, and has interests in becoming a Forensic Medical Examiner along with taking part in public health in the future.


Jose Lopez graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in May of 2020, earning his Bachelor of Science in Public Health – Biostatistics. His research interests include infectious disease and environmental health concerning causal inference and statistical network science. Jose hopes to pursue a career in academia, where he can contribute to solving a multitude of problems and mentor others pursuing research. Fall 2020, he plans to begin his masters in biostatistics again at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Ultimately, he plans to pursue a Ph.D. also in Biostatistics.




Gabriela M. Lozano Pérez is a student at the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras campus about to start her fourth and final year. Currently majoring in mathematics with a concentration in computation and statistics. After graduating, Gabriela hopes to start her graduate studies in either the field of data science or statistics. Gabriela got very interested in working in these fields because of past internship experiences and the classes she has taken. In the future, Gabriela would like to work with data in a way that’s beneficial to the public.


Addison McGhee is a third-year Junior studying mathematics and statistics at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Before joining Harvard’s summer program, Addison participated in the UW-Madison McNair Scholars program and became determined to pursue a Ph.D. He hopes to complete his bachelor’s degree in May 2021, and then go on to earn his master’s and doctorate in biostatistics. Addison seeks to obtain professorship within the University of Wisconsin system and teach introductory and advanced statistics to undergraduates. His research interests include mental and physical well-being, environmental health, and statistical experimental design.

Tony Ni is a first-generation college student from Springfield, Illinois. He is currently a rising senior at Amherst College, where he is pursuing a major in both Statistics and Computer Science. Tony is especially passionate about integrating the skills he has attained working on biochemical and data science-oriented research as an intern, alongside his life experiences growing up in an underserved community. He hopes to be involved in work that seeks to improve the accessibility of health care for disadvantaged minorities and low-income individuals. After graduation, Tony aspires to continue on with graduate studies in biostatistics or to pursue a career in the public health sector.

Prashit Parikh is a first-generation college student from Galloway, New Jersey. He is currently pursuing a B.A. in Biochemistry along with minors in mathematics and music performance. Along with his pre-med studies, Prashit enjoys conducting research in the computational sciences. Most recently, he has been working on biostatistics projects using cardiac data and exploring the field of computational biology through protein-ligand docking simulations. He hopes to combine these research interests with his ongoing clinical experiences by attending an MD-PhD program following his graduation from Vassar College. Outside of the lab, Prashit enjoys playing jazz drums and serves as the Vassar Student Association President.

Tamantha Pizarro recently graduated from Iona College with a Mathematics BS major and economics minor on May 16th of this year 2020. She was also a member of the track and field team at Iona. During her undergraduate career, Tamantha participated in two Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REUs) both pertaining to mathematical biology. For her next step in education, Tamantha has committed to Arizona State University to enroll Fall 2020 for the PhD program in Applied Mathematics for the Life and Social Sciences program. Her career aspirations include jobs with an applied mathematics background such as a biostatistician, statistician, or economist.

Courtney Rabb is a rising junior at Harvard University studying Applied Mathematics and Economics. At Harvard, Courtney plays varsity soccer for the Harvard Women’s Soccer team and serves as treasurer for her dorm’s student-run House Committee. She has a strong interest in healthcare and public health, particularly in applying data and quantitative methods to the fields. After graduating in 2022, Courtney hopes to continue pursuing data analysis and its applications, particularly in the fields of health and finance.


Andrea Rivera is a current undergraduate at Harvard College (’22) concentrating in Statistics with a Computational Biology track and Molecular and Cellular Biology, as well as a secondary in Global Health and Health Policy. Originally from Puerto Rico, she is eager to apply statistical and mathematical models to help solve the public health issues that plague her home following Hurricane Maria and the recent earthquakes on the island. Her long-term goals include completing a Master’s Degree in Epidemiology or Biostatistics as well as an MD and later work for the Department of Public Health of Puerto Rico.


Monique Sparkman received her Bachelor of Science in mathematics from the College of Charleston. As an undergraduate, Monique has participated in two research project teams examining the use of statistics to explain health anomalies. She plans to pursue a Master of Science in mathematical sciences with a concentration in statistics at the University of Charleston. Later, Monique plans to obtain a PhD in biostatistics and continue her research pursuits using statistics with the biological sciences to advance the understanding of demographic markers. Ultimately, she wants to help marginalized groups gain knowledge about issues regarding their community that can be revealed with biostatistics.

Austin Zane is a student at Texas A&M University and plans to graduate in 2021. He is double majoring in statistics and applied mathematics with a minor in computer science. In grad school, Austin will pursue a Ph.D. in statistics or biostatistics. Eventually, he hopes to conduct research in industry or academia so that he can continue working on novel problems and push the boundaries of what we know. During his REU last summer, he investigated hemimethylation in lung cancer patients and submitted the results for publication. Austin views biostatistics as a path to helping people with his quantitative background and is eager to learn more about it this summer at Harvard.