Each year, we recruit four new MARC Fellows during their Junior year. Below you can see each cohort and learn a little about them.

Junior COHORT (Graduating 2023):

Sashoya Dougan

Mentor: Dr. Anthony Geneva

About: The research I’m currently working on integrates molecular ecology, population genomics, and classic genetics approaches to gain a more complete understanding of how genomes and environments interact to generate biological novelty. I am interested in wildlife studies as they relate to ecological research. My goal is to focus on wildlife rehabilitation, management, and conservation research, primarily with wild felines. A unique thing about myself might be my obsession with microscopy when I’d first learned how to operate one around the age of 14. I was ready to sample everything, from plants to carpet fibers to cat hair. Most of these impulses were limited but I had fun.

D’Erica Boskie

Mentor: Dr. Xingyun Qi

About: The research I am currently working on involves analyzing how certain plant organelles, such as stoma, can inhibit or promote growth under environmental stresses. This research will ultimately help farmers to better understand what it takes to yield a plentiful harvest. In my career, I hope to be apart of the creation of innovations of treatments in orthopedics and sports medicine. I am a Biology and Global Studies major with a French minor and I hope to use everything I learn in my career!!

John Crespo

Mentor: Dr. Nathan Fried

About: The research I will be involved with will be looking at the association between pain and sleep through the use of fruit flies by utilizing a chemical, mechanical, and thermal assay. In theory, lowering sleep should increase pain and increasing pain should lower sleep, so I will be testing this theory on fruit flies to see how this can also be associated among humans. My research career goals are to take part in treating cancer by using a procedure that would cause less side effects, resulting in lowering the chances of mortality after a few years of treatment. I am unique because of how quickly and young I have started my career journey, where I am two years ahead of school because of early college credits and starting school early overall. This leads me to graduate and gather the experience that is needed at a younger age, compared to the average person who graduates.

Teresa Osorio

Mentor: Dr. Marien Solesio

About: Currently, our lab is studying the effects of mitochondrial inorganic polyphosphate in pharmacological models of Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and Huntington’s disease. The goal of this study is to understand mitochondrial physiology and dysfunction in neurodegeneration and aging. Born and raised in Camden, my surroundings fostered a desire to pursue research. I aspire to continue researching neurodegenerative diseases and advocating for equity in the science community. When I am not in the lab or volunteering in my community, my hobbies include drawing, journaling, and exploring Philly’s collection of museums and restaurants.


Senior COHORT (Graduating 2022):

Anthony Monte Carlo

Mentor: Dr. Jinglin Fu

About: Our lab is currently designing a rapid test in order to screen for the presence of COVID-19. Dr. Fu hopes to eventually adapt this test for a number of diseases. My long-term research goals are to develop treatments for conditions that affect millions of people around the world like chronic pain, cancer, and autoimmune diseases. I think the most unique thing about me is that I try to take every opportunity to learn, and the most important thing I can do is make others happy!

Julianna JimenezJulianna Jimenez

Mentor: Professor Kim Moran

About: The research I am currently working on involves detecting Barr Bodies in samples of forensic significance to determine sex of an unknown sample. Barr Bodies are small, condensed chromosomes found near the cell wall and are typically found in female mammal cells. The goal of the study is to determine the reliability of Barr Body identification. This will be done by recording the true and false positive and negative rates found when detecting Barr Bodies in blood smear samples originating from both males and females. My ideal research career goals involve contributing to both the forensic science and biomedical worlds!

Sienna Casciato

Mentor: Dr. Kwangwon Lee

About: The research that I’m currently working on involves using Neurospora crassa as a model system to determine how it measures day-length. Determining the genetic mechanism that is used to measure day length will give more insight about how circadian rhythms and photoperiodism work. My research career goals are to study infectious disease so that new treatments can be developed for these diseases. Something that is unique about who I am is that I really enjoy helping others and I want to continue to do that in a larger way by doing research.

Taqdees Gohar

Mentor: Dr. Elizabeth West at Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine

About: I am researching in Dr. Elizabeth West’s lab at Rowan SOM where I am currently investigating sex differences in working memory of F344 rats: the background strain for a transgenic rat line created to develop Alzheimer’s disease (AD) pathology. We aim to rescue AD-related working memory impairments by modifying neuronal activity in the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus. I am interested in pursuing an MD/Ph.D and continuing research alongside working with patients to devise new treatments for AD. I was born and raised in Pakistan and, I am the first in my family to pursue a degree in science.