Alumnae Neuroscience News

Alumnae Neuroscience News

We are proud of the diverse ways our graduates are using their neuroscience training in the world! We hope the collection of summaries below helps to celebrate your work and also serves to provide opportunities for current Wellesley students and alumnae to connect with each other. We would love to include your path below too! Please share your news here.  

o Mia Accomando ('18) is pursuing her PhD in Philosophy at Rutgers University-New Brunswick. She is specializing in philosophy of mind, with a focus on philosophical questions relating to perception, cognition, and imagination. Posted May, 2020

o Mika Asaba ('14) I am pursuing my PhD in Developmental Psychology at Stanford University in Dr. Hyowon Gweon's Social Learning Lab and planning to graduate in summer 2021! My research program uses developmental and computational methods to investigate the cognitive capacities underlying how we learn and reason about the self in our social interactions with others. Posted August, 2020

o Pim Chirathivat ('15) Following Wellesley, I pursued my passion of veterinary medicine at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University and practiced as a small animal veterinarian. I’m currently venturing into a new role of being a mom to an incredible little girl. Posted April, 2021

o Saachi Dalal ('19) is pursuing her interests at the intersection of early childhood health and development and global health acting as a research and strategy lead at a technology non-profit based in India: Khushi Baby. Posted May, 2020  

o Isabel D'Alessandro ('18) spent the first two years after graduation working as a research technician in the Wilson Lab at Harvard. She will be starting a PhD program in Neuroscience at Caltech in the fall of 2020. Posted May, 2020

o Shrutikona Das ('21) is a post-baccalaureate fellow at the National Cancer Institute investigating risk estimation for cervical cancer through simulation studies using standard survival analyses under the mentorship of Dr. Li Cheung. Posted March 2022

o Catherine DiGennaro ('19) I applied and was accepted to a PhD program at MIT's Sloan School of Management. I will be part of the System Dynamics group at Sloan and plan to study and build simulation models of health and health care policies with a focus on health care-related precarity (e.g., financial uncertainty related to health care) and instability. My training at Wellesley, especially the Neuroscience capstone senior seminar, was invaluable and allowed me to grow my passion for and confidence in pursuing a research-oriented career in health care-related topics. Posted March 2022

o Rachel Frazer ('20) is pursuing her passions for both music and neuroscience as a doctoral student in the Neurobiology and Behavior program at Columbia University. As a first-year student, she is rotating in different labs to explore topics ranging from circadian rhythm in Drosophila, computational models of motor control in non-human primates, and epigenetic-inheritance of stress and trauma in mice. She volunteers as an undergraduate mentor through Women in Science at Columbia (WISC) and joined a task-force through the Bias, Inclusion and Harassment Initiative to help decrease bias in the graduate school application process at Columbia. This year, Rachel was selected as a recipient of the 2021 National Science Foundation - Graduate Research Fellowship. Posted March, 2021

o Melody Gao ('17) was a Senior Analyst in the Corporates group at Fitch Ratings, where she covered the healthcare and pharmaceutical industry. Currently, Melody is pursuing an MBA at Yale School of Management. Posted April, 2021

o Vael (Monica) Gates ('15) Vael is pursuing their PhD in computational cognitive science at UC Berkeley, to graduate in Spring 2021. They're happy to talk to new students about grad school (see their outreach website! They completed a research-only Master's degree in Cambridge before joining Tom Griffiths's lab for their PhD. Posted August, 2020

o Anika Guha ('14) After graduating from Wellesley, I pursued a post-bac research position in the neurology department at Washington University School of Medicine gaining experience with structural MRI and resting-state fMRI. I am now a Ph.D. candidate at UCLA in the Laboratory for Clinical Psychophysiology. I utilize a variety of psychophysiological methods (task-based and resting-state fMRI, ERP, EEG oscillatory, etc.) to characterize neurocognitive mechanisms that contribute to vulnerability to and maintenance of psychopathology and specific clinical symptoms. Posted October, 2020

o Linnea Herzog ('12) As of February 2020, I've been a postdoctoral associate in Morgan Sheng’s lab at the Broad Institute. I study how cortical circuits are disrupted in psychiatric disorders. Posted May, 2020

o Rose Horowitz ('20)  Following her passion for memory research, Rose is currently a research technician in the Gan Lab at Weill Cornell Medicine's Appel Alzheimer's Disease Research Institute. When not at the lab bench, she can still be found building elaborate historically-inspired costumes and bespoke suits. Posted August, 2020

o Dana Im ('10), currently Chief Resident in Emergency Medicine at MGH and Brigham & Women’s Hospital, will be starting as Director of Behavioral Health in the Emergency Department at Brigham and Women's Hospital this summer. Posted May, 2020

o Allicia Imada ('13) I'm just finishing my second year of orthopedic surgery residency (of five years) at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. Posted May, 2020

o Desiree (Desi) Jones ('16) I am a third year PhD student at the University of Texas at Dallas, working in Dr. Noah Sasson's Development of Social Cognition Lab. I study how intrinsic factors, such as social cognitive abilities, and extrinsic factors, such as social stigma, contribute to social disability in autistic adults. Posted October, 2020

o Sannidhi Joshipura ('19) I am a Research Associate at Emulate Inc., a Boston based biotech startup that develops technologies that emulate human biology. As a part of the Applied BioSciences team, I work with a variety of top biotech and pharmaceutical companies to test their drugs on Emulate’s Organ-on-Chip Technology, including the Liver-Chip, Proximal Tubule Kidney-Chip, and Duodenum Intestine-Chip. Data generated by our team helps in key decision making in the drug delivery process. Posted October, 2020

o Rachel Kery ('12) When I graduated Wellesley, I knew I wanted to be a physician, and that I loved Neuroscience. I worked in a neuroendocrine lab at Massachusetts General Hospital for a few years studying pituitary tumor formation, while I figured out what direction I wanted to go in (MD only, or MD/PhD). Ultimately, I decided my future was in the lab, and ended up enrolling in the MD/PhD program at Stony Brook University. I've finished up my PhD in Neuroscience, and am now returning to medical school. Posted May, 2020

o Colleen Kirkhart ('09) went to UC Berkeley after graduation to continue her neuroscience education in the lab of Kristin Scott. Her research focused on the neural circuitry underlying gustatory learning and memory in Drosophila melanogaster. After earning her PhD, Colleen transitioned to secondary education, where she teaches research methods, biology, and chemistry, and runs a scientific research program for high school students. Posted June, 2020       

o Heather Kosakowski ('15) is a PhD candidate in the Department of Brain & Cognitive Sciences at MIT working with Rebecca Saxe and Nancy Kanwisher. Check out this article to learn more about Heather's PhD work. Posted July, 2021

o Rosalind Lai ('11) is currently a senior resident of Neurosurgery at Brigham and Women's Hospital. Posted September, 2020

o Kimy (Kimaya) Lecamwasam ('21) will be attending the Ph.D. program in Media Arts & Sciences at the MIT Media Lab. Posted April, 2021

o Emmy Li ('15) After I left Wellesley, I became a PhD candidate at the University of California San Francisco (now a third year!). I am now a NDSEG (National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate) fellow and am currently working in Dr. Martin Kampmann's lab where I am utilizing CRISPRi-based functional genomics to investigate the mechanism behind Alzheimer's disease.

o Farah Mahmud ('15) I am currently finishing up my second year as a doctoral student in the Clinical Psychology program at Montclair State University. Posted May, 2020

o Rachel Mak-McCully ('07) I completed my PhD in Neurosciences at UCSD in the lab of Eric Halgren. My research focused on the brain mechanisms underlying sleep. I never thought my double major at Wellesley of French and Neuroscience would intersect, but during grad school, I worked in Marseille, France collecting rare sleep recordings. After a post doc at the University of Pennsylvania and UC Berkeley, I did the Insight Fellows Program, which helps academics transition into data science. I worked as a Data Scientist at Neurotrack, which is an app for dementia prevention. Currently, I am a Data Scientist at Octave Bioscience, where I integrate wearable and sensor devices into a platform for multiple sclerosis care. Posted March, 2021

o Megan McNeil ('17) is just beginning in the MD/PhD Program at UMass Medical School. Posted June, 2020

o Stephanie Newton ('11) is a Spanish medical, legal and community interpreter and translator. She is currently doing her Master's Degree in translation at the University of Puerto Rico. She gives her neurons the occasional workout by doing crossword puzzles. Posted December 2021       

o Nicole K Ntim-Addae ('20) is a Product Manager for an early-stage radiology imagery startup, Gradient Health, Inc. She also works part-time Research Consultant at MIT's STEP lab for their DAILy AI Literacy curriculum. Posted January 2022

o Alexa Pagliaro ('18) is currently a third year PhD candidate at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, working in the lab of Dr. Stephen Shea. Posted September, 2020

o Abigail Parakoyi ('21) is currently working as a researach technician in the Brenhouse lab at Northeastern University. The lab focuses on studying the impacts of early life adversity over time on rodent models. In conjunction with working in the lab, she is also a bioinformatics masters student at Northeastern University. Posted Dec. 2021   

o Madeleine Potoskie ('18) spent the first two years after graduating working as a project coordinator at a nonprofit organization, Children and Screen: Institute of Digital Media and Child Development, and will begin the MSc Philosophy of Science program at the London School of Economics in the fall of 2020. Posted May, 2020

o Milena Radoman ('15) is a PhD Candidate in the Graduate Program in Neuroscience at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Milena's research focuses primarily on identifying the shared and unique biomarkers for alcohol abuse and mood disorders in humans using neuroimaging techniques, with a specific emphasis on understanding the individual differences in threat and reward responding. Posted May, 2020

o Isabelle Rosenthal ('16) As of 2021, I am a 4th year graduate student in Computation and Neural Systems at Caltech, studying neural prosthetics and multisensory integration of tactile experiences in Richard Andersen's lab. Before grad school, I was a lab manager for 2 years at the NIH. I'm always happy to chat about grad school, and you can read more about my work at Posted January 2022

o Melanie Rumbel ('20) Hi Wellesley Neuro Department! For the past 6 months, I have been working for Maria Kefalas' patient advocacy group, Cure MLD. Having worked at CHOP through the internship Maria coordinates with the Wellesley Neuroscience Department, it was fortuitous that she opened a position with Cure MLD just as I was graduating. I had an eye-opening experience the summer prior as a clinical research intern working with families affected by leukodystrophy. And now, I am honored to be working with these families from a patient advocacy perspective. Patient advocacy has been a really good fit, and it's a field I knew very little about before accepting this position. For all neuro majors unsure of their next steps, I certainly could relate. I hope to show that in addition to research and medicine, there are so many possibilities out there. Posted January 2021

o Sephira Ryman ('09) I am a Clinical Neuropsychologist and Assistant Professor of Translational Neuroscience at the Mind Research Network. I completed my PhD in Clinical Psychology at the University of New Mexico, clinical internship at UCLA, and post-doctoral clinical and research training at Stanford University. I use behavioral and multimodal neuroimaging techniques to understand the neuropsychiatric symptoms in both psychiatric and neurological conditions. Posted August, 2020

o Kia Salehi ('13) After working in a neuro lab for a couple of years after Wellesley, I changed tracks and attended a coding bootcamp. I have been working as a software engineer in San Francisco for the past four years, and just had my first anniversary at Square. Feeling lucky to be able to work remotely these days, where I take frequent breaks to fuss over the small forest of houseplants and backyard herbs and veggies I acquired in my pandemic restlessness! Posted August, 2020

o Daryl Selen (‘10) After graduating from Wellesley in 2010, I was a research assistant for two years prior to medical school. I attended University of Vermont College of Medicine (class of 2016). I pursued Internal Medicine residency training at Brown University/Rhode Island Hospital (class of 2019), and am currently in my second of three years of Endocrinology Fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital (will complete training in 2022). I am interested in women's endocrine disorders, and my current research focus is in diabetes in pregnancy. Posted March, 2021

o Madison Taylor (‘14) I am currently a Scientist at Neuralink, a startup company that aims to treat neurological disorders with novel brain-machine interface technologies. Posted October, 2020

o Lexi Taylor-Sawyer ('17) was an Early Childhood teacher for three years after graduating and is now enrolled in graduate school working towards her MS in Nursing at DePaul University. Posted May, 2020     

o Taylor Thaxton (‘17) spent two gap years working as a medical assistant and behavioral interventionist. She is now enrolled in the Charles R Drew/ UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine medical education program. Posted May, 2020

o Christina Tognoni ('09) Following graduation, I pursued my PhD in Systems & Integrative Neuroscience in the Christina Williams Lab at Duke University. I continued with post-doctoral training in the laboratories of Jan Krzysztof Blusztajn and Kathleen Rockland (Wellesley '69) as part of the BU Alzheimer's Disease Center. Currently, I am an Instructor of Neurology at BU and Health Science Specialist at the VA Boston Healthcare System, where I work in the BU/VA Translational Neurotherapeutics Laboratory (PI: Alpaslan Dedeoglu). My research involves preclinical studies of therapies and risk factors for AD, ALS, and Gulf War Veterans' Illness, with a particular focus on the involvement of the sphingosine-1-phosphate system in neuroinflammation. Posted August, 2020

Cayla Vila ('15) finished her M.D. at George Washington University in May, and is now in a residency program in Neurology at Boston Medical Center. Posted June, 2020

o Jane Yang ('16) I am currently a 3rd year PhD student in Dr. Steven A. Prescott's lab at the Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering, University of Toronto. I was recently awarded an Ontario Graduate Scholarship to fund my research. Posted May, 2020

o Sarah Yaser ('19) will be attending the Neuroscience PhD program at the University of Cincinnati. Posted April, 2021

o Cathy Ye ('14) Since graduating from Wellesley, I've worked as a litigation paralegal at Cravath, a law firm in Manhattan, NY, and in client services at Bridgewater Associates, a hedge fund in Westport, CT. I'm currently a JD-MBA candidate at Northwestern University and will be joining Simpson Thacher, a law firm in Manhattan, NY, as a corporate attorney upon graduating the program in 2021. For more on Cathy's path. Posted October, 2020