• Horizon Seminar: Senior Instructors


    Horizon Seminar simulates a university-level research class, with classes of 3-6 students taught by a professor or lecturer with decades of teaching experience. Students develop individualized research projects of their own choosing and design.

    Cambridge Professor who works with high school students on research projects that help them get into top UK universities

    Edoardo Gallo

    Assistant Professor and Director of Studies (Economics) at University of Cambridge

    Edoardo Gallo is an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Economics at the University of Cambridge and the Ajit Singh Official Fellow in Economics at Queens' College, Cambridge. He is also an Associate Member at Nuffield College (Oxford) and a Fellow at the Cambridge Endowment for Research in Finance. His research sits at the intersection of the economics of networks, experimental economics, and behavioral economics. The fundamental question it investigates is how the structure of social networks causally affects individual behavior and economic outcomes in a wide range of contexts. Prior to coming to Cambridge, he was a Junior Research Fellow at Christ Church (Oxford) and completed his A.B. in Physics and Mathematics at Harvard University. He has taught political economy, behavioral economics, networks, economic theory and mathematics at the University of Cambridge, University of Oxford, and Harvard University. Gallo earned his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Oxford.

    Dartmouth Professor who works with high school students on research projects that help them get into Ivy League universities.

    David Rezvani

    Research Assistant Professor at Dartmouth College

    David Rezvani has previously taught at Harvard University, MIT, Oxford University, and Boston University. He is also the author of Surpassing the Sovereign State: The Wealth, Self-Rule, and Security Advantages of Partially Independent Territories (Oxford University Press, 2014). Rezvani’s research interests include political integration, Asian politics, and US foreign policy. His work has appeared in the Political Science Quarterly, Journal of Contemporary Asia, Ethnopolitics, and the International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences. He has held research fellowships at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and has won research grants from Harvard University, Oxford University, Trinity College, the Smith Richardson Foundation, Boston College, and Hong Kong University. As a speaker of English, Mandarin Chinese, and Persian, he has conducted fieldwork in Europe, China, and the Middle East. He earned his D.Phil. from the University of Oxford.

    Dartmouth Professor who works with high school students on independent research projects in Mathematics.

    Vladimir Chernov

    Professor, Dartmouth College

    Vladimir Chernov has worked at the ETH Zurich, Max Planck Institute for Mathematics, Bonn and Zurich University. Currently he is a Full Tenured professor at Dartmouth College, where he has taught since 2001. He is an author of more than 30 research papers in the Mathematics and Mathematical Physics research journals. His works appeared in Geometry and Topology, Topology, Geometric and Functional Analysis, Algebraic and Geometric Topology, Communications in Contemporary Mathematics, Communications in Mathematical Physics, Geometry and Physics and Journal of Mathematical Physics. He has had collaboration grants from the Simons Foundation. He has earned his two PhDs from the Uppsala University Sweden and UC Riverside, USA.

    Lecturer at Harvard who works with high school students on research projects in Environmental Engineering.

    James Truncer

    Lecturer at Harvard University Extension School, Former Lecturer at Stanford University

    James Truncer has taught environmental engineering and environmental systems collapse courses at Harvard since 2012. Prior to teaching at Harvard, he was a lecturer at Stanford University for 9 years, where he taught similar courses. Truncer has also conducted archaeological research in North America and India and published his findings in academic journals, edited volumes, and monographs. His work has led to an interest in sustainability issues with regard to changing agricultural production, urbanization, resource use, and systems collapse. He earned his Ph.D. in Archaeology from the University of Washington.

    Lecturer at Harvard who works with high school students on research projects that help them get into Ivy League universities.

    Guillermo Goldsztein

    Professor, Georgia Tech (Georgia Institute of Technology)

    Professor Goldsztein is originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina. In 1992 he received his undergraduate degree in mathematics from the University of Buenos Aires and in 1997 a PhD in mathematics from MIT. During the three following years (1997-2000), he was a postdoctoral scholar and lecturer in applied mathematics at CalTech. Since 2000, he has been a faculty member of the School of Mathematics of Georgia Tech, where he is now a full professor. Professor Goldsztein enjoys applying mathematics that can be used in other other fields of science such as computational biology, machine learning, and the intersection between math and physics. Machine learning is among his areas of expertise.

  • Horizon Labs


    Horizon Labs focuses on more specialized topics and is one-on-one and thus more open-ended. Horizon Labs allows students to get individualized mentorship from instructors who are on the front lines of PhD-level research, often who are in the process of completing their own PhD or postdoctoral research. These instructors are more intimately acquainted with the latest studies, the most relevant data sets, and the most interesting perspectives being introduced in their respective fields. This list includes many of our mentors, but it is not a complete list as we honor requests by mentors to not be listed publicly for personal privacy purposes. If you would like to see the full list of mentors for a particular subject, please reach out to fill out this form with the request for additional information.

    Cambridge University data science teacher, Cambridge University computer science teacher, Parsa Akbari

    Dr. Parsa A.

    Research Associate, Statistical Genetics, The University of Cambridge

    Dr. Parsa A. is Research Associate at the University of Cambridge working in Statistical Genetics. He received his PhD from Downing College at the University of Cambridge in Statistical Genetics. Parsa has both academic and commercial experience in the application of statistical analysis to generate commercial and scientific value. In the past Parsa has worked for UCB Biopharma to develop Machine Learning algorithms predicting the side effects of drug compounds, and has worked as a consultant role with organisations based in Beijing, New York and Los Angeles providing training and advice in the implementation of statistical models. Parsa co-founded an online technology platform allowing the open source online generation of content by users which was sold in 2013. Parsa contributes to Downing Enterprise with his strong links to the entrepreneurial community in Cambridge including as a former president of the Cambridge Data Society, connection to the Judge Business School via the Accelerate programme, and previous role as Information Officer of the Cambridge Technology and Enterprise Society.

    Lecturer at Columbia who works with high school students on research projects that help them get into Ivy League universities through philosophy research projects.

    Dr. César Cabezas

    Preceptor at Columbia University

    César Cabezas Gamarra is Preceptor at Columbia University's Center for the Core Curriculum and teaches the renowned 'Contemporary Civilization' course at Columbia. He holds a PhD from the Philosophy Department at Columbia University. The core of Cabezas Gamarra's research lies at the intersection of philosophy of race, social and political philosophy, and philosophy of social science. In addition, he is interested in ethics, social epistemology and feminist philosophy. He is currently finishing his dissertation on structural racism and durable racial inequality.

    MIT Biological Engineering researcher in CRISPR Technology, Erika DeBendictis

    Erika DeBenedictis

    PhD Candidate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    Erika DeBenedictis is a PhD candidate in the Department of Biological Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She uses directed evolution to expand the genetic code to include chemically diverse amino acids. To enable this work, she develops technologies for accelerating biological research using laboratory robotics. In addition, she researches the molecular basis of CRISPR, and is interested in the ethics of applying gene editing techniques.

    Oxford Philosophy Researcher in cognitive science, Alasdair Craig

    Alasdair Craig

    PhD Researcher at the University of Oxford; Commissioning Editor, Hurst Publishers

    Alasdair Craig is a PhD candidate in philosophy at the University of Oxford. His work focuses on the philosophy of perception, and uses both cognitive science and philosophy to better understand the nature of our perceptual contact with the world. He has taught courses in Philosophy of Mind, Philosophy of Cognitive Science, and Logic at the University of Oxford. He has also served as a Commissioning Editor of Hurst Publishers. He holds an MA in Philosophy from Kings College London and a BA in History from the University of Oxford.

    Harvard Clinical Science Researcher in mental health, Payton Jones

    Payton Jones

    PhD Researcher at the Harvard University

    Payton Jones is a current doctoral candidate in Clinical Science at Harvard University. He is interested in machine learning and quantitative approaches to studying mental health. Payton develops open-source software in R and conducts applied research that uses network science to study emotional disorders. He is also interested in how modern sociocultural attitudes and practices impact psychopathology and how these factors relate to stagnant or increasing rates of depression, anxiety, and PTSD. Some of his recent research explores whether individuals' beliefs about trauma influence how vulnerable they are to PTSD, and to what extent those beliefs can be influenced.

    Cambridge Biotechnology Researcher in material science, David Brossault

    David Brossault

    PhD Researcher at the University of Cambridge

    David Brossault is a PhD researcher at the department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology at the University of Cambridge. His research, based on material science, explores the design and optimisation of silica based composite materials for use in both environmental (e.g. water treatment) and biological (e.g. imaging and drug delivery) applications. In his department, David is also involved in teaching activities giving poster design sessions, marking undergraduate student lab reports as well as mentoring master student lab projects. Before his PhD, David obtained his BSc in Chemistry (2013) and a dual MSc in General and Formulation Chemistry (2017). He has developed sound research skills, adaptability and scientific interest through 2 years working in various industrial R&D departments, including Sanofi (United-Kingdom), Capsugel (France), BASF (Germany) and UCB Pharma (Belgium). Alongside his academic life, David is involved in his college life, working as outreach academic speaker, postgraduate committee member as well as college squash captain.

    MIT Biological Engineering Researcher in gene editing, Alim Ladha

    Alim Ladha

    PhD Researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    Alim Ladha is a PhD researcher in Feng Zhang's lab at Massachusetts Institute of Technology's department of Biological Engineering. His research is focused on the development and application of new tools for gene editing. This includes the discovery of new CRISPR enzymes with previously unknown function, engineering existing CRISPR systems with novel functions, and exploration of natural systems for delivery of CRISPR proteins. Before his PhD, Alim was an undergraduate at Duke University with a research focused degree in Biomedical Engineering. His projects included the use of stem cell-derived blood vessels for both treating and modeling disease, and metabolic engineering of microorganisms to reduce the cost of expensive drugs. Alim was also a researcher at the world's first stool bank, OpenBiome, where he used data analytics to help design and validate a treatment that has been used in over 50,000 patients. He has a wealth of teaching experience from multiple courses, including engineering the immune system to treat disease and electrical systems engineering for biomedical engineers.

    Cambridge Chemical Engineering Researcher in pharmaceuticals, Perman J.

    Perman J.

    PhD Researcher at the University of Cambridge

    Perman is a PhD researcher at the department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology at the University of Cambridge. His research is focused on utilising Machine Learning algorithms and automated experimental tools to enhance process development in chemical and pharmaceutical industry. Before his PhD studies, Perman completed his undergraduate work at KAIST (Korea) where he studied Chemistry, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, and Economics (minor). His research at KAIST focused on (1) developing chemical probes (molecules) for early stage detection of Alzheimer’s disease and (2) designing and developing covalent organic polymers (COPs) for CO2 capture and storage. Perman has also worked as a researcher at EPFL (Switzerland) and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His work at EPFL focused on designing and synthesizing fluorescent molecules for live cell imaging, specifically targeting proteins associated with cancer. At MIT, Perman has worked on developing new methods for analysis and quantification of upgrading crude oil. He has experience in teaching, organising events, leading projects, and working with diverse set of teams on different projects across the globe.

    Oxford Neurobiology Researcher in Parkinson's Disease, Marta Madureira

    Marta Madureira

    PhD Researcher at the University of Oxford – Visiting PhD from University of Porto

    Marta is a PhD student in Richard Wade-Martins’ lab at the University of Oxford’s Department of Physiology, Anatomy, and Genetics. Her research focuses on investigating the molecular neurobiology of Parkinson’s Disease. More specifically this includes investigating autophagy, the break down and recycling of proteins and other cellular components, and how this process is impaired in neurons. The aim of her project is to better understand this neurodegenerative disease and to ultimately develop new drug targets. Before starting her PhD, she was a research technician in the Hens Lab at the University of Oxford, looking at expression of synthetic promoters in Drosophila Melanogaster. Prior to this position, she was also involved in processing and genotyping samples as an intern at a Molecular Genetics lab at the University of Lisbon, Portugal.

    Harvard Biostatistics Researcher in mobile health, Patrick Emedom-Nnamdi

    Patrick Emedom-Nnamdi

    PhD Researcher at Harvard University

    Patrick Emedom-Nnamdi is a PhD candidate in the Department of Biostatistics at Harvard University's T.H. Chan School of Public Health, where he focuses on smartphone based digital phenotyping and mobile health. Specifically, he develops statistical and quantitative methods for studying social, behavioral, and cognitive phenotypes. His current research aims at creating prediction models for determining time to recovery in surgical patients.

    Cambridge Genetics Researcher in neuron disease, Zeynep Ozturk

    Zeynep Ozturk

    PhD Researcher at the University of Cambridge

    Zeynep Ozturk is a PhD candidate in Genetics currently at Darwin College at the University of Cambridge. Zeynep has a Bachelor’s degree in Molecular Biology and Genetics and master’s degree in Human Genetics. Her Bachelor’s project was about miRNAs and Type2 Diabetes mellitus which project was conducted in Denmark when she was an ERASMUS exchange student. In her master’s she did a project about Multiple Sclerosis which is a brain disease, by using human samples to investigate potential biomarkers for diagnosis. In the past Zeynep has worked as a research assistant in Turkey and delivered several courses about molecular biology and genetics. Currently, her PhD project is ‘Investigation role of Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia (HSP), a motor neuron disease, proteins in organization of axonal endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and ER-mitochondria contact sites in Drosophila’. She applies gene editing methods in order to generate mutagenesis and transgenic animals for her aims. She also uses confocal microscopy and several molecular techniques to monitor neurons.

    UChicago Bioinformatics Researcher in machine learning, Rida Assaf

    Rida Assaf

    PhD Researcher at the University of Chicago

    Rida is a PhD Candidate at the University of Chicago. His main research interests are High Performance Computing and Machine Learning, and their applications in the Bioinformatics domain. He is involved in multiple research projects that include feature extraction, classification, clustering, and other algorithmic techniques applied on cancer and anti-bacterial resistance datasets, among others. He has published papers and chapters mostly related to this field, and to scientific computing in general, applied to high energy physics. He has extensive experience teaching at different universities in different countries. These include the American University of Beirut, Western Michigan University, and the University of Chicago. His experience in the industry has mostly been as internships performed at Google, in its New York and Zurich offices. He has won the Graduate Scholar and Creative Research Award at Western Michigan University, and gained membership to top honor societies in the states.

    Oxford Neurobiology Researcher in homeostasis, Patrick Liu

    Patrick Liu

    PhD Researcher at the University of Oxford

    Patrick is a PhD student in the Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics at the University of Oxford, where he is funded by a Marshall Scholarship. His research takes a neurobiology approach to understanding the molecular processes underlying sleep homeostasis, and more broadly, how neural circuits are able to temporally integrate information to effect meaningful behavioral output. In undergrad, he triple majored in Biological Sciences, Neuroscience, and Psychology, and his pedagogical interests lie at the intersection of these three interdisciplinary topics. Prior to starting his PhD work, Patrick taught at an accelerated science high school on a Fulbright Fellowship. Following his PhD, he will return to the US for medical school to become a physician-scientist.

    Yale Clinical Psychology Researcher in behavioral mechanisms, Dr. Ema Tanovic

    Dr. Ema Tanovic

    PhD, Yale University

    Ema Tanovic earned her PhD in Clinical Psychology from Yale University. As part of her degree, she completed a year-long clinical fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania, where she provided psychotherapy and assessment to patients across the health system. Prior to beginning her graduate work, Ema graduated with high honors from Wesleyan University. Broadly, her research investigates the cognitive, affective, and behavioral mechanisms of anxiety. Ema is particularly interested in characterizing how people respond to uncertainty and how excessive responses in uncertain situations may confer risk for the development of mood and anxiety disorders. To ask these questions, Ema uses various methods, including event-related potentials, peripheral psychophysiology, and behavioral tasks. Her dissertation focused on the development of a novel paradigm to study avoidance under uncertain threat.

    Penn Bioengineering Researcher in cell physiology, Erin Berlew

    Erin Berlew

    PhD Researcher at the University of Pennsylvania

    Erin is a current doctoral candidate in Bioengineering at the University of Pennsylvania. Her researched is focused on engineering light-controlled, genetically encoded proteins that can be turned on and off to control cell physiology. Specifically, she develops protein tools to study cell signaling and the dynamics of the cytoskeleton. She is also interested in protein structure-function relationships, small molecule biosynthesis, imaging technologies, and science education.

    Oxford Genetics Researcher in colorectal cancer, Nadia Nasreddin

    Nadia Nasreddin

    PhD Researcher at the University of Oxford

    Nadia is a PhD candidate at the Wellcome Centre for Human Genetics at the University of Oxford. Her research focuses on colorectal cancer and inflammatory bowel disease, looking into the link between inflammation and tumorigenesis. She specifically focuses on the molecular characterization of colitis-associated colorectal cancer, with the aim of elucidating the carcinogenic pathway of this type of colorectal cancer and the ultimate goal of improving patient management and treatment. She undertook her undergraduate studies in Biomedical Sciences at the University of Westminster, London, and she completed a master’s degree in Human Molecular Genetics at Imperial College London, London. She then took up a position as Research Assistant in Colorectal Cancer at the University of Oxford, prior to starting her PhD.

    Princeton Neuroscience Researcher in behavioral studies, Sori Baek

    Sori Baek

    PhD Researcher at Princeton University

    Sori Baek is a Ph.D. candidate in the Psychology & Neuroscience Joint Degree Program at Princeton University, and her research is funded by the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. She is a developmental cognitive neuroscientist, which means that she is mainly interested in how babies and kids think and use their brains. She uses neuroimaging methods and behavioral studies to conduct research on how babies and kids use their brains to perceive things in the world, make and process predictions, learn new things, and remember past events! Prior to her PhD work, she was a Lab Manager and Research Coordinator at the Laboratory of Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience at Stanford University. Her personal website with more information her research can be found here: https://www.soribaek.com

    UChicago Neurobiology Researher in visual perception, Dr. Julian Day-Cooney

    Dr. Julian Day-Cooney

    PhD, University of Chicago

    Julian has a PhD in Neurobiology from the University of Chicago studying the mechanisms underlying visual perception. He recently began a postdoctoral fellowship at Oregon Health & Science University investigating emotion and memory. Combining state of the art technologies, computational models, and genetic techniques, he is defining the neural activity necessary to perceive emotional states and how they influence our behavior. In addition to neuroscience research, Julian is a dedicated educator and earned a college teaching certificate upon graduation. Prior to coming to University of Chicago, he has held research positions at the National Institutes of Health and the University of Pittsburgh studying the perception of complex visual scenes and methods to aid recovery from traumatic brain injury, respectively. He has earned a bachelor of science degree in neuroscience as well as bachelor of arts degrees in Philosophy and English writing from the University of Pittsburgh.

    Stanford Biochemistry Researcher in photosynthetic proteins, Jared Weaver

    Jared Weaver

    PhD Candidate and Research Associate at Stanford University

    Jared Weaver is a PhD candidate in Biophysical Chemistry at Stanford. He studies energy capture in photosynthetic proteins through use of genetically encoded non-natural amino acids which are not normally present in biology. In his studies, he employs ultrafast methods among other biophysical tools. Jared is also actively involved in developing new tools to better understand biology in general. His research seeks to gain inspiration for current challenges and questions in chemistry through use and an understanding of biological systems. He holds a BS from Southern Utah University and is in the final year(s) of his program at Stanford.

    UChicago Neuroscience Researcher in neural processes, Andrew "Andy" S.

    Andrew "Andy" S.

    PhD Candidate at University of Chicago

    Andrew is a PhD psychology student in the Integrative Neuroscience program at University of Chicago. He is broadly interested in neural processes of valuation and decision making. He works in a neuroethology lab studying electrophysiological mechanisms of auditory perception and choice behavior in a songbird model. Andrew is especially interested in how female songbirds perceive the temporal features of male song, how this affects song preferences, and whether this relates to music and language processing in humans. Prior to beginning this research, he earned a bachelor's degree in Music with a minor in Philosophy. He then completed post-baccalaureate work in cognitive science. As a research assistant at Oregon Health and Science University, he used diffusion tensor imaging and measures of cognition and temperament to study the association between white matter microstructure and impulsivity in children. Andrew has also worked as a music instructor, English teacher, and biochemistry tutor, and has given many presentations via his public Meetup group, Brain & Cognitive Science Seminar.

    Stanford Biochemistry Researcher in protein environments, Jacob Kirsh

    Jacob Kirsh

    PhD Candidate at Stanford University

    Jacob Kirsh is a biophysical chemistry PhD candidate at Stanford University. He is broadly interested in how the color of a molecule can change depending on the environment it is in and what factors, like local electric fields, are most responsible for the changes we observe. In particular, his research focuses on creating new proteins whose color are determined by explicitly taking advantage of the relationship between local electric fields and absorption. By designing protein environments around a given chromophore to better understand this relationship, we hope to better understand the ways that local electric fields can be used to improve or create new function in existing proteins. He uses a host of biological and physical tools to make and study his samples and thereby gain a better understanding of protein production under molecular biology and the physical observables that proteins can exhibit. By working with model biological systems, his research hopes to better understand the physical forces that influence the function of molecules of all varieties in a host of environments. He holds a BA in chemistry and math from Swarthmore College and is entering the fourth year in his graduate program.

    Yale Philosophy and Psychology Researcher in moral psychology, Brian E.

    Brian E.

    PhD Candidate at Yale University

    Brian is pursuing a joint Ph.D. in philosophy and psychology, having received his undergraduate degree in cognitive science from Yale, a master’s degree in psychology from the University Oxford, and a second master’s degree in the history and philosophy of science from the University of Cambridge. Also serving as Associate Director of the Yale-Hastings Program in Ethics and Health Policy and Research Fellow in the Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics at the University of Oxford, he does work primarily in moral psychology, experimental philosophy, and bioethics among other areas. With Professor Julian Savluescu, he is the author of Love Drugs: The Chemical Future of Relationships (Stanford University Press, 2020). Brian is also a professional actor and singer. His academic webpage is here; his theater reel is here.

    Harvard Chemical Biology Researcher in regulatory processes, Merrick S.

    Merrick S.

    PhD Candidate at Harvard University

    Merrick is a Chemical Biology PhD student at Harvard, currently studying the regulatory processes involved in the development of human eggs and sperm with the eventual goal of producing them in vitro from pluripotent stem cells. He is also more broadly interested in the field of synthetic biology, including gene editing and RNA biochemistry. Merrick grew up in Minneapolis, MN and attended the University of Minnesota. While an undergraduate, he conducted research on the hexadehydro-Diels-Alder reaction with Prof. Thomas Hoye, and was a summer student in the lab of Prof. Emily Balskus at Harvard where he studied bacterial choline metabolism. After graduating with dual BScs in chemistry and biochemistry, he studied human germ cell development with Prof. Azim Surani as a Churchill scholar at Cambridge, England, where he obtained his MPhil. Merrick then returned to Harvard, where he is currently an NSF graduate fellow in the lab of Prof. George Church.

    UChicago Psychology Researcher in memory, Colin Quirk

    Colin Quirk

    PhD Candidate at University of Chicago

    Colin Quirk is a current PhD candidate in Psychology at the University of Chicago. His interest in psychology began as an undergraduate at Hampshire College where he served as manager of a lab examining the relationship between the neural activity of children and visual attention. He went on to work as a lab manager studying long-term memory at the University of Massachusetts Amherst before moving to Chicago for his PhD work. Currently, Colin uses electroencephalography (EEG) and eye-tracking methods to study working memory. Of particular interest to Colin is the use of “big data” and deep neural networks to understand how individuals choose to encode information. He has taught and assisted with multiple courses related to research methods and statistics. When he is not working on his research, Colin enjoys helping other graduate students with their technical problems through a student group he runs.

    UChicago Neurobiology Researcher in sleep apnea, Carolina C.R.

    Carolina C.R.

    PhD Candidate at University of Chicago

    Carolina is a PhD student in the Committee of Neurobiology at the University of Chicago. Her research interests are at the intersection of Neurobiology, Physiology, and Molecular Biology. She’s currently focused on understanding how sleep apnea disrupts brain networks important for memory and learning. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Biology, during which time she worked extensively on identifying and characterizing mutations in the human population that may disrupt dopamine signaling. During this time, she also worked in identifying the effects of pH on the activity of proteins that have been implicated in Alzheimer’s disease. Carolina has a long history of biomedical research that has been funded by the National Institutes of Health in fields such as human genetics, translational nanotechnology, and neurobiology.

    UChicago Neuroscience Researcher in environmental neuroscience, Andrew Stier

    Andrew Stier

    PhD Candidate at University of Chicago

    Andrew is a PhD researcher in the Integrative Neuroscience program at the University of Chicago. His research is focused in the area of Environmental Neuroscience which focuses on understanding how the social and physical environment interaction with the brain and behavior. He draws on his background in Math and Physics in applying computational methods from hierarchy theory, complex systems theory, and network theory to investigate these interactions. In practice this involves using a diverse set of large datasets, including fMRI data, online and telephone based surveys, government census data, social media data, and human mobility data from cell phone tracing, to understand how the physical environment, social networks, and brain networks and brain activity interact to influence rates of depressive disorders.

    Harvard Psychology Researcher in language and emotions, Erik N.

    Erik N.

    PhD Candidate at Harvard University

    Erik is a clinical psychology PhD student at Harvard University. Erik studies how language influences emotion: How do the words and concepts we have for emotions influence how we experience, perceive, and manage our emotions? Erik uses neuroimaging (fMRI), developmental, translational, and psycholinguistic tools to explore these questions. For example, he has studied how the ability to specifically label our emotions develops across age and how this ability relates to mental health. Erik is currently a clinical psychology intern at Weill-Cornell Medical School.

    Harvard Biomedical Researcher in next generation cell therapy, Soufiane Aboulhouda

    Soufiane Aboulhouda

    PhD Candidate at Harvard University

    Soufiane Aboulhouda is a PhD Candidate in the Biological and Biomedical Sciences program at Harvard Medical School. His research in the lab of Dr. George Church at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering is focused on utilizing genome engineering and multiplexed in-vivo CRISPR libraries to develop next generation cell therapies. He completed his bachelors degree at the University of California, Santa Cruz where his interest in genetics began. After college, he spent 3 years at the University of California, San Francisco studying RNA biology and gene regulation. Soufiane is currently the Head Tutor for Harvard’s GetSmarter CRISPR Gene Editing course, is the President of the Harvard Biotech Club, a student organization that bridges the gap between academia and industry, and the co-founder of Activate a life sciences entrepreneurship program designed to help facilitate company formation from Harvard and MIT labs.

    Cambridge Computer Science Researcher in Electronic Health Records, Emma R.

    Emma R.

    PhD Candidate at University of Cambridge

    Emma is a third year PhD student in the Artificial Intelligence Group at Cambridge. She studied both Medicine and Engineering before starting her PhD in Computer Science. Her research sits at the interface between medicine and machine learning. She is particularly interested in deep learning techniques to exploit Electronic Health Records to improve the efficiency and efficacy of healthcare delivery in the Intensive Care Unit. She has worked with autoencoders, recurrent neural networks (LSTM, GRU), convolutional networks, graph neural networks, reinforcement learning and attention (Transformers).

    Yale Machine Learning Researcher in natural language processing, Irene Li

    Irene Li

    PhD Candidate at Yale University

    Irene Li is a PhD candidate at Yale University, and her research interests are machine learning, deep learning, and natural language processing. She has been worked on various projects including clinical notes processing, twitter emotion analysis, and text summarization.

    Harvard Genetics Researcher in protecting endangered species, Ana Queiroz

    Ana Queiroz

    Visiting PhD Candidate at Harvard University & Federal University of Minas Gerais (Brazil)

    Ana Queiroz is a PhD candidate in genetics doing part of her research at Harvard Medical School and part at Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG-Brazil). At Harvard University, she is member of the mammoth de-extinction project, that uses gene editing to create a hybrid mammoth-elephant with ecological functions similar to the extinct animal. In Brazil, her research is focused on using genetic sequencing and analysis to help protect endangered species. She obtained her master’s degree in genetics from UFMG with part of the research conducted at Oxford University. She has developed many research skills over almost 10 years, being gene editing and next-generation sequencing the ones she is currently more involved with. Ana has worked in many different areas of science, such as microbiology, immunology, pharmacology, environment, forensics and conservation.
    Princeton Computer Science Researcher in algorithm bias, Angelina W.

    Angelina W.

    PhD Candidate at Princeton University

    Angelina is a current PhD student in Computer Science at Princeton University. She is interested in machine learning fairness and algorithmic bias. More broadly, she is also interested in how technology impacts society. She has interned at Google twice. She was a Regents and Chancellors' Scholar at U.C. Berkeley, where she also served as an Academic Officer at Machine Learning @ Berkeley and a course assistant for the Introduction to Machine Learning course.
    Cambridge Mathematics Researcher in type research, Derek S.

    Derek S.

    PhD Candidate at University of Cambridge

    Derek S is an expert in blockchain, cryptocurrency, and formal verification and a PhD candidate doing research in type theory at the University of Cambridge. He graduated with my MSc in Mathematics and Foundations of Computer Science from the University of Oxford and holds a BSc in Mathematics from Brigham Young University. He is also a Formal Verification Engineer working with Clearmatics. Past positions have included a consultant with Digital Asset in New York, adjunct math faculty at Utah Valley University, and a research mathematician at Pyrofex Corporation. His work has included formal verification of Ethereum smart contracts and blockchain consensus algorithms; designing and implementing safe and live cryptocurrencies; designing the formal semantics of programming languages in the K-Framework; formal verification in the same; research and formal verification for a Pyrofex-developed proof-of-stake consensus algorithm Casanova; formally verifying network specs and Haskell algorithms in, respectively, TLA+ and Agda; and conducting and publishing original research in distributed systems, type theory, and blockchains (see Publications for links).

    Cambridge Psychology Researcher in cognitive neuroscience, Ellen R.

    Ellen R.

    PhD Candidate at University of Cambridge

    Ellen is currently a PhD student in psychology at the University of Cambridge. She received her BA in cognitive neuroscience at Occidental College in Los Angeles. At Occidental, her work concerned cross-cultural effects on empathy. Her current doctoral research is in social and developmental psychology, specifically in gender development. Her project investigates how gender is constructed through the interaction of individual psychological and collective sociological processes. As a member of Cambridge’s Gender Development Research Centre, she is interested in the implications that her project can have for understanding some of the social influences on gender development and identity. She has implemented both quantitative and qualitative methods in her doctoral work as well as in multiple unrelated research projects during her time at Cambridge. These projects have included developing a novel scale on conservation research styles, analyzing gendered toy preference among indigenous children in Peru, and evaluating the impact of a local charity.

    University of Cambridge Psychology Researcher in social cognition, Joanna S.

    Joanna S.

    PhD Candidate at University of Cambridge

    Joanna is a 3rd year PhD student at the University of Cambridge, who is passionate about psychology. She is also interested in social cognition as well as memory reliability. She has previously worked with Professor David Shanks on a project investigating how the selection of a misleading photograph can affect subsequent identification accuracy. She now explores how recalling a previous meal affects snacking, and how this effect can be used as a weight-loss intervention. During her master's degree, Joanna worked as a mentor for gifted teenagers from disadvantaged backgrounds, helping them to realise their potential and to help them get a place at university.

    University of Cambridge Biochemistry Researcher in medicine, Dr. Sam Haddad

    Dr. Sam Haddad

    MS, PhD, University of Cambridge; Recently Completed Post-Doc at Cambridge

    Sam earned both his Masters in Advanced Chemical Engineering and PhD in Biotechnology from the University of Cambridge. He then completed a year of post-doctoral research at the same institution. He is currently studying Medicine. Prior to beginning his graduate work, Sam graduated with high distinction from the American University of Beirut. Broadly, his research investigates the design and clinical application of nanoparticle-based drug delivery systems for cancer therapy. Sam is particularly interested in targeting these nanoparticles to deliver their drug payload to specific organelles within tumour cells (e.g. mitochondria), as well as developing treatment solutions for hard-to-reach and hard-to-treat cancers such as those of the brain, lungs, and pancreas.

    Columbia Biology Researcher in human immunodeficiencies, Niki G.

    Niki G.

    PhD Candidate at Columbia University

    Niki is a PhD candidate in Emily Mace’s lab at Columbia University in New York City. Niki received her Bachelor’s in Biology at the University of Delaware and holds a Masters in Biomaterial Science from New York University as well as a Masters in Nutritional and Metabolic Biology from Columbia University. She previously gained industry experience in several STEM fields including polymer science, biochemistry, and biomaterials science. Her current research is focused on human immunodeficiencies that affect natural killer cells to gain a better understanding of the biology of the immune system. In her work, she utilizes a wide variety of experimental approaches, including analyzing gene expression, microscopy, and flow cytometry. As she works towards her PhD degree, Niki’s ultimate goal is to identify and pursue potential immunotherapies for natural killer cell deficiencies.

    Columbia CRISPR Researcher in genome engineering, Leo Vo

    Leo Vo

    PhD Candidate at Columbia University

    Leo is a PhD candidate in the Sternberg Lab at Columbia University. His main area of research is cutting-edge technologies for genome engineering applications, particularly CRISPR applications in bacteria. He is also interested in studying the underlying mechanisms and biology of CRISPR systems within their natural environment, as well the role CRISPR and other gene editing technologies will play in shaping society. Beyond the lab, Leo also is an admirer of all things technology, and is an avid tennis player.

    Columbia Biomedical Researcher in cell immunobiology, Everardo Hegewisch Solloa

    Everardo Hegewisch Solloa

    PhD Candidate at Columbia University

    Evey is a third year cellular, molecular and biomedical sciences PhD Candidate studying human Natural Killer (NK) cell immunobiology and development in the Mace Lab, located at Columbia University Irving Medical Center: College of Physicians and Surgeons. Recently, he received a Master of Arts in cellular, molecular and biomedical sciences as well as multiple NIH diversity grants for my studies on defining the molecular requirements of human NK cell development. Before his studies at Columbia University, he started my scientific career by pursuing a BS in Microbiology and a Master of Science in Biological Sciences from UC San Diego. His thesis work at UC San Diego focused on delineating principals of directed evolution of viruses by using lambda phage as a model. Overall, his goal is to pursue a career as a principal investigator at a research institution where he can focus on studying Host-Pathogen interactions and evolution.

    Stanford Computer Science Researcher in scientific discovery, Alex T.

    Alex T.

    PhD Candidate at Stanford University

    Alex is a doctoral candidate in computer science at Stanford University. His primary research interest is in the development of interpretable computational models on biological data, which then subsequently informs scientific discovery. In his work, he improves and exploits the human-interpretability of deep learning models on biological problems. Prior to his studies at Stanford, he earned in B.A.s in biology and computer science at the University of California, Berkeley. His favorite animals are cats and caterpillars (no relation).

    UChicago Genetics Researcher in genetic variants, Grace H.

    Grace H.

    MD / PhD Candidate at the University of Chicago

    Grace is an MD/PhD candidate at the University of Chicago studying human genetics. Her research focuses on how non-coding genetic variants affect the expression of genes, and how this affects cellular function and individuals’ risk for disease. Currently, she is studying how genetic variants affect fat storage, and why some individuals stay somewhat metabolically ‘healthy’ if they become obese, while others do not. She has also described genetic variants affecting brain development in childhood, and studied the genetic architecture of asthma and cardiovascular disease. Prior to the University of Chicago, Grace worked at the National Institute of Mental Health, where she used neuroimaging methods, including fMRI and PET, to understand brain development and schizophrenia. She earned a bachelor’s degree in the sciences in cognitive neuroscience, as well as a bachelor’s degree in arts in English literature, from the College of William and Mary in Virginia. Clinically, Grace is interested in psychiatry, neurology, and obstetrics.

    Stanford History Researcher in slave systems, Micheal D.

    Micheal D.

    PhD Candidate at Stanford University

    Micheal is an ancient history PhD candidate at Stanford University. He received his BA in history from the University of California Riverside in 2016 and his MA in history from California State University, Los Angeles in 2018. He is primarily interested in comparative studies of slave systems in the ancient Mediterranean. In particular, he is interested in exploring comparisons to gain a better understanding of how these systems were managed and the various roles of slaves throughout history. His interests also extend to the formation of ethnic identities, expressions of love, gender relations, military and political propaganda, and degrees of autonomy.

    UChicago Neuroscience Researcher in tactile perception, Natalya S.

    Natalya S.

    PhD Candidate at the University of Chicago

    Natalya is a PhD candidate in the Department of Computational Neuroscience at the University of Chicago. Her research is focused on understanding the neural mechanisms underlying tactile perception. Specifically, she is studying the role of the thalamus in tactile coding. Her interests also include deciphering the neural correlates of perception and restoration of touch and motor control to individuals with nerve damage. Prior to starting her PhD work, Natalya studied the role of attention in vision, and has published several papers on the attentional mechanisms underlying microsaccades and foveal perception.

    University of Cambridge Chemical Engineering Researcher in filtration processes, Nikzad F.

    Nikzad F.

    PhD Cambridge University/PhD in Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology

    Nikzad Falahati earned his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering at the University of Cambridge (2020). His research explored filtration processes by investigating the formation of filter cakes and evaluating the effects of particle properties on cake structures. The work required a range of scientific techniques including lab filtration experiments, X-ray imaging to visualize cake structures, and computational simulations of particle systems. Throughout his Ph.D., Nikzad mentored penultimate year undergraduate students on particle processing and marked undergraduate lab reports. Before his Ph.D., Nikzad obtained an MEng in Chemical Engineering at Imperial College London (2016). In his final year research project, he investigated the effects of preparation parameters on the properties of membranes used for wastewater treatment. Alongside his research, Nikzad organized social events for his postgraduate community as part of the college committee, and he is a keen hiker.

    Yale Psychology Researcher in decision making, Megha C.

    Megha C.

    PhD Candidate at Yale University

    Megha is a PhD student in Psychology (Neuroscience track) at Yale University in the labs of Dr. Steve Chang and Dr. Molly Crockett. In her PhD research, she uses neuroimaging techniques, such as functional and structural MRI, to study how people make decisions in social situations by applying theory and models from behavioral economics and reinforcement learning to social neuroscience. She is especially interested in examining how social variables impact decision-making under uncertainty and in applying quantitative models to better understand gender biases. Megha received her BA in Psychology from the University of Southern California and her MRes in Developmental Neuroscience and Psychopathology from University College London, where she completed her Master’s thesis on the neural structural correlates of Internet Gaming Disorder. After completing her master’s degree, she worked at the Yale School of Medicine as a research associate for two years before starting her PhD.

    Psychologist and University of Cambridge Researcher in psychiatric disorders, Ana Maria Pereira de Souza

    Ana Maria Pereira de Souza

    PhD Candidate at the University of Cambridge

    Ana Maria is a Psychologist and a PhD student at the Behavioral and Clinical Neuroscience Institute of the University of Cambridge. Her research focuses on the intersection between clinical and biological underpinnings of psychiatric disorders, with a major focus on Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. More specifically, she uses electroencephalographic recordings to address the neurocircuitry of obsessions and compulsions in the brain, combining those measures with behavioral tasks, neuropsychological questionnaires, and clinical interviews. Prior to coming to Cambridge, Ana Maria completed a Psychology Degree and a Masters, whilst seeing patients on her private practice. Ana Maria has experience teaching undergraduate students in Cambridge and abroad, and she aspires to lead a career in Academia.

    UCLA Bioinformatics Researcher in human genetics, Christa C.

    Christa C.

    PhD Candidate at the University of California, Los Angeles

    Christa is a 4th year PhD student in Bioinformatics. She primarily works on big data problems in human genetics. Recently, she has worked on identifying biomarkers for ALS using cell-free DNA methylation data. She also is interested in the application of genetics for personalized medicine, especially for diverse populations. Her most current project involves estimating fine-scale genetic populations in the UCLA biobank in order to identify health disparities that may exist in the Los Angeles community.

    Cornell Data Science Researcher in policy evalutation, Daniel K.

    Daniel K.

    PhD Candidate at Cornell University

    Daniel is a PhD candidate in the Department of Statistics and Data Science at Cornell University. His research broadly covers the areas of machine learning, algorithmic fairness, and optimization, with a focus on policy evaluation. Prior to his research at Cornell, Daniel completed a BS in Applied Mathematics from Yale University.

    UCSF Bioinformatics Researcher in autism spectrum disorder, Snow Naing

    Snow Naing

    PhD Candidate at the University of California, San Francisco

    Snow Naing is a fourth year PhD candidate in Bioinformatics at UCSF. Her research focuses on protein-protein interactions in autism spectrum disorder. Before pursuing her PhD, she earned her undergraduate degree in Biochemistry and Physics at Simmons University in Boston, Massachusetts.

    MIT Genetics Researher in psychopathology, Jiyoung


    PhD Candidate at the University of California, Berkeley

    Jiyoung is a Clinical Science PhD student at the University of California, Berkeley. His research focuses on utilizing idiographic approaches to identify within- and between-person variability in the formation and maintenance of psychopathology, specifically in the context of internal and external stressors. He is also interested in studying how to best disseminate evidence-based treatments to community health clinics outside of research settings. Through his research, Jiyoung hopes to create accessible, personalized interventions for mood and anxiety disorders. Prior to his PhD research, Jiyoung received his BA in Psychology and BAS in Bioengineering from the University of Pennsylvania. His research interests in clinical psychology developed at Penn, where he examined how various aspects of CBT for panic disorder predicted treatment outcome. After graduating from Penn, Jiyoung worked as a clinical research coordinator at Stanford Medical School, managing a dissemination and implementation research project.

    Resident Physician at UWashington in esophagectomy, Chinenyenwa Mpamaugo

    Chinenyenwa Mpamaugo

    MD MPH, Resident Physician at the University of Washington

    Dr. Mpamaugo is a pediatric resident at the University of Washington and Seattle Children’s Hospital. She received her MD and MPH at the University of Pittsburgh prior to starting residency. Her medical school research focused on clinical outcomes for surgical interventions specifically minimally invasive esophagectomy, while her Masters research focused on social determinants of health as it pertains to assess to quality healthcare and equity across various racial/ethnic groups as well as genders. She continues to have a passion for healthy policy as it pertains to equitable access to healthcare. Prior to medical school she held research positions at the National Institutes of Health and Columbia University studying the visual cortical system in nonhuman primates and the effect of stereotype treat on performance on standardized exams. She has earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Neuroscience from Columbia University in the City of New York.

    Research fellow at the University of Cambridge in molecular additives in engine oil formulations, Tom M.

    Tom M.

    Research Fellow at the University of Cambridge

    Tom M. is a research fellow at the University of Cambridge in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology. The project was in collaboration with Infineum UK Ltd. to explore the mechanism of friction reduction and anti-wear caused by small molecular additives in engine oil formulations. Tom earned his PhD in Physical Chemistry in 2018 at Monash University, Melbourne, Australia. His PhD research investigated the chemical processing of atomically thin carbon nanomaterials in water for the purposes of water purification and oil recovery. In addition, he explored the self-assembly of surfactant molecules that form complex fluids using a technique called neutron scattering. In his spare time, Tom enjoys travelling, playing piano and basketball.

    PhD candidate at the University of California, San Diego in dysregulated gene expression, Kenny Kuhn

    Kenny Kuhn

    PhD Candidate at the University of California, San Diego

    Kenny Kuhn is a PhD candidate in Dr. Martin Hetzer’s lab in the Department of Neuroscience at the Salk Institute of Biological Sciences. His work aims to understand how changes to the organization of the genome with age can result in dysregulated gene expression and accelerate the development of Alzheimer’s disease. This work takes advantage recent advances in stem cell biology that permit the production of human cortical neurons directly from skin cells, allowing access to otherwise rare samples. He performed his undergraduate work at the University of Virginia while studying neurotrophin signaling and has held a position as a research assistant at the University of Würzburg in Germany.

    PhD candidate at the University of Chicago in endogenous neuromodulators, Shivang


    PhD Candidate at the University of Chicago

    Shivang is a PhD candidate in the Department of Neuroscience at the University of Chicago. His research focuses on investigating endogenous neuromodulators that control behavioral states of an organism. He mainly focuses on Acetylcholine and its role in pain modulation, but has worked with dopamine systems in the context of reward learning and norepinephrine systems in the context of breathing regulation. He uses anatomical, viral and genetic tools to understand the physiology of circuits that control these behaviors. Prior to joining the University of Chicago, Shivang studied Economics at a graduate level. His undergraduate majors were Physics and Economics with a minor in Mathematics.

    PhD candidate at City College of New York in the intersections of personality disorders, attachment style, childhood trauma, and time orientation, Aliza


    PhD Candidate at City College of New York

    Aliza is a Clinical Psychology Ph.D. student at City College of New York, where she is currently receiving psychodynamically oriented clinical training and evaluating and treating patients with a wide range of psychopathology. She is also currently conducting psycholinguistic research on the intersections of personality disorders, attachment style, childhood trauma, and time orientation within the Social Neuroscience and Personality (SNAP) Lab at CCNY. Before embarking on her doctoral degree, Aliza worked in suicide prevention research at New York State Psychiatric Institute/Columbia University Medical Center, where she assisted with the execution and evaluation of a comprehensive suicide prevention protocol in 170 mental health clinics and 285 affiliated satellites, affecting over 90,000 outpatients across the state. Aliza received her bachelor's degree at Oberlin College, where she participated in social/environmental research and conducted independent research on the effects of metaphorically framed racial stereotypes in testimony on jurors’ decisions about whether to indict police officers in lethal force hearings. Additionally, as a Behavioral Health Intern at Memorial Sloan Kettering, Aliza aided in the preparation of an NIH grant for a study of perceived health risks posed by carcinogens released at ‘fracking’ sites. Apart from her interest in psychology, she loves to paint, read, listen to political podcasts, and walk her dog around Prospect Park.

  • Our Staff


    These talented individuals will be assisting you alongside your assigned mentor as you complete your Horizon Project.

    Staff member from Stanford University who helps high school students with research projects.

    Ani Nadiga

    M.S. from University of Glasgow

    B.A. from Carleton College

    Writing and Publications Coordinator

    Zhanar Irgebay

    B.A. from University of Pennsylvania, M.A. from University of Chicago

    Program Associate

    Staff member from Stanford University who helps high school students with research projects.

    Nicole Posadas

    B.A. from University of Pennsylvania

    Program Associate

    Staff member from Swarthmore College who helps high school students with research projects.

    David Weeks

    B.A. from Swarthmore College

    Global Outreach Lead

    Staff member from Northeastern University who helps high school students with research projects.

    Sunny Mewati

    M.A. from Peking University HSBC Business School

    Academic Lead

    Staff member from Stanford University who helps high school students with research projects.

    Keating Sherry

    B.A. from University of Miami

    North America Outreach Lead 

    Staff member from Stanford University who helps high school students with research projects.

    Viola Rothschild

    B.A. from Bowdoin College

    M.A. from University of Oxford

    International Relations Course Assistant

    Staff member from Stanford University who helps high school students with research projects.

    Cynthia Wang

    B.A. from University of Pennsylvania, NRDC Fellow

    Environmental Science Course Assistant

    Staff member from Stanford University who helps high school students with research projects.

    Daniele Cassese

    Post-Doctoral Fellow at the University of Cambridge

    B.A., M.A., and PhD University of Siena

    Economics Course Assistant

    Staff member from Stanford University who helps high school students with research projects.

    Davida Kollmar

    M.S. from NYU

    B.A. from Yeshiva University

    Data Science & Machine Learning Course Assistant

    Staff member from Stanford University who helps high school students with research projects.

    Shan Liu

    B.A. from Juniata College

    Technology Lead

    Staff member from Stanford University who helps high school students with research projects.

    Scott Dobbins

    M.S. from Stanford University

    B.A. from Columbia University

    Program Advisor, Former Program Director

    Staff member from UC Berkeley

    Nika Hajikhodaverdikhan

    B.A. from University of California, Berkeley

    Program Associate

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