Meet Our 2022 Summer Interns

The New York Genome Center (NYGC) recently launched our summer internship program, designed to provide students with hands-on mentorship from an assigned mentor in one of our research labs, support groups, or administrative departments. In addition to having the opportunity to gain exposure to our genomics research and interact with our scientists and administrators, our interns will be able to participate in a wide variety of events scheduled for the group, including weekly workshops, presentations, career panels, social events, among others throughout the program. Our 14 interns this year will be working directly with the Production Lab, Computational Biology, Software Engineering, Project Management, Accounting, and various faculty labs. Please join us in welcoming our interns to the NYGC this summer!


Ayesha Awwal is an intern working with the Sequencing Lab as part of the S Jay Levy Fellowship Program at NYGC.

She is currently working to obtain her BS in Biology at The City College of New York.

During her internship, Ayesha will be working with Associate Scientists on the production team to oversee daily operations, including high throughput DNA/RNA extraction and quality control. She will be training to learn various protocols, some of which include extracting DNA/RNA samples from whole blood and operating liquid handlers/robots used frequently in the lab.

Prior to arriving at NYGC, Ayesha was a clinical intern at Lenox Hill Hospital in the otolaryngology and reconstructive surgery department, where she observed several cases of vascular malformations. She enjoyed interacting with her patients and wanted to learn more about their conditions in order to better aid them which led to assisting in an extensive research project involving a major congenital vascular malformation. This project contributed to her fascination towards genetic research, so she is thrilled to be a part of NYGC and excited to learn more about large-scale genomic research.


Brittny Sobers is an intern working with the Bioinformatics team at NYGC.

Brittny has been in the field of veterinary medicine for 6 years. She is currently a practice manager at an animal hospital in Brooklyn, NY. Before becoming a practice manager, she was a veterinary technician for 5 years.

Brittny is from Brooklyn, NY and is currently a senior at The New York College of Technology, majoring in Bioinformatics and minoring in psychology. Her love and passion for biology and computer science has motivated and pushed her to pursue her goals further in the Bioinformatics field. Brittny dreams of one day becoming a data scientist and opening up her own biotech lab in the future.

She is currently working on a Bioinformatics project regarding the influenza virus and is thrilled to be mentored by Rui “Ray” and Heather this summer. Brittny and her husband recently welcomed their first child together 9 months ago. As a new mother, she is excited to show her daughter how hard work and determination can help you reach your goals.


Ebube Michael is an intern working with Sohrab Shah’s lab at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center as part of the Undergraduate Summer Research Program in Single-Cell Genomics at NYGC.

He explores multiome datasets from Retinal Pigment Epithelial (RPE) cell models to study chromosomal instability (CIN), focusing on identifying transcriptional pathway activation resulting from micronuclei formation and rupture.

Ebube was born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria, and immigrated to the United States five years ago. He recently obtained his BS in Biology from CUNY Brooklyn College and is currently working in the lab of Dr. Angus Wilson at New York University (NYU). In this lab, he studies the roles of the Insulin-like Growth Factor 2 mRNA Binding Proteins 1,2 and 3 (IGF2BP1/2/3) in regulating Herpes Simplex Virus-1 (Hsv-1) gene expression.

Ebube aims for a career in virology and medicine and is preparing to apply to MD-PhD programs next year. He enjoys traveling, music, and spending time with his family. He is immensely grateful for the opportunity to intern at this incredible institution.


Ingrid Lopez is an intern working with Rahul Satija’s lab as part of the Undergraduate Summer Research Program in Single-Cell Genomics at NYGC.

Ingrid is currently a senior undergraduate student at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. She is majoring in Forensic Science with a Cell and Molecular track and minoring in Biology.

Ingrid was born and raised in El Salvador, which is a very small country in Central America, but she has lived in New York City for most of her life. Some of the things she enjoys are listening to piano music, reading books, nature, and coffee. In the near future, she would like to conduct cancer research to help young children and adults who suffer from this disease. Currently at NYGC, she is working in the dry lab practicing computational skills which involve learning how to annotate cell types from different species based on the results obtained from their research.


Jamie Price is an intern working with the project management team at the NYGC.

Her main assignment for the summer will focus on tracking fee-for-service project metrics and creating a dashboard on the data collected.

Jamie was born and raised in the Bronx but recently has been dividing her time between Pennsylvania and Georgia. She’s in her final lap as a senior at CUNY Lehman College where she’s pursuing a B.S in Interdisciplinary Concentration in Anthropology, Biology, and Chemistry with a minor in Computer Science. She’s currently President of the Biology Club and the Research Officer at her college’s Student Government Association. In addition, she’s a volunteer researcher in a lab that is working to develop new molecular tools that can deliver therapeutic molecules to cancer cells.

Jamie plans to go to graduate school to pursue a Master’s in Bioinformatics. She’s always had an interest in the sciences and is grateful for the opportunity to further help revolutionize what NYGC continues to do.


Jasmin Merchan is an intern working with the Accounting team at NYGC.

Jasmin was raised in Ossining, NY. She attends Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY and will be majoring in accounting in May 2023.

Jasmin will be working on bank reconciliation for the accounting department. She will also help the department with balance sheet account reconciliation by clearing out prior month pending open items. In addition to these items she will help maintain the accounts payable folders. The work being done at NYGC is fascinating to her and she is excited to be working with the team at the Center.


Kennedy Harris is an intern working with Hemali Phatnani’s lab at Columbia University as part of the Undergraduate Summer Research Program in Single-Cell Genomics at NYGC.

Kennedy is a rising college senior at Purdue University, majoring in Neurobiology and Physiology with a minor in Psychology. She was born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago and enjoys volunteering at local hospitals and medical centers. She recently obtained certification as a CNA and hopes to continue a career in the medical field through medical school and research.

Throughout her internship experience so far, Kennedy has had the pleasure of working on both the molecular level and with tissue samples to understand underlying information behind ALS disease progression. She has begun to learn techniques for both optical pooled screening and VISIUM, and is excited to continue her work for the rest of the summer.


Lannawill Caruth is an intern working with the Bioinformatics team at NYGC.

Lanna was born and raised in the Bronx, New York. She enjoys hanging around Midtown people-watching and eating West Indian food in the Bronx.

Lanna is currently finishing up her undergraduate degree at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. She is studying Engineering Science with minors in Data Science and Medicine, Health, and Society. Lanna plans to pursue a graduate education in Computational Biology after graduation in May 2023.


Lesley Aguilar Salceda is an intern working with Rahul Satija’s lab as part of the Undergraduate Summer Research Program in Single-Cell Genomics at NYGC.

Lesley was born and raised in Santa Maria, California, a town known for its thriving agriculture. She majored in biochemistry and minored in mathematics at California State University – Channel Islands and obtained her BS in May 2022. Aside from her interest in STEM, she enjoys performing arts and is heavily involved in her hometown’s music and dance programs.

As an intern at NYGC, she looks forward to studying various types of brain cells across different species and determining differences in gene expression that may play a role in neurodegenerative disorders. She hopes to gain experience and skills that will help her get into graduate school next year and achieve her ultimate goal of becoming a forensic scientist for the county of Los Angeles. Lesley is excited to learn alongside the immensely knowledgeable mentors and staff at NYGC this summer.


Mariya Semchuk is an intern working with the Knowles and Lappalainen Labs as part of the S Jay Levy Fellowship Program at NYGC.

As a research intern, Mariya is working on studying how variants impact pre-mRNA splicing regulation.

Mariya was born and raised in Ukraine and moved to the U.S. about 11 years ago. She is currently an undergraduate pre-med student at Macaulay Honors College and is exploring emergency medicine and cardiac surgery while volunteering at the NYP Hospital of Weill Cornell. To honor and preserve her culture and traditions and to feel a little closer to home, Mariya is a member of many Ukrainian organizations and now volunteers with Maya’s Hope Foundation as a translator and spreads information on the Russo-Ukrainian War.

Mariya believes that in order for her to be a better physician, she also needs to contribute to and understand the research that is the underpinning of therapies that medicine will use in the future. She is excited to be a part of the new scientific discoveries led by the NYGC.


Mian Hua Zheng is an intern working with Dan Landau’s lab at Weill Cornell Medical College as part of the Undergraduate Summer Research Program in Single-Cell Genomics at NYGC.

She is currently working on a glioma project comparing primary and recurrent tumors with single-cell RNA sequencing data.

Mian Hua is a native New Yorker, and attends NYU with a major in Anthropology. She is interested in combining clinical medicine and science in her career while also incorporating her first-generation background into her work. With her time at NYGC and volunteering at NYP, she is very excited to learn more about paths in translational research.


Rashid Al-Abri is a Research Intern working in the Gürsoy Lab at NYGC. His role will focus on expanding the available tools for studying repeat DNA. Currently, he is pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science at Stanford University. His interest in genomics began when he joined the Snyder Lab to investigate repeat expansions in cancer.

Excited to explore a career in bioinformatics research, he joined NYGC to learn and work with its brilliant scientists. In his free time, Rashid likes to write poetry and cook his national Omani cuisine. He is excited to live in the city and welcomes any suggestions for places to explore!


Ryan Gonzalez is an intern working with the Software Engineering team at NYGC.

His project/role involves working with his mentors to automate the submission of genomic metadata into the SRA and BioSample databases. This job involves python scripting, XML, and handling of large datasets.

Ryan was born and raised in New Hyde Park, Long Island. He is currently a rising sophomore pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science at the University of Michigan. During his first year at Michigan, he conducted research on the potential use of nano-particles as radiation detectors. In addition to research, he worked as a virtual computer science mentor for young students in the Long Island area.

Ryan’s interest in Computer Science and Engineering stems from a lifelong fascination with solving the world’s greatest problems. He is excited to bring his passion and energy into this company with every opportunity he gets.


Suchmita Sarkar is an intern working with the Landau Lab as part of the S Jay Levy Fellowship Program at NYGC.

Her role consists of helping create cluster graphs utilizing the software Rstudio based on samples given of Hairy Cell Leukemia, under the care of her mentor Rebecca Murray, who she is extremely grateful for.

Suchmita is an incoming senior majoring in Biology at City College of New York. She was born and raised in Queens, NY. She is planning to be a Physician’s Assistant specializing in either Oncology or Emergency Medicine. Suchmita is currently a medical assistant working in an endocrinology medical office, where she does phlebotomy and discusses patients’ treatment plans under the care of the doctor.

Suchmita is driven by her passion for cancer research and the medical field due to her eagerness and curiosity for learning new things. She is thankful for the opportunity that NYGC has given her where she can expand her knowledge in the field of cancer research and bioinformatics.


Vivian Jackson is an intern working with the Project Management team at NYGC.

Their project focuses on tracking turnaround time for samples that come through NYGC and coming up with potential strategies on how to evade delays that increase TAT.

Vivian was born and raised in New York City, first living in Spanish Harlem then moving to Hell’s Kitchen. They are currently a rising senior at Columbia University (CU) pursuing a degree in Physics. Their academic interests lie in medical physics, philosophy of science, and diversifying STEM. Vivian is the co-founder of CU R&D: Research and Diversity, which is a student-run organization that supports underrepresented minorities (Black, Latinx, and Indigenous students) interested in STEM careers in either academia or industry.

Vivian’s personal experiences with genetic disorders, illness, and care are the reasons why they are committed to a career in medicine, whatever form it may take. They are eager to learn more about science’s applications to help treat diseases and working at NYGC!


Will Lounsbery-Scaife is a Research Intern working in the Gürsoy Lab at NYGC.

Will is starting a Master’s in Biomedical Informatics at Columbia University this fall. He received his Bachelor’s from NYU in 2019, where he majored in Biology and minored in Computer Science.

After finishing his undergraduate degree, Will took a break from science to pursue his passion for cooking by working as a chef on a sailboat, but he is eager to get back into the world of biology and to learn as much as possible during his time at NYGC.

NYGC is excited to see all that our 2022 Summer Interns accomplish!