Meet the Board
Anica is in her fourth year at Vanderbilt, majoring in Molecular and Cellular Biology and Medicine, Health, and Society with a minor in French. She grew up in the Nashville area, but she has a strong distaste for Country Music. Anica’s journey through research has been a little unconventional– going from a Computational Analyst at VUMC to conducting Physiology and Biophysics research at the University of Miami–she has spent the last 2 years as a Learning Assistant in the Department of Biological Sciences to reverse the trend of interaction-depraved instruction in science courses. Anica loves the Adventure Science center, pretty flowers, advocacy for the homeless population, and she hopes to pursue a JD/MD degree in Law & Medicine.
Brittany Carey Fox
Brittany is in her fourth year at Vanderbilt, and she’s originally from Huntsville, Alabama. After starting out at Vanderbilt as a Molecular and Cellular Biology major, she discovered her passion for the law and the application of science to the law and public policy. Unlike the other members of the board, Brittany is now a Medicine, Health, and Society major on a pre-law track in order to focus on legal and sociological research in the health field. Currently, her honors thesis research focuses on health inequalities surrounding the diagnosis and treatment of endometriosis. She also is an avid musician, writer, dancer and semi-professional nerd.
Anusha is a junior from Dublin, Ohio, majoring in Molecular and Cellular Biology and Medicine, Health, and Society. She is a member of the Cover Laboratory, which studies the Helicobacter pylori bacterium and its role as a causative agent of gastric cancer. Specifically, she studies the response of the bacteria’s metabolome to alterations in its environmental conditions. In her professional career, Anusha aspires to pursue clinical medicine and research, with a focus on infectious disease; she would also like to work with Doctors Without Borders in the future. In her free time, Anusha enjoys dancing, running, traveling, and petting dogs.
Sam is a junior from St. Louis, Missouri. She is a member of the Mchaourab lab, where she studies the effects of gene mutations on zebrafish lenses. Once graduated, she plans to become an ophthalmologist. When not spending all day in Central Library, she enjoys painting, finding new music for her radio show, and spending time with friends.
Sonakshi is from Las Vegas, Nevada, and is in her second year at Vanderbilt. She is majoring in Medicine, Health, and Society and minoring in Business and hopes to go to medical school to become a dermatologist. During a summer in high school, she worked in an auditory neuroscience lab as a research assistant, working with participants and graduate students to observe how the auditory cortex separates rhythms and sounds. One of her most valuable experiences was playing the piano and the cello for dementia patients. In her free time, she loves listening to music, watching New Girl on Netflix, and roller skating.
Director of Communications
Jennifer, or better known as Jen, is in her fourth year of study, and she is double majoring in Neuroscience and Spanish. Originally from Memphis, TN, she committed to Vanderbilt and joined SIM board to help change the notion of inaccessible research opportunities for students. Jen started working in the Calipari Lab in 2018 to study the neurocircuitry underlying substance use disorder and behavior, and she has previously received funding for summer research through VUSRP and ASPET! As a first generation college student, Jennifer is passionate about breaking the barriers that create disparities in education and health, so she hopes to pursue a MD/MPH degree in Medicine & Public Health.
Director of Advising
Sydney is in her fourth year at Vanderbilt and is from Warren, NJ. She is double majoring in Neuroscience and Medicine, Health, and Society with a minor in Computer Science. While Sydney is on the pre-med track, she is unsure whether she will attend medical school or pursue a career in biotechnology or pharmaceuticals. In line with her neuroscience major, Sydney conducts research in Dr. Key’s Psychophysiology Lab at the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center where she looks at brain-based markers of cognition in Angelman Syndrome. She also works with Dr. Kumah-Crystal at VUMC on data analysis related to the development of a Voice-Assisted Electronic Health Record for physicians. Sydney loves working with children, has a passion for real estate, and is an avid foodie.
Director of Research Shadowing
Hamza is a senior from Knoxville, Tennessee studying neuroscience and scientific computing. He works in Dr. Blackford’s lab at the Vanderbilt Psychiatric Hospital and is researching the role of anxiety in extended psychopathology. He currently is planning to pursue medicine and continue his career as a researcher.
Co-Director of Events
Adam is in his fourth year at Vanderbilt, majoring in Communication of Science and Technology and minoring in Chemistry. He has lived in Livingston, New Jersey his entire life, but has fallen in love with the south in his time as a Vanderbilt student. Adam is currently working under Dr. Fissell at the Kidney Project lab, which aims to develop an implantable artificial kidney that would improve the lives of those suffering from kidney failure. Adam also has a passion for scientific writing, sports, and movies. After college, he hopes to pursue a career as a doctor.
Co-Director of Events
Tiara Oldfield is a sophomore from Silver Spring, MD. She is currently a research assistant in the Richmond lab investigating immunized mouse models. When she’s not pipetting at her research bench, she can be found exploring the newest coffee shops in Nashville or binging the latest shows on Netflix.
Eden is a sophomore from Glastonbury, CT studying Human and Organizational Development with a minor in Business. Eden joined SIM in hopes of showing Vanderbilt students that research can be done no matter what your major is! In her free time she works as a Medical Assistant for a dermatology practice, enjoys reading, listening to music, and traveling!
Kolapo is a third year at Vanderbilt from Dublin, Ohio. As a psychology major, he is a member of the Lane Lab at Vanderbilt’s Peabody college. There, he does work on social cognition in children; specifically, how they learn socially. Before working there, he spent 3 years at the Bakaletz Lab at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. Kolapo aspires to be a doctor, where he hopes to start a mentorship program to encourage young, disadvantaged premed students to achieve their goals. In his free time, he enjoys biking, playing tennis, and playing spikeball with his roommates.
Tulasi Iyengar is a sophomore from Cypress, TX and is currently a research assistant for Dr. Daniel Cornfield researching policy orientations of local arts agencies, bureaucratization, and DEI grantmaking. When she is not reading research papers, she can be found hanging out with her friends, singing, dancing or listening to music.
Joselyn is a junior from Sugar Land, Texas. She is currently a research assistant in the Conn Lab investigating mechanisms of synaptic plasticity mediated by metabotropic glutamate receptors. When she is not hanging out with the mice in the lab, she volunteers as an EMR and in her free time, enjoys playing the guitar and cheering on the Texans & Astros! Most recently, she has been working as a COVID-19 contact tracer for her local health department.
Ashika is a freshman from Fremont, California, intending on majoring in Neuroscience and minoring in Business. She joined SIM in an effort to bring research opportunities to a more diverse set of students, especially those learning remotely. Ashika’s interest in research began early on. As a junior in high school, she designed, synthesized, and tested beta-lactam antibiotics at the University of California, Irvine, and enjoyed her experience immensely. During her time at Vanderbilt, she hopes to participate in clinical research at VUMC and ultimately, aims to pursue a career in healthcare. In her free time, Ashika enjoys teaching special needs children, learning Indian classical dance and music, and spending time with her friends and family.