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BCM - Baylor College of Medicine

Giving life to possible

Baylor Research Advocates for Student Scientists

BRASS Scholars 2013-2014

The following is a list and profiles for the recent BRASS Scholars.

Derrick Chu

BRASS 2013-2014 Scholar

Derrick Chu grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and calls Mountain View, California his hometown. He moved to the sunnier half of the state for college, where he attended UCLA on the prestigious Regent’s Scholarship and majored in Molecular Cell and Developmental Biology. There, he divided his time between researching herpes virus replication and paddling for the UCLA Club Dragon Boat team.

Derrick entered Baylor College of Medicine as an MD/PhD student two years ago. He has thrived in medical school thus far, earning awards for his academic performance and teaching anatomy to first year medical students as a TA. Currently, he is a first year in the Translational Biology and Molecular Medicine department and is interested in the research being done on the microbiome, a term coined for the communities of both commensal and pathogenic bacteria that inhabit our bodies.

Aside from school, Derrick enjoys playing pick-up basketball games, rock-climbing, and solving crossword puzzles. He hopes one day to complete a Sunday New York Times crossword! He is excited to become part of the BRASS family and cannot wait to start volunteering at Squirrel Creek Ranch.

Amanda Koire

BRASS 2013-2014 Scholar

Amanda Koire is proud Californian who calls the state capital, Sacramento, her home. She attended Pomona College, a top liberal arts school in California, where she graduated magna cum laude with a major in Molecular Biology and a minor in Religious Studies. She is a member of the Phi Beta Kappa honor society, and her undergraduate thesis project studied the use of gene fusion events to learn about the evolutionary relationship between different species. While in college, she also competed as a springboard diver and led outdoor adventure trips for incoming first-years.

Amanda currently is pursing an MD/PhD degree at Baylor College of Medicine and has completed the first two years of medical school. She currently is a first year student in the Structural and Computational Biology and Molecular Biophysics department.

In her free time, Amanda enjoys reading, volunteering at an animal rescue shelter, and going to museums. She is very excited to be a BRASS scholar and hopes to share her passion for science with the greater Houston community.

Michael Gundry

BRASS 2013-2014 Scholar

Michael Gundry was born in Marin Country, California, across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco. From an early age, Michael was fascinated with biology, collecting scorpions, snakes, and lizards. In high school, Michael spent his summers in a research lab at UC San Francisco working on cancer therapeutics.

Michael attended college at UC San Diego where he studied Biology and Economics, and graduated cum laude with a double major. Following graduation, Michael moved to New York City to work with Dr. Jan Vijg, a scientist renowned for his work in the field of aging.  During his time in the Vijg lab, Michael developed a passion for genomics and personalized medicine and his work led to multiple publications and a patent. After three years in the Vijg lab, Michael decided to pursue an MD/PhD at Baylor College of Medicine.

Michael recently completed his first two years of Medical School and now joins the Department of Genetics. He hopes that his research will help lead to a change in the way clinical management decisions are made in the field of oncology, with more of an emphasis made on targeting genes specific to the patient.

In his spare time, Michael enjoys playing soccer, running and backpacking. He loves the restaurants and bars in Houston and is excited about the opportunities that BRASS will give him to further explore what the city has to offer. Michael is excited to be a part of the BRASS family and looks forward to sharing his passion for science and medicine with the BRASS community.

Lin Zhu

BRASS 2013-2014 Scholar

Lin was born in Shanghai, China and grew up in North Haven, CT. She attended Wellesley College and graduated cum laude in 2008 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in neuroscience and music. She received departmental honors for her senior thesis research on chemical reactions induced by low-energy electrons, and was a finalist for both the Thomas J. Watson Fellowship and Rhodes Scholarship. After college, she joined the Music, Neuroimaging, and Stroke Recovery Laboratory at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, where she used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to study learning, skill acquisition, and brain adaptation after injury. She has coauthored over a dozen publications, including an article named by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association Stroke Council as one of the top advances in stroke research of 2011.

Lin was drawn to Baylor College of Medicine because of its impressive resources, including a dedicated neuroimaging suite housing five research MRIs and an affiliation with a world-renowned rehabilitation hospital. As an M.D./Ph.D. student, she has completed her first two years of medical school and is now a first year student in the Structural and Computational Biology and Molecular Biophysics graduate program.

In her spare time, Lin enjoys making chocolate, attending symphony and theater performances, and singing with her a cappella group, Docappella. She is honored to be a BRASS Scholar and looks forward to sharing her passion for research with the Houston community.

Previous BRASS Scholars

2012-2013
Charlene Emerson
Kathleen Manning
Emily Packard
Amy Pohodich

2011-2012
Meagan Barry
Mark Hamilton
Rob Seilheimer

2010-2011
Erol Bakkalbasi
Sarah Bourdon
Laura Hiles

2009-2010
Philip Boone
Cathryn Hughes
Nya Nelson

2008-2009
Mathew Burstein
Minhtran Ngo
Beatriz A. Santillan

2007-2008
Chris McGraw
Shelly Buffington
Matthew Bainbridge

2006-2007
Heather Franco
Geoff Preidis
Molly Schroeder

2005-2006
Chris Bland
Mark Edson, Ph.D.
Misha Koshelev

2004-2005
Hsia-Tuan Chao, Ph.D.
Shannon Griswold, Ph.D.
Ankur Nagaraja, Ph.D.

2003-2004
Eric Hyun, Ph.D.
Verena Kallhoff-Munoz, Ph.D.

2002-2003
Matthew Rose, M.D., Ph.D.

2001-2002
Brenda Bohnsack, M.D., Ph.D.
Michiya Nishino, Ph.D.
Sara Copeland Shalin, Ph.D.

2000-2001
Micahel Greenbaum, Ph.D.
Stacy Johnson, M.D., Ph.D.

1999-2000
Lynnette Burks Nance, Ph.D.
Mark Pennesi, M.D., Ph.D.

1998-1999
Vincent Wang, M.D., Ph.D.

1997-1998
Isacc Brownell, M.D., Ph.D.
Sergy Lemeshko, M.D., Ph.D.

1996-1997
Matthew Baker, Ph.D.
Laura Mackey Lorentzen, Ph.D.

1995-1996
Julia Elvin, M.D., Ph.D.