Women in STEM Webinar: Full Biographies

M.D. Session

Heather M. Johnson, M.D., M.M.M., M.P.H.

Heather M. Johnson is a Preventive Cardiologist at the Christine E. Lynn Women’s Health & Wellness Institute of Boca Raton Regional Hospital and Baptist Health South Florida.  She earned her Bachelor of Science in Molecular Biology, Master of Population Health, and Doctor of Medicine at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and received her Master of Medical Management from the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business.  Prior to joining the Lynn Women’s Institute, she practiced for 10 years as a Preventive Cardiologist and Non-invasive General Cardiologist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and was an Associate Professor with tenure at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine & Public Health. Dr. Johnson is also a researcher in population health and heart disease prevention with over 50 peer-reviewed research publications. She has received numerous awards, and in 2018, Dr. Johnson was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society.

Jessica Buicko, M.D.

Jessica Buicko, M.D., is a board-certified general surgeon. She received her B.A. at John Hopkins, and completed her M.D. and General Surgery Residency at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. She then specialized in Advanced Endocrine and Metabolic Surgery at Memorial Sloan Kettering. She currently serves as an assistant professor of surgery at Florida Atlantic University, as well as the associate surgical clerkship director at Florida Atlantic University. She is additionally employed at Baptist Health Physician Group in Florida. She is originally from upstate New York and was a Division 1 lacrosse player at Johns Hopkins University. She has two kids, Luke (20 months) and Lola (1 month), with her husband who is finishing his surgical residency and starting his cardiac surgery fellowship this summer.

Norina Ocampo, M.D.

Norina Ocampo, M.D., is a board certified pediatric specialist at West Boca Medical Centre. She received her medical degree at Georgetown University School of Medicine and completed her internship at Georgetown’s Department of General Surgery. She later completed her residency in pediatrics at the Medical University of South Carolina and followed up with a fellowship in general pediatrics. Professionally, she is a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics and a member of the Palm Beach Country Pediatric Society. Additionally, she serves as an affiliate clinical assistant professor at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and Florida Atlantic University School of Medicine. 

Ying Meng, M.D., Pending PhD

Ying Meng, M.D., is currently a resident physician in Neurosurgery at the University of Toronto, having finished her undergraduate training with a Bachelor’s of Science in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Toronto and medical training at McMaster University. She is currently getting her PhD at the University of Toronto. Dr. Meng has a passion for advancing technologies to improve patient care and outcomes, and this further grew with her exposure to focused ultrasound through the Focused Ultrasound Foundation. She is also married to a neurosurgery resident and together, they have two children.

Ph.D. Session

Natasha Sheybani, PhD in Biomedical Engineering

Natasha Sheybani, PhD, is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Stanford University, where her appointment is shared among the Departments of Oncology, Radiology, and Biomedical Data Science. Her research is focused on advancing precision immuno-oncology via applications of artificial intelligence/machine learning to biomedical imaging and oncogenomics. Dr. Sheybani received her BS (2015) and PhD (2020) in Biomedical Engineering from Virginia Commonwealth University and University of Virginia (UVA), respectively. Her graduate research at UVA centered on leveraging image-guided focused ultrasound to potentiate immunotherapy for solid tumors including glioblastoma and metastatic breast cancer. During her training, Dr. Sheybani was supported by the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship and Robert R. Wagner Fellowship, and she currently holds the prestigious NCI F99/K00 Predoctoral to Postdoctoral Fellow Transition Award. She additionally serves as Senior Scientist at the Focused Ultrasound Foundation, where her role involves supporting research programs in glioblastoma and cancer immunotherapy, as well as directing the gene therapy program.

Zhen Xu, PhD of Biomedical Engineering 

Zhen Xu is a tenured Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Michigan. Her research is focusing on ultrasound therapy, particularly the applications of histotripsy for noninvasive surgeries. She is a pioneer in developing histotripsy. She received the IEEE Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control (UFFC) Outstanding Paper Award in 2006; National Institute of Health (NIH) New Investigator Award at the First National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) Edward C. Nagy New Investigator Symposium in 2011, The Federic Lizzi Early Career Award from The International Society of Therapeutic Ultrasound (ISTU) in 2015, the Fellow of American Institute of Medicine and Bioengineering in 2019, and The Lockhart Memorial Prize for Cancer Research in 2020. She is an associate editor for IEEE Transactions on UFFC and Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology, VP of IEEE Ultrasonics, and an elected board member of ISTU. She is a principal investigator of grants funded by NIH, Office of Navy Research, American Cancer Association, and Focused Ultrasound Foundation. She is also co-founder of HistoSonics, a startup company developing histotripsy for oncological applications.

Eleanor Stride, PhD in Mechanical Engineering

Eleanor Stride is the Statutory Professor of Biomaterials in the Departments of Engineering Science and the Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Sciences. She specialises in Biomedical Ultrasound and the fabrication of nano and microscale devices for Targeted Drug Delivery.

She obtained her BEng and PhD in Mechanical Engineering from University College London where she subsequently appointed to a Royal Academy of Engineering and Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Research Fellowship. In 2011 she was awarded an EPSRC Challenging Engineering grant and joined the Biomedical Ultrasonics, Biotherapy and Biopharmaceutical Laboratory (BUBBL) in the Oxford Institute of Biomedical Engineering, where she became a full Professor in 2014.

Her work has been recognized through the award of a Philip Leverhulme prize, The Royal Society Interface Award, Engineering Medal at the Parliamentary Science, Engineering & Technology for Britain awards, Acoustical Society of America Bruce Lindsay Award (2013), IET AF Harvey prize (2015), Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists (2020). She was also made a fellow of the ERA foundation for her contributions to public engagement and promotion of Engineering, for example through the Born to Engineer series and documentaries for the BBC. She was nominated as one of the top 100 most influential Women in Engineering in 2016 and 2019, was made a fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 2017, of the Acoustical Society of America in 2018, an honorary fellow of the IET in 2020 and an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 2021.

She has published over 180 academic papers, 7 patents and is a director of 2 spin out companies set up to translate her research into clinical practice.

Jessica Foley, PhD in Bioengineering

Jessica Foley, PhD, is the Chief Scientific Officer for the Focused Ultrasound Foundation, whose mission is to accelerate the development and adoption of focused ultrasound, a breakthrough noninvasive therapeutic medical technology. Dr. Foley guides strategy, development and implementation of scientific and research programs for the Foundation, and aligns these with business operations, communications and development activities. She leads alliance-building efforts with external stakeholders including governmental policymakers, regulatory agencies, and disease-specific foundations whose interests are complementary to those of the Foundation. She is a representative and advocate for the Foundation and the focused ultrasound community among a wide variety of stakeholders. Prior to the Foundation she spent several years in the medical device industry (Insightec, Medtronic) and was a 2011-2012 AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow at the National Science Foundation. She holds a BSE in Biomedical Engineering from Duke University and a PhD in Bioengineering from the University of Washington.

Elisa Konofagou, PhD in Biomedical Engineering

Elisa E. Konofagou is the Robert and Margaret Hariri Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Professor Radiology as well as Director of the Ultrasound and Elasticity Imaging Laboratory at Columbia University in New York City. Her main interests are in the development of novel elasticity imaging techniques and therapeutic ultrasound methods and more notably focused ultrasound in the brain for drug delivery and stimulation, myocardial elastography, electromechanical and pulse wave imaging, harmonic motion imaging with several clinical collaborations in the Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center and elsewhere. Elisa is an Elected Fellow of the American Institute of Biological and Medical Engineering, a member of the IEEE in Engineering in Medicine and Biology, IEEE in Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics and Frequency Control Society, the Acoustical Society of America and the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine. She has co-authored over 230 published articles in the aforementioned fields. Prof. Konofagou is also a technical committee member of the Acoustical Society of America, the International Society of Therapeutic Ultrasound, the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology conference (EMBC), the IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium and the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM). Elisa serves as Associate Editor in the journals of IEEE Transactions in Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics and Frequency Control, Ultrasonic Imaging and Medical Physics, and is the recipient of awards such as the CAREER award by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Nagy award by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Carl Hellmuth Hertz Ultrasonics Award, and the IEEE-EMBS Technological Achievement Award. She also has recognitions by the American Heart Association, the Acoustical Society of America, the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine, the Wallace H. Coulter foundation, the Bodossaki foundation, the Society of Photo-optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE) and the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).

Medical Students Session

Samantha Sadler, Second-Year

Sam (she/her) is an MS2 at Harvard Medical School. Born and raised in Dallas, Texas, she graduated from Duke University ('19) with a B.S. in neuroscience and global health. She continues to pursue this academic intersection at HMS, where she serves on the Secretariat Team for the Global Neurosurgery Committee of the WFNS and collaborates with the Program for Surgery and Social Change (PGSSC). Alongside her colleagues at HMS, Sam has launched a platform titled "Unconditional Publishing" to highlight the narratives of medical students living with illness, health conditions and/or disabilities. She has also been involved in numerous national and international COVID-19 projects, including co-founding the National Student Response Network (NSRN) to connect willing health professions students with volunteering opportunities.

Tofunmi Oshodi, Third-Year Medical Student

Tofunmi Oshodi is a third-year medical student at FAU Schmidt College of Medicine, heavily passionate about social justice advocacy, education equity, and the power of psychiatry. Tofunmi grew up in Orlando, FL and attended Columbia University for her undergraduate degree, receiving a B.A. in Psychology in 2016. Upon graduating college, Tofunmi joined Teach For America and taught English and Social Studies in a South Bronx middle school for two years. Tofunmi's experience as a daughter of Nigerian immigrant parents, former special education teacher, and Black woman in medicine, has fueled her commitment to serve and advocate for communities that have been historically marginalized and disenfranchised.

Anna Garren, First-Year

Annie is currently a first year medical student at the Medical College of Wisconsin. She’s from Madison, Wisconsin and she obtained a degree in Neurobiology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. After encountering some unique challenges in her journey to medical school, she has become extremely passionate about helping others overcome their own! 

Somya Shankar, First-Year

Somya is an MS1 at Sidney Kimmel Medical College. After graduating from William & Mary, she worked for two years as a Clinical Research Coordinator at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. In her free time, Somya enjoys playing with her dog, frequenting all of the coffee shops in Philly, and listening to way too many podcasts. 

Mia Belovsky, First-Year

Mia is an MS1 at Sidney Kimmel Medical College and graduated from Penn State in December 2019 as part of the 7 Year BS/MD program. She did Neurosurgery research in her semester off before medical school and is now involved in several Digital Health research projects in medical school. In her free time she enjoys working out, running a fashion Instagram (@medtrends), cooking and hanging out with friends.

Technology / Mathematics Graduate Students Session

Lauren Bouchereau, MBA and MS Student in Mathematics 

Lauren Bouchereau is a graduate student at Claremont Graduate University. She is pursuing an MBA as well as an MS in Mathematics. After graduating with her degree in Liberal Arts from St. John's College, she created a nonprofit (Beyond Numbers Interactive Education) which focuses on making complex math and physics more accessible for students. They focus on game-based learning and their current project focuses on the Maxwell Electromagnetic Equations.

Jamie Voros, PhD Student in Aerospace Engineering Sciences

Jamie Voros is a PhD student and graduate researcher at the University of Colorado-Boulder. She works in the Bioastronautics laboratory where research focuses on human spaceflight. Her work focuses on stimulating the vestibular system and creating a computational model of human orientation perception for the purpose of better designing control systems for complex aircraft and spacecraft. She is concurrently pursuing an MS in Computer Science at the University of Colorado-Boulder and received her BS from MIT in Aerospace Engineering and in Architecture. Jamie previously worked in quantitative finance but decided to return to academia after 2 years.

Ali Finkelstein, Masters of Engineering in Computer Science

Ali graduated from MIT with a Master’s of Engineering and Bachelor’s of Science in computer science and electrical engineering. She worked in cryptocurrency, SaaS, and healthcare before starting at New Relic. Ali is driven by innovation and loves security, SaaS, and start ups. But really, she considers herself a “jack of all trades,” as she is always striving to learn new skills and new topics. If you want to strike up a conversation with her, ask her about YouTube.

Science Graduate Students Session

Ariana Castillo, PhD Student in Earth and Planetary Sciences

Ariana Castillo is a Disabled, Latinx atmospheric scientist and graduate student studying atmospheric and climate science at Harvard University and is a part time researcher at NASA Langley Research Center. Despite her unconventional journey, she received a B.S. in Meteorology from Texas A&M University and interned at NASA for three summers leading up to graduate school. Outside of research and her studies, she advocates for mental health, Disability, and BIPOC representation in STEM and academia. Hobbies include sipping coffee, going on walks + hikes, and anything Star Wars related.

Tamara El-Hayek Ewing, Masters in Chemistry

Tamara El-Hayek Ewing is a graduate student investigating an organometallic catalysis of a Friedel-Crafts-like synthetic reaction. She received her undergraduate degree in chemistry in 2016 where she conducted chemistry education research. Following graduation, she interned at the National Renewable Energy Lab in Golden, Colorado where she characterized thermoelectric semiconducting single-walled carbon nanotube (s-SWCNT) thin films. She’s presented that research at NASA Ames and the National Partners in Science Conference. She then went on to teach high school math and chemistry for two years before applying to PhD programs. After getting engaged and reconsidering her options, she turned down a PhD offer and began working as a Lab Manager/ Instructional Support in academia while pursuing her Master’s degree. In addition to work and school, she enjoys creating science art and runs a small business called Element and Molecule (@elementandmolecule on Instagram). She is now married, has two dogs (Ody and Nala), and continues to share her passion for education and chemistry through TikTok and Instagram Science Communication. (@chemis.te)

Quincy Beck, Research Assistant at Butler Hospital in Providence

Quincy graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Neuroscience from Brown University in 2018. She now works as a research assistant under PIs Dr. Audrey Tyrka and Dr. Linda Carpenter at Butler Hospital, a free-standing psychiatric hospital, in Providence, Rhode Island. Her research interests include mechanisms of mental illness through the lense of early life stress and trauma, and how these neurobiological changes are addressed and remedied by neuromodulatory treatments, such as Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS). She is thrilled to be participating in STEM Potential!

Shelby Dickerson, PhD Student in Organic Chemistry

Shelby Dickerson is originally from Lucedale, MS (a small town near Mobile, Al). She completed her BS at the University of Southern Mississippi where she majored in Chemistry (ACS-Certified) with a minor in mathematics. She did undergraduate research in an organic synthesis group. Briefly, she went to the University of Memphis for Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program where she did some computational chemistry research. Now she is finishing her PhD in organic chemistry at USC.