Meet the Fellows

2021

Faculty Host: Molly Schumer

Stepfanie Aguillon holds a bachelor's and a master's degree from the University of Arizona and a  PhD in ecology and evolutionary biology from Cornell University. She has interests in behavioral ecology and evolutionary biology and seeks to understand how genes influence the way organisms look and behave. As a Science Fellow, she plans to study the genetic basis of mate choice behavior in a hybridizing fish system. Aguillon’s research has appeared in Proceedings of the Royal Society B and PLoS Genetics, among other venues, and she has published on the topic of science education.

Faculty Host: Peter Kim

Brian Hie is interested in using technology to understand interactions between pathogens and their host organisms. As a doctoral student in electrical engineering and computer science at MIT, he developed novel applications of machine learning to biology and achieved important insights into viral mutation, and he is first author of papers appearing in venues such as Science and Nature Biotechnology. Has worked as a software engineer for Google X, Salesforce, and Illumina and holds three patents.

Faculty Host: ZX Shen

Zhurun Ji will earn a doctoral degree in physics at the University of Pennsylvania. She pursues experimental and theoretical approaches in the area of condensed matter physics. Her work has appeared in the journals Science and Nature Materials. At Stanford she plans to investigate the nature of electrons and develop quantum materials for use in the next generation of green electronics.

Faculty Host: Jennifer Dionne

Cody McCoy is a doctoral candidate in the department of organismic and evolutionary biology at Harvard University. She holds a master’s degree in environmental policy from Oxford University, where she was a Rhodes Scholar. The focus of McCoy’s research is biological adaptations related to light, such as the coloration that allows birds and spiders to absorb more than 99 percent of light and thus appear “super black.” Her work has been featured in outlets including Scientific American and The New York Times.

Faculty Host: Ciprian Manolescu

Maggie Miller is an NSF Postdoctoral Fellow at MIT and was recently named a 2021 Clay Research Fellow. She obtained her PhD from Princeton University where she was an NSF Graduate Fellow. Maggie works on geometric topology and is interested in understanding surfaces in 4-dimensions. At Stanford she plans to broaden her work on topology of low-dimensional manifolds to include modern ideas from gauge theory.

Faculty Host: Lauren O’Connell

Victoria Morgan studies how marine animals made the transition to terrestrial modes of life beginning more than 300 million years ago. Her doctoral research at the University of California, Davis, assesses the genetic changes that have allowed crabs to adapt to living on land.  As part of that work, Morgan is assembling the genome of the coconut crab, the planet’s largest terrestrial arthropod. Her published research has highlighted efforts to conserve the coconut crab and other threatened species.  As a Science Fellow, Morgan aims to explore the genetic basis of sea-to-land transitions by studying developmental transcriptomics in land crabs.

Faculty Host: Manu Prakash

Vishal Patil is a doctoral candidate at MIT in the field of applied mathematics. His work deals with topology and geometry in the context of elastic materials, including fibers with adaptive properties that are capable of mimicking neural networks and biological systems such as tumors. Patil’s research, which has been published in the journals Science and Nature, has applications in a range of fields, including engineering and medicine; he was collaborated with cardiac surgeons at Massachusetts General Hospital to improve surgical knots

2020

Faculty Host: Todd Martinez

Cody Aldaz studied chemistry at the University of New Mexico and the University of Michigan. He has received support for his work from the Department of Energy and the California Alliance Research Exchange, which brought him to Stanford as a visiting graduate student in 2018, where he pursued collaborations spanning the areas of photochemistry, computational chemistry, organic chemistry, and spectroscopy. As a Stanford Science Fellow, he will continue his work developing materials for application in medicine, defense technology, and other fields.

Faculty Host: Tom Clandinin

Ina Anreiter is a behavioral biologist and geneticist with interests in human development, neuroscience, and computer science. She studied at the University Lisbon and the University of Toronto, where she earned a PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. In 2019–20 she was a Schmidt Science Fellow and a visiting researcher at the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research. She is currently developing computational tools for the study of genetics and furthering her research on the long-term effects of environment and experience on biological processes.

Faculty Host: Rob Jackson

Sarah Cooley holds a bachelor’s degree geological sciences from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and she is pursuing a PhD in Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences at Brown University. Cooley’s research focuses on harnessing miniature satellites to remotely study greenhouse methane emissions from Arctic waters. She is passionate about building a stronger community of women and underrepresented minorities in her field and seeks opportunities to engage with, and learn from, the Indigenous Arctic residents of the regions she studies.

Faculty Hosts:  Daniel Fisher and Steve Quake

Ivana Cvijović holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Cambridge and a PhD in Systems Biology from Harvard. As a Lewis-Sigler Theory Fellow at Princeton, she studied how populations of white blood cells, the basis of the immune system, evolve over the course of an individual’s lifetime. Her work combines evolutionary theory and the methods of physics and mathematics to understand how mutation and natural selection shape genetic diversity within large populations.

Faculty Hosts: Ansu Satpathy and Anshul Kundaje

Caleb Lareau studied biochemistry and mathematics at the University of Tulsa and biostatistics at Harvard. With support from the National Cancer Institute, he conducted his doctoral research at Harvard Medical School and the Broad Institute, where he developed new biotechnical and computational tools for understanding the genetic mechanisms underlying blood production in humans. As a Stanford Science Fellow, he will collaborate with researchers in the School of Medicine to understand genetic relationships among cells in the human body and investigate how cells respond to damage and disease.

Faculty Host: Monika Schleier-Smith

Shankari Rajagopal studied physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she earned her PhD.  She has been active in mentoring and outreach and served as a co-organizer of the 2018–19 Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics (CUWiP), an official event of the American Physical Society. She came to Stanford as a postdoctoral scholar studying quantum physics and will continue to pursue experimental investigations of novel phases of matter as a Science Fellow.

Faculty Hosts: Nick Melosh and Bianxiao Cui

Viktoryia Shautsova received her bachelor’s degree in computer science from Belarus State University and a PhD in physics from Imperial College London. She will draw upon her deep knowledge in physics, material science, neuroscience and biology to develop nanoscale brain-computer interfaces for studying the human brain that could one day be allow people to interact with artificial intelligence systems.

Molly Akin, Harvard University

Faculty Host: Sergiu Pasca

Alfredo Valencia earned a bachelor’s degree with honors in biochemistry at California’s Pitzer College.  As a doctoral student in chemical biology at Harvard, he conducted research at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. He was also an active member of the Minority Biomedical Scientists of Harvard and received recognition as a Diversity and Inclusion Fellow. He expects to continue his work on genetics and developmental disorders as a Stanford Science Fellow.