Current IMSD Undergraduate Scholars


Brianna Brown

Brianna Brown’s hometown is Powder Springs, Ga. She has presented at both the Emory SURE Symposium (2018) as well as the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (2018). Currently, she conducts research in the Cell Biology Department up under the direction of Dr. Ken Moberg and Dr. Anita Corbett. Her project currently focuses on an RNA-binding protein that has been linked to an intellectual disability and its role in Dosage Compensation Pathway genes.

Rochinelle Dongmo

Rochinelle Dongmo is a senior at Emory University studying Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology and French studies. She is originally from Cameroon but now resides in Baltimore, Maryland. Her first research experiences were on HIV work at Johns Hopkins University under the mentorship of Dr. Amanda Brown. As an HHMI EXROP scholar, she also conducted research at Harvard Medical School under the leadership of Dr. Bernardo Sabatini where she developed an assay to study microglia in organotypic hippocampal slice cultures. Here at Emory, she studies the development of allodynia after spinal cord injury in mice models in Dr. Sandra Garraway's laboratory. After graduation, she will be doing research while applying to graduate schools.

Lucas Encarnacion-Rivera


Liz Enyenhihi

Liz Enyenihi is a junior from Knoxville, TN who is majoring in Chemistry. She has been working in the lab of Dr. Anita Corbett since her freshman year where she studies the RNA exosome, a protein complex that processes and degrades many classes of RNA. The goal of her project is to analyze the functional consequences of disease-linked amino acid substitutions in a particular exosome subunit using a budding yeast model system. After graduating, she plans to pursue a PhD in Biochemistry to continue creating and applying knowledge to most effectively address biomedical problems.

Kenny Igarza


Javier Omar

Javier Omar is from Miami, Florida. He is currently a 4th year in the college studying Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology and Human Health. He has been working in the Center for Visual and Neurocognitive Rehabilitation at the Atlanta VA Medical Center for the past three years. He is currently working on an honors thesis that focuses on better understanding the age-related changes in interhemispheric activation patterns and the effectiveness of an aerobic exercise intervention on mitigating these age-related changes. Javier will be joining the 2019 Teach for America Corps where he will be teaching high school science in San Antonio, Texas. After his time in the classroom, he plans to pursue a Ph.D. in Neuroscience and a career in academia.

Giveth Rocha

Giveth Scarlett Rocha is of Bolivian background and a fourth-year student at the College pursuing a major in Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology with a minor in Ethics. She has participated in both the SIRE and SURE programs at Emory University and is currently a research assistant and lab mentor in the Ancient DNA- Lindo Lab. Her current research is utilizing genomics and population genetics to understand the deep ancestry of the indigenous people of North America in order to address different anthropological questions focused on their evolutionary histories. Scarlett plans to pursue a Ph.D. in Neurogenetics and focus on the evolution of learning and memory to further explore the intricacies of cognition.

Sara Saavedra

Sara Saavedra is from Nashville, Tennessee. She began conducting research at Yerkes National Primate Research Center in 2018. Sara is researching in Dr. Mar Sanchez's lab, where she is studying the social and neural development of infant rhesus macaques in order to determine early biomarkers for Autism Spectrum Disorders. She plans to pursue a Ph.D. in Neuroscience, and hopes to work in biomedical or biotechnological industries.

Chayla Vazquez


Chayla Rene Vazquez is a fourth year in the college and is originally from Tampa, FL. She is currently working in Dr. Gary Bassell's lab in the cell biology department. Chayla's current project involves her further understanding the role of neuroplasticity and neuroexcitability in the Fragile X Syndrome by analyzing the axon initial segment of neurons. She is planning on graduating from Emory in May and attending a neuroscience PhD program in the Fall.