Our Executive Team

Alice Chun

Alice is a sophomore from Orange County, CA pursuing a double major in Global Health and Public Policy and minor in Medical Sociology. She has been involved in research through internships at USC Keck School of Medicine and the Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy. This past summer, through the Margolis Center, she worked on projects related to COVID-19’s impacts on long-term care facilities and supported the implementation of a national veteran caregivers training program.

At Duke, Alice is involved in the Student Wellness Advisory Council, serving as a liaison between students and DuWell faculty to promote and improve the wellness services offered on campus. She is also an undergraduate researcher for a Bass Connections team designing a human-centered healthcare delivery model for pediatric patients with chronic and/or multiple conditions. In her free time, she loves dancing, watching medical dramas, and cheering on the Dodgers. Upon graduation, she hopes to continue health policy research at a government health organization, as well as pursue a professorship in the future.

Afreen Ashraf

Afreen is a sophomore from Jacksonville, Fl. She is passionate about the decolonization of global health, socially constructed disease stigma and aggravation, East-West split in the treatment of diseases, and strives to reduce disparities in healthcare practices and policies as it applies to sexual and gender minorities (SGMs), ethnic and racial minorities.

She currently serves as an undergraduate researcher at the Center for Health Policy and Inequalities Research (CHIPR), aggregating data about international policy and health research about SGMs. Through Bass Connections, she is currently working on examining the health impacts of e-waste handling among pregnant women and their children; and the environmental and global impacts of e-waste handling. She has also worked at Mayo Clinic, researching Waldenstorm’s macroglubiniemia (WM), pharmaco-synthetic lethality and creating 3-D visuals of drug synergy. In her spare time, Afreen enjoys spending time traveling, watching movies, going on food adventures and playing Dutch Blitz with her friends.

Angela Renne

Angela is a junior from Maryland majoring in Biology and Chemistry. She is currently involved in volunteering at the Veritas Institute and conducts research on potential causes of cardiac related SIDS. She has previously interned with the Red Cross and taught CPR and First Aid classes in a Red Cross summer camp. She is interested in the health care of developing countries and has traveled to Togo to work in the local health clinic and teach English and writing. In her free time, she enjoys rock climbing, hiking, and going to art exhibits. 

Reika Shimomura

Reika is a sophomore from Japan and Pennsylvania, planning to major in Global Health Biology track at Duke Kunshan University (DKU). She is a Lead Editor for Global Health Humanities and DKU Liaison for DSGHR. She became interested in public health from her experience living in Ghana for 3 years and CDC Disease Detective Camp in 2018. She is an active member in Youth Leaders in Global Health Club at DKU. One of the projects she co-initiated is the Medical English Project, teaching conversational English in healthcare settings to local hospital’s physicians and nurses. She is currently working on a couple of projects at Health Humanities Lab in DKU. Reika is passionate about public health as well as learning and teaching languages.

Molly Mendoza

Molly is a senior at Duke University majoring in International Comparative Studies and Global Health with a minor in Psychology. Throughout her time at Duke, Molly has worked as a research assistant in the Empathy Development Lab in the Psychology department, participated in a Duke Engage program in Rwanda focused on nutrition in a hospital setting, and this past summer interned with Population Connection raising awareness about sexual and reproductive health and rights issues. At Duke, Molly has also enjoyed giving tours to campus visitors, tenting for the Duke vs UNC basketball game, and exploring restaurants in Durham.

Ishika Gupta

Ishika is a sophomore from Fargo, ND most likely pursuing a biology major, chemistry minor, and the Science and Society Certificate. She is very interested in nutrition, diseases such as Alzheimer’s, and biomedical engineering. She is currently the Director of Outreach and Communications on DSGHR.

She currently serves as an undergraduate researcher in the Bursac Lab at Duke. Her focus in this lab is to study how the presence of immune cells effects the development and function of engineered skeletal muscle tissue. She is also part of a Bass Connections project that focuses on genetic engineering with Alzheimer’s disease. Finally, she is part of the eating disorder lab at Duke and is planning on pursuing a senior thesis within this lab. In her free time, she enjoys reading, spending time with friends, and watching Gilmore Girls. 

Student Editors

Brianna Joyce

Brianna Joyce is an undergraduate junior from Pennsylvania majoring in public policy and global health and minoring in history. She spent three semesters as a research assistant for a Parenting Across Cultures longitudinal study at Duke’s Center for Child and Family Policy. She has been involved with the Center for Health Policy and Inequalities Research and is currently writing a systematic literature review with two other Duke students on non-prescribed hormone replacement therapy among transgender and gender non-binary communities. Brianna is also involved with a Bass Connections team exploring jail data collection efforts nationally, with the goal of informing the creation of a North Carolina jail database. This semester, she looks forward to beginning a new Muser project which involves transcribing inmate records to assist with a study on mass incarceration. After Duke, she hopes to pursue a legal career focused on human rights and family law. In her free time, Brianna enjoys learning Urdu, drinking coffee, and spending time with her older brother.

Emma Guo

Emma is a junior from China, majoring in Global Health with a track in Biology at Duke Kunshan University (DKU) in China. She is a student editor for DSGHR and her research interests lie in emerging infectious disease, health economics, chronic disease epidemiology. 

At DKU, Emma worked as an undergraduate researcher for the Global Health Research Center, focusing on non-communicable diseases and One Health Research Lab. She is also involved in the Value in Health Econometrics lab and projects funded by DKU Health Humanities Lab. She also participated in a research project under Summer Research Scholar funding and works with students and faculty members from other universities. After graduation, she plans to pursue her future study in epidemiology.

Joshua Gan

Joshua is a freshman from Malaysia, planning to major in the Political Economy-Economics track at Duke Kunshan University. He is particularly interested in global health policy and its implementation processes at a local/regional level. Previously, Joshua interned with a Member of the Malaysian Parliament, conducting reviews of global immigration and trade policy responses to COVID-19, as well as drafting policy recommendations on local lockdown procedures. In his free time, he enjoys playing badminton, golf, and League of Legends.

Melanie Pearce

Melanie is a junior from Florida pursuing a double major in Biology and Global Health with a minor in Chemistry. In the field of global health, she is particularly interested in topics related to sexual and reproductive health, maternal and child health, and the connection between health and injuries, violence, and disasters. At Duke, Melanie is an executive board member of Females Excelling More in Math, Engineering, and Science (FEMMES) and conducts research studying mild traumatic brain injuries in young athletes. She also serves as a campus tour guide and recently volunteered as a youth sports coach with a local nonprofit organization. In her free time, she enjoys reading, listening to music, and spending time with friends and family.

Michelle Kwan

Michelle is a freshman at Duke University majoring in Biology and minoring in Computer Science and Global Health. Originally from California, she has previously conducted research at Stanford University’s Department of Genetics and University of California, Santa Barbara’s Neuroscience Research Institute. She is passionate about reproductive health and the intersection between genomics and neonatology. At Duke, Michelle serves as a student ambassador for Blue Devils Care, Duke’s remote mental health support system, and is also involved in Duke’s GlobeMed chapter. In her free time, Michelle loves to watch movies, spend time with friends, and go on road trips.


Sahil Sandhu

Sahil graduated from Duke in 2020 with a self-designed degree in “Health Innovation: Evidence to Impact.” He studied the use of evidence-based practice to design, implement, and evaluate new health innovations both domestically and globally. Sahil has conducted health services research through the Global Alliance on Disability and Health Innovation, the Duke Institute for Health Innovation, the Duke Social Science Research Institute, and the Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy. He taught a house course on drug development for essential medicines and has worked on HIV prevention in Kenya. Sahil is currently a Fulbright Scholar in the UK, pursuing a Master’s in Health Services Research at Newcastle University.  

Evi Alexopolous

Evi is a senior from Rye, NY majoring in Biology and Global Health. She serves as a volunteer at the Duke Human Vaccine Institute, aiding especially in HIV vaccine research. Evi gained valuable experience in the cross-section between sociocultural factors and heightened disease prevalence during her summer internship with Project Achieve, a national HIV Vaccine and Prevention Trials Network site in Manhattan. In her spare time, Evi enjoys spending time with friends, watching Parks and Recreation, and reading fiction (when she’s not sleeping in a tent for Duke basketball).  

Hope Jackson

Hope Jackson is a senior from Virginia Beach, VA studying Biology and Global Health. Hope is most interested in reproductive health and women’s rights globally. She has worked in Guatemala with the Global Public Service Academy, created curricula for the nonprofit Girls Inc of the Pacific Northwest, and worked with young adult leadership development at the Anti-Defamation League. In the future, Hope would like to pursue either a Ph.D. in Health Behavior, Health Administration, or Health Policy & Management in order to contribute effective methods of intervention and evaluation to the field. Potential careers in applied research and professorship regarding global health interest her the most. She would prefer these careers relate to reproductive health issues globally and involve fieldwork or project management. 

Julie Uchitel

Julie is currently studying Pediatrics and International Child Studies at Cambridge and King’s College London as a Marshall Scholar. She graduated from Duke in 2019 with a double major in Neuroscience and French and a minor in Chemistry. At Duke, she performed research on epilepsy and Alternating Hemiplegia of Childhood with Dr. Mohamad Mikati at Duke Children’s Hospital. Julie also worked in pediatric neurology labs at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia studying epilepsy and neurocritical care. Her other Duke involvements included Duke Global Medical Brigades and the Neuroscience Majors’ Union. In her free time she enjoys running, yoga, and reading French fiction.

John Lu

John majored in Chemistry and Mathematics. John previously won over $20,000 in grants to fund his research on schistosomiasis prevalence in rural Tanzania, vaccination uptake in Ghana, and the pathophysiology of Epstein-Barr virus. He created and teaches the first undergraduate course at Duke focusing on neglected tropical diseases. John also serves on the national advisory board of the END7 campaign of the Sabin Vaccine Institute, a leading social movement to end the 7 most common neglected tropical diseases by 2020. John is a contributor to the Huffington Post, and he enjoys meeting new people and learning new things.

Elish Mahajan

Elish majored in Biology and minored in Computer Science.  He is interested in the social, legal, and ethical reaches of science on the world. He is a certified EMT-Basic and volunteered with Duke EMS. He was also a member of Nita Farahany’s Science Law & Policy Lab and did basic research on the Human MicroBiome. He knows everything will be all right.

Maaz Mulla

Maaz majored in Biology and minored in Computer Science. Through Bass Connections, Maaz worked with a group on a global health research project where he is examining disability care across several countries. He is was involved with basic science research and is working on a project studying drug resistance in breast cancer cells. Aside from research, Maaz volunteered at the Children’s Hospital, and a proud member of GANO (a student-run ESL group on campus). He loves to play tennis, and enjoys spending time with family and friends.

Thabit Pulak

Thabit majored in Environmental Science and Policy. Thabit is the founder of iKormi, a nonprofit organization he founded over 5 years ago, which deals with battling arsenic water poisoning, a problem which affects over 150 million people worldwide. Currently, his organization produces over 100 water filters a month, using local materials and local labor in heavily arsenic affected regions in Bangladesh. His filters have resulted in clean drinking water supplies for over 4,000 people in Bangladesh, serving people from villages, to mosques, and to hospitals. In addition, Thabit is the Worldwide Director for Water Resources at the Sabrina Memorial Foundation, one of the largest nonprofit organizations to operate in Bangladesh.

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