President, Policy Co-Chair, Video Director
Erin grew up in rural Pennsylvania, not far from Philadelphia. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry and Physics from Hofstra University and is currently studying Cellular and Molecular Biology as a PhD Candidate at the University of Pennsylvania. Her current research involves designing and testing a vaccine to prevent against Hepatitis C infections.
As the President of PSPDG, Erin is involved in many aspects of the group. She manages relationships with outside organizations, guides the executive board in planning and hosting events, leads the Policy initiatives with Shannon, and creates Communication content in video form.
Tori is a dual American-Swedish citizen who grew up in Gainesville, Florida. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Florida and her Master of Science in Molecular Biology from Lund University in Sweden where she studied the innate immune response to tuberculosis. Currently, Tori is in her 1st year as a PhD candidate in the Cellular and Molecular Biology program at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research is focused on understanding the dynamics between infectious pathogens, commensals, and the host immune system.
As Diplomacy Chair, Tori is responsible for organizing diplomacy related workshops, facilitating trips to diplomacy related meetings, and connecting members of the group to professional networks such as AAAS, NSPN, international offices/diplomats, and the UN.
Shannon grew up in Tampa, Florida and earned her Bachelor of Science in Neurobiology from the University of Florida (go gators!). She completed her PhD in Neurobiology at the University of Chicago in 2016 and is now a post-doctoral research fellow at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research focuses on the neural circuits that underlie drug addiction, and is currently investigating co-abuse of nicotine and opioids.
As policy co-chair, she works with Erin to develop and organize policy initiatives and events, maintain relationships with professional societies, and coordinate participation in science policy meetings.
Ambika grew up in various cities across India. She moved to the US for an MS Biology degree at NYU, which she completed in January 2017. Shortly after that she began work as a Research Specialist in the Weissman Lab at the University of Pennsylvania. Her main focus is to prepare mRNA for the vaccines produced by the lab, as well as expand the platform to improve productivity.
Her role as the Communications Officer entails internal and external communications via social media, email, and other avenues to ensure the smooth functioning of the group as a whole, alongside event organisation and coordination. She is passionate about encouraging Scientific Communication within and without the Scientific community.
Deputy Communications Officer
Krystal grew up in rural Maine and earned her Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry from the University of Southern Maine. After graduation, she moved to Denver for a summer fellowship studying cancer biology, which turned into a year-long research job at the UC Denver Anschutz Medical Campus. The following fall she began her PhD in Biochemistry & Molecular Biophysics at the University of Pennsylvania and is currently in her 5th year of thesis work. Krystal’s work investigates the mechanisms of RNA splicing regulating the immune response.
Krystal assists Ambika by handling social media, email, and other methods of communication within and without PSPDG’s membership. She helps with event promoting and coordinates complicated advertising campaigns across Penn’s campus.
Camille is French but has mostly lived outside of her home-country. She lived in Asia (Korea, Japan, China, and Singapore) for 15 years, then moved to Montreal, Canada, for her Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Psychology. Now, she is in the 1st year of her PhD in Neuroscience at the University of Pennsylvania, where she works in the laboratory of Dr. Michael Platt. Her current research involves studying the brain of primates engaged in social behaviors, and understanding the course of primate brain evolution.
Camille is the producer and host of the group’s podcast, organizes workshops to improve scientists’ communication skills, and leads projects to bridge the communication gap between Penn Scientists and the community of Philadelphia.
Anne grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia, but has completely embraced life in the city. She earned her undergraduate degree from Temple University where she double majored in Neuroscience and Spanish studies. Following graduation she worked in the Behavioral Neurophysiology Lab at Temple, which sparked her interest in addiction research and the neural mechanisms at the intersection of stress and drug taking. She is currently pursuing a PhD in Pharmacology, working in the lab of Dr. Elizabeth Heller.
Anne is our resident writer for the blog, and manages guest writers. In addition to her work planning events and strategizing, Anne also helped create and design the website.
Alex was born and raised in Puerto Rico. After completing her Bachelor of Science degree in Biomedical Sciences at the University of Puerto Rico at Ponce, she moved to the mainland USA to earn her PhD in Cellular and Molecular Biology at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research focuses in understanding how chemical modifications of RNA are important in skin development, maintenance and cancer formation.
As treasurer, she works alongside Erin to oversee the general finances of PSPDG, which including funding, financial planning, budgeting, and reporting.