Cohort 5: 2020-2021

Andrew Vaughn

Andrew is a Computational Biology PhD student working in Rasmus Nielsen's lab. He received his BA in Mathematics from Cornell University in 2019. His research interests are in statistical genetics and human evolution. He is particularly interested in the way that human demographic, social, and evolutionary histories have interacted through time and the way in which statistical analyses can help us understand this interaction.

Anna Smith

Anna is a PhD student in Environmental Health Sciences, emphasizing in Computational and Genomic Biology. She is advised by Dr. Andres Cardenas and Dr. Nina Holland. She previously received a MPH in Environmental Health Sciences from UC Berkeley in 2019 and a BS in Environmental Toxicology from UC Davis in 2016. Her research focuses on using novel machine learning techniques and causal inference methods to examine the molecular mechanisms by which cumulative exposures during critical periods of development promote chronic disease later in life. She is currently examining the effect...

Shalika Gupta


Shalika is an Epidemiology Ph.D. student advised by Professor Maya Petersen. She previously earned a B.S. in Environmental Sciences and an M.A. in Biostatistics from UC Berkeley. Prior to graduate school, Shalika worked as a research associate at the Public Health Institute’s Alcohol Research Group. As a graduate student, she worked on The Fit Study under the supervision of Professor Kristine Madsen. Her current research focuses on understanding the mechanisms by which the Sustainable East Africa Research in Community Health (SEARCH) trial impacted mother-to-child transmission of HIV...

Hunter Nisonoff

Hunter is a PhD student in Computational Biology at University of California, Berkeley advised by Jennifer Listgarten and a member of the Berkeley Artificial Intelligence Research Lab (BAIR). Prior to coming to Berkeley, Hunter worked at D. E. Shaw Research where he conducted research on machine learning-based approaches for designing small-molecules. He obtained his B.S. in Mathematics from Duke University, where he worked with Bruce Donald on improved algorithms for computational structure-based protein design. Hunter is interested in developing improved computational tools for...

Nerissa Nance

Epidemiology and Biostatistics

Nerissa Nance is an Epidemiology PhD and Biostatistics MA student at UC Berkeley, advised by Maya Petersen. She helps lead the JICI working group on applying the longitudinal causal roadmap to Danish registry data. Nerissa has also worked as a Biostatistics Data Consultant at Kaiser Permanente Northern California's Division of Research. She holds a Master's in Public Health degree in Epidemiology/Biostatistics, also from Berkeley.

Solis Winters

Solis is a Health Policy PhD student in the Population and Data Science specialty field working with Dr. Lia Fernald. She graduated summa cum laude from Saint Louis University with a B. S. in Biostatistics and Public Health and minors in Urban Poverty Studies and Engineering Mathematics. Solis is interested in research at the intersection of maternal and child health and the social determinants of health. Prior to starting the PhD program, she worked for two years as a research assistant at the Inter-American Development Bank, conducting impact evaluations on prenatal health and...