The MGH Center for Law, Brain, and Behavior regularly engages students in the Center’s work. Below are profiles of current and former student research assistants, research associates, and summer research interns. Students at the CLBB come to us from a wide variety of programs and diverse backgrounds, including undergraduates, law students, medical students, and post-docs.
Current Student Research Interns, Summer 2020
Elizabeth Escalante is a rising senior at Tufts University majoring in Cognitive Brain Science with a minor in Computer Science. She has previously interned with the Department of Justice and worked with the Human Interaction lab at Tufts University, where she was part of an interdisciplinary project studying multitasking and driving. She loves to travel, and has studied in Talloires, France and Copenhagen, Denmark. At school, she is a director of the Junior Jumbos program, where she organizes a mentorship program between undergraduate students and preschoolers. She enjoys baking, reading, and drawing in her free time.
Ian Hayes is a third-year student at Harvard College where he studies Sociology and Global Health. Passionate about impacting underserved populations in both the fields of medicine and law, Ian plans to pursue a joint degree after graduation. Outside of the classroom, Ian interns at the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau at HLS, is a leader for the SoulFood Christian fellowship, and is involved with various other community service and cultural organizations. In his spare time, Ian enjoys singing, backpacking, and reading novels.
Sarah Lagan graduated from Harvard College in 2019 with a degree in Neurobiology and minor in History. She has worked in both child development and mental health research and is passionate about promoting youth and adolescent well-being through clinical research. Sarah is very interested in the potential of neuroscience to effect changes in law and policy and is thrilled to participate in this work with CLBB. In her free time, she loves to run, bake, and cheer on Boston sports teams.
Fenella McLuskie is a first-year student at Harvard Law School. She has a BA in Philosophy and Natural Sciences from the University of Cambridge and a Graduate Diploma in Law from City, University of London. While in London, she taught debate in prisons and represented children who had been expelled from school. She is interested in criminal justice reform, especially in alternative sentencing. A former college rower, Fenella spends much of her free time at the gym. She also loves languages and is currently learning Mandarin Chinese.
Madeleine Muller is a rising senior at Northwestern University majoring in Psychology and minoring in Legal Studies. She is particularly interested in the ways that neuroscience and psychology research can improve our legal system, especially to better serve and represent vulnerable populations. Prior to CLBB, Madeleine interned at De Novo Center for Justice and Healing where she worked to provide legal services to refugees seeking asylum in the United States. Outside of class, Madeleine mentors Chicago high schoolers through the college process and also enjoys playing on her intramural soccer team. Madeleine aspires to attend law school after graduation.
Jennifer Near is a rising junior at Harvard College concentrating in Neuroscience with a secondary in Global Health and Health Policy. She loves to learn about the intersection of cognitive science and public policy. She aspires to utilize her passion for scientific and psychological research to increase equity within the healthcare field, ultimately working to equalize the social determinants of health. On campus, Jennifer serves as the Co-President of Women in Science at Harvard-Radcliffe (WISHR), which aims to support diverse populations of undergraduates pursuing science degrees at Harvard. She is also the Secretary of Harvard’s chapter of the Foundation for the International Medical Relief of Children (FIMRC), through which she raises money to support health clinics throughout Central and South America. In her free time, Jennifer enjoys dancing with Expressions Dance Company at Harvard and discovering new books to read. She hopes to attend medial school after graduating from college.
Kailey Nicholson is an undergraduate junior at Harvard College studying Neuroscience. Kailey works as an undergraduate research assistant at the Bilbo lab at MGH, which explores the role of neuroimmune systems in developmental disorders. Outside of the classroom, Kailey is an avid dancer, as well as a freshman mentor and peer counselor.
Job Okeri is an undergraduate senior at the University of Minnesota, where he is majoring in Global Studies and minoring in Business Law. When he is not at the Twin Cities campus, you can find him at the Minnesota Department of Transportation building, where he works as an intern for their legal unit. Job is fascinated by the workings of the brain and is interested in the legal breakthroughs that may result from a better understanding of neuroscience. Outside the classroom, he enjoys reading, writing poetry and playing basketball.
Ifeoma Okoli is a senior at Harvard University studying Psychology with a secondary in African American studies. Ifeoma is interested in the ways in which psychology (and adjacent fields, such as neurobiology) can be used to influence and create positive policy change for racial and social justice. On campus, she is involved with various cultural organizations including the Harvard Black Students Association and the Harvard Nigerian Students Association.
Student Research Interns, 2019-2020
|Julia Hall is an undergraduate senior at the College of the Holy Cross, where she is majoring in Biology and minoring in Neuroscience. Julia works as a researcher in a Holy Cross cognitive neuroscience lab, which utilizes eye-tracking to explore how unconscious neural activity influences human behavior. Outside of the classroom, Julia is an avid gym-goer, the lead singer of a band, and a three-time orientation leader. Julia began working with CLBB as a summer 2019 RA and has continued working for the Center as one of its project managers.|
|Stacy Livingston is a first-year at Harvard Law School. She graduated from Dartmouth College in 2016 with majors in English and psychology, and is interested in finding ways to make the law more responsive to, and informed by, the realities of human behavior. Outside of class, Stacy also researches for the Access to Justice Lab at HLS, writes for the Journal of Law and Technology’s Digest section, solves crossword puzzles, and is (slowly) learning to play squash.|
|Aldis Petriceks is an MD student at Harvard Medical School, where he is currently a Klingenstein Fellow in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Prior to Harvard he worked as a research and teaching assistant at Stanford University, where he taught anatomy and conducted research in medical education. He graduated from Kenyon College in 2017 with a BA in biology and a minor in Chinese, and is currently interested in psychiatry, health policy, and the integration of the two towards a more equitable and mentally healthy population.|
|Sina Sadeghzadeh is an undergraduate junior at Harvard College studying Neuroscience and Government. Sina has previously worked as an undergraduate research assistant at the Bellen lab in Houston, TX and as a legal intern at Cunningham Levy Muse LLP in Washington, DC. Outside of class, he rides with Harvard’s cycling team and is involved in cultural and community service organizations on campus.|
|Erin Shortell is a second-year student in Harvard’s JD/MPH program and a graduate of Harvard College, where she studied History and minored in Italian. Before law school, Erin worked as a paralegal at the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office and as a research assistant at the Harvard Department of Psychology, volunteering in her spare time at a Boston suicide helpline. Outside of school, she likes to practice Brazilian jiu jitsu, learn foreign languages, and read fiction.|
|Oliver Sussman is a junior at Harvard College currently taking a gap semester, during which he will be traveling and researching for CLBB. Oliver is pursuing a joint concentration in neuroscience and linguistics, and is fascinated by how advances in neuroscience can reshape our understandings and theories of human behaviors, be they individual (like language) or societal (like law). Outside of class, Oliver volunteers through Harvard’s Peer Health Exchange, coaches high school debate, and loves to run. After Harvard, Oliver hopes to pursue an MD-JD program and work to further cross-talk between the medical and legal disciplines.|
|Justin Wong is a sophomore at Harvard College joint concentrating in philosophy and neuroscience. At school, he is interested in how neuroscience and philosophical or societal concepts contribute to our understanding about the brain and ourselves. Justin is the research director for the Harvard Review of Philosophy and a board member for the Harvard Society for Mind, Brain, and Behavior and enjoys playing intramural sports for Dunster House.|
|Lois Yoo is currently a law student at Harvard Law School. She graduated from McGill University with a Bachelor of Science in Honours Neuroscience. Her undergraduate research examined the role of a circadian clock gene in the regulation of brain processes. After her first year of law school, she worked as a law clerk at the LA District Attorney’s Office in the cyber crime division. She is particularly interested in the legal and ethical issues arising from advances in neuroscience and other scientific disciplines. She also feels passionate about mindfulness meditation.|
Research Interns, Summer 2019
|Laura Drohan is a law student entering her third year at Boston University School of Law. She graduated from Stanford University in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts in Human Biology and French Literature with departmental honors. After undergrad, she taught English in France, tutored, and worked as a volunteer legal assistant at the District Attorney’s Office in her hometown of Colorado Springs, Colorado. In law school, she is an Articles Editor and Peer Review Liaison for the American Journal of Law and Medicine and has worked as a legal intern at the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office, the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, and the Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office. She plans to pursue a career in criminal prosecution, and her interest areas include juvenile justice, adolescent brain development, and criminal responsibility.|
|Regina C.E. Fairfax is a rising senior at Harvard College concentrating in Psychology with a secondary in English. She is currently pursuing her honors thesis for Psychology in the Richard McNally Lab for Emotional Disorders. At school, Regina mentors freshman on campus and tutors for Abnormal Psychology, is involved in Harvard Model Congress (HMC), a mock Congress conference that she helps run for high school students in Boston, San Fransisco, Asia, and Europe, interns at HLS’ Office for Public Interest Advising, and sits on the board the Small Claims Advisory Service (SCAS), a community service organization that provides free legal information to Massachusetts residents. She hopes to attend law school after graduating from college.|
|Ilai Gavish is an undergraduate at Harvard University planning to concentrate in neuroscience. He loves to learn about the brain and has a strong interest in cognitive science, philosophy, psychology, and linguistics. Ilai is particularly interested in the philosophical questions and insights that arise from neuroscientific discoveries. In addition to doing research, he works at Widener Library and runs with the Harvard College Running Club.|
|Julia Hall is an undergraduate senior at the College of the Holy Cross, where she is majoring in Biology and minoring in Neuroscience. She is particularly interested in the application of scientific research to the improvement of public and social policy. In pursuit of her senior honors thesis, Julia will be conducting research on nutrition education in United States medical schools in order to investigate physicians’ lack of nutrition training despite the contribution of diet to chronic disease. Outside of the classroom, Julia is a researcher in a cognitive neuroscience lab, which utilizes eye-tracking to explore how unconscious neural activity influences human behavior, a three-time orientation leader, and the lead singer of an extracurricular band at Holy Cross.|
|Maha Al-Suwaidi is a recent graduate of Harvard College with a bachelors in Economics and minor in Psychology. She is very passionate about decision-making with a clinical focus; she has done research on other-directed harm at Joshua Buckholtz’s lab, the System of Neuroscience Psychopathology lab, and research on suicidal and/or self-injurious behavior at the Nock Lab, where she will continue to be a full-time Research Assistant. Her passion for psychological research stems from a passion to increase mental health equity and accessibility for vulnerable populations. She also volunteers at a juvenile center, and is passionate about working both on an individual and systemic level towards improving outcomes for youth in the juvenile system. Maha looks forward towards continuing this work through her position at the CLBB this summer.|
|Megha Majumder recently graduated from UC Berkeley and Harvard Medical School with degrees in Molecular Toxicology, Public Health, and Bioethics. Megha dedicated her academic and professional life to helping and to healing; to reinventing, subsidizing, and introducing modern health practices and technology to communities that would otherwise be unable to afford or even know about them. She plans to do a lot of quiet good, essentially. Megha will continue her graduate studies in medicine and neuropalliation as at the University of Cambridge sponsored by a Fulbright Schuman Innovation Grant and the Abbeyfield Foundation to explore issues at the intersection of neurodegenerative diseases and the pressing medico-ethical issues that arise at the end of life.|