Meet the Authors

Adam D'Sa is a first-year medical student who studied English at Yale before moving to Baltimore. His medical and non-medical interests in no particular order include cancer biology, running, emergency medicine, healthcare policy, prose poetry and the wonders of the deep sea.

Adela Wu is passionate about making connections between ideas and people, and seeing how her interests in literature, creative writing and medicine play out in that theme. In addition, she also enjoys river and sea kayaking, having recently whitewater kayaked the Shenandoah River rapids.

Benjamin Bell studies sleep and circadian rhythms in mice and flies, and is fortunate the mice understand his semi-nocturnal work schedule. When not actively in the lab, you can find him thinking about research and science-writing on his motorcycle, on the hiking trails, or at any local concert venue.

Brittany Avin is a Ph.D. candidate in molecular biology and genetics. She is a cancer survivor, cancer researcher, and cancer advocate who’s passionate about closing the communication gap between patients, clinicians and researchers.

David Ottenheimer is a Ph.D. candidate in neuroscience. One of his favorite family traditions is spelunking in the caves of West Virginia (see selfie). He explains, “My grandfather was an avid caver, and he got my whole family hooked. During the trek, we take a moment to turn off all our lights and appreciate the total darkness.”

Eduardo R. Martínez-Montes is a Ph.D. candidate in biochemistry and cellular and molecular biology. He says he’s always had too many interests, especially in college when you should mostly be getting good at one thing. He laments that it is hard not to fall into obsoleteness as a Renaissance man in the age of specialization.

Emily Fray is a second-year Ph.D. student in the Biochemistry, Cellular and Molecular Biology Graduate Program. She is passionate about reading and writing about science, learning about infectious diseases, consuming large quantities of caffeine, and studying her personal role model, Louis Pasteur. She hopes to someday combine her loves of English and science to work as an editor for a major journal or textbook company.

Joelle Dorskind is a Ph.D. candidate in the Cellular and Molecular Medicine program at Johns Hopkins. When she isn't in lab running experiments, she enjoys reading, playing soccer, running and traveling.

John Choi is a lactose intolerant medical student who believes in the power of sharing stories and regretfully loves cheese.

Kyla Britson is a Ph.D. candidate in cellular and molecular medicine. She has been playing violin since she was 10. She was in her college’s campus orchestra, and since moving to Baltimore she has been part of the Hunt Valley Symphony. She says playing the violin has always been her artistic break from science.

Laura Lavaditis is a third year pediatrics resident. She says she is part of a big, fat Greek-American family. Fun fact: Her mother’s father came to America on the same ship as her father’s mother in the early 1950s, but they only realized the coincidence after her parents were married!

Marina Horiates is a Greek-American medical student who loves to laugh with good people, read great books, watch powerful theater, and wear cowboy boots.

Monika Deshpande is passionate about science communication. When she was a postdoc at the National Institutes of Health, she was involved in several publications, such as The NIH Catalyst and NIH Research Matters. She is adept at interviewing scientists and showcasing their achievements, and is able to write for scientific and nonscientific audience.

Natalie Joe is a Ph.D. candidate in cellular and molecular medicine. She shares, “I’ve sat in a plane with a stranger strapped to my back and my feet dangling 12,500 feet about the Florida coast. But, fear struck me when he said, ‘When you’re ready...,’ and then I leaned forward. We plummeted toward the coastline at 200 mph until he opened the parachute.”

Pranjal Bodh Gupta is a second-year medical student who arrived at Johns Hopkins from Vanderbilt University where, over the course of four years, he danced in numerous cultural showcases. Throughout these shows, he learned various routines, including a Japanese fisherman dance (“Soran Bushi”), Indian Bollywood dance, Korean pop, Japanese drumming dance (taiko) and Indian Bhangra. As a side hobby, Pranjal made short films and majored in chemical engineering. His latest adventure includes learning medicine and trying to gain social media fame.

Rachel Evans is a Ph.D. student who uses baking to relieve stress, which causes her to bake quite a bit in grad school. She’s currently working her way through a book on French baking! So far she has mastered the “tarte tatin.”

Rebecca DiBaise is an M.D., M.P.H. student planning to become a neurologist. A few of her favorite things include Camden Yards, her pets Dale (a rabbit) and Oliver (a cat), lakes, and family time in Boston. Some of her least favorite things include cooking for herself, humidity and doing her hair.

Rebecca Tweedell is a fifth-year Ph.D. student in the Cellular and Molecular Medicine program with a strong passion for infectious disease research. In addition to loving anything and everything nerdy and generally uncool, she is an avid runner, rower and random sport participant. Her dream job is to be a Disney princess, singing and performing by day, while writing scientific manuscripts by night.

Sarah Robbins is a human genetics Ph.D. student. Her skill at reading recipes has made her able to translate her talents from pies to PCR.

By day, you can find Yazmin Rovira Gonzalez in the lab, where she peers into the inner workings of muscle cells to make discoveries that may someday help treat metabolic disorders. On the weekends, she's out exploring and photographing the mountain trails with her trusty sidekick, Bailey the hiking wiener dog.