Meet the Authors

After spending 18 years in northern Virginia, Shruti Anant moved briefly to Nashville, Tennessee, for college before returning to the best coast for medical school at Johns Hopkins. She unashamedly loves live music, curating Spotify playlists for every mood, multitasking while listening to podcasts, hot yoga, and eating Chipotle.

The practice of medicine allows Mohammad Walid Aref the privilege to walk alongside people as they navigate some of the difficulties of life. The the endeavors of scientific scholarship remind him of our collective hope that we can do better for each other.

Riley Bannon's non-scientific passions include peanut butter, theology, sports, and harboring useless pop culture facts in her brain. If you have questions about crunchy versus smooth, Catholic social teaching, the Patriots, or any past or current Bachelor contestant, please do not hesitate to reach out.

Nakul Bhardwaj  is a native Ohioan out to investigate the fundamentals that shape our metabolism, the risk factors that lead to particular metabolic-related disorders, and treatments that can help prevent many such complications. A patient advocate by day and a foodie and soccer enthusiast by night. His clinical interests include preventive care, obesity medicine, and culinary medicine.

Maria Fazal is a second-year M.D. student who loves art, dinosaurs, and trash TV. She recently adopted a kitten named Clyde and is well on her way to becoming a crazy cat lady.

Meher Kalkat is a full-time reality TV consumer, karaoke master and unabashed fiend for cookies and cream ice cream. In her free time, she is also a first-year medical student and connoisseur of all things fuzzy and warm (especially as she faces new Baltimore winters).

Jeong Jun Kim is an expert Korean cook and a novice in-line skater. He can often be found biking to the Homewood campus on a creaky bike or eating Halal food truck takeout on the quad.

Lisa Nicole Learman is a Ph.D. candidate in cellular and molecular medicine. She is passionate about public understanding of science, music and dystopian fiction.

Prior to medical school, Mark Lieber was a producer for National Geographic Television on Lockdown, a documentary series about prisons. When he has free time, he does freelance health reporting for CNN Health and other media outlets. He is an internal medicine resident and plans to focus on HIV and LGBTQ primary care. He enjoys swimming, yoga and playing with his cat, Chloe.

Bessie Liu is from Southern California and is excited to be in Baltimore for medical school! She has resigned herself to a lifetime of being under 5 feet tall, and is passionate about social justice, creative writing, outer space and drinking water.

Monica Meeks is an intern in the Osler Medical Residency. She loves gardening, cooking, eating and curating joie de vivre while caring for patients 80 hours a week. A former humanities major, she enjoys writing as a way to process the journey of becoming a physician.

Maria Dominique Mortel is a Filipino American. She was raised in Queens, New York City, and she completed her neurology residency at the University of Arizona in Tucson. She’s currently a Johns Hopkins Center for Global Health neurology fellow based in Zambia.. Her favorite hobbies include trying new restaurants with her husband and lounging with their fur baby Leo.

Born and raised in Southeast Florida, Palak Patel is feeling warmer than ever in her new Baltimore home as she begins medical school. As a theatre lover, world traveler, adventure seeker, Gators fan, and birthday cake ice cream fanatic, she has defined herself by her experiences.

Dianela Perdomo is a first-year medical student interested in ethics and public health. Since emigrating from Cuba, she’s lived in New York, North Carolina and Florida. Dianela enjoys hiking, reading and photography.

Jacob Roberts is a fourth-year medical student originally from Kansas City, Missouri. He ran track in college and remains an avid runner, continuing to compete in races extending up to ultramarathon distances. In his free time, you can find him hiking, reading or building raised vegetable bed gardens.

Emma Spikol is a Ph.D. candidate in the Johns Hopkins neuroscience program. When she’s not in the lab using transparent larval zebrafish to study the brain, she enjoys yoga, hiking and skiing. She subscribes to more than 20 podcasts and listens while cooking and driving, or whenever possible!

Grace Steward, a Ph.D. Candidate in Biomedical Engineering in the Chib neuroeconomics lab, studies decision making and psychiatric disorders. She enjoys theater, swing dancing and open mic nights. If she weren’t studying science, she’d be learning about anthropology.