ASPIRE Medical Research Program Leadership

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Dr. Tamar Gur, MD, PhD

Faculty Director, Assistant Professor

"I am thrilled to have the opportunity to serve as Faculty Director for this program. I care deeply about creating pathways for historically excluded individuals to pursue graduate degrees in the Biomedical Sciences. I’ve learned so much from these students already, and look forward to marveling in the trails they are sure to blaze in biomedical research."  

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Aaron Thomas

Program Coordinator

"Working with our students has been the privilege of a lifetime.  They are the smartest, most driven, most self-assured humans I have ever encountered.  Some say it’s a privilege to be in this program, but in serving them, the privilege is mine."

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2022 ASPIRE Students

Martha Admassu

Martha Admassu

Undergraduate Major: Neuroscience

Medical Interest: Pediatrics & OB/GYN

"The ASPIRE program has provided me great resources and connections that will help me grow as a future healthcare professional. The support I have received from mentors has given me a network of physicians who will help me grow in my path to medicine." 

Hani Amro

Hani Amro

Undergraduate Major: Neuroscience

Medical Interest: Neuroscience, Trauma, Critical Care

"Participating in the ASPIRE medical research program has been one of the best experiences of my college career. Getting to work with so many amazing and accomplished people has truly expedited my personal and professional development. I am confident that the lessons I learned and the people I've met will stay with me beyond my years of schooling."

Diana Appiagyei

Diana Appiagyei

Undergraduate Major: Microbiology

Medical Interest: Cardiology / Cardiothoracic Surgery

"ASPIRE opened my eyes and taught me that medicine is more complex than simply knowing medical terminology to be a successful physician. It taught me about understanding trauma, mental health, health disparities/inequities, and its impact in the field of medicine. This program also created an environment with like-minded individuals who I continue building great relationships with and forever cherish."

Reagan Conrad

Reagan Conrad

Undergraduate Major: Biology 

Medical Interest: Pediatrics

"I came into ASPIRE with high hopes of learning more about health inequities and how medical professionals can tackle them together, but this program blew every expectation away. This program is beyond dedicated to educating and supporting its members, and I cannot thank ASPIRE enough for a summer full of informational sessions, research, and mentorship that will heavily influence my future into medicine." 

Amy Dokiburra

Amy Dokiburra

Undergraduate Major: Molecular Genetics, pre-MD/PhD

Medical Interest: Neurology, OB/GYN, Dermatology

"The ASPIRE program has gifted me with three things--an invaluable opportunity to do real medical research, a community of compassionate & motivated scholars turned friends, and an unwavering sense of confidence & security in my identity as a first-gen immigrant, woman of color, and future physician. I am forever grateful for the education, support, and connections that I have made this summer."

Selina Reyes Flowers

Selina Reyes Flowers

Medical Interest: PhD/MD 

“I am extremely grateful to have been given the opportunity to participate in this program. Learning through a pandemic, I never even learned my basic lab safety protocol, let alone set foot in a lab. ASPIRE opened all those doors for me and much more. This program is something I will always treasure because it fueled my love for not only medicine, but research as well.” 

Faris Haroun

Faris Haroun

Undergraduate Major: Exercise Science 

Medical Interest: Sports Medicine/Orthopedics

"ASPIRE has provided me with a one-of-a-kind experience that I will never forget. From meeting a ton of wonderful people to analyzing the ins-n-outs of multiple career pathways, it has been all that I could ask for and more as I move forward along my journey!" 

Ale Zaleta Lastra

Ale Zaleta Lastra

Undergraduate Major: Neuroscience

Medical Interest: Neuro developments, sex differences in the brain, stress

"The ASPIRE medical program has afforded me endless connections with mentors, amazing research opportunities, and a support system. The emphasis on equity and community in the program makes it one of a kind. ASPIRE has given me an amazing foundation in science as well as general knowledge regarding social challenges present in biomedicine and research."

Teri

Terri’Anna Lewis

Undergraduate Major: Health Sciences

Medical Interest: Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics

"ASPIRE has given me the opportunity to expand my knowledge on the Fermedical field and has provided me with the resources to achieve my academic and career goals. I truly enjoyed my time in lab and also learning about health disparities. ASPIRE has helped me to see how as a future physician I can use my voice and experience to help combat disparities in medicine." 

Alex Ochoa

Alex Ochoa

Undergraduate Major: Public Health 

Medical Interest: Family Medicine and Pediatrics

"With the guidance of staff, mentors, and peers, I garnered the confidence to pursue a career in medicine and become a leader in advancing health equity. I learned the importance of perseverance and the necessity/lack of diversity within education, healthcare, and research. Lastly, I am grateful for this experience, and I intend to use the resources provided by ASPIRE to uplift my dreams and open the door for future students." 

Shirleen Otieno

Shirleen Otieno

Undergraduate Major: Biology 

Medical Interest: Psychiatry and Family Medicine 

"ASPIRE was transformative experience that not only exposed me to medical research, but also gave me the opportunity to give back to my community. I cannot wait to utilize these skills in my future education and career as a health-care professional."

Abhek Poudel

Abhek Poudel

Undergraduate Major: Neuroscience

Medical Interest: Neuroscience, Trauma, Critical Care

"Participating in the ASPIRE medical research program has been one of the best experiences of my college career. Getting to work with so many amazing and accomplished people has truly expedited my personal and professional development. I am confident that the lessons I learned and the people I've met will stay with me beyond my years of schooling."

Vasha Prabu

Varsha Prabu

Undergraduate Major: Psychology 

Medical Interest: Reproductive Health, Primary Care

"The ASPIRE program was one of the first times that I was embraced as part of the Ohio State community. It's reinforced the fact that I belong in the field of medicine, and I'll be taking many of the memories I've made with me for the rest of my life." 

Katrice Stallworth

Katrice Stallworth

Undergraduate Major: Psychology 

Medical Interest: Child and Adolescent Psychology / Social Psychology.

"The ASPIRE program provides exposure to people, opportunities, and resources not always available to undergrads. It is a positive environment for cultivating past interests and discovering new interests." 

Lauren Wilk

Lauren Wilk

Undergraduate Major: Environmental Public Health 

Medical Interest: Dentistry

"Staying in Columbus for ASPIRE, this summer, was the greatest decision I have ever made! I have loved meeting my cohort, learning from members of the healthcare community and doing research in the College of Dentistry. I can't wait to see the path I leave behind for future pre-dental ASPIRE students and utilize what I have learned to provide inclusive and accessible oral care."  

Ferome Yadatta

Ferome Yadatta

Undergraduate Major: Biochemistry

Medical Interest: Psychiatry/Neurology

"I feel extremely blessed for the opportunity to learn from and with a variety of kind-hearted professionals alongside my peers. Each didactic session’s host never failed to speak passionately about their work which affirmed my “why” in medicine. I am forever appreciative that ASPIRE afforded me a seat at a table that encouraged open-dialogue on topics that are often otherwise avoided in health."

ASPIRE Cohorts

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The 2022 ASPIRE program cohort
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The 2021 ASPIRE program cohort (from L-R): Dhairy Patel, Hayat Mekonen, Leslie Simon, Matthew Estrada, Rahwa Ghenbot, Rebecca Worthington, Alexandra Martinez-Mendez, Lauren Delfunt, Esther Pascal and Mamadou M'Bello Diallo. 
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The 2019 ASPIRE cohort (from L-R): (top)  Abdul Kaba, Nick Hamilton, McKinley Shawver, Andrea Ballinger; (bottom) Elvia Lozano Ortiz, Meron Yishak, Jahara Wakeel, Julia Catalano, Naniel Woode
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The 2018 ASPIRE cohort (from L-R): Leslie Jones, Dunni Adekunle-Adegbite, Jonaye Freeman, Mark Fongheiser, Sofia Herrera, Ladan Navari, Diana Hallak, Salma Shire
 

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