Meet the Interns
2022 Science Communication Interns
We are thrilled to announce the inaugural Society for Developmental Biology Science Communication Interns. For the next year they will work with our faculty writing mentors to generate stories for the SDB website, newsletter, and social media accounts.
Lydia is currently a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Cell Biology at the University of Pittsburgh, in the lab of Dr. Deepika Vasudevan and jointly mentored by Dr. Kafui Dzirasa at Duke University School of Medicine. Lydia’s long-term research goal is to utilize the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster to model reproductive regulation from a systems biology perspective. She earned her Ph.D. at NYU School of Medicine studying sexual identity maintenance in Drosophila spermatogenesis. She conducted postdoctoral research in the lab of Dr. Mark Van Doren, where she characterized the role of sex-specific steroid hormone signaling in Drosophila gonad development. Alongside her research pursuits, Lydia is committed to increasing access to biomedical research careers for aspiring scientists. To this end, she broadly engages in outreach and communication efforts, especially toward communities historically excluded from STEM disciplines. In her free time, Lydia can be found singing, crocheting, or propagating one of her many plants.
- From motor neurons to Malta – A graduate student profile
- A ‘citizen science’ approach to transforming scientific research and education
Andrew is a Ph.D. student in the Interdisciplinary Biological Sciences program at Northwestern University and a member of Professor Carole LaBonne’s lab. His thesis work focuses on using quantitative microscopy techniques to study neural crest specification in Xenopus laevis embryos. After growing up in Texas, Andrew attended Caltech where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Bioengineering. He has since found a home in America’s midwest, residing with his human and feline partners in the Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago. He enjoys exploring the city on foot, bike, bus and train when the weather is nice, and staying home and reading the rest of the time. While at Northwestern, Andrew has developed science writing skills through coursework as well as writing about exciting preprints as a preLighter for The Company of Biologists. He is an active member of the Science Policy Outreach Taskforce, participates in regular book clubs on science policy topics, and tutors students through the Northwestern Prison Education Program.
- Victoria Deneke, Winner of 2022 SDB Trainee Science Communication Award
- 2022 Society for Developmental Biology Midwest Regional Meeting Report
- Worming Through the Secrets of Meiosis
Brittany is a 6th year Ph.D. student in the lab of Dr. Kristin Artinger at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. For her thesis work, Brittany is studying the role of a transcription factor, PRDM1, in limb development and a congenital limb disorder called Split Hand/Foot Malformation (SHFM) using zebrafish as a model. Brittany aspires to be an editor for a renowned journal in developmental biology or molecular biology. As an SDB Science Communication Intern, she is most looking forward to directly learning from an SDB writing mentor, highlighting research articles, and sharing new discoveries with both researchers and a more general audience. In her spare time, Brittany enjoys hiking with her dog and practicing yoga.
2022 Honorable Mentions
We are also excited to acknowledge the following individuals for their exemplary applications. These SDB Science Communication Honorable Mentions will work with our faculty writing mentors to write the stories they pitched on topics related to developmental biology.
Ana Maria is currently in the 4th year of her Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Toronto, where she studies collective cell movements during wound healing in the fruit fly embryo. She previously got her Masters in Biological Engineering from Técnico Lisbon, in Portugal, where she is originally from. Ana Maria decided to trade the mild sunny weather of Portugal for the long cold winters of Canada. She (still) loves the snow in the city, and her favorite thing about Toronto is the abundance and diversity of restaurants. In her free time, she likes to crochet, re-watch her favourite animated movies, and go for walks in the city while drinking bubble tea.
- Anne Ephrussi Awarded 2023 Developmental Biology-Society for Developmental Biology Lifetime Achievement Award
Azelle is a third-year Ph.D. candidate in the Zenker Group at the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute (ARMI), Monash University, Australia. Her research uses advanced live imaging technologies to decipher the spatiotemporal dynamics underlying early mouse embryo development. Previously, Azelle received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Western Australia. She then continued her studies completing a Graduate Diploma of Reproductive Science at Monash University in 2018. Pursuing her passion for developmental biology, Azelle commenced her professional career at the University of Sydney, participating in research projects focused on assisted reproductive technologies and genome editing in preimplantation embryos. Azelle is a strong advocate for science outreach and communication. She is a representative for the Scientists in Reproductive Technology (SIRT) and Society of Reproductive Biology (SRB) Committees. Furthermore, Azelle acts as the Social Media Ambassador for ARMI, an initiative that aims to heighten the impact of research shared between the public and the broader scientific community. Azelle is honoured to have been considered for the SDB Science Communication Internship. She is excited to utilise this experience to support her peers with their research careers and to aid SDB to communicate informative and engaging content to developmental biologists and the public.
Katherine Inskeep is a graduate student in the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital/ University of Cincinnati Molecular and Developmental Biology doctorate program completing her dissertation at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Dr. Stottmann’s lab. Katherine studies a gene that causes microcephaly and cerebellar hypoplasia in human pediatric patients, using mice and human induced pluripotent stem cells to reveal why this gene is influential for brain development. Katherine attended the University of Notre Dame for her undergraduate degree in Biochemistry. During that time, she volunteered at a children’s respite care facility which inspired her to attend graduate school to study rare pediatric brain disorders. Outside the lab, Katherine enjoys reading, LGBTQ+ advocacy, and rock climbing.
Niveda Udaykumar Vellore
Niveda is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Prof. Jonaki Sen's laboratory at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, India. She did her Bachelor's in Microbiology, Zoology and Chemistry at St. Joseph's College of Arts and Science, Bangalore and her Master's in Applied Microbiology at the Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT), Tamil Nadu. Her venture into Developmental Biology was accidental and her current research interest is to identify novel molecular targets involved in chick forebrain morphogenesis. Outside the laboratory, Niveda likes to play basketball, explore new places, read novels and comics, and write short essays/stories/articles.