2022-2023 FERBS Fellows

Alondra Betancourt

FERBS Fellow 2022-23

Shorter Lab, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics

Alondra is originally from Orlando, FL and of Puerto Rican descent. Her responsibilities to care for her two younger sisters throughout her early life sparked an interest in childhood brain development. Alondra’s intended major is Neuroscience, and she plans to pursue a career as a pediatric neurosurgeon. She is specifically interested in gaining experience in microbiological or neurobiological research. On her days off, Alondra enjoys exploring Philadelphia, working out, and calling her family back home.

Celine Adomakoh

FERBS Fellow 2022-23

Beiting Lab, Department of Pathobiology

Celine Adomakoh has lived in Philadelphia for almost her entire life, so she is well accustomed to the Philadelphia community. She intends to major in Biology with a concentration in Computational Biology, aiming to make important contributions to biotechnology and bioengineering, particularly in areas like gene therapy. Her interests in bioinformatics and genomics were sparked by early exposure to research through Penn’s high school programs. Celine is on the pre-med track, driven by her passion for finding effective ways to advance medicine and improve the lives of those affected by chronic disorders/diseases. Outside of her scientific pursuits, Celine enjoys exploring a variety of podcasts, experimenting with hair and skincare products, and embarking on culinary adventures with her friends to satisfy her foodie spirit!

Felicitas Tananibe

FERBS Fellow 2022-23

Pohlschroder Lab, Department of Biology

Felicitas Tananibe is originally from Ghana, but has been living in Philadelphia for the past few years. She became fascinated by the world of science after holding a brain in a cadaver lab for the first time at the age of twelve. She is now interested in studying genetics and sickle cell anemia, as it affects a majority of African countries. She plans to double major in biology and fine arts under the pre-med track. Outside of the classroom, she loves to paint, read novels, shop, and volunteer. Felicitas hopes to be a pediatric surgeon while sharing her love for the arts through her work. Fun fact, she can read a five hundred page novel in less than a day!

Isabela Contreras

FERBS Fellow 2022-23

Bernstein Lab, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics

Isabela Contreras is a Mexican American from Santa Barbara, California. She is a student in the College of Arts and Sciences considering Biology and Psychology majors while on the Pre-Med track. Her interest in Spanish literature and in her own culture led her to want to minor in Hispanic Studies. Isabela’s academic interests include medicine, child development psychology, and the workings of nature and biological processes. She is eager to be exposed to a greater community of scholars who will motivate her to learn new skills and expand her knowledge in science far more than she could have imagined. Outside of her academic interests, Isabela enjoys picnics with her friends, cooking Mexican dishes, and bullet journaling.

Ivy Liu

FERBS Fellow 2022-23

Mathijssen Lab, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics

Ivy is currently a Freshman at the College of Arts and Sciences, attempting to get a physics degree. Originally from New York, she has lived in Philadelphia for approximately 5 years. Physics explains many of the fundamental phenomena of the world, but most importantly it is an interdisciplinary study allowing someone as indecisive as her to merge interests. As a UScholar and FERBS fellow, she hopes to explore the field of biophysics to eventually combine her passion for physics with her interest in Neuroscience and other biological systems. Conducting research to Ivy means exploration, curiosity driven questions, and a prolonged educational journey well beyond the confines of solely a degree. Research to her is to leave a positive social impact by impacting her field of study. But, outside of research Ivy enjoys playing games such as various card games (poker), mahjong, and much more.

Jorge Rodriguez

FERBS Fellow 2022-23

Brady Lab, Department of Cancer Biology

Jorge was initially born in Philadelphia, PA but moved to Vineland, New Jersey at a young age. Now that he is back in his hometown for college, he plans to pursue an education in neuroscience with a possible minor in cognitive science, while on a pre-med track. Following medical school, Jorge hopes to one day become an orthopedic surgeon specializing in Spinal or Orthopedic Trauma surgery. Outside of the classroom, Jorge is a part of Penn Dems and enjoys engaging in community service activities. Aside from this, Jorge also enjoys hanging out with his friends, playing volleyball, traveling, and listening to Kanye.

Kehinde Adeaga

FERBS Fellow 2022-23

Geffen Lab, Department of Psychology

Kehinde Adeaga is a Nigerian American from Hamilton, New Jersey. She plans on majoring in neuroscience and possibly minor in computer science or digital media design. Her interest in neuroscience grew from learning about a case of seizure patients and how lesions to their hippocampus affected their memory. Kehinde wants to learn more about the functions of the brain, how neurons work together to produce a certain behavior, and what can go wrong in causing neurological disorders. Outside of the classroom, she enjoys watching movies, going out with friends, reading, dancing, and listening to music from artists like BTS and Doechii.

Klarissa Isabela Diaz

FERBS Fellow 2022-23

Shin Lab, Department of Microbiology

Klarissa is originally from Houston, Texas. She is a student in the College of Arts and Sciences on a pre-med track with intentions of majoring in neuroscience. Her interest in neuroscience spans past the molecular and cellular processes in the brain to a wide-range of topics covered in Cognitive Neuroscience like memory, attention, and emotions, as well as topics in Psychology like personality and learning. For her, this program is an opportunity to be introduced to the vast field of research and also to be able to participate in future community service projects that involve helping Philly communities on the things they really need. Outside of academics, Klarissa enjoys spending time with her friends, exploring the city, going out to eat, thrifting, writing poetry, and going to the gym.

Mariah Wright-Moses

FERBS Fellow 2022-23

Betley Lab, Department of Biology

Mariah is from originally from Philadelphia. She is planning on majoring in neuroscience and is on the pre-med track in hopes of doing an md/ phD program after graduation. She is very excited to study the sciences specifically in lab at Penn because she loves research. Mariah hopes that she can study neurodegenerative diseases at some point at Penn. One of her goals is to make healthcare more easier to access to disproportionately disadvantaged communities and make them feel comfortable with medicine and science. While at Penn she is planning on being involved in the Penn Neuroscience Society and possibly Air Rush.Outside of science Mariah loves listening to music, hiking, kayaking, and spending time with friends.

Maricela Guzman

FERBS Fellow 2022-23

Burslem Lab, Department of Biology and Biophysics

Maricela Guzman is originally from Washington D.C., but her family is from El Salvador. She is a first year student interested in pursuing a major in Health & Societies with a minor in Medical Anthropology. When it comes to research in the biological sciences, Maricela is interested in learning more about cell proliferation and its role in the spread of disease. This year she intends on spending some of her free time participating in several of Penn’s Latinx clubs as well as volunteering for Puentes de Salud in South Philly. When not engaging in clubs or volunteering, she enjoy playing games with her friends and going out for a spontaneous night on the town. Maricela also LOVES listening to Bad Bunny or dancing bachata to Romeo Santos.

Prabh Preet Kaur

FERBS Fellow 2022-23

Planet Lab, Department of Pediatrics

Prabh Kaur is a freshman originally from Delaware. She is interested in studying the biological sciences and is on the Pre-Med track at Penn. Specifically Prabh enjoys learning about human biology, disease, and how living organisms function. Having deep interests in medicine, she hopes to become an OB-GYN in the future. Outside of the classroom, she enjoys writing poetry, taking bad quality pictures of the moon, and spending time with children and trying to see things through their curious perspectives.

Sarah Esther Ortiz-Polanco

FERBS Fellow 2022-23

Husbands Lab, Department of Biology

Sarah is a freshman at the College of Arts and Sciences. Originally from the Dominican Republic, she experienced the importance of healthcare and the sciences after contracting Denge. After moving to Florida, she explored her interest in the sciences by studying biology, physics, and chemistry. Her love for research flourished after conducting a microbiology experiment during her senior year of high school. In college, she hopes to major in Biology on the Pre-Med track. Furthermore, she hopes to make a difference in the Philadelphia community by volunteering at hospitals and providing solutions for pertinent issues.

Xoshill Saldaña

FERBS Fellow 2022-23

Wolf Lab, Department of Neurosurgery

Xoshill Saldaña is from Phoenix, Arizona and is a first generation latina. She is a student in the College of Arts and Sciences and plans to pursue an interest in Neuroscience at UPenn. She realized how important the brain is, and how this powerful organ can control your thoughts, emotions, and even feelings on a neuroanatomy level which is what further ignited her passion to study this organ. For her, science is the foundation and a vital part to helping humanity and our evolution. She finds it so fascinating and intriguing to see what molecular components are disrupted when understanding a disease, a cure, or even how an environment can cause a deadly virus. On campus, Xoshill loves to be connected to her roots and culture via clubs, as well as various volunteering experiences. She enjoys exercising, trying out new restaurants, and hanging out with friends on locust walk! Overall, she is very excited to commence this semester as a FERBS fellow.